Hermione and Her Little Group of Serious Thinkers/The Swami Brandranath

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THE SWAMI BRANDRANATH


I HEARD such a lovely lecture the other night on the Cosmos.

A Little Group of Advanced Women that I belong to are specializing this winter on the Cosmos.

We took it up, you know, because the other topics we were studying included it so frequently. And it s wonderful, really wonderful!

Of course, an untrained mind will grapple with it in vain. One's interest must be serious and sincere. One must devote time to it.

Otherwise one will get more harm than good out of it, you know.

It's like the Russian dances that way.

They are so primal, those dances! And all those primal things are dangerous, don t you think? Unless one has poise!

It's odd, too, that some of the most primal people have the most poise, isn't it?

The Swami Brandranath was like that. I've told you about the Swami Brandranath, haven't I?

He wore such lovely robes! You can't buy silk like that in this country.

And he had such a pure look in his eyes. So many of these magnetic people lack that pure look, you know.

He used to give talks to a Little Group of Serious Thinkers I belong to.

He taught us to go into the Silences—only we never quite learned, for some of the girls would giggle. There are always people like that. The dear Swami!—he was so patient! It was Occidental levity, he said, and we couldn't help it.

That is one of the main differences between the Orient and the Occident, you know.

How wonderful they are, the Orientals. And just think of India, with all its yogis and bazaars and mahatmas and howdahs and rajahs and things!

He was a Brahmin, the Swami was. A Brahmin and a Burman are the same thing, you know.

It's a caste, like belonging to one of our best families.

The Swami explained about the marks of caste, and so forth, to us.

And then one of the girls asked him if he was tattooed!

The idea!