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Saturday, June 24th 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
[Letter to Raja of Khetri]
 
THE MATH,
ALAMBAZAR(?),
 
14th June, 1899.
 
MY DEAR FRIEND,
 
     I want your Highness in that fashion as I am here, you need most of friendship and love just now.
 
     I wrote you a letter a few weeks ago but could not get news of yours.  Hope you are in splendid health now.  I am starting for England again on the 20th this month.
 
     I hope also to benefit somewhat by this sea-voyage.
 
     May you be protected from all dangers and may all blessings ever attend you!
 
I am yours in the Lord,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
PS.  To Jagamohan my love and good-bye.
 
 
 
=======================================
 
 
 
RIDGELY,
 
2nd September, 1899.
 
DEAR —,
     ...Life is a series of fights and disillusionments. ...The secret of life is not enjoyment, but education through experience.  
 
But, alas, we are called off the moment we begin really to learn.  That seems to be a potent argument for a future existence. 
 
...Everywhere it is better to have a whirlwind come over the work.  That clears the atmosphere and gives us a true insight into the nature of things.  
 
t is begun anew, but on adamantine foundations....
 
Yours with best wishes,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
 
 
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Friday, June 23rd 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
[Letter to Miss Josephine MacLeod]
 
THE MATH, BELUR,
HOWRAH, BENGAL,
 
2nd February, 1899.
 
MY DEAR JOE,
 
     You must have reached N.Y. by this time and are in the midst of your own after a long absence.  Fortune has favoured you at every step of this journey—even the sea was smooth and calm, and the ship nearly empty of undesirable company.  Well, with me it is doing otherwise.  
 
I am almost desperate I could not accompany you.  Neither did the change at Vaidyanath do me any good.  I nearly died there, was suffocating for eight days and nights!!  
 
I was brought back to Calcutta more dead than alive, and here I am struggling to get back to life again.
 
     Dr. Sarkar is treating me now.
 
     I am not so despondent now as I was.  I am reconciled to my fate.  This year seems to be very hard for us.  Yogananda, who used to live in Mother's house, is suffering for the last month and every day is at death's door.  
 
Mother knows best, I am roused to work again, though not personally but am sending the boys all over India to make a stir once more.  Above all, as you know, the chief difficulty is of funds.  Now that you are in America, Joe, try to raise some funds for our work over here.
 
     I hope to rally again by March, and by April I start for Europe.  Again Mother knows best.
 
     I have suffered mentally and physically all my life, but Mother's kindness has been immense.  The joy and blessings I had infinitely more than I deserve.  
 
And I am struggling not to fail Mother, but that she will always find me fighting, and my last breath will be on the battlefield.
 
     My best love and blessings for you ever and ever.
 
Ever yours in the Truth,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
 
 
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Thursday, June 22nd 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
[Letter to Maharaja of Khetri]
MATH, BELUR,
 
15th December, 1898.
 
YOUR HIGHNESS,
 
     Your very kind letter received with the order of 500 on Mr. Dulichand.  I am a little better now.  Don't know whether this improvement will continue or not.
 
     Are you to be in Calcutta this winter, as I hear?  Many Rajas are coming to pay their respects to the new Viceroy.  The Maharaja of Sikar is here, I learn from the papers already.
 
     Ever praying for you and yours,
 
Yours in the Lord,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
======================================== 
 
 
1899
 
[Letter to Shrimati Mrinalini Bose]
[Translated from Bengali]
DEOGHAR,
VAIDYANATH,
 
3rd January, 1899.
 
DEAR MOTHER,
 
     Some very important questions have been raised in your letter.  It is not possible to answer them fully in a short note, still I reply to them as briefly as possible.
 
    (1) Rishi, Muni, or God none has power to force an institution on society.  When the needs of the times press hard on it, society adopts certain customs for self-preservation.  Rishis have only recorded those customs.  As a man often resorts even to such means as are good for immediate self-protection but which are very injurious in the future, similarly society also not unfrequently saves itself for the time being, but these immediate means which contributed to its preservation turn out to be terrible in the long run.
 
     For example, take the prohibition of widow-marriage in our country.  Don't think that Rishis or wicked men introduced the law pertaining to it.  Notwithstanding the desire of men to keep women completely under their control, they never could succeed in introducing those laws without betaking themselves to the aid of a social necessity of the time.  Of this custom two points should be specially observed:
 
    (a) Widow-marriage takes place among the lower
      classes.
 
