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To Sister Christine
24th Jan. '95 ['96]
I have not heard from you [for] long. Hope everything is going on well with you and Mrs. Phunkey [Mrs. Mary Funke].
Did you receive my poem? I had a letter from Mrs. Phelps today. I am coming to Detroit next March early, as I will have to finish my February course in New York. The public lectures will be printed as they are delivered right along. The class lectures will very soon be collected and edited in little volumes.
May the Lord bless you ever and ever.
Yours ever with love and blessings,
(Note: This letter dated JanuaryÂÂÂ 24, 1895 seems from the content clearly to be misdated.... by about one year. We have therefore inserted it as January 24, 1896)
To Mrs. Ole Bull
25th Jan., 1896
Dear Mrs. Bull,
Your letter to Sturdy has been sent over to me. It was very kind of you to write that note. This year, I am afraid, I am getting overworked, as I feel the strain. I want a rest badly. So it is very good, as you say, that the Boston work be taken up in the end of March. By the end of April I will start for England.Land can be had in large plots in the Catskills for very little money. There is a plot of 101 acres for $200. The money I have ready, only I cannot buy the land in my name. You are the only friend in this country in whom I have perfect trust. If you consent, I will buy the land in your name. The students will go there in summer and build cottages or camps as they like and practise meditation. Later on, if they can collect funds, they may build something up. I am sorry, you cannot come just now. 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.
I have worked my best. If there is any seed of truth in it, it will come to life. So I have no anxiety about anything. I am also getting tired of lecturing and having classes. After a few months' work in England I will go to India and hide myself absolutely for some years or for ever. I am satisfied in my conscience that I did not remain an idle Swami. I have a note-book which has travelled with me all over the world. I find these words written seven years ago--"Now to seek a corner and lay myself there to die!" Yet all this Karma remained. I hope I have worked it out. I hope the Lord will give me freedom from this preaching and adding good bondages.
"If you have known the Atman as the one existence and that nothing else exists, for whom, for what desire, do you trouble yourself?" Through Maya all this doing good etc. came into my brain--now they are leaving me. I get more and more convinced that there is no other object in work except the purification of the soul--to make it fit for knowledge. This world with its good and evil will go on in various forms. Only the evil and good will take new names and new seats. My soul is hankering after peace and rest eternal undisturbed.
"Live alone, live alone. He who is alone never comes into conflict with others--never disturbs others, is never disturbed by others." I long, oh! I long for my rags, my shaven head, my sleep under the trees, and my food from begging! India is the only place where, with all its faults, the soul finds its freedom, its God. All this Western pomp is only vanity, only bondage of the soul. Never more in my life I realised more forcibly the vanity of the world. May the Lord break the bondage of all--may all come out of Maya--is the constant prayer of