Monday 6 May 2013

19th March in Swami Vivekananda Life

19 March :
19 Mar 1894 : Letter to Swami Ramakrishnanda : The priests tried their utmost to snub me. But the Guru (Teacher) is with me, what could anybody do? And the whole American nation loves and respects me, pays my expenses, and reveres me as a Guru. ... It was not in the power of your priests to do anything against me. Moreover, they are a nation of scholars. Here it would no longer do to say, "We marry our widows", "We do not worship idols", and things of that sort. What they want is philosophy, learning; and empty talk will no more do.
Dharmapala is a fine boy. He has not much of learning but is very gentle. He had a good deal of popularity in this country. Brother, I have been brought to my senses. . . . — We do not know what sort of people they are who for nothing hinder the welfare of others" (Bhartrihari). Brother, we can get rid of everything, but not of that cursed jealousy. . . . That is a national sin with us, speaking ill of others, and burning at heart at the greatness of others. Mine alone is the greatness, none else should rise to it!!

Nowhere in the world are women like those of this country. How pure, independent, self-relying, and kindhearted! It is the women who are the life and soul of this country. All learning and culture are centred in them. The saying, — Who is the Goddess of Fortune Herself in the families of the meritorious" (Chandi) — holds good in this country, while that other, " — The Goddess of ill luck in the homes of the sinful" (ibid.) — applies to ours. Just think on this. Great God! I am struck dumb with wonderment at seeing the women of America. — Thou art the Goddess of Fortune, Thou art the supreme Goddess, Thou art Modesty — The Goddess who resides in all beings as Power" (ibid.) — all this holds good here. There are thousands of women here whose minds are as pure and white as the snow of this country. And look at our girls, becoming mothers below their teens!! Good Lord! I now see it all. Brother, — The gods are pleased where the women are held in esteem" — says the old Manu. We are horrible sinners, and our degradation is due to our calling women "despicable worms", "gateways to hell", and so forth. Goodness gracious! There is all the difference between heaven and hell!! " — He adjudges gifts according to the merits of the case" (Isha, 8). Is the Lord to be hoodwinked by idle talk? The Lord has said, " — Thou art the woman, Thou art the man, Thou art the boy and the girl as well." (Shvetâshvatara Upa.) And we on our part are crying.

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