MARCH OF EVENTS

//MARCH OF EVENTS

MARCH OF EVENTS

As our country is poor in social virtues, so this country (America) is lacking in spirituality. I give them spirituality, and they give me money. I do not know how long I shall take to’realise my end. I shall try to carry out my plans or die in the attempt. You may perhaps think what Utopian nonsense all this is! You little know what is in me…Gurudeva will show me the way out.

I have heard many stories about the American home: of liberty running into licence, of unwomanly women smashing under their feet all the peace and happiness of home-life in their mad liberty-dance, and much nonsense of that type. And now after a year’s experience of American homes, of American women, how utterly false and erroneous that sort of judgement appears! American women! A hundred lives would not be sufficient to pay my deep debt of gratitude to ‘you ! I have not words enough to express my gratitude to you.

Last year I came to this country in summer, a wandering preacher of a far distant country, without name, fame, wealth, or learning to recommend me-friendless, helpless, almost in a state of destitution. And American women befriended me, gave me shelter and food; took me to their homes and treated me as their own son, their own brother. They stood as my friend even when their own priests were trying to persuade them to give up the “dangerous heathen’’-even when day after day their best friends had told them not to stand by this “unknown foreigner, maybe, of dangerous character. ” But they are better judges of character and soul-for it is the pure mirror that catches the reflection.

And how many beautiful homes I have seen, how many mothers whose purity of character, whose unselfish love for their children are beyond expression, how many daughters and pure maidens, “pure as the icicle on Diana’s temple” and withal with much culture, education and spirituality in the highest sense! Is America then full of only wingless angels in the shape of women ? There is good and bad everywhere true; but a nation is not to be judged by its weaklings, but by the good, the noble and the pure.

And then the modern American women – I admire their broad and liberal minds.

There are thousands of women here (in America) whose minds are as pure and white as the snow of this country. And look at our girls (of India) , becoming mothers below their teens!!

I have travelled all over India, and seen this country, too. “Admist all the scriptures and Puranas, know this statement of Vyasa to be true, that doing good to others conduces to merit, and doing harm to them leads to sin. ”

“Fifty years ago,” said Ingersoll to me, “You would have been hanged in this country if you had come to preach. You would have been burnt alive or you would have been stoned out of the villages.”

When I came into this country (America), I was surprised to meet so many liberal men and women. But after the Parliament of Religions, a great Presbyterian paper came out and gave me the benefit of a seething article. This the editor called enthusiasm.

I pity the Hindu who does not see the beauty in Jesus Christ’s character. I pity the Christian who does not reverence the Hindu Christ.

Detroit: 12-3-94 – I am now living with Mr. Palmer. He is a very nice gentleman… I spoke at an opera house for two hours and a half. People were very much pleased. I am going to Boston and New York…I am not going to lecture in Michigan. Mr. Holden tried to persuade me this morning to lecture in Michigan…To tell the truth the more I am getting popularity and facility in speaking the more I am getting fed up. My last address was the best I ever delivered. Mr. Palmer was in ecstasies and the audience remained almost spell-bound, so much so that it was after the lecture that I found I had spoken so long.

15-3-94 – The funniest thing said about me here was in one of the papers which said, “The cyclonic Hindu has come, and is a guest with Mr. Palmer………“. The first lecture was not properly managed, the cost of the hall being 150 dollars.

I am pulling on well with old Palmer. He is a very jolly, good old man. I got only 127 dollars by my last lecture. I am going to speak again in Detroit on Monday.

Mr. Palmer makes me laugh the whole day.

Just because this assertion of independence, this proving that man is not a machine, is the essence of all religious thought, it is impossible to think of it in the routine mechanical way. It is this tendency to bring everything down to the level of a machine that has given the West its wonderful prosperity. And it is this which has driven away all religion from its doors. Even the little that is left, the West has reduced to a systematic drill.

Detroit: 17-3-94 – I have returned today to Mrs. Bagley’s as she was very sorry that I should remain so long with Mr. Palmer. In Palmer’s house, there was real ‘good time’. He is a real jovial heartwhole fellow.

18-3-94 – There was a letter from my brethren at Calcutta and it was written on the occasion of a private invitation to celebrate the birthday of my Master. The letter says that Mazoomdar has gone back to Calcutta and is preaching that Vivekananda is committing every sin under the sun in America… This is your America’s wonderful spiritual manl It is not their fault; until one is really spiritual, that is, until one has got a real insight into the nature of one’s own soul and has got a glimpse „of the world of the soul, one cannot distinguish chaff from seed, tall talk from depth and so on. I am sorry for poor Mazomdar that he should stoop so low! Lord bless the old boy!

The address inside the letter is in English and is my old, old name, written by a companion of my child-hood who has also taken orders. It is a very poetic name. That written in the letter is an abbreviation, the full name being Narendra, meaning the “Chief of men” “nara” means man and “Indra” stands for ruler in chief – very ludicrous, isn’t it? But such are the names in our country; we cannot help, but I am glad I have given that up.

Chicago : 19-3-94 – I have no wants in this country, but mendicancy has no vogue here and I have to labour, that is, lecture in places. It is as cold here as it is hot. The summer is not a bit less hot than at Calcutta. And how to describe the cold in winter ! The whole country is covered with snow, three or four feet deep, nay, six or seven feet, at places! In the southern parts there is no snow. Snow, however, is a thing of little consideration here. For it snows when the mercury stands at 32 degrees F. In Calcutta, it scarcely comes down to 60 degrees, and it rarely approaches zero in England. But here, your mercury sinks to minus 4 or 5 degrees. In Canada, in the north, mercury becomes condensed, when they have to use the alcohol thermometer.

When it is too cold, that is, when the mercury stands even below 20 deg. F., it does not snow. I used to think that it must be an exceedingly cold day on which the snow falls. But it is not so; it snows on comparatively warm days. Extreme cold produces a sort of intoxication; no carriages would run; only the sledge, which is without wheels, slides on the ground! Everything is frozen stiff – even an elephant can walk on rivers and canals and lakes. The massive Falls of Niagara, of such tremendous velocity, are frozen to marble !! ! But. I am doing nicely. I was a little afraid at first, but necessity makes me travel by rail to the borders of Canada one day, and the next day finds me lecturing in South America! The carriages are kept quite warm, – like your own room. By means of steam pipes, and all round are masses of snow, spotlessly white, – oh the beauty of it !

I was mortally afraid that my nose and ears ‘would fall off, but to this day they are all right. I have to go out, however, dressed in a heap of warm clothing surmounted by a furcoat. No sooner you breathe out than the breath freezes among the beard and moustache! Notwithstanding all this, the fun of it is that they won’t drink water without putting a lump of ice into it. This is because it is warm indoors. Every room and the staircase are kept warm by steam pipes. They are first and foremost in arts and appliances, foremost in enjoyment and luxury, foremost in making money, and foremost in spending it. The daily wages of a coolie are six rupees as also are those of a servant; you cannot hire a cab for less than three rupees, nor get a cigar for less than four annas. A decent pair of shoes costs twenty-four rupees and a suit, rupees five hundred. As they earn, so they spend. A lecture fetches two hundred to three thousand rupees. I have got up to five hundred.

Of course, now I am in the very heyday of fortune. They like me, and thousands of people come to hear me speak.

As it pleased the Lord, I met here Mr. M-. He was very cordial at first, but when the whole Chicago population began to flock to me in overwhelming numbers, then grew the canker in his mind !… The priests tried their utmost to snub me. But the Guru is with me, what could anybody do? And the whole American nation loves and respects me, pays my expenses, and reveres me as a Guru. It was not in the power of the priests to do anything against me. Moreover, they are a nation of scholars………What they want is philosophy, learning and empty talk will no more do.

Nowhere in the world are women like those of this country. How pure, independent, self-relying and kind-hearted! It is the women who are the life and soul of this country. All learning and culture are centred in them.

This is a very funny country. It is now summer-this morning it was as hot as April in Bengal, but now it is as cold as February at Allahabad ! So much fluctuation within four hours! The hotels of this country beggar description. For instance there is a hotel in New York where a room can be hired for up to Rs. 5,000 – a day, excluding board charges. —Not even in Europe is there a country like this in point of luxury. It is indeed the richest country in the world. I seldom live in hotels, but am mostly the guest of big people here. To them I am a widely known man. The whole country knows me now, so wherever I go they receive me with open arms into their homes. Mr. H’s home is my centre in Chicago

I scarcely find a family so highly pure and kind. Oh, how wonderfully kind they are !

As for lectures and so forth, I don’t prepare them beforehand. Only one I wrote out. The rest I deliver off-hand, whatever comes to my lips—Gurudeva backs me up. Once at Detroit I held forth for three hours at a stretch. Sometimes I myself wonder at my own achievement – to think that there was such stuff in this pate !

A friend criticised the use of European terms of philosophy and religion in my addresses…I would have been very glad to use Sanskrit terms; it would have been much more easy, as being the only perfect vehicle of religious thought. But the friend forgets that I was addressing an audience of western people; and although a certain Indian Missionary declared that the Hindus had forgotten the meaning of their Sanskrit books, and that it was the missionaries who unearthed the meaning, I could not find one in that large concourse of Missionaries who could understand a line in Sanskrit-and yet some of them read learned papers criticising the Vedas, and all the sacred sources of the Hindu religion!

Detroit : 30-3-94 – I am very glad to receive the Khetri letter…He (the Raja) wants some newspaper clippings… Mrs. Breed wrote to me a stiff burning letter first, and then I got a telegram from her inviting me to be her guest for a week. Before this, I got a letter from Mrs. Smith of New York writing on her behalf and another lady Miss Helen Gould and another

Dr., asking me to come over to New York. As the Lynn Club wants me on the 17th of next month, I am going to New York first and come in time for their meeting at Lynn.

Next summer if I do not go away and Mrs. Bagley insists I should not – I may go to Annisquam where Mrs. Bagley has engaged a nice house. Mrs. Bagley is a very spiritual lady and Mr. Palmer a spiritual gentleman but very good…I am all right in nice health of body and mind…Mrs. Sherman has presented me with a lot of things, amongst which is a nail-set and letter holder and a little satchel, etc. etc. Although I objected, especially to the nail-set, as very dudish with mother of pearl handles, she insisted and I had to take them, though I do not know what to do with that brushing instrument. Lord bless them all! She gave me one advice – never to wear this Afrikee dress in society. Now I am a society man ! Lord ! what comes next ? Long life brings queer experiences!

New York: 9-4-94 – I have lectured in many of the big towns of America…I have made a good many friends here, some of them very influential. Of course, the orthodox clergymen are against me and seeing that it is not easy to grapple with me, they try to hinder, abuse and vilify me in every way…Lord bless them !

I believe that the Satya-yuga will come when there will be one caste, one Veda, and peace and harmony. This idea of Satya-yuga is what would revivify India.

I have an old mother. She has suffered much all her life and in the midst of all she could bear to give me for the service of God and man.

The cat is out of the bag—without my seeking at all. And who is the editor of one of our (Indian) papers which praises me so much, and thanks God that I came to America to represent Hinduism ? Mazoomdar’s cousin! Poor Mazoomdar-he has injured his cause by telling lies through jealousy. Lord knows I never attempted any defence.

I had a very good time in Boston at Mrs. Breed’s and saw Prof.Wright. I am going to Boston again. The tailor is making my new gown; I am going to speak at Cambridge University (Harvard) and would be the guest of prof. Wright there. They write grand welcomes in the Boston papers inviting me.

