As per Hindu Panchang today Paush krushna Saptami (i.e. 15 Jan)is the Swami Vivekanand’s Jayanti. Let us pay obeisance to this invaluable son of Bharat.
Here We present Swami Vivekanand's Exclusive thoughts on Hindu Nation to our readers. Let us make resolve to follow the path of Swami Vivekanand on his Birth Anniversary.
Then and then alone you are a Hindu:
Then and then alone you are a Hindu when you will be ready to bear everything for them, like the great example of your great Guru Govind Singh. Driven out from this country, fighting against its oppressors, after having shed his own blood for the defense of the Hindu religion, after having seen his children killed on the battlefield - ay, this example of the great Guru, left even by those for whose sake he was shedding his blood and the blood of his own nearest and dearest - he, the wounded lion, retired from the field calmly to die in the South, but not a word of curse escaped his lips against those who had ungratefully forsaken him!
Every one of you will have to be a Govind Singh, if you want to do good to your country. You may see thousands of defects in your countrymen, but mark their Hindu blood. They are the first Gods you will have to worship even if they do everything to hurt you, even if everyone of them send out a curse to you, you send out to them words of love. If they drive you out, retire to die in silence like that mighty lion, Govind Singh. Such a man is worthy of the name of Hindu; such an ideal ought to be before us always.
… Swami Vivekanand
Do your Swadharma; this is the truth of truths:
Heroes only enjoy the world. Show your heroism; apply, according to circumstances, the fourfold political maxims of conciliation, bribery, sowing dissensions, and open war, to win over your adversary and enjoy the world - then you will be Dhârmika (righteous). Otherwise, you live a disgraceful life if you pocket your insults when you are kicked and trodden down by anyone who takes it into his head to do so; your life is a veritable hell here, and so is the life hereafter. This is what the Shastras say.
The great irony:
See the irony of it. Jesus Christ, the God of the Europeans, has taught: Have no enemy, bless them that curse you; whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also; stop all your work and be ready for the next world; the end of the world is near at hand. And our Lord in the Gita is Rousing Call to Hindu Nation saying: Always work with great enthusiasm, destroy your enemies and enjoy the world. But, after all, it turned out to be exactly the reverse of what Christ or Krishna implied.
The Europeans never took the words of Jesus Christ seriously. Always of active habits, being possessed of a tremendous Râjasika nature, they are gathering with great enterprise and youthful ardor the comforts and luxuries of the different countries of the world and enjoying them to their hearts' content.
And we are sitting in a corner, with our bag and baggage, pondering on death day and night, and singing:
"Very tremulous and unsteady is the water on the lotus-leaf; so is the life of man frail and transient" -with the result that it is making our blood run cold and our flesh creep with the fear of Yama, the god of death; and Yama, too, alas, has taken us at our word, as it were - plague and all sorts of maladies have
entered into our country!
Who are following the teachings of the Gita? – The Europeans. And who are acting according to the will of Jesus Christ? -The descendants of Shri Krishna! This must be well understood.
Europe shook off Christ and was saved:
It is only the Vedic religion which considers ways and means and lays down rules for the fourfold attainment of man, comprising Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Buddha ruined us, and so did Christ ruin Greece and Rome! Then, in due course of time, fortunately, the Europeans became Protestants, shook off the teachings of Christ as represented by Papal authority, and heaved a sigh of relief.
The Hindu Character:
The Hindu says that political and social independence are well and good, but the real thing is spiritual independence - Mukti. This is our national purpose; whether you take the Vaidika, the Jaina, or the Bauddha, the Advaita, the Vishishtâdvaita, or the Dvaita — there, they are all of one mind. Leave that point untouched and do whatever you
like, the Hindu is quite unconcerned and keeps silence; but if you run foul of him there, beware, you court your ruin. Rob him of everything he has, kick him, call him a "nigger" or any such name, he does not care much; only keep that one gate of religion free and unmolested.
