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Memories 2

When Swami Vijoyananda was still a college student, he was one time at
the railroad station and saw Swami Brahmananda pacing up and down on the
station platform. Swami Vijoyananda was totally shocked, as he had been
persuaded that no such beings walked on this earth. In total amazement he
watched as this unbelievable being paced majestically up and down on the
station platform.
This went on for some time and the swami's amazement never let up.
`Surely no such beings walk on this earth.' Some time later, while the swami's
amazement was still full blown, a train pulled into the station, and when the steps
came down, a little lady alighted, and Swami Brahmananda went down full length
in the dirt of the station platform in front of her. And Swami Vijoyananda thought,
"Who is she?"
That, of course, was Holy Mother. And when Swami Vijoyananda told this
story to us in San Francisco he had the audience in tears.
Swami Vijoyananda told us that before he had joined the monastery he
had studied chemistry, and that when he did join Swami Brahmananda gave him
samples of perfume to analyze. He did it largely by smell but wondered why the
swami wanted to know. This went on for some time before he figured out that
Swami Brahmananda was just teasing him. When he reported this, by way of a
complaint, the swami simply said, "Late understanding."
Swami Vijoyananda told us that he had gone to Argentina at the request of
a woman who met him on the dock. Apparently, when he met her in person, he
concluded that he could have nothing more to do with her, and they parted there
on the dock. That left him alone in Argentina with no friends, no place to go, and
with little or no understanding of the language.
How he made out I do not know, but I do know that later on he was
lecturing in an auditorium and that when some roughians made a disturbance, he
left the platform and threatened to beat them up. Since he had played All India
soccer, it may have been clear to the boys that they should leave.
Sometimes he suffered another kind of disturbance. A gang of boys would
walk out together after the talk had started. So sometimes he would lock the door
with a remark to the effect that if you have the courtesy to come to the talk, you'll
have the courtesy to stay.
Once, I think it was at Christmas time, he gave, as I recall, three talks on
Jesus. He said that three Catholic priests sat always in the front row, and at the
end of the last talk they all came up on the platform, and he expected to be
assassinated. But they all embraced him and told him that they had never heard
such a talk on Christ.
One time, in a joking mood, he told us that if you pronounce his name in
Spanish, it has a very bad meaning in Sanskrit.
That's about all I remember, it was half a century ago.
John L. Dobson, February 13, 2006, Hollywood, California