Swami at Cairo

As told by Madame Emma Calve:

One day we lost our way in Cairo. We found ourselves in a squalid, ill smelling street, where half clad women lolled from the windows and sprawled on doorsteps.

The Swamiji noticed nothing until a particularly noisy group of women on a bench in the shadow of a dilapidated building began laughing and calling to him. One of the ladies of our party tried to hurry us along, but the Swamiji detached himself gently from our group and approached the women on the bench.

“Poor children!” he said.”Poor creatures! They have put their divinity in their beauty. Look at them now!” He began to weep.

The women were silenced and abashed.

One of them leaned forward and kissed the hem of his robe, murmuring brokenly in Spanish, “Humbre de Dios, Humbre de Dios (Man of God!).

Another, with sudden gesture of modesty and fear, threw her arm in front of her face as though she would screen her shrinking soul from those pure eyes.

This marvellous journey proved to be almost the last occasion on which I was to see the swami.

an Excerpt from the book Vivekananda – East meets West by Swami Chetanananda.