Letter from Swami Vivekananda to Shashi Maharaj
Now, let me give you some instructions. This letter is meant for you. Please go through these instructions once a day and act up to them. I have got Sarada's letter , he is doing good work , but now we want organization. To him, Brother Tarak, and others please give my special love and blessings. The reason why I give you these few instructions is that there is an organising power in you , the Lord has made this known to me , but it is not yet fully developed. Through His blessings it will soon be. That you never lose your centre of gravity is an evidence of this, but it must be both intensive and extensive.
1. All the Shastras hold that the threefold misery that there is in this world is not natural, hence it is removable.
2. In the Buddha Incarnation the Lord says that the root of the Adhibhautika misery or, misery arising from other terrestrial beings, is the formation of classes (Jati); in other words, every form of class-distinction, whether based on birth, or acquirements, or wealth is at the bottom of this misery. In the Atman there is no distinction of sex, or Varna or Ashrama, or anything of the kind, and as mud cannot be washed away by mud, it is likewise impossible to bring about oneness by means of separative ideas.
3. In the Krishna Incarnation He says that the root of all sorts of misery is Avidya (Nescience) and that selfless work purifies the mind. But
Even sages are bewildered to decide what is work and what is no-work" (Gita).
4. Only that kind of work which develops our spirituality is work. Whatever fosters materiality is no-work.
5. Therefore work and no-work must be regulated by a person's aptitude, his country, and his age.
6. Works such as sacrifices were suited to the olden times but are not for the modern times.
7. From the date that the Ramakrishna Incarnation was born, has sprung the Satya-Yuga (Golden Age) . . . .
8. In this Incarnation atheistic ideas ... will be destroyed by the sword of Jnana (knowledge), and the whole world will be unified by means of Bhakti (devotion) and Prema (Divine Love). Moreover, in this Incarnation, Rajas, or the desire for name and fame etc., is altogether absent. In other words, blessed is he who acts up to His teachings; whether he accepts Him or not, does not matter.
9. The founders of different sects, in the ancient or modern times, have not been in the wrong. They have done well, but they must do better. Well , better , best.
10. Therefore we must take all up where they are, that is, we must lead them on to higher and higher ideals, without upsetting their own chosen attitude. As to social conditions, those that prevail now are good, but they shall be better , best.
11. There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing.
12. Hence, in the Ramakrishna Incarnation the acceptance of a woman as the Guru, hence His practicing in the woman's garb and frame of mind, hence too His preaching the motherhood of women as representations of the Divine Mother.
13. Hence it is that my first endeavour is to start a Math for women. This Math shall be the origin of Gargis and Maitreyis, and women of even higher attainments than these. . . .
14. No great work can be achieved by humbug. It is through love, a passion for truth, and tremendous energy, that all undertakings are accomplished.
Therefore, manifest your manhood.
15. There is no need for quarrel or dispute with anybody. Give your message and leave others to their own thoughts.
Truth alone triumphs, not falsehood.
Why then fight?
(wrote to Swami Ramakrishnananda[Shashi Maharaj] in 1885)