The Headquarters of these centres are situated in Belur Math. All branch centres of Ramakrishna Math come under the administrative control of the Board of Trustees, whereas all branch centres of Ramakrishna Mission come under the administrative control of the Governing Body of Ramakrishna Mission. Visit Now.


 
 
   
 

Swami Vivekananda's Wanderings In Gujarat

 

- Swami Nikhileswarananda

 
 
 
 
1.

Swami Vivekananda's Wanderings In Gujarat

2.
3.

Sadhu In Danger

4.

In Bhavnagar and Sihore

5.

Austerities at Girnar

6.

With Shri Chhaganlal Pandya in Junagadh

7.

With Shri Mansukhram Tripathi

8.

Shri Haridas Viharidas Desai, Diwan of Junagadh

9.

With Maharaja of Kutch

10.

The call of Somnath

11.

In Sudamapuri

12.

In the city of Shri Krishna

13.

An interesting chase

14.

With Shri Sankar Pandurang Pandit at Porbandar

15.

Humour at Porbandar

16.

Beautiful Temples of Palitana

17.

With Shri Manilal Dwivedi at Nadiad

18.

Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad of Baroda

   
   
Swami Vivekananda's Wanderings In Gujarat

The wanderings of great personalities have been of special significance in the task of regeneration of our motherland. The historical wanderings of Buddha, Mahavir and Shankaracharya bear testimony to this. In our own times the wanderings of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave etc. throughout the length and breadth of the whole country played a crucial part in shaping their own lives and in shaping the destiny of the nation and through that the whole world. According to Sister Nivedita " … the Shastras, the Guru and the Motherland are the three notes that mingle themselves to form the music of the works of Swami Vivekananda … He had yet to wander throughout the length and breadth of India, from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, mixing with saints and scholars and simple souls alike, learning from all, teaching to all, and living with all, seeing India as she was and is, and so grasping in its comprehensiveness that vast whole of which his Master's life and personality had been a brief and intense epitome.." 1

Baranagore monastery

After the mahasamadhi of Shri Ramakrishna in 1886, Swami Vivekananda and his brother - disciples took Sannyasa and stayed in Baranagore monastery while going for pilgrimages occasionally. The historic wandering of Swami Vivekananda, however, started when he started from Calcutta in July 1890 after taking blessing from the Holy Mother Shri Sarada Devi with a firm determination of not returning till he acquired such realization that his very touch would transform a man, Indeed, he did not return to Calcutta until February 1897, when he had become a world - conquering hero.

From July 1890 to May 1893, when he sailed for USA, he wandered throughout the country. This period played an important part in transforming his personality and preparing him for the task of regeneration of the nation and the world. And of this period the maximum duration (and very important too) was spent in Gujarat. After taking leave of Maharaja of Khetri and passing through Ajmer, Swami Vivekananda proceeded towards what was then the Bombay Presidency (Now in Gujarat and Maharashtra). From Nov 1891 when he entered Ahmedabad to 26th April 1892 when he left Baroda for Bombay, he wandered throughout Gujarat - mostly in the peninsula of Kathiawar which was a division of Bombay Presidency comprising 188 states (The pre-independent India comprised about 800 states) with its headquarters at Rajkot. Even the later period of May to September 1892 was also mostly spent by Swamiji with Gujarati hosts- with Thakore Saheb of Limbdi at Mahabaleswar and Poona and with Ramdas Chhabildas at Bombay.
According to the earliest biographers of Swami Vivekananda, this period of his wandering in Gujarat had been very fruitful and significant when his whole outlook had been oriented. "It was as though all India were pressing its life through the channels of his personality. He passed through terrible commotion. It might have been at Porbandar that this spirit took birth". 2 It was during the wanderings in Gujarat (in Porbandar) that he came to realize that he had a mission to perform.
Tower Bunglow at Limbdi

He told Maharaja of Porbandar and his friends : "I have a MISSION to perform ! But I cannot clearly see at present how I shall begin or where it is to be !" 3
He told his brother - disciple Swami Trigunatitananda at Porbandar : "Sarada, I am beginning to understand to some extent, now what the Master has said of me. Really there is so much power in me, I feel as though I could revolutionise the world!" 4
It was during his wanderings in Gujarat (in the cell of Sharada Math, Dwaraka) that 'he perceived a great light, as it were - and that was the bright future of India." 5
It was during his wanderings in Gujarat while visiting the ancient temple of Sati Ranak Devi that he came to realize the sacredness of the marriage relationship as idealized in the Hindu Shastras. It was during his wanderings in Gujarat, while visiting historic Jain temples of Palitana that 'he saw India as one Huge Temple, as it were with chapels and sanctuaries everywhere. He saw the glory of Mahabharat." 6
It was in Gujarat while looking at the ruins of the magnificent temple of Somnath which was destroyed and rebuilt several times that Swamiji came the glory of India's past. It was in Gujarat that Swamiji for the first time received inspiration for going to West to preach Sanatana Dharma (from Thakore Saheb of Limbdi). 7

It was in Gujarat that Swamiji, for the first time, heard of the great religious convention that was to be held sometime in the following year. 8 It was in Gujarat while deeply studying the Vedas with Shankar Pandurang Pandit that Swamiji came to appreciate the glory of Sanatana Dharma and the need to preach it to the whole world and became convinced that "India was truly the Master of Religions, the fountain-head of spiritually and the cradle of civilization." 9 Here in Gujarat, not only his mental outlook but even his physical look got transformed. His brother-disciple Swami Akhandananda wrote in his memoirs: "I at last reached Mandvi .. I saw that Swamiji had undergone a great change in his appearance. His beauty illumined the whole room." 10
Swami Vivekananda
as Pariwrajaka
Here in Gujarat, Swamiji got a new life as if were after being rescued by Thakore Saheb of Limbdi from the clutches of dangerous Sadhus.

In Gujarat Swamiji came in contact with some of the most prominent princes, Diwans, scholars and eminent personalities of his time. Thakore Saheb of Limbdi Shri Yashwantsinhji, Maharaja of Bhavanagar Shri Takhtsinhji, Maharaja of Bhuj Shri Khengarji (III), Maharaja of Porbandar Shri Vikamatji, Maharaja Gaekwad Shri Sayaji Rao, Diwan of Junagadh Shri Haridas Viharidas Desai, Administrator of Porbandar Shri Shankar Pandurang Pandit, Diwan of Kutch Shri Motichand Lalchand, Diwan of Baroda Shri Manilal Jashbhai, the great Gujarati Scholars Shri Mansukhram Tripathi and Shri Manibhai N. Dwivedi, the great philanthropist Sub-judge Shri Lalshankar Umiashankar Trivedi, all of them became great friends and admirers of Swamiji and some of them became even his disciples. In Gujarat (at Junagadh) Swamiji also met Shri Jhandu Bhatt of Jamnagar about whom he said: "I had been to many places and have seen many beautiful persons, but nowhere have I seen a generous man like Jhandu Bhatt Vithalji." 11

It was in Gujarat while travelling through the desert of Kutch that Swamiji had a wonderful experience, he saw a mirage. In his lecture delivered in New York entitled 'The Real and the Apparent Man' Swamiji gave a description of the phenomenon and drew a very important moral from it. 12

In Gujarat Swamiji discussed with the princes and Diwans not only philosophy and religion but also various important economic and political problems for the welfare of the States. He gave them practical advice; even sometimes to the extent of drafting letters of diplomatic nature. 13 For the first time Swamiji came to the notice of intelligence department while he was wandering in Gujarat. 14 Although he had nothing to do with politics, his association with the Princess and Diwans did create a significant stir.

