Dr. Johnson reply to Anand Sarup
Dera Baba Jaimal Singh
Via Beas Distt, Amritsar, Punjab
4th October, 1932
My Dear Sir,
Yours of the 27th ultimo received. I wish to thank you for the time given to answer my unimportant letter at such length. In your letter a few things appear which seem to demand a reply, otherwise I would not trouble you again.
- Your bombardment of â€œhard logic of factsâ€ directed â€œagainst the shell of my consciousnessâ€ I much fear has been another example of loveâ€™s labour lost; or at least misdirected. For you have, at great length, undertaken to establish a proposition by argument, example and quoted authority, which I cheerfully conceded in my letter to you. You say I denounced what you were doing there. But on the contrary, I gave to it my unstinted praises, and said it was a blessing to all India. No one can question the value of activity in the necessary affairs of the world. But the one and only question in my mind was whether or not world activities, such as your industries, can be carried on in connection with a school of spiritual instruction without detriment to the spiritual side of the work. That is the sole issue; not the value or importance of the work itself. And so far as that question goes, you have disposed of it, not by arguments of hard logic in favour of it, but by saying â€œWhatever we have done in the past and whatever we are doing in the present, is in obedience to the august commands of our revered leaders.â€ That ends the matter. Who am I that I should offer criticism, if this be the case? I might come back and demand proof that revered leaders have given you such commands. For they are certainly not in any of the published books. But it is a vain discussion, and so this must end the matter so far as I am concerned.
- Two statements in your letter have rather startled me, coming from one in your exalted position. (a) The first one is to the effect that I am receiving accommodation here from the Master and Satsang for which I am rendering no service. Your exact words being: â€œThe only difference being that you do not work for what you get.â€ By what stretch of imagination you could assume the responsibility of such a statement I cannot even guess. The statement is not only unkind, but it is absolutely untrue. For many years I have been accustomed to earn by my professional services, many times more than the cost of an ordinary living, even in America. Since coming here I have given freely of my services to all Satsangis who needed them at any time I am called upon. Evidently the Master and Satsangis believe I am earning the accommodations I receive. If I do not work for what I get here, then I beg to suggest that by the same rule you are not working for what you get. (b) Your statement on the last page of your letter, ending in the words: â€œignorant of the very alphabet of our religionâ€, is a rebuke which perhaps I deserve for my presumption. And since the â€œRebuke of the wise is better than the praise of foolsâ€, I must thank you for it. But I was under the impression that this religion inculcated, and its members actually practised, the principles of kindness and brotherly love. I know they do here. However much I might deserve them, I would be quite surprised if these charges of gross ignorance and of getting accommodations for nothing, were to be made against me by even the lowliest Satsangi here. I think they are better trained than that. I believe truly that even the humblest sweeper in this Satsang is sufficiently versed in the â€œalphabet of our religionâ€ not to resort to such charges against a brother Satsangi. And what shall be said of one who so dare forgets the â€œalphabet of our religion,â€ while standing before the world as a Master and Exemplar of that religion?
So far as I am concerned this will end our discussion. Your references to my master I can not discuss. He is far better able to speak for himself than I am to speak for him. It is sufficient for me to say here that He is in no way responsible for this letter or the first one to you. I happen to know, however, that he always stands ready to cooperate in any plan to promote brotherly love and good fellowship. And in spite of your opinion of me, I would be happy to give you my hand in cordial fraternal love and join with you in any step that would bring about a better rapprochement between all units of this sublime Faith.
(Sd.) JULIAN P. JOHNSON