Wednesday 29 March 2017

Nation - an Extension of Man

There is a book written by Sister Nivedita. The name of the book is "The Master as I saw Him". If you have not read, you must read it. Sister Nivedita spends long years with him, eating, sitting, travelling with him. All her experience with Swami Vivekananda is given in that. She says "there was nothing that happened in any corner of India, which did not immediately find an echo in Swamij's heart". If some Indian was insulted somewhere, Swamiji felt it so much. And if some Indian suffered, he suffered. He bore that pain in his heart. That is why he said in his speech in Lahore-"Common bases of Hinduism"-" Then and then alone you are a Hindu when the distress of anyone bearing that name comes to your heart and makes you feel as if your own son were in distress."  Your own flesh, your own blood is suffering? That sort of a feeling do you have? Then only you are a Hindu. We say we are Hindus. But when Hindus are insulted somewhere, do you feel so much as if you are insulted? Do you feel one with them, one with hundred crores of people? Swamiji had that feeling though he was a sannyasi and had realized Aham Brahmasmi!

He suffered the bondage of the country. "My Motherland is under slavery". He felt that. He wanted to shake off that pain. He was even a revolutionary. It is said he advised people how to make bombs to fight the British. R.C. Majumdar has written in the 'History of Freedom Struggle' that Swamiji was a revolutionary. Revolutionaries came to him. He was a Sannyasin, Aham Brahmasmi, but part of Aham Brahmasmi was that no country should remain a slave. No country should enslave others. And therefore freedom is our birthright. We have to fight for it and for fighting for freedom, Swamiji did not say Ahimsa is the only way. Ahimsa is alright if it serves the purpose. If it does not serve the purpose, you can take to other means also. Bhagawan Krishna did not tell Arjuna to follow Ahimsa, when Draupadi was insulted. My point is everyone of us must grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually to become one with the whole Nation. It is easy to become one with the family, because we are born in the family. We lie in the lap of the mother. We drink the milk of our mother. We are brought together. It is easy to feel one with the family. But to feel one with community, our mind must become larger. To become one with the Nation it must be cultivated. We should feel identified with the whole Nation. Actually, the purpose of all education, purpose of all culture is to make you identify yourself with wider and wider existences. Education is meant for that. Culture is meant for that. That is why Swamiji said, "So long as millions live in ignorance and hunger, I hold every man a traitor, who, having been educated at their expense, does not pay the least heed to them". Many people are uneducated. They have no job. They are suffering. They have no house to live in. We are all educated. How did we get education? We got education because the society made the resources available to us. How did we pay the fees? How did we dress like this? Are all Indians able to dressing like we are? Millions are not able to have proper dress. Millions do not have house. So we must all feel identified with the suffering millions, the starving millions, the homeless millions. We must feel one with them. And we must try to remove their suffering. Then only we will become really children of this country, this Nation. Then only we will become sisters and brothers to each other. Swamiji said, "Him I call a Mahatman, whose heart bleeds for the poor, otherwise he is a Duratman". The question is are we Mahatmas or are we Duratmas? Do we feel for others? We must feel for others. We should expand from our little 'I' to the family I, to the community I, to the National I. To the humanity also you can expand.

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