It would be, therefore, interesting to know the details of the wanderings of Swamiji in Gujarat.

In the historic city of Ahmedabad

One day when a sub-judge of Ahmedabad was coming out of Ahmedabad Railway Station, he saw a sturdy and stout sannyasi sitting under a pipal tree, who had a look of greatness around him. He went to the monk and talked with him and became so much impressed that he atonce requested him to be his guest. Both got into the waiting tonga and soon arrived at the house of the host - Shri Lalshankar Umiashankar Trivedi - residing at 36 Amritlal's Pole in Khadia the heart of the city of Ahmedabad.

Soon Shri Lalshankar realized that his guest was an unusual person with a good knowledge of almost everything in the world. The unknown monk was of course, none other, than Swami Vivekananda. Although the house was spacious, it lacked the required tranquility for meditation and reading, so Shri Lalshankar took Swamiji to another house he had in Ellisbridge behind the townhall. The house became a beehive of activity with many people flocking to hear and meet Swamiji, who lectured on several topics including high philosophy.

Shri Lalshankar (1845-1912) was decorated with the titles of Kaiser-e-Hind, Rao Bahadur and certificates of merit by the Government as a reward for his social services. He was one of the pioneers in Gujarat to start a campaign for women's education and to work for uplifting the untouchables. There was hardly any institution of social service at Ahmedabad with which he was not associated. Both the host and the guest presumably discussed many important issues concerning education and social service apart from philosophy and religion.

During his stay in the historic city of Ahmedabad which was known as Karnavati in the olden times, he visited many places of historic interest. In the olden times it was the capital of Sultans of Gujarat and one of the handsomest cities of India and as Sir Thomas Roe spoke of it, it was in his day "a goodly city as large as London". Swami Vivekananda rejoiced in the Jain culture of the place with its beautiful temples and also in its Mohammedan culture and marvelled at the glory of its mosques and tombs. Here he improved his knowledge of Jainism and held conversations with several Jain scholars. After spending about 11 days in this manner Swamiji proceeded towards Wadhwan - then an important state of Kathiawar. 15

Sadhu In Danger

After seeing the ancient temple of Sati Ranak Devi at Wadhwan, Swamiji came to Limbdi, the chief town of the cotton producing Limbdi State. Arriving in the evening Swamiji noticed a 'Shiva temple at the outskirts in a dilapidated condition. But since the place was inhabitable, the priest of the temple directed him to another place nearby. He had not the slightest idea of the character of that place but soon he had found that the sadhus belonged to a degenerate sect of sex-worshippers whose religious ideas were exceedingly crude and horribly vulgar! He wanted to leave the place but to his horror he found that he had been made a prisoner. He trembled with fear when he was made aware of the nefarious purpose of these sadhus. The high-priest of this sect accosted him saying, "You are a Sadhu with a magnetic personality, evidently you have practiced Brahmacharya for years. Now you must give us the fruit of your long austerity. We shall break your Brahmacharya in order to perform a special Sadhana, and thereby we shall be enabled to acquire certain Sidhhis, or psychic powers."

"Now what to do?" Swamiji started thinking after he had been left alone in the room. While praying to the Mother of Universe he made up his mind and his whole personality shook with a terrible resolve, "Not even if they kill me, will I let them break my life long vows!"

Just then, the boy who used to deliver milk to him, and who had become his devotee at first sight, came there. When Swamiji told the boy of this situation, the boy asked him in a whisper if he could be of any help to him. Swamiji thought for a moment and then eagerly said "Yes! Yes! my boy." He had jumped to a sudden conclusion, and seizing a bit of charcoal lying near, he picked up a piece of earthen jar and scribbled as well as he could, few words about his sad plight then putting it into the boy's hand he said, "Here ! Hide this beneath your chaddar and run with it as fast as you can to the Maharaja's palace and hand it over to the Maharaja himself and inform him of my situation." The boy did as he was told. He hurried to the palace and gained access to Maharaja who immediately sent some of his guards to his rescue.

Now Swamiji came to stay in the palace at the earnest request of Maharaja. It was a beautiful palace built by Maharaja in 1881 under the supervision of Mr.Brush, the Engineer of Kathiawad Agency at a cost of Rs. 5 lacs from a prototype building plan of a typical town hall of an American city with a unique clock tower with musical chimes. Maharaja had brought special furniture from abroad and decorated the beautiful palace with the help of the famous artist Mr. Vanaruth, well-known all over the country in those days.

Swamiji stayed in this beautiful palace for many days and held discussion in Durbar hall of the palace with Maharaja Thakore Saheb of Limbdi, Shri Yashwantshinji (1859-1907) who was a brilliant, learned and cultured prince. He was the first Kathiawar Chief to visit England (in 1876). During his second trip to England he took part in the Jubilee Celebration of Her Majesty the Queen Empress in 1887, who with her own hands bestowed upon him the decoration of K.C.I.E. He had also visited America. President Cleaveland warmly greeted the Maharaja at the White House in Washington DC. Thakore Saheb described in detail what he had learnt from his visits to England and America and requested Swamiji to go to these countries for preaching Sanatana Dharma. Thakore Saheb of Limbdi was the first among the Maharajas to inspire Swamiji to go to the West for preaching work.

Swamiji discussed various topics with Thakore Saheb. Both were young (Thakore Saheb was about four years older than Swamiji. He was born on 23-5-1859) and soon both became intimate friends. Thakore Saheb was astonished to find that Swamiji's knowledge was not only limited to spiritual matters but his extraordinary brilliance could comprehend almost any subject on earth. Swamiji too, started to admire the extra-ordinary genius of Thakore Saheb who did much in the cause of education. Thakore Saheb was of the firm opinion that for the regeneration of India to take place, Indian women must be educated. His adroit handing of the difficult problems that arise between the ruler and the ruled, and his ability to express his views in good English, attracted the attention of His Excellency Sir James Fergusson, who offered him a seat in the local Legislative council. Thakore Saheb, performed his duties in such an efficient manner that His Excellency Lord Raey wrote:

"My dear friend, now that your term of office in the Legislative Council has expired, I write to say how sorry I am. The Government will be deprived in the future of your service and I must be permitted to add that in you Kathiawar had a most worthy representative." 16

Efficient in administration and a great philanthropist at heart, he was a pious man, a true Rajarshi. English writer John Houston wrote about him :

" The purity of his life has elicited for him the title, "Great Janaka" who was an ornament in bygone ages and was endowed with great wisdom." 17

Most of the discussion between Swamiji and Thakore Saheb were presumably on spiritual matters because Thakore Saheb was a highly spiritual man. He used to spend a lot of time reading and discussing about religion and philosophy. He had already studied a great many Hindu scriptures as well as books of Western writers. Moreover, Thakore Saheb had no children and his younger brother had passed away on 25-8-1891 (just three months before he met Swamiji) so he was in a solemn and receptive mood to discuss about spiritual matters. Having been charmed with the spiritual power of Swamiji, he took mantra-diksha and became his disciple.