I spoke last night at the Waldorf hotel. Mrs. Smith sold tickets at $2 each, I had a full hall which by the way was a small one.

I made a hundred dollars at Lynn which I do not send (to India) because I have to make my new gown and other nonsense.

Do not expect to make any money at Boston. Still I must touch the brain of America and stir it up if I can.

2nd May 94 : – I could not find the exact orange color of my coat here; so I have been obliged to satisfy myself with the next best; a cardinal red with more of yellow. The coat will be ready in a few days.

Got about 70 the other day by lecturing at Waldorf and hope to get some more by tomorrow’s lecture.

From 7th to I8th there are engagements in Boston but they pay very little.

In the evening, I am going to speak at a vegetarian dinner !

New York April 26, 94 – Well, am a vegetarian for all that, because I prefer it when I can get it. I have another invitation to lunch with Lyman Abbot day after tomorrow. After all, I am having very nice time, and hope to have very nice time in Boston-only that nasty, nasty lecturing: disgusting. However, as soon as 19th is over-one leap from Boston to Chicago and then I will have a long long breath and rest and rest for two weeks. I will simply sit down and talk and talk and smoke.

New York people are very good—only more money than brains.

I am going to speak to the students of the Harvard University. Three lectures at Boston, 3 at Harvard-all arranged by Mrs. Breed. They are arranging something here too, so that I will, on my way to Chicago, come to hjew York once more—give them a few hard raps and pocket the boodle and fly to Chicago !

I hate only one thing in the world— hypocrisy.

New York: 4-5-94 – I will be in Boston on Sunday (6th). On Monday, I lecture at the Women’s Club of Mrs. Howe.

Just think, with all the claims to civilisation in this country (America), on one occasion I was refused a chair to sit on, because I was a Hindu!

Chicago – May 24-94 – Had I not the “fad” in my head I would never have come over here. And it was with a hope that it would help my cause that I joined the Parliament of Religions, having always refused it when our people wanted to send me for it. I came over telling them-“that may or may not join that assembly-and you may send over if you like.” They sent me over leaving me quite free. I do not care for the attempts of the old Missionary, but the fever of jealousy which attacked Mazoomdar gave me a terrible shock, and I pray that he would know better-for he is a great and good man who has tried all his life to be good. But this proves one of my Master’s sayings : “live in a room covered with black soot; however careful you may be, some spots must stick to your clothes.”

So however one may try to be good and holy-so long he is in the world – some part of his nature must gravitate downwards.

I was never a missionary nor ever would be one-my place is in the Himalayas. I have satisfied myself so far that I can with a full conscience say, God -I saw terrible misery among my brethren. I searched and discovered the way out of it; tried my best to apply the remedy but failed – so Thy will be done.”

24-5-94 : Some would call you a saint, some a chandala, some a lunatic; others a demon; go on then straight to thy work without heeding any,’* thus sayeth one of our great Sannyasins, an old Emperor of India, King Bharttihari who joined the Order in old times.

Chicago : 28-5-94 : I was whirling to and fro from New York to Boston. I do not know when I am going back to India. It is in the hands of Him who is at my back directing me.

I have done a good deal of lecturing here……The expenses here are terrible.

18-6-94 : I am going to New York in a week. Mrs. Bagley seems to be unsettled by that article in the Boston paper against me. She sent me over, a copy from Detroit, and has ceased correspondence with me. Lord bless her; she has been very kind to me.

Although there is much public appreciation of my work, it is thoroughly uncongenial and demoralising to me.

20-6-94 : The backbiters, I must tell you, had not indirectly benefited me; on the other hand, they had injured me immensely in view of the fact that our Hindu people did not move a finger to tell the Americans that I represented them. Did our people send some words thanking the American people for their kindness to me and stating that I was representing them?…No, they told the American people that I had donned the Sannya-sin’s garb only in America and that I was a cheat, bare and simple. So far as reception went, it had no effect on the American nation; but so far as helping me with funds went, it had a terrible effect in making them take off their helping hands from me. And it is one year since I have been here, and not one man of note from India had thought it fit to make the Americans know that I am no cheat. There again the missionaries are always seeking for something against me and they are busy picking up anything said against me by the Christian papers of India and publishing it here…

Round him (the great Ramakrishna Paramahamsa) this band (of young educated Sannyasins) is slowly gathering. They will do the work…This requires an organisation, money – a little at least to set the wheel in motion…Who would have given us money in India ? So, I crossed over to America. I begged all the money from the poor, and the offers of the rich I would not accept because they could not understand my ideas. Now lecturing for a year in this country, I could not succeed at all (of course, I have no wants for myself) in my plan of raising some funds for setting up my work. First this year is a bad year in America; thousands of their poor are without work. Secondly, the missionaries and the— try to thwart all my views. Thirdly; a year has rolled by, and our countrymen could not even do so much for me as to say to the American people that I was a real Sannyasin and no cheat, and that I represented the Hindu religion. Even this much, the expenditure of a few words, they could not do ! (yet) I love them ; He who has been with me through hills and dales, through deserts or forest, will be with me, I hope.

I am sincere to the backbone, and my ^greatest fault is that I love my country only to well.

23-6-94 : Mrs. Potter Palmer is the chief lady of the United States. She was the lady President of the World’s Fair. She is much interested in raising the women of the world and is at the head of a big organisation for women. She is a particular friend of Lady Dufferin and has been entertained by the Royalties of Europe on account of her wealth and position. She has been very kind to me in this country.

Chicago : 29-6-94 – I am continually travelling. In Chicago there is a friend whose house is my headquarters.

Now as to my prospects here – it is well nigh zero. Why, because although I had the best purpose it has been made null and void by these causes. All that I get about India is from Madras letters. The letters say again and again how I am being praised in India. But, I never saw a single Indian paper writing about me except the three square inches sent to me by Alasinga. On the other hand, everything that is said by Christians in India, is sedulously gathered by the missionaries and regularly published and they go from door to door to make my friends give me up. They have succeeded only too well, for there is not one word for me from India. Indian Hindu papers may laud me to the skies, but not a word of that ever came to America; so that many people in this country think me a fraud. In the face of the missionaries and with the jealousy of the Hindus here to back them, I have not a word to say. I now think it was foolish of me to go to the Parliament on the strength of the Madras boys. They are boys after all. Of course I am eternally obliged to them, but they are after all enthusiastic young men without any executive abilities. I came here without credentials. How else to show that I am not a fraud in the face of the missionaries and the B – S-?… There has not been one voice for me in one year and every one against me. More than two months ago I wrote to Alasinga about this. He did not even answer my letter. I am afraid his heart has grown lukewarm…On the other hand, my brethren foolishly talk nonsense about Keshab Sen…Oh !, if only I had one man of some true abilities and brains to back me in India ! But His will be done. I stand a fraud in this country. It was my foolishness to go to the Parliament without any credentials, hoping that there would be many for me. I have to work it out slowly.

Every moment I expected something from India. No, it never came. Last two months especially I was in torture every moment. No, not even a newspaper from India ! My friends waited, waited month after month; nothing came, not a voice. Many consequently grew cold and at last gave me up. But, it is the punisnment for relying upon man.

My thanks eternal to the Madras young men…May the Lord bless them for ever………I am praying always for their welfare and am I not in the least displeased with them, but I am not pleased with myself. I committed a terrible error of calculating upon others’ help-once in my life-and I have paid for it. It was my fault and not theirs. Lord bless all the Madras people.. I have launched my boat in the waves, come what may. Regarding my brutal criticisms, I have really no right to make them…I must bear my own Karma and that without a murmur

New York: July 94 – I came yesterday to this place, and shall remain here a few days. I did not receive any “Interior” for which I am glad. I want to keep aloof from rousing bad feelings towards these “sweet Christian gentlemen” in my heart………I do not care the least for the gambols these men play, seeing as I do through the insincerity, the hypocrisy and love of self and name that is the only motive power in these men.

I am bearing the heat very well here. I had an invitation to Swamscott on the sea from a very rich lady whose acquaintance I made last winter in New York, but I declined with thanks. I am very careful now to take the hospitality of anybody here, especially rich. I had a few other invitations from some very rich people here. I refused; I have by this time seen the whole business through.

New York: 9-7-94 – Glory unto Jagadamba (the Divine Mother) ! I have gained beyond expectations. The prophet has been honoured and with a vengeance. I am weeping like a child at His mercy – He never leaves His servant; …the printed things are coming to the American people. The names there are the very flower of our country. The President was the chief nobleman of Calcutta and the other man Mahesh Chandra Nyaya-ratna is the Principal of the Sanskrit College and the chief Brahmin in all India and recognised by the Government as such. What a rogue am I that in the face of such mercies sometimes faith totters. Seeing every moment that I am in His hands, still the mind sometimes gets despondent. There is a God – a Father – a Mother who never leaves His children, never, never. Put uncanny theories aside and becoming children take refuge in Him. I cannot write more – I am weeping like a woman.

Blessed, blessed art Thou, Lord God of my soul!

U.S.A.: 11-7-94 – We will do great things yet ! Last year, I only sowed the seeds; this year, I mean to reap.

In the Detroit lecture I got $ 900, i.e. Rs. 2, 700. In other lectures, I earned in one $ 2,500, i.e. Rs. 7,500, in one hour, but got only 200 dollars! I was cheated by a roguish lecture bureau. I have given them up.

Swampscott26-7-94 – I had a beautiful letter from sister Mary. Sister Jeany can jump and run and play and swear like a devil and talk slang at the rate of 500 minute; only she does not much care for religion, only little. She is gone home today and I am going to Green-acre. I had been to see Mrs. Breed, Mrs. Stone was there, with whom is residing Mrs. Pullman and all the golden bugs, my old friends hereabouts. They are kind as usual. On my way back from Greenacre I am going to Annisquam to see Mrs. Bagley for a few days. Darn it, I forget everything. I had duckings in the sea like a fish. I am enjoying every bit of it. How nice and cool it is here, and it increases a hundredfold when I think about the gasping, sizzling, boiling, frying four old maids (the Hale Sisters), and how cool and nice I am here. Whooooo!

Miss Philips has a beautiful place somewhere in N. Y. State – mountain, lake, river, forest altogether -what more? I am going to make a Himalayas there and start a monastery as sure as I an) living – I am not going to leave this country without throwing one more apple of discord into this already roaring, kicking, mad whirl pool of American religion.

Greenacre Inn, EliotMaine: 26-7-94 – This is big inn and farm house where the Christian Scientists are holding a session. Last spring in New York, I was invited by the lady projector of the meeting to come here, and here I am. It is a beautiful and cool place, no doubt, and many of my old friends of Chicago are here. Mrs. Mills, Miss Stockam and several other ladies and gentlemen live in tents which they have pitched on the open ground by the river. They have a lively time and sometimes all of them wear what you call the scientific dress the whole day. They have lectures almost everyday. One Mr. Colville from Boston is here; he speaks every day, it is said, under spirit control. The Editor (?) of the University Truth has settled herself down here. She is conducting religious services and holding classes to heal all manner of diseases, and very soon I expect them to be giving eyes to the blind, and the like! After all, it is a queer gathering. They do not care much about social laws and are quite free and happy. Mrs. Mills is quite brilliant and so are many other ladies…A very cultured lady from Detroit is going to take me to an Island fifteen miles into the sea. I hope we shall have a nice time… I may go over to Annisquam from here, I suppose. This is a beautiful and nice place and the bathing is splendid. Cora Stockham has made a bathing dress for me, and I am having as good a time in the water as a duck – this is delicious even for the denizens of Mudville..

