THE LIFE OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
BY HIS EASTERN AND WESTERN DISCIPLES
Page No. 3, 13, 33, 58, 63, 67, 69, 73, 489
PASSAGE FROM THE BEGINNING OF AMERICAN WORK
“I am very happy now,” he had written to Mrs. Bull a few days earlier. “Between Mr. Landsberg [later Swami Kripananda] and me, we cook some rice and lentils or barley and quietly eat it, and write something or read or receive visits from poor people who want to learn something, and thus I feel I am more a sannyasin now than I ever was in America.”
Leon Landsberg, the latter of whom lived for about two and a half months with the Swami in his New York quarters on West Thirty-third Street, helping him with the organizational aspect of his work.
The Swami Kripananda , before he was taken into the circle and took the vows of poverty and chastity, was a newspaper man , employed on the staff of one of the most prominent New York papers. By birth he is a Russian Jew, named Leon Landsberg.
“Today, I shall cook for you.” To this Landsberg would ejaculate in an aside, “Heaven save us!” By way of explanation he said that in New York when Swamiji cooked, he, Landsberg, would tear his hair, because it meant that afterwards every dish in the house required washing.
SWAMI KRIPANANDA(LEON LANDSBERG):
I SHALL NEVER FORGET THAT MEMORABLE EVENING WHEN THE SWAMI APPEARED SINGLE-HANDED TO FACE THE FORCES OF MATERIALISM, ARRAYED IN THEIR HEAVIEST ARMOUR OF LAW, AND REASON, AND LOGIC, AND COMMON SENSE, OF MATTER, AND FORCE, AND HEREDITY, AND ALL THE STOCK PHRASES CALCULATED TO AWE AND TERRIFY THE IGNORANT. IMAGINE THEIR SURPRISE AND CONSTERNATION WHEN THEY FOUND THAT, FAR FROM BEING INTIMIDATED BY THESE BIG WORDS, HE PROVED HIMSELF A MASTER IN WIELDING THEIR OWN WEAPONS, AND AS FAMILIAR WITH THE ARGUMENTS OF MATERIALISM AS WITH THOSE OF ADVAITA PHILOSOPHY.
PEOPLE ARE QUICK TO APPRECIATE THE GRANDEUR AND BEAUTY OF A SYSTEM WHICH, EQUALLY AS A PHILOSOPHY AND A RELIGION, APPEALS TO THE HEART AS WELL AS TO THE REASONS, AND SATISFIES ALL THE RELIGIOUS CRAVINGS OF HUMAN NATURE; ESPECIALLY SO, WHEN IT IS BEING EXPOUNDED BY ONE WHO, LIKE OUR TEACHER WITH HIS WONDERFUL ORATORY, IS ABLE TO ROUSE AT WILL THE DORMANT LOVE OF THE DIVINELY SUBLIME IN THE HUMAN SOUL, AND WITH HIS SHARP AND IRREFUTABLE LOGIC TO EASILY CONVINCE THE MOST STUBBORN MIND OF THE MOST SCIENTIFIC MATTER-OF-FACT MAN. NO WONDER, THEREFORE, THAT THIS INTEREST IN HINDU THOUGHT IS TO BE MET WITH AMONG ALL CLASSES OF SOCIETY…
BY THE BY, INDIA HAD BETTER AT ONCE MAKE CLEAR HER TITLE TO THE OWNERSHIP OF THE SWAMI. THEY ARE ABOUT TO WRITE HIS BIOGRAPHY FOR THE NATIONAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THUS MAKING OF HIM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. THE TIME MAY COME WHEN, EVEN AS SEVEN CITIES DISPUTED WITH EACH OTHER FOR THE HONOUR OF HAVING GIVEN BIRTH TO HOMER, SEVEN COUNTRIES MAY CLAIM OUR MASTER AS THEIRS, AND THUS ROB INDIA OF THE HONOUR OF PRODUCING ONE OF THE NOBLEST OF HER CHILDREN.
SWAMI KRIPANANDA(LEON LANDSBERG):
The portrayal of Leon Landsberg (Swami Kripananda) is, to say the least, unjust and unduly harsh.
In fact, Leon Lansberg (Swami Kripananda) was detachment personified and a true sanyasin. All his actions have to be seen in this light. Swami Vivekananda was very fond of him, and Swami Kripananda was an ardent admirer of Swamiji.
The above quotes should make the position clear.
IT WOULD NOT BE OUT OF PLACE TO MENTION THAT BUDDHA’S DISCIPLES LEFT HIM AFTER GAUTAMA’S ENLIGHTENMENT BUT RETURNED LATER AT SARNATH TO RECEIVE HIS FIRST SERMON.