Tribute To The KarmYogi, Swami Vivekananda- The Leading Light Of India Who Illuminated The World

| July 4 , 2018 , 11:51 IST

The famous monk Swami Vivekananda, born in 1863 as Narendranath Datta may have died 116 years ago, however, his legacy, his vision, and teachings remain an inspiration worldwide. On Wednesday, his 116th death anniversary is an occasion to remember the great monk. 

Swami Vivekananda was no ordinary monk. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world. He is credited with raising interfaith awareness and was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India and contributed to the concept of nationalism in Colonial India.

He was a part of Brahmo Samaj, the societal component of Brahmoism which questioned social evils. His desire to know God was emulated by his intense compassion for his country. Swami Vivekananda thought that its people and the mindset had become degraded. This was the time when he started travelling the length and breadth of the country examining the people and mediated for three days and three nights in Kanyakumari and the object of his meditation was the past, present and the future o India.

Swami Vivekananda attended the World Parliment of Religions in 1893. It is important to note what he said in his speech of the meeting, "The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth."

"If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world, it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written in spite of resistance: “Help and not fight,” “Assimilation and not Destruction,” “Harmony and Peace and not Dissension,” he said.

These were his words; his dream for India and the world was not to make it a Hindu or Islamic or Christian. His plan was to assimilate the positive things of all and grow accordingly.

When Swami Vivekanada paid a visit to Kahsmir in the year 1898 on September 30 while visiting the Mother Kshira Bhavani temple he saw all the destruction the Islamic Invaders had done to statues and the temple. He was hurt and upset with the invaders.

He wrote someone in a letter,"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 the path that suits him best.”

In another of his writings, talking about faith, he says, “For the next fifty years let all other vain Gods disappear 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. Why should we vainly go after them, when we can worship the God that we see all around us, the Virat? The first of all worships is the worship of the Virat, of those all around us. These are all our Gods — men and animals; and the first Gods we have to worship are our own countrymen.”

Swamiji established the Ramakrishna Mission where irrespective of your caste or your religion if you have a genuine interest in knowing god and if you are willing to serve humanity, you can become a monk.