Here is Mr. Wood of Boston, who is one of the great lights of the Christian Science sect. But, he objects to belong to the sect of Mrs. Whirlpool. So he calls himself a mental healer of meta-physical-chemico-physico-religiosic what-not! Yesterday, there was a tremendous cyclone which gave a good “treatment” to the tents. The big tent under which they had the lectures, had developed so much spirituality under the “treatment” that it entirely disappeared from mortal gaze and about two hundred chairs were dancing about the grounds under spiritual ecstasy! Mrs. Figs takes a class every morning; and Mrs. Mills is jumping all about the place – they are all in high spirits. I am especially glad for Cora, for they suffered a good deal last winter and a little hilarity would do her good. You will be astounded with the liberty they enjoy in the camps, but they are very good and pure people there – a little erratic, that is all.

I shall be here till Saturday next…The other night the camp people went to sleep beneath a pine tree under which I sit every morning a la Hindu and talk to them. Of course, I went with them, and we had a nice night under the stars, sleeping on the lap of mother earth, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I cannot describe that night’s glories – after a year of brutal life that I have led, to sleep on the ground, to meditate under the tree in the forest! The inn people are more or less well-to-do-, and the camp people are healthy, young, sincere and holy men and women. I teach them “Shivoham” “Shivoham” and they all repeat it, innocent and pure as they are and brave beyond all bounds. And so I am happy and glorified.

Thank God for making me poor, thank God for making these children in the tents poor. The Dudes and Dudines are in the Hotel, but iron-bound nerves and souls of triple steel and spirits of fire are in the camp. If you had seen them yesterday, when the rain was falling in torrents and the cyclone was overturning everything, hanging by their tent strings to keep them from being blown down, and standing in the majesty of their souls – these brave ones – it would have done your hearts good – I will go a hundred miles to see the like of them. Lord bless them.

“Sweet one! Many people offer to You many things. I am poor-but I have the body, mind and soul. I give them over to you. Deign to accept, Lord of the Universe, and refuse them not.” So have I given over my life and soul once for all. One thing-they are a dry sort of people here. They do not understand “Madhava”, the Sweet One. They are either intellectual or go after faith cure, table turning, witchcraft, etc. etc. Nowhere have I heard so much about “love, life and liberty” as in this country, but no where it is less understood. Here God is either a terror or a healing power, vibration, and so forth. Lord bless their souls! And these parrots talk day and night of love and love and love!

Greenacre: 11-8-94 – I have been all this time in Greenacre. I enjoyed this place very much. They have been all very kind to me. One Chicago lady, Mrs. Pratt of Kenilworth, wanted to give me $500. She became so much interested in me; but I refused. She has made me promise that I would send word to her whenever I was in need of money, which I hope the Lord will never put me in. His help alone is sufficient to me.

On Sunday I am going to lecture at Plymouth at the “Sympathy of Religions” meetings of Col. Higginson… Miss Howe has been so kind to me. I think I am going to Fishkill from Plymouth, where I will be only a couple of days…I will be in New York next fall. New York is a grand and good place. The New York people have a tenacity of purpose unknown in any other city. I had a letter from Mrs. Potter Palmer asking me to see her in August. She is a very gracious and kind lady. There is my friend Dr. Janes of New York, President of the Ethical Cultural Society, who has begun his lectures. I must go to hear him. He and I agree so much.

Annisquam20-8-94 – I am with the Bagleys once more. They are kind as usual. Professor Wright was not here. But he came day before yesterday and we have very nice time together. Mr. Bradley of Evanston was here. His sister-in-law had me sit for a picture several days and had painted me. I had some very fine boating and one evening overturned the boat and had a good drenching, clothes and all…

From here I think I will go back to New York. Or I may go to Boston to Mrs. Ole Bull, widow of the great violinist of this country. She is a very spiritual lady. She lives in Cambridge and has a fine big parlour made of woodwork brought all the way from India. She wants me to come over to her any time and use her parlour for lectures.

I have kept pretty good health all the time and hope to do in the future. I had no occasion yet to draw on my reserve, yet I am rolling on pretty fair. And I have given up all money making schemes and will be quite satisfied with a bite and a shed and will work on.

31-8-94 : The letter from the Madras people was published in yesterday’s “Boston Transcript”…I shall be here till Tuesday next at least, on which day I am going to lecture here in Annisquam.

The greatest difficulty with me is to keep or even to touch money. It is disgusting and debasing…I have friends here who take care of all my monetary concerns.

Boston : 13-9-94 – I have been in this holel (Hotel Bellevue, Becon St.) for about a week. I will remain in Boston some time yet…I am vagabondizing. I was very much amused the other day to read Abe Hue’s description of the vagabond lamas of Tibet-a true picture of our fraternity. He says they are queer people. They come when they will, sit at everybody’s table, invitation or no invitaion, live where they will and go where they will. There is not a mountain they have not climbed, not a river they have not crossed, not a language they do not talk in. He thinks that God must have put into them a part of that energy which makes the planets go round and round eternally. Today this vagabond lama was seized with a desire of going right along.scribbling and so I walked down and entering a store brought all sorts of writing materials and a beautiful portfolio which shuts with a clasp and has even a little wooden inkstand…Last month, I had mail enough from India and am greatly delighted with my countrymen at their generous appreciation of my work. Good enough for them. Prof. Wright, his wife and children were as good as ever. Words cannot express my gratitude to them.

Everything so far is not going bad with me, except that I had a bad cold. Now I think the fellow is gone.

This time I tried Christian Science for insomnia and really found it worked very well.

Hotel Belle Vue, Boston 19-9-94 – I am at present lecturing in several places in Boston. What I want is to get a place where I can sit down and write down my thoughts. I had enough of speaking; now I want to write. I think I will have to go to New York for it. Mrs. Guernsey was so kind to me and she is ever willing to help me. I think I will go to her and sit down and write my book.

U.S.A. ; 21-9-94 – I have been continuously travelling from place to place and working incessently, giving lectures and holding classes.

I have made some nice friends here amongst the liberal people, and a few amongst the orthodox. .Too much work is making me nervous. The giving of too many public lectures and constant hurry have brought on this nervousness…

New York: 25-9-94 – Here in summer they go to the sea side-I also did the same. They have got almost a mania for boating and yatching. The yacht is a kind of light vessel which everyone, young and old who has the means, possesses. They set sail in them every day to the sea and return home to eat, drink and dance-while music continues day and night. Pianos render it a botheration to stay indoors!

I shall now tell something of the Hales. Hale and his wife are an old couple, having two daughters, two nieces and a son. The son lives abroad where he earns a living.

The daughters live at home. In this country relationship is through the girls. The son marries and no longer belongs to the family, but the daughter’s husband pays frequent visits to his father-in-laws’s house. They say,

“Son is son till he gets a wife,

The daughter is daughter all her life.”

All the four are young and not yet married. Marriage is a very troublesome business here. In the first place, one must have a husband after one’s heart. Secondly, he must be a moneyed man…They will probably live unmarried; besides they are now full of ‘renunciation through my contact and are busy with thoughts of Brahman!

The two daughters are blondes, that is, have golden hair, while the two nieces are brunettes, that is of dark hair. They know all sorts of occupations. The nieces are not so rich, they conduct a kindergarten school, but the daughters do not earn. Many girls of this country earn their living. Nobody depends upon others. Even millionaires’ sons earn their living, but they marry and have separate establishments of their own. The daughters call me brother, and I address their mother as mother. All my things are at their places, and they look after them, wherever I may go. Here the boys go in search of a living while quite young, and the girls are educated in the universities. So, you will find that in a meeting there will be ninety-nine per cent girls. The boys are nowhere in comparison with them.

There are a good many spiritualists in this country. The medium is one who induces the spirit. He goes behind a screen, and out of the latter come ghosts, of all sizes and all colours. I have witnessed some cases, but they seemed to be a hoax. I shall test some more before I come to a final conclusion. Many of the spiritualists respect me.

Next comes Christian Science. They form the most influential party, nowadays, figuring everywhere. They are spreading by leaps and bounds, and causing heart-burn to the orthodox. They are Vedantins; I mean, they have picked up a few doctrines of the Advaita and grafted them upon the Bible. And they cure diseases by proclaiming, “    ’’ “I am He” “I am He” – through strength of mind. They all admire me highly.

Nowadays the orthodox section of this country are crying for help. “Devil Worship is but a thing of the past. They are mortally afraid of me and exclaim, “What a pest! Thousands of men and women follow him! He is going to root out- orthodoxy! ’ Well, the torch has been applied and the conflagration that has set in through the grace of the Guru shall not be put out. In course of time, the bigots will have their breath knocked out of them.

The Theosophists have not much power. But, they too are dead against the orthodox section.

This Christian Science is exactly like our Kartabhaja sect (an offshoot of Vaishnavism during its degeneracy in Bengal). Say, “I have no diseases, and you are whole; and say, “ I am He ” –    – and you are quits – be at large. This is a thoroughly materialistic country. The people of this Christain land will recognise religion if only you can cure diseases, work miracles, and open up avenues to money, and understand little of any thing else-But there are honourable exceptions.

People here have found a new type of man in me. Even the orthodox are at their wit’s end. And people are now looking up to me with an eye of reverence. Is there a’greater strength than that of Brahmacharyam— purity, my boy ?

…They are good-natured, kind, and truthful. All is right with them, but that enjoyment is their God. It is a country where money flows like a river, with beauty as the ripple and learning its waves, and which rolls in luxury.

They look with veneration upon women, who play a most prominent part in their lives.,.Well, I am almost at my wit’s end to see the women of this country! They take me to the shops and everywhere, as if I were a child. They do all sorts of work-I cannot do even a sixteenth part of what they do.

Boston: 26-9-94 I will have to go back to Melrose on Saturday and remain there till Monday.

I am busy writing letters to India last few days. I will remain a few days more in Boston.

U.S,A- 27-9-94 – One thing I find in the book of my speeches and sayings published in Calcutta. Some of them are printed in such a way as to savour of political views; whereas I am no politician, or political agitator. I care only for the spirit – when that is right everything will be righted by itself…No political significance should be ever attached falsely to any of my writings or sayings.

What nonsense!…I heard that Rev. Kali Charan Banerji in a lecture to Christian missionaries said that I was a political delegate. This is their trick! I have said a few harsh words in honest criticism of Christian Governments in general, but that does not mean that I care for, or have any connection with politics or that sort of thing…

Uniform silence is all ray answer to my detractors…

This nonsense of public life and newspaper blazoning has disgusted me thoroughly. I long to go back to the Himalayan quiet.

ChicagoSept94 – I have been travelling all over this country all this time and seeing everything. I have come to this conclusion that there is only one country in the world which understands religion-it is India; with all their faults, the Hindus are shoulders above and ahead of all other nations in morality and spirituality……I have seen enough of this country. I think, and so soon will go over to Europe and then to India.

BaltimoreOct. 94- I am here now. From here I go to Washington, thence to Philadelphia and then to New York.

Washigton: I am going to talk here today, tomorrow at Baltimore, then again Monday at Baltimore and Tuesday at Washington again. So, I will be in Philadelphia in a few days after that. I shall be in Philadelphia only to see Prof. Wright, and then I go to New York and run for a little while between New York and Boston and then go to Chicago, via Detroit, and then “whist”… as Senator RL&ner says, to England.

