Concluding Words Of The Editor from Sister Nivedita’s Book

From the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda – Volume 9 – Excerpts from Sister Nivedita’s Book From Ganderbal the Swami returned by the first week of October and announced his intention of leaving for the plains in a few days for urgent reasons. The European party had already made plans to visit the principal cities of northern India, e.g., Lahore, Delhi, Agra, etc., as soon as the winter set in. So both parties decided to return together and came to Lahore. From here the Swami and his party returned to Calcutta, leaving the rest to carry out their plans for sight-seeing in northern...

The Camp Under The Chennaars

From the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda – Volume 9 – Excerpts from Sister Nivedita’s Book CHAPTER XII PERSONS: The Swami Vivekananda and a party of Europeans and disciples, amongst whom were Dhira Mata, the “Steady Mother”; one whose name was Jaya; and Nivedita. PLACE: Kashmir — Srinagar. TIME: August 14 to August 20, 1898. AUGUST 14. It was Sunday morning and next afternoon the Swami was prevailed on to come up to tea with us in order to meet a European guest who seemed to be interested in the subject of Vedanta. He had been little inclined to concern himself with the matter, and I think his real motive in accepting was probably to afford his too-eager disciples an opportunity of convincing themselves of the utter futility of all such attempts as this. Certainly he took infinite pains with the enquirer and, as certainly, his trouble was wasted. I remember his saying, amongst other things, “How I wish a law could be broken. If we were really able to break a law we should be free. What you call breaking the law is really only another way of keeping it”. Then he tried to explain a little of the superconscious life. But his words fell on ears that could not hear. AUGUST 16. On Tuesday he came once more to our little camp to the midday meal. Towards the end it began to rain heavily enough to prevent his return, and he took up Tod’s History of Rajasthan, which was lying near, and drifted into talk of Mirâ Bâi. “Two-thirds of the national ideas now in Bengal”, he...

At Srinagar On The Return Journey

From the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda – Volume 9 – Excerpts from Sister Nivedita’s Book CHAPTER XI PERSONS: The Swami Vivekananda and a party of Europeans and disciples, amongst whom were Dhira Mata, the “Steady Mother”; one whose name was Jaya; and Nivedita. PLACE: Kashmir — Srinagar. TIME: August 9 to August 13, 1898. AUGUST 9. At this time the Master was always talking of leaving us. And when I find the entry “The river is pure that flows, the monk is pure that goes”, I know exactly what it means — the passionate outcry “I am always so much better when I have to undergo hardships and beg my bread”, the longing for freedom and the touch of the common people, the picture of himself making a long circuit of the country on foot and meeting us again at Baramulla for the journey home. His family of boat-people, whom he had staunchly befriended through two seasons, left us today. Afterwards he would refer to the whole incident of their connection with him as proof that even charity and patience could go too far. AUGUST 10. It was evening, and we all went out to pay some visit. On the return he called his disciple Nivedita to walk with him across the fields. His talk was all about the work and his intentions in it. He spoke of the inclusiveness of his conception of the country and its religions; of his own distinction as being solely in his desire to make Hinduism active, aggressive, a missionary faith; of “don’t-touch-ism” as the only thing he repudiated. Then he talked...

The Shrine Of Amarnath

From the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda – Volume 9 – Excerpts from Sister Nivedita’s Book CHAPTER X PLACE: Kashmir. TIME: July 29 to August 8, 1898. JULY 29. From this time we saw very little of the Swami. He was full of enthusiasm about the pilgrimage and lived mostly on one meal a day, seeking no company much, save that of Sâdhus. Sometimes he would come to a camping-ground, beads in hand. Tonight two of the party went roaming about Bawan, which was like a village fair, all modified by a religious tendency centering in the sacred springs. Afterwards with Dhira Mata it was possible to go and listen at the tent door to the crowd of Hindi-speaking Sadhus who were plying the Swami with questions. On Thursday we reached Pahalgam and camped down at the lower end of the valley. We found that the Swami had to encounter high opposition over the question of our admission at all. He was supported by the Naked Swamis, one of whom said, “It is true you have this strength, Swamiji, but you ought not to manifest it!” He yielded at the word. That afternoon, however, he took his daughter round the camp to be blessed, which really meant to distribute alms — and whether because he was looked upon as rich or because he was recognized as strong, the next day our tents were moved up to a lovely knoll at the head of the camp. . . . JULY 30. . . . . . . How beautiful was the route to the next halt, Chandanwari! There we camped...

Walks And Talks Beside The Jhelum

From the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda – Volume 9 – Excerpts from Sister Nivedita’s Book CHAPTER IX PERSONS: The Swami Vivekananda and a party of Europeans and disciples, amongst whom were Dhira Mata, the “Steady Mother”; one whose name was Jaya; and Nivedita. PLACE: Kashmir. TIME: July 20 to July 29, 1898. JULY 20. . . . . . . That morning the river was broad and shallow and clear, and two of us walked with the Swami across the fields and along the banks about three miles. He began by talking of the sense of sin, how it was Egyptian, Semitic and Aryan. It appears in the Vedas, but quickly passes out. The devil is recognized there as the Lord of Anger. Then, with the Buddhists he became Mara, the Lord of Lust, and one of the most loved of the Lord Buddha’s titles was “Conqueror of Mara”. (Vide the Sanskrit lexicon Amarkosha that Swami learnt to patter as a child of four!) But while Satan is the Hamlet of the Bible, in the Hindu scriptures the Lord of Anger never divides creation. He always represents defilement, never duality. Zoroaster was a reformer of some old religion. Even Ormuzd and Ahriman with him were not supreme; they were only manifestations of the Supreme. That older religion must have been Vedantic. So the Egyptians and Semites cling to the theory of sin while the Aryans, as Indians and Greeks, quickly lose it. In India righteousness and sin become Vidyâ and Avidyâ — both to be transcended. Amongst the Aryans, Persians and Europeans become Semitized by religious ideas; hence...