Monday, 2 October 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Martha Brown Fincke : 5

Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by Martha Brown Fincke

...Of the succeeding lecture I can say nothing. The great Swami left us and I never saw him again. I even lost sight of his journeyings through our country and did not know that he made another visit to it two years later. And yet those two days of his mighty presence have certainly coloured all the rest of my life. I wrote to my family a detailed account of this visit, expressing myself so strongly that my devoted but over-solicitous father became alarmed. He pictured me leaving the faith of my fathers and becoming a disciple of the Swami. He used argument and ridicule, and to spare him further anxiety — for I adored my father — I stopped talking of my new thoughts, and kept them to myself.

I often think of the time I have lost, of the roundabout way I have come, groping my way, when under such guidance I might have aimed directly for the goal. But for an immortal soul it is wiser not to spend time in regrets, since to be on the way is the important thing.

One reads of the seeds found in Egyptian sarcophagi, buried thousands of years previously and yet retaining enough vitality to sprout when planted. Lying apparently lifeless in my mind and heart, the far-off memory of that great apostle from India has during the past year begun to send forth shoots. It has at last brought me to this country. During the intervening years — years of sorrow and responsibility and struggle mingled with joy — my inmost self has been trying out this and that doctrine to see if it was what I wanted to live by. Always some dissatisfaction resulted. Dogmas and rituals, made so important by orthodox believers, seemed to me so unimportant, so curbing that freedom of the spirit that I longed for.

I find in the universal Gospel that Swamiji preached the satisfaction of my longing. To believe that the Divine is within us, that we are from the very first a part of God, and that this is true of every man. what more can one ask? In receiving this, as I have on the soil of India, I feel that I have come Home.

(Prabuddha Bharata, September 1936)

from.... (Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by Martha Brown Fincke)