Questions and Answers: Shri Surendra Nath Sen – Jan 23, 2014

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Sunday, The 23rd January, 1898.

It was evening and the occasion of the weekly meeting of the Ramakrishna Mission, at the house of Balaram Babu of Baghbazar. Swami Turiyananda, Swami Yogananda, Swami Premananda, and others had come from the Math. Swamiji was seated in the verandah to the east, which was now full of people, as were the northern and the southern sections of the verandah. But such used to be the case every day when Swamiji stayed in Calcutta.

Many of the people who came to the meeting had heard that Swamiji could sing well, and so were desirous of hearing him. Knowing this, Master Mahâshaya (M.) whispered to a few gentlemen near him to request Swamiji to sing; but he saw through their intention and playfully asked, “Master Mahashaya, what are you talking about among yourselves in whispers? Do speak out.” At the request of Master Mahashaya, Swamiji now began in his charming voice the song—”Keep with loving care the darling Mother Shyâmâ in thy heart. . . .” It seemed as if a Vinâ was playing. At its close, he said to Master Mahashaya, “Well, are you now satisfied? But no more singing! Otherwise, being in the swing of it, I shall be carried away by its intoxication. Moreover, my voice is now spoilt be frequent lecturing in the West. My voice trembles a great deal. . . .”

Swamiji then asked one of his Brahmacharin disciples to speak on the real nature of Mukti. So, the Brahmacharin stood up and spoke at some length. A few others followed him. Swamiji then invited discussion on the subject of the discourse, and called upon one of his householder disciples to lead it; but as the latter tried to advocate the Advaita and Jnâna and assign a lower place to dualism and Bhakti, he met with a protest from one of the audience. As each of the two opponents tried to establish his own viewpoint, a lively word-fight ensued. Swamiji watched them for a while but, seeing that they were getting excited, silenced them with the following words:

Why do you get excited in argument and spoil everything? Listen! Shri Ramakrishna used to say that pure knowledge and pure Bhakti are one and the same. According to the doctrine of Bhakti, God is held to be “All-Love”. One cannot even say, “I love Him”, for the reason that He is All-Love. There is no love outside of Himself; the love that is in the heart with which you love Him is even He Himself. In a similar way, whatever attractions or inclinations one feels drawn by, are all He Himself. The thief steals, the harlot sells her body to prostitution, the mother loves her child—in each of these too is He! One world system attracts another—there also is He. Everywhere is He.

According to the doctrine of Jnana also, He is realised by one everywhere. Here lies the reconciliation of Jnana and Bhakti. When one is immersed in the highest ecstasy of divine vision (Bhâva), or is in the state of Samâdhi, then alone the idea of duality ceases, and the distinction between the devotee and his God vanishes. In the scriptures on Bhakti, five different paths of relationship are mentioned, by any of which one can attain to God; but another one can very well be added to them, viz. the path of meditation on the non-separateness, or oneness with God. Thus the Bhakta can call the Advaitins Bhaktas as well, but of the non-differentiating type. As long as one is within the region of Mâya, so long the idea of duality will no doubt remain. Space-time-causation, or name-and-form, is what is called Maya. When one goes beyond this Maya, then only the Oneness is realised, and then man is neither a dualist nor an Advaitist—to him all is One.

All this difference that you notice between a Bhakta and a Jnani is in the preparatory stage—one sees God outside, and the other sees Him within. But there is another point: Shri Ramakrishna used to say that there is another stage of Bhakti which is called the Supreme Devotion (Parâbhakti) i.e. to love Him after becoming established in the consciousness of Advaita and after having attained Mukti. It may seem paradoxical, and the question may be raised here why such a one who has already attained Mukti should be desirous of retaining the spirit of Bhakti? The answer is: The Mukta or the Free is beyond all law; no law applies in his case, and hence no question can be asked regarding him. Even becoming Mukta, some, out of their own free will, retain Bhakti to taste of its sweetness.

Q. God may be in the love of the mother for her child; but, sir, this idea is really perplexing that God is even in thieves and the harlots in the form of their natural inclinations to sin! It follows then that God is as responsible for the sin as for all the virtue in this world.
Swamiji: That consciousness comes in a stage of highest realization, when one sees that whatever is of the nature of love or attraction is God. But one has to reach that state to see and realise that idea for oneself in actual life.