Look here, how in the modern period the Pathan dynasties were coming and going, but could nor get a firm hold of their Indian Empire, because they were all along attacking the Hindu's religion. And see, how firmly based, how tremendously strong was the Mogul Empire. We have seen that our vigour, our strength, nay, our national life is in our religion
Even if you have not the same faith that I have in our religion. You are bound by it, and if you give it up, you are smashed to pieces. That is the life of our race and that must be strengthened.
‘Somnath’ will teach you volumes of wisdom:
You have withstood the shocks of centuries simply because you took great care of it, you sacrificed everything else for it. Your forefathers underwent everything boldly, even death itself, but preserved their religion. Temple alter temple was broken down by the foreign conqueror, but no sooner had the wave passed than the spire of the temple rose up again. Some of these old temples of Southern India and those like Somnâth of Gujarat will teach you volumes of wisdom, will give you a keener insight into the history of the race than any amount of books. Mark how these temples bear the marks of a hundred attacks and a hundred regenerations, continually destroyed and continually springing up out of the ruins, rejuvenated and strong as ever! That is the national mind, that is the national life-current.
I do not mean to say that political or social improvements are not necessary, but what I mean is this, and I want you to bear it in mind, that they are secondary here and that religion is primary.
Why disown Hinduism? Let us swim or sink together:
Why should you, Hindus, want to separate yourselves from the great common fold? Why should you feel ashamed to take the name of Hindu, which is your greatest and most glorious possession?
This national ship of ours, ye children of the Immortals, my countrymen, has been plying for ages, carrying civilization and enriching the whole world with its inestimable treasures. For scores of shining centuries this national ship of ours has been ferrying across the ocean of life, and has taken millions of souls to the other shore, beyond all misery. But today it may have sprung a leak and got damaged, through your own fault or whatever cause it matters not. What would you, who have placed yourselves in it, do now? Would you go about cursing it and quarrelling among yourselves!
Would you not all unite together and put your best efforts to stop the holes? Let us all gladly give our hearts' blood to do this; and if we fail in the attempt, let us all sink and die together, with blessings and not curses on our lips.
Take a vow to devote your lives for the cause:
It is not the work of a day, and the path is full of the most deadly thorns. But Parthasarathi is ready to be our Sârathi - we know that. And in His name and
with eternal faith in Him, set fire to the mountain of misery that has been heaped upon India for ages - and it shall be burned down. Go now this minute to the temple of Pârthasârathi, (Shri Krishna as Sârathi, charioteer, of Pârtha or
Arjuna.) and before Him who was friend to the poor and lowly cowherds of Gokula, who never shrank to embrace the Pariah Guhaka, who accepted the
invitation of a prostitute in preference to that of the nobles and saved her in His incarnation as Buddha - yea, down on your faces before Him, and make a
great sacrifice, the sacrifice of a whole life for them, for whom He comes from time to time, whom He loves above all, the poor, the lowly, the oppressed.
Vow, then, to devote your whole lives to the cause of the redemption of these three hundred millions, going down and down every day.
Faith in yourselves:
Come then, look it in the face, brethren, it is a grand task, and we are so low. But we are the sons of Light and children of God. Glory unto the Lord, we will succeed. Hundreds will fall in the struggle, hundreds will be ready to take it up. I may die here unsuccessful; another will take up the task. You know the disease; you know the remedy, only have faith. Do not look up to the so-called rich and great; do not care for the heartless intellectual writers and their cold-blooded newspaper articles. Faith, sympathy - fiery faith and fiery sympathy! Faith,
faith, faith in ourselves, faith, faith in God – this is the secret of greatness.
Worship through service:
Have Vairagya. Your ancestors gave up the world for doing great things. At the present time there are men who give up the world to help their own salvation. Throw away everything, even your own salvation, and go and help others.