    (b) Among the higher classes the number of women
      is greater than that of men.
 
     Now, if it be the rule to marry every girl, it is difficult enough to get one husband apiece; then how to get, in succession, two or three for each?  Therefore has society put one party under disadvantage, i.e. it does not let her have a second husband, who has had one; if it did, one maid would have to go without a husband.  On the other hand, widow-marriage obtains in communities having a greater number of men than women, as in their case the objection stated above does not exist.  It is becoming more and more difficult in the West, too, for unmarried girls to get husbands.
 
     Similar is the case with the caste system and other social customs.
 
     So, if it be necessary to change any social custom the necessity underlying it should be found out first of all, and by altering it, the custom will die of itself.  Otherwise no good will be done by condemnation or praise.
 
    (2) Now the question is: Is it for the good of the public at large that social rules are framed or society is formed?  Many reply to this in the affirmative; some, again, may hold that it is not so.  Some men, being comparatively powerful, slowly bring all others under their control and by stratagem, force, or adroitness gain their own objects. If this be true, what can be the meaning of the statement that there is danger in giving liberty to the ignorant?  What, again, is the meaning of liberty?
 
     Liberty does not certainly mean the absence of obstacles in the path of misappropriation of wealth etc. by you and me, but it is our natural right to be allowed to use our own body, intelligence, or wealth according to our will, without doing any harm to others; and all the members of a society ought to have the same opportunity for obtaining wealth, education, or knowledge.  The second question is: Those who say that if the ignorant and the poor be given liberty, i.e. full right to their body, wealth, etc., and if their children have the same opportunity to better their condition and acquire knowledge as those of the rich and the highly situated, they would become perverse—do they say this for the good of society or blinded by their selfishness?  In England too I have heard, "Who will serve us if the lower classes get education?"
 
     For the luxury of a handful of the rich, let millions of men and women remain submerged in the hell of want and abysmal depth of ignorance, for if they get wealth and education, society will be upset!
 
     Who constitute society?  The millions or you, I and a few others of the upper classes?
 
     Again, even if the latter be true, what ground is there for our vanity that we lead others?  Are we omniscient?  [Sanskrit]—One should raise the self by the self-" Let each one work out one's own salvation. Freedom in all matters, i.e. advance towards Mukti is the worthiest gain of man. To advance onself towards freedom—physical, mental, and spiritual—and help others to do so, is the supreme prize of man.  Those social rules which stand in the way of the unfoldment of this freedom are injurious, and steps should be taken to destroy them speedily.  Those institutions should be encouraged by which men advance in the path of freedom.
 
     That in this life we feel a deep love at first sight towards a particular person who may not be endowed with extraordinary qualities, is explained by the thinkers of our country as due to the associations of a past incarnation.
 
     Your question regarding the will is very interesting: it is the subject to know.  The essence of all religions is the annihilation of desire, along with which comes, of a certainty, the annihilation of the will as well, for desire is only the name of a particular mode of the will.  Why, again, is this world?  Or why are these manifestations of the will?  Some religions hold that the evil will should be destroyed and not the good.  The denial of desire here would be compensated by enjoyments hereafter.  This reply does not of course satisfy the wise.  The Buddhists, on the other hand, say that desire is the cause of misery, its annihilation is quite desirable.  But like killing a man in the effort to kill the mosquito on his cheek, they have gone to the length of annihilating their own selves in their efforts to destroy misery according to the Buddhistic doctrine.
 
     The fact is, what we call will is an inferior modification of something higher.  Desirelessness means the disappearance of the inferior modification in the form of will and the appearance of that superior state.  That state is beyond the range of mind and intellect.  But though the look of the gold mohur is quite different from that of the rupee and the pice, yet as we know for certain that the gold mohur is greater than either, so, that highest state—Mukti, or Nirvana, call it what you like—though out of the reach of the mind and intellect, is greater than the will and all other powers.  It is no power, but power is its modification, therefore it is higher. Now you will see that the result of the proper exercise of the will, first with motive for an object and then without motive is that the will-power will attain a much higher state.
 
     In the preliminary state, the form of the Guru is to be meditated upon by the disciple.  Gradually it is to be merged in the Ishta.  By Ishta is meant the object of love and devotion. ...It is very difficult to superimpose divinity on man, but one is sure to succeed by repeated efforts. God is in every man, whether man knows it or not; your loving devotion is bound to call up the divinity in him.
 