Q. But still one has to admit that God is also in the sin!
Swamiji: You see, there are, in reality, no such different things as good and evil. They are mere conventional terms. The same thing we call bad, and again another time we call good, according to the way we make use of it. Take for example this lamplight; because of its burning, we are able to see and do various works of utility; this is one mode of using the light. Again, if you put your fingers in it, they will be burnt; that is another mode of using the same light. So we should know that a thing becomes good or bad according to the way we use it. Similarly with virtue and vice. Broadly speaking, the proper use of any of the faculties of our mind and body is termed virtue, and its improper application or waste is called vice.

Thus questions after questions were put and answered. Someone remarked, “The theory that God is even there, where one heavenly body attracts another, may or may not be true as a fact, but there is no denying the exquisite poetry the idea conveys.”

Swamiji: No, my dear sir, that is not poetry. One can see for oneself its truth when one attains knowledge.
From what Swamiji further said on this point, I understood him to mean that matter and spirit, though to all appearances they seem to be two distinct things, are really two different forms of one substance; and similarly, all the different forces that are known to us, whether in the material or in the internal world, are but varying forms of the manifestation of one Force. We call a thing matter, where that spirit force is manifested less; and living, where it shows itself more; but there is nothing which is absolutely matter at all times and in all conditions. The same Force which presents itself in the material world as attraction or gravitation is felt in its finer and subtler state as love and the like in the higher spiritual stages of realisation.

Q. Why should there be even this difference relating to individual use? Why should there be at all this tendency in man to make bad or improper use of any of his faculties?
Swamiji: That tendency comes as a result of one’s own past actions (Karma); everything one has is of his own doing. Hence it follows that it is solely in the hands of every individual to control his tendencies and to guide them properly.

Q. Even if everything is the result of our Karma, still it must have had a beginning, and why should our tendencies have been good or bad at the beginning?
Swamiji: How do you know that there is a beginning? The Srishti (creation) is without beginning—this is the doctrine of the Vedas. So long as there is God, there is creation as well.

Q. Well, sir, why is this Maya here, and whence has it come?
Swamiji: It is a mistake to ask “why” with respect to God; we can only do so regarding one who has wants or imperfections. How can there be an, “why” concerning Him who has no wants and who is the One Whole? No such question as “Whence has Maya come?” can be asked. Time-space-causation is what is called Maya. You, I, and everyone else are within this Maya; and you are asking about what is beyond Maya! How can you do so while living within Maya?

Again, many questions followed. The conversation turned on the philosophies of Mill, Hamilton, Herbert Spencer, etc., and Swamiji dwelt on them to the satisfaction of all. Everyone wondered at the vastness of his Western philosophical scholarship and the promptness of his replies.
The meeting dispersed after a short conversation on miscellaneous subjects.

Questions and Answers: Shri Surendra Nath Sen – Jan 22, 1898

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Saturday, the 22nd January, 1898.

Early in the morning I came to Swamiji who was then staying in the house of Balaram Babu at 57 Ramkanta Bose Street, Calcutta. The room was packed full with listeners. Swamiji was saying, “We want Shraddhâ, we want faith in our own selves. Strength is life, weakness is death. ‘We are the Âtman, deathless and free; pure, pure by nature. Can we ever commit any sin? Impossible!’—such a faith is needed. Such a faith makes men of us, makes gods of us. It is by losing this idea of Shraddha that the country has gone to ruin.”

Question: How did we come to lose this Shraddha?
Swamiji: We have had a negative education all along from our boyhood. We have only learnt that we are nobodies. Seldom are we given to understand that great men were ever born in our country. Nothing positive has been taught to us. We do not even know how to use our hands and feet! We master all the facts and figures concerning the ancestors of the English, but we are sadly unmindful about our own. We have learnt only weakness. Being a conquered race, we have brought ourselves to believe that we are weak and have no independence in anything. So, how can it be but that the Shraddha is lost? The idea of true Shraddha must be brought back once more to us, the faith in our own selves must be reawakened, and, then only, all the problems which face our country will gradually be solved by ourselves.