Let all other vain gods disappear for the time from our minds. This is the only god that is awake, our own race - "everywhere his hands, everywhere his feet, everywhere his ears, he covers everything." All other gods are sleeping. What vain gods shall we go after and yet cannot worship the god that we see all round us, the Virât? When we have worshipped this, we shall be able to worship all other gods. Liberation is only for him who gives up everything for others, whereas others who tax their brains day and night harping on "my salvation", "my salvation", wander about with their true well-being ruined, both present and prospective.
What is needed is Chittashuddhi, purification of the heart. And how does that come? The first of all worship is the worship of the Virat - of those all around us. Worship It. Worship is the exact equivalent of the Sanskrit word, and no other English word will do. These are all our gods – men and animals; and the first gods we have to worship are our countrymen.
Men of renunciation and service – need of the hour:
The national ideals of India are RENUNCIATION and SERVICE. Intensify her in those channels, and the rest will take care of itself. The banner of the spiritual cannot be raised too high in this country. In it alone is salvation.
What I want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made - Strength, manhood, Kshatra-Virya and Brahma-Teja. Our beautiful hopeful boys - they have everything, only if they are not slaughtered by the millions at the altar of this brutality they call marriage. O Lord, hear my wails!
Let a few stand out and live for God alone and save religion for the world.. Be honest and say, "I see the ideal but I cannot yet approach it"; but do not pretend to give up when you do not. If you give up, stand fast. If a hundred fall in the fight, seize the flag and carry it on. God is true for all that, no matter who fails. Let him who falls hand on the flag to another to carry on; it can never fall.
A hundred thousand men and women, fired with the zeal of holiness, fortified with eternal faith in the Lord, and nerved to lion's courage by their sympathy for the poor and the fallen and the downtrodden, will go over the length and breadth of the land, preaching the gospel of salvation, the gospel of help ,the gospel of social raising-up - the gospel of equality.
Pride in being a Hindu:
When a man has begun to be ashamed of his ancestors, the end has come. Here am I, one of the least of the Hindu race, yet proud of my race, proud of my ancestors. I am proud to call myself a Hindu, I am proud that I am one of your unworthy servants. I am proud that I am a countryman of yours, you the descendants of the sages, you the descendants of the most glorious Rishis the world ever saw.
Let the life-current flow unobstructed:
We Indians … have been invaded by a vast amount of foreign ideas that are eating into the very vitals of our national religion. Why are we so backwards nowadays? Why are ninety-nine per cent of us made up of entirely foreign ideas and elements? This has to be thrown out if we want to rise in the scale of nations.
Therefore, make way for the life-current of the nation. Take away the blocks that bar the way to the progress of this mighty river, cleanse its path, dear the channel, and out it will rush by its own natural impulse, and the nation will go on careering and progressing.
Disease attacks only a weak body:
Materialism, or Mohammedanism, or Christianity, or any other ism in the world could never have succeeded but that you allowed them. No bacilli can attack the human frame until it is degraded and degenerated by vice, bad food, privation, and exposure; the healthy man passes scathe less through masses of poisonous bacilli. We know that there must be two causes to produce a disease, some poison germ outside, and the state of the body. Until the body is in a state to admit the germs, until the body is degraded to a lower vitality so that the germs may enter and thrive and multiply, there is no power in any germ in the world to
produce a disease in the body. In fact, millions of germs are continually passing through everyone's body; but so long as it is vigorous, it never is conscious of them. It is only when the body is weak that these germs take possession of it and produce disease. Just so with the national life. It is when the national body is weak that all sorts of disease germs, in the political state of the race or in its social state, in its educational or intellectual state, crowd into the system and produce disease. To remedy it, therefore, we must go to the root of this disease and cleanse the blood of all impurities. The one tendency will be to strengthen the man, to make the blood pure, the body vigorous, so that it will be able to resist and throw off all external poisons. Brethren, we know to our shame that most of the real evils for which the foreign races abuse the Hindu nation are only owing to us. We have been the cause of bringing many undeserved calumnies on the head of the other races in India.
