Friday, January 18, 2013

Swami Vivekananda

Somewhere in the basement here lie the collected works of Swami Vivekananda ... maybe 15-20 volumes. They are moldy now, but there was a time when I read most, if not all of them. And I remember mere snippets ... the journalistic excitement when this "hindoo" showed up at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 ... and the line, "The mind is a good servant and a poor master" ... and the one-time plea to his teacher, Ramakrishna: "Not yet! Not yet!"

Vivekananda spoke concretely in a spiritual world I was longing to understand at one time. I felt at home in his words and look back in gratitude ... even if I am no longer sure of what, precisely, I am grateful for. Vivekananda died at 39 in 1902.

To mark what will be the 150th anniversary of his birth, the BBC news magazine has offered this article.

Not everyone's cup of tea, no doubt, but he was an ass-kicker and a bit of bedrock in my life.

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