Monday 28 August 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 46


...Sannyasin and beggar though he was. never did he forget to be regal. He was generous to a fault, but never uncontrolled in his generosity. Needless to say, there was never a trace of display in any act which he did. If he was with those who had abundance of this world's goods, he accepted what was offered gladly and without protest, even with an alacrity which at times approached glee. But from those who had little, he would accept nothing. He was no longer the mendicant monk, but something so different that one asked, "Has he at one time been one of the Great Moguls?" Foolish thought! Was he not greater than the greatest of the Moguls, than all the Moguls combined? Was he not more than regal? Was he not majestic?

His compassion for the poor and downtrodden, the defeated, was a passion. One did not need be told, but seeing him one knew that he would willingly have offered his flesh for food and his blood for drink to the hungry. To this day his birthday is celebrated by feeding the poor. The downtrodden and the outcasts are on this day served by Brahmins and Kayasthas, young men of the highest castes. To those in the West it is impossible to convey the significance of such service. Caste and outcaste! Who but a Vivekananda could bring about this relationship so unobtrusively? No arguments regarding caste and the depressed classes. Nothing but heart and devotion. So even in small things while he was still in America. Thus, when asked why he was taking French lessons, he said in confusion, "This is the only way M.L. can keep from starving." Thrusting a ten dollar bill into the hand of another he said. "Give this to S..., do not say it is from me." When one of the group, a weak brother, was accused of juggling with the Vedanta Society's money, he said. "I will make good any deficiency." Then the matter was dropped and he said to one of the others. "I do not know where I could have found the money to make up the loss, but I could not let the poor suffer."

To be continued.... (Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by Sister Christine)

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