After spending a few days in the pleasant company of Thakore Saheb, Swamiji left Limbdi for visiting other places in Gujarat(probably in December 1891). He obtained letters of introduction from Thakore Saheb who advised him to be more circumspect while choosing his lodging. Swamiji too had learnt his lesson and began to be more careful. After visiting Junagadh, Dwaraka, Somnath, Porbandar, Bhuj, Narayan Sarovar, Bhavnagar, Palitana, Nadiad, Baroda etc. Swamiji reached Bombay (in the end of April 1892) and from there he went to Mahabaleshwar to spend the summer there. He found to his surprise and joy that Thakore Saheb was also holidaying there. Thakore Saheb was delighted to meet his Guru and requested him to be his guest. Swamiji gladly agreed. After spending the summer at Mahabaleswar, Swamiji went to Poona and again spent a few days with Thakore Saheb. During this period both of them discussed many spiritual topics. These discussions were noted down by Thakore Saheb in his diary. Extracts of this diary (Nondhpothi) have been published in the book " Shri Yashwant Charit " in Gujarati (First published in 1896). On 9 May 1892. Thakor Saheb wrote " I am pleasantly surprised at Swami Vivekananda's deep knowledge of the Shastras. My knowledge of Shastras has been much increased through discussion with him." 18

Thakore Saheb become so much attached to Swamiji that he requested him repeatedly "Swamiji, do come with me to Limbdi and remain there for good." Swamiji replied, "Not now. Maharaja, I have work to do. It presses me onwards, But if ever I live the life of retirement it shall be with you." ... But alas ! Swamiji was never to lead the life of retirement. He entered Mahasamadhi in harness of work on 4th July 1902 before reaching his fortieth year. Thakore Saheb too passed away soon after on 15th April 1907. According to Elizabeth Sharpe, "He had never quite recovered from the shock of a part of his palace being accidentally burnt down from which he and his surviving Rani had to escape at night. The memory of the magnificent Limbdi Library with its wonderful Old Sanskrit manuscripts would invariably bring tears to the Prince's eyes." 19

After returning from the West Swamiji tried many times to visit Limbdi at the earnest invitation of Thakor Saheb but failed to do so. While Swamiji was in Khetri he received invitation from Thakore Saheb of Limbdi and decided to go to Limbdi. In his letter dated 14.12.1897 he wrote to his Gurubhai Swami Brahmanandaji, "The Raja of Limbdi, too is writing earnestly. I cannot avoid going there also. I shall make a lightning tour of Kathiawar - that is what it will come to" 20 Swamiji started for Limbdi from Khetri and came as far as Ratlam Junction but owing to indifferent health he was forced to give up his idea of visiting Gujarat.

In 1898, Swamiji went to Kashmir and from there he thought of coming to Gujarat. He wrote to Shri Haripada Mitra from Kashmir in his letter dated 17th September, 1898 "I shall probably visit Kutch, Bhuj, Junagadh, Bhavnagar, Limbdi and Baroda and then proceed to Calcutta." 21 However, this time also he could not carry out his intention due to poor health.

After returing from his second visit to the West, Swamiji again decided to visit Gujarat at the invitation of Thakore Saheb of Limbdi and others. He wrote from Belur Math to his Gurubhai Swami Ramakrishnanandaji on 3rd June, 1901, "After you have taken a month's rest here, you and together will make a grand tour via Gujarat, Bombay, Poona, Hyderabad, Mysore to Madras. Would not that be grand?" 22 He wrote to Miss Macleod in 1901 from Belur Math" I will drag myself through the Bombay Presidency even if only to say "How do you do?" to all friends. The Bombay people have waited and waited till they are sick - must see them this time." 23 This time also Swamiji's desire of visiting Limbdi and other places of Bombay Presidency remained unfulfilled.

Thus Swamiji could not fulfil his promise given to Thakore Saheb of coming to Limbdi to stay with him. Devotees however feel that in a mystical sense he did keep his promise. He could not come to Limbdi in physical form but perhaps he came in his fine form and that too, not alone, he brought Shri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother with him.

The fire in 1906, which consumed a major portion of the beautiful Limbdi palace, left untouched the Darbar Hall where Swamiji had stayed. Sixty five years later Shri Chhatrasalji, the present Thakore Saheb of Limbdi, donated the palace to a public body named "Shri Ramakrishna Prarthana Mandir". And now this trust has handed over the palace alongwith other properties to Ramakrishna Mission.

Today the portraits of Shri Ramakrishna, the Holy Mother and Swami Vivekananda and a marble statue of Shri Ramakrishna are worshipped daily in what was earlier the Darbar Hall. How did it all happen? There is an interesting story behind if. 24

Shri Chhabilbhai Shah, a cotton merchant belonging to an orthodox Jain family had business interests in Rangoon, Calcutta and Bombay. Chronic stomach trouble compelled him to return to his hometown where he recovered his health. In October 1966 his wife Smt. Anjavaliben became a victim of acute diabetes. One day she told Shri Chhabilbhai that she had a vision of a yogi on the previous night and after saluting him she was feeling better. Shri Chhabilbhai started wondering as to who might be this yogi who saved the life of his wife. None could identify the Yogi. Meanwhile, Shri Chhabilbhai accidently happened to read a short sketch of Sri Ramakrihna's life in a Gujarati periodical (Akhand Ananda - August 67) and became curious to learn more about him. He got some books from Rajkot Ashrama and read them. Seeing a picture of Sri Ramakrishna in one of those books, Anjavaliben exclaimed that this was the Yogi she had seen in her vision. Both husband and wife became interested in Sri Ramakrishna. Soon a group was formed which frequently met and conducted prayer meetings. They started work in a small rented house. Their number grew and they felt the need of a more spacious and permanent place for their gathering. At that time the palace where Swamiji had stayed was lying idle. The Library etc. had already been destroyed in fire in 1906 and because of a few attempted thefts, valuables of gold and silver had already been shifted to some other place. Some local gentlemen had tried to get it for a college but the project had fallen through. Some one (may be jokingly suggested, "why not ask for the palace for our prayer meetings?" But Shri Chhabilbhai could not summon enough courage to ask for the palace for this purpose.

