Swamiji decided upon June 20, 1899, as the day fro sailing from Kolkata. On the night of the 19th a meeting was held at the Belur Math. The next day the Holy Mother, Sri Sarada Devi entertained them and other monks with a sumptuous feast.
The steamship 'Golconda,' carrying the Swami and his two companions, touched Chennai, but the passengers were not allowed to land on account of the plague in Kolkata. The ship continued to Colombo, Aden, Naples, and Marseilles, finally arriving in London on July 31. The boat next arrived at at Tilbury Dock, where the party was met by the Swami's disciples and friends. Later they travelled to New York on August 16. There they put up with Mr. and Mrs. Leggett to the latter's country home, Ridgely Manor, at Stone Ridge in the Catskill Mountains. The Swami spent about a month at the headquarters of the 'Home of Truth' in Los Angeles, conducted regular classes, and gave several public lectures, each of which was attended by over a thousand people. He spoke many times on the different aspects of raja-yoga.
Swami Vivekananda next journeyed to Oakland as the guest of Dr. Benjamin Fay Mills, the minister of the First Unitarian Church, and there gave eight lectures to crowded audiences which often numbered as high as two thousand. He also gave many public lectures in San Francisco and Alameda. The audience was so impressed by his lectures that they started a centre in San Francisco. In New York the Swami gave a few lectures at the Vedanta Society. The Swami visited Detroit again for a week and on July 20 sailed for Paris.
Next Swamiji was to be seen in Paris participating in the Congress of the History of Religions, held on the occasion of the Universal Exposition. While in Paris he met Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bosethe discoverer of the life and nervous system in plants and many other notable people. After the Congress of the History of Religions was concluded, the Swami spent a few days at Lannion in Brittany, as the guest of Mrs. Ole Bull where he lectured upon Buddhism and Hinduism. On October 24, 1900, Swami Vivekananda left Paris for the East by way of Vienna and Constantinople. From there travelled to other places like Brittany, Vienna, Istanbul, Athens and Egypt.
Last Days of Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda left Paris on October 24, 1900, and arrived at the Belur Math on December 9, 1900. After staying at the Math for eighteen days and left for Mayavati and spent days at Advaita Ashrama. His health was gradually failing as he was suffering from Diabetes and asthma.
Thousands of visitors came to him during these years that included The Maharaja of Gwalior and in December 1901, the stalwarts of Indian National Congress including Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Swamiji undertook pilgrimages to different places like Dacca, Chandranath, a holy place near Chittagong, Kamakhya in Assam and Bodh Gaya towards his final days.
During the later part of 1901 the Swami observed all the religious festivals at the Math. The Divine Mother was worshipped in strict orthodox fashion during the Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja and Kali Puja. Swamiji demonstrated the efficacy of religious rituals in the development of the spiritual life.
On the day of his Mahasamadhi, had a walk with Swami Premananda, a brother-disciple, and gave him instructions concerning the future of the Ramakrishna Math. At ten minutes past nine P.M. on July 4, 1902 Swamiji left this plane while he was meditating. Vivekananda had fulfilled his own prophecy of not living to be forty years old. Before he left he has written in one of his letters "It may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body, to cast it off like a worn out garment. But I shall not cease to work. I shall inspire men everywhere until the whole world shall know that it is one with God."
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