” One rarely finds a man like our Alasinga in this world, one so unselfish, so hard-working, and devoted to his guru, and such an obedient disciple is indeed very rare on earth. ”
– Swami Vivekananda.
Alasinga Perumal, was a householder devotee of Swami Vivekananda. He was attracted to Swamiji, when Swamiji was an unknown monk wandering in South India. He was one of the few who were instrumental in sending Swamiji to America. He literally begged from house to house to collect money for Swamiji when he was in America.
As Swamiji wished to start a magazine on Vedanta in India, Alasinga took it upon himself, to fulfill his wishes. He went around Madras collecting money for the magazine. This magazine was Prabuddha Bharata. He also played a part in the starting of the two centres at Bangalore. He died in 1911.
J J GOODWIN
“Those who think they have been helped by any thought of mine, ought to know that almost every word of it was published through the untiring and most unselfish exertions of Mr. Goodwin…a disciple of never-failing devotion, a worker who knew not what tiring was….”
Among the followers who worked hardest for the Swami was Mr. J. J. Goodwin, whom it was Miss (Sara Ellen) Waldo’s good fortune to secure as a stenographer for him. He had come from England, shortly before the Swami’s return from that country on his first visit, and was looking forward to some adventurous experience, his life having been a chequered one. He had then no settled religious views, and as a young man, his age being twenty-three faced life as it came. The Swami’s disciples had heard of him and secured his services, the latter regarding the post from a purely business point of view. But hardly had two weeks elapsed when he had ecome a most devoted follower, occupying the same quarters as the Swami’s, accompanying him wheresoever he went, and performing all manner of personal service to him. He was literally enamoured with his Master’s personality, though he also admired and followed his teachings, He threw himself into his work, and it was a work that demanded all his time and energy. He alone, it was found, could keep up with the Swami, at the time of lecturing, all the other stenographers having failed to transcribe his utterances with sufficient rapidity or to grasp his ideas, thereby often confusing themselves and those who read their reports. Mr. Goodwin would take down a lengthy address in the evening, work through the night in typewriting off his stenographic reports, and then hasten towards midnight to the newspaper offices, the conductors of which were anxious to print the Swami’s lectures, and this continued day after day, The Guru loved his disciple with infinite tenderness and initiated him into the practices and ideals of the Vedanta philosophy, so that he became an expert in grasping its contents and faithfully reporting them.
Bhagini (Sister) Nivedita (Bengali pronunciation: born Margaret Elizabeth Noble; 28 October 1867 – 13 October 1911) was a Scots-Irish social worker, author, teacher and a disciple of Swami Vivekananda. She spent her childhood and early days of her youth in Ireland. From her father, and her college professor, she learned many valuable lessons like – service to mankind is the true service to God. She worked as school teacher and later also opened a school. She was committed to marry a Welsh youth who died soon after their engagement. She carried on her life.
Sister Nivedita met Swami Vivekananda in 1895 in London and traveled to Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), India in 1898. Swami Vivekananda gave her the name Nivedita (meaning “Dedicated to God”) when he initiated her into the vow of Brahmacharya on 25 March 1898. In November 1898, she opened a girls’ school in Bagbazar area of Calcutta. She wanted to educate those girls who were deprived of even basic education. During the plague epidemic in Calcutta in 1899, Nivedita nursed and took care of the poor patients.Nivedita was a prolific writer and extensively toured India to deliver lectures, especially on India’s culture and religion. She appealed to the Indian youth to work selflessly for the cause of the motherland along the ideals of Swami Vivekananda.