Friday, 19 February 2016

Relevance of Swami Vivekananda

Mananeeya Niveditadidi writes :
It could be said by some that the knowledge of Vedanta is now already available to the people the world over. So in what way has India a role to play? In short, one could ask, 'Is India required?' The answer is an emphatic YES, because spirituality is not information, it is not in intellectual believing but it is in 'being and becoming'. Oneness is to be practiced in life, its application to family systems, social systems etc. is required again in a changed context. The vision continues; the values are to be expressed in life through systems – new or adapted - which are relevant at a given time and which are capable of expressing the values and vision. It is this task, which India has to undertake. India alone can do it for the benefit of humanity. Swami Vivekananda  was one of the first persons in this age to focus on this re-application of the wisdom of our Rishis. Sister Nivedita writes about it beautifully.

The Swami Vivekananda would have been less than he was, had anything in this Evangel of Hinduism been his own. Like the Krishna of the Gita, like Buddha, like Shankaracharya, like every great teacher that Indian thought has known, his sentences are laden with quotations from, the Vedas and Upanishads. He stands merely as the Revealer, the Interpreter to India of the treasures that she herself possesses in herself. The truths he preaches would have been as true, had he never been born. Nay more, they would have been equally authentic. The difference would have lain in their difficulty of access, in their want of modern clearness and incisiveness of statement, and in their loss of mutual coherence and unity. Had he not lived, texts that today will carry the bread of life to thousands might have remained the obscure disputes of scholars. He taught with authority, and not as one of the Pandits. For he himself had plunged to the depths of the realisation which he preached, and he came back like Ramanuja only to tell its secrets to the pariah, the outcast, and the foreigner. (CWSV, vol. I, pp. xiv- xv.)