People generally know him to be a great religious leader and a monk of the highest order.  At the same time very few know that he was compassion incarnate.  4th of July was the day on which Swami Vivekananda entered into Mahasamadhi i.e. the day on which he gave up his mortal coil.  On this day let us pay homage to his memory by recalling the following incident of his life.

Swami Vivekananda was at that time at Abu Station Road prior to his departure for Bombay from where he was to travel to the West to participate in the World Parliament of Religions which was to be held in Chicago in September, 1893.  Two of his brother disciples, Swami Turiyanandaji (Hari Maharaj) and Swami Brahmanandaji, had come to see him.  Swamiji said to Hari Maharaj on that occasion, “Hari Bhai, I am still unable to understand anything of your so-called religion”.  He could not finish all that he wanted to say as he was overwhelmed with an intense emotion that shook his frame and brought a look of profound sadness to his face.  But soon he composed himself, and placing his right palm on his chest, he said, “But my heart has expanded beyond measure and I have learnt to feel the sufferings of others!  Believe me, I literally writhe with pain when anybody suffers!”  Swamiji was again overwhelmed and tears streamed down his cheeks.  Swami Turiyananda was stunned.  He thought, “Didn’t Buddha feel the same way and utter these very words of love?”  Hari Maharaj could clearly perceive that the endless miseries of millions of people were creating a tempest in Swamiji’s heart.

In fact, although it is generally believed that Swami Vivekananda decided to participate in the Parliament of Religions to represent Hinduism, his real intention was to spread the extraordinary message of Vedanta in the West and in return raise money for the regeneration of masses in India.  During his sojourn in the West, although his body was there, his mind was always harping on India and he was constantly thinking as to how to regenerate her and reestablish her as one of the foremost nations of the world.

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