Awakened India

“Then only will India awake, when hundreds of large-hearted men and women, giving up all desires of enjoying the luxuries of life, will long and exert themselves to their utmost, for the well being of the millions of their countrymen.”

—Swami Vivekananda

A Prayer for Dark Folk

Remember, O God, thru’out the world this night those who struggle for better government and freer institutions…Help us to realize that our brothers are not simply those of our own blood and nation, but far more are they those who think as we do and strive toward the same ideals. So tonight in Persia and China, in Russia and Turkey, in Africa and all America, let us bow with our brothes and sisters and pray as they pray for a world, well-governed–void of war and caste, and free to each asking soul. Amen.

The day has dawned when above a wounded, tired earth unselfish sacrifice, without sin and hell, may join through technique, shorn of ruthless greed, and make a new religion, one with new knowledge, to shout from old hills of heaven ‘Go down Moses!’

W.E.B DU BOIS

Gandhiji, The Perils of Modern Civilization

Modern civilisation as represented by the West of today, in my opinion, has given Matter a place which by right belongs to Spirit. It has therefore put violence upon the throne of triumph and held under bondage Truth and Innocence. It is this error which enfeebled India is trying to fight, and I have no doubt whatsoever that if those who are engaged in the fight remain true to their pledge God will help them.

Mahatma Gandhi, Message To The Readers Of The Survey, New York, March 5, 1922

K. Venkatappa, Path to Elk Hill, Ooty, watercolour, 41×25.5 cm, 1926

Vivekananda, Letter to Mohammed Sarfaraz Husain of Naini Tal, Almora

10th June, 1898.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

I appreciate your letter very much and am extremely happy to learn that the Lord is silently preparing wonderful things for our motherland.

Whether we call it Vedantism or any ism, the truth is that Advaitism is the last word of religion and thought and the only position from which one can look upon all religions and sects with love. I believe it is the religion of the future enlightened humanity. The Hindus may get the credit of arriving at it earlier than other races, they being an older race than either the Hebrew or the Arab; yet practical Advaitism, which looks upon and behaves to all mankind as one’s own soul, was never developed among the Hindus universally.

On the other hand, my experience is that if ever any religion approached to this equality in an appreciable manner, it is Islam and Islam alone.

Therefore I am firmly persuaded that without the help of practical Islam, theories of Vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be, are entirely valueless to the vast mass of mankind. We want to lead mankind to the place where there is neither the Vedas, nor the Bible, nor the Koran; yet this has to be done by harmonising the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran. Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of THE RELIGION, which is Oneness, so that each may choose that path that suits him best.

For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems, Hinduism and Islam — Vedanta brain and Islam body — is the only hope.

I see in my mind’s eye the future perfect India rising out of this chaos and strife, glorious and invincible, with Vedanta brain and Islam body.

Ever praying that the Lord may make of you a great instrument for the help of mankind, and especially of our poor, poor motherland.

Yours with love,
VIVEKANANDA.

Gandhiji on Vivekananda

“I have come here to pay my homage and respect to the revered memory of Swami Vivekananda, whose birthday is being celebrated today. I have gone through his works very thoroughly, and after having gone through them, the love that I had for my country became a thousand-fold. I ask you, young men, not to go away empty-handed without imbibing something of the spirit of the place where Swami Vivekananda lived and died. -Mahatma Gandhi

Satyagraha in Ghana

“Positive action has already achieved remarkable success in the liberation struggle of our continent and I feel sure that it can further save us from the perils of this atomic arrogance. If the direct action that was carried out by the international protest team were to be repeated on a mass scale, or simultaneously from various parts of Africa, the result could be as powerful and as successful as Gandhi’s historic Salt March. We salute Mahatma Gandhi and we remember, in tribute to him that it was in South Africa that his method of non-violence and non-cooperation was first practiced in the struggle against the vicious race discrimination that still plagues that unhappy country. But now positive action with nonviolence, as advocated by us, has found expression in South Africa in the defiance of the oppressive pass laws. This defiance continues in spite of the murder of unarmed men, women, and children by the South African Government. We are sure that the will of the majority will ultimately prevail, for no government can continue to impose its rule in face of the conscious defiance of the overwhelming masses of its people. There is no force, however impregnable, that a united and determined people cannot overcome”

“in 1929 mowed down by machine gun fire poor defenceless Nigerian women for peacefully and harmlessly protesting against excessive taxation, the counterpart of India’s Amritsar.”

“The main purpose of the All-African Peoples’ Conference to be held in Accra, Ghana, in December 1958, will be to formulate concrete plans and work out the Gandhian tactics and strategy of the African Non-violent Revolution…”

“The beginning of the year 1960,” he said, “has seen the climax of ruthless and concerted outrages on the peace-loving people of our continent. The explosion of an atomic device in the Sahara by the French Government and the wanton massacre in the Union of South Africa of our brothers and sisters who were engaged in peaceful demonstrations against humiliating and repulsive laws of the South African Government are two eloquent events in this climax, a climax which is a sign post to the beginning of the end of foreign supremacy and domination in Africa.”

