To Swami Shivananda
DEAR SHIVANANDA, (This address was written in English.)
I haven’t received any word of your arrival yet. I heard that Alasinga has gone there with his relations by way of Jaipur. We stayed at the Binsar Dak Bungalow [rest-house] for two or three days, and then I left for Shyamdhura. At this, Miss [Henrietta] Müller got infuriated and left for Almora. Terribly upset, Miss Müller accused Shivananda of telling her first that I shall live with a friend as his guest and of renting later such a big house for the season at 80 rupees without consulting her. Very cross with everybody, she has been reproving one and all but has cooled down a little when I said I would pay half of the rent. . . .
Shashi himself [Swami Ramakrishnananda] should handle the entire amount of 100 rupees which the Raja of Ramnad is donating (every month); he should send a detailed account of the monthly income and expenditure to the Math — otherwise there won’t be any check. Advise him to spend as little as necessary on Thakur’s* worship, for the money is [primarily] “for propagation of Truth”. (
The phrase “for propagation of Truth” was written in English.)
In case Gupta [Swami Sadananda] has lost his mental balance, ask him to come to Almora — but only when the boy selected for Shashi reaches there. I received a letter from R. A. [Rajam Aiyer?]. The money he sent has reached the Math. I have received two volumes of Ramanuja’s commentary. Advise him to send me the third. Ask G. G. [Narasimhachari] to send me similar commentaries by Madhva and others, if he can.
A public meeting will have to be organized at Madras to present an address of welcome to the Raja [Ajit Singh] of Khetri and to Pratap Singh of Jodhpur for their boldness in visiting England as well as for representing their principalities in India in the Jubilee celebration. This has to be done on their return to India, but for that you have to endeavour from now on. Please go to Colombo and arrange a similar public meeting there.
Give my love to Kidi [Singaravelu Mudaliar] and Doctor [Nanjunda Rao]; ask Kidi why he hasn’t written to me. What is wrong with him? Has he lost his devotion? Bear this in mind that you should not assume a teacher’s place in the beginning. Do all your work with humility; otherwise everything will crumble to pieces. Please see that there is no opposition, criticism or obstacles to Shashi’s work in Madras, for everybody should obey him — whoever may be in charge of a particular centre. If Shashi goes to Ceylon, he will have to obey your authority, etc. Make sure that every centre sends a weekly report to the Math. I have not seen a single one from Shashi yet. “O Rama! How hard it is to turn a donkey into a horse, even by beating!”
Above all “obedience” and “esprit de corps”. The work cannot succeed unless there is perfect obedience to the authority of the Order and sacrifice of individual views for the sake of the Order. Trinair gunatvam âpannair badhyante mattadantinah — “Blades of grass woven into a rope can restrain even mad elephants”.
With love to Sashi and Gupta,*
*The French Phrase esprit de corps means “the spirit of loyalty”.