Today is Swami Vivekananda’s birthday so I had to write a post. To me he will always be the original rockstar.  Wether he walked around in boots and coat or a sanyasins garb he had the same stride. He owned nothing yet it seemed if he wanted he could have had everything. He is probably one of the few religious figures who has quite a large portfolio of pictures suitable for a modelling assignment for that day and age. Yet he is known to have mentioned  an incident where seeing himself  in the mirror he didn’t know who it was. So detached was the body identification. What divinity! It’s difficult to even fathom.

This man was a man who enjoyed his coffee and cigars and chocolates, I wonder how he would have been viewed today by the self proclaimed upholders of Hinduism. Even today on his birthday several maths offer him just that. I remember many years back while traveling through Amsterdam, I chanced upon a small Ramakrishna mission on the outskirts. I went in and I remember the Swami was so happy to see an Indian. In also remember being offered chocolates for prasad that day, the kind that Swamiji may have liked.

But today I wanted to share one of my favourite stories not many may have read about it. This incident was narrated by his brother disciple Swami Shivananda. One night as he was lying next to Swamiji he woke up and saw many little Shiva’s playing on Vivekananda’s body. They were lighting up his entire body. So he woke Vivekananda up and told him what he had seen.

To this Swamiji chided up, told him not to disturb him. He said those were Batuk Bhairavs, a child like form of Shiva. They invoke protection. And he went back to sleep as if all this was normal. 

Well I suppose it was normal for him, after all he was the boy who when angry could only be calmed down when his mother poured water on his head whilst chanting Shiva! Shiva!

Well Happy birthday to this Shiva who took the human body. May he guide us in reaching Shiva inside us all.