From Volume 9 of the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda – Letters – Fifth Series
HOTEL BELLEVUE EUROPEAN PLAN
BEACON STREET, BOSTON
14 May, 1894
Your letter was so, so pleasing instead of being long; I enjoyed every bit of it.
I have received a letter from Mrs. Potter Palmer (Social queen of Chicago who made Swami Vivekananda’s acquaintance at the Parliament of Religions, in which she had been active. Vide Complete Works, VI.) asking me to write to some of my countrywomen about their society etc. I will see her personally when I come to Chicago; in the meanwhile I will write her all I know. Perhaps you have received $125 sent over from New York. Tomorrow I will send another $100 from here. The Bostonians want to grind their own axes!!
Oh, they are so, so dry — even girls talk dry metaphysics. Here is like our Benares where all is dry, dry metaphysics!! Nobody here understands “my Beloved”. Religion to these people is reason, and horribly stony at that. I do not care for anybody who cannot love my “Beloved”. Do not tell it to Miss Howe — she may be offended.
The pamphlet I did not send over because I do not like the quotations from the Indian newspapers — especially, they give a haul over coal to somebody. Our people so much dislike the Brâhmo Samâj that they only want an opportunity to show it to them. I dislike it. Any amount of enmity to certain persons cannot efface the good works of a life. And then they were only children in Religion. They never were much of religious men — i.e. they only wanted to talk and reason, and did not struggle to see the Beloved; and until one does that I do not say that he has any religion. He may have books, forms, doctrines, words, reasons, etc., etc., but not religion; for that begins when the soul feels the necessity, the want, the yearning after the “Beloved”, and never before. And therefore our society has no right to expect from them anything more than from an ordinary “house-holder”.
I hope to come to Chicago before the end of this month. Oh, I am so tired.