Wednesday, 15 August 2018



Be think thee how the world did wait,
And search for thee, through time and clime.

Some gave up home and love of friends,
And went in quest of thee self-banished,
O'er dreary oceans, through primeval forests
Each step a struggle for the life or death.

Then came the day when work bore fruit
And worship, love and sacrifice
Fulfilled, accepted and complete.

Then Thou, propitious, rose to shed
The light of freedom on mankind.

Move on. Oh Lord, in thy resistless path
Till thy high morn overspreads the world.

Till every land reflects thy light,
Till men and women, with uplifted head,
Behold their shackles broken, and
Know, in springing joy, their life renewed!

--Swami Vivekananda

The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra :
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Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Sister Nivedita on Civic Ideal

Of our two great epics it may be said that while the pervading interests of the Mahabharata are heroic and national, those of the Ramayana are mainly personal and civic. It is more than likely, indeed, that Valmiki's poem sprang out of a deliberate wish to glorify the beloved city of Ayodhya, by painting the mythic history of its earliest sovereigns. The city, and everything in it, fills the poet with delight. He spends himself in descriptions of its beauty on great festivals. He loses himself in the thought of its palaces, its arches, and its towers. But it is when he comes to paint Lanka, that we reap the finest fruit of that civic sense which Ayodhya has developed in him. There is nothing, in all Indian literature, of greater significance for the modern Indian mind, than the scene in which Hanuman contends in the darkness with the woman who guards the gates, saying, in muffled tones, "I am the city of Lanka."

We have here what is the fundamental need of the civic spirit, that we should think of our city as a being, a personality, sacred, beautiful, and beloved. This, to Rama and his people, was Ayodhya. This, to Ravana and his, was Lanka. And Valmiki could look with both their eyes, for he, in common with all the men of his great age, was in the habit of relating himself instinctively to his home, his sovereign, and his group. The city as a whole is but a visible symbol of this life behind it. Nor does this mean only of the life at present behind it. It is determined by the sum of the energy of all its creators, past as well as present. There is even, in a sense, an ideal city, in which the labours of all future builders have to be taken into account. Why is Lucknow different from Calcutta, Bombay from Benares, Delhi from Ahmedabad? Looking for the answer to such a question, do we not perceive, finally and conclusively, that the seen is but the sign and symbol of the unseen, that the material is but the masks of the spiritual, that things arc but the precipitate of thought? Why is Paris or Rome so different from Amritsar? The history of ages and continents lies in the answer to that question. The highest visible symbol of human aspiration may perhaps be an altar. The most perfect visible symbol of our unity is undoubtedly a city.


Monday, 13 August 2018

The Civic Ideal : Sister Nivedita

The mind of our civilisation is awake once more, and we know that the long ages of theocratic development are perfected, while before us lies the task of actualising those mighty ideals of the civic and national life by which the theocratic achievements of our fathers are to be protected and conserved. We are now to go out, as it were, into the waste spaces about our life, and build there those towers and bastions of self organization and mutual aid, by which we are yet to become competent to deal with the modern world and all its forces of aggression. The bricks lie there, in abundance, for our work. The elements abound, in our history, our literature, our traditions, and our customs, by which we can make of ourselves a strong and coherent people. It needs only that we understand our own purpose, and the method of its accomplishment. As the architect builds to a plan, so is a nation fashioned by its own dreams. And he who knows this, knows also how to use his power of dreaming. The very doctrine, that everything in life is the work of desire, would teach us this. For it follows as an inevitable inference that the world is changed by those who best know how and what to desire. It may even be, after all, that there is no castle in the world so formidable as a well-built 'castle in the air'!


But the elements of nationality are civic and to these civic components it is that the individual stands most directly and most permanently related. The man who would not stir a finger to help his village to the recovery of grazing-rights is not the man to bleed and die in the country's cause. The man who will not suffer some slight risk and discomfort for national good, is not the man to whom to entrust the banner of an army. By civic duty we are tested for national responsibility. By the widening of the smaller accomplishment, we immeasurably extend the possibilities of the larger. It might be said, however, that we have at the moment but little idea of what is meant by the civic life or the civic ideal. This is true; nevertheless we have but to give the words our close attention, and undoubtedly the day will come, when, for our love and faith in them, we shall be ready to die.