Q. How can that ever be? How will Shraddha alone remedy the innumerable evils with which our society is beset? Besides, there are so many crying evils in the country, to remove which the Indian National Congress and other patriotic associations are carrying on a strenuous agitation and petitioning the British government. How better can their wants be made known? What has Shraddha to do with the matter?
Swamiji: Tell me, whose wants are those—yours or the ruler’s? If yours, will the ruler supply them for you, or will you have to do that for yourselves?

Q. But it is the ruler’s duty to see to the wants of the subject people. Whom should we look up to for everything, if not to the king?
Swamiji: Never are the wants of a beggar fulfilled. Suppose the government give you all you need, where are the men who are able to keep up the things demanded? So make men first. Men we want, and how can men be made unless Shraddha is there?

Q. But such is not the view Of the majority, sir.
Swamiji: What you call majority is mainly composed of fools and men of common intellect. Men who have brains to think for themselves are few, everywhere. These few men with brains are the real leaders in everything and in every department of work; the majority are guided by them as with a string, and that is good, for everything goes all right when they follow in the footsteps of these leaders. Those are only fools who think themselves too high to bend their heads to anyone, and they bring on their own ruin by acting on their own judgment. You talk of social reform? But what do you do? All that you mean by your social reform is either widow remarriage, or female emancipation, or something of that sort. Do you not? And these again are directed within the confines of a few of the castes only. Such a scheme of reform may do good to a few no doubt, but of what avail is that to the whole nation? Is that reform or only a form of selfishness—somehow to cleanse your own room and keep it tidy and let others go from bad to worse!

Q. Then, you mean to say that there is no need of social reform at all?
Swamiji: Who says so? Of course there is need of it. Most of what you talk of as social reform does not touch the poor masses; they have already those things—the widow remarriage, female emancipation, etc.—which you cry for. For this reason they will not think of those things as reforms at all. What I mean to say is that want of Shraddha has brought in all the evils among us, and is bringing in more and more. My method of treatment is to take out by the roots the very causes of the disease and not to keep them merely suppressed. Reforms we should have in many ways; who will be so foolish as to deny it? There is, for example, a good reason for intermarriage in India, in the absence of which the race is becoming physically weaker day by day.
Since it was a day of a solar eclipse, the gentleman who was asking these questions saluted Swamiji and left saying “I must go now for a bath in the Ganga. I shall, however, come another day.”

Questions and Answers: Guru, Avatara, Yoga, Japa, Seva

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Q.—How can Vedanta be realised?

A.—By “hearing, reflection, and meditation”. Hearing must take place from a Sad-guru. Even if one is not a regular disciple, but is a fit aspirant and hears the Sad-guru’s words, he is liberated.
Q.—Who is a Sad-guru?

A.—A Sad-guru is one on whom the spiritual power has descended by Guru-paramparâ, or an unbroken chain of discipleship.

To play the role of a spiritual teacher is a very difficult thing. One has to take on oneself the sins of others. There is every chance of a fall in less advanced men. If merely physical pain ensues, then he should consider himself fortunate.
Q.—Cannot the spiritual teacher make the aspirant fit?

A.—An Avatâra can. Not an ordinary Guru.
Q.—Is there no easy way to liberation?

A.—”There is no royal road to Geometry”—except for those who have been fortunate enough to come in contact with an Avatara. Paramahamsa Deva used to say, “One who is having his last birth shall somehow or other see me.”
Q.—Is not Yoga an easy path to that?

A.—(Jokingly) You have said well, I see!—Yoga an easy path! If your mind be not pure and you try to follow Yoga, you will perhaps attain some supernatural power, but that will be a hindrance. Therefore purity of mind is the first thing necessary.
Q.—How can this be attained?

A.—By good work. Good work is of two kinds, positive and negative. “Do not steal”—that is a negative mandate, and “Do good to others”—is a positive one.
Q.—Should not doing good to others be performed in a higher stage, for if performed in a lower stage, it may bind one to the world?

A.—It should be performed in the first stage. One who has any desire at first gets deluded and becomes bound, but not others. Gradually it will become very natural.
Q.—Sir, last night you said, “In you is everything.” Now, if I want to be like Vishnu, shall I have to meditate on the form also, or only on the idea?

A.—According to capacity one may follow either way.
Q.—What is the means of realisation?