—Kwame Nkrumah

Hail Mother – Aurobindo

Mother, I bow to thee! 
Rich with thy hurrying streams, 
bright with orchard gleams, 
Cool with thy winds of delight, 
Dark fields waving Mother of might, 
Mother free. 

Glory of moonlight dreams, 
Over thy branches and lordly streams, 
Clad in thy blossoming trees, 
Mother, giver of ease 
Laughing low and sweet! 
Mother I kiss thy feet, 
Speaker sweet and low! 
Mother, to thee I bow. 

Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands 
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands 
And seventy million voices roar 
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore? 
With many strengths who art mighty and stored, 
To thee I call Mother and Lord! 
Though who savest, arise and save! 
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove 
Back from plain and Sea 
And shook herself free. 

Thou art wisdom, thou art law, 
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath 
Though art love divine, the awe 
In our hearts that conquers death. 
Thine the strength that nervs the arm, 
Thine the beauty, thine the charm. 
Every image made divine 
In our temples is but thine. 

Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen, 
With her hands that strike and her 
swords of sheen, 
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned, 
And the Muse a hundred-toned, 
Pure and perfect without peer, 
Mother lend thine ear, 
Rich with thy hurrying streams, 
Bright with thy orchard gleems, 
Dark of hue O candid-fair 

In thy soul, with jewelled hair 
And thy glorious smile divine, 
Lovilest of all earthly lands, 
Showering wealth from well-stored hands! 
Mother, mother mine! 
Mother sweet, I bow to thee, 
Mother great and free! 

-Shri Aurobindo

Indira Gandhi on the influence of Sw. Vivekananda

“I had had the good fortune to know about the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda as well as about the activities of the Ramakrishna Mission. My parents and specially my mother were very close with the Ramakrishna Mission. And I must say that the teachings of Vivekananda had inspired all the members of the Nehru family both in their political activities and day-to-day lives.

Swamiji’s teachings, writings and speeches which appear on every page of his works, are indeed stimulant. Swamiji provides us courage, strength, and faith and teaches us how to be self- sufficient. These are the basic tenets of life which India needed most and which would be relevant for all time to come.

Swamiji has taught us that we are the inheritors of a glorious and sublime culture. He has at the same time shown us and analysed the root causes of our national malady. It was Swami Vivekananda who has given us the ways and means how to reconstruct a new India. Swamiji preached the message of universal brotherhood. And a single word which echoed and reached in all his speeches, was abhãþ i.e. fearlessness.”

Smt. Indira Gandhi arrived at Aalo for laying the foundation stone of the Ramakrishna Mission Arunachal Pradesh School. Swami Nageshananda, the Founder Secretary, leads Smt Gandhi.

Prabuddha Bharata

Everything goes to show that Socialism or some form of rule by the people, call it what you will, is coming on the boards. The people will certainly want the satisfaction of their material needs, less work, no oppression, no war, more food. What guarantee have we that this or any civilisation will last, unless it is based on religion, on the goodness of man? Depend on it, religion goes to the root of the matter. If it is right, all is right

—Sw. Vivekananda, Indian Missionary’s Mission To England(The Echo, London, 1896)

Let New India arise in your place. Let her arise — out of the peasants’ cottage, grasping the plough; out of the huts of the fisherman, the cobbler, and the sweeper. Let her spring from the grocer’s shop, from beside the oven of the fritter-seller. Let her emanate from the factory, from marts, and from markets. Let her emerge from groves and forests, from hills and mountains. These common people have suffered oppression for thousands of years — suffered it without murmur, and as a result have got wonderful fortitude. They have suffered eternal misery, which has given them unflinching vitality. Living on a handful of grain, they can convulse the world; give them only half a piece of bread, and the whole world will not be big enough to contain their energy; they are endowed with the inexhaustible vitality of a Raktabija. (A demon, in the Durgâ-Saptashati, every drop of whose blood falling on the ground produced another demon like him.) And, besides, they have got the wonderful strength that comes of a pure and moral life, which is not to be found anywhere else in the world. Such peacefulness, such contentment, such love, such power of silent and incessant work, and such manifestation of lion’s strength in times of action — where else will you find these!

—Sw. Vivekananda, Memoirs of Europe Travel, Complete Works Volume VII.

Kalpataru Day

It is not good to feel that one’s own religion alone is true and all others are false. God is one only, and not two. Different people call on Him by different names: some as Allah, some as God, and others as Krishna, Siva, and Brahman. It is like the water in a lake. Some drink it at one place and call it ‘jal’, others at another place and call it ‘pani’, and still others at a third place and call it ‘water’. The Hindus call it ‘jal’, the Christians ‘water’, and the Mussalmans ‘pani’. But it is one and the same thing. Opinions are but paths. Each religion is only a path leading to God, as rivers come from different directions and ultimately become one in the one ocean.

—Sri Ramakrishna