Swami Vivekananda at Alameda

Charles Neilson1900-04

Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House
Chennai, India

“According to Mrs. Allan someone then said, ‘Oh Swami, please smile for us!’ Whereupon, Swamiji smiled, and as he did so the second photograph [101] of which Mrs. Allan once said, ‘You will see everything in it,’ was taken. Both pictures are reproduced here: the cross one and the all-inclusive one. “One does indeed find everything in Swamiji’s smiling picture, and it is small wonder; for throughout his stay in Alameda he was in an exceedingly exalted state of mind. All anxiety in connection with his work had long since fallen from him.” 34 Another reference to this photograph was found in a letter that Mrs. Allan wrote to Ida Ansell from San Francisco dated October 27, 1945: I did not take the picture of Swamiji you refer to. It was taken by the Artist Charles Neilson. The flowers shown back of Swamiji’s head are on the summerhouse of Charles Neilson. Dr. Plum had a copy of that picture and did not care to keep it when she left Vedanta and gave it to Tom [Mr. Allan] who had a negative made from it from which all other copies have been made. I do not know whether the Temple has any pictures. Miss Hansen who kindly makes prints for the Temple has all our negatives we had made and of various Swamis etc. She says she will make some prints bye and bye. In the meantime I have the enclosed print you are welcome to if you want it. ❊ ❊ ❊ The sweetest moments of my life have been when I was drifting; I am drifting again—with the bright warm sun ahead and masses of vegetation around—and in the heat everything is so still, so calm—and I am drifting languidly—in the warm heart of the river! I dare not make a splash with my hands or feet—for fear of breaking the marvelous stillness, stillness that makes you feel sure it is an illusion! Behind my work was ambition, behind my love was personality, behind my purity was fear, behind my guidance the thirst of power! Now they are vanishing and I drift. I come! Mother, I come! In Thy warm bosom, floating wheresoever Thou takest me, in the voiceless, in the strange, in the wonderland, I come—a spectator, no more an actor. (Letters, 423)

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  • Title: Swami Vivekananda at Alameda
  • Creator: Charles Neilson
  • Date Created: 1900-04
  • Location: Alameda, California
  • Subject Keywords: Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji Smiling,Charles Neilson
  • Type: Photograph
  • Publisher: Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Rights: Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Accession ID: Photograph 101