Thursday, 19 April 2018

From the letters of Sister Nivedita

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:

To Miss J. Macleod

21A High Street, Wimbledon
January 11th, 1901

Tomorrow will be a month since the day of the operation-when Dr. Bose lay down on the talbe and said "Now Gentle man you may cut away!" And he has done 3 days' laboratory work this week, doing an enormous amount in the time! Isn't it splendid? The Indian blood has vindicated itself this time and everyone says that only his abstemious habits could possible account for so quick a recovery. The risks he ran seem also to have been greater than we knew at the time. So thank heaven - and still more S.R.K. and the King, as my private superstition declares - for the fact that we are well through.

Last Sunday I lectured twice at Tunbridge Wells, and met Sarah Grand there. It was an extraordinary thing that came to me there. I told you that I was trying to lay hold of Brahmoism. Well, S. Sara says I am not doing that at all, but at any rate, on Sunday night it was a religious service at which I had to speak, and I found myself taking the highest part of everything Swami had ever given us. Then I understood in a flash that my notion about Brahmoism had been a kind of call to me to do this, which I should never have done, perhaps, without that invitation from another's need. So I am able to realise that I really any may have been using images to thwart and blind my vision of the One. And that until I have achieved that vision, I may not go back to the Image. I cannot tell you the peace of this discovery. And is it not a wonderful proof of the truth of Advaita that Swami is so tremendous that every path means faithfulness to him?

How I have realised that, in talking to Dr. Bose sometimes! He would not discuss with me the points on which Swami and he differed because it would be dishonourable. And I have always had to urge:"Don't you see this man is so large that as long as you are faithful to Truth and to yourself, you CANNOT be in antagonism to him?"

In the same, way it is extraordinary to see in Dr. Bose how that old idea of Advaita behind him saves him from errors that other men of science walk into blindfold. These are the proofs that I love - not words and logic - and juggling of that kind, which is comparatively easy, but experience of one grade or another, even where it is not the highest - "Make us both the same brahman!"

It is nice to hear that my country people have their social virtues. I think if one is within the ring, there is no one like them in the world. But I pray never to forget for one moment what it is to be outside that ring! To know that all our talk of Freedom - Freedom for all the peoples of the Earth - Freedom for every man of every people of the Earth - for this was how I saw the national ideal - to know that all this meant only British comfort, success and gold, has been such a feast of ashes to me as leaves me with no power of rebound at all. I am permanently embittered and disillusioned, I much fear. Yet there are a few honest men here all the same. But has any Ninkiveh ever been entirely without its Jonahs? I don't think the honesty of a few can be counted specially to England's credit, since it belongs surely to all Hunamity.