A.—The Guru is the means of realisation. “There is no knowledge without a teacher.”
Q.—Some say that there is no necessity of practicing meditation in a worship-room. How far is it true?

A.—Those who have already realised the Lord’s presence may not require it, but for others it is necessary. One, however, should go beyond the form and meditate on the impersonal aspect of God, for no form can grant liberation. You may get worldly prosperity from the sight of the form. One who ministers to his mother succeeds in this world; one who worships his father goes to heaven; but the worshipper of a Sâdhu (holy man) gets knowledge and devotion.
Q.—What is the meaning of “क्षणमिह सज्जनसंगतिरेका”—”Even a moment’s association with the holy ones serves to take one beyond this relative existence”?

A.—A fit person coming in contact with a true Sadhu attains to liberation. True Sadhus are very rare, but their influence is such that a great writer has said, “Hypocrisy is the tribute which vice pays to virtue.” But Avataras are Kapâlamochanas, that is, they can alter the doom of people. They can stir the whole world. The least dangerous and best form of worship is worshipping man. One who has got the idea of Brahman in a man has realised it in the whole universe. Monasticism and the householder’s life are both good, according to different circumstances. Knowledge is the only thing necessary.
Q.—Where should one meditate—inside the body or outside it? Should the mind be withdrawn inside or held outside?

A.—We should try to meditate inside. As for the mind being here or there, it will take a long time before we reach the mental plane. Now our struggle is with the body. When one acquires a perfect steadiness in posture, then and then alone one begins to struggle with the mind. Âsana (posture) being conquered, one’s limbs remain motionless, and one can sit as long as one pleases.
Q.—Sometimes one gets tired of Japa (repetition of the Mantra). Should one continue it or read some good book instead?

A. —One gets tired of Japa for two reasons. Sometimes one’s brain is fatigued, sometimes it is the result of idleness. If the former, then one should give up Japa for the time being, for persistence in it at the time results in seeing hallucinations, or in lunacy etc. But if the latter, the mind should be forced to continue Japa.
Q.—Sometimes sitting at Japa one gets joy at first, but then one seems to be disinclined to continue the Japa owing to that joy. Should it be continued then?

A.—Yes, that joy is a hindrance to spiritual practice, its name being Rasâsvâdana (tasting of the sweetness). One must rise above that.
Q.—Is it good to practice Japa for a long time, though the mind may be wandering?

A.—Yes. As some people break a wild horse by always keeping his seat on his back.
Q.—You have written in your Bhakti-Yoga that if a weak-bodied man tries to practice Yoga, a tremendous reaction comes. Then what to do?

A.—What fear if you die in the attempt to realise the Self! Man is not afraid of dying for the sake of learning and many other things, and why should you fear to die for religion?
Q.—Can Jiva-sevâ (service to beings) alone give Mukti ?

A.—Jiva-seva can give Mukti not directly but indirectly, through the purification of the mind. But if you wish to do a thing properly, you must, for the time being, think that that is all-sufficient. The danger in any sect is want of zeal. There must be constancy (Nishthâ), or there will be no growth. At present it has become necessary to lay stress on Karma.
Q.—What should be our motive in work—compassion, or any other motive?

A.—Doing good to others out of compassion is good, but the Seva (service) of all beings in the spirit of the Lord is better.
Q.—What is the efficacy of prayer?

A.—By prayer one’s subtle powers are easily roused, and if consciously done, all desires may be fulfilled by it; but done unconsciously, one perhaps in ten is fulfilled. Such prayer, however, is selfish and should therefore be discarded.
Q.—How to recognise God when He has assumed a human form?

A.—One who can alter the doom of people is the Lord. No Sadhu, however advanced, can claim this unique position. I do not see anyone who realises Ramakrishna as God. We sometimes feel it hazily, that is all. To realise Him as God and yet be attached to the world is inconsistent.

Questions and Answers: At The Twentieth Century Club of Boston (U.S.A)

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Q.—Did Vedanta exert any influence over Mohammedanism?

A.—This Vedantic spirit of religious liberality has very much affected Mohammedanism. Mohammedanism in India is quite a different thing from that in any other country. It is only when Mohammedans come from other countries and preach to their co-religionists in India about living with men who are not of their faith that a Mohammedan mob is aroused and fights.
Q.—Does Vedanta recognise caste?

