Thursday, July 12, 2007


Swami Vivekananda is a Hindu-monk. But he is worried that if his American disciple sees him in loin-cloth, she will be shocked. He is also worried about the wretched environment in India. He writes from Belur Math. to Ms. Christina Greenstidel ( Christine ) on 26th Jan. 1899. The context: She wants to come to India. Vivekananda is trying to discourage her.

"... Then all the surroundings are so, so wretched and different from what you see around you, e.g. you will find me going about in loin-cloth — will that shock you? Three-fourths of the population only wearing a strip of white cloth about their loins — can you bear that? ..."

*This is the same girl to whom Vivekananda wrote a poem on 18th January 1896 entitled "To an Early Violet". In it he said

"... What though no mate to cheer thy path, Thy sky with gloom o'ercast -- What though of love itself doth fail, Thy fragrance strewed in vain; What though if bad o'er good prevail, ...".

This is the same girl to whom Vivekananda sent a document to countersign as "Miss" on 22nd March 1896 from Boston writing:-

". Herewith (words excised) to countersign it and put it (words excised). I am afraid I have made a mistake in writing Miss to your name. In that case you will have to sign also as Miss etc. ..."

Mrs. Ole Bull came to India. Ms. Henrietta Mueller visited India. Ms. Sevior lives at Mayavati. They all might have seen Vivekananda in loin cloth, and they were not shocked. Why should this disciple alone be shocked to see Swamiji in loin-cloth?

On 2nd Sep. 1901 Vivekananda decided to invite her to India and also requested her to send her photos. He arranged a passage fare for her travel to India. He wrote to her:

"... They all are expected here in November, and will have a "hot time in this old town" etc. I pray you can come, and the Mother will open the door for it. I cannot but say my prayers mostly have been heard, up to date.

Well now, Christina, send me one of your latest photos next mail, will you? I want to see how much of fat you have accumulated in one year. ...".

Thus it took him 1.5 years to decide whether to appear in loin-cloth before a girl disciple or not.


Bajjuri said...

babu garu...mee peru ento naku theliyadhu kani.......neeku yee english valla gurinchi sarigga thelisinattu ledhu....mana religion ante vellakai asalu istam vundadhu...even veella presidents chala sarlu mana prime ministers ni chala neechanga thittina letters kuda monnane bayatakochayi.....what i want to say is "Don't belive this kind of shit letters". Vivekanda koncham selfish vundi vundochu, indians ni thittadu(A bleady papers adhranga) antunnavu. But vivekanandha india religion values world ki ela theliyachesado adhe paper lo inka chala chepparu adhi kuda chaduvu.....don't think in negative way....manaki entha manchi jarigindhi ani first alochinchi.....chedu ni a tharuvatha alochinchandi.....

multisubj yb said...

Fried Shri Bajjuri: You may referring to Mr. Richard Nixon former American President and his Adviser Henry Kissinger making nasty comments about Late Indira Gandhi. Or you may be referring to some comments made by Winston Churchil. That discussion comes under a separate head-- politics. Here we are concerned with monks. About the genuineness of the letters written by Swami Vivekananda, the Complete Works of Vivekananda are placed on the net mostly by institutions devoted to Vivekananda. Of course, they have done some editing. By and large, there are no circumstances to consider Vivekananda's letters as shit. Any way, I request you to read the Complete Works of Vivekananda thoroughly; then you will know the truth. Then only you can have an unbiased opinion of him.
About his popularising Hindu religion abroad:- 1. Hindu religion does not need publicity. 2. It does not want to convert people of other religions into Hinduism. 3. Vivekananda tried to discourage Christian missionaries converting Hindus into Christianity. Unfortunately, he could not succeed owing to premature death. Even now, conversions are a serious problem in India, particularly the conversion of illiterate and semi literate persons into Christianity by offering money and gifts. 4. Vivekananda thought that he could solve the problems of poor in India by earning money in USA through lectures and donations. For this purpose he praised European women and partly succeeded in mobilising funds. 5. To some extent he compromised the discipline of a monk. For that reason only he lost the support of great scholar like Mr. E T Sturdy and Ms. Henrietta Mueller. 6. It is not the question of looking at good or bad. Even after 100 years of functioning of the institutions started by Vivekananda (Ramakrishna Math. etc. they have done great service), Indian poor are still in a desparate conditions for various reasons. That means by propagating religion or preaching religious philosophy (Vedanta or Bhakti), the problems of the poor cannot be solved. It is a hightime the Indian youth search out and chalk out new programmes.

multisubj yb said...

In the above comment, the word "Fried" may please be read as "Friend Shri Bajjuri"