Friday 28 April 2017

Swami Vivekananda in the memory of Ida Ansell - 9

When Swamiji was staying for a time at the Alameda Home of Truth, Edith had some wonderful times helping him cook. While the service was going on in the living room, they would be busy in the kitchen preparing the meal. There he was jolly and informal, but she was also given many incidental lessons. Once she was wearing a new green dress of which she was very proud. Suddenly some butter from the frying pan splattered on it. She was bemoaning the mishap and making a great tragedy of it, while Swami continued to chant and go about his work without taking the slightest notice of the incident.

Once they bought some pickles in a little wooden dish. Some of the pickle juice ran out on Swami's hand. He immediately put his fingers to his mouth and began to lick off the liquid. This seemed undignified, and Edith said. "Oh Swami!" in a shocked tone. "This little outside." Swami replied. "That's the trouble with you here; you always want this outside to be so nice."

Tom told me many of his experiences. He acted as usher of Swamiji's lectures and several times introduced him to the audience. The first time they stood together on the platform, Tom had the feeling that Swamiji's height was about forty feet and his about six inches. After that, when introducing him, he always stood at the foot of the platform. On one occasion Swamiji was speaking on India. Before beginning the lecture he said, "When I start on India I never know when to stop; so you attract my attention at ten o'clock." So Tom stood at the back of the hall and at ten o'clock took out his watch and swung it back and forth on the chain like a pendulum. After a time Swamiji noticed the signal and said, "I told them to stop me at ten o'clock. They are already swinging the watch and I haven't got started yet." But he stopped and, from that time on as long as he lived, Tom Allan always carried and used every day that same old watch.

On Easter Sunday night a group of friends were sitting on the porch of the Home of Truth, and Swamiji was telling some of his experiences in America. On one occasion he was advised to consult a lady chiropodist for some foot treatment. He evidently did not think very highly of her, for he always referred to her as the lady toe-doctor and said, "My toe hurts every time I think of her."

That evening someone asked Swamiji about renunciation. "Babies!" he answered, "what do you know of renunciation? If you want to be my disciples, you must face the cannon without a murmur."

To be continued...(Memoirs of Ida Ansell)
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
विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
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