You will understand better with you biceps stronger:
I know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a little experience. You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger. You will understand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of Krishna better with a little of strong blood in you. You will understand the Upanishads better and the glory of the Atman when your body stands firm upon your feet, and you feel yourselves as men.
We speak of many things parrot-like, but never do them; speaking and not doing has become a habit with us. What is the cause of that? Physical weakness. This sort of weak brain is not able to do anything; we must strengthen it. What we want is vigour in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, not softening namby-pamby ideas.
Quarrelling with brothers and kneeling before foreigners:
There is yet another defect in us. …….excuse me, but through centuries of slavery, we have become like a nation of women. You scarcely can get three
women together for five minutes in this country or any other country, but they quarrel. Women make big societies in European countries, and make tremendous declarations of women's power and so on; then they quarrel, and some man comes and rules them all. All over the world they still require some man to rule them.
We are like them. Women we are. If a woman comes to lead women, they all begin immediately to criticise her, tear her to pieces, and make her sit down. If a man comes and gives them a little harsh treatment, scolds them now and then, it is all right, they have been used to that sort of mesmerism. In the same way, if one of our countrymen stands up and tries to become great, we all try to hold him down, but if a foreigner comes and tries to kick us, it is all right. We have been used to it, have we not?
Secret of power lies in unity and organization:
Before my mind rises one of the marvelous verses of the Rig-Veda Samhitâ which says, "Be thou all of one mind, be thou all of one thought, for in the days
of yore, the gods being of one mind were enabled to receive oblations10." That the gods can be worshipped by men is because they are of one mind. Being of one mind is the secret of society.
Why is it, to take a case in point, that forty millions of Englishmen rule three hundred millions of people here? What is the psychological explanation? These forty millions put their wills together and that means infinite power, and you three hundred millions have a will each separate from the other. Therefore to make a great future India, the whole secret lies in organization, accumulation of power, co-ordination of wills.
And the more you go on fighting and quarrelling about all trivialities such as "Dravidian" and "Aryan", and the question of Brahmins and non-Brahmins and all that, the further you are off from that accumulation of energy and power which is going to make the future India. For mark you, the future India depends entirely upon that. That is the secret - accumulation of will-power, coordination, bringing them all, as it here, into one focus.
No destruction of religion is necessary to improve the Hindu society:
I claim that no destruction of religion is necessary to improve the Hindu society, and that this state of society exists not on account of religion but because that religion has not been applied to society as it should have been. This I am ready to prove from our old books, every word of it. This is what I teach, and this is what we must struggle all our lives to carry out. The first work that demands our attention is that the most wonderful truths confined in our Upanishads, in our Scriptures, in our Puranas – must be brought out from the books and scattered broadcast all over the land, Every improvement in India requires first of all an upheaval in religion.
Before flooding India with socialistic or political ideas, first deluge the land with spiritual ideas. In this land of charity, let us take up the energy of the first charity, the diffusion of spiritual knowledge. And that diffusion should not be confined within the bounds of India. After preaching spiritual knowledge, along with it will come, that secular knowledge, along with it will come that secular knowledge and every other knowledge that you want; but if you attempt to get the secular knowledge without religion, I tell you plainly, vain is your attempt in India, it will never have a hold on the people.
Unification of religion:
The first plank in the making of a future India, the first step that is to be hewn out of that rock of ages, is this unification of religion.
All of us have to be taught that we Hindus have certain common ideas behind us, and that the time has come when for the well-being of our-selves, for the well-being of our race, we must give up all our little quarrels and differences. National union in India must be a gathering up of its scattered spiritual forces. A nation in India must be a union of those whose hearts beat to the same spiritual tune.
What our country now wants, are muscles of iron and nerves of steel, gigantic wills which nothing can resist, which can penetrate into the mysteries and the secrets of the universe, and will accomplish their purpose in any fashion, even if it meant going down to the bottom of the ocean and meeting death face to face. That is what we want, and that can only be created, established and strengthened, by understanding and realizing the ideal of the Advaita, that ideal of the oneness of all. None can regenerate this land of ours without the practical application and effective operation of this ideal of the oneness of things. The truths of the Upanishads are before you. Take them up, live up to them, and the salvation of India will be at hand.
