What Goodwin once associated with Vivekananda, he remained tied forever. Not only America, after that Vivekananda remained with him wherever he went in the world. Ooty in India was finally made his home by Goodwin, whose 150th birth anniversary was celebrated on 12 January along with Swami Vivekananda Jayanti. Although his date of birth is 20 September, Ramakrishna Math could not celebrate it last year due to Corona. It was important to note Vivekananda’s lectures and to keep them safe by typing them and the life of Goodwin, who sent them to newspapers.
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How did Goodwin join Vivekananda?A 25-year-old Goodwin advertisement in the New York newspapers saw that the Vedanta Society wanted a stenographer to note Vivekananda’s lectures. John Josiah Goodwin inherited this art from his father Josiah, and he could record and type things quickly. Through this advertisement, Goodwin came in contact with Swami Vivekananda, working as a journalist in the court.
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Initially it was Gu Dwin’s work to send Vivekananda’s lectures by notes and typing to newspapers and to Kolkata, the magazine that was published from Calcutta at that time. After this, Goodwin remained with Vivekananda for the next two to two and a half years.
Photo of Goodwin from portal vivekananda.net dedicated to Swami Vivekananda.
Goodwin’s coming to India and passing
In 1897, Swami Vivekananda reached India after traveling to many parts of the world. Goodwin also accompanied him to Madras with many followers. After traveling with Vivekananda for some time in North India, after returning to Madras, troubled by the heat, Goodwin thought it better to go to Ooty. It is said that after January 1898, Goodwin and Vivekananda could never meet.
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Goodwin’s health could not withstand the heat of Madras even after going to Ooty. Being sick, he died on 2 June 1898 at the age of just 27. On his death, Vivekananda uttered such words:
Journey of Goodwin aka Badwin and Vivekananda
Since Goodwin also loved gambling with cricket and football, so Vivekananda used to call him Badwin as well. The two had a good friendship but Goodwin’s dedication was never short. After the Religion Parliament of Chicago, Vivekananda was to visit all over America and give lectures in many places. In 1895, Goodwin joined him as a steno and continued to record Vivekananda’s lectures throughout America.
Sarah Bull, an American writer and famous follower of Vivekananda, described Goodwin as Vivekananda’s most important ally. After America, Goodwin also accompanied Vivekananda on his tour of England in 1896. Finally, it was Gu Dwin who reached India, who had reported to the world how Vivekananda was welcomed with great enthusiasm in India.
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When Vivekananda reached Calcutta, the famous Bengali writer Sharat Chandra also met him. Later, when Sharatchandra wrote ‘Diary of a follower’, he also mentioned Goodwin in it. In 1897, Goodwin became a Brahmachari by recording Vivekananda’s lectures from Colombo to Almora in short hand recording Madras.