Wednesday, 29 June 2016

He is a Mahatma....

Through his speeches and writings Swami Vivekananda has given plans for India's national renaissance. The masses should be given the right food and education to develop their bodies and minds. For this purpose patriotic men and women should visit the poor in their huts, open free schools for them, bring them knowledge of improved agriculture and of the arts and crafts, teach them cleanliness and sanitation, help them with medicine, tell them about the outside world and at the same time remind them of their spiritual heritage so that they could discard the many superstitions which have encrusted Hinduism. Thus they would learn how to bring out their inner divinity through healthy bodies and alert minds. Any attempt to teach metaphysics to empty stomachs was sheer madness. How fervently he said that unselfish service to man is the real worship of God. He called the common man of India the' Daridra-Narayana', God in the form of the poor. Time and again he emphasized the fact that no great work is ever done through cleverness. It is honesty, integrity, and hard work that make a nation truly great. Workers for India's regeneration must renounce jealousy, selfishness, greed, and lust for power.

Incessantly the Swami wrote to his Indian followers about the regeneration of the masses. In a letter dated 1894 he said :

Let each one of us pray, day and night, for the downtrodden millions in India, who are held fast by poverty, priestcraft, and tyranny pray day and night for them. . . I am no metaphysician, no philosopher, nay, no saint. I am poor, I love the poor. . . Who feels in India for the three hundred millions of men and women sunken forever in poverty and ignorance? Where is the way out? Who feels for them? Let the people be your God. think of them, work for them, pray for them incessantly the Lord will show you the way. Him I call a mahatma, a noble soul, whose heart bleeds for the poor. Otherwise he is a duratma, a wicked soul... So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them. '

Swami Vivekananda saw in America, with his own eyes, what human efforts, intelligence, and earnestness could accomplish to banish poverty, superstition, squalor, disease, and other handicaps to human well-being from society. In one of his letters, dated August 20, 1893, he wrote to a devotee in India: 'Gird up your loins, my boys . .. The hope lies in you in the meek, the lowly, but the faithful. Feel for the miserable and look up for help,  it shall come. I have travelled twelve years with this load in my heart and this idea in my head. I have gone from door to door of the so- called rich and great. With a bleeding heart I have crossed half the world to this strange land, seeking help. .' I may perish of cold and hunger in this land, but I bequeath to you young men this sympathy, this struggle for the poor  the ignorant, the oppressed. " . Go down on your faces before Him and make a great sacrifice, the sacrifice of a whole life for them, for whom He comes from time to time, whom He loves above all the poor, the lowly, the oppressed. '