I have been very well treated here and am doing very well. There is nothing extraordinary, in the meantime, except that I got vexed at getting loads of newspapers from India; so after sending a cartload to Mother Church and another to Mrs. Guernsey, I had to write to them to stop sending their newspapers. I have had “ boom ” enough in India. Alasinga writes that every village all over the coutry now has heard of of me. Well, the old peace is gone for ever and no rest anywhere from heretofore. These newspapers of India will be my death, I am sure…Lord bless them; it was all my foolery. I really came here to raise a little money secretly and go over but was caught in the trap and now no more of a reserved life.

23-10-94 : I have become one of their own teachers. They all like me and my teachings…I travel all over the country from one place to another, as was my habit in India, preaching and teaching. Thousands and thousands have listened to me and taken my ideas in a very kindly spirit. It is the most expensive country, but the Lord provides for me everywhere I go.

26-10-94 : I am enjoying Baltimore and Washington very much. I will go hence to Philadelphia.

The lady with whom I am staying is Mrs. Totten, a niece of Miss Howe. I will be her guest more than a week yet.

A lady from London with whom one of my friends is staying has sent an invitation to me to go over as her guest.

U.S A.: 1894: Last winter I travelled a good deal in this country, although the Veather was very severe.

I thought it would be dreadful, but I did not find it so after all.

Chicago: 15-11-94 – I have seen many strange sights and grand things…America is a grand country. It is a paradise of the poor and women. There is almost no poor in the country and no where else in the world women are so free, so educated, so cultured. They are everything in society.

This is a great lesson. The Sannyasin has not lost a bit of his Sannyasinship, even his mode of living. And in this most hospitable country, every home is open to me. The Lord who guides me in India, would He not guide me here? And He has.

You may not understand why a Sannyasin should be in America, but it was necessary …I am neither a sightseer nor an idle traveller, but you will see…and bless me all your life.

New York: 19-11-94  Struggle, struggle was my motto for the last ten years. Struggle, still I say. When it was all dark, I used to say, struggle; when light is breaking in, I still say, struggle.

I have depended always on the Lord, always on Truth, broad as the light of day. Let me not die with stains on my conscience for having played Jesuitism to get up name or fame, or even to do good.

Chicago : Nov. 94 – Here……they were all trying to lecture and get money thereby. They did something, but I succeeded better than they. Why ? I did not put myself as a bar to their success. It was the will of the Lord. But all these have fabricated and circulated the most horrible lies about me in this country, and behind my back……

I do not care what they say. I love my God, my religion, my country, and above all, myself, a poor beggar. I love the poor, the ignorant, the down trodden, I feel for them. The Lord knows how much. He will show the way. I do not care a fig for human approbation or criticism.

I have that insight through the blessings of Ramakrishna, I am trying to work with my little band, all of them poor beggars like me…

Cambridge .- 8-12-94  have been here three days. We had a nice lecture from Lady Henry Somerset. I have a class every morning here on Vedanta and another topics..I went to dine with the Spaldings another day. That day they urged me, against my repeated protests, to criticize the Americans:    I am afraid they did not relish it. It is, of course, always impossible to do so…I am kept pretty busy the whole day…I shall remain here until the 27th or 28th of this month.

Cambridge 21-12-94- I am going away next Tuesday to New York. The lectures are at an end.

U. S. A – : 26-12-94 – In reference to me every now and then, attacks are made in missionary papers (so I hear), but, I never care to see them.

Brooklyn 28-12-94 -I arrived safely in New York and proceeded at once to Brooklyn, where I arrived in time. We had a nice evening. Several gentlemen belonging tc the Ethical Culture Society came to see me.

Next Sunday we shall have a lecture. Dr. James was as usual very kind and good, and Mr. Higgins is as practical as ever…Mr. Higgins has published a pamphlet about me.

Through the Lord’s will, the desire for name and fame has not yet crept into my heart, and I dare say never will. I am an instrument and He is the operator. Through this instrument He is rousing the religious instinct in thousands of hearts in this far-off country. Thousands of men and women here love and revere me–. I am amazed at His grace. Whatever town I visit, it is in an uproar. They have named me “the cyclonic Hindu”. It is His will – I am a voice without a form.

Chicago : 3-1-95 – I lectured at Brooklyn last Sunday. Mrs. Higgins gave a little reception the evening I arrived and some of the prominent members of the Ethical Society including Dr. (Lewis G.) James were there. Some of them thought that such oriental religious subjects will not interest the Brooklyn public.

But the lecture through the blessing of the Lord proved a tremendous success. About 800 of the elite of Brooklyn were present and the very gentlemen who thought it would not prove a success are trying to organise a series in Brooklyn.

I am trying to get a new gown. The old gown is here, but it is shrunken by constant washings so that it is unfit to wear in public.

I saw Miss Couring at Brooklyn. She was as kind as ever.

6-1-95 – I have been in the midst of the genuine article in England. The English people received me with open arms and I have very much toned down my ideas about the English race. First of all, I found that those fellows, as Lund etc., who came over from England to attack me were nowhere. Their existence is simply ignored by the English people. None but a person belonging to the English Church is thought to be genteel. Again some of the best men of England belong to the English Church and some of the highest in position and fame became my truest friends. This was another sort of experience from what I met in America.

The English people laughed and laughed when I told them about my experience with the Presbyterians and other fanatics here (in America) and my reception in hotels etc. I also found the difference in culture and breeding between tha two countries, and came to understand why American girls go in shoals to be married to Europeans.

Everyone was kind to me there (in England), and I have left many noble friends of both sexes anxiously awaiting my return in the spring.

As to my work there, the Vedantic thought has already permeated the higher classes of England. Many people of education and rank, amongst them not a few clergymen, told me that the conquest of Rome by Greece was being re-enacted in England…I had eight classes a week apart from public lectures, and they were so crowded that a good many people even ladies of high rank, sat on the floor and did not think anything of it. In England,

I find strong-minded men and women take up the work and carry it forward with the peculiar English grip and energy. This year my work in New York is going on splendidly. Mr. Leggett is a very rich man of New York and very much interested in me. The New Yorker has more steadiness than any other people in this country (America), so that I have determined to make my centre here. In this country my teachings are thought to be queer by the “Methodist” and “Presbyterian” aristocracy. In England, it is the highest philosophy to the English Church aristocracy.

Moreover those talks and gossips, so characteristic of the American women, are almost unknown in England. The English woman is slow, but when she works up to an idea she will have a hold on it sure, and they are regularly carrying on my work there and sending every week a report—think of that ! Here (in America) if I go away for a week, everything falls to pieces.

Chicago : 11-1-95 -1 have been running all the time between Boston and New York, two great centres of this country, of which Boston may be called the brain, and New York, the purse. In both, my success is more than ordinary …I am indifferent to newspaper reports… A little boom was necessary to begin work.

I want to teach truth; I do not care whether here or elsewhere…

I shall work incessantly until I die. and even after death, I shall work for the good of the world.

Thousands of the best men do care for me; I am slowly exercising an influence in this land, greater than all the newspaper blazoning of me can do…

It is the force of character, of purity and of truth and personality. So long as I have these things, no one will be able to injure a hair of my head. If they try they will fail, sayeth the Lord…The Lord is giving me a deeper and deeper insight every day. The Lord is always with me …

12-1-95 – I do not care for name or fame, or any humbug of that type. I want to preach my ideas for the good of the world. My life is too precious to be spent in getting the admiration of the world…I have no time for such foolery.

Brooklyn: 20-1-95- I am to lecture here(Brooklyn) tonight, and two other lectures in the next month. I came in only yesterday. Miss Josephine Lock and Mrs. Adams were very kind to me in Chicago and my debt to Mrs. Adams is simply inexpressible.

New York : 24-1-95- This year, I am afraid I am getting overworked, as I feel the strain…

Tomorrow will be the last Sunday lecture of this month. The first Sunday of next month there will be a lecture in Brooklyn, the rest three in New York, with which I will close this year’s New York lectures.

New York : 24-1-95-My last lecture was not very much appreciated by men but awfully by women. This Brooklyn is the centre of anti-women’s rights movements and when I told them that women deserve and are fit for everything, they did not like it of course. Never mind, the women were in ecstasies.

I have got again a little cold. I am going to the Guernseys. I have got a room downtown also where I will go several hours to hold my classes.

New York : 1-2-95 – I have a message, and I will give it after my own fashion; I will neither Hinduise my message nor Christianise it, nor make it any ‘ise’ in the world. I will only my-ise it and that is all.

I have a message to give; I have no time to be sweet to the world, and every attempt at sweetness makes me a hypocrite. I will die a thousand deaths rather than lead a jelly-fish existence and yield to every requirement of this foolish world – no matter whether it be my own country or a foreign country.

I am living with Landsberg at 54 W, 33rd Street. He is a brave and noble soul; Lord bless him. Sometimes I go to Guernseys’ to sleep.

9- 2-95 – In this dire winter I have travelled across mountains and over snows at dead of night and collected a little fund; and I shall have peace of mind when a plot is secured for Mother (Sri Sarada Devi).

10- 2-95 – Three lectures I delivered in New York. These Sunday public lectures are now taken down in shorthand and printed. Three of them made two little pamphlets…I shall be in New York two weeks more, and then I go to Detroit to come back to Boston for a week or two.

My health is very much broken down this year by constant work. am very nervous. have not slept a single night soundly this winter. I am sure, I am working too much, yet a big work awaits me in England.

I will have to go through it and then I hope to reach India and have rest all the rest of my life. I have tried at least to do my best for the world, leaving the result to the Lord.

Now I am longing for rest. Hope I will get some and the Indian people will give me up. How I would like to become dumb for some years and not talk at all!

I was not made for these struggles and fights of the world. I am naturally dreamy and restful. I am a born idealist, can only live in a world of dreams; the very touch of fact disturbs my vision and makes me unhappy. Thy will be done !

The whole life is a succession of dreams. My ambition is to be a conscious dreamer, that is all.

New York, 14 2 1895 –According to Manu, collecting funds even for a good work is not good for a Sannyasin, and I have begun to feel that the old sages were right. “Hope is the greatest misery, despair is the greatest happiness.” It appears like a hallucination. I am getting out of them. I was in these childish ideas of doing this and doing that.

“Give up all desire and be at peace. Have neither friends nor foes, and live alone. Thus shall we travel having neither friends nor foes, neither pleasure nor pain, neither desire nor jealousy, injuring no creatures, being the cause of injury to no creatures—from mountain to mountain, from village to village, preaching the name of the Lord.”

“Seek no help from high or low, from above or below. Desire nothing— and look upon this vanishing panorama as a witness and let it pass.”

“In wealth is the fear of poverty, in knowledge the fear of ignorance, in beauty the fear of age, in fame the fear of backbiters, in success the fear of jealousy, even in body is the fear of death Everything in this earth is fraught with fear. He alone is fearless who has given up everything.” [Bhartrihari, Vairagya-satakam 31 ]

14-2-95 – Perhaps, these mad desires were necessary to bring me over to this country. And I thank the Lord for the experience.

I am very happy now. Between Mr. Landsberg and me, we cook some rice and lentils or barley and quietly eat it, and write something or read or receive visits from poor people who want to learn something, and thus I feel I am more a Sannyasin now than I ever was in America.

I went to see Miss Corbin the other day, and Miss Jarmer and Miss Thursby were also there. We had a talk half-hour and she wants me to hold some classes in  next Sunday.

I was told once by a Christian missionary that their Scriptures have a historical character, and therefore, are true. To which I replied, “Mine have no historical character and therefore they are true; yours being historical they were evidently made by some man the other day. Yours are man-made and mine are not; their nonhistoricity is in their favour.”

