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To Lala Badri Shah of Almora
7th April '97.
Just received your kind invitation through telegram. Perhaps you have already heard that I have been attacked by "Diabetes", a fell disease.
That unsettled all our plans, and I had to run up to Darjeeling, it being very cool and very good for the disease.
I have felt much better since, and the doctors therefore do not want me to move about, as that brings about a relapse. If my present state of health continues for a month or two, I think I will be in a condition to come down to the plains and come to Almora to see you all. I am very sorry that I have caused you a good deal of trouble, but you see it could not be helped â the body was not under my control.
With all love to yourself and other friends in Almora.
To Swami Ramakrishnananda
(Original in Bengali)
20th April, 1897.
All of you have doubtless reached Madras by this time. I should think Biligiri is certainly taking great care of you, and that Sadananda serves you as your attendant. In Madras the worship should be done in a completely Sattvic manner, without a trace of Rajas in it. I hope Alasinga has by now returned to Madras. Don't enter into wrangles with anybody â always maintain a calm attitude. For the present let the worship of Shri Ramakrishna be established and continued in the house of Biligiri. But see that the worship does not become very elaborate and long.Â
Time thus saved should be utilised in holding classes and doing some preaching. It is good to initiate as many as you can. Supervise the work of the two papers, and help in whatever way you can. Biligiri has two widowed daughters. Kindly educate them and make special efforts that through them more such widowed women get a thorough grounding in their own religion and learn a little English and Sanskrit. But all this work should be done from a distance. One has to be exceedingly careful before young women. Once you fall, there is no way out, and the sin is unpardonable.Â
I am very sorry to hear that Gupta was bitten by a dog; but I hear that the dog was not a mad one, so there is no cause for alarm. In any case, see that he takes the medicine sent by Gangadhar.
Early morning, finish daily your worship and other duties briefly, and calling together Biligiri with his family, read before them the Gita and other sacred books. There is not the least necessity for teaching the divine Love of Râdhâ and Krishna. Teach them pure devotion to Sitâ-Râm and Hara-Pârvati. See that no mistake is made in this respect. Remember that the episodes of the divine relationship between Radha and Krishna are quite unsuitable for young minds. Specially Biligiri and other followers of Râmânujâchârya are worshippers of Rama; so see to it that their innate attitude of pure devotion is never disturbed.
In the evenings give some spiritual teaching like that to the general public. Thus gradually "even the mountain is crossed"
See that an atmosphere of perfect purity is always maintained, and that there enters not the slightest trace of Vâmâchâra. For the rest, the Lord Himself will guide you, there is no fear. Give to Biligiri my respectful salutations and loving greetings, and convey my salutations to similar devotees.
My illness is now much less â it may even be cured completely, if the Lord wills. My love, blessings, and greetings to you.
PS. Please tender my specially affectionate greetings and blessings to Dr. Nanjunda Rao and help him as much as you can. Try your best to particularly encourage the study of Sanskrit among the non-Brahmins.