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XXVI

(Translated from Bengali )

Salutation to Bhagavan Ramakrishna!

1894.

DEAR AND BELOVED (Swami Brahmananda.),

. . . Well, do you think there is any religion left in India! The paths of knowledge, devotion, and Yoga — all have gone, and now there remains only that of Don't touchism — "Don't touch me! Don't touch me!" The whole world is impure, and I alone am pure. Lucid Brahmajnāna! Bravo! Great God! Nowadays Brahman is neither in the recesses of the heart, nor in the highest heaven, nor in all beings — now He is in the cooking-pot. Formerly the characteristic of a noble-minded man was "त्रिभुवनमुपकारश्रेणिभिः प्रीणयन्त: — Pleasing the whole universe by one's numerous acts of service" but now it is — I am pure and the whole world is impure — go and get money and set it at my feet. . . . Tell the sapient sage who writes to me to finish my preaching work here and return home, . . . that this country is more my home. What is there in Hindusthan? Who appreciates religion? Who appreciates learning?

To return home! Where is the home! I do not care for liberation, or for devotion, I would rather go to a hundred thousand hells, "वसन्तवल्लोकहितं चरन्त: — Doing good to others (silently) like the spring" — this is my religion. I do not want to have any connection with lazy, hard-hearted, cruel and selfish men. He whose good fortune it is, may help in this great cause.

. . . Please convey to all my love, I want the help of everyone. Neither money pays, nor name, nor fame, nor learning; it is character that can cleave through adamantine walls of difficulties. Bear this in mind. . . .

Ever yours in love,

VIVEKANANDA.