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These swamis and ashrams do not accord me the tolerance which they are so fond of preaching--to others. I, on the other hand, accord them gladly complete tolerance to teach and preach what they please. They criticize me as a perverter of Hinduism and a degrader of its ideals. They denounce me as a Western journalist who has picked up a smattering of yoga for mercenary reasons. Whereas they claim that the monkish state is the highest goal of humanity, I reply that the highest state has nothing whatever to do with monasticism. It is entirely invisible because it is an inner state, whilst monasticism is a matter of yellow robes, buildings called monasteries, non-participation in physical human activities like marriage, working for a livelihood, and so on. I further reply that I make no claim to teach or lead men to the highest state because I have not attained it myself; I have repeatedly pointed this out in various prefaces to my books. I claim only to tell a few others of ideas which have appealed to me and practices which have helped me. Whether they are the highest I do not know. I am interested only in what is practicable, not in what is beyond the reach of all human beings I have met and know. I am uninterested in what is attainable by theoretical human beings whom I have never met. Therefore I say that if the swamis criticize me, I criticize them back and call them materialists! For they are preoccupied with such a highly material matter as regulating the material body, whereas I am occupied with a purely mental matter, that is, with the discovery of truth!

-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 110

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