Ever your well-wisher,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
 
 
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Wednesday, June 21st 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
[Letter to Maharaja of Khetri]
 
MATH, BELUR,
HOWRAH DIST.,
BENGAL,
 
26th October, 1898.
 
YOUR HIGHNESS,
 
     I am very very anxious about your health.  I had a great desire to look in on my way down, but my health failed completely, and I had to run down in all haste.  There is some disturbance with my heart, I am afraid.
 
     However I am very anxious to know about your health.  If you like I will come over to Khetri to see you.  I am praying day and night for your welfare. 
 
Do not lose heart if anything befalls, the "Mother" is your protection.  Write me all about yourself. ...How is the Kumar Saheb?
 
     With all love and everlasting blessings,
 
Ever yours in the Lord,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
 
===============================================
 
 
[Letter to Maharaja of Khetri]
 
THE MATH, BELUR,
HOWRAH DIST.,
 
November(?), 1898.
 
YOUR HIGHNESS,
 
     Very glad to learn that you and the Kumar are enjoying good health.  As for me, my heart has become very weak.  Change, I do not think, will do me any good, as for the last 14 years I do not remember to have stopped at one place for 3 months at a stretch.  On the other hand if by some chance I can live for months in one Place, I hope it will do me good.  
 
I do not mind this.  However, I feel that my work in this life is done.  Through good and evil, pain and pleasure, my life-boat has been dragged on.  The one great lesson I was taught is that life is misery, nothing but misery.  Mother knows what is best.  
 
Each one of us is in the hands of Karma; it works itself out—and no nay.  There is only one element in life Which is worth having at any cost, and it is love.  Love immense and infinite, broad as the sky and deep as the ocean—this is the one great gain in life.  
 
Blessed is he who gets it.
 
Ever yours in the Lord,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
 
 
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Tuesday, June 20th 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
[Letter to Maharaja of Khetri]
 
C/O RISIBAR MOOKERJEE,
CHIEF JUDGE,
KASHMIR,
 
17th September, 1898.
 
YOUR HIGHNESS,
 
     I have been very ill here for two weeks.  Now getting better.  I am in want of funds.  Though the American friends are doing everything they can to help me, I feel shame to beg from them all the time, especially as illness makes one incur contingent expenses.  
 
I have no shame to beg of one person in the world and that is yourself.  Whether you give or refuse, it is the same to me.  If possible send some money kindly.  How are you? I am going down by the middle of October.
 
     Very glad to learn from Jagamohan the complete recovery of the Kumar(Prince) Saheb.  Things are going on well with me; hoping it is the same with you.
 
Ever yours in the Lord,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
 
================================================
 
 
[Letter to Maharaja of Khetri]
 
LAHORE,
 
16th October 1898.
 
YOUR HIGHNESS,
 
     The letter that followed my wire gave the desired information: therefore I did not wire back about my health in reply to yours.
 
     This year I suffered much in Kashmir and am now recovered and going to Calcutta direct today.  For the last ten years or so I have not seen the Pujā of Shri Durga in Bengal which is the great affair there.  I hope this year to be present.
 
     The Western friends will come to see Jaipur in a week or two.  If Jagamohan be there, kindly instruct him to pay some attention to them and show them over the city and the old arts.
 
     I leave instructions with my brother Saradananda to write to Munshiji before they start for Jaipur.
 
     How are you and the Prince?  Ever as usual praying for your welfare,
 
I remain yours affectionately,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
 
     PS.  My future address is Math, Belur. Howrah Dist. Bengal.
 
 
 
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Monday, June 19th 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
[Letter to Mahendra Nath Gupta, author of the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna..]
 
DEHRA DUN,
 
24th November, 1897.
 
MY DEAR M.,
 
     Many many thanks for your second leaflet(leaves from the Gospel).  It is indeed wonderful.  The move is quite original, and never was the life of a great Teacher brought before the public, untarnished by the writer's mind, as you are presenting this one.  
 
The language also is beyond all praise, so fresh, so pointed, and withal so plain and easy.
 
     I cannot express in adequate terms how I have enjoyed the leaflets.  I am really in a transport when I read them.  Strange, isn't it?  
 
Our Teacher and Lord was so original, and each one of us will have to be original or nothing.  I now understand why none of us attempted his life before.  It has been reserved for you, this great work.  He is with you evidently.
 
     With all love and Namaskara,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
     PS.  The Socratic dialogues are Plato all over; you are entirely hidden.  Moreover, the dramatic part is infinitely beautiful. Everybody likes it here and in the West.
 
