Now he has closed the class for the morning, and he has turned to me, "Mrs. Funke, tell me a funny story. We are going to part soon, and we must talk funny things, isn't it?"...
We take long walks every afternoon, and our favourite walk is back of the cottage down a hill and then a rustic path to the river. One day there was olfactory evidence of a polecat in the vicinity, and ever since Swami will say, "Shall we walk down Skunk Avenue?"
Sometimes we stop several times and sit around on the grass and listen to Swami's wonderful talks. A bird, a flower, a butterfly, will start him off, and he will tell us stories from the Vedas or recite Indian poetry. I recall that one poem started with the line, "Her eyes are like the black bee on the lotus." He considered must of our poetry to be obvious, banal, without the delicacy of that of his own country.
Wednesday, August 7th: Alas, he has departed! Swamiji left this evening at 9 o'clock on the steamer for Clayton where he will take the train for New York and from there sail for England.
The last day has been a very wonderful and precious one. This morning there was no class. He asked C. and me to take a walk, as he wished to be alone with us. (The others had been with him all summer, and he felt we, should have a last talk.) We went up a hill about half a mile away. All was woods and solitude. Finally he selected a low-branched tree, and we sat under the low spreading branches. Instead of the expected talk, he suddenly said, "Now we will meditate. We shall be like Buddha under the Bo tree." He seemed to turn to bronze, so still was he. Then a thunderstorm came up, and it poured. He never noticed it. 1I raised my umbrella and protected him as much as possible. Completely absorbed in his meditation, he was oblivious of everything. Soon we heard shouts in the distance. The others had come out after us with raincoats and umbrellas. Swamiji looked around regretfully. for we had to go, and said, "Once more am I in Calcutta in the rains."
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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