Prophet of wisdom


At a time when Indians were under the spell of western imperialism, he reminded people of their glorious heritage and India’s superiority in spirituality and philosophy.
At the same time, he said it would be foolish to remain cocooned in the past and adopt a pusillanimous attitude of pseudo spirituality.
He visualised an India with her innate spiritual strengths combined with western technological achievements, for as he said, India had a lot to learn from the west in science, technology, politics and discipline. Only then, he said would there be a resurgence of national pride and a sense of oneness.
The social reformer in him advocated the uplift of the masses in this endeavour of national regeneration. Removal of the age old ignorance and superstitions which hindered their advancement would only be possible through education which could empower them to think for themselves, instead of being passive onlookers, as in the past, when wave after wave of marauders had invaded the country.
When he said that India was a country of many religions, languages, castes, ethnic variations and traditions, he was not merely uttering a cliché, but giving vent to a fiery patriotism that brooked no slight to India’s name.

But his was no frothy patriotism that bubbled forth at lectures, but one that fervently believed that India had a role to play on the world stage,  before which she had to rid herself of the undesirable accretions of centuries, like untouchability, social inequality and most importantly, a bovine resignation to life’s vicissitudes.
“Every soul is potentially divine. The goal of life is to manifest that divinity by controlling nature, within and without.” This encapsulates Swami Vivekananda’s spiritual message.
He echoed the Vedantic truth that all humanity is one and every soul had to be uplifted from the morass of mundane existence to higher planes of consciousness.
He interpreted Hinduism, not within the confines of Indian relevance, but as the true, perennial, universal gospel, the true Sanatana Dharma.

He reiterated that it was man’s duty to strive towards perfection in all spheres of life, including a healthy body, since only a healthy body could house a healthy mind to produce healthy thoughts.
“What Vivekananda has said and written will influence us for a long time to come” - the words of Jawaharlal Nehru ring true even today.

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