Sunday, 19 November 2017

Letters of Sister Nivedita - 1


यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

Letter to [ ? ]

October 13, 1898

[Pages missing]

Ever since the day he wrote "Kali the Mother", he has been growing more and more absorbed, and at last he went off quietly without any one knowing, from the place where he was living to a Sacred Spring called Kir Bhowanie. There he stayed eight days, which seem almost too holy to write about. He must have had awful experiences spiritually and physically, for he came back one afternoon, with his face all radiant—talking of the Mother and saying he was going to Calcutta at once.

Since then we have hardly seen him. He has been alone and living like a child "on the lap of the Mother"—it was his own expression. How am I to tell you of things that [ ••• ] But I want you to know it as if you had been here. I know you won't treat it as news or as anything but sacred to yourself.

My own feeling (mind that is all) is that the ascetic impulse has come upon him overwhelmingly and that he may never visit the West or even teach again. Nothing would surprise one less than his taking the vow of silence and withdrawing forever. But perhaps the truth is, that in his case this would not be strength, but self indulgence and I can imagine that he will rise even above this mood and become a great spring of healing and knowledge to the world. Only all the carelessness and combativeness and pleasure-seeking have gone out of life and he speaks and replies to a question with the greatness and gentleness of a soul as large as the universe, all bruised and anguished, yet all Love. To say anything to him seems sacrilege and curiously enough the only language that does not seen unworthy of his Presence is a joke or a witty story—at which we all laugh. For the rest—one's very breath is hushed at the holiness of every moment.

Can I tell you more ? The last words I heard him say were "Swamiji is dead and gone" and again, "there is bliss in torture." He has no harsh word for anyone. In such vastness of mood Christ was crucified.

Again he said, he had had to go through every word of his poem of "Kali the Mother" in his experience,—and yesterday he made me repeat bits of it to him.

He talked, and because he talked of the Mother, the words seemed large enough. Before he had gone away he left one filled with the Presence of the Mother. Yesterday, he made me catch my breath and call him "God."

We are one part of a rhythm, you and I, that is larger than we know of—God make us worthy of our place. "Mother is flying kites", he sang, "in the market place of the world, in a hundred thousand. She cuts the strings of one or two."

"We are children playing in the dust, blinded by the glitter of dust in our eyes."

He turned to us Sunday and said, "These images of the Gods are more than can be explained by solar myths and nature myths. They are visions seen by true Bhakti. They are real."

Kashmir. Oct. 13, 1898