Thursday, 21 September 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 70

IMPRISONMENT IN FLESH

...In 1902, I saw him at Belur, a very different Vivekananda from the one whom I had known in America. Here I saw the lion in his natural surroundings. Here it was not necessary to wear the mask of conventions, nor to conform to man-made rules. He had a serenity here which was sometimes lacking in foreign countries. He was among his own. He could be himself and it was an even greater self than we had seen before. He was surrounded by young devotees and brother-disciples, those sons of Sri Ramakrishna, who were now gathered in after long years of wandering. Much of his work was finished. He had given his message in America, in England, and to a lesser degree in Germany and France. In India the roar of the lion was heard from Colombo to Almora. Through the devotion of his young English disciple Goodwin, his message was put into permanent form. He had acquired the plot of land on the Ganges of which he had dreamed in America, and built a shrine for the worship of Sri Ramakrishna and a monastery which was to shelter the children of Sri Ramakrishna — his fellow disciples. He had organized teaching centres, educational institutions, orphanages, famine and flood relief. He was only thirty-nine, and he knew that his release was near. It came July 4.1902.

He shared the Hindu belief in the saying of the Gita that, "Whenever virtue subsides and vice prevails, then do I manifest Myself. For the protection of the good and the destruction of the evil and for the preservation of righteousness, I am born anew in every age." (Bhagavad-Gita,. IV, 7-8).

Whenever spirituality is at a low ebb and the need of the world is great, God comes in human form. With the advent of the Avatar a great spiritual force comes into the world, a force which protects the good, destroys evil, preserves the Dharma, revivifies religion, draws thousands into the current of living spirituality, and brings new life. This influence is felt not only on the spiritual plane, but on the intellectual and physical planes as well. In the realm of intellect, it expresses itself as a revival of art, literature and music, of learning in every field. Men of genius appear and become famous in these realms. There is new life. In the physical world the power is not so intense, but more widespread and apparent. It manifests itself in a greater prosperity, in a renewed love of freedom, and in a more virile national consciousness. The nation enters upon a Renaissance. This power according to Swami Vivekananda continues in force for nearly six hundred years, gradually expending itself until the world again sinks into a state in which its only hope is another manifestation of God — another Avatar. While these are not all of equal rank, each brings an influx of spiritual power, revivifies life on all planes and moves the world. A few instances may illustrate this theory.