Nirvikalpa Samadhi under the Pine

in Camp Percy

One morning before breakfast Swamiji came out from his room with a Sanskrit Gita in his hand. I (Josephine MacLeod] was behind him. Seeing me, he said, “Joe, I am going to sit under that pine (pointing to a nearby pine) and read the Bhagavad Gita. See that the breakfast is sumptuous today.” Half an hour later I went over to the pine tree and saw Swamiji sitting there motionless. The Gita had fallen from his hand and the front of his robe was wet with tears.

Original photo of Swami Vivekanandas Pine.

I went nearer and saw that his breathing had stopped altogether. I trembled in fear – swamiji must be dead. I did not shout, but ran to Francis Leggett and told him, “Come quick, Swami Vivekananda has left us.” My sister ran to the spot with loud cries and my [future] brother – in – law also came with tears in his eyes.

By now seven or eight minutes had passed. Swamiji was still in the same position. But my brother-in-law said, “He is in a trance; I will shake him out of it” I stopped him, shouting, “Never do that!” I remembered that Swamiji had said once that when he would be in deep meditation one should not touch him. Another five minutes or so passed, then we saw the signs of breathing. His eyes had been half closed; now slowly they opened. And then Swamiji, as if soliloquising, said, “Who am I, where am I?” Thrice he spoke like that, and then, wide awake, he saw us, was very much embarrassed, stood up, and said, “I am sorry to have frightened you all. But I have this state of consciousness now and then. I shall not leave my body in your country. Betty, I am hungry, let’s hurry.”