Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by Sister Devamata
I believe that was the day on which Swami Vivekananda delivered the lecture on My Master. As he entered the hall from a door at the side of the platform, one sensed a different mood in him. He seemed less confident, as if he approached his task reluctantly. Years after in Madras I understood. He hesitated at all times to speak of his guru. During his early wanderings through South India he refused to reveal his name even, believing he represented him so poorly. Only in Madras, when he came unaware upon his Master's picture, did the words burst from his lips: "That is my guru, Shri Ramakrishna," and tears streamed down his face. So now was he reluctant. He began his lecture with a long preamble; but once in his subject, it swept him. The force of it drove him from one end of the platform to the other. It overflowed in a swift-running stream of eloquence and feeling. The large audience listened in awed stillness and at the close many left the hall without speaking. As for myself, I was transfixed. The transcendent picture drawn overwhelmed me. The call had come, and I answered.
It was on this Sunday that Swami's first volume appeared. For some time the lectures of one Sunday had been for sale on the book table, the next Sunday in pamphlet form. Now a whole collection of lectures on karma-yoga was brought out in a large, thin, closely-printed volume — very different from the edition published later. It was not very beautiful, but the workers were extremely proud of it.
A supplementary meeting in a private house marked the close of the Swami's New York work. In June he went with a group of students to Thousand Island Park and in August he sailed for Europe. The time of hearing was over, the time of pondering and practising had come. As we dwelt in memory on the Swami's teachings and tried from day to day to put them into our life, we came to feet more and more that a mighty comet had swung into our hemisphere, shone for a season in our heavens, and swung out again, leaving a line of light behind it. Its radiance still lingers.
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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