Swami Vivekananda at Colombo 1


Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House
Chennai, India

This pose of Swamiji is reminiscent of the famous Chicago pose of 1893. J. J. Goodwin, one of Swamiji’s beloved English disciples who was with him at the time, wrote a letter on January 22, 1897, to Mrs. Ole Bull in which he described their reception in Colombo. On Sunday, January 17, Swamiji and his party visited a local temple in the Tamil quarter of the city. In his elaborate account of the honor accorded Swamiji, Goodwin makes an interesting comment: “The Seviers and I, but particularly myself, have come in for an enormous amount of attention. We are always sprinkled with rose water and given sandalwood. One man wanted me to be photographed with the swami so that he might worship me with Swamiji.” The question naturally arises: on this occasion was a photograph actually taken of Swamiji, either with Goodwin or just by himself ? Since the letter is not published in full, an answer to this question is not known at present; however, future research may throw more light on this incident. ❊ ❊ ❊ Each race has a peculiar bent, each race has a peculiar raison d’etre, each race has a peculiar mission to fulfill in the life of the world. Each race has to make its own result, to fulfill its own mission. Political greatness or military power is never the mission of our race; it never was, and, mark my words, it never will be. But there has been the other mission given to us, which is to conserve, to preserve, to accumulate, as it were, into a dynamo, all the spiritual energy of the race, and that concentrated energy is to pour forth in a deluge on the world whenever circumstances are propitious. (CW [1973] 3:108)


  • Title: Swami Vivekananda at Colombo 1
  • Date Created: 1897-01
  • Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Subject Keywords: Swami Vivekananda, Swami Vivekananda at Colombo
  • Type: Photograph
  • Publisher: Sri Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Rights: Sri Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Accession ID: Photograph 56

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