New Delhi, Aug 2: Those days the entire world was in awe of famous singer Emma Calve. Music lovers would forever be keen to perish under her feet.
One day, when Emma was doing her show, the enthralling audience was getting rapturous. But at the same time, her only daughter was being engulfed in raging flames in her house. By the time Emma finished her show, her daughter had already perished in the fire. Devastated by this incident and driven to despair, she abandoned performing dance and songs. And at this juncture, her friend Ms. Adams said ‘Emma, in Chicago, there is an Indian monk staying. He is an angel. Please come with me to him. You will see an end to your despair.’
Initially, Emma did not heed this suggestion but later one day, she went to see Swamiji (Vivekananda). Emma entered the house. Swamiji in ochre robes, was in deep meditation. Without even a glimpse at Emma, Swamiji uttered. ‘your mind is very restless. In this world, nothing belongs to you!’ Emma, stupefied, said: ‘Swamiji, how do you know my mind is restless?’ Swamiji said: ‘I can read your life like an open book’. After Swamiji’s words, Emma transcended into a different world. After returning home, Emma was again normal as before. Emma renewed her shows with full vigour. Meanwhile, she had become a total adherent of Swamiji.
Now another miraculous thing happened. Emma Calve learnt from Ms McLeod that Swamiji was in an agitated state of mind and he was returning to his country. Hearing this, Emma came to see him and said ‘Swamiji kindly do not leave us now’. Swamiji replied: ‘I want to return to my country, to die. Immediately after this, he told Emma, ‘I will die on July 4’.
Swamiji had earlier said that he would not cross forty. When Swamiji breathed his last, his age was 39 years, 5 months and 4 days. Did he die as per his wish or his premonition?
Till her death in 1942, Emma Calve remained a disciple of Swamiji. In her autobiography, she wrote: ‘[He] truly walked with God, a noble being, a saint, a philosopher and a true friend. His influence upon my spiritual life was profound … my soul will bear him eternal gratitude’.
She also visited Belur Math, to pay tribute to Swamiji’s guru Ramakrishna Paramahansa ‘The hours that I spent with these gentle philosophers have remained in my memory as a time apart. These beings – pure, beautiful and remote seemed to belong to another universe, a better and wiser world’.(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)