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Swami Vivekananda - California lecture

1900-01

Vivekananda House

Vivekananda House
Chennai, India

(Swami Vivekananda in center. Other picnickers are not identified.) 22 “There are no known records of Swamiji’s talks and informal classes on this sunny hilltop. Yet from a snatch of conversation that Mrs. Hansbrough remembered, it is clear that he was seeing all the world—its good and its evil alike—as a divine play, all supremely Good. On one of the picnics a young woman, a Christian Scientist, put forth the belief that one should teach people to be good. Swamiji smiled and waved his hand to indicate the trees and the countryside, ‘Why should I desire to be good ?’ he asked. ‘All this is His handiwork. Shall I apologize for His handiwork? If you want to reform John Doe, go and live with him; don’t try to reform him. If you have any of the Divine Fire, he will catch it.’ “In those still, warm days of January, seated where they could overlook the rich valley with its escarpment of snow-peaked mountains, the picnickers listened to his words and felt themselves lifted into another level of existence altogether—a level in which they surely caught the ‘Divine Fire’ that blazed in their midst. ‘When he had talked for some time,’ Mrs. Hansbrough said, ‘the air would become surcharged with a spiritual atmosphere.’ And she spoke of one occasion in particular when, absorbed in some subject he was discussing, ‘he talked for six hours without interruption—from ten in the morning until four in the afternoon.’ ‘The air,’ she said, ‘was just vibrant with spirituality by the time it was over.’ ” 23 ❊ ❊ ❊ This is, therefore, true knowledge: that the Soul of our souls, the Reality that is within us, is That which is unchangeable, eternal, ever-blessed, ever-free. This is the only solid ground for us to stand upon. This, then, is the end of all death, the advent of all immortality, the end of all misery. And he who sees that One among the many, that One unchangeable in the universe of change, he who sees Him as the Soul of his soul, unto him belongs eternal peace—unto none else. (CW [1976] 2:402)

Details

  • Title: Swami Vivekananda - California lecture
  • Date Created: 1900-01
  • Location: South Pasadena, California
  • Subject Keywords: Swami Vivekananda, Swami Vivekananda at Califronia, Swami Vivekananda California lecture
  • Type: Photograph
  • Publisher: Sri Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Rights: Sri Ramakrishna Math & Mission, Belur Math
  • Accession ID: Photograph 89

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