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To Mabel MacLeod Hammond
9th December 1899
My dear Maple Sugar*
My blessings & congratulations on the new traveller.** May her path be always strewn with flowers.
*Maple Sugar was the Swami's nickname for Mabel MacLeodÂÂ
**Mabel had recently given birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Penn Hammond. She was to die of pneumonia at the age of two.
*not published in 'The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda' (published by 'Vedanta Kesari' March 2004, in an article by Linda Prugh)
To Mrs. Ole Bull
12th Dec., 1899
My dear Mrs. Bull,
You are perfectly right; I am brutal, very indeed. But about the tenderness etc., that is my fault. I wish I had less, much less of that -- that is my weakness -- and alas! all my sufferings have come from that. Well, the municipality is trying to tax us out -- good; that is my fault as I did not make the Math public property by a deed of trust.
I am very sorry I use harsh language to my boys; but they also know I love them more than anybody else on earth. I may have had Divine help -- true; but oh, the pound of blood every bit of Divine help has been to me !! I would be gladder and better man without that. The present looks very gloomy indeed; but I am a fighter and must die fighting, not give way -- that is why I get crazy at the boys.
I don't ask them; to fight, but not to hinder my fight.
I don't grudge my fate. But oh, now I want a man, one of my boys, to stand by me and fight against all odds! Don't you vex yourself; if anything is to be done in India, my presence is necessary; and I am much better in health; possible the sea will make me better. Anyway I did not do anything this time in America except bother my friends.
Possibly Joe will help me out with the passage, and I have some money with Mr. Legget. I have hopes of collecting some money in India yet. I did not see any of my friends in different parts of India. I have hope of collecting the fifteen thousand that will make up the fifty thousand, and a deed of trust will bring down the municipal taxes. If I cannot collect that -- it is better to struggle and die for it than vegetate here in America.
My mistakes have been great; but everyone of them was from too much love. How I hate love! Would I never had any Bhakti! Indeed, I wish I could be an Advaitist, calm and heartless. Well, this life is done. I will try in the next. I am sorry, especially now, that I have done more injury to my friends than there have been blessings on them. The peace, the quiet I am seeking I, never found.
I went years ago to the Himalayas, never to come back; and my sister committed suicide, the news reached me there, and that weak heart flung me off from that prospect of peace! It is the weak heart that has driven me out of India to seek some help for those I love, and here I am! Peace have I sought, but the heart, that seat of Bhakti, would not allow me to find it.
Struggle and torture, torture and struggle. Well, be it then, since it is my fate, and the quicker it is over, the better. They say I am impulsive, but look at the circumstances!!! I am sorry I have been the cause of pain to you, to you above all, who love me so much, who have been so, so kind.
But it is done -- was a fact. I am now going to cut the knot or die in the attempt.
Ever your son,
P.S: As Mother wants it, so let it be. I am going to beg of Joe as passage via San Francisco to India. If she gives it, I start immediately via Japan. It would take a month. In India, I think, I can raise some money to keep things straight or on a better footing -- at least to have things where I get them all muddled. The end is getting very dark and very much muddled; well, I expected it so. Don't think I give in in a moment
Lord bless you; if the Lord has made me His hack to work and die on the streets, let Him have it. I am more cheerful just now after your letter than I was for years -- Wah Guru ki Fateh! Victory unto the Guru!! Yes, let the world come, the hells come, the gods come, let Mother come, I fight and do not give in. Ravana got his released in three births by fighting the Lord Himself! It is glorious to fight Mother.
All blessings on you and yours. You have done for me more, much more, than I deserved ever.
Love to Christine and Turiyananda.