All the social upheavalists, at least the leaders of them, are trying to find that all their communistic or equalizing theories must have a spiritual basis, and that spiritual basis is Vedanta only. No amount of force or government, or legislative cruelty will change the conditions of a race, but it is spiritual culture and ethical culture alone that can change wrong racial tendencies for the better. Go back; go back to old age, when there was strength and vitality. Be strong once more, drink deep of the fountain of yore, and that is the only condition of life in India.
Men - sincere men – are wanted:
Where are the men? That is the question. Men, men, these are wanted: everything else will be ready, but strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone, are wanted.
My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions. I have formulated the idea and have given my life to it. If I do not achieve success, some better one will come after me to work it out, and I shall be content to struggle.
Have that faith, each one of you, in yourself – that eternal power is lodged in every soul - and you will revive the whole of India. Ay, we will then go to every country under the sun, and our ideas will before long be a component of the many forces that are working to make up every nation in the world. We must enter into the life of every race in India and abroad; shall have to work to bring this about. Now for that, I want young men. "It is the young, the strong, and healthy, of sharp intellect that will reach the Lord", say the Vedas.
This is the time to decide your future - while you possess the energy of youth, not when you are worn out and jaded, but in the freshness and vigour of youth. Work - this is the time; for the freshest, the untouched and unsmelled flowers alone are to be laid at the feet of the Lord, and such He receives. Let us therefore take up a great ideal and give up our whole life to it. Let this be our determination, and may He, the Lord, who "comes again and again for the salvation of His own people", to quote from our scriptures - may the great Krishna bless us and lead us all to the fulfillment of our aims!
Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.
Uplift of Women:
If the women are raised, then their children will by their noble actions glorify the name of the country- then will culture, knowledge, power and devotion awaken in the country.
History and the Puranas, religion, arts, science, house-keeping, cooking,sewing, hygiene – the simple essential points in these subjects ought to be taught to our women. It is not good to let them touch novels and fiction. But only teaching rites of worship won’t do; their education must be an eye-opener in all matters. Ideal characters must always be presented before the view of the girls to imbue them with devotion to lofty principles of selflessness. The noble examples of Sita, Savitri, Damayanti, Lilavati, Khana and Mira should be inspired to mould their own lives, in the light of these.
Along with other things they should acquire the spirit of valour and heroism. In the present day it has become necessary for them also to learn self-defense. See how grand was the Queen of Jhansi ! With such an education women will solve their own problems. We must see to their growing up as ideal matrons of home in time. The children of such mothers will make further progress in the virtues that distinguish the mothers. It is only in the homes of educated and
pious mothers that great men are born. By their examples and through their endeavors to hold the national ideal before the eyes of the people, a revolution in thoughts and aspirations will take place.
So shall we bring to the need of India great fearless women- women worthy to continue the tradition of Sanghamitta, Lila, Ahalya Bai, and Mira Bai – women fit to be mothers of heroes, because they are pure and selfless, strong with the strength that comes of touching the feet
STAND UP IN DEFENSE OF YOUR RELIGION:
―My dear Sinha, if anybody insulted your mother what would you do?
―I would fall upon him, sir, and teach him a good lesson! Well said, but, if you had the same positive feeling for your religion, the true mother of country, you could never bear to see any Hindu brother converted into a Christian. Nevertheless, you see this occurring every day, yet you are quite indifferent! Where is your faith? Everyday Christian missionaries abuse Hinduism to your faces, yet how many are there amongst you who will stand up in its defense, whose blood boils with righteous indignation at the fact?
Man-Making of Workers:
We want fiery young men - intelligent and brave, who dare to go to the jaws of Death, and are ready to swim the ocean across. We want hundreds like that, both men and women. Try your utmost for that end alone. Make converts right and left, and put them into our purity drilling machine. Start centers at places, go on always making converts.
