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Sunday, February 18th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



To Mr. J. J. Goodwin's mother

[On receiving news of the untimely death of Josiah J. Goodwin, Swami Vivekananda sent the following paragraph along with the poem "Requiescat in Pace" 127 to the newspapers as well as to Goodwin's mother.]
Almora

August 1898

With infinite sorrow I learn the sad news of Mr. Goodwin's departure from this life, the more so as it was terribly sudden and therefore prevented all possibilities of my being at his side at the time of death. The debt of gratitude I owe him can never be repaid, and those who think they have been helped by any thought of mine ought to know that almost every word of it was published through the untiring and most unselfish exertions of Mr. Goodwin. In him I have lost a friend true as steel, a disciple of never-failing devotion, a worker who knew not what tiring was, and the world is less rich by one of those few who are born, as it were, to live only for others.

[unsigned]

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To Maharaja of Khetri

C/O RISIBAR MOOKERJEE, 
CHIEF JUDGE,Â
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.

 
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To Shri Haripada Mitra

(Original in Bengali)

SRINAGAR, KASHMIR,

17th September, 1898.

DEAR HARIPADA,

I got all news from your letter and wire. That you may easily pass your examination in Sindhi is my prayer to the Lord.

Recently my health was very bad, and so I have been delayed, otherwise I had intended to leave for the Punjab this week. The doctor had advised me not to go to the plains at the present time, as it is very hot there. Perhaps I may reach Karachi by about the last week of October. Now I am doing somewhat well. There is nobody else with me now excepting two American friends — ladies. Probably I shall part from them at Lahore. They will wait for me in Calcutta or in Rajputana. I shall probably visit Cutch, Bhuj, Junagad, Bhavnagar, Limbdi, and Baroda and then proceed to Calcutta.

My present plan is to go to America via China and Japan in November or December, but it is all in the hands of the Lord. The above-mentioned American friends bear all my expenses, and I shall take from them all my expenses including railway fare up to Karachi. But if it is convenient to you, send me Rs. 50/- by wire C/o Rishibar Mukhopadhyaya, Chief Justice, Kashmir State, Srinagar. It will be a great help to me, for I have incurred much extra expense of late owing to illness, and I feel a little ashamed to have to depend always on my foreign devotees. With best wishes, 

Yours affectionately,

VIVEKANANDA.


 

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Saturday, February 17th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



To Miss Mary Hale

SRINAGAR, KASHMIR

28th August, 1898.

MY DEAR MARY,

I could not make an earlier opportunity of writing you, and knowing that you were in no hurry for a letter, I will not make apologies. You are learning all about Kashmir and ourselves from Miss MacLeod's letter to Mrs. Leggett, I hear — therefore needless going into long rigmaroles about it.

The search for Heinsholdt's Mahatmas in Kashmir will be entirely fruitless; and as the whole thing has first to be established as coming from a creditable source, the attempt will also be a little too early. How are Mother Church and Father Pope and where?

How are you ladies, young and old? Going on with the old game with more zest now that one has fallen off the ranks? How is the lady that looks like a certain statue in Florence? (I have forgotten the name) I always bless her arms when I think of the comparison.

I have been away a few days. Now I am going to join the ladies. The party then goes to a nice quiet spot behind a hill, in a forest, through which a murmuring stream flows, to have meditation deep and long under the deodars (trees of God) cross-legged à la Buddha.

This will be for a month or so, when by that time our good work will have spent its powers and we shall fall from this Paradise to earth again; then work out our Karma a few months and then will have to go to hell for bad Karma in China, and our evil deeds will make us sink in bad odours with the world in Canton and other cities. Thence Purgatory in Japan? And regain Paradise once more in the U.S. of America.

This is what Pumpkin Swami, brother of the Coomra Swami, foretells (in Bengali Coomra means squash). He is very clever with his hands. In fact his cleverness with his hands has several times brought him into great dangers.

I wished to send you so many nice things, but alas! the thought of the tariff makes my desires vanish "like youth in women and beggars' dreams".

By the by, I am glad now that I am growing grey every day. My head will be a full-blown white lotus by the time you see me next.

Ah! Mary, if you could see Kashmir — only Kashmir; the marvellous lakes full of lotuses and swans (there are no swans but geese — poetic licence) and the big black bee trying to settle on the wind-shaken lotus (I mean the lotus nods him off refusing a kiss — poetry), then you could have a good conscience on your death-bed.