One night Shri Chhabilbhai heard a voice telling him "Ask for it, you will get it." The voice was heard thrice. The next morning he phoned to the Secretary of Rajamata to fix up an interview with her, informing her the purpose of his visit. The same evening he had an audience with Rajamata who was overjoyed to listen to this request of Shri Chhabilbhai but she did not show any outward sign. She said that she must get the concurrence of her son - Lalji (Shri Chhatrasalji) who was away in Delhi, before she takes final decision in the matter. In a week's time Shri Chhatrasalji returned and readily agreed to the proposal of conducting prayers in the Darbar Hall and later donated the whole palace to Shri Ramakrishna Prarthana Mandir (on 14.10.71).

Rajamata had readily agreed to donate the palace because she had already heard that some people had started Prarthana Mandal in Limbdi in the name of Shri Ramakrishna. In fact she had thought of visiting their place of prayer in cognito with a companion on the same day when Shri Chhabilbhai put up this request. But the cause of her thrilling joy was not solely due to this strange coincidence.

In 1954, Rajamata Shri Pravinkunverba (wife of late Shri Digvijaysinhiji who succeeded Shri Daulatsinghji, who was selected by Shri Yashwantsinghji as his heir, as he had no issue) had visited Mount Abu. There in the Ashrama of her Guru - Swami Shraddhanandaji she saw a picture hanging on the wall and asked excitedly "whose picture is it?" The Swami replied, "Why, he is Ramakrishna Paramahansa - a renowned saint of Bengal." Rajamata revealed that she had been having the vision of Shri Ramakrishna since 1951. While lying down she used to see a Yogi, with her open eyes, and the picture would travel on the wall facing her. She was exceedingly glad to know from her Guru that the visions she had were of Sri Ramakrishna. Later in 1954, when she was seriously sick she saw Shri Ramakrishna standing before her with a drop of tear in his eyes. He disappeared while blessing her with his right hand. Rajamata recovered from her illness and asked her Guru about the significance of this vision. Swami Shraddhanadaji said, "Probably Shri Ramakrishna wants to get some work done through you." Rajamata could not understand this work until 1968, 18 years later when Shri Chhabilbhai requested for the palace for Shri Ramakrishna.

Rajamata as well as other devotees feel that Swamiji kept his promise of coming to Limbdi, though in fine form and brought with him Shri Ramakrishna and the Holy Mother as well.

In Bhavnagar and Sihore

With letters of introduction from Thakore Saheb of Limbdi to various Rajas and Diwans of Kathiawar, Swamiji proceeded to Junagadh via Bhavnagar and Sihore after spending a few days at Limbdi. At Sihore, Swamiji is believed to have deeply meditated in the ancient temple of Gautameshwar Mahadev apart from seeing many places of historic importance. At Bhavnagar Swamiji must have spent a good deal of time in important discussions with the Maharaja of Bhavnagar. From him Swamiji got the letter of introduction addressed to Maharaja of Kolhapur. Maharaja of Bhavnagar Sir Takhtsinhji, G.C. S.I. L.L.D. (1858-1896) was, according to Houston "One of the most enlightened and progressive rulers that India has known". He spent over Rs. 1,25,00,000 on public works during his reign exclusive of the large outlay of Rs. 70 lakhs on construction of railway line. After returing from the West Swamiji sent two of his Gurubhais, Swami Turiyananda and Swami Saradananda to Gujarat to preach and to collect funds. Both of them spent about 3 months in Gujarat (From 22 February to 18 April 1899). At Bhavnagar they received a telegram from Swamiji to return directly as his health had deteriorated. This indicates that Swamiji's stay in Bhavanagar, though short, must have remained fruitful. 25

Austerities at Girnar

After reaching Junagadh Swamiji became the guest of Shri Haridas Viharidas Desai, Diwan of Junagadh and later he stayed with Shri Chhaganlal Pandya, who was Manager in Diwan's office. Swamiji saw many ancient monuments and ruins - an old fortress called Uparkot, an old Rajput palace, two ancient wells, Khapra Khodia caves dating back to the Buddhist period, perhaps used as monasteries, 'Ashoka Shilalekh' in which the edicts of Emperor Ashoka and of the other emperors are inscribed and many other places of historical importance.

Girnar, a group of about ten hills, highest of which is Gorakhnath (about 3600 ft.) has been a place of pilgrimage sacred to Buddhists, Jains and Hindus alike before the days of Ashoka (272-231 B.C.). For Swamjji, it must have been of special interest because here Pavahari Baba was initiated into the mysteries of yoga. 26 He sought out a cave and practised meditation for a few days during which Diwan Saheb took all possible care of him.

With Shri Chhaganlal Pandya in Junagadh

For a few days Swamiji stayed with Shri Chhaganlal Harilal Pandya (1859-1936), a great scholar and Manager of Diwanji Saheb, who became his staunch admirer. About Swamiji's stay in his house he gave a delightful account - how he charmed everybody by his personality, vast scholarship, songs and discourses and not the least by his proficiency in the art of cuisine, specially by the 'excellent rasagollas' he prepared. In his talks Swamiji spoke of Jesus Christ as also of Shri Ramakrishna.

While giving his opinion about a book on Shri Ramakrishna (in Gujarati) Shri Pandya wrote (in Gujarati) in his letter dated 2-3-1918 to the publisher, "I heard directly from Swami Vivekananda as to how much joy he derived while listening to the nectar-like words of Shri Ramakrishna, how he received special grace of Shri Ramakrishna and how due to his overwhelming love and faith towards him it was possible for him to acquire Brahmavidya. I spent a long time with him at Junagadh." 27

While giving his opinion about the book of Swami Vivekananda in Gujarati, he wrote (in Gujarati) in his letter dated 9.10.1921 to the publisher, "I had the blessed privilege of coming in contact with Swami Vivekananda, therefore he himself had told me many things about his life... I had come to know as to how many difficulties he had to face for keeping up his vows of Brahmacharya. And when I think, with how much simplicity and humility he used to stay with us, in spite of being such a great scholar, feelings of great regard inevitably fill my mind." 28

With Shri Mansukhram Tripathi

Swamiji visited Junagadh many times. During one of the trips he had also stayed with Shri Mansukhram Tripathi, the well-known writer and scholar of Gujarat, a man of high character, who preferred higher values of life. Had he possessed ambition for public and civic honours, his high qualities would have been the means of gratifying it, but being a man of studious disposition he was reluctant to accept honours even if thrust upon him. Owing to these traits of his character he was able to enrich the vernacular literature of India by his contribution in literary, and philosophical subjects through the medium of Gujarati. Swamiji must have enjoyed the company of his host (although he was 23 years elder to him) their common interest being Vedanta. We get confirmation about Swamiji's stay with Shri Mansukhram Tripathi from the account given by Swami Abhedananda in his auto-biography.

