On 4 July 1902 at Belur Math (Beluṛ Maṭh is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda), near Kolkata a great soul, great human being and legendary figure left for heavenly abode leaving behind his teachings and activities which no Indians can forget, even, many in the world remember him for the same. Because of his initiative Ramakrishna Mission as a spiritual and social service organisation is popular in the world. During natural calamities etc., services rendered by the Mission are known to all. It has to be agreed that because of his participation in the World Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893 Indian yogic practices and culture got popularity in the world particularly in the Western countries. Swami Vivekananda mesmerised the audience by his eloquent speech in Convention of Parliament of Religions held in Chicago, 1893.
The Vice President of India, on this date of 4 July 2020, while paying tribute to Swami Vivekananda stated “I pay my respectful tributes to Swami Vivekananda ji on his death anniversary today. He was a towering genius whose keen intellect, vast knowledge and supreme oratorial skills made him one of the tallest spiritual leaders of India”.
Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863 in Kolkata then Calcutta. His real name in school / college was Narendranath Dutta and pet name was “Biley”. By this (“Biley”) name parents used to call him. Although he is considered a key personality in introduction of Vedanta philosophy and Yoga to Western countries mainly in USA and Europe but humanity was his thought. He was a positive and broad-minded person with the feeling for all human beings irrespective of caste, creed and religion. To get an in-depth idea about his philosophy few lines from his speeches are quoted here, “All power is within you, you can do anything and everything. Believe in that; do not believe that you are weak. You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you. Arise, Awake, and Sleep no more. Within each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe in this, and that power will be manifested”.
Love and affection towards others is reflected from his saying, “All expansion is life, and all contraction is death. All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life”. His positive feeling towards different religious is realized by this discourse, “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”. He further told, “Feel like Christ, you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.” Thus one can easily understand Swami Vivekananda’s feeling towards human beings.
He was great believer of welfare of humanity and hard work without selfish attitude. In his words, “It is a tremendous error to feel helpless. Do not seek help from anyone. We are our won help. If we cannot help ourselves, there is none to help us. The moment you fear, you are nobody. It is fear that is the great cause of misery in the world”. His patriotic fervour can be understood through this line, “The soil of India is my highest heaven, the good of India is my good and repeat and pray day and night…….O Thou Mother of Strength, take my weakness, take my unmanliness and make me a man!” He was firmly believed on one’s power and soul, “You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul”.
Pronam to Swami Vivekananda on his death anniversary.
Dr. Shankar Chatterjee
Former Professor& Head (CPME)
NIRD &PR Hyderabad-500 030