Saturday, 23 September 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 72

IMPRISONMENT IN FLESH

...The revival was felt on all planes-of life, even politically, until under Ashoka, the first Buddhist Emperor. India was a great, united, prosperous empire. But after two or three hundred years the decline began, until at the time of Sankaracharya in the eighth century. Buddhism had reached such a state of degradation that it had to be destroyed.

Six hundred years after Buddha came Jesus of Nazareth. The Roman was master in the land of his birth. Oppression was rife. So desperate was the situation that all classes of people were expecting the coming of the Messiah to deliver them. But does the Avatar ever come in the guise acceptable to the worldly-minded? This son of a carpenter of Nazareth was "despised and rejected of men". Only a few of the humblest followed him. But he was a mighty one, the son of God in very truth, destined to shake the world to its very foundations; for not long after his death, as time is reckoned in the history of nations, came the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. followed by the adoption of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine as the state religion.

Again six hundred years later in Arabia came the Prophet Mohammed who lifted his country out of the darkness and degradation into which it had fallen. With him began the rise of the Moslem power which was eventually to sweep over western Asia, northern Africa, and even into southern Europe, as also into India.

Sankaracharya in southern India was another great light who came "for the protection of the good and destruction of the evil and for the preservation of righteousness." By this time. about A.D. 800. Buddhism had become degraded. Many evil customs had been added by the depressed races who had adopted it. It was fit only for destruction. He brought back to India the pure lofty teaching of the Atman. Buddhism was driven out of India, the ancient wisdom re-established. and the country entered upon a new chapter in its life.