Friday 5 January 2018

Letter to Mrs. Eric Hammond

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

August 7, 1898

Between Islamabad and Srinagar
 On the Jhelum, Kashmir
 Sunday morning, August 7, [1898]

My dearest Nell,

                Your last lovely letter, close on the heels of its predecessor, was written on a Sunday morning. Much has happened since then, and it is Sunday morning again. We are on our way down to Srinagar, and I have a boat to myselfelf—for the Consul's wife has just left us to join her husband. Over there is Swami's boat, and just behind Mrs. Bull and Miss MacLeod's where we have been lunching (our first meal we have about 6—lunch about 12—and our last at 5 or 6). The river is like glass, and a slight breeze meets us in our leisurely progress. It is just like heaven. A few weeks hence all this will be over, and my consolation will be that I gave thanks for every moment of it while it lasted.

                Your letter was a delight, and most unexpected, for I have a notion that you hate producing letters. Your other just cams in time to keep us perfectly with you through your week of retreat. Oxford was a lovely choice surely—and how delightful the £5 must have been. May it be the precursor of many such. "Great Thoughts" was such a boon and even Swami read "MAP" through ! How nice it is ! I didn't think a Society paper could be kept so sweet and clean. I shall be grateful to you at any time for a paper like Great Thoughts if you have it by you. It serves better than anything else to show Swarupananda the element that we both think should get into the Prabuddha Bharata.

                At Almora he was just my Bengali master, and helper with the Gita. Here, and now, especially with the interest and responsibility of the new paper resting on him over there, I count him one of the best and finest friends I ever had. He is one of 3 Bengali men—besides Swami—whom I am just proud of knowing. I gave your message—"Love and Devotion"—to the Master— he had already brightened up at your photograph (how good it is ! and how lovely and homely to get it ! Oh for a peep into your nest at this moment !) and he said at once : "And mine to them." He thinks the world of you two you know. One day he was building castles in the air, about a sort of farm-colony he plans to have in a scantily populated district of Behar (in some words he thinks it will be centuries hence, nevertheless listen to this) and he ended up by saying—"Oh yes, I'll get Mr. and Mrs. Hammond and heaps of other English workers out here, and they'll do that for me !"

                I saved that up for you, and always neglected to tell you, Mrs. Jonson and Mr. Sturdy have both written such warm thanks to you that his heart is just full, and I think that Purity Meeting where he spoke for you has linked him to you in a very special way. I have heard Mrs. Bull tell him two or three times that she thinks it the finest thing he ever did.  She has such a lovely-fancy about him. I love to connect and watch people's attitude. To you he is the Master, to me the King, to her the Sistine Child. Isn't that a beautiful idea ? And I  think one can't help catching the resemblance too, the minute it is mentioned.

                And now I must tell you something, that will startle you—I have been away up in the Himalayas for a week—18,000 feet high—I went with Swami to see the glaciers—so much anyone may know. The rest you may not tell. It was a pilgrimage really to the Caves of Amarnath, where he was anxious to dedicate me to Siva.

To Be Continue

हमें कर्म की प्रतिष्ठा बढ़ानी होंगी। कर्म देवो भव: यह आज हमारा जीवन-सूत्र बनना चाहिए। - भगिनी निवेदिता {पथ और पाथेय : पृ. क्र.१९ }
Sister Nivedita 150th Birth Anniversary :
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