It was then that I bowed to the Swami from a distance. There was none to introduce me to him, but I felt very happy to be able to see him face to face. I thought that I was fortunate enough to see the great Swami, lionized in America for his great learning and oratory. I was a petty clerk in government service at Allahabad, but hearing about the Swami's return to India, I took leave from my office and went forth for his darshana. Thus I came to Calcutta where my elder brother lived and practised as a lawyer. Twice or thrice in the year I used to come to Calcutta, and I never lost the opportunity to know at a closer quarter the sannyasins of the Math, and the disciples of Shri Ramakrishna, for my own spiritual benefit.
On a few occasions I had seen the Holy Mother but never asked her for initiation. A Brahmo friend of mine, Shri Narendra Nath Basu, got a touch of divine intoxication at the very first sight of Mother's holy feet. By her grace he got his initiation soon along with his wife. It is this friend of mine who came to me with the information that Swamiji was in the house of Balaram Babu. It was due to the kindness of this friend of mine that I own this fortune of seeing the Swami in person for the first time in my life.
I was born in an era which is difficult to be understood today by a generation which is so much removed from the ingrained thoughts of those times which now may have become meaningless. But then I also was so much influenced by the Brahminic ideas that prevented me to touch the feet of even a sannyasin born of the Kayastha caste. I am not ashamed to confess today that to me on that day Swamiji was not an exception to this rule. But the Swami spoke a few words to me in a kind voice and in a few minutes my Brahminic barriers seemed to be vanishing altogether.
To be continued...(Memoirs of Mrs. Manmatha Nath Ganguli)
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