Dear …………*,

Listen to an old story. A lazy tramp sauntering along the road saw an old man sitting at the door of his house and stopped to inquire of him the whereabouts of a certain place. "How far is such and such a village?" he asked. The old man remained silent. The man repeated his query several times. Still there was no answer. Disgusted at this, the traveller turned to go away. The old man then stood up and said, "The village of — is only a mile from here." "What!" said the tramp, "Why did you not speak when I asked you before?" "Because then", said the old man, "you seemed so halting and careless about proceeding, but now you are starting off in good earnest, and you have a right to an answer."

Will you remember this story, my son? Go to work, the rest will come: "Whosoever not trusting in anything else but Me, rests on Me, I supply him with everything he needs" (Gitâ, IX. 22). This is no dream.

….Do not try to be a ruler. He is the best ruler who can serve well. Be true unto death. The work we want — we do not seek wealth, name or fame. . . . Be brave. . . Be perfectly unselfish and you will be sure to succeed. . . . Without losing the independence in work, show all regards to your superiors. Work in harmony. . . . My children must be ready to jump into fire, if needed, to accomplish their work. Now work, work, work! We will stop and compare notes later on. Have patience, perseverance, and purity….Be positive; do not criticise others.

. . . If you are really my children, you will fear nothing, stop at nothing. You will be like lions. We must rouse India and the whole world. No cowardice. I will take no nay. Do you understand? Be true unto death! . . . The secret of this is Guru-Bhakti — faith in the Guru unto death! Have you that? I believe with all my heart that you have, and you know that I have confidence in you — so go to work. You must succeed. My prayers and benedictions follow every step you take. Work in harmony. Be patient with everybody. Everyone has my love. I am watching you. Onward! Onward! This is just the beginning.

. . .Do not fight with people; do not antagonise anyone…. Bear with the various opinions of everybody. Patience, purity, and perseverance will prevail.

Yours etc.,


*[You may treat this letter as if addressed to you]

SOURCE:  The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 
              Volume-5, Epistles-First Series     
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