From ‘Epistles – Fourth Series’-chapter -V of Volume 8 of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda.
To Miss Mary Hale
1921 W. 21 STREET,
17th June, 1900.
MY DEAR MARY,
It is true I am much better, but not yet completely recovered; anyway, the complexion of the mind is one belonging to everyone that suffers. It is neither gas nor anything else.
Kâli worship is not a necessary step in any religion. The Upanishads teach us all there is of religion. Kali worship is my special fad; you never heard me preach it, or read of my preaching it in India. I only preach what is good for universal humanity. If there is any curious method which applies entirely to me, I keep it a secret and there it ends. I must not explain to you what Kali worship is, as I never taught it to anybody.
You are entirely mistaken if you think the Boses are rejected by the Hindu people. The English rulers want to push him into a corner. They don’t of course like that sort of development in the Indian race. They make it hot for him, that is why he seeks to go elsewhere.
By the “anglicised” are meant people who by their manners and conduct show that they are ashamed of us poor, old type Hindus. I am not ashamed of my race or my birth or nationality. That such people are not liked by the Hindus, I cannot wonder.
Ceremonials and symbols etc. have no place in our religion which is the doctrine of the Upanishads, pure and simple. Many people think the ceremonial etc. help them in realising religion. I have no objection.
Religion is that which does not depend upon books or teachers or prophets or saviours, and that which does not make us dependent in this or in any other lives upon others. In this sense Advaitism of the Upanishads is the only religion. But saviours, books, prophets, ceremonials, etc. have their places. They may help many as Kali worship helps me in my secular work. They are welcome.
The Guru, however, is a different idea. It is the relation between the transmitter and the receiver of force — psychic power and knowledge. Each nation is a type, physically and mentally. Each is constantly receiving ideas from others only to work them out into its type, that is, along the national line. The time has not come for the destruction of types. All education from any source is compatible with the ideals in every country; only they must be nationalised, i.e. fall in line with the rest of the type manifestation.
Renunciation is always the ideal of every race; only other races do not know what they are made to do by nature unconsciously. Through the ages one purpose runs sure. And that will be finished with the destruction of this earth and the sun! And worlds are always in progress indeed! And nobody as yet developed enough in any one of the infinite worlds to communicate with us! Bosh! They are born, show the same phenomena, and die the same death! Increasing purpose! Babies! Live in the land of dreams, you babies!
Well, now about me. You must persuade Harriet to give me a few dollars every month, and I will have some other friends do the same. If I succeed, I fly off to India. I am dead tired of the platform work for a living. It does not please me any more. I retire and do some writing if I can do some scholarly work.
I am coming soon to Chicago, hope to be there in a few days. Say, would not Mrs. Adams be able to get up a class for me to pay my passage back?
Of course I shall try different places. So much of optimism has come to me, Mary, that I should fly off to the Himalayas if I had wings.
I have worked for this world, Mary, all my life, and it does not give me a piece of bread without taking a pound of flesh.
If I can get a piece of bread a day, I retire entirely; but this is impossible — this is the increasing purpose that is unfolding all the devilish inwardness, as I am getting older!
Ever yours in the Lord,
PS. If ever a man found the vanity of things, I have it now. This is the world, hideous, beastly corpse. Who thinks of helping it is a fool! But we have to work out our slavery by doing good or evil; I have worked it out, I hope. May the Lord take me to the other shore! Amen! I have given up all thoughts about India or any land. I am now selfish, want to save myself!
“He who revealed unto Brahmâ (the first of the gods) the Vedas, who is manifest in every heart, unto Him I take refuge, hoping deliverance from bondage.”