Swami Vivekananda in America
Tata (grandpa) chilling in his man cave, reading one of his many books. If you ask him about Swami Vivekananda or Ramakrishna he will tell you the most detailed stories about their lives. Not sure if I have any photos of it, but his room is filled with books and cassettes and I think even a couple of posters of them, like they’re rock stars.
I love finding weird connections between all the places that I’ve lived and reading up on local history. Here’s an excerpt of a pretty awesome story about Swami Vivekananda and John D. Rockefeller from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda:
Swamiji told Rockefeller much of his past that was not known to any but himself, and made [Rockefeller] understand that the money he had already accumulated was not his, that he was only a channel and that his duty was to do good to the world — that God had given him all his wealth in order that he might have an opportunity to help and do good to people.
Rockefeller was annoyed that anyone dared to talk to him that way and tell him what to do. He left the room in irritation, not even saying goodbye. But about a week after, again without being announced, he entered Swamiji’s study and, finding him the same as before, threw on his desk a paper which told of his plans to donate an enormous sum of money toward the financing of a public institution.
“Well, there you are”, he said. “You must be satisfied now, and you can thank me for it.”
Swamiji didn’t even lift his eyes, did not move. Then taking the paper, he quietly read it, saying: “It is for you to thank me”. That was all. This was Rockefeller’s first large donation to the public welfare.
Sassy and it even ties into Sleepy Hollow history since much of the land around here once belonged to the Rockefellers and was then donated. Must investigate further…