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

To Swami Brahmananda


13th July, 1897.


Going to Almora from here I made special efforts for Yogen. But he left for the plains as soon as he had recovered a little. From Subhala valley he will write to me of his safe arrival there. As it is impossible to procure a Dandi (a carrying chair) or any other conveyance, Latu could not go. Achyut and myself have again come back to this place. Today my health is a little bad owing to this riding on horseback at breakneck speed in the sun. I took Shashi Babu’s medicine for two weeks — I find no special benefit. . . . The pain in the liver is gone, and owing to plenty of exercise my hands and legs have become muscular, but the abdomen is distending very much. I feel suffocated while getting up or sitting down. Perhaps this is due to the taking of milk. Ask Shashi if I can give up milk. Previously I suffered from two attacks of sunstroke. From that time, my eyes become red if I expose myself to the sun, and the health continues to be bad for two or three days at a stretch.

I was very pleased to get all the news from the Math, and I also heard that the famine relief work is going on well. Please let me know if any money has been received from the office of the Brahmavadin for famine relief. Some money will be sent soon from here also. There is famine in many other places as well, so it is not necessary to stay so long in one place. Tell them to move to other localities and write to each man to go to a separate place. All such work is real work. If the field is made ready in this way, the seeds of spiritual knowledge can be sown. Remember this always — that the only answer to those conservative fanatics who abuse us is such work. I have no objection to getting the thing printed as Shashi and Sarada have suggested.

You yourselves come to a decision as to what the name of the Math should be. . . . The money will come within seven weeks; but I have no further news about the land. In this matter it seems to me that it will be good if we can get the garden of Kristo Gopal in Cossipore. (Where Shri Ramakrishna passed his last days.) What do you say? In future great works will be accomplished. If you agree with me, don’t let this matter out to anybody either within the Math or outside, but quietly make inquiries. The work is spoiled if plans are not kept secret. If it can be bought with fifteen or sixteen thousand, then buy at once — of course, only if you think it good. If something more is demanded, make some advance payment and wait for those seven weeks. My view is that for the present it is better to buy it. Everything else will come by and by. All our associations centre round that garden. In reality that is our first Math. Let the thing be done very privately.

A work can be judged by its results only, just as one can infer the nature of previous mental tendencies by their resultant in present behaviour. . . .

Undoubtedly the price of the land of the garden at Cossipore has increased; but our purse has, on the other hand, dwindled. Do something or other, but do it quickly. All work is spoilt by dilatoriness. This garden also has to be acquired — if not today, tomorrow — however big the Math on the banks of the Ganga may be. It will be still better if you can broach the subject through a proxy. If they hear that we are willing to buy, they will bid high. Do the work very confidentially. Be fearless; Shri Ramakrishna is our helper, what fear? Give my love to all.

Yours affectionately,


PS. (on the cover): . . . Make special efforts for Cossipore. . . . Give up the land at Belur. Should the poor (The famine-stricken people for whom the Mahabodhi Society agreed to pay, on condition that the work would be done in its name.) die of starvation while you people at the top are indulging in controversy regarding to whom the credit should go? If “Mahabodhi” takes all the credit, let it. Let the poor be benefited. That the work is going on well is good news. Work on with greater energy. I am beginning to send articles. The saccharine and lime have reached.