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The Rudra Prayer *

( * This poem was not published in the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda)


(Translated by the Swami on June 12, 1898)

From the Unreal lead us to the Real.

From darkness lead us unto light.

From death lead us to immortality.

Reach us through and through our self.

And evermore protect us—Oh Thou Terrible!— From ignorance, by Thy sweet compassionate Face.


Note: The Swami hesitated a long time over the fourth line, thinking of rendering it, “Embrace us in the heart of our heart.

Mrs Bull, Sister Nivedita, Josephine MacLeod and possibly Mrs Patterson and others he put his perplexity to them, saying, “The real meaning is ‘Reach us through and through our self.”

He was concerned that the latter might not make good sense in English.

The women advised unhesitatingly to keep “each us through and through our self.”

Sister Nivedita wrote in “Notes of Some Wanderings with the Swami Vivekananda ” that she understood a more literal rendering of the fourth line would be, “O Thou who art manifest only unto Thyself, manifest Thyself also unto us!”


Sister Nivedita wrote of this in Notes of Some Wanderings: “I now regard his translation as a rapid and direct transcript of the experience of Samadhi itself. It tears the living heart out of the Sanskrit, as it were, and renders it again in an English form.”