 
=================================================== 
 
 
1898
 
[Letter to Maharaja of Khetri]
ALMORA,
 
9th June, 1898.
 
YOUR HIGHNESS,
 
     Very sorry to learn that you are not in perfect health. Sure you will be in a few days.
 
     I am starting for Kashmir on Saturday next.  I have your letter of introduction to the Resident, but better still if you kindly drop a line to the Resident, telling him that you have already given an introduction to me.
 
     Will you kindly ask Jagamohan to write to the Dewan of Kishangarh reminding him of his promise to supply me with copies of Nimbârka Bhâshya on the Vyasa-Sutras and other Bhâshyas(commentaries) through his Pandits.
 
     With all love and blessings,
 
Yours,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
PS.  Poor Goodwill is dead.  Jagamohan knows him well.  I want a couple of tiger skins, if I can, to be sent to the Math as present to two European friends.  These seem to be most gratifying presents to Westerners.
 
 
 
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Sunday, June 18th 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
[Letter to Mrs. Leggett]

ALMORA,

28th July, 1897

MY DEAR MOTHER,

     Many many thanks for your beautiful and kind letter.  I wish I were in London to be able to accept the invitation with the Raja of Khetri.  I had a great many dinners to attend in London last season.  But it was fated not to be, and my health did not permit my going over with the Raja.  

So Alberta is once more at home in America.  I owe her a debt of gratitude for all she did for me in Rome.  How is Holli?  To both of them my love, and kiss the new baby for me, my youngest sister.

     I have been taking some rest in the Himalayas for nine months.  Now I am going down to the plains to be harnessed once more for work.

     To Frankincense and Joe Joe and Mabel my love, and so to you eternally.
Yours ever in the Lord,

VIVEKANANDA.
 
 
======================================
 

THE MATH,
BELUR,

11th August, 1897.

DEAR JOE,

     ...Well, the work of the Mother will not suffer; because it has been built and up to date maintained upon truth, sincerity, and purity. Absolute sincerity has been its watchword,

Yours with all love,

VIVEKANANDA
 
 
======================================
 

MURREE,

11th October, 1897.

MY DEAR JAGAMOHANLAL,

     ...Leave words when you start for Bombay to somebody to take care of three Sannyâsins I am sending to Jaipur.  Give them food and good lodging.  They will be there till I come.  

They are fellows—innocent, not learned.  They belong to me, and one is my Gurubhâi(brother-disciple). If they like, take them to Khetri where I will come soon.  I am travelling now quietly.  

I will not even lecture much this year.  I have no more faith in all this noise and humbug which brings no practical good.  I must make a silent attempt to start my institution in Calcutta; for that I am going to visit different centres quietly to collect funds.

Yours with blessings,

VIVEKANANDA
 






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Saturday, June 17th 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
[Letter to Miss Mary Hale]
 
ALMORA,
 
9th July, 1897.
 
DEAR SISTER,
 
     I am very sorry to read between the lines the desponding tone of your letter, and I understand the cause; thank you for your warning, I understand your motive perfectly. I had arranged to go with Ajit Singh to England; but the doctors not allowing, it fell through.  I shall be so happy to learn that Harriet has met him.  He will be only too glad to meet any of you.
 
     I had also a lot of cuttings from different American papers fearfully criticising my utterances about American women and furnishing me with the strange news that I had been outcasted!  As if I had any caste to lose, being a Sannyâsin!
 
     Not only no caste has been lost, but it has considerably Shattered the opposition to sea-voyage my going to the West.  If I should have to be outcasted, it would be with half the ruling princes of India and almost all of educated India.  On the other hand, a leading Raja of the caste to which I belonged before my entering the order got up a banquet in my honour, at which were most of the big bugs of that caste.  The Sannyâsins, on the other hand, may not dine with any one in India, as it would be beneath the dignity of gods to dine with mere mortals.  They are regarded as Nârâyanas, while the others are mere men. And dear Mary, these feet have been washed and wiped and worshipped by the descendants of kings, and there has been a progress through the country which none ever commanded in India.
 
     It will suffice to say that the police were necessary to keep order if I ventured out into the street!  That is outcasting indeed!  Of course, that took the starch out of the missionaries, and who are they here?—Nobodies.  We are in blissful ignorance of their existence all the time.  I had in a lecture said something about the missionaries and the origin of that species except the English Church gentlemen, and in that connection had to refer to the very churchy women of America and their power of inventing scandals.  
 