I have myself been told by some of the Western scientific minds of the day how wonderfully rational the conclusions of the Vedanta are. I know one of them personally, who scarcely has time to eat his meals, or go out of his laboratory, but who yet would stand by the hour to attend my lectures on the Vedanta; for, as he expresses it, they are so scientific, they so exactly harmonise with the aspirations of the age and with the conclusions to which modern science is coming at the present time.

It struck me more than once that I should have to leave my bones on foreign shores owing to the prevalence of religious intolerance.

By improper representation of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses, the Christian missionaries were trying with all their heart and soul to prove that really religious men could never be produced from among their worshippers; but like a straw before a tidal wave that attempt was swept away; while that class of our countrymen – interested organized bodies of mischief-makers-which set itself to devise means for quenching the great fire of the rapidly spreading power of Sri Ramakrishna, seeing all ita efforts futile, has yielded to despair. What is humati will in opposition to the Divine?

I am not a fool to believe anything and everything without direct proof. And coming into this realm of Mahamaya, oh, the many magic mysteries I have come across alongside this bigger conjuration of a universe! Maya, it is all Maya!

There is nothing higher than the knowledge of the Atman, all else is Maya, mere jugglery. The Atman is the One unchangable truth. This I have come to understand, and that is why I try to bring it home to all.

While I was in America, I had certain wonderful powers developed in me. By looking into people’s eyes, I could fathom in a trice the contents of their minds. The working of everybody’s mind would be patent to me, like the fruit on the palm of one’s hand.

To some I used to tell these things, and of those to whom I communicated these, many would become my disciples; whereas those who came to mix with me with some ulterior motive would not, on coming across this power of mine, even venture in to my presence any more.

When I began lecturing in Chicago and other cities, I had to deliver every week some twelve or fifteen or even more lectures at times. This excessive strain on the body and mind would exhaust me to a degree. I seemed to run short of subjects for lectures, and was anxious where to find new topics for the morrow’s lecture.New thoughts seemed altogether scarce. One day, after the lecture I lay thinking of what means to adopt next, (some part here missing) induced a sort of slumber and in that state somebody standing by me was lecturing

many new ideas and new veins of thought which I had scarcely heard or thought of in my life. On awaking I remembered them and reproduced them in my lecture.

I cannot enumerate how often this phenomenon took place. Many, many days did I hear such lectures while lying in bed. Sometimes the lecture would be delivered in such a loud voice that the inmates of the adjacent rooms would hear the sound and ask me |he next day. “With whom, Swamiji, were you talking so loudly last night ?” I used to avoid the question somehow. Ah, it was a wonderful phenomenon.

When people began to honour me, then the Padris were after me. They spread many slanders about me by publishing them in the newspapers. Many asked me to contradict these slanders. But I never took the slightest notice of them. It is my conviction that no great work is accomplished in this world by low cunning; so without paying any heed to these vile slanders, I used to work steadily for my mission. The upshot, I used to find, was that often my slanderers feeling repentant afterwards, would surrender to me and offer apologies, themselves contradicting the slanders in the papers. Sometimes, it so happened that learning that I had been invited to a certain house, somebody would communicate those slanders to my host, who hearing them, would leave home locking the door. When I went there, to attend the invitation, I found it was deserted and nobody was there. Again a few days afterwards, they themselves learning the truth, would feel sorry for their previous conduct, and come to offer themselves as disciples. The fact is this whole world is full of mean ways of worldliness. But men of real moral courage and discrimination are never deceived by these. Let the world say what it chooses, I shall tread the path of duty—know this to be the line of action for a hero. Otherwise, if one has to attend day and night to what this man says or that man writes, no great work is achieved in this world. ” Let those versed in the ethical codes praise or blame, let Lakshmi, the Goddess of fortune, come or go whenever she wisheth, let death overtake him today or after a century, the wise man never swerves from the path of rectitude.”

I stand for truth. Truth will never ally itself with falsehood. Even if all the world should be against me, Truth must prevail in the end.

Missionaries and others could not do much against me in this country (America). Through the Lord’s grace, the people here like me greatly, and are not to be tricked by the opinions of any particular class. They appreciate my ideas.

When I was in America, I heard once the complaint made that I was preaching too much of Advaita, and too little of Dualism. To preach the Advaita aspect of Vedanta is necessary to rouse up the hearts of men, to show them the glory of their souls, It is, therefore, that I preach this Advaita, and I do so not as a sectarian, but upon universal and widely acceptable grounds.

U. S. A.: 6-3-95 – The Maharaja of Mysore is dead—one of our greatest hopes. Well! the Lord is great. He will send others to help us.

I am going to have a series of paid lectures in my rooms (downstairs), which will seat about a hundred persons, and that will cover the expenses. Miss Hamlin has been very kind to me and does all she can to help me.

N. Y.: March 27 95 – Mrs. Bull has been greatly benefitted by Mrs. Adam’s lessons. I also took a few but no use; the ever-increasing load in front does not allow me to bend forward as Mrs. Admas wants !

My classes are full of women. Sometimes, I get disgusted with eternal lecturings and talkings; want to be silent for days and days.

When I was a boy, I thought that fanaticism was a great element in work, but now, as I grow older, I find that it is not.

My experience comes to this, that it is rather wise to avoid all sorts of fanatical reforms.

To make a man take in everything and believe it, would be to make him a lunatic. I once had a book sent to me, which said I must believe everything told m it. It said there was no soul, but that there were Gods and Goddesses in heaven, and a thread of light going from each of our heads to heaven ! How did the writer know all these things ? She had been inspired, and wanted to believe it, too, and because I refused, she said, “You must be a very bad man; there is no hope for you ! ” This is fanaticism.

N. F.: 10-4-95 – Tomorrow I have a class at Miss Andrews’ of 40, W. 9th Street.

11-4-95 – I am going away to the country tomorrow to Mr. L – for a few days, A little fresh air will do me good, I hope.

Everyone of my friends thought it would end in nothing, this my living and preaching in poor quarters by all myself, and that no ladies would ever come here. Miss Hamlin especially thought that “ she ” or “her right sort of people” were way up from such things as to go and listen to a man who lives by himself in a poor lodging. But, the “right kind” came for all that, day and night, and she too. Lord ! how hard it is for man to believe in Thee and Thy mercies ! Shiva! Shiva!

24-4-95 – I am perfectly aware that although some truth underlies the mass of mystical thought which has burst upon the western world of late, it is for the most part full of motives unworthy or insane.

For this reason, I have never had anything to do with these phases of religion, either in India or elsewhere, and mystics as a class are not very favourable to me…

Only the Advaita philosophy can save mankind, whether in East or West, from “devil worship” and kindred superstitions, giving tone and strength to the very nature of man. India herself requires this, quite as much or even more than the West. Yet, it is hard uphill work, for we have first to create a taste, then teach, and lastly proceed to build up the whole fabric.

Perfect sincerity, holiness, gigantic intellect, and an all-conquering will—let only a handful of men work with these, and the whole world will be revolutionised. I did a good deal of platform work in this country last year, and received plenty of applause but found that I was only working for myself. It is the patient upbuilding of character, an intense struggle to realise truth, which alone will tell on the future of humanity. So this year I am hoping to work along this line—training up to practical Advaita realisation a small band of men and women. I do not know how far I shall succeed……I can teach, and preach, and sometimes write. But, I have intense faith in Truth. The Lord will send help and hands to work with me. Only let me be perfectly pure, perfectly sincere, and perfectly unselfish.

New York 25-4-95  The day before yesterday, I received a kind note from Miss F—including a cheque for a hundred dollars for the Barbar House lectures. She is coming to N. Y. next Saturday.

I have arranged to go to the Thousand Islands. There is a cottage belonging to Miss Dutcher, one of my students, and a few of us will be there on rest and peace and seclusion. I want to manufacture a few “Yogis” out of the materials of the classes.

New York: 5-5-95 -I always thought that although Prof. Max Muller in all his writings on the Hindu religion adds in the last a derogatory remark, he must see the whole truth in the long run…His last book “Vedantism”-there you will find him swallowing the whole of it: re-incarnation and all…it is only a part of what I have been telling…Many points smack of my paper in Chicago.

I am glad now the old man has seen the truth, because that is the only way to have religion in the face of modern research and science.

I know very little; that little I teach without reserve; where I am ignorant confess it and never am I so glad as when I find people being helped by Theosophists,

Christians, Mohammedans or any body in the world. I am a Sannyasin and as such I consider myself as a servant, not as a master in the world. If people love me, they are welcome; if they hate, then too are they welcome.

U.S.A.: 6-5-95-I did not come to seek name and fame, it was forced upon me…I am the one man who dared defend his country, and I have given them such ideas as they never expected from a Hindu. There are many who are against me, but I will never be a coward.

I have a firm footing in N. Y., and so my work will go on. I am taking several of my disciples to a summer retreat to finish their training in Yoga and Bhakti and Jnana.

New York: 7-5-95- I am going to have two public lectures more in N.Y., in the upper hall of Mott’s Memorial Building. The first one will be Monday next, on the Science of Religion; the next, on Rationale of Yoga.

The classes are going on and the attendance is large. But, I shall have to close them this week. I am rather busy just now in writing a promised article for the Press Association on Immortality.

New York: 1895 – I am now in New York City. The City is hot in summer, exactly like Calcutta. You perspire profusely, and there is not a breath of air. I made a tour in the north for a couple of months. I shall start for England.

N. Y. May: 95-My pupils have come round me with help and the classes will go on nicely now no doubt. I was so glad of it because teaching has become a part of my life, as necessary to my life as eating or breathing.

Those that are very emotional, no doubt, have their Kundalini rushing quickly upwards, but it is as quick to come down as to go up. And when it does come down, it leaves the devotee in a state of utter ruin. It is for this reason that Kirtans and other auxiliaries to emotional development have a great drawback. It is true that by dancing, jumping, etc. through a momentary impulse, that power is made to course upwards, but it is never enduring. On the contrary, when it traces back its course, it rouses virulent lust in the individual. Listening to my lectures in America, through temporary excitement many among the audience used to get into an ecstatic state, and some would even become motionless like statues, but on enquiry, I afterwards found that many of them had an excess of the carnal instinct immediately after that state. But this happens simply owing to a lack of steady practice in meditation and concentration.

New York: 28-5-95 – I have succeeded in doing something in this country at last.

June95: I am going today to live with the Guernseys as the doctor wants to watch me and cure me…

I will be in N. Y.a few days more. Helmer wants me to take three treatments a week for four weeks, then two a week for four more and I will be all right. In case I go to Boston, he recommends me to a very good ostad (expert) there whom he would advise on the matter.

New Hampshire7-6-95 I am here at last with Mr. Leggett. This is one of the most beautiful spots I have ever seen. Imagine a lake surrounded with hills covered with a huge forest, with nobody but ourselves. So lovely, so quiet, so restful! How glad I am to be here after the bustle of cities!

It gives me a new lease of life to be here. I go into the forest alone and read my Gita, and am quite happy. I will leave this place in about ten days and go to the Thousand Islands Park. I will meditate by the hour there, and be all alone to myself. The very idea is ennobling.

N. Y.June, 95-1 have just arrived home. The trip did me good, and, I enjoyed the country and the hills, and especially Mr. Leggett’s country-house in N. Y. State.

May the Lord bless Landsberg wherever he goes! He is one of the sincere souls I have had the privilege in this life to come across.

