Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Our Duty

Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan ji recalling the work that Swami Vivekananda did for the nation asks us :


We are suffering the retribution on account of our neglecting the masses. What we are doing today is not a matter of charity, it is not a matter of justice. It is a matter of atonement for our past neglect, atonement for our past sin. We have neglected our duty to our fellow human being, to the down-trodden, to our women and to our own people whom we regard as belonging to this caste or that caste. We have done that and we have suffered as the result of it centuries of servitude. If we today do not cast away that kind of prejudice and don't free ourselves from every element of pride, don't become ultimately human, it is impossible for us to call ourselves believers in God. A true servant of God is a servant of the ordinary neglected masses of this country. The religion which Swami Vivekananda taught is a composite of science, religion and humanism. He had immense courage, spiritual daring of an exalted character to look upon that part of the country as a lunatic asylum, where people looked upon other people not only as untouchables but unapproachables. He was able to say, can man indulge in such practices and still believe that he is a believer in God? It is a kind of a sin which deserves that kind of castigation. Even today in spite of all the lessons that have been taught to us by the early sages of the Upaniads, by Buddha, Mahaira, Sankaracharya, Nanak, Kabir, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, we are still the victims of these prejudices, prejudices which make us believe that we are at the top of the world and other people are much below us. We have an arrogance, an unconscious pride, an effortless sense of superiority which we adopt when we deal with other beings which makes us somewhat hateful to those other beings themselves. We must be humble. The first sign of any kind of faith in God is humility. Humility, courage, renunciation, service - these are all the ideals which Swami Vivekananda put before us. Let us assimilate them into our very being.