of Swami Vivekananda
A piece of diamond will shine even if it is covered with ashes. The fame of this
God-intoxicated priest at Dakshineswar temple started spreading and a number of people
were early attracted to him. One of them was Nagendranath Datta, son of Viswanath Datta, a
rich Attorney ofCalcutta and Bhuvaneswari Devi, and a very pious lady. Nagendranath was
also a peculiar and precocious boy in many respects. He would sit motionless for long
periods and engage him in meditations. He was early attracted to Keshav Chandra Sen, a
leader of the Brahmo, Samaj. Nagendranath read and thought deeply on various systems of
philosophy and religion. He waspersuaded towards the end of 1881 after finishing his First
Arts examination to visit Dakshin- eswar. This was tryst with destiny.
Shri Ramakrishna immediately discerned in Nagendranath the makings
of a spiritual giant and holding him by hand started sobbing that at last he had come.
Young Nagendranath was taken aback and had at first thought Shri Ramakrishna to be insane.
A straight question from Narendra- nath came out: "Sir, have you seen God?"
"Yes," was the reply. Shri Ramakrishna told him that not only God can be
realized but also he can be seen and talked to. After the interview Narendranath summed up
the estimation of the Master thus: "Even if insane, this man is the holiest of the
holy, a true saint, and for that alone he deserves the reverent homage of mankind. 6
The second meeting was more interesting. Shri Ramakrishna
affectionately seated Narendra by his side and quickly placed his right foot on the
latter's body. Narendra described the subsequent experience thus: "With my eyes open,
I saw the walls and everything in the room whirling rapidly away and vanishing into
naught, and the whole universe, together with my individuality, was about to be engulfed
in an all-embracing mysterious void." Unable to bear this, he cried out, "What
is it that you are doing to me! I have my parents at home." The Master laughed out
loud and said, "All right, let it rest now." And Narendra was himself again.
6 History of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission by
Swami Gambhirananda, Advaita Ashrama,. Calcutta, P.22.