Monday, 4 April 2016

Our role in the enlightenment of the world

Swami Vivekananda says we have a role to play in the comity of nations. And therefore, we have to think of the enlightenment of the world. 'Why should we Indians bother about the enlightenment of the world?' is a question that comes easily to mind. We need to examine it, understand it in a wider perspective. Contributing to our bigger identity is necessary for our existence. If the contribution stops, then the degeneration starts. If the 'part' hurts the 'whole' then the destruction of the 'part' is sure. Swami Vivekananda said,
Where are the Greeks today -they whose armies marched over the whole world? Gone, thousands of years -nobody knows where. Vanished, as soon as the barbarians of the north came and attacked them. Where are the mighty Romans, whose cohorts came and trampled the face of the earth? Where are they today? Gone-vanished like the morning dew, and left behind in the march. But here are the Hindus -three hundred million strong. (CWSV, vol. IX, p. 256)
Though we can be justifiably proud that we never worked to destroy others, we must admit that for various reasons we stopped contributing to the world and therefore, degeneration set in. Swami Vivekananda in his very inspiring speech 'Work before Us" says,
One atom in this universe cannot move without dragging the whole world along with it. There cannot be any progress without the whole world following in the wake, and it is becoming every day clearer that the solution of any problem can never be attained on racial, or national, or narrow grounds. Every idea has to become broad till it covers the whole of this world, every aspiration must go on increasing till it has engulfed the whole of humanity, nay, the whole of life, within its scope. This will explain why our country for the last few centuries has not been what she was in the past. We find that one of the causes which led to this degeneration was the narrowing of our view, narrowing the scope of our actions. (CWSV, vol. III, p. 269)