This the missionaries are parading as an attack on American women en masse to undo my work there, as they well know that anything said against themselves will rather please the U.S. people.  My dear Mary, supposing I had said all sorts of fearful things against the "Yanks"—would that be paying off a millionth part of what they say of our mothers and sisters?  "Neptune's waters" would be perfectly useless to wash off the hatred the Christian "Yanks" of both sexes bear to us "heathens of India"—and what harm have we done them?  Let the "Yanks" learn to be patient under criticism and then criticise others.  It is a well-known psychological fact that those who are ever ready to abuse others cannot bear the slightest touch of criticism from others.  
 
Then again, what do I owe them? Except your family, Mrs. Bull, the Leggetts, and a few other kind persons, who else has been kind to me?  Who came forward to help me work out my ideas?  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 may 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, and I am sure to get much more.  There is a society watching my work and getting help for it, and four respectable persons followed me to India to help my work, and dozens were ready, and the next time I go, hundreds will be.
 
     Dear, dear Mary, do not be afraid for me. ...The world is big, very big, and there must be some place for me even if the "Yankees" rage. Anyhow, I am quite satisfied with my work.  I never planned anything.  I have taken things as they came.  Only one idea was burning in my brain—to start the machine for elevating the Indian masses—and that I have succeeded in doing to a certain extent.  
 
It would have made your heart glad to see how my boys are working in the midst of famine and disease and misery—nursing by the mat-bed of the cholera-stricken Pariah and feeding the starving Chandâla—and the Lord sends help to me and to them all.  "What are men?" He is with me, the Beloved, He was when I was in America, in England, when I was roaming about unknown from place to place in India. What do I care about what they talk—the babies, they do not know any better.  What!  I, who have realised the Spirit and the vanity of all earthly nonsense, to be swerved from my path by babies' prattle!  Do I look like that?
 
     I had to talk a lot about myself because I owned that to you.  I feel my task is done—at most three or four years more of life are left.  I have lost all wish for my salvation.  I never wanted earthly enjoyments.  I must see my machine in strong working order, and then knowing sure that I have put in a lever for the good of humanity, in India at least, which no power can drive back, I will sleep, without caring what will be next; and may I be born again and again, and suffer thousands of miseries so that I may worship the only God that exists, the only God I believe in, the sum total of all souls— and above all, my God the wicked, my God the miserable, my God the poor of all races, of all species, is the special object of my worship.
 
     "He who is in you and is outside of you, who works through every hand, who walks through every foot, whose body you are.  Him worship, and break all other idols.
 
     "He who is the high and the low, the saint and the sinner, the god and the worm, Him worship, the visible, the knowable, the real, the omnipresent, break all other idols.
 
     "In whom there is neither past life nor future birth, nor death nor going or coming, in whom we always have been and always will be one. Him worship, break all other idols.
 
     "Ay, fools, neglecting the living Gods and His infinite reflection with which the world is full, and running after imaginary shadows! Him worship, the only visible, and break all other idols."
 
     My time is short.  I have got to unbreast whatever I have to say, without caring if it smarts some or irritates others.  Therefore, my dear Mary, do not be frightened at whatever drops from my lips, for the power behind me is not Vivekananda but He the Lord, and He knows best.  If I have to please the world, that will be injuring the world: the voice of the majority is wrong, seeing that they govern and make the sad state of the world.  Every new thought must create opposition—in the civilised a polite sneer, in the vulgar savage howls and filthy scandals.
 
     Even these earthworms must stand erect, even children must see light.  The Americans are drunk with new wine.  A hundred waves of prosperity have come and gone over my country.  We have learned the lesson which no child can yet understand.  It is vanity.  This hideous world is Mâyâ.  Renounce and be happy.  Give up the idea of sex and possessions.  There is no other bond.  Marriage and sex and money are the only living devils.  All earthly love proceeds from the body.  No sex, no possessions; as these fall off, the eyes open to spiritual vision.  The soul regains its own infinite power.  How I wish I were in England to see Harriet.  I have one wish left—to see you four sisters before I die, and that must happen,
 
Yours ever affly.,
 
VIVEKANANDA
 
 
 
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Friday, June 16th 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
[Letter to Sharat Chandra Chakravarty, a disciple of Swamiji]
[Translated from Sanskrit]
 
ALMORA,
 
3rd July, 1897.
 
     Constant salutation be to Shri Ramakrishna, the Free, the Ishvara, the Shiva-form, by whose power we and the whole world are blessed. Mayest thou live long, O Sharat Chandra!
 