As this is earthly paradise and as logic says one bird in the hand is equal to two in the bush, a glimpse of this is wiser, but economically the other better; no trouble, no labour, no expense, a little namby-pamby dolly life and later, that is all.

My letter is becoming a bore . . . so I stop. (It is sheer idleness). Good night.

Ever yours in the Lord,

VIVEKANANDA.

My address always is:
Math, Belur,
Howrah Dist., Bengal, India.


 

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Friday, February 16th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



To the Maharaja of Khetri

SRINAGAR

10 August 1898

YOUR HIGHNESS

I have long not heard any news of you. How are things going on with you both bodily and mentally?

I have been to see Shri Amarnathji. It was a very enjoyable trip and the Darshana was glorious.

I will be here about a month more, then I return to the plains. Kindly ask Jagmohan to write to the Dewan Saheb of Kishangarh to get for me the copies of Nimbârka Bhâshya which he promised.

With all love,

Yours,

VIVEKANANDA


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To Sister Nivedita

KASHMIR,

25th Aug., 1898.

DEAR MARGOT,

It is a lazy life I am leading for the last two months, floating leisurely in a boat, which is also my home, up and down the beautiful Jhelum, through the most gorgeous scenery God's world can afford, in nature's own park, where the earth, air, land, grass, plants, trees, mountains, snows, and the human form, all express, on the outside at least, the beauty of the Lord — with almost no possessions, scarcely a pen or an inkstand even, snatching up a meal whenever or wherever convenient, the very ideal of a Rip Van Winkle! . . .

Do not work yourself out. It is no use; always remember  "Duty is the midday sun whose fierce rays are burning the very vitals of humanity."

It is necessary for a time as a discipline; beyond that, it is a morbid dream. Things go on all right whether we lend them our helping hands or not. 

We in delusion only break ourselves. There is a false sentiment which goes the extreme of unselfishness, only to injure others by its submission to every evil.

We have no right to make others selfish by our unselfishness; have we? . . . 

Yours etc.,

VIVEKANANDA


 

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Thursday, February 15th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



To Swami Brahmananda

(Original in Bengali)

SRINAGAR,

1st August, 1898.

MY DEAR RAKHAL,

You are always under a delusion, and it does not leave you because of the strong influence, good or bad, of other brains. It is this: whenever I write to you about accounts, you feel that I have no confidence in you. .

 . . My great anxiety is this: the work has somehow been started, but it should go on and progress even when we are not here; such thoughts worry me day and night. Any amount of theoretical knowledge one may have; but unless one does the thing actually, nothing is learnt.

I refer repeatedly to election, accounts, and discussion so that everybody may be prepared to shoulder the work. If one man dies, another — why another only, ten if necessary — should be ready to take it up.

Secondly, if a man's interest in a thing is not roused, he will not work whole-heartedly; all should be made to understand that everyone has a share in the work and property, and a voice in the management. This should be done while there is yet time.

Give a responsible position to everyone alternately, but keep a watchful eye so that you can control when necessary; thus only can men be trained for the work. Set up such a machine as will go on automatically, no matter who dies or lives. We Indians suffer from a great defect, viz we cannot make a permanent organisation — and the reason is that we never like to share power with others and never think of what will come after we are gone.

I have already written everything regarding the plague. Mrs. Bull and Miss Müller and others are of opinion that it is not desirable to spend money uselessly when hospitals have been started in every Ward. We lend our services as nurses and the like. Those that pay the piper must command the tune.

The Maharaja of Kashmir has agreed to give us a plot of land. I have also visited the site. Now the matter will be finalised in a few days, if the Lord wills. Right now, before leaving, I hope to build a small house here. I shall leave it in the charge of Justice Mukherjee when departing. Why not come here with somebody else and spend the winter? Your health will improve, and a need, too, will be fulfilled.

The money I have set apart for the press will be sufficient for the purpose, but all will be as you decide. This time I shall surely get some money from N.W.P., Rajputana, and other places. Well, give as directed . . . money to a few persons. I am borrowing this amount from the Math and will pay it back to you with interest. 
My health is all right in a way. It is good news that the building work has begun. My love to all.

Yours affectionately,

VIVEKANANDA.


 





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Wednesday, February 14th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



Miss Josephine MacLeod or Mrs. Ole Bull

SESHNAG
CHANDANBARI, KASHMIR
[EN ROUTE FROM SRINAGAR TO AMARNATH]

[End of July 1898]

I send back the old Dandi (A simple palanquin.) as it is difficult to carry it through. I have got another like Margaret's. 

