The title of the book is noteworthy. What we have in the book- let are some photographs of the stalwart Swamiji of the Ramakrishna Mission against the background of the great Building of Shyamaldas Seth's Garden house at Roshanara Chowk, Delhi where Swamiji in his sojourn to Delhi lived for three weeks in a row along with his brother disciples like Swamis Brahmananda, Turiyananda, Akhandananda, Saradananda, Kripanananda, Advaitananda. Swamiji was known then as Vividishananda. We have as many as 50 coloured photos of which 18 photos are of the palatial building itself from different viewpoints. One photo is of the plain land reminding us of the tragic sight of the building being razed to the ground thereby burying all hopes of the admirers for preservation. Swami Adipurushananda had to live a few years at New Delhi Centre of our Mission. He witnessed several occasions when some of our President and Vice President Maharajas visited the place, sometimes holding some functions over there in the school situated in a side in memory of Swamiji's stay. It comes heartrending for us to believe that within a short period of time the entire edifice could be demolished and in its p would come up a go down. Whatever it may be, our de Maharaj has painstakingly collected the photos personally and also some other materials like the reports of the New Delhi- based dailies including the relevant excerpts from the book Swami Vivekananda's Life by His 'Eastern and Western Disciples.'
The purpose of the writer, it seems, is to place in black and white before the devotees of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda- Ma Sarada Devi about the grim facts of grand future. In fact, all happened before the eyes of all, much to our chagrin. We thank the writer for this collection and presentation of a gotten episode of Swamiji's life in Delhi.
Swami Vivekananda had stayed in Delhi twice, once before his journey to the West, and once after. The first stay was in January, 1891; the second, in November, 1897. The first stay, when he was a wandering monk, was at the abode of Shyamaldas Seth; the second stay, after his triumphant return from the West, was at the home of the humble disciple Natakrishna, also called Natukrishna. The first time he stayed in Delhi, he went by the name Swami Vividishananda; the second time it was Swami Vivekananda. His stays probably spanned about one month. The first stay lasted from the final days of January to the middle days of February over 3 weeks, and the second lasted for 4/5 days. In his wandering days, after spending a few months in Meerut, Swamiji grew increasingly restless with a thirst for absolute freedom like all-renouncing sadhus. His Inner Voice continuously urged him to take up a life of complete solitude - so that he could mould and prepare himself for the great mission that lay ahead. There are some saints who live far from the madding crowd, beyond the pale of commonality. Swamiji, being of such mind, decided to embrace solitude for the ultimate benefit of the multitude. To his brothers he said, "The mission of my life has been decided. Now onwards, I will be a loner. You must forsake me." He said, "The attachment between brothers is attachment too, it is rather an attach stronger than any other." - Perhaps he had received guidance regarding his prospect and plan from Sri Ramakrishna L. From EFACE
Meerut, Swamiji came to Delhi.
Delhi is to India what Rome is to Europe: a treasure trove of Civilization, culture, art, architecture, industry and refinement that blossomed through the ages. Swamiji toured the city, greatly relishing the sights of Qutab Minar, Lal Quilla, royal palaces, monuments, tombs, forts, and other places of historical importance. Here, he was visited by Swami Brahmananda, Swami Saradananda, Swami Akhandananda, Swami Turiyananda, Swami Advaitananda, Swami Kripananda, Dr. Hemchandra Sen, Mr. Sanyal, and professors from local universities. Swamiji, travelling alone, went from Delhi to the Alwar state of Rajputana. The second time he came to Delhi from Dehradun, and with him were the American disciples Cpt. Sevier and Mrs. Sevier, along with other brahmacharins, disciples and brother monks like Swami Niranjanananda, Swami Adbhutananda, Swami Vijanananda. He guided them about the old Mughal monuments of Delhi, talking about their art and their history, narrating it all like a tale. Had even a small part of those talks survived it could have been made into a pretty substantial book. One person, who had been in the party with Swamiji, had said, "(At that time) He had resurrected history before our eyes. We could almost see the bygone kings and emperors."
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