     Those writers of Shastra who do not tend towards work say that all-powerful destiny prevails; but others who are workers consider the will of man as superior.  Knowing that the quarrel between those who believe in the human will as the remover of misery and others who rely on destiny is due to indiscrimination—try to ascend the highest peak of knowledge.
 
     It has been said that adversity is the touchstone of true knowledge, and this may be said a hundred times with regard to the truth: "Thou art That." This truly diagnoses the Vairâgya(dispassion) disease.  Blessed is the life of one who has developed this symptom. In spite of your dislike I repeat the old saying: "Wait for a short Time."  You are tired with rowing; rest on your oars.  The momentum will take the boat to the other side.  This has been said in the Gita(IV. 38), "In good time, having reached perfection in Yoga, one realises That in one's own heart;" and in the Upanishad, "Neither by rituals, nor by progeny, nor by riches, but by renunciation alone a few(rare) people attained immortality"(Kaivalya, 2).  
 
Here, by the word renunciation Vairâgya is referred to.  It may be of two kinds, with or without purpose. If the latter, none but worm-eaten brains will try for it.  But if the other is referred to, then renunciation would mean the withdrawal of the mind from other things and concentrating it on God or Âtman.  The Lord of all cannot be any particular individual.  He must be the sum total.  One possessing Vairâgya does not understand by Âtman the individual ego but the All-pervading Lord, residing as the Self and Internal Ruler in all.  He is perceivable by all as the sum total.  
 
This being so, as Jiva and Ishvara are in essence the same, serving the Jivas and loving God must mean one and the same thing.  Here is a peculiarity: when you serve a Jiva with the idea that he is a Jiva, it is Daya(compassion) and not Prema(love); but when you serve him with the idea that he is the Self, that is Prema.  That the Âtman is the one objective of love is known from Shruti, Smriti, and direct perception.  Bhagavan Chaitanya was right, therefore, when he said.  "Love to God and compassion to the Jivas".  This conclusion of the Bhagavan, intimating differentiation between Jiva and Ishvara, was right, as He was a dualist.  But for us, Advaitists, this notion of Jiva as distinct from God is the cause of bondage.  
 
Our principle, therefore, should be love, and not compassion.  The application of the word compassion even to Jiva seems to me to be rash and vain.  For us, it is not to pity but to serve.  Ours is not the feeling of compassion but of love, and the feeling of Self in all.
 
     For thy good, O Sharman, may thine be Vairâgya, the feeling of which is love, which unifies all inequalities, cures the disease of Samsâra, removes the threefold misery inevitable in this phenomenal world, reveals the true nature of all things, destroys the darkness of Mâyâ, and which brings out the Selfhood of everything from Brahmâ to the blade of grass!
 
This is the constant prayer of VIVEKANANDA.  Ever bound to thee in love
 
 
 
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Thursday, June 15th 2017

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

 
                           
ALMORA,
 
1st June, 1897.
 
DEAR MR. —,
 
     The objections you show about the Vedas would be valid if the word Vedas meant Samhitâs.  The word Vedas includes the three parts, the Samhitâs, the Brâhmanas, and the Upanishads, according to the universally received opinion in India.  
 
Of these, the first two portions, as being the ceremonial parts, have been nearly put out of sight; the Upanishads have alone been taken up by all our philosophers and founders of sects.
 
     The idea that the Samhitâs are the only Vedas is very recent and has been started by the late Swami Dayânanda.  This opinion has not got any hold on the orthodox population.
 
     The reason of this opinion was that Swâmi Dayânanda thought he could find a consistent theory of the whole, based on a new interpretation of the Samhitâs, but the difficulties remained the same, only they fell back on the Brâhmanas.  
 
And in spite of the theories of interpretation and interpolation a good deal still remains.
 
     Now if it is possible to build a consistent religion on the Samhitâs, it is a thousand times more sure that a very consistent and harmonious faith can be based upon the Upanishads, and moreover, here one has not to go against the already received national opinion.  
 
Here all the Âchâryas(Teachers) of the past would side with you, and you have a vast scope for new progress.
 
     The Gita no doubt has already become the Bible of Hinduism, and it fully deserves to be so; but the personality of Krishna has become so covered with haze that it is impossible today to draw any life-giving inspiration from that life.  
 
Moreover, the present age requires new mode of thought and new life.
 
     Hoping this will help you in thinking along these lines.
 
I am yours with blessings,
 
VIVEKANANDA.
 
 
 
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