"On arrival at Junagadh, I came to hear from people that a Bengali sannyasi with high English education was staying for some days at the house of Mansukhram Suryaram Tripathi, a Gujarati brahmin, who was the Private Secretary of the local Nawab.. Elated with joy I reached the house of Mansukhram and immediately found that my conjecture was true. Narendranath brightened up with joy to see me unexpectedly.. Fortunately when I arrived there Narendranath was discussing some topic of non-dualistic Vedanta with Mr. Tripathi.. I gladly stayed in his house for three or four days in the company of Narendranath and then I got ready to start for Dwarka."

Shri Haridas Viharidas Desai, Diwan of Junagadh

During his very first visit to Junagadh Swamiji had become a guest of Shri Haridas Viharidas Desai, the Diwan of Junagadh (whom Swamiji used to address as Diwanji Saheb). Diwanji Saheb was so much charmed with the company of Swamiji that every evening with all the State officials he used to meet Swamiji and converse with him until late at night.

Diwanji Saheb became so much attached to Swamiji that even after Swamiji had left Junagadh he continued to keep contact with him. Diwanji Saheb found in Swamiji a unique personality and teacher and Swamiji in turn loved and respected him as a son does his father, the difference in their age being 22 years. What a great respect and love Swamiji bore towards Diwanji Saheb is evident from the 13 inspiring and important letters of Swamiji addressed to him.

Swamiji wrote to Diwanji Saheb from Bombay on 22 August, 1892 "The world really is enriched by men, high souled, noble-minded and kind like you, 'the rest are only as axes, which cut at the tree of youth of their mothers' as the Sanskrit poem puts it."

He wrote from Khetri in May 1893, "Believe me that I love you and respect you like a father and that my gratitude towards you and your family is surely unbounded... my dear Diwanji Saheb, I am the same frolicious, mischievous but I assure you, innocent boy you found me at Junagadh and my love for your noble self is the same or increased a hundredfold because I have had a mental comparison between yourself and the Diwans of nearly all the States in Dakshin and the Lord be my witness how my tongue was fluent in your praise (although I know that my powers are quite inadequate to estimate your noble qualities) in every southern court.."

"A friend in need is a friend indeed". Like a true friend Swamiji helped Diwanji Saheb to overcome his problems, whenever needed. We have already seen how Swamiji drafted out a letter for him and helped him to keep up good relations with both - the Nawab of Junagadh as well as British Government. He continued to guide him in this regard. He wrote from Poona on 15th June, 1892, "Perhaps by this time every hitch has been removed from your way in Junagadh, at least I hope so". Again when he was in distress, Swamiji wrote to him from Bombay on 22nd May, 1893, a letter which will be ever inspiring to every good person :

"Often and often we see that the very best of men even are troubled and visited with tribulations in this world. It may be inexplicable but it is also the experience of my life that the heart and core of everything here is good, that whatever may be the surface of waves, deep down and underlying everything, there is an infinite basis of goodness and love and so long we do not reach that basis we are troubled but once reached that zone of calmness, let winds howl and tempest rage, the house which is built upon the rock of ages cannot shake. I thoroughly believe that a good, unselfish and holy man like you whose whole life has been devoted in doing good to others has already reached the basis of firmness which the Lord himself has styled as 'rest' upon Brahman in the Gita. May the blows you have received draw thee closer and closer to that Being who is the only one to be loved here and hereafter so that you may realise him in everything past, present and future and find everything present or lost in Him and Him alone."

Similarly, when Swamiji was in trouble, while some vested interests in America raised all sorts of scandalous charges against his character and conduct, Diwanji Sabeb, as soon as he came to know about it, wrote on 26.6.1894 to Mr. G. W. Hale in staunch defence of his beloved Swamiji. This was a timely and important help Swamiji received from his dear Diwanji Saheb. Swamiji wrote to him in September 1894, "your kind note to G.W. Hale has been very gratifying as I owed them that much."

From the above we get a glimpse of the extra-ordinary personality of Diwanji Saheb.Extremely pious by nature and efficient in administration his whole life (1840-1895) was devoted to the good of the people. His administration of more than a decade in Junagadh was marked by the most important reforms in every department of the State. Apart from building 12,000 stairs up Mount Girnar (by collection of Rs. 3 lacs from the public through lottery), construction of a bridge connecting the approach road from Junagadh to Mount Girnar, a temple of Narsi Mehta and Damodar Kund (all at his own cost), his greatest work was the construction of a railway line joining the capital town Junagadh with Veraval, the principal port, and connecting both with the great railway system of India. In 1894 he was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to be a member of Royal Opium Commission. For serving admirably on the Royal Commission Lord Brussey had proposed to the British Government the conferment of Knighthood on Diwanji Saheb; but in the meanwhile he suddenly, but peacefully, passed away after a brief illness on 17th June, 1895 in Nadiad his hometown. The whole town mourned his death and newspapers all over India and abroad lamented his death. The Amrit Bazar Patrika (Editorial) Calcutta, dated 30th June, 1895 remarked, "In him India has lost one of her best sons." 29 ' India', London (Editorial) September 1895 remarked", By the death of Mr. Haridas Viharidas, India has suffered a great and Iamentable loss. The people of India had no more unselfish, simple-minded and enlightened champion." 30

With Maharaja of Kutch

After spending a few days in Junagadh, Swamiji proceeded towards Kutch with a letter of introduction from Diwanji Saheb to his bosom friend Motichand Lalchand, Diwanji of Bhuj. Bhuj was the capital of Kutch, situated at the base of a fortified hill on the northern side of the Rann of Kutch. Swamiji stayed with the Diwanji of Bhuj who introduced him to the Maharaja and had long talks with him, both upon the industrial, agricultural and economic problems of the land. He impressed upon them the need for ameliorating the condition of the masses as he had a great faith in the ability of the rulers to do good to their subjects. If they could be taught about the ancient Indian ideals of civil government.

Maharaja of Kutch - Khengarji Bahadur was one of the most cultured, advanced and enlightened native rulers of India, who had the honour of an audience with Her Majesty during his visit to England (1887) who on this occasion Conferred upon him the title of Rao, the Knight Grand Commander of the Indian Empire. He took keenest interest in the subject of female education, got many standard English works translated into Gujarati and carried out considerable improvement in public works.

Being three years younger to Swamiji, he must have entered into intimate friendship with him. During Swamiji's visit to Prabhas he again met Swamiji and had long conversation with him. Maharaja was deeply impressed by Swamiji's magnetic personality and was astonished at his vast knowledge. He used to say : "Swamiji, as after reading may books the head becomes dazed, even so after hearing your discourses my brain becomes dizzy. How will you utilise this talent? You will never rest until you have done wonderful things!"

Swamiji afterwards went to Mandavi when Maharaja of Bhuj made all arrangement for his pilgrimage to various places in Kutch-Narayan Sarovar, Ashapura ( Devi Temple) etc.

