Sunday, 21 May 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Memories of Kamakhya Nath Mitra - 3

What did he tell us all? To be strong and self-confident, to renounce and serve. Strength was the burden of all that he said. He poured torrential scorn upon what he called out "negative education" and spoke enthusiastically on man-making. He gave a vivid picture of our country's degradation and the misery of the masses. How he felt for the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed! If we had a millionth part of his feeling, the face of the country would change at once. He spoke of the greatness of Hinduism and proudly said. "It is my ambition to conquer the world by Hindu thought — to see Hindus everywhere from the North Pole to the South Pole." As he uttered these words I saw in him the very Napoleon of Religion. I saw the warrior's heart throbbing beneath the yellow robe of the sannyasin. Not a mild Hindu at all this Swami Vivekananda but the most aggressive Hindu I have ever seen in my life. He was made of the same stuff of which Alexander and Caesar were made — only his role was different.

Some of his words are still ringing in my ears and they are these: "You must have steel nerves and cast-iron muscles. A moment's vigorous life is better than years of jelly-fish existence. Cowards die many time before their death. An honest atheist is a thousand times better than a hypocritical theist. Don't be jealous, for the slaves are jealous. Virtue is heroism — from vir in Latin which means man and which again is the same word as vira in Sanskrit."

After about two hours the Swami left the hall and we dispersed in different directions. I returned to my lodgings but the words of the Swami filled the air. I could think of nothing but Swami Vivekananda. There stood his heroic figure which-ever way I turned.

To be continued...(Memoirs of Kamakhya Nath Mitra)