From ‘Epistles – Fourth Series’-chapter -V of Volume 8 of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. (Translated from Bengali)
To Swami Turiyananda
6 PLACE DES ETATS UNIS,
DA FOREST P.O., SANTA CLARA CO.,
1st September, 1900.
MY DEAR HARI,
I learnt everything from your letter. Earlier I had an inkling of some trouble between the full-fledged Vedantist and the Home of Truth — someone wrote that. Such things do occur; wisdom consists in carrying on the work by cleverly keeping all in good humour.
For some time now I have been living incognito. I shall stay with the French to pick up their language. I am somewhat freed from worries; that is to say, I have signed the trust-deed and other things and sent them to Calcutta. I have not reserved any right or ownership for myself. You now possess everything and will manage all work by the Master’s grace.
I have no longer any desire to kill myself by touring. For the present I feel like settling down somewhere and spending my time among books. I have somewhat mastered the French language; but if I stay among the French for a month or two, I shall be able to carry on conversation well. If one can master this language and German sufficiently, one can virtually become well acquainted with European learning. The people of France are mere intellectualists, they run after worldly things and firmly believe God and souls to be superstitious; they are extremely loath to talk on such subjects. This is a truly materialistic country! Let me see what that Lord does. But this country is at the head of Western culture, and Paris is the capital of that culture.
Brother, free me from all work connected with preaching. I am now aloof from all that, you manage it yourselves. It is my firm conviction that Mother will get work done through all of you a hundredfold more than through me.
Many days ago I received a letter from Kali. He must have reached New York by now. Miss Waldo sends news now and then.
I keep sometimes well and sometimes bad. Of late I am again having that massage treatment by Mrs. Milton, who says, “You have already recovered!” This much I see — whatever the flatulence, I feel no difficulty in moving, walking, or even climbing. In the morning I take vigorous exercise, and then have a dip in cold water.
Yesterday I went to see the house of the gentleman with whom I shall stay. He is a poor scholar, has his room filled with books and lives in a flat on the fifth floor. And as there are no lifts in this country as in America, one has to climb up and down. But it is no longer trying to me.
There is a beautiful public park round the house. The gentleman cannot speak English; that is a further reason for my going. I shall have to speak French perforce. It is all Mother’s will. She knows best what She wants to have done. She never speaks out, “only keeps mum”. But this much I notice that for a month or so I have been having intense meditation and repetition of the Lord’s name.
Please convey my love to Miss Boocke, Miss Bell, Mrs. Aspinel, Miss Beckham, Mr. George, Dr. Logan, and other friends and accept it yourself. My love to all in Los Angeles also.