Just now I received a letter from an English gentleman in London who had lived in India in the Himalayas with two of my brethren. He asked me to come to London.

Percy N. H.: 17-6-95: ( on birch bark ) – Going tomorrow to the Thousand Island care Miss Dutcher’s, T. I. Park, N. Y. I have a chance of going to Europe in August.

New York: 22-6-95: I am going on pretty nearly in the same old fashion; talking when I can and silent when forced to be. I do not know whether I will go to Greenacre this summer. I saw Miss Farmer the other day…She is a noble, noble lady.

I am left alone. I am living mostly on nuts and fruits and milk, and find it very nice and healthy, too. I hope to lose about 30 to 40 lbs. this summer. That will be all right for my size. I am afraid I have forgotten all about Mrs. Adam’s lessons in walking. I will have to renew them when she comes again to N. Y.

This year, I could hardly keep my head up and I did not go about lecturing…I intend to write a book this summer on the Vedanta philosophy.

T. I. Park, N. Y. : 26-6-95 -In the articles by Prof. Max Muller on the “Immortality of the Soul, the old man has taken in Vedanta, bones and all, and has boldly come out…

I am asked again and again in the letters from India to go over. They are getting desperate. Now if I go to Europe. I will go as the guest of Mr. Francis Leggett of N. Y. He will travel all over Germany, England, France and Switzerland for six weeks. From there I shall go to India, or I may return to America. I have a seed planted here and wish it to grow. This winter’s work in N. Y. was splendid and it may die if I suddenly go to India; so I am not sure about going to India soon.

Nothing noticeable has happened during this visit to the Thousand Islands. The scenery is very beautiful and I have some of my friends here with me to talk about God and soul ad libitum… I am eating fruits and drinking milk and so forth, and studying huge Sanskrit books on Vedanta which they have kindly sent me from India…

My reply to Madras (address) has produced a tremendous effect there. ‘A late speech by the President of the Madras Christian College, Mr. Miller, embodies a large amount of my ideas, and declares that the West is in need of Hindu ideas of God and man, and calls upon the young men to go and preach to the West. This has created quite a furore, of course amongst the Missions…

9-7-95- I am a man of dogged perseverence. The more the Christian priests oppose me, the more I am determined to leave a permanent mark on their country.

I have already some friends in London. I am going there by the end of August.

Aug95 – My ideas are going to work in the West better than in India.

I am free, my bonds are cut, what care I where this body goes or does not go?… I have a truth to teach, I, the child of God. And, He, who gave me the truth will send me fellow-workers…

T. I. ParkN. Y. : I am enjoying this place immensely; very little eating, good deal of thinking and talking, and study. A wonderful calmness is coming over my soul. Every day I feel I have no duty to do; I am always in eternal rest and peace. It is He that works. We are only instruments. Blessed be His name I The threefold bondage of lust and gold and fame is as it were fallen from me for the time being, and once more even here, I feel what sometimes I felt in India : “From me all difference has fallen, all right or wrong, all delusion and ignorance has vanished, I am walking in the path beyond the qualities.” What law I obey, what disobey ?

From that height, the universe looks like a mudpuddle. Hari Om Tat Sat. He exists; nothing else does. I in Thee and Thou in me. Be Thou, Lord, my eternal refuge! Peace, Peace, Peace!

N. Y. : 2-8-95 – I am going to Paris first with a friend and start for Europe on the 17th of Aug. I will, however, remain in Paris only a week…and then I go over to London.

Some Theosophists came to my classess in N. Y., but as soon as human beings perceive the glory of the Vedanta, all abracadabras fall off themselves. This has been my uniform experience. Whenever mankind attains a higher vision, the lower vision disappears of itself. Multitude counts for nothing. A few heart-whole, sincere and energetic men can do more in a year than a mob in a century; if there is heat in one body, then those others that come near it must catch it. This is the law.

So success is ours, so long as we keep up the heat, the spirit of truth, sincerity and love. My own life has been a very chequered one, but I have always found the eternal words verified; “Truth alone triumphs, not untruth. Through Truth, alone, lies the way of God.”

New York: 9-8-95 – The names of those who will wish to injure us will be legion. But is that not the surest sign of our having the truth? The more I have been opposed, the more my energy has always found expression; I have been driven and worshipped by princes. I have been slandered by priests and laymen alike. But, what of it? , Bless them all! They are my very Self and have they not helped me by acting as a spring board from which my energy could take higher and higher flights?

I have discovered one great secret — I have nothing to fear from talkers of religion.

N.Y. Aug. 95 – The work here is going on splendidly. I have been working incessantly at two classes a day since my arrival. Tomorrow I go out of town with Mr. Leggett for a week’s holiday. Madame Antoinettee Sterling, one of the great (English) singers is very much interested in the work. I have made over all the secular part of the work to a committee and am free from all that botheration. I have no aptitude for organising. It nearly breaks me to pieces.

I have now taken up the Yoga Sutras, and take them up one by one and go through all the commentators along with them. These talks are all taken down, and when completed will form the fullest annotated translation of Patanjali in English.

T.I. ParkAug. 95 – I am going by the end of Aug. with Mr. Leggett to Paris, and then I go to London.

The older I grow the more I see behind the idea of Hindus, that man is the greatest of all beings.

Paris: 5-9-95 – I have a cordial invitation from Miss Muller… I was very ill for a few days.

9-9-95 – I am going to London tomorrow.

ENGLAND

ReadingEnglandSept. 95 – I arrived safely in London; found my friend (Mr. E.T. Sturdy) and am all right in his home. It is beautiful. His wife is surely an angel, and his life is full of India. He has been years there — mixing with the Sannyasins, eating their food, etc. etc.; so, I am very happy. I found already several retired Generals from India; they were very civil and polite to me.

That wonderful knowledge of the Americans that identify every black man with the negro is entirely absent here, and nobody even stares at me in the streets…

I am very much more at home here than anywhere out of India.-.

My friend being a Sanskrit scholar, we are busy working on the great commentaries of Shankara, etc. I am going to try to get up classes in October in London.

It is taught in the West that society began 1800 years ago, with the New Testament. Before that there was no society. That may be true with regard to the West, but it is not true as regards the whole world.

Often, while I was lecturing in London, a very intellectual and intelligent friend of mine would argue with me, and one day after using all his weapons against me, he suddenly exclaimed, “But why did not your Rishis come to England to teach us?” I replied, “Because there was no England to come to. Would they preach to the forests?”

Saversham (England): 4-10-95 – I am now in England. Mr. Sturdy has taken invitation from me, and is a very enterprising and good man.

Reading (EnglandOct. 95 – Mr. Sturdy is known to Tarakda (Shivananda). Wc are both trying to create a stir in England. I shall this year leave again in November for America.

4-10-95 – He (Sri Ramakrishna) is protecting us, forsooth – I see it before my eyes. Is it through my own strength that beauty like that of fairies, and hundreds of thousands of rupees, lose their attraction and appear as nothing to me? Or is it he who is protecting me?

6-10-95 – This month I am going to give two lectures in London and one in Maidenhead.

23-10-95 I delivered a lecture (“Self-knowledge”) last night at 8-30 P.M. in the Princes Hall (Piccadilly) London.

Whatever in my teaching may appeal to the highest intelligence and be accepted by thinking men, the adoption of that will be my reward.

All religions have for their object the teaching either of devotion, knowledge or Yoga, in a concrete form. Now, the philosophy of Vedanta is the abstract science which embraces all these methods, and this is that I teach leaving each one to apply it to his own concrete form. I refer each individual to his own experiences, and where reference is made to books the latter are procurable, and may be studied by each one for himself. Above all, I teach no authority proceeding from hidden beings, speaking through visible agents, any more than I claim learning from hidden books or manuscripts. I am the exponent of no occult societies, nor do I believe that good can come of such bodies.

I teach only the self, hidden in the heart of every individual and common to all.

I propound a philosophy which can serve as a basis to every possible religious system in the world, and my attitude towards all of them is one of extreme sympathy-my teaching is antagonistic to none. I direct my attention to the individual, to make him strong, to teach him that he himself is divine, and I call upon men to make themselves conscious of this divinity within.

Caversham {Eng): 1895  I have to work day and night, and am always whirling from place to place besides. By the end of next week I shall go to America.

Eng95 – One must prevail over these people by dint of learning, or one will be blown off at a puff. They understand neither Sadhus nor your Sannyasins nor the spirit of renunciation. What they do understand is the vastness of learning, the display of eloquence and tremendous activity.

London 24-10-95- I have already delivered my first address. It has been well received by the ‘Standard’ ,one of the most influential conservative papers.

Chelsea (Eng): 31-10-95  Two American ladies, mother and daughter, Mrs. and Miss Netter, living in London came to the class last night. They were very sympathetic, of course. The class there at Mr. Chamier’s is finished.

I shall begin at my lodgings from Saturday night next. I expect to have a pretty good-sized room or two for my classes. I have been also invited to Moncure

Conway’s Society, where I speak on the 10th. I shall have a lecture in the Balboa Society next Tuesday. The Lord will help.

London 18-11-95 – In England my work is really splendid. I am astonished myself at it…Bands and bands come and I have no room for so many; so they squat on the floor, ladies and all.

I am really tired from incessant work. Any other Hindu would have died if he had to work as hard as I have to.

21-11-95 – I sail by the ‘Britannia’on Wednesday, the 27th. My work so far has been very satisfactory here.

R.M.S. “Britannia” (on the way back to America) So far the journey has been very beautiful. The Purser has been very kind to me and gave me a cabin to myself. The only difficulty is the food…Today, they have promised to give me some vegetables. We are standing at anchor now. The fog is too thick to allow the ship to proceed. It is a queer fog almost impenetrable, though the sun is shinging bright and cheerful.

A great number of people sympathised with me in America – much more than in England. Vituperation by the low cast missionaries made my cause succeed better. I had no money, the people of India having given me my bare passage-money, which was spent in a very short time. I had to live on the charity of individuals.

In England, there was not one missionary or anybody who said anything against me; not one who tried to make a scandal about me. To my astonishment, many of my friends belong to the Church of England.

BACK TO U.S.A.

3-12-95  (U.S.A.) – I find I have a mission in this country also (U.S.A.).

I have a message to the West as Buddha had a message to the East.

My ideal indeed can be put into a few words, that is, to preach unto mankind their divinity and how to make it manifest in every moment of life.

This world is in chains of superstition. I pity the oppressed, whether man or woman, and I pity the oppressors more.

The world is burning with misery. Can we sleep? Let us call and call till the sleeping gods awake, till the God within answers to the call. What more is in life? What greater work? The details come to me as I go. I never make plans. Plans grow and work themselves and I only say, awake, awake!

Yes, Buddha taught that the many were real and the One unreal, while orthodox Hinduism regards the One as the Real, and the many as unreal; and what Ramakri-shna Paramhamsa and I have added to this is that the Many and the One are the same Reality, perceived by same mind at different times and in different attitudes.

Ingersoll once said to me: “I believe in making the most out of this world, in squeezing the orange dry, because this world is all we are sure of.” I replied, “I know a better way to sqeeze the orange of this world than you do, and I get more out of it. I know I cannot die, so I am not in a hurry; I know there is no fear, so I enjoy the squeezing. I have no duty, no bondage of wife and children and property; I can love all men and women. Everyone is God to me. Think of the joy of loving man as God! Squeeze your orange this way and get ten-thousand fold more out of it. Get every single drop.”

