From Volume 9 of the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda – Letters – Fifth Series
22 November 1898
YOUR HIGHNESS —
Many thanks for your kind note and the Nimbarka Bhashya — reached through Jaga Mohan Lalji.
I approach your Highness today on a most important business of mine, knowing well that I have not the least shame in opening my mind to you, and that I consider you as my only friend in this life. If the following appeals to you, good; if not, pardon my foolishness as a friend should.
As you know already, I have been ailing since my return. In Calcutta your Highness assured me of your friendship and help for me personally and [advised me] not to be worried about this incurable malady. This disease has been caused by nervous excitement; and no amount of change can do me good, unless the worry and anxiety and excitement are taken off me.
After trying these two years a different climate, I am getting worse every day and now almost at death’s door. I appeal to your Highness’s work, generosity and friendship. I have one great sin rankling always in my breast, and that is [in order] to do a service to the world, I have sadly neglected my mother. Again, since my second brother has gone away, she has become awfully worn-out with grief. Now my last desire is to make Sevâ [give service] and serve my mother, for some years at least. I want to live with my mother and get my younger brother married to prevent extinction of the family. This will certainly smoothen my last days as well as those of my mother. She lives now in a hovel. I want to build a little, decent home for her and make some provision for the youngest, as there is very little hope of his being a good earning man. Is it too much for a royal descendent of Ramchandra to do for one he loves and calls his friend? I do not know whom else to appeal to. The money I got from Europe was for the “work”, and every penny almost has been given over to that work. Nor can I beg of others for help for my own self. About my own family affairs — I have exposed myself to your Highness, and none else shall know of it. I am tired, heartsick and dying. Do, I pray, this last great work of kindness to me, befitting your great and generous nature and [as] a crest to the numerous kindnesses you have shown me. And as your Highness will make my last days smooth and easy, may He whom I have tried to serve all my life ever shower His choicest blessings on you and yours.
Ever yours in the Lord,
P.S. This is strictly private. Will you please drop a wire to me whether you will do it or not?