Please send it back to the Tahsildar of Vernag, Khand Chand, Esq., whom you already know. We are all right. Margot has discovered some new flowers and is happy. There is not much ice so the road is good.

Yours affectionately,

VIVEKANANDA

P.S. Keep this Dandi till I come and pay the coolies (2) 4 Rs., 2 annas each.


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To Miss Josephine MacLeod or Mrs. Ole Bull

Seshnag
Chandanbari, Kashmir
[en route from Srinagar to Amarnath]

[End of July 1898]

I send back the old Dandi 126 as it is difficult to carry it through. I have got another like Margaret's. Please send it back to the Tahsildar of Vernag, Khand Chand, Esq., whom you already know.

We are all right. Margot has discovered some new flowers and is happy. There is not much ice so the road is good.

Yours affectionately,

Vivekananda


 

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Tuesday, February 13th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



To Mr. J. J. Goodwin's mother

[On receiving news of the untimely death of Josiah J. Goodwin, Swami Vivekananda sent the following paragraph along with the poem "Requiescat in Pace" to the newspapers as well as to Goodwin's mother.]

ALMORA

June 1898

With infinite sorrow I learn the sad news of Mr. Goodwin's departure from this life, the more so as it was terribly sudden and therefore prevented all possibilities of my being at his side at the time of death. The debt of gratitude I owe him can never be repaid, and those who think they have been helped by any thought of mine ought to know that almost every word of it was published through the untiring and most unselfish exertions of Mr. Goodwin. In him I have lost a friend true as steel, a disciple of never — failing devotion, a worker who knew not what tiring was, and the world is less rich by one of those few who are born, as it were, to live only for others.

[UNSIGNED]

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To Mr. E. T. Sturdy

KASHMIR,

3rd July, 1898.

DEAR STURDY,

Both the editions had my assent, as it was arranged between us that we would not object to anybody's publishing my books. Mrs. Bull knows about it all and is writing to you.
I had a beautiful letter from Miss Souter the other day. She is as friendly as ever. 
With love to the children, Mrs. Sturdy, and yourself

Ever yours in the Lord,

VIVEKANANDA.


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To Swami Brahmananda

(Original in Bengali)

SRINAGAR, 

17th July, 1898.

MY DEAR RAKHAL,

I got all the news from your letter. . . . My opinion regarding what you have written about Sarada is only that it is difficult to make a magazine in Bengali paying; but if all of you together canvass subscribers from door to door, it may be possible. In this matter do as you all decide. Poor Sarada has already been disappointed once. What harm is there if we lose a thousand rupees by supporting such an unselfish and very hardworking person? What about the printing of Raja-Yoga? As a last resort, you may give it to Upen on certain terms of sharing the profit in the sales. . . . About money matters, the advice given previously is final. Henceforward do what you consider best regarding expenditure and other things. I see very well that my policy is wrong, and yours is correct, regarding helping others; that is to say, if you help with money too much at a time, people instead of feeling grateful remark on the contrary that they have got a simpleton to bank upon. I always lost sight of the demoralising influence of charity on the receiver.

Secondly, we have no right to deviate even slightly from the purposes for which we collect the donations. Mrs. Bull will get her rosary all right if you send it care of Chief Justice Rishibar Mukhopadhyaya, Kashmir. Mr. Mitra and the Chief Justice are taking every care of them. We could not get a plot of ground in Kashmir yet, but there is a chance that we shall do so soon. If you can spend a winter here, you are sure to recoup your health. If the house is a good one and if you have enough fuel and warm clothing, then life in a land of snow is nothing but enjoyable. Also for stomach troubles a cold climate is an unfailing remedy. Bring Yogen with you; for the earth here is not stony, it is clay like that of Bengal.

If the paper is brought out in Almora, the work will progress much; for poor Sevier will have something to do, and the local people also will get some work. Skilful management lies in giving every man work after his own heart. By all the means in our power the Nivedita Girls' School in Calcutta should be put on a firm footing. To bring Master Mahashay to Kashmir is still a far cry, for it will be long before a college is established here. But he has written that it is possible to start a college in Calcutta, with him as the principal, at an initial expense of a thousand rupees. I hear that you all also favour this proposal. In this matter do what you all consider best. My health is all right. I have to get up seldom at night, even though I take twice a day rice and potatoes, sugar, or whatever I get. Medicine is useless — it has no action on the system of a Knower of Brahman! Everything will be digested — don't be afraid.

