To the Editor of Light of the East
Many thanks for your kindly sending me several copies of the Light of the East. I wish the paper all success.
As you have asked for my suggestion [that] I can make towards improving the paper — I must frankly state that in my life-long experience in the work, I have always found “Occultism” injurious and weakening to humanity. What we want is strength. We Indians, more than any other race, want strong and vigorous thought. We have enough of the superfine in all concerns. For centuries we have been stuffed with the mysterious; the result is that our intellectual and spiritual digestion is almost hopelessly impaired, and the race has been dragged down to the depths of hopeless imbecility — never before or since experienced by any other civilised community. There must be freshness and vigour of thought behind to make a virile race. More than enough to strengthen the whole world exists in the Upanishads. The Advaita is the eternal mine of strength. But it requires to be applied. It must first be cleared of the incrustation of scholasticism, and then in all its simplicity, beauty and sublimity be taught over the length and breadth of the land, as applied even to the minutest detail of daily life. “This is a very large order”; but we must work towards it, nevertheless, as if it would be accomplished to-morrow. Of one thing I am sure — that whoever wants to help his fellow beings through genuine love and unselfishness will work wonders.
- ^This letter was published in the December 1896 issue of Light of the East, a well-known monthly journal of those days, published in Calcutta. The editor, Satishchandra Mukherjee, Swami Vivekananda’s boyhood friend, was the third son of Ishanchandra, a very dear disciple of Shri Ramakrishna.