Later when Swamiji was again at Bhuj with his brother - disciple Swami Akhandananda, he told him, "The Raja is paying us too much attention and that may be an eyesore to many if we stay here long. Twenty five years ago a Bengali sannyasin named Ananda Ashrama came to Bhuj and helped much in the improvement of the State. But such reforms did not find favour in the eyes of the State officers. Ananda Ashrama became their eyesore. His enemies mixed poison with his food and killed him. We may have the same fate. Let us move off even tomorrow." 31

The call of Somnath

After returning from his first visit to Bhuj and resting for a few days at Junagadh, he was off again. This time to Veraval and Patan - Somnath. Sir Henry Elliot records that 10,000 populated villages were held by Somnath temple as an endowment and that 300 musicians were attached to it. There were also 300 barbers to shave the heads of the pilgrims. 32 Several times this temple was destroyed and several times rebuilt. Swamiji paused by this great ruin and pondered over the greatness that had been India's in the past. He realised that in India religious life forms the centre, the keynote of the whole music of national life. Later (in 1897) he was to address his countrymen, "Some of these old temples of Southern India and those like Somnath of Gujarat will teach you volumes of wisdom, will give you a keener insight into the history of the race than any amount of books." 33 Today at the same spot stands the magnificent renovated temple of Somnath. How happy Swamiji would have been to see it ? Or who knows, perhaps he saw it in his mental vision or perhaps it is the fulfilment of his vision!

After seeing the ruins of Somnath temple, the Suraj Mandir, and the new temple of Shiva built by Rani Ahalyabai of Indore (just near Somnath temple) Swamiji bathed at the confluence of three rivers.

In Sudamapuri

After a brief stay at Veraval Swamiji returned to Junagadh and leaving it the third time, he came to Porbandar with a letter of introduction to the Administrator Shri Shankar Pandurang Pandit. After Swamiji had visited the ancient temple of Sudama, Shri Shankar Pandurang Pandit introduced him to the Maharaja who took an instant liking to him and urged him to dwell in the palace. 34

One evening while Swamiji was pacing on the parapeted roof of the palace, he suddenly saw his brother disciple Swami Trigunatitananda coming towards the palace with a group of sadhus. He felt a sudden thrill passing through his body. But he controlled himself and in an attempt to cast off the golden chain of attachment to his brother - disciple he assumed an attitude of indifference. Noticing this, Swami Trigunatitananda putting aside his joy, told that he had come not to disturb him but only to seek help from an unknown learned monk staying with the Maharaja for pilgrimage to Hingalaj Tirtha. At first Swamiji dismissed his appeal but later his heart softened and he helped him and his friends while urging him never to follow him again even if he had the slightest suspicion of where he was.

In the city of Shri Krishna

After a brief stay in Porbandar, Swamiji as a wandering monk reached Dwaraka, holy with innumerable memories and legends of Shri Krishna. But of its glories nothing remains at present. Now the ocean roars in tumult over the place where once the powerful Yadava lived and where once stood a great capital of which Shri Krishna was the reigning prince. Gazing all over the ocean, waves of agony rose in the mind of Swamiji at the thought that nothing but ruins remained of great India. He sat on the shore and yearned ardently to fathom the contents of the future. Then rising as from a dream he went to Sharada Math (a monastery founded by Adi Shankaracharya) where he was assigned a room. There in the silence of his cell, he saw a great light - the resplendent future of India.

From Dwaraka Swamiji went to Bet Dwaraka (Island Dwarka) Mandvi etc.

An interesting chase

On the eve of Swamiji's departure from Delhi, his brother - disciple Swami Akhandananda had told him "Even if you go the nether world, I shall hunt you out". The interesting story of that hunt throws light on the route of Swamiji. While chasing him Swami Akhandananda heard at Ahmedabad that Swamiji had gone to Wadhwan. At Wadhawan he heard that he had gone to Junagadh; at Junagadh he learnt that Swamiji had left for Dwaraka via Porbandar; at Dwaraka that he had left for Bet Dwaraka; at Bet Dwaraka that at the invitation of the Maharaja of Kutch he had gone to Mandavi; at Mandavi that accompanied by a party of body guards he had gone to Narayan Sarovar, which was eighty miles away.

Swami Akhandananda was warned at Mandavi that the road to Narayan Sarovar was infested with dacoits. But heedless of danger he sped on. On the way he was beaten and robbed by dacoits. At Narayan Sarovar he learnt that the journey to the place, which might have cost him his life, had been fruitless for he was told that Swamiji had left for Mandavi via Ashapura. The road lay through desert wastes and was also infested with dacoits and it meant a journey for a hundred miles, yet he heroically marched on in spite of having fallen sick.

Fate at long last looked with a kindly eye at Swami Akhandananda. For after reaching Mandavi this time, he learnt that Swamiji was indeed there staying in the house of a merchant belonging to the Bhatia community. On reaching Bhatia's house Swami Akhandananda was overwhelmed with the joy to meet Swamiji at last. He was surprised to see a change in Swamiji's face which had a sublime radiance. Swamiji was also astonished and no less glad to meet his beloved brother disciple but when he heard the story of his chasing him, he got worried that his brother - disciple would not leave him alone as he had come all the way at the risk of his life. He told Swami Akhandananda, "Look I have become a spoiled man, you leave me." Swami Akhandananda replied, "what would it matter to me even if you had lost your character ? I love you, and that is not in any way affected by your good or bad character. But I do not wish to be in your way. I had a longing to see you, and now I am satisfied. Now you can go alone." Swamiji was happy to hear this and next day left for Bhuj, which Swami Akhandananda reached a day later. Both of them then went back to Mandavi and halted for a fortnight. There Swamiji made many friends. From there Swamiji went to Porbandar. Swami Akhandananda joined him at Porbandar after about a week and after spending a few days at Porbandar he went to Jamnagar via Jetpur, Gondal, Rajkot and thus spent about a year in Kathiawad.

With Shri Sankar Pandurang Pandit at Porbandar

Swamiji visited Porbandar twice. According to Swami Shivananda, it was the large beautiful library of Shri Sankar Pandurang Pandit which had attracted Swamiji's special notice when he had come to Porbandar at the time of his earlier visit and that Panditji had requested him to stay as long as he liked at his place and utilize the library. Swamiji had consented to do so and hence he came again to Porbandar and this time stayed for about four months. His earlier visit was a short one as confirmed from the autobiography of Swami Abhedananda. During his travels Swami Abhedananda had come to Porbandar and learnt from Shankar Pandurang Pandit that a few days back an English-knowing Bengali Sannyasi named Swami Sachhidananda had come there on a flying visit. Later he found out that he was none other then Swami Vivekananda.