A.—The caste system is opposed to the religion of the Vedanta. Caste is a social custom, and all our great preachers have tried to break it down. From Buddhism downwards, every sect has preached against caste, and every time it has only riveted the chains. Caste is simply the outgrowth of the political institutions of India; it is a hereditary trade guild. Trade competition with Europe has broken caste more than any teaching.
Q.—What is the peculiarity of the Vedas?

A.—One peculiarity of the Vedas is that they are the only scriptures that again and again declare that you must go beyond them. The Vedas say that they were written just for the child mind; and when you have grown, you must go beyond them.
Q.—Do you hold the individual soul to be eternally real?

A.—The individual soul consists of a man’s thoughts, and they are changing every moment. Therefore, it cannot be eternally real. It is real only in the phenomenal. The individual consists of memory and thought, how can that be real?
Q.—Why did Buddhism as a religion decline in India?

A.—Buddhism did not really decline in India; it was only a gigantic social movement. Before Buddha great numbers of animals were killed for sacrifice and other reasons, and people drank wine and ate meat in large quantities. Since Buddha’s teaching drunkenness has almost disappeared, and the killing of animals has almost gone.

Swami Vivekananda’s First Hosts in Bombay – Part 2

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Source from An article by Swami Shuddharupananda which appeared in Prabuddha Bharata – January 2005

Swamiji’s Visit to Kanheri Caves     Chabildas Lalubhai  

It is highly unlikely that Swamiji and his host would have returned to the Napeon Sea Road bungalow when the latter had a big, spacious bungalow in Borivili. Moreover, Swamiji was no casual visitor. He would have minutely observed and studied each and every cave. He had a deep interest in rockcut architecture. These caves, numbering more than 100, are among the largest Buddhist caves in western India. Swamiji must have been fascinated to see Caves 1, 2 and 3 for their massive pillars, sculpture and stupa. Perhaps the chaitya hall in Cave 3 and the assembly hall in Cave 10 gave him the idea that the natmandir (prayer hall) of the future Ramakrishna temple should have such a design concept. Swami Vijnananandaji incorporated this and other ideas of Swamiji in his drawings and plan of the Ramakrishna temple at Belur Math, which was completed in 1938. So it is reasonable to presume that Swamiji might have returned to the caves more than once to study them in depth, because all their details do not lend themselves to serious study in a single visit. They made such a deep impression on him that many years after he had visited the caves, Swamiji spoke of them to his disciples who had gathered at Thousand Island Park, USA. The wealth of details Swamiji studied at the Kanheri caves is evident from Sister Christine’s reminiscences of him:     

While he was at Thousand Islands he made plans for future, not only for his disciples in India and the work there, but also for those of his followers in America, who were hoping sometime to go to India. At that time we thought these plans were only daydreams. One day he said, ‘We shall have a beautiful place in India, on an island with the ocean on three sides. There will be small caves which will accommodate two each, and between each cave there will be a pool of water for bathing, and pipes carrying drinking water will run up to each one. There will be a great hall with carved pillars for the Assembly Hall, and more elaborate Chaitya Hall for worship. Oh! It will be luxury.’ It seemed that he was building castles in the air. None of us dreamed that this was something which could ever be realized.

Sister Christine’s Visit to Kanheri Caves     

Many years later, when Sister Christine visited Bombay, she visited the Kanheri caves. It is interesting to read what she has to say about her visit. She took a train to Borivili and then hired a bullockcart. When the road had ended, she and the bullockcart driver had to go on foot. She says:    

We went only a short distance and then came to a stream which at that season was almost dried up. On the other side was a small hill. Here we found carved stone steps leading to the top. And what a view there was from the crest of the hill! The ocean on three sides, a forest leading to the water, carved seats on which to rest, sculptured halls of magnificent proportions. Here it all was – the island with the ocean on three sides, a great sculptured Assembly Hall, the Chaitya Hall, … the small cells, containing two stone beds each, pools of water between the cells, even the pipes to carry water! It was as if a dream had unexpectedly come true. Coming upon this abandoned site, which answered in detail to the fairytale we had heard long before in America, I was profoundly affected.     

