XLIII Sisters

26th June, 1894.

DEAR SISTERS, (Misses Mary and H. Hale.)

The great Hindi poet, Tulasidâsa, in his benediction to his translation of the Râmâyana, says, “I bow down to both the wicked and holy; but alas! for me, they are both equally torturers — the wicked begin to torture me as soon as they come in contact with me — the good, alas! take my life away when they leave me.” I say amen to this. To me, for whom the only pleasure and love left in the world is to love the holy ones of God, it is a mortal torture to separate myself from them.

But these things must come. Thou Music of my Beloved’s flute, lead on, I am following. It is impossible to express my pain, my anguish at being separated from you, noble and sweet and generous and holy ones. Oh! how I wish I had succeeded in becoming a Stoic! Hope you are enjoying the beautiful village scenery. “Where the world is awake, there the man of self-control is sleeping. Where the world sleeps, there he is waking.” May even the dust of the world never touch you, for, after all the poets may say, it is only a piece of carrion covered over with garlands. Touch it not — if you can. Come up, young ones of the bird1 of Paradise, before your feet touch the cesspool of corruption, this world, and fly upwards.

“O those that are awake do not go to sleep again.”

“Let the world love its many, we have but one Beloved — the Lord. We care not what they say; we are only afraid when they want to paint our Beloved and give Him all sorts of monstrous qualities. Let them do whatever they please — for us He is only the beloved — my love, my love, my love, and nothing more.”

“Who cares to know how much power, how much quality He has — even that of doing good! We will say once for all: We love not for the long purse, we never sell our love, we want not, we give.”

“You, philosopher, come to tell us of His essences His powers, His attributes — fool! We are here dying for a kiss of His lips.”

“Take your nonsense back to your own home and send me a kiss of my Love — can you?”

“Fool! whom art thou bending thy tottering knees before, in awe and fear? I took my necklace and put it round His neck; and, tying a string to it as a collar, I am dragging Him along with me, for fear He may fly away even for a moment that necklace was the collar of love; that string the ecstasy of love. Fool! you know not the secret — the Infinite One comes within my fist under the bondage of love.” “Knowest thou not that the Lord of the Universe is the bond slave of love?” “Knowest thou not that the Mover of the Universe used to dance to the music of the ringing bracelets of the shepherdesses of Vrindaban?”

Excuse my mad scribbling, excuse my foolery in trying to express the inexpressible. It is to be felt only. 

Ever with blessings, your brother,


1 A bird of Bengali folklore which is fabled to live exclusively in the atmosphere and whose eggs, laid high up in the air, are hatched during the steep fall towards the ground, and the young ones fly upwards before they touch the earth. Shri Ramakrishna used to compare the eternally liberated souls to these young birds.

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