Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Swami Vivekananda spoke of poor all the time.

One will be surprised to learn that he used imported furniture in a well-maintained spacious room in Belur Math. It is said that the expensive furniture was gifted to him by his foreign disciples. His disciple Sister Nivedita too stayed at the Belur Math. In 1901, after attending the Calcutta Session, Mahatma Gandhi went to see Swami Vivekananda at his Belur Math. Gandhiji could not meet him, as he was told that Swamiji was staying at his Calcutta House lying ill and could not be seen . Then he went to see Sister Nivedita in a Chowringhee mansion. Gandhiji was taken aback by the splendour that surrounded her. Gandhiji wrote in his "My Experiments with Truth", Volume 3:

"... Having seen enough of the Brahmo Samaj, it was impossible to be satisfied without seeing Swami Vivekanand. So with great enthusiasm I went to Belur Math, mostly, or maybe all the way, on foot. I loved the sequestered site of the Math. I was disappointed and sorry to be told that the Swami was at his Calcutta house, lying ill, and could not be seen. I then ascertained the place of residence of Sister Nivedita, and met her in a Chowringhee mansion. I was taken aback by the splendour that surrounded her, and even in our conversation there was not much meeting ground ... "


SRINIVAS said...

Swami Vivekananda Lying Ill and Sister Nivedia enjoying luxary, which is very sad to read.

But when Mahatma wrote, it must be true.

multisubj yb said...

To be fair to Sister Nivedita:
1. She was a freedom-fighter.
2. She influenced/guided/Aurobindo Aurobindo.
3. She dedicated herself to India and Hinduism.
4. Though Gandhiji travelled in third class (now second class), his compartment/bogey was exclusively reserved for his team.
5. Europeans are accustomed to a certain standard of living, which becomes a minimum necessity for them, because of habit formation, whereas for us the settings may look like luxuries. Vivekananda himself was using imported furniture while staying at Belur Math where the monks are expected to live an austere life.
6. We have to make an indepth study of Gandhiji's works and Nivedita's works.