Let Mahavira be the ideal:
You have now to make the character of Mahavira your ideal. See how at the command of Ramachandra he crossed the ocean. He had no care
for life or death! He was a perfect master of his senses and wonderfully sagacious. You have now to build your life on this great ideal of personal service. Through that, all the other ideals will gradually manifest in life. Obedience to the Guru without questioning, and strict obedience of Brahmacharya – this is the secret of success. As on the one hand Hanuman represents the ideal of service, so on the other he represents the leonine courage, striking the whole world with awe. He has not the least hesitation in sacrificing his life for the good of Rama. A supreme indifference to everything except the service of Rama, even to the attainment of the status of Brahman or Shiva, the great World-Gods! Only the carrying out of Shri Rama‘s behest is the one vow of his life! Such whole-hearted devotion is wanted.
Sannyasins the need of the hour:
Let a few stand out and live for God alone and save religion for the world. …If you give up, stand fast. If a hundred fall in the fight, seize the flag and carry it on. God is true for all that, no matter who fails. Let him who falls hand on the flag to another to carry on; it can never fall. What will the poor householders do, with their little bits of life? It is for the Sannyasins, Shiva's demons, to rend the skies with their shouts of "Hara! Hara! Shambho!
…My hope of the future lies in the youths of character, intelligent, renouncing all for the service of others, and obedient – good to themselves and the country at large. Otherwise, boys of the common run are coming groups and will come. Dullness is written on their faces – their hearts are devoid of energy, their bodies feeble and unfit of work and minds devoid of courage. What work will be done by these? If I get ten or twelve boys with the faith of Nachiketa, I can turn the thoughts and pursuits of this country in a new channel. Among those who appear to me to be of good caliber, some have bound themselves by matrimony; some have sold themselves for the acquisition of worldly name, fame or wealth; while some are of feeble bodies. The rest, who form the majority, are unable to receive any high idea….…Of course…. by the will of God, from among these very boys may arise in time great heroes of work and spirituality who will in future work out my ideas.
My prayer to Sri Ramakrishna:
Now I pray to that world-teacher, Shri Ramakrishna, the Preacher of the gospel of universal synthesis, to manifest himself in the region of your heart, so that, having attained the consummation of your desires,
you may with an undaunted heart try your best to deliver others from this dreadful ocean of infatuation.
May you be ever possessed of valour! It is the hero alone, not the coward, who has liberation within his easy reach. Gird up your loins, ye heroes, for before you are your enemies - the dire army of infatuation.
It is undoubtedly true that "all great achievements are fraught with numerous impediments"; still you should exert your utmost for your end. Behold, how men are already in the jaws of the shark of infatuation! Oh, listen to their piteous heart-rending wails.
Advance, forward, O ye brave souls, to set free those that are in fetters, to lessen the burden of woe of the miserable, and to illumine the abysmal darkness of ignorant hearts! Look, how the Vedanta proclaims
by beat of drums, "Be fearless!" May that solemn sound remove the heart's knot of all denizens of the earth.
O ye Hindus, de-hypnotize yourselves:
Let us proclaim to every soul: Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached. Arise, awake! Awake from this hypnotism of weakness. None is really weak; the soul is infinite, omnipotent, and omniscient. Stand up, assert yourself, proclaim the God within you, do not deny Him! Too much of inactivity, too much of weakness, too much of hypnotism has been and is upon our race.
O ye modern Hindus, de-hypnotize yourselves. The way to do that is found in your own sacred books. Teach yourselves, teach everyone his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity.
Rejuvenated glorious Bharat:
I do not see into the future; nor do I care to see. But one vision I see dear as life before me: that the ancient Mother has awakened once more, sitting on Her throne rejuvenated, more glorious than ever. Proclaim Her to all the world with the voice of peace and benediction.
Source : Girish (Blog Author)