In his days as a parivrajaka, Swami Vivekananda was often under a vow to carry no money and depend solely on Divine Grace. Many times he was severely hungry because of this but his will and determination never broke.
Once he was travelling by train in the scorching heat of Rajasthan. He was just an unknown Swami then in 1890, not the Hero of India. All he had was a ticket purchased by an admirer and hunger because he had no money. A trader fellow in the compartment thought this was a good idea to educate this ‘wastrel’ on the importance of money. He began a series on taunts on how life was wasted by healthy young men instead of accumulating money and enjoying luxury. When the train halted at Tari Ghat, the trader purchased food and water and continued his taunts. Trains used to halt for hours in those days and there were no water taps. You had to purchase it. The swami was impassive to all this provocation which was good luck for the trader. When the Swami got het up, people got out of the way. He continued to rest leaning against a post. He had not eaten in over two days by now.
Soon another man came to the platform, spread out a mat and set us dishes and plates. The he told Swamiji,”Maharaj please come and have your food.” The Swami was surprised. The next part is from the Life of Swami Vivekananda by his Eastern and Western Disciples.
Swamiji: “I am afraid you are making a mistake, my friend. Perhaps you are taking me for someone else. I don’t remember having ever met you.”
“No, no! You are the very Maharaj I have seen.”
Swamiji: What do you mean? Where have you seen me?
“I am a sweetmeat vendor and was having my usual nap after my noon meal. I dreamt that Sri Ramji was pointing you out to me and telling me that He was pained to see you without water and food from the previous day and that I should get up instantly, prepare puris and curry and bring them to you at the railway station with some sweetmeats, plentiful cold water, and a mat for you to sit on. I woke up, but thinking it was only a dream I turned on my side and slept again. But Sri Ramji, in his grace, came to me again and actually pushed me to make me get up and do as He said. I quickly prepared some puris and curry, and taking some sweets which I had prepared this morning, a jug of cold water, and a mat from my shop, I ran here direct and recognized you at once from a distance. Now do come, drink and have your meal while it is fresh. You must be very thirsty and hungry. Here, I’ve poured a glass of water for you.”
The mocker realized he was in serious karmic trouble, as he had disdained a man who had so much Grace that God himself intervenes. He was on his face on the platform begging for forgiveness. The Swami of course was too kind by nature for all his fiery temper and forgave the fool.
Sri Rama knows very well who are his own and He will never allow them to be shattered.
Jai Sri Ram…
The above write-up by Rohit Arya (Rohit Pillai) is reproduced from his Facebook wall post. Rohit Arya is a writer, Yogi, polymath, corporate trainer, mythologist and a vibrant speaker. He has been an arts and cultural critic and social commentator for two decades. He is the author of 4 books and been published in 5 European languages. He is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. He is the creator of the Sacred India Tarot, and a spiritual mentor to serious students.