When Sister Christine narrated to Swami Sadanandaji her visit to the deserted island of 109 caves, he told her:     

Yes, Swamiji in his wanderings in western India before he went to America, found these caves. The place stirred him deeply; for it seems that he had a memory of a previous life in which he lived there. At that time, the place was unknown and forgotten. He hoped that some day he might acquire it and make it one of the centres for the work which he was planning for the future.     

Swamiji might have easily acquired the Kanheri caves because he knew that if he asked Ramdas Chabildas to give them to him for his future work, both Ramdas Chabildas and Chabildas Lalubhai would have readily agreed, because it was then one of their properties.

Chabildas Lalubhai’s GenerosityChabildas Lalubhai with Second wife Kesarbai and son Janmejay     

Even though Chabildas Lalubhai had amassed immense wealth, he was a devoted and benevolent person at heart. During the plague of 1874, he built shelters on his own land in Goregaon, a suburb of Bombay, for the benefit of the people, who were fleeing the city. Later, during a famine, he provided food, clothing, shelter and every kind of necessity to hundreds of orphans for a whole year. There are around fortythree Ram temples in Bombay built by rich Gujarati businessmen; the one in Gulalwadi was built by Chabildas Lalubhai. In his last will Chabildas Lalubhai mentions the construction of (a) hospital open to all, (b) a sanatorium for Hindus, (c) a lodge for poor Hindus, (d) industrial and technical schools and colleges, and (e) scholarships for students of all communities.

Swamiji and Chabildas Lalubhai      

The Life has mistaken Ramdas Chabildas and Chabildas Lalubhai for the same person, though they were son and father, respectively. Swamiji refers to Ramdas Chabildas as Mr Ramdas and to Chabildas Lalubhai as Mr Chabildas. The book says Seth Ramdas Chabildas later accompanied Swamiji to Chicago from Yokohama. But, in fact, it was Chabildas Lalubhai who travelled with Swamiji to Japan and then to Chicago and Boston. In the Life, we find that ‘Mr Chabildas, who had been one of Swami’s hosts in Bombay, sailed for Japan by the same ship [Peninsular].’ In his unpublished letter dated 22 May 1893 to the Maharaja of Khetri from Bombay, Swamiji writes, ‘His (Ramdas’) father intends going to Chicago on 31st (May 1893); if so we could go together for company.’    Samudra Villa: sea view  In his letter dated 20 August 1893 to Alasinga Perumal from Metcalf, Massachusetts, Swamiji writes, ‘Mr Lalubhai was with me up to Boston. He was very kind to me.’ In the same letter he continues, ‘Ramdas’s father has gone to England. He is in a hurry to go home. He is a very good man at heart, only Baniya roughness on the surface.’     

In his letter of 6 October 1893 written from Bombay to Sri Jagmohanlalji, Dewan of Khetri, Akshay Kumar Ghosh says, ‘In continuation of my last letter I am glad to enlighten you on various news about Swamiji. Just now I returned from Mr Chabildas, where I went in the morning to get exhaustive information about him. Mr Chabildas was always with his holiness until he separated at Boston in America.’ The letter continues:      On separating, Mr Chabildas enquired what actual sum Swamiji had with him, when it was ascertained that Swamiji had only ?100 with him, which in Mr Chabildas’ idea is too paltry a sum to live upon in Chicago for a period longer than three or four days, as the country is five times as much dear as England. Swamiji entertains the idea, if possible, of coming in Europe and spend a longer period in the continent, say about a year. But at Boston Mr Chabildas requested him to telegraph his London firm whenever he wanted any pecuniary help, and has on his way back himself advised his London agent to respond to him. From New York Mr Chabildas wired Swamiji twice but was given no reply. Then again from London Guruji was asked if he was willing to join him to come back to India. The reply that was received was this, ‘Don’t wait, will go back a long period hence.’     

In his letters to his friends and disciples, Swamiji spurred them on to engage in some kind of business, like selling Indian goods in the United States, rather than cajole their white masters to give them jobs. The story of Chabildas Lalubhai’s success, his rise from rags to riches by doing business very much agreed with Swamiji’s thinking. Swamiji appreciated his enterprising nature.     

Chabildas passed away in Bombay on 5 December 1914, at the age of seventyseven.


