Monday, 8 May 2017

Swami Vivekananda in memories of Manmatha Nath Ganguli

In the course of his conversation he spoke of one peculiar incident which to roe seemed very strange, and Swamiji also did not try to explain the phenomenon. He said, "I was then travelling from city to city and addressing many gatherings even in a single day. One day I was thinking that I had spoken on all the topics that I knew about. I was to address a meeting the next day and I was sorry that this time I would speak something that might be a repetition of some former lecture. This I wanted to avoid. It was late at night. I was sitting on an easy chair quite relaxed. In my mind I was accusing the Master for this predicament of mine. Suddenly I heard him speaking to me. At that moment I had closed my eyes and I could not see him. I only heard his voice. He went on speaking for some time at length and said, 'You should speak thus — and thus — and don't worry at all.' I was very much astonished. But I was glad to learn about the topics of my next lecture. There was even more astonishment in store for me. Next day in the morning a gentleman living in a room adjacent to mine asked me. 'Who was talking to you yesterday? I couldn't follow anything because the language was new to me.' Now, the language that I heard was Bengali. I wondered how could this man also hear it."

Swamiji continued. "Once I was asked in America to deliver a lecture on my guru. I told them that Shri Ramakrishna could not touch even a copper coin, what to say of gold or silver. It was true not only in the figurative sense but true literally. If he touched a metal coin inadvertently, his fingers cramped and the hand recoiled as if his nervous system rejected the touch instinctively. The contact would give him actual physical pain, and it was so intense that he would cry out even in sleep. One night the Master was asleep when I took a silver rupee and touched him with it. It had an instantaneous effect. Shri Ramakrishna wokeup. It was evident that he was anguished with pain, and I was ashamed of my childish act."

Then Rakhal Maharaj requested Swamiji to write a life history of the Master. At this Swamiji winced and said, "I cannot do it. It is not for me to attempt such a difficult task. In the hand of a bad artist even the picture of Shiva may appear to be that of a monkey." At this Rakhal Maharaj said. "If you say so, then the task will remain undone." But Swamiji answered, "If Thakur wishes it, some one else shall accomplish it."

For the time, his brother-disciples dispersed leaving the Swami seated there atone, who now turned to me and started a casual conversation.

"So you live at Allahabad, isn't it? Do you know Doctor Nandi? When I was at Jhusi, I used to go to his house for bhiksha (alms). I knew him very well." Dr. Nandi was a devotee of Shri Ramakrishna. We liked him and there was some acquaintance between us through this common bond. As far as I know, Dr. Nandi had seen Shri Ramakrishna. But I loved him because he had known Swami Vivekananda personally. He had told us that Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Shri Ramakrishna, once stayed for some time on the other side of the Ganga where there were many kuthias (thatched houses) for wandering monks. Swamiji was then a parivrajaka Sannyasin (itinerant monk). It was summer and the days were very hot. Often there was a hot breeze, locally known as the loo. Swamiji even in those hot days wore half of a coarse blanket as a bahirvasa (outer garment) and half of it covered his upper body. He walked barefooted to and from the house of Dr. Nandi.

To be continued...(Memoirs of Mrs. Manmatha Nath Ganguli)


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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