Question: Of all the spiritual Masters of the past who come to you, Swami Vivekananda seems to come very often, and to have a close connection, but he seems to be stern with you, Guru. Is there ever a time when he displays his affection and devotion to you?1

Sri Chinmoy: Affection, love, admiration and fondness I receive from Swami Vivekananda. Devotion I cannot expect! Devotion he has to keep for his Guru. But affection, love, fondness and admiration he has shown me many, many, many, many times. On the earthly level I came down after him. Devotion he has to keep always for his Master. But I have received affection, love, fondness and admiration from him many, many times. And the same blessings I have received from his Master, Sri Ramakrishna.

Once, perhaps twice, they came to visit me in the inner world, and then we had a long conversation. I phoned my sister Lily in India, and she told me that she already knew about our conversation. She saw very clearly that on the previous night Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda were with me, and they came to her as well. Our family is very, very close to Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna.

Yesterday's newspapers, including the Indian Express, had so many articles about Swami Vivekananda. They have such admiration for him. India was fast asleep, and he said, "Get up, get up, get up! Arise, awake, awake!" Then his indomitable spirit destroyed or illumined the lethargy of India. He was dynamic, dynamic, dynamic!

On one of our Christmas Trips, I was lifting weights when Swami Vivekananda came inwardly. I said, "It cannot be!" Then he threw his walking stick near me. In those days when I was lifting heavy, heavy weights, how many times he came, sometimes for fifteen or twenty days in a row at a particular place, only to watch and to encourage me. And he appeared when I was walking in the street. He was everywhere, everywhere, everywhere!

Closer than the closest is our connection. Some disciples of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna may find it difficult to believe. At the centenary of Swami-ji's presentation at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago, where he became immortal, the organisers wanted me to open the session. It was about Swami Vivekananda's triumph, and God has His own Ways. With my prayer and meditation, I opened the Chicago Conference.

The soul of America is blessing us today. Yesterday at our gathering everyone sang "America the Beautiful" very, very nicely, and today Paree's group has sung the songs about Swami Vivekananda very, very beautifully. Soul, soul, soul!

This morning at 5:20, Vinaya was driving me to Goose Pond Park. Vinaya is very fond of the ducks there. I started my one-mile walk. Right from the first step, Swami Vivekananda was walking with me inwardly for one full mile. A very thin crane was watching us. On the earthly level, I saw one Indian, a Hindi-speaker. He was lying down most comfortably on a bench, speaking on the phone. God alone knows whether it was his wife or someone else that he was speaking with. I passed by, and when I came back, he was still talking. I went around again. I walked comfortably for over eighteen minutes, and Swami Vivekananda was with me inwardly, chatting and chatting.

Afterwards Vinaya took me to see our 3,100-mile race. Swami Vivekananda also saw the race. There, when I was about to start another mile, Swami Vivekananda said, "Good-bye." For that mile I was walking all alone. For Swami Vivekananda to be with me for eighteen minutes! This is not my mental hallucination; it is all my God-oneness-realisation. With such affection he was walking with me.

  1. BLD 24-25. Sri Chinmoy answered the following questions at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York on 4 July 2002 — America's Independence Day, and the centennial of Swami Vivekananda's passing.