1. To the descendants of Chabildas Lalubhai: (a) Smt Gamavati Seth, daughter of Sri Janmeyjay Chabildas and his first wife; (b) Smt Hansaben Goragandhi, daughter of Sri Janmeyjay Chabildas and his second wife. She gave us Chabildas Lalubhai’s photograph; (c) Sri Suryakant Seth, son of Smt Gamavati Seth, who identified Chabildas Lalubhai’s Napeon Sea Road bungalow; (e) Sri Harishbhai Khot, son of Sri Bhadrasen Chabildas. He was the second descendant who identified Chabildas Lalubhai’s bungalow on Napeon Sea Road and gave us a copy of the sale deed of the said bungalow and also its photograph.          

2. To the late Sri Mahendra Seth, son of Smt Gamavati Seth. He helped us by getting most of the newspaper references and the will of Chabildas Lalubhai.      

3. To (a) Sri H L Ganjawala, corporate architect and chartered engineer, for acquiring the layout plan of the Napeon Sea Road bungalow; and (b) Sri Manesh Ganjawala, architect and interior designer, for taking pictures of the bungalow.

AcknowledgmentsSamudra Villa: another front view

1. Mulchand Verma, ‘Both Mira Road and Bhayander Owned by Gujarati Seth Chabildas Lalubhai’ (Gujarati) in Mumbai Samachar, 14 May 1991.

2. Hemchandra Narsi, ‘On Sri Ram Temples in Bombay’ (Gujarati).

3. Chabildas’ will dated 12 August 1914.

4. Sale deed of Chabildas Lalubhai’s bungalow on Napeon Sea Road to Dorab Shaw Dubash, dated 1 April 1916.

5. ‘Daring Businessman Chabildas Lalubhai’ (Marathi) in Upanagar Dhvani, 14 August 1979.

6. A M Khadilkar, A Brief Introduction on Chabildas Lalubhai (Marathi pamphlet). The author is headmaster of Chabildas Lalubhai Boys’ High School, Dadar, Mumbai 400 028.

7. ‘Centenary Celebration of Chabildas School’ (Marathi) in Navkal.

8. Sri Prakash Bhandari, ‘Letters Recording Vivekananda’s Troubles in the US’ in The Times of India, 6 March 1999.

9. ‘Outline of Chabildas Lalubhai’ in Bombay Chronicle, 7 December 1914.

10. Kishore A Hursh, ‘To Work for the Freedom of India Became His Duty’ (Gujarati) in Saptahik Dastan, 22 December 1955.

11. Vishnu Pandya, ‘The Last Will of Shyamji Krishna Verma’ (Gujarati) in Janmabhumi, 12 January 1994.

12. Mangal Bhanushali’s Gujarati article in Smarananjali.

Notes and References

1. His Eastern and Western Disciples, The Life of Swami Vivekananda, 2 vols. (Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1, 2000; 2, 2001,), 1.302.

2. Ibid., 1.295.

3. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 9 vols. (Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 18, 1989; 9, 1997), 8.13.

4. In 1973, the author’s mother, Smt Lilavati, and Srimat Swami Gautamanandaji Maharaj, President, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai, had gone to Mansen Kursandas’ house to find out the letters of Swamiji written to Ramdas Chabildas and his father Chabildas Lalubhai, but they could not find any. Mansen was Ramdas Chabildas’ nephew and lived in Tin Batti, Walkheshwar, Bombay.

5. History of Arya Samaj (Hindi), 1982, 1.2624.

6. Upanagar Dhvani (see item 5, ‘Acknowledgments’).

7. CW, 8.289.

8. His Eastern and Western Admirers, Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda (Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1994), 20.

9. Reported by Mulchand Verma in Mumbai Samachar, 14 May 1991.

10. The author gathered this information in August 2003 from Smt Motabai Baxi, who is now ninetyfive years old.

11. Upanagar Dhvani.

12. Heard from Smt Hansaben Goragandhi.

13. Reminiscences, 215.

14. From the aforementioned Gujarati paper by Hemchandra Narsi (see item 2, ‘Acknowledgments’).

15. Life, 1.304.

16. Ibid., 1.391.

17. CW, 5.12.

18. Ibid., 5.19.

19. Akshay Kumar Ghosh’s unpublished letter to Sri Jagmohanlalji, Dewan of Khetri; by courtesy of Swami Vivekananda Complete Works Committee, Belur Math.