Pandit Shankar Pandurang (1840-1894) of Konkan was not only a Sanskrit scholar of eminence, but he was a man of affairs being at the time in high favour with the Government. After his return from England in 1874, he was appointed as Oriental Translator in Bombay Government as he was proficient in nine languages. In 1886 he was appointed as Registrar in Bombay High Court and shortly afterwards as administrator of Porbandar. Apart from editing 'Atharvaveda' and 'Raghuvansha' of Kalidas he started a journal 'Vedarthyatra' for propagation of Rigveda. His numerous Sanskrit work were appreciated by great scholars all over the world. Prof. Max Mueller had said, "The editions of Sanskrit text published at Bombay by Prof. Bhandarkar and Mr. S. P. Pandit and others need not fear comparison with the best works of European scholars." 35

Apart from this, he was a great philanthropist. He arranged for irrigation facilities for farmers, started telegraph offices all over the State of Porbandar, started schools for girls as he was a staunch supporter of female education, opened hospitals in the villages and carried out various works for the benefit of the public.

During his long stay at Porbandar Swamiji became very intimate with Pandit Shankar Pandurang and his family. He used to ride with Panditji on horse back to have a look at the distant villages. Being an artist of the cuisine he taught the wife of Panditji, Ushadevi, various delicious preparations. Two sons of Panditji - Madhav and Vaman played with him, learnt swimming from him and became great friends of Swamiji. Three daughters Tara, Kshama and Bhadra who were at first shy, received greater affection and blessings of Swamiji. 36

When Swamiji was at Porbandar, Pandit Shankar Pandurang was editing Sayanacharya's commentary on the 'Atharva Veda'. Struck with Swamiji's scholarship, he often asked his help to explain some of the more abstruse passages which Swamiji did with his usual lucidity. Both kept at the work constantly, Swamiji becoming more and more engrossed in it as his perception of the greatness of Vedic thought grew still keener. Swamiji also finished reading of Panini's 'Mahabhasya' at Porbandar. Swamiji told Swami Akhandananda that in the whole of India he had not seen Pandurang's equal in Vedic learning. 37 Swamiji also learnt French at the instance of Panditiji who said, "It will be of great use to you Swamiji". He wrote a letter in French to his brother - disciples at Alambazar and gave them a great surprise.

Pandit Shankar Pandurang told Swamiji, "I am afraid you cannot do much in this country. Few will appreciate you here. You ought to go to the West. Surely you can throw a great light on Western culture by preaching the Sanatana Dharma". Here, probably Swamiji heard for the first about the religious convention that was to be held sometime in the following year at Chicago.

Humour at Porbandar

Acharya Revashankar Anupram Dave who was a centenarian, used to go to Bhojeswar Bungalow to meet Swamiji with his friend Madhav, while he was himself 18 years of age. Giving his memories of those days he said that one day the students of Sanskrit school were brought to Swamiji who talked to them mostly in Hindi, but at times Bengali and Sanskrit words used to creep in. One of the students Govindaji replied to Swamiji, "I went to Varanasi and have studied the 'Sama-veda'. I have learnt six Mantras (Shastras ?)" Then Swamiji asked, "Why did you not study further ?" Govindaji replied, "I happened to have Karela so I had to come back." On hearing the word 'Karela', Swamiji had a hearty laugh. 'Karela' means bitter gourd, but the boy had meant that he had an attack of cholera.

Beautiful Temples of Palitana

From Porbandar Swamiji came to Junagadh and then started for Palitana - a city of temples many of which date back to the eleventh century. High up on Shatrunjaya mountain sacred to the Jains, is a temple dedicated to Hanuman and a shrine dedicated to Hengar, a Muslim saint. According to Mr. James Fergusson, "the number of temples and small shrines number over 500. It is a city of the Gods and meant for them only. All the peculiarities of Jain Architecture are found in more marked degree at Palitana than at almost any other known place". 38 Swamiji climbed to the top of the mountain to enjoy the view which is magnificent.

At Palitana Swamiji drew the attention of people because of his mastery of singing and playing on instruments. During his stay at Palitana, Shri Chunilal Sarabhai, Diwan of Palitana, had once invited him for meals. 39

 

With Shri Manilal Dwivedi at Nadiad

From Palitana Swamiji started for Baroda; but how could he avoid going to Nadiad on the way - which was the home town of his friends Shri Haridas Viharidas Desai, Shri Chhaganlal Pandya and Shri Manasukhram Tripathi? During his short stay here he met Shri Manilal Nabhubhai Dwivedi, the well-known Gujarati writer. His life (1858-1898) was spent in writing many books in Gujarati, English and Sanskrit including 'Immitation of Shankara', 'Rajayoga', 'Siddhanta Sar', 'Bhagavad Gita' etc. He could not go to Chicago Parliament of Religions but his paper was read out there. He was one of the pioneers in spreading Advaita Vedanta in Gujarat hence Swamiji must have enjoyed his company at Nadiad by holding discussions on Vedanta.

Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad of Baroda

From Nadiad, Swamiji came finally to Baroda before leaving Gujarat for Bombay, with a letter of introduction from Diwanji Saheb addressed to his intimate friend Shri Manibhai J. Diwan of Baroda, who was a man of piety and noble character. In 1884-85 he had received the title of Diwan Bahadur from the Government of India along with a medal and gift of Rs. 75,000 while he was the Diwan of Kutch. In Kutch he introduced great and beneficial reform in all departments - collection of revenue, education, sanitation etc.

At Baroda Diwan Shri Manibhai worked hard and there was spectacular progress in the field of education. Swamiji spent sometime with him in discussing about the education system of the State. Swamiji wrote from Baroda on 26th April, 1892 to Diwanji Saheb of Junagadh "I had not the least difficulty in reaching your house from the station of Nadiad. And your brothers, they are what they should be, your brothers. May the Lord shower his choicest blessings on your family. I have never found such a glorious one in all my travels. Your friend Mr. Manibhai has provided every comfort for me but as to his company, I have only seen him twice, once for a minute, the other time for 10 minutes at the most when he talked about the system of education here. Of course, I have seen the library and the pictures by Ravi Varma and that is about all seeable here. So I am going off this evening to Bombay."

Curiously enough, there is no mention in the above letter about Swamiji's meeting with Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad. Swamiji had told Prince Martand Varma at Trivandrum that "of all the ruling princes he had met, he had been most impressed with the capacity, patriotism, energy and foresight of H.H. the Gaekwad of Baroda." 40 Swamiji was also perhaps impressed with the Maharani of Gaekwad because he wrote on 17.2.1901 to Miss Macleod from Belur Math "I hope you will go to Baroda and see Maharani" However, the State records reveal that Maharaja was not in Baroda at the time of Swamiji. He had gone to place called Lonavali (Lonavala ?) In all probability Swamiji met him while he was in Mahabaleshwar or Poona. After his return from the West, Swamiji wanted to visit Baroda and meet the Maharaja but it did not materialise.

Probably on 26th April, 1892 Swamiji left Gujarat and proceeded to Bombay and thus ended his historical tour of Gujarat.

