PLANNING THE WORK
...Not that it was ever stated that devotion was one of the qualifications. It is only now, after this lapse of time, that in looking back, one knows how necessary it is. Swamiji made no demands of any kind. His respect, nay reverence, for the divinity within was so sincere and so profound that his mental attitude was always: "Hands off." He did not ask tor blind submission. He did not want slaves. He used to say. "I do not meddle with my workers at all. The man who can work has an individuality of his own, which resists against any pressure. This is my reason for leaving workers entirely free." Imperious though he was, he had something which held this quality in check — a reverence for the real nature of man. Not because he believed all men equal in the sense in which that phrase is often glibly repeated, but because in the language of his own great message, all men are potentially divine. In manifestation there are great differences. All should not have equal rights, but equal opportunities. With his great compassion he would have given the lowest, the most oppressed, more than those who manifested their divinity to a greater degree. Did they not need it more? Could such as he exact anything in the nature of control of the will of another? The devotion which he did not demand, but which was necessary nevertheless, lay in acceptance of him as a guru, a faith and love in him that would replace self-will.
India is passing through a transition, from the old order of things to the new, the modern. No matter how much we may deplore it, how much we may cling to the old and oppose the change, we cannot prevent it. It is upon us. The question is: how shall we meet it? Shall we let it overtake us unawares, or shall we meet it fearlessly and boldly, ready to do our pan to shape it to the needs of the future? Some have met it by blindly accepting an alien culture, suited to the needs of the land from which it sprang, but unsuited for transplantation. Each country must evolve its own culture and the institutions necessary for its development. If India cannot escape the change, which is taking place all over the world, especially in Asia, she must control the situation. The new must grow out of the old, naturally and in harmony with the law of its growth. Shall the lotus become the primrose? Rather let us create conditions by which the lotus can become a more beautiful, a more perfect lotus, which shall live for ever as the symbol of a great race, and, which although its roots be in the mud of the world, bears flowers in a rarer, purer atmosphere.