As LONG as there is the body, one should take care of it. But I find that the body is quite separate from the Self. When a man rids himself entirely of his love for ’woman and gold’, then he clearly perceives that the body is one thing and the Self another. When the milk inside the coconut is all dried up, then the kernel becomes separate from the shell. You feel the kernel rattling inside when you shake the coconut. Or it’s just like a sword and its sheath. The sword is one thing and the sheath is another, Therefore I cannot speak much to the Divine Mother about the illness of the body.
Once, a long time ago, I was very ill, I was sitting in the Kali Temple. I felt like praying to the Divine Mother to cure my illness, but couldn’t do so directly in my own name. I said to Her, “Mother, Hriday asks me to tell You about my illness.” I could not proceed any further. At once there flashed into my mind the Museum of the Asiatic Society, and a human skeleton strung together with wire. I said to Her, “Please tighten the wire of my body like that so that I may go about singing your name and glories.” (160)