That knowledge of answering other’s question before their vocal expression does not happen to me so often, but with Sri Ramakrishna it was almost always there.

New York: 8-12-95 – After ten days of a most tedious and rough voyage, I safely arrived in New York. For the first time in my life, I was badly sea-sick. My friends had already engaged some rooms, where I am living now, and intend to hold classes ere long. In the meanwhile, the T-s have been alarmed very much and are trying their best to hurt me; but they and their followers are of no consequence whatever.

I went to see Mrs. Leggett and other friends and they are as kind and enthusiastic as ever.

After the clean and beautiful cities of Europe, New York appears dirty and miserable. I am going to begin work next Monday…Saw Mrs. and Mr. Solomon and other friends. By chance met Mrs. Peak at Mrs. Guernsey’s but yet have no news of Mrs. Rothinburger. Going to Ridley this Christmas.

N.Y.: 10-12-95 – This month, notices are out for the four Sunday lectures. The lectures for the first week of Feb. in Brooklyn are being arranged by Dr. Janes and others.

N, Y.: 16-12-95 -The classes I bad here were six in the week, besides a question class. The general attendance varies between 70 to 120. Besides, every Sunday I have a public lecture. The last month my lectures were in a small hall holding about 600. But 900 will come as a rule, 300 standing, and about 330 going off, not finding room. This week, thereore, I have a bigger hall, with a capacity of holding 1200 people.

There is no admission charge in these lectures, but a collection covers the rent. The newspapers have taken me up this week and altogether I have stirred up New York considerably this year. If I could have remained here this summer and organised a summer place, the work would have been going on sure foundations here. But as I intend to go over in May to England, I shall have to leave it unfinished.

I am afraid my health is breaking down under constant work. I want some rest. The Brahmavadin is going on here very satisfactorily. I have begun to write articles on Bhakti…Some friends here are publishing my Sunday lectures.

Next month I go to Detroit, then to Boston, and Harvard University, then I shall have rest, and then I go to England.

New York 23-12-95 – I have a strong hatred for child-marriage, I have suffered terribly from it and it is the great sin for which our nation has to suffer. As such I would hate myself if I help such a diabolical custom directly or indirectly…This world is broad enough for me. There will always be a corner found for me somewhere. If the people of India do not like me, there will be others who do. I must set my foot to the best of my ability upon this devilish custom of child-marriage…I am sorry, very sorry. I cannot have anything to do with such things as getting husbands for babies. Lord help me, I never had and never will have…I can kill the man who gets a husband for a baby…I want bold, daring, adventurous spirits to help me. Else I will work alone. I have a mission to fulfil. I will work it out alone. I do not care who comes or who goes…I am pleased with myself for having tried my best to discharge the duties laid on me by my Guru; and well done or ill, I am glad that I have tried. I want no help from any human being in any country.

1896 – I got thoroughly used to the interviewer in America… There I was representative of the Hindu religion at the world’s Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893. The Raja of Mysore and some other friends sent me there. I think I may lay claim to having had some success in America. I had many invitations to other great America^cities besides Chicago. My visit was a very long one, for with the exception of a visit to England last summer, I remained about three years in America. The American civilsation is in my opinion a very great one. I find the American mind peculiarly susceptible to new ideas, nothing is rejected because it is examined on its own merits and stands or falls by these alone. It might convey a more definite idea to call it (my teaching) the kernel of all forms of religion, stripping from them the non-essential and laying stress on that which is the real basis.

New York: 18 1-96 – I have begun my Sunday lectures here and also the classes. Both are very enthusiastically received. I make them all free and take up a collection to pay the hall etc. Last Sunday’s lecture was very much appreciated and is in the Press,

As my friends have engaged a Stenographer (Goodwin) all these class lessons and public lectures are taken down…

I have a chance of getting a piece of land in the country, and some buildings on it, plenty of trees and a river, to serve as a summer meditation resort. That, of course, requires a committee to look after it in my absence, also the handling of money and printing and other matters,

I have separated myself entirely from money questions, yet without it, the movement cannot go on. So necessarily I have to make over every thing executive to a commitee, which will look after these things in my absence.

U. S. A. : 17-2-96 – I have succeeded now in rousing the very heart of the American civilisation, New York, but it has been a terrific struggle.

People are now flocking to me. Hundreds have now become convinced that there are men who can really control their bodily desires.

N. Y. : 29-2-96 – One book, the Karma – Yoga, has been already published; the Raja-Yoga, a much bigger one, is in the course of publication; the Jnana-Yoga may be published later on. These will be popular bodks, the language being that of talk. The stenographer, who is an Englishman, named Goodwin, has become so interested in the work that I have now made him a Brahmachari, and he is going round with me.

N. Y. : 17-3-96 – I had a beautiful letter from Miss Muller, also one from Miss MacLeod; the Leggett Family has become very attached to me.

Boston23-3-96 – One of my new Sannyasins is indeed a woman. The others are men.

My success is due to my popular style-the greatness of a teacher consists in the simplicity of his language. My ideal of language is my Master’s language, most colloquial and yet most expressive. ^ _

I am glad that a good deal of lectures has been created by taking down stenographic notes of my literatures. Four books are ready.

Chicago6-4-96 – I have been suffering from slight fever for the last two days.

N. Y.: 14-4-96 – I am sailing for England tomorrow.

I sail on the White Star Line Germanic (tomorrow) at 12 noon.

SECOND VISIT TO ENGLAND

Reading (Eng.): 20-4-96 – The voyage has been pleasant and no sickness this time, I gave myself treatment to avoid it. I made quite a little run through Ireland and some of the old England towns and now am once more in Reading amidst Brahma, Maya, and Jiva, the individual and the universal soul, etc.

May 96London: In London once more. The eliminate now in England is nice and cool. We have fire in the grate.

I am having classes here just now. I begin Sunday lectures from next week. The classes are very big and are in the house. We have rented it for the season.

London 30-5-96 Day before yesterday, I had a fine meeting with Prof. Max Muller. He is a saintly man and looks like a young man in spite of seventy years, and his face is without a wrinkle. His reverence for Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is extreme.

And he has written an article on him in the Nineteenth Century. He asked me, “What are you doing to make him known to the world?” Ramakrishna has charmed him for years.

I am to begin from next Sunday my public lectures.

May96 – We have a whole house to ourselves this time. It is small but convenient, and in London they do not cost so much as in America. Some old friends are here, and Miss M. came over from the Continent. She is good as gold, and as kind as ever. We have a nice little family in the house, with another monk from India. I have had two classes already—they will go on for four or five months and after that to India I go.

This city of London is a sea of human heads—ten or fifteen Calcuttas put together.

56-96 – The Raja-Yoga book is going on splendidly Saradananda goes for the States soon.

The biggest guns of the English Church told me that I was putting Vedantism into the Bible.

Mrs. Besant is a very good woman. I lectured at her Lodge in London. I do not know personally much about her. That she is one of the most sincere of women, her greatest enemy will concede. She is considered to be the best speaker in England. She is a Sannyasini.

At first, I found myself in a critical position owing to the hostile attitude assumed against the people of this country (India) by those who went there (America) from India…At first, many fell foul of me, manufactured huge lies against me by saying that I was a fraud, that I had a harem of wives and half a regiment of children. But my experiences of these missionaries opened my eyes as to what they were capable of doing m the name ot religion. Missionaries were nowhere in England. None came to fight me. Mr. Lund went over to America to abuse me behind my back, but people would not listen to him. I was very popular with them. When I came back to England, I thought this missionary would be at me, but Truth silenced him. They (the English Church people) greatly sympathised with me. I was agreeably surprised to find that the English clergymen, though they differed from me, did not abuse me behind my back and stab in the dark.

When I first lectured in England, I had a little class of twenty or thirty, which was kept going when I left, and when I came back from America, I could get an audience of one thousand. In America, I could get a much bigger one, as I spent three years in America.

June, 6, 96 – What an extraordinary man is Prof. Max Muller! I paid a visit to him a few days ago. The Professor was first induced to inquire about the power, which led to sudden and momentous changes in the life of the late Keshab Chandra Sen, the great Brahmo leader; and since then, he has been an earnest student and admirer of the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.

“Ramakrishna is worshipped by thousands today, Professor” I said. “To whom else shall worship be accorded if not to such?” was the answer. The Professor was:kindness itself, and asked Mr. Sturdy, and myself to lunch with him. He showed us several colleges in Oxford, and the Bodlein library. He also accompanied us to the railway station and all this he did because as he said, “It is not everyday one meets a disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.”

The visit was really a revelation to me. That nice little house in its setting of a beautiful garden, the silver headed sage, with a face calm and benign, and forehead smooth as a child’s in spite of seventy winters, and every line in that face speaking of a deep-seated mine of spirituality somewhere behind; that noble wife, the ‘helpmate of his life through his long and arduous task of exciting interest, overriding Opposition and contempt, and at last creating a respect for the thoughts of the sages of ancient India-the trees, the flowers, the calmness, and the clear sky-all these sent me back in imagination to the glorious days of ancient India, the days of our Brahmarshis and Rajarshis, the days of the great Vanaprasthis, the days of Arundhatis and Vasishthas.

It was neither the philologist nor the scholar that I saw, but a soul that is every day realising its oneness with Brahman, a heart that is every moment expanding to reach oneness with the universal. Where others lose themselves in the desert of dry details, he has struck the well-spring of life. Indeed his heart-beats have caught the rhythm of the Upanishads “Know the Atman alone, and leave off all other talk.”

And what love he bears towards India ! I wish I had a hundredth part of that love for my own motherland!

Max Muller is a Vedantist of Vedantists.

“When are you coming to India ? Every heart there would welcome one who has done so much to place the thoughts of their ancestors in the true light,” I said.

The face of the aged sage brightened up—there was almost a tear in his eye, a gentle nodding of the head, and slowly the words came out—“I would not return then; you would have to cremate me there.” Further questions seemed an unwarrantable intrusion into realms wherein are stored the holy secrets of man’s heart.

There are certain great souls in the West who sincerely desire the good of India, but I am not aware whether Europe can point out another well-wisher of India, who feels more for India’s well-being than Prof. Max Muller.

My impression is that it is Sayana who is born again as Max Muller to revive his own commentary on the Vedas! I have had this notion for long. It became confirmed in my mind, it seems, after I had seen Max Muller. What a deep-and unfathomable respect for Sri

Ramakrishna! He believes in his Divine Incarnation! What hospitality towards me when I was his guest. Seeing the old man and his lady, it seemed to me that they were living their home-life like another Vasishtha and Arundhati! At the time of parting with me, tears came into the eyes of the old man.

One who is the commentator of the Vedas, the shining embodiment of knowledge—what are Varnashrama and caste to him? To him they are wholly meaningless, and he can assume human birth wherever he likes for doing good to mankind. Specially, if he did not choose to be born in a land which excelled both in learning and wealth, where would he secure the large expenses for publishing such stupendous volumes? The East India Company paid nine lakhs of rupees in cash to have the Rig-Veda published! Even this money was not enough. Hundreds of Vedic Pandits had to be employed in this country (India) on monthly stipends. Has anybody seen in this age, here in this country, such profound yearning for knowledge, such prodigious investment of money for the sake of light and learning ?

Max Muller himself has written it in his preface that in twenty five years, he prepared only the manuscripts. Then the printing took another twenty years! It is not J possible for an ordinary man to drudge for forty five years of his life with one publication. Just think of it! Is it an idle fancy of mine to say he is Sayana himself ?

