Friday, August 7, 2009

stray collections of writing from swami vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda

on India...

a race of dotards, you lose your caste if you come out! sitting down with an ever-increasing load of crystallized superstition...and what are you doing now? promenading the sea shores with books in your hands, repeating undigested stray bits of european brainwork, and the whole soul bent upon gettin a thrity rupee there water enough in the sea to drown you, books, gowns, diplomas and all?

All the religions lead to him(/her), and to him(/her) alone, says the swami. he also quotes something interesting-'if a bhangi(shudra) were to walk into a temple, he would be denied rights. but if he were to wear a sacred thread and a rich dhoti, who would deny him a seat or a handshake?'

while all people think these days are about differences, here was a man, in the nineteenth century, talking about embracing plurality and all the other faiths, asking people to believe not in faiths, but in people themselves. people are to be judged on the basis of qualities, not their birth rights and priveleges. As much as many people would agree, there is still a vast difference between agreement and practice.

come, be men! see how nations are on the march. let us struggle for higher and better things! look not back, not even if you see the dearest cry!

inspiration for all the generations to come, some of his speeches are bound with undecipherable strength and support, which can spur us to something when we are dismally down and looking for support. personally, subramanya bharati and swami vivekananda are the two brightest gems that the younger generation of the country should listen to, for inspiration.

a very intriguing question posed by the saint in one of his letters to his guru: 'if everything in this life be as per karma, what is the point of worshipping durga?'

i would like to venture a guess: to lessen the suffering, to see the emptiness of the cycle, and to live life in peace, at peace with ourselves. He was always interested in truly inspiring other people, a quality which is rarely observed in leaders these days. His philosophy to march ahead, and to not look behind, to think of the future, of the people, of service are indeed qualities of a great spiritual leader, but he shies away from calling himself a leader, but refers to himself as an humble servant of god.

'life is nothing, death is nothing, hunger nothing, cold nothing...march ahead'

when the swami was in america for the conference, he had to put up with so many things, and one among them was the jeering catcalls from the onlookers because of his attire. and thus the swami reacts-

starvation, cold, hooting in the streets on account of my quaint dress, these are what i have to fight against. but no great thing is achieved without great labour...

In all his letters, he refers to his despondency in not being able to let go of the worldly desires and how his love for his brother, his mother or for his guru is something that should be cast away...At the very end, he will be a man not remembered for his failures, but for his charm and imposing speeches, that would take the collective breath of the millions who would understand...


  1. @ gautham

    Thanks for this interesting and eye-opening write up on Swami Vivekananda's words.U have made us all remember him in this fast paced world. U r deeply affected by his words it seems as most of the people who have read his books. He is actually a great visionary.

  2. @Gautham Dude you won my heart and soul for this inspiring article on swami vivekanda. Apparently the youth of India not excluding me behind Madonna and Britney Spears not Swami vivekananda or some saint like him. Not to forgot the glamorous queens of Bollywood. American soft power is very strong in India so people of India which gave birth to great saints like him are no more interested in anything of this sort. I am really sorry to be honest and this is the fact and truth.

    Regarding swami's point of "judge the person on the basis of quality not birth rights and privilege. I am once again sorry, the real world doesn't work like that. It is the birth which is the ultimate decider of ur path of destiny. I strongly think there is nothing is altered in the course of it. Even best quality of education is only available to privileged people, which is the most deciding factor of ur life. Swami once remarked "Education is the manifestation of perfection already in men". I strongly disagree with him because it is no more. Even in the most developed parts of the world it is case.

    Take Singapore for example, an elaborate survey on presidential scholarship and other scholarships revealed that only upper class are able to clinch it. India is no exception in this case, as any educated Indian must be knowing the humongous sum of money he/she has to pay as coaching fee for IIT JEE and IIM CAT. There is absolutely no merit if your really delving into the matter of selection. Any trained person can beat an untrained mind. So Swami is once again not taken seriously.

    I used to read his books but realized if you really want to survive in the world just do what others are doing it. Brother, your a bravo to write an article about swami vivekanada. Thanks!

  3. "Education is the manifestation of perfection already in men"-interesting...
    thanks, i draw a lot of inspiration from vivekananda and mahakavi bharathi...i absolutely see your point on education.