NOTE AND REFERENCES :

1. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (17th Edition) Vol. I P. XVII, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati.

2. Life of Swami Vivekananda by His Eastern and Western Disciples -1st Edition (1913) Vol. I. P. 176, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati.

3. Life of Swami Vivekananda by His Eastern and Western Disciples -1st Edition (1913) Vol. II. P. 169, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati.

4. Ibid P.168-169 5. Ibid P.173-174 6. Ibid P. 161

7. Earlier Mr. Pennington at Ghazipur had suggested to Swamiji to go to the West but it was for receiving higher education according to Shri Mahendranath Dutta. In any case, the matter did not receive serious attention of Swamiji earlier.

8. Life of Swami Vivekananda by His Eastern and Western Disciples -1st Edition (1913) Vol. II. P. 174, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati.

9.Life of Swami Vivekananda by His Eastern and Western Disciples -1979 Edition, Vol. I. P. 296, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati.

10. From Holy wandering to service of God in Man - Swami Akhandananda, second edition (1981) P.40, Shri Ramakrishna Math, Madras.

11. lbid P.55

12. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (14th impression) Vol. II. P.281-282 and Vol.III 9-10.

13. Shri Mahendranath Dutta narrates an interesting incident in his Bengali book "Shrimat Swamiji Jeevaner Ghantanabali" (Vol. II, P. 152-153). While Swamiji was staying with the Diwan of Junagadh, Swamiji saw him depressed. On being asked about the reason, Diwanji at first hesitated but then said, "There is a letter from British Government from Bombay to the Nawab of Junagadh; I am worried as to what reply I should give because I am appointed by British Government and on the other hand I am an employee of Nawab. I cannot afford to displease either of them and I am, therefore, in a great dilemma." Swamiji did not speak a word, just took up a paper and started scribbling something. After some time he told Diwanji, "Will this letter do? Diwanji was extremely astonished and exclaimed "This is just the type of letter I wanted to send!" Immediately he made out a copy of the letter and sent to Bombay. Diwanji became highly impressed with the practical wisdom of Swamiji.

14. The following appeared in "Amrita Bazar Patrika", Dt. 15.8.1971. "A brief account of Swami Vivekananda's career appears in a note on the Ramakrishna Mission compiled by the office of the Director, Criminal Intelligence in 1909. The note states that after visiting all the holy places in India, Swami Vivekananda first came to notice in 1892, when he was touring through the various states in Kathiawar and was entertained by some of the petty chiefs. His religious lectures did not exercise much influence on his hearers but it was noticed that he took an interest in politics.

15. Additional information about Swamiji's stay in Ahmedabad from Shri N. Radhakrishnan's article published in Indian Express ( 21-4-1894) and from the descendents of Shri Lalshankar.

16. The Representative men of the Bombay Presidency; ed. John Houston ( Bombay -William Watson & Co.) P. 23

17. Ibid P. 25

18. V. V. Raghavji Joshi, Shri Yashwant Jivan Charitra (Gujarati), Sri Ramakrishna Prarthana Mandir, Limbdi Second edition, 1988 (first published in 1896), P. 218

19. Elizabeth Sharpe,Thakore Saheb Sri Daultsingh of Limbdi (London, John Murray, first edition 1931), 97

20. The Complete works of Swami Vivekanada Mayavati Memorial edition (1986), Vol. 8 P. 440

21. Ibid Vol. 2 P. 378 22. Ibid Vol. 2 P. 598

23. Ibid Vol. 5 P. 164-165

24. Facts of the story gathered by the author directly from Rajamata Pravinkunverba and Shri Niranjabhai Shah, son of Shri Chhabilbhai Shah.

25.'Glimpses of a Great Soul' by Swami Asheshananda. The Vedanta Society of Portland, Oregon, USA, P.32

26. Life of Swami Vivekananda (1979 edition) Vol.1. P.229

27. Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (Gujarati) Author and publisher : Dahyabhai Ramachandra Mehta, Danapith, Navovas, Vachali Pole, Ahmedabad, 2nd edition (1947) P.3-4

28. Swami Vivekananda Jeevan Charitra, (Gujarati) Author & Publisher : Dahyabhai Ramachandra Mehta, Ahmedabad, p.15

29. 'Haridas - the Gladstone of India' by Swami Ekatmananda, Prabuddha Bharata, Nov.-Dec. 1984, P.18

30. Ibid P.18-19

31. From Holy Wanderings to service of God in Man, - Swami Akhandananda, cited P. 41

32. A handbook for Travellers in India, Burma and Ceylon, John Murray, London, X Edition 1918, P.214.

33. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda,12th reprint, Vol. III, P. 289

34. Maharaja of Porbandar Shri Vikmatji ruled from 1831 to 1900 AD. His state was in first grade but because he had ordered to cut the nose and ears of his subject, British Government had appointed an administrator from 1886. (Information provided by Shri M. P. Vora, a historian of Porbandar)

35. Rao Bahadur Shankar Pandurang Yanche Charitra, (Marathi) by Shri Nivas Narayan Karnataki, pub. by Prabha & Co. Goregaon, Bombay-4, p.29

36. These blessings did not go in vain. One of them Pandita Kshama Row (1890-1954) became one of the foremost Sanskrit poet of our times. According to the Sunday Standard of March 6, 1955 "Never before in the history of Sanskrit literature had a woman written such original works of outstanding merit - And so many of them. For Pandita Row is the author of nine epics, five full length dramas, even short plays and thirty five short stories, all in Sanskrit ! In 1983, she wrote her father's biography 'Sankar Jeevan Akhyanam' (in Sanskrit) for which she was awarded the title of 'Sahitya Chandrika'. The book contains details of Swami Vivekananda's relationship with pandit family. A copy of the book was made available by her daughter Mrs. Leela Row Dayal with whom the author came in contact through Shri Umakant Pandit and Shri Madhav Pandit - descendents of Pandit family. To all the three the author is grateful.

37.From Holy Wanderings to service of God in Man, Swami Akhandananda cited P.42.

38. A Handbook for Travellers in India (cited) P.204

39.The great grandson of Diwan Shri Chunilal Sarabhai, Shri H. Angiras a life worker of Vivekananda Kendra, wrote to the author in his letter dated 10.2.92: "When Swamiji visited Palitana, naturally he was govt. guest and then Diwan of Palitana, Shri Chunilal Sarabhai Hazrat invited him for meals. His daughter Smt. Jayalaxmi was the hostess. During his visit he referred his plans to visit Kanyakumari and talked highly about it. She remembered it and visited Kanyakumari when she went on a South India tour in Oct. 1935. She was very much impressed by Swamiji's personality and her husband had subscribed to Prabuddha Bharata right from its beginning upto his death in 1983. She was younger sister of my grandfather and lived with us till her death in 1956 when she was 83."

40. Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda, published by Advaita Ashrama (1983), P.60.