The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 9/Writings: Prose and Poems(Original and Translated)/The Plague Manifesto
THE PLAGUE MANIFESTO*
Om Salutations to Bhagavan Shri Ramakrishna<
Brothers of Calcutta!
1. We feel happy when you are happy, and we suffer when you suffer.
Therefore, during these days of extreme adversity, we are striving and
ceaselessly praying for your welfare and an easy way to save you from
disease and the fear of an epidemic.
2. If that grave disease — fearing which both the high and the low, the rich and the poor are all fleeing the city — ever really comes in our midst, then even if we perish while serving and nursing you, we will consider ourselves fortunate because you are all embodiments of God. He who thinks otherwise — out of vanity, superstition or ignorance — offends God and incurs great sin. There is not the slightest doubt about it.
3. We humbly pray to you — please do not panic due to unfounded fear. Depend upon God and calmly try to find the best means to solve the problem. Otherwise, join hands with those who are doing that very thing.
4. What is there to fear? The terror that has entered people's hearts due to
the occurrence of the plague has no real ground. Through God's will, nothing
of the terrible form that plague takes, as seen in other places, has
occurred in Calcutta. The government authorities have also been particularly
helpful to us. So what is there to fear?
5. Come, let us give up this false fear and, having faith in the infinite
compassion of God, gird our loins and enter the field of action. Let us live
pure and clean lives. Disease, fear of an epidemic, etc., will vanish into
thin air by His grace.
6. (a) Always keep the house and its premises, the rooms, clothes,
bed, drain, etc., clean.
(b) Do not eat stale, spoiled food; take fresh and nutritious food instead.
A weak body is more susceptible to disease.
(c) Always keep the mind cheerful. Everyone will die once. Cowards suffer
the pangs of death again and again, solely due to the fear in their own
(d) Fear never leaves those who earn their livelihoods by unethical means or
who cause harm to others. Therefore, at this time when we face the great
fear of death, desist from all such behaviour.
(e) During the period of epidemic, abstain from anger and from lust — even
if you are householders.
(f) Do not pay any heed to rumours.
(g) The British government will not vaccinate anyone by force. Only those
who are willing will be vaccinated.
(h) There will be no lack of effort in treating the afflicted patients in
our hospital under our special care and supervision, paying full respect to
religion, caste and the modesty (Purdah) of women. Let the wealthy run away!
But we are poor; we understand the heartache of the poor. The Mother of the
Universe is Herself the support of the helpless. The Mother is assuring us:
"Fear not! Fear not!"
7. Brother, if there is no one to help you, then send information immediately to the servants of Shri Bhagavan Ramakrishna at Belur Math. There will be no dearth of help that is physically possible. By the grace of the Mother, monetary help will also be possible.
— N. B. In order to remove the fear of the epidemic, you should sing Nâma Sankirtanam [the name of the Lord] every evening and in every locality.