"The history of a nation is nothing but the biography of its great men." - Carlyle
Swami Vivekananda's message of God..in-man, in realising the solidarity of the human race and in rehabilitating the national life by assimilating the best ideals of the East and the West is ever lasting. There are many who are charmed by the Swami t s extraordinary oratorical gifts, his vast encyclopedic knowledge and his genuine patriotism, which found objective expression in the various philanthropic institutions, started under his fostering care, but few there are who dive deep and discover the fountain of strength of the dynamic Personality, that the Great Swami was.
He was a patriot. The depth of his love for his motherland, fallen from its ancient ideals of life and degraded and degenerated in the estimation of the civilized world is simply unfathomable for us, and we can get only a glimpse of it in the writings of his worthy disciple, the late Sister Nivedita. He attained the Nirvikalpa Samadhi and realised the highest ideal of spiritual life, as propounded by the Upanishads and the Vedanta; and having drunk deep of the nectar of immortality, he invited men and women of all denominations and nationalities to share with him the Divine Bliss. The eternal glory of the Ever blissful Atman, and the true nature of man, irrespective of colour, creed or caste were proclaimed by him in glowing terms in Europe and America, and he exhorted the people of Christendom, where clergyman inoculate the laity with the doctrines of Original Sin and Hellfire, to believe in their Divine heritage, and spoke in the following telling words,
" Ye are the Children of God, the sharers of immortal bliss, holy and perfect beings. Ye divinities on earth, sinners! It is a sin to call a man so. Come up, oh lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free and blest and eternal; ye are not bodies, matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter." He alienated the sympathy of the orthodox and bigoted section of his countrymen because of adopting western ways during his sojourn in western countries, but they forget that he had realised the underlying Universal Life beneath the superficial differences and that Supreme State.
He had attained the Supreme Realisation described in human language by the Vedic Rishis and to him the whole world was one family. And what he preached he lived. How often would the illustrious Swami Vivekananda the "Cyclonic Hindu" and the" Orator by Divine right" of trans-Atlantic fame clasp warmly the hands of a Negro who desired the privilege of shaking hands with him, mistaking the Swami for one of his own people.
"Up India! conquer the world with your spiritual arms" were the inspiring words spoken by the Swami after his return from the luxurious, glorious and powerful West. With his prophetic eyes, he could see that the materialistic civilization of the West would founder at no distant future, and he believed that the nations of the West, maddened with their earthly power and possessions can be saved from repeated catastrophes only by accepting the life-giving spiritual truths of Vedanta, which India alone can give.
And to the advanced thinkers of his time, who were transplanting European ideals of nationalism in the soil of India he spoke thus, " I am not just discussing whether it is good to have the vitality of the race in religious ideals or political ideals, but so far it is dear to us, that for good or for evil, our vitality is concerned with our religion. You cannot change it, you cannot destroy it and put in its place at another. .. ...... .Do you want that the Ganges should go back to its icy bed and begin a new course? Even if that were possible, it would be impossible for this country to give up her characteristic course of religious life and take up for herself a new career of politics or something else. "