The ladies are doing well, and they send you their greetings. Two letters from Shivananda have come. I have also received a letter from his Australian disciple. I hear that the outbreak of plague in Calcutta has completely subsided. 

Yours affectionately,

VIVEKANANDA.


 

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Monday, February 12th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



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 Vyâsa-Sutras and other Bhashyas (commentaries) through his Pandits.

With all love and blessings,

Yours,

VIVEKANANDA.

PS. Poor Goodwin 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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To Mohammed Sarfaraz Husain of Naini Tal

ALMORA,

10th June, 1898.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

I appreciate your letter very much and am extremely happy to learn that the Lord is silently preparing wonderful things for our motherland. 

Whether we call it Vedantism or any ism, the truth is that Advaitism is the last word of religion and thought and the only position from which one can look upon all religions and sects with love. I believe it is the religion of the future enlightened humanity. 

The Hindus may get the credit of arriving at it earlier than other races, they being an older race than either the Hebrew or the Arab; yet practical Advaitism, which looks upon and behaves to all mankind as one's own soul, was never developed among the Hindus universally. 

On the other hand, my experience is that if ever any religion approached to this equality in an appreciable manner, it is Islam and Islam alone.

Therefore I am firmly persuaded that without the help of practical Islam, theories of Vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be, are entirely valueless to the vast mass of mankind. We want to lead mankind to the place where there is neither the Vedas, nor the Bible, nor the Koran; yet this has to be done by harmonising the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran.

Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of THE RELIGION, which is Oneness, so that each may choose that path that suits him best.
 
For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems, Hinduism and Islam — Vedanta brain and Islam body — is the only hope.

I see in my mind's eye the future perfect India rising out of this chaos and strife, glorious and invincible, with Vedanta brain and Islam body.

Ever praying that the Lord may make of you a great instrument for the help of mankind, and especially of our poor, poor motherland. 

Yours with love,

VIVEKANANDA.


 

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Sunday, February 11th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



To Swami Brahmananda

(Original in Bengali)

ALMORA,

20th May, 1898.

MY DEAR RAKHAL,

I have got all the news from your letter and have replied to your wire already. Niranjan and Govindalal Shah will wait at Kathgodam for Yogen-Ma. After I reached Naini Tal, Baburam went from here to Naini Tal on horseback against everybody's advice, and while returning, he also accompanied us on horseback.

I was far behind as I was in a Dandi. When I reached the dak bungalow at night, I heard that Baburam had again fallen from the horse and had hurt one of his arms — though he had no fractures. Lest I should rebuke him, he stayed in a private lodging house. Because of his fall, Miss MacLeod gave him her Dandi and herself came on the horse. He did not meet me that night.

Next day I was making arrangements for a Dandi for him, when I heard that he had already left on foot. Since then I have not heard of him. I have wired to one or two places, but no news. Perhaps he is putting up at some village. Very well! They are experts in increasing one's worries.

There will be a Dandi for Yogen-Ma; but all the rest will have to go on foot.

My health is much better, but the dyspepsia has not gone, and again insomnia has set in. It will be very helpful if you can soon send some good Ayurvedic medicine for dyspepsia.

Since only one or two sporadic cases of plague have occurred there, there is plenty of accommodation in the Government plague hospital, and there is a talk of having hospitals in every Ward. Taking all this into consideration, do what the situation demands. But remember that something said by somebody in Baghbazar does not constitute public opinion. . . 

Take care that funds do not run short in times of need and that there is no waste of money. For the present buy a plot of ground for Ramlal in the name of Raghuvir (The family deity of Shri Ramakrishna's birthpalce, Kamarpukur, Ramlal being his nephew.) after careful consideration. . . .

Holy Mother will be the Sebâit (worshipper-in-charge); after her will come Ramlal, and Shibu will succeed them as Sebait; or make any other arrangement that seems best. You can, if you think it right, begin the construction of the building even now. For it is not good to live in a new house for the first one or two months, as it will be damp. . . . The anti-erosion wall can be completed afterwards. I am trying to raise money for the magazine. See that the sum of Rs. 1,200 which I gave for the magazine is kept only for that account.

All the others are well here. Sadananda sprained his foot yesterday. He says he will be all right by the evening. The climate at Almora is excellent at this time. Moreover the bungalow rented by Sevier is the best in Almora. On the opposite side Annie Besant is staying in a small bungalow with Chakravarty.

