Swami Vivekananda's Childhood Memories:
Swami Vivekananda Said: As a boy I had some white mice. They were kept in a little box in which there were little wheels, and when the mice tried to cross the wheels, the wheels turned and turned, and the mice never got anywhere. So it is with the world and our helping it.
At one time my ideal was to drive a strong pair of horses; at another time I thought, if I could make a certain kind of sweetmeat, I should be perfectly happy; later I imagined that I should be entirely satisfied if I had a wife and children and plenty of money. Today I laugh at all these ideals as mere childish nonsense.
Just two or three days before the Entrance examination I found that I hardly knew anything of geometry. So I began to study the subject, keeping awake the whole night, and in twenty-four hours I mastered the four books of geometry.
I sat in the room, book in hand, with a pot of strong tea or coffee by my side to keep the brain from getting overtired. When I felt inclined to sleep at night, I would tie a rope to my foot. Then, if I fell asleep and moved to make myself more comfortable, the rope would jerk me, and I would awake with a start.
From my boyhood, whenever I came into contact with a particular object, man or place, it would sometimes seem as if I had been acquainted with it before. But all my efforts to recollect it were unsuccessful. Yet the impression persisted. I'll give you an instance: One day I was discussing various topics with some friends at a particular place. Suddenly something was said, which reminded me that in some time in the past in this very house I had talked with these same friends on that very subject and that the discussion had even taken the same turn. Later on I thought it might be due to the law of transmigration. But soon afterward I decided that such definite conclusions on the subject were not reasonable. Now I believe that before I was born I must have had visions somehow of those subjects and people with whom I would have to come in contact with in my present birth. Such memories have come to me every now and then throughout my life.
From my boyhood I have been a dare-devil; otherwise could I have attempted to make a tour round the world, almost without a penny in my pocket?