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Monday, November 11th 2019

12:05 AM

Daily Reading

To Swami Abhedananda

C/o E. T. Sturdy, Esq.,

High View, Caversham,

Reading, England,

October, 1895.

{original in Bengali}

Dear Kali ,

You may have got my earlier letter. At present send all letters to me at the above address. Mr. Sturdy is known to Tarakda. He has brought me to his place, and we are both trying to create a stir in England. I shall this year leave again in November for America. So I require a man well-up in Sanskrit and English, particularly the latter language--either Shashi or you or Sarada. Now, if you have completely recovered, very well, you come; otherwise send Sharat. The work is to teach the devotees I shall be leaving here, to make them study the Vedanta, to do a little translation work into English, and to deliver occasional lectures. "Work is apt to cloud spiritual vision." X__ is very eager to come, but unless the foundation is strongly laid, there is every likelihood of everything toppling down. I am sending you a cheque along with this letter. Buy clothes and other necessary things--whoever comes. I am sending the cheque in the name of Master Mahashay Mahendra Babu. Gangadhar's Tibetan choga is in the Math; get the tailor to make a similar choga of gerua colour. See that the collar is a little high, that is, the throat and neck should be covered. . . . Above all, you must have a woolen overcoat, for it is very cold. If you do not put on an overcoat on the ship, you will suffer much. . . . I am sending a second class ticket, as there is not much difference between a first class and a second class berth. . . . If it is decided to send Shashi then inform the purser of the ship beforehand to provide him with vegetarian diet.

Go to Bombay and see Messrs. King, King & Co., Fort, Bombay, and tell them that you are Mr. Sturdy's man. They will then give you a ticket to England. A letter is being sent from here to the Company with instructions. I am writing to the Maharaja of Khetri to instruct his Bombay agent to look after the booking of your passage. If this sum of Rs. 150/- is not sufficient for your outfit, get the remainder from Rakhal. I shall send him the amount afterwards. Keep another Rs. 50/- for pocket expenses--take it from December 26, 1999Rakhal; I shall pay back later. I have not up to now got any acknowledgement of the amount I sent to Chuni Babu. Start as quickly as possible. Inform Mahendra Babu that he is my Calcutta agent. Tell him to send a letter to Mr. Sturdy by next mail informing him that he is ready to look after all business transactions in Calcutta on your behalf. In effect, Mr. Sturdy is my secretary in England, Mahendra Babu in Calcutta, and Alasinga in Madras. Send this information to Madras also. Can any work be done unless all of us gird up our loins? And be up and doing! "Fortune favours the brave and energetic." Don't look back--forward, infinite energy, infinite enthusiasm, infinite daring, and infinite patience--then alone can great deeds be accomplished. We must set the whole world afire.

Now on the day the steamer is due to start, write a letter to Mr. Sturdy informing him by which steamer you are leaving for England. Otherwise there is some likelihood of your having difficulties when you reach London. Take the ship that comes directly to London, for even if it takes a few days longer on the voyage, the fares are less. At the moment our purse is lean. In time we shall send preachers in large numbers to all the quarters of the globe.

Yours affectionately,


PS. Write at once to the Maharaja of Khetri, that you are going to Bombay and that you will be glad if his agent attends to the booking of your passage and sees you off the board.

Keep my address with you written in a pocket-book, lest there should be difficulties afterwards.


To Mrs. F.H. Leggett

October, 1895.


You have not forgotten your son? Where are you now? And Tante and the babies? What about our saintly worshipper at your shrine? Joe Joe is not entering "Nirvana" so soon, but her deep silence almost seems to be a big "Samadhi".

Are you on the move? I am enjoying England very much. I am living with my friend on philosophy, leaving a little margin for eating and smoking. We are getting nothing else but Dualism and Monism and all the rest of them.

Hollister has become very manly, I suppose, in his long trousers; and Alberta is studying German.

The Englishmen here are very friendly. Except a few Anglo-Indians, they do not hate black men at all. Not even do they hoot at me in the streets. Sometimes I wonder whether my face has turned white, but the mirror tells the truth. Yet they are all so friendly here.

Again, the English men and women who love India are more Hindu than the Hindus themselves. I am getting plenty of vegetables cooked, you will be surprised to hear, à la Indienne perfectly. When an Englishman takes up a thing, he goes to its very depths. Yesterday I met a Prof. Fraser, a high official here. He has been half his life in India; and he has lived so much in ancient thought and wisdom that he does not care a fig for anything out of India!! You will be astonished to hear that many of the thoughtful English men and women think that the Hindu caste is the only solution of the social problem. With that idea in their head you may imagine how they hate the socialists and other social democrats!! Again, here the men — and the most highly educated — take the greatest interest in Indian thought, and very few women. The woman's sphere is narrower here than in America. So far everything is going very well with me. I shall let you know any further developments.

With my love to paterfamilias, to the Queen Mother, to Joe Joe (no title), and to the babies, 

Ever yours with love and blessings,


olicy in America too. Mr. Sturdy has been in India living with our Sannyasins in their manner for some time. He is an exceedingly energetic man, educated and well versed in Sanskrit. ... So far so good. ... Purity, perseverance, and energy — these three I want, and if I get only half a dozen here, my work will go on. I have a great chance of such a few. 



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