Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk and chief disciple of the 19th-century saint Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion in the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India and contributed to the notion of nationalism in colonial India.
This is a letter that Swami Vivekananda wrote to Miss Josephine McCloud in April of 1900. This was a few years before he died, and he died in his late thirties.
Vivekananda was a very deep disciple of Ramakrishna, he took the teachings out into the world and brought them to America and played a key role in bringing Eastern spiritual ideas into the West in the 1890’s. He called Josephine “Jo” and he said:
“After all, Jo, I am only a boy who used to listen with wrapped wonderment to the wonderful words of Ramakrishna under the Banyan Tree at Dakshineswar. That is my true nature. Doing good and so forth are all superimpositions. Now I again hear the voice, the same old voice thrilling my soul; bonds are breaking, love dying, work becoming tasteless. The glamour is off life. Yes, I come, nirvana is before me. I feel it at times, the same infinite ocean of peace, without a ripple, a breath.
Since the beginning of this year, I have not dictated anything in India, you know that. I am drifting again in the warm heart of the river. I dare not make a splash with my hands or feet, for fear of breaking the wonderful stillness that makes one feel sure the world is an illusion. Behind my work was ambition. Behind my love was personality. Behind my purity was fear. Behind my guidance was thirst for power. Now they are vanishing, and I drift. I come, Mother, a spectator, no more an actor. Things are seen and felt like shadows.”
To explore more about Swami Vivekananda visit his website Here.
Help Support These Teachings
If you enjoyed Featured Teacher: Swami Vivekananda, please support our efforts to continue making teachings from Ram Dass and friends accessible to all. As Ram Dass says, "When you see the beloved all around you, everyone is family and everywhere is love." Learn more >
LSRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.
I would like to make a contribution of: