Sunday, 15 October 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Devamata - 8

Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by Sister Devamata

Each of these narrow, but deep houses held on the first floor a long narrow drawing-room, with high folding-doors at one end, two large windows at the other, and between them a mirror reaching from floor to ceiling. This mirror seemed to fascinate the Swami. He stood before it again and again, gazing at himself intently. In between he walked up and down the room, lost in thought. Miss Waldo's eyes followed him anxiously. "Now the bubble is going to burst", she thought. "He is full of personal vanity." Suddenly he turned to her and said: "Ellen, it is the strangest thing, I cannot remember how I look. I look and look at myself in the glass, but the moment I ' turn away I forget completely what I look like."

It was during this first visit to America that the Swami's Raja-Yoga took form. The greater part was dictated to Miss Waldo. She look it down in long hand. Those cherished hours of work on it were specially happy ones for her. She often spoke of them. Each day when the Swami's meal had been prepared and her tasks in the kitchen were done, she would come up to the back parlour where Swamiji lodged; take her seat at a table, on which stood an open ink-well; and dip her pen in the ink. From that moment until the work was laid aside for the day, her pen was kept wet, to catch the first rush of words that fell periodically from the Swami's lips. Sometimes in seeking for an English equivalent for the Sanskrit word in an aphorism, he would sit in concentrated silence for fifteen or twenty minutes — but the pen was not allowed to dry. The burst of dictation might come at any instant.

When the manuscript was completed, it was entrusted to Miss Waldo to put into print, but many distresses and heartaches lay in wait for her before publication was accomplished. Another devoted follower of the Swami borrowed the manuscript, carried it to London, and brought it out there, believing it was to the Swami's advantage to have it appear in England. For the time this blocked the American edition, and it was only possible to have an American edition by adding the glossary and other matter.


(Prabuddha Bharata, September 1956)

from.... (Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by Sister Devamata)
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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

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