Two unpublished letters of Swami Vivekananda
Two letters written by Swami Vivekananda to Maharaja Ajit Singh of Khetri were recently found among old papers in the record room of the Khetri Sub-divisional Officer’s office (Jhunjhunu District, Rajasthan, India). We are publishing the text of the letters virtually unedited.
the 15th February 
Two things I am telling your Highness. One—a very wonderful phenomenon I have seen in a village called Kumbakonam, and another about myself.
In the said village lives a man of the Chetty caste, generally passing for an astrologer. I, with two other young men, went to see him. He was said to tell about anything a man thinks of. So, I wanted to put him to the test. Two months ago, I dreamt that my mother was dead and I was very anxious to know about her. My second was whether what my Guru had told me was right. The third was a test-question—a part of the Buddhistic mantra, in Tibetan tongue. These questions I determined upon, two days before going to this Govinda Chetty. Another young man had one of his sisters-in-law given poison to, by some unknown hand, from which she recovered. But he wanted to know the author of that delivery.
When we first saw him, the fellow was almost ferocious. He said that some Europeans came to see [him] with the Dewan of Mysore and that since then through their ‘Dristee Dosham’ he had got fever and that he could not give us a seance then and only if we paid him 10 Rs., he would consent to tell us our ‘prasnas’. The young men with me of course were ready to pay down his fees. But he goes to his private room and immediately comes back and says to me that if I gave him some ashes to cure him of his fever he would consent to give us a seance. Of course I told him that I do not boast of any power of curing diseases but he said, ‘That does not matter, only I want [the ash]’. So, I consented and he took us to the private room and, taking a sheet of paper, wrote something upon it and gave it over to one of us and made me sign it and keep it into the pocket of one of my companions. Then he told me point blank, ‘Why you, a Sannyasi, are thinking upon your mother?’ I answered that even the great Shankaracharya would take care of his mother; and he said ‘She is all right and I have written her name in that paper in the possession of your friend’ and then went on saying, ‘Your Guru is dead. Whatever he has told you, you must believe, for he was a very very great man,’ and went on giving me a description of my Guru which was most wonderful and then he said ‘What more you want to know about your Guru?’ I told him ‘If you can give me his name I would be satisfied’, and he said, ‘Which name? A Sannyasi gets different sorts of names’. I answered, ‘The name by which he was known to the public’, and says, ‘The wonderful name, I have already written that. And you wanted to know about a mantra in Tibetan, that is also written in that paper.’ And, he then told me to think of anything in any language and tell him, I told him ‘Om Namo BhagavateVasudevaya’, and he said, ‘That is also written in the paper in possession of your friend. Now take it out and see’. And Lo! Wonder! They were all there as he said and even my mother’s name was there!! It began thus—your mother of such and such name is all right. She is very holy and good, but she is feeling your separation like death and within two years she shall die; so if you want to see her, it must be within two years.
Next it was written—your Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is dead but he lives in Sukshma, i.e., ethereal body, and is watching over you, etc. and then it was written ‘Lamala capsechua’, in Tibetan, and then at last was written ‘In conformation to what I have written, I give you also this mantra which you would give me after one hour after my writing; ‘Om Namo Bhagavate etc.’; and so he was equally successful with my friends. Then I saw people coming from distant villages and as soon as he sees them he says—‘Your name is such and such and you come from such and such village for this purpose’. By the time he was reading me, he toned down very much and said—‘I won’t take money from you. On the other hand, you must take some “seva” from me’. And I took some milk at his house and he brought over his whole family to bow down to me and I touched some ‘vibhutee’ brought by him and then I asked him the source of his wonderful powers. First he would not say, but after a while he came to me [and] said—‘Maharaj, it is “siddhi of mantras” through the “sahaya” of “Devi”.’ Verily, there are more things on heaven and earth Horatio than your philosophy ever dreamt of—Shakespeare.
The second is regarding me. Here is a zamindar of Ramnath, now staying in Madras. He is going to send me over to Europe and, as you are already aware of, I have a great mind to see those places. So I have determined to take this opportunity of making a tour in Europe and America. But I can’t do anything without asking your Highness, the only friend on Earth I have.
So kindly give your opinion about it. I only want to make a short tour in those places. One thing I am certain of, that I am [an] instrument in the hands [of] a holy and superior power. Myself, I have no peace, am burning literally day and night, but somehow or other, wherever I go hundreds and, in some [places] as in Madras, thousands would come to me day and night and would be cured of their skepticism and unbelief but I—! I am always unhappy!! Thy will be done!! Therefore, I don’t know what this power requires of me, to be done in Europe. I cannot but obey. ‘Thy will be done’!! There is no escape.
I congratulate your Highness on the birth of a son and heir. May the infant prince be quiet like his most noble father and may the Lord shower his blessings always on him and his parents.
So I am going over in two or three weeks to Europe. I can’t say anything as to the future of the body. Only I pray to your Highness if it be proper to take some care of my mother that she does not starve.
I would be highly obliged to get a reply soon, and pray your Highness to keep the latter part of this letter, i.e., my going over to England etc., confidential.
May you be blessed all your life, you and yours, is the prayer that is day and night offered up by,
C/o. M.Bhattacharya Esq.
Assistant Accountant General
Mt. St. Thome, Madras
The 22nd May 93
Leaving Khetri there happened nothing particular to relate except that I had every comfort on the way, broke journey at Kharari and then [went] to Nariad [Nadiad]. Haridas Bhai was as usual very kind to me and we had many and many a talk about your Highness, so much so that he was really very anxious to see you and intends paying his respects to your Highness in his coming winter tour to the north. And I dare say your Highness would also be very much pleased to see this old man of great experience who was for twenty-five years the mentor of Kathiawad. Withal he is the only remnant of the old school of very conservative politicians. He is a man who is thoroughly able to organize and put to perfect order an existing machinery; but he would be the last man to move a step further.
At Bombay I went to see my friend Ramdas, Barrister-at-Law. He is rather a sentimental gentleman and was so much impressed with your Highness’ character that he told me that had it not been midsummer he would rather fly to see such a prince.
His father intends going to Chicago on the 31st; if so, we would go together for company. Today I go to buy some steel trunks etc., and am only waiting for the Madras money to come in. Although I wired to them from Jeypore, they were rather suspicious and waited for my further communications and I have again wired them and written too.
On our way we had the company of Mr.Ramnath, the charan headmaster of the Jeypore noble’s school. He and I had a bout on my first coming out of Khetri years ago, about vegetarianism. He had in the meantime got hold of some American writers and pounced upon me with his arguments from them. His author, he said, has proved to his satisfaction that the human digestive organs including the teeth are exactly like those of the cow. Therefore, man is designed by nature to be a vegetarian animal. He is a very good and nice gentleman and I did not want to disturb his confidence in the American hobbyist but one thing was on the tip of my tongue—If our digestive apparatus is exactly like that of a cow—we ought and must be able to eat and digest grass. In that case poor Indians are fools to die of starvation in famine times while their natural food, grass, is so abundant, and your Highness’ servants are fools to serve you while they have only to get up the nearest hillock and get a bellyful of grass instead of undergoing all the trouble of serving others!!! Grand American discovery indeed!!! Only I hope the holy dungs of such human cows may become of great use to the wonderful American author and his Indian disciple. Amen. So much for the cow-human theory.
Do not find anything more to advertize to your Highness, so, beg leave to stop here.
May the giver of all good bestow his choicest blessings on you and yours, I remain,
Yours in the Lord,