From Epistles – First Series of Volume 5 of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
The Math, Belur,
14th June, 1901.
I am so glad you are enjoying Japan — especially Japanese art. You are perfectly correct in saying that we will have to learn many things from Japan. The help that Japan will give us will be with great sympathy and respect, whereas that from the West unsympathetic and destructive. Certainly it is very desirable to establish a connection between India and Japan.
As for me, I was thrown hors de combat in Assam. The climate of the Math is just reviving me a bit. At Shillong — the hill sanatorium of Assam — I had fever, asthma, increase of albumen, and my body swelled to almost twice ills normal size. These symptoms subsided, however, as soon as I reached the Math. It is dreadfully hot this year; but a bit of rain has commenced, and I hope we will soon have the monsoon in full force. I have no plans just now, except that the Bombay Presidency wants me so badly that I think of going there soon. We are thinking of starting touring through Bombay in a week or so.
The 300 dollars you speak of sent by Lady Betty have not reached me yet, nor have I any intimation of its arrival from General Patterson.
He, poor man, was rather miserable, after his wife and children sailed for Europe and asked me to come and see him, but unfortunately I was so ill, and am so afraid of going into the City that I must wait till the rains have set in.
Now, Joe dear, if I am to go to Japan, this time it is necessary that I take Saradananda with me to carry on the work. Also I must have the promised letter to Li Huang Chang from Mr. Maxim; but Mother knows the rest. I am still undecided.
So you went to Alanquinan to see the foreteller? Did he convince you of his powers? What did he say? Write particular s’il vous plait.
Jules Bois went as far as Lahore, being prevented from entering Nepal. I learn from the papers that he could not bear the heat and fell ill; then he took ship et bon voyage. He did not write me a single line since we met in the Math. You also are determined to drag Mrs. Bull down to Japan from Norway all the way — bien, Mademoiselle, vous êtes use puissante magicienne, sans doute. Well, Joe, keep health and spirits up; the Alanquinan man’s words come out true most of them; and glorie et honneur await you — and Mukti. The natural ambition of woman is through marriage to climb up, leaning upon a man; but those days are gone. You shall be great without the help of any man, just as you are, plain, dear Joe — our Joe, everlasting Joe. . . .
We have seen enough of this life to care for any of its bubbles have we not Joe? For months I have been practicing to drive away all sentiments; therefore I stop here, and good-bye just now. It is ordained by Mother we work together; it has been already for the good of many; it shall be for the good of many more; so let it be. It is useless planning, useless high flights; Mother will find Her own way; . . . rest assured.
Ever yours with love and heart’s blessings,
PS: Just now came a cheque for Rs. 300 from Mr. Okakura, and the invitation. It is very tempting, but Mother knows all the same.