It was Sankaracharya who first found out the idea of the identity of time, space and causation with Maya, and I had the good fortune to find one or two passages

in Sankara’s commentaries and send them to my friend, Professor Max Muller.

That Advaitism is the highest discovery in the domain of religion, the Professor has many times publicly admitted.

Perhaps his previous birth was in India; and lest by coming to India, the old frame should break down under the violent rush of a suddenly aroused mass of past recollections—is the fear in his mind that now stands foremost in the way of his visit to this country (India). It is not a fact that the Professor is an utter disbeliever in such subtle subjects as the mysterious psychic powers of the Yogis.

Prof. Max Muller presented Sri Ramakrishna’s life to the learned European public in an article entitled “A Real Mahatman” which appeared in the Nineteenth Century in its August number, 1896.

Subsequently, he has published the book—Ramakrishna, His Life and Sayings.

The greater portion of the book has been devoted to the collection of the sayings, rather than to the life itself. That those sayings have attracted the attention of many of the English-speaking readers throughout the world, can be easily inferred from the rapid sale of the book. The sayings falling direct from his holy lips are impregnate with the strongest spiritual force and power and therefore they will surely exert their divine influence in every part of the world.

London : 24-6-96- Next month I go to Switzerland to pass a month or two there, then I shall return to London.

London 6-7-96 -The Sunday lectures were quite successful. So were the classes. The season has ended, and I too am thoroughly exhausted.

London 7-7-96  The work here progressed wonderfully. I had one monk here from India. I have sent him to the U.S.A. and sent for another from India. The season is closed, the classes, therefore, and the Sunday lectures are to be closed on the 16th next. And on the 19th, I go for a month or so for quiet and rest in the Swiss Mountains to return next autumn to London and begin again. The work here has been very satisfactory. By rousing interest here, I really do more for India than in India… Later on, towards the end of the winter, I expect to go to India with some English friends who are going to live in my monastery there, which, by the way, is in the air yet. It is struggling to materialize somewhere in the Himalayas.

London: 8-7-96  In three minutes’ time, the other evening, my class raised £ 150/- for the new quarters for next autumn’s work.

England 14-7-96 -I am going to Switzerland next Sunday.

SWITZERLAND

Switzerland 25-7-96 – I want to forget the world entirely at least for the next two months. The mountains and snow have a beautifully quieting influence on me, and I am getting better sleep here than for a long time.

I am reading a little, starving a good deal, and practising a good deal more. The strolls in the woods are simply delicious. We are now situated under three huge glaciers, and the scenery is very beautiful.

Whatever scruples I may have had as to the Swiss lake origin of the Aryans, have been taken clean off my mind.

5-8-96  A letter came this morning from Prof. Max Muller telling me that the article on Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa has been published in the Nineteenth Century,August number.

He asked my opinion about it…He promises a good deal of help.

8-8-96  Mrs. Annie Besant invited me to speak at her Lodge on Bhakti. I lectured there one night. Col. Olcott also was there. I did it to show my sympathy for all sects.

Max Muller writes me a long and nice letter offering to write a book on Sri Ramakrishna. I have already supplied him with much material.

I am now taking rest. I am much refreshed now. I look out of the window and see the huge glaciers just before me, and feel that I am in the Himalayas. I am quite calm. My nerves have regained their accustomed strength and little vexations do not touch me at all. How shall I be disturbed by this child’s play ? The whole world is a mere child’s play—preaching, teaching, and all included. And what is there to be desired in this little muddle – puddle of a world, with its ever – recurring misery, disease and death?

This rest, eternal, peaceful rest, I am catching a glimpse of now in this beautiful spot. “Having once known that the Atman alone and nothing else exists, desiring what or for whose welfare, shall you suffermisery about the body ?”

Miss Muller thinks that she will go away very soon to England. In that case, I will not be able to go to Berne, for that Purity Congress I have promised. Only if the Seviers consent to take me along I will go to Kiel. The Seviers are good and kind, but I have no right to take advantage of their generosity, nor of Miss Muller as the expenses there are frightful. As such, I think it best to give up the Berne Congress, as it will come in the middle of September, a long way off. I am thinking, therefore, of going towards Germany ending in Kiel, and thence back to England.

Miss Muller telegraphed to Prof. Deussen last night; the reply came this morning, 9th Aug., welcoming me; I am to be in Kiel at Deussen’s on the 10th September. I am going with the Seviers to Kiel.

I have not fixed yet anything about the lecture. I have no time to read.

Stvitz : 12-8-96 – I haven’t yet written anything nor read anything. I am indeed taking a good rest. I had a letter from the Math stating that the other Swami is ready to start. He will, I am sure, be just the man. He is one of the best Sanskrit scholars we have……I have a number of newspaper cuttings from America about Saradananda—I hear from them that he has done very well there.

Aug1896  I went to the glacier of Monte Rosa yesterday and gathered a few hardy flowers growing almost in the midst of eternal snow.

23-8-96  I am at present travelling in Switzerland, and shall soon go to Germany, to see Professor Deussen. I shall return to England from there about the 23rd or 24th September and the next winter will find me back in my country.

Saradananda and Goodwin are doing good work in the U.S. I have sent for another man from India who will join me next month. I have begun the work, let others work it out.

I have seen Professors of Sanskrit in America and in Europe. Some of them are very sympathetic towards Vedantic thought. I admire their intellectual acumen and their lives of unselfish labour. But, Paul Deussen, who is the professor of Philosophy in the University of I Kiel, and the veteran Max Muller have impressed me, as \ the truest friends of India and Indian thought. It will always be among the most pleasing episodes in my life— my first visit to this ardent Vedantist at Kiel, his gentle wife who travelled with him in India, and his little daughter, the darling of his heart—and our travelling together through Germany and Holland to London, and the pleasant meetings we had in London.

The Hindus visiting foreign countries take with them Ganges water and the Gita……First time when I went to the West, I also took a little of it with me, thinking it might be needed, and whenever opportunity occurred I used to drink a few drops of it. And every time I drank, in the midst of the stream of humanity, amid that bustle of civilisation, that hurry of frenzied footsteps of millions of men and women in the West, the mind at once became calm and still, as it were. That stream of men, that intense activity of the West, that clash and competition at every step, those seats of luxury and celestial opulence—Paris, London, New York, Berlin, Rome—all would disappear and I used to hear that wonderful sound of “Hara, Hara,”

26-8-96 – I have been doing a great deal of mountain climbing and glacier-crossing in the Alps. Now I am going to Germany, I have an invitation from Prof. Deussen to visit him at Kiel.

Kiel: 10-9-96-I have at last seen Prof. Deussen… the whole of yesterday was spent very nicely with the Professor, sightseeing and discussing Vedanta—He is what I should call “a warring Advaitisic.”

BACK TO ENGLAND

London: 17-9-96 -Today I reached London, after my two months of climbing and walking and glacier seeing in Switzerland. One good it has done me-a few pounds of unnecessary adipose tissue have returned to the gaseous state!

I had a pleasant visit from Prof. Deussen in Germany, the greatest living German Philosopher. He and I travelled together to England, and today came together to see my friend here with whom I am to stop for the rest of my stay in England. I shall work for a few weeks, and then go back to India in the winter.

My natural tendency is to go into a cave, and be quiet, but a fate behind pushes me forward and I go. Who ever could resist fate ?

I now live mostly on fruits and nuts, they seem to agree with me well. I have lost a good deal of my fat, but on days I lecture, I have to go on solid food.

I met Madam S- in the street today. She does not come any more to my lectures. Good for her. Too much of philosophy is not good !

The lady who used to come to every meeting too late to hear a word, but buttonholed me immediately after and kept me talking, till a battle of Waterloo would be raging in my internal economy through hunger. She came. They are all coming and more. That is cheering.

We have a hall now; a pretty big one holding about two hundred or more. There is a big corner which will be fitted up as a library. I have another man from India now to help me.

Wimbledon: 8-10-96- The London classes were resumed, and today is the opening lecture.

London: 28-10-96 -The new Swami(Abhedananda) delivered his maiden speech yesterday at a friendly society’s meeting. It was good and I liked it; he has the making of a good speaker in’ him, I am sure.

Goodwin is going to become a Sannyasin. It is to him that we owe all my books. He is a strict vegetarian. He took shorthand notes, of my lectures, which enabled the books to be published.

London: 13-11-96 – I am very soon starting for India, most probably on the 16th of Dec. The first edition of Raja-Yoga is sold out, and there is standing order for several hundreds more.

28-11-96 ” The work in London has been a roaring success. Capt. and Mrs. Sevier and Mr. Goodwin are going to India with me to work and spend their own money on it!

I am going to start a centre in Calcutta and another in the Himalayas. The Himalayan one will be an entire hill about 7000 ft. high, cool in summer, cold in winter. Capt. and Mrs. Sevier will live there.

People there in the West think that the more a man is religious, the more demure he must be in his outward bearing,—no word about anything else from his lips! As the priests in the West would on the one hand be‘struck with wonder at my liberal religious discourses, they would be as much puzzled on the other hand when they found me after such discourses, talking frivolities with my friends. Sometimes, they would speak out to my face : t4Swami, you are a priest, you should not be joking and laughing in this way like ordinary man. Such levity does not look well in you.” To which I would reply : “We are children of Bliss; why should we look morose and sombre?” But, I doubt if they could rightly catch the drift of my words.

I had to work till I am at death’s door and had to spend nearly the whole of that energy in America, so that the Americans might learn to be broader and more spiritual. In England, I worked only six months. There was not a breath of scandal save one, and that was the working of an American woman, which greatly relieved my English friends,—not only no attacks, but many of the best English Church clergymen became my firm friends, and without asking I got much help for my work.

Feb97 – From first to last, it (my first experience of America) was very good.

I have a good many disciples in the West,—may be more than two or three thousands. And they are all initiated with Mantras. I gave them permission to utter  Pranava (Om). My disciples are all Brahmanas !

I call them Brahmanas who are sattwika by nature.

I have visited a good deal of Europe, including Germany and France, but England and America were the chief centres of my work.

All the social upheavalists (in America and England), at least leaders of them, are trying to find that all their communistic or equalising theories must have a spiritual basis, and that spiritual basis is in the Vedanta only. I have been told by several leaders who used to attend my lectures, that they required the Vedanta as the basis of the new order of things.

Many times, I was near being mobbed in America and England, only on account of my dress. But, I never heard of such a thing in India as a man being mobbed because of peculiar dress.

I have experienced even in my insignificant life that good motives, sincerity and infinite love can conquer the world.

I cannot but believe that there is somewhere a great Power that thinks of Herself as feminine, and is called Kali, and Mother.• -and I believe in Brahman, too…

The older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my new gospel.

I have been asked many times : “Why do you laugh so much and make so many jokes?” I become serious sometimes, when I have stomach-ache ! The Lord is all blissfulness. He is the reality behind all that exists; He is the Goodness, the Truth in everything. You are His incarnations. That is what is glorious. The nearer you are to Him, the less you will have occasion to cry or weep. The farther we are from Him, the more will long faces appear. The more we know of Him, the more misery vanishes. If one who lives in the Lord becomes miserable, what is the use of living in Him? What is the use of such a God ?

 

Weep and pray to God. “ O, God, reveal thyself to me. Keep my mind away from lust and gold.M And dive deep. Can a man find pearls by floating or swimming on the surface.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA.

Then only will India awake, when hundreds of large hearted men and women, giving up all desires of enjoying the luxurious life, will long and exert themselves to their utmost for the well-being of the millions of their countrymen.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA.

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