From ‘Epistles – Fourth Series’-chapter -V of Volume 8 of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. (Translated from Bengali.)

To Swami Brahmananda


12th March, 1900.


I got a letter from you some time ago. A letter from Sharat reached me yesterday. I saw a copy of the invitation letters for the birthday anniversary of Gurudeva (Divine Master). I am frightened hearing that Sharat is troubled by rheumatism. Alas, sickness, sorrow, and pain have been my companions for the last two years. Tell Sharat that I am not going to work so hard any more. But he who does not work enough to earn his food will have to starve to death! . . . I hope Durgaprasanna has done by this time whatever was necessary for the compound wall. . . . The raising of a compound wall is not, after all, a difficult thing. If I can, I shall build a small house there and serve my old grandmother and mother. Evil actions leave none scot-free; Mother never spares anybody. I admit my actions have been wrong. Now, brother, all of you are Sâdhus and great saints, kindly pray to the Mother that I do not have to shoulder all this trouble and burden any longer. Now I desire a little peace — it seems there is no more strength left to bear the burden of work and responsibility — rest and peace for the few days that I shall yet live! Victory to the Guru! Victory to the Guru! . . . No more lectures or anything of that sort. Peace!

As soon as Sharat sends the trust-deed of the Math, I shall put my signature to it. You all manage — truly I require rest. This disease is called neurasthenia, a disease of the nerves. Once it comes, it continues for some years. But after a complete rest for three or four years it is cured. This country is the home of the disease, and here it has caught me. However, it is not only no fatal disease, but it makes a man live long. Don’t be anxious on my account. I shall go on rolling. But there is only this sorrow that the work of Gurudeva is not progressing; there is this regret that I have not been able to accomplish anything of his work. How much I abuse you all and speak harshly! I am the worst of men! Today, on the anniversary of his birthday, put the dust of your feet on my head — and my mind will become steady again. Victory to the Guru! Victory to the Guru! You are my only refuge — you are my only refuge! Now that my mind is steady, let me tell you that this resignation is the permanent attitude of my mind. All other moods that come are, you should know, only disease. Please don’t allow me to work at all any longer. Now I shall quietly do Japa and meditation for some time — nothing more. Mother knows all else. Victory to the Mother of the Universe!

Yours affectionately,