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December 24, 2006
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December 24, 2006

Page: 19/32

Home > 2006 Issues > December 24, 2006

The Vivekananda in Naren
By M.V. Kolhatkar

The childhood name of Swami Vivekananda was Narendra. He was inquisitive by nature. He would ask umpteen questions. He was never at ease till he got the answers. He would not rest even after getting content with the answers. He would experiment and experience it himself and get satisfied only if he got the result likewise.

This is also how he saw the God, following instructions from his guru Ramakrishna Paramahansa.

*   *   *

Narendra?s father Vishwanathaji was a celebrated lawyer. He had a spacious waiting room meant for his clients. In the waiting room there were two hukkas (Traditional tobacco smoking instrument). One day Narendra asked his father why two hukkas are kept there instead of one. The father answered, ?One is meant for upper class clients and another is meant for lower class clients.? Narendra asked his father further, ?Do the hukkas taste differently? If so shall I smoke them and find the difference?? The father said, ?No not necessary. They have identical taste.? Narendra asked his father then, ?In what way are the lower class people different from the upper class? I find them possessing similar limbs and similar bodies?? ?Yes both kind of people are identical?, said the father. ?Then both must be allowed to smoke by a common hukka,? said Narendra.

Narendra did not stop there and repeatedly suggested his father to remove one hukka and allow all the clients of both the classes to use one common hukka.

*   *   *

Narendra?s mother one day asked him, ?What would you like to be when you would grow up?? Narendra replied, ?I would like to be a chariot driver.? ?Why?? asked the mother further. ?So that I can travel everywhere.? The mother thought for a while and then she said, ?Do be a chariot driver. But be an ideal chariot driver. Lord Krishna was an ideal chariot driver. He led Arjuna?s chariot to glory. Be a Krishna-like chariot driver.?

*   *   *

Narendra was fond of stories. He had an immense and irrepressible attraction for Hanuman. In fact while alone, his mind used to rove in the world of hero Hanuman.

On a certain day Narendra attended a Sankirtan wherein beautiful stories of Hanuman?s awesome achievements were narrated. The narrator further said, ?Hanuman is ever alive. He is still there roaming in the forest. One can meet him if he has got full and unstinted faith in him.?

Narendra had got full faith in Hanuman. So after the Sankirtan was over he straightway preceded to a banana garden situated far away from the city. He searched Hanuman there for a long time. But he did not meet Hanuman.

Finally he sat under one banana tree closing his eyes and chanting the name of Hanuman for hours together till late at night. But his efforts were fruitless.

Narendra?s parents were terribly upset over his disappearance. They were overjoyed upon his return at late hours.

Narendra then explained to his mother where he had gone and what he was doing. He further repeatedly asked his mother why he could not meet Hanuman in the forest.

Narendra?s mother replied, ?Dear Narendra, you know Hanuman is a dedicated servant of Prabhu Ramachandra. Ramachandra must have given him some assignment. Busy as he may be with the assigned job, how can he respond to your prayer and present himself before you? Rest assured Hanuman is there. Do pray for him. One day or the other he will respond to your prayer and meet you.?

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