Part IV — Stories about Swami Vivekananda

TRN 11-25. Over the years, Sri Chinmoy told many stories about Swami Vivekananda with whom he has a very close inner connection. These are some of those stories.

Raising the fare for the passage

During his itinerant wanderings in the west and south of India, Swami Vivekananda had come to hear of the Parliament of Religions which was to be held in America in 1893. He expressed his wish to go and his devotees in Madras went forth to collect the necessary funds. They raised about three hundred rupees. Then, to their great surprise and shock, Vivekananda asked them to give the money to the poor and needy. He was convinced that if it was really the Will of the Supreme for him to go to the West, the money would come again.

A few months later, the devotees in Madras once more began collecting funds. Alasinga Perumal, Swami Vivekananda's foremost devotee in Madras, went from door to door begging people to help. Money also came from other quarters, including the Maharajas of several states. Finally, Swami Vivekananda was presented with a first class ticket on a steamer to Vancouver.

On 31 May 1893, the steamer bearing Swami Vivekananda set sail from Bombay.