From ‘Epistles – Fourth Series’-chapter -V of Volume 8 of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda.

To Miss Mary Hale


18th March, 1894.


My heartfelt thanks for your kindly sending me the letter from Calcutta. It was from my brethren at Calcutta, and it is written on the occasion of a private invitation to celebrate the birthday of my Master about whom you have heard so much from me — so I send it over to you. The letter says that Mazoomdar has gone back to Calcutta and is preaching that Vivekananda is committing every sin under the sun in America. . . . This is your America’s wonderful spiritual man! It is not their fault; until one is really spiritual, that is, until one has got a real insight into the nature of one’s own soul and has got a glimpse of the world of the soul, one cannot distinguish chaff from seed, tall talk from depth, and so on. I am sorry for poor Mazoomdar that he should stoop so low! Lord bless the old boy!

The address inside the letter is in English and is my old, old name as written by a companion of my childhood who has also taken orders. It is a very poetic name. That written in the letter is an abbreviation, the full name being Narendra meaning the “Chief of men” (“nara” means “man”, and “indra” stands for “ruler”, “chief”) — very ludicrous, isn’t it? But such are the names in our country; we cannot help, but I am glad I have given that up.

I am all right. Hoping it is same with you.

I remain your brother,