Chakravarty is now the son-in-law of Gagan (of Ghazipur). One day I went to see him. Annie Besant told me entreatingly that there should be friendship between her organisation and mine all over the world, etc., etc. Today Besant will come here for tea. Our ladies are in a small bungalow near by and are quite happy. Only Miss MacLeod is a little unwell today. 

Harry Sevier is becoming more and more a Sadhu as the days pass by. . . . Brother Hari sends you his greetings and Sadananda, Ajoy, and Suren send you their respectful salutations. My love to you and all the others.

Yours affectionately,

VIVEKANANDA.

PS. Give my love to Sushil and Kanai and all the others.

V.


 

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Saturday, February 10th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



To Miss Josephine MacLeod

DARJEELING,
29th April, 1898.

MY DEAR JOE JOE,

I have had several attacks of fever, the last being influenza. 

It has left me now, only I am very weak yet. As soon as I gather strength enough to undertake the journey, I come down to Calcutta.

On Sunday I leave Darjeeling, probably stopping for a day or two at Kurseong, then direct to Calcutta. Calcutta must be very hot just now. Never mind, it is all the better for influenza. In case the plague breaks out in Calcutta, I must not go anywhere; and you start for Kashmir with Sadananda.

How did you like the old gentleman, Devendra Nath Tagore? Not as stylish as "Hans Baba" with Moon God and Sun God of course. What enlightens your insides on a dark night when the Fire God, Sun God, Moon God, and Star Goddesses have gone to sleep?

It is hunger that keeps my consciousness up, I have discovered. Oh, the great doctrine of correspondence of light! Think how dark the world has been all these ages without it!

And all this knowledge and love and work and all the Buddhas and Krishnas and Christs — vain, vain have been their lives and work, for they did not discover that "which keeps the inner light when the Sun and Moon were gone to the limbo" for the night! Delicious, isn't it?

If the plague comes to my native city, I am determined to make myself a sacrifice; and that I am sure is a "Darn sight, better way to Nirvâna" than pouring oblations to all that ever twinkled.

I have had a good deal of correspondence with Madras with the result that I need not send them any help just now. On the other hand I am going to start a paper in Calcutta. I will be ever so much obliged if you help me starting that. As always with undying love,

Ever yours in the Lord,

VIVEKANANDA.


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To Sister Nivedita

ALMORA,

20th May, 1898.

DEAR MARGOT,

. . . Duty has no end, and the world is extremely selfish. 
Be of good cheer. "Never a worker of good came to grief." . . .

Ever yours etc.,

VIVEKANANDA.


 

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Friday, February 9th 2018

12:05 AM

Daily Reading



To Miss Josephine MacLeod

DARJEELING

19th April '98

MY DEAR MISS MACLEOD,

Miss Müller is very glad to learn that you intend inviting Miss Noble to join our party to Kashmir.

It has her hearty approval. On her way back, Miss Müller will start something for her in Calcutta. She need not come to Darjeeling at all.

Hope you are enjoying the baking quite a bit. I start this week most probably.

Ever yours in the Lord,

VIVEKANANDA

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To the Officer in Charge of Telegrams, Srinagar

April 19, 1898.

SIR,

Please allow Miss M'cLeod [MacLeod] or her agent to receive any telegrams that you have received for me and receipt the same.

Yours truly,

VIVEKANANDA


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To Swami Brahmananda

(Translated from Bengali)

DARJEELING,

23rd April, 1898.

MY DEAR RAKHAL,

My health was excellent on my return from Sandukphu (11,924 ft.) and other places; but after returning to Darjeeling, I had first an attack of fever, and after recovering from that, I am now suffering from cough and cold. I try to escape from this place every day; but they have been constantly putting it off for a long time. However, tomorrow, Sunday, I am leaving; after halting at Kharsana for a day I start again for Calcutta on Monday. I shall send you a wire after starting.

We should hold an annual meeting of the Ramakrishna Mission, and also one for the Math. In both the meetings the accounts of famine relief must be submitted, and the report of the famine relief must be published. Keep all this ready.

Nityagopal says, managing an English magazine will not cost much. So let us first get this one out, and we shall see to the Bengali magazine afterwards. All these points will have to be discussed. Is Yogen willing to shoulder the responsibility of running the paper?

Shashi writes that if Sharat goes some time to Madras, they may make a lecture tour jointly. Oh, how hot it is now! Ask Sharat if G. G., Sarada, Shashi Babu, and others have got their articles ready. Give my love and blessing to Mrs. Bull, Miss MacLeod, and Nivedita.

Yours affectionately,

VIVEKANANDA.


 

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