July 6, 1890.
DEAR SHARAT (SARADANANDA) and KRIPANANDA,
Your letters have duly reached us. They say Almora is healthiest at this time of the year, yet you are taken ill! I hope it is nothing malarious. . . .
I find Gangadhar the same pliant child with his turbulence moderated by his wanderings, and with a greater love for us and for our Lord. He is bold, brave, sincere, and steadfast. The only thing needed is a guiding mind to whom he would instinctively submit with reverence, and a fine man would be the result.
I had no wish to leave Ghazipur this time, and certainly not to come to Calcutta, but Kali’s illness made me go to Varanasi, and Balaram’s sudden death brought me to Calcutta. So Suresh Babu and Balaram Babu are both gone! G. C. Ghosh is supporting the Math. . . . I intend shortly, as soon as I can get my fare, to go up to Almora and thence to some place in Gharwal on the Ganga where I can settle down for a long meditation. Gangadhar is accompanying me. Indeed it was with this desire and intention that I brought him down from Kashmir.
I don’t think you ought to be in any hurry about coming down to Calcutta. You have done with roving; that’s good, but you have not yet attempted the one thing you should do, that is, be resolved to sit down and meditate. I don’t think Jnana is a thing like rousing a maiden suddenly from sleep by saying, “Get up, dear girl, your marriage ceremony is waiting for you!” as we say. I am strongly of opinion that very few persons in any Yuga (age) attain Jnana, and therefore we should go on striving and striving even unto death. That’s my old-fashioned way, you know. About the humbug of modern Sannyasins’ Jnana I know too well. Peace be unto you and strength! Daksha, who is staying at Vrindaban with Rakhal (Brahmananda), has learnt to make gold and has become a pucca Jnani, so writes Rakhal. God bless him, and you may say, amen!
I am in fine health now, and the good I gained by my stay in Ghazipur will last, I am sure, for some time. I am longing for a flight to the Himalayas. This time I shall not go to Pavhari Baba or any other saint — they divert one from his highest purpose. Straight up!
How do you find the climate at Almora? Neither S— nor you need come down. What is the use of so many living together in one place and doing no good to one’s soul? Don’t be fools always wandering from place to place; that’s all very good, but be heroes.
निर्मानमोहा जितसङ्गदोषा अध्यात्मनित्या विनिवृत्तकामाः ।
द्वन्द्वैर्विमुक्ताः सुखदुःखसंज्ञैर्गच्छन्त्यमूढाः पदमव्ययं तत् ॥
— “Free from pride and delusion, with the evil of attachment conquered, ever dwelling in the Self, with desires completely receded, liberated from the pairs of opposites known as pleasure and pain, the undeluded reach that Goal Eternal” (Gita, XV. 5).
Who advises you to jump into fire? If you don’t find the Himalayas a place for Sadhana, go somewhere else then. So many gushing inquiries simply betray a weak mind. Arise, ye mighty one, and be strong! Work on and on, struggle on and on! Nothing more to write.