Ms. Elizabeth Bruce's letter to Hazur Maharaj
The mere possibility of coming within Thy Holy Presence so soon, fills me with Joy and Peace, which I cannot describe. The happy day which has eluded me so long a time, is at last approaching. I am settling, all my affairs, which is not an easy thing, so many ties must be broken — yet I wish to hasten my departure. I do not wish to lose one day, one hour, that might be spent in Thy Holy Presence. I wish to close this door upon the past, which has meant so much suffering, toil, agony and tears — to open the door which leads to thee, to spiritual unfoldment, peace and eternal bliss.
Everything seems to conspire to delay me; the temptations and allurements of the world have multiplied a thousand-fold since I have made my decision to give up everything and come to Thy Holy Feet. Many difficulties have been placed in my path, disappointments have almost deluged me. No doubt they are tests, little trials which I must rise above and prove the power of my soul to establish its identity with Thee. In spite of all obstacles in my path, my soul stands fearless and humble in the Light of Thy Divine Presence.
Through all the darkness, Thy Face, O Lord, has ever shone with a radiance that has uplifted me and given me the strength to meet my present obligations and prepare for the journey to India. Never have I lost sight of the fact, the “Lord is my Shepherd, He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.”
Some of my friends have scoffed at my plans, predicting all sorts of mishaps, or painting in glowing terms, the material fields open to me here. And indeed it may be true, that if I remain in America, there will be an opportunity for me to reap a rich material harvest.
O, my Father, what are these things to me now? My soul is hungry for the food of the spirit. I accept material things only in so far as they are needed to live an upright, useful life, or to contribute to my bodily health, that I may be allowed to make the best of the opportunity of this incarnation. The most important thing to me now is to see Thy Holy Face and live within Thy Holy Land where the Earth is sanctified by Thy Presence.
Nothing else matters to me, least of all material things. I am impatient to be off and on my way to India. Each day brings me a little nearer to Thee, little nearer to the day for which I have been waiting through all this life and countless others. I have climbed slowly and painfully to this humble place at Thy Holy Feet.
And now nothing can take me away from Thee, nothing can turn me aside from my purpose. I have sought Thee too long, to allow anything or anybody to interfere with my determination to take up my abode within Thy Living Presence; to be as near to Thee as the duties of my daily life will permit.
But, there is one thing which has troubled me deeply. I had hoped to have had greater material means, before going to India, so that nothing might hamper the path of my spiritual unfoldment. Yet, I feel that I have sufficient funds to keep me within a safe margin and I can always work and use the knowledge of my training and experience. And believe me, Dear Father, I have not the slightest fear of outcome of my plans. On the contrary, I am filled with a faith unfaltering, a courage indomitable. I am secure in contemplating my happiness on seeing Thee soon; I am like a bride going to meet the beloved. I am overwhelmed with a sense of love, a desire to win the rare gifts of Thy Love, Thy Grace. “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Psalm XIX).
I have but 5000 $ (five thousand dollars in moneys) after the expenditures of my journey. I feel that I can live within this sum; however, if this does not meet with your approval and Your Holiness thinks that I should have a larger sum of money to assure the necessary living requirements and freedom from monetary worry and doubt, I will gladly return to America, where I can take my work again and make any amount which your wisdom thinks best and then I can return again to India. But first let me refresh myself in the sweet waters of Thy Grace. With Thy Blessing, upon my head I can go forth into the world of action and return when Thy Love recalls me.
Mr. Moorty and I have gone into this matter at great length and while he agreed with me that my original plans for remaining here until I accumulated 10,000 $ (ten thousand dollars) was a very great one, still he felt he must leave the final decision with me; knowing there were far greater things involved than monetary considerations.
And even aside from this, there are hundreds of other things woven into the fabric of my life which only the soul can see; untold sufferings, silent tears, the aching heart that found all its emotions desecrated — the broken ideal. I placed the highest trust in those I loved only to be deeply humiliated. I was sorely tried by those who ruthlessly took my money — that I have earned on honest work — for their own means. I feel that these things are not good for the soul. They intrude upon the inner peace and tranquillity; they take up too much time which should be given to higher things; too great suffering exhausts the body and consumes the spiritual energy.
I am fully aware of Thy Wisdom, Dear Father, and that Thou knowest all these things, but, I am presenting them as my one reason for hurrying away from this material strife, this consuming energy, before trying to remain and reach the material independence which I had originally hoped to gain. I could remain even now — though unwillingly — but it would cost me dearly in time, overwork and the loss of Thy Holy Presence, for a long time to come.
It has not been an easy experience for me to make these 5000 $ (five thousand dollars) — many times I have failed, or money earned had to be shared with relatives, still I have bravely picked up the pieces and put them together again. But as I look backward at these experiences fraught with so much strife, worry and pain, I feel they were an unnecessary expenditure of vital energy, which should have been put to some better use. I would rather live simply and devote more time to spiritual development.
Life in a large city like New York, is a constant struggle for supremacy in one way or another; and with the mad, futile rushing about, it is only the rare few who can hear the voice of their own soul. Everything conspires to dazzle the outward vision, and while it may be true that millions of men and women are living righteous lives, here as elsewhere, seeking God in their own way, what does that profit me, for I am on the way to being in Thy Very Presence. Then why should I not flee from these illusions? And go at once to Thy Side. Why should I hesitate because of a seeming need for more money? If it is Thy Wish, I should have a large amount of money, that in itself changes everything for me, only bid me return again to America, and I shall gladly do so. Then only shall I have a high purpose in attaining additional material wealth and I can take up my work with a joyous spirit, having seen Thy Holy Face, having heard Thy Heavenly Voice, and having been cleansed in the sweet dews of Thy Blessing. Indeed, I must have been granted a measure of Thy Grace, on the happy day I met Mr. Moorty at this time a year ago. With all his gentility and spiritual enthusiasm, he came as an answer to my ardent prayers for a Spiritual Preceptor. His devotion to our little group has been constant, his patience never ending, and we are indebted to Thy Wisdom for sending us such a loving Brother.
Thanking Thee greatly and humbly asking Thy Grace and Love.
The Devoted Daughter