From Epistles – Third Series of Volume 7 of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (Translated from Bengali)


May, 1894.

DEAR ADHYAPAKJI (Prof. John Henry Wright),

By this time you have got the pamphlet and the letters. If you like, I would send you over from Chicago some letters from Indian Princes and ministers — one of these ministers was one of the Commissioners of the late opium commission that sat under Royal Commission in India. If you like, I will have them write to you to convince you of my not being a cheat. But, my brother, our ideal of life is to hide, to suppress, and to deny.

We are to give up and not to take. Had I not the “Fad” in my head, I would never have come over here. And it was with a hope that it would help my cause that I joined the Parliament of Religions — having always refused it when our people wanted to send me for it. I came over telling them — “that I may or may not join that assembly — and you may send me over if you like”. They sent me over leaving me quite free.

You did the rest.

I am morally bound to afford you every satisfaction, my kind friend; but for the rest of the world I do not care what they say — the Sannyasin must not have self-defence. So I beg of you not to publish or show anybody anything in that pamphlet or the letters. I do not care for the attempts of the old missionary; but the fever of jealousy which attacked Mazoomdar gave me a terrible shock, and I pray that he would know better — for he is a great and good man who has tried all his life to do good. But this proves one of my Master’s sayings, “Living in a room covered with black soot — however careful you may be — some spots must stick to your clothes.” So, however one may try to be good and holy, so long he is in the world, some part of his nature must gravitate downwards.

The way to God is the opposite to that of the world. And to few, very few, are given to have God and mammon at the same time.

I was never a missionary, nor ever would be one — my place is in the Himalayas. I have satisfied myself so far that I can with a full conscience say, “My God, I saw terrible misery amongst my brethren; I searched and discovered the way out of it, tried my best to apply the remedy, but failed. So Thy will be done.”

May his blessings be on you and yours for ever and ever.

Yours affectionately,

I go to Chicago tomorrow or day after.