Madame Emma Calve’s first meeting with Swami Vivekananda

Written by Web Admin. Posted in Anecdotes and Parables

Reproduced from New Discoveries, Vol. 1, pp. 484-86.

[The story of the first meeting of Swami Vivekananda and Madame Emma Calvé, as told in Calvé’s autobiography, My Life] . . .

[Swami Vivekananda] was lecturing in Chicago one year when I was there; and as I was at that time greatly depressed in mind and body, I decided to go to him. . . . Before going I had been told not to speak until he addressed me. When I entered the room, I stood before him in silence for a moment. He was seated in a noble attitude of meditation, his robe of saffron yellow falling in straight lines to the floor, his head swathed in a turban bent forward, his eyes on the ground. After a pause he spoke without looking up.

“My child”, he said, “what a troubled atmosphere you have about you. Be calm. It is essential”. Then in a quiet voice, untroubled and aloof, this man who did not even know my name talked to me of my secret problems and anxieties. He spoke of things that I thought were unknown even to my nearest friends. It seemed miraculous, supernatural.

“How do you know all this?” I asked at last. “Who has talked of me to you?” He looked at me with his quiet smile as though I were a child who had asked a foolish question. “No one has talked to me”, he answered gently. “Do you think that it is necessary? I read in you as in an open book.” Finally it was time for me to leave.

“You must forget”, he said as I rose. “Become gay and happy again. Build up your health. Do not dwell in silence upon your sorrows. Transmute your emotions into some form of external expression. Your spiritual health requires it. Your art demands it.” I left him deeply impressed by his words and his personality. He seemed to have emptied my brain of all its feverish complexities and placed there instead his clear and calming thoughts. I became once again vivacious and cheerful, thanks to the effect of his powerful will. He did not use any of the hypnotic or mesmeric influences. It was the strength of his character, the purity and intensity of his purpose that carried conviction. It seemed to me, when I came to know him better, that he lulled one’s chaotic thoughts into a state of peaceful acquiescence, so that one could give complete and undivided attention to his words.

The story of a Drop of water

Written by Web Admin. Posted in Anecdotes and Parables, Explore, Vivekananda

Our soul, our true identity, is the source of all consciousness. It is separate and different from our body and mind, which are material by nature and are subject to change and dissolution. Know for certain that death has no power to annihilate your soul.  The consciousness of the soul in each of us is part of the all-pervading Universal Consciousness and is the deathless witness to the changes of the body and mind. The Universal Consciousness is like an infinite ocean and we are like drops of water. We rise to the sky from the ocean, and again we fall into the ocean as raindrops, … will in the end, sooner or later, come together as part or me ocean. In the words of Swami Vivekananda:
     “One day a drop of water fell into the vast ocean. When it found itself there, it began to weep and complain just as you are doing. The great ocean laughed at the drop of water. “Why do you weep?” it asked. “I do not understand. When you join me, you join all your brothers and sisters, the other drops of water of which I am made. You become the ocean itself. If you wish to leave me, you have only to rise up on a sunbeam into the clouds. From there you can descend again, a little drop of water, a blessing and a benediction to the thirsty earth.”