Henry J. van Haagen
Henry J. van Haagen was an immigrant Dutch-American, living in New York City. He loved the Bhagavadgita. It was this scripture which brought Henry to Swami Vivekananda. He heard Swamiji and became deeply inspired. Since meeting Swamiji and hearing his talks, Henry van Haagen would walk with him in the Central Park or elsewhere and absorb his ideas. In 1899, Henry received the vows of Brahmacharya (novitiate) from Swamiji. He had a printing press at 1267 Broadway, New York. He was a draughtsman (draftsman) too. And here goes the story of how Henry van Haagen became responsible for something important:
Swami [Vivekananda] was sitting at the breakfast table one morning when the printer arrived. He said he was making a circular for the [Vedanta] Society [of New York] and wished to have an emblem to go on it. Could the Swami suggest something? Swamiji took the envelope from a letter he had just received, tore it open and on the clean inner surface drew the waves, the swan, the lotus, and the sun circled by a serpent - the four Yogas wrapped about by eternity, it seemed. He threw the bit of paper with the design on it across the table and said, "Draw it to scale." Henry van Haagen, the printer, was an able draughtsman as well as printer. He converted the rough sketch into a finished drawing.
Thus, this Dutch gentleman gave the final shape to the Emblem of the Ramakrishna Order according to his guru's wishes.
Henry van Haagen eventually became a publisher. He was known as: "Publisher & Bookseller of Oriental, Metaphysical, & Vedanta Philosophy. Books, Periodicals, etc." Henry's shop was at 1267 Broadway. He published Swami Vivekananda's "The Song of the Sannyasin" for the first time. He also printed (in 1897) Vedanta Philosophy : Lectures by the Swami Vivekananda on Raja Yoga and Other Subjects, and Swami Abhedananda'sReincarnation. Henry published some cards. "Message from India...to you in America", "Onward", "Values", and so on. Henry also published, in 1911, Emily Stoke's You are the One.
- www.vivekananda.net edited by Frank Parlato Jr.