Friday, 20 September 2019

Hon'ble PM Smt Indira Gandhi - 16 Sep 1970 -II


     We know today that materialism whether of the capitalist variety in the West or the Communist variety in what is called the East (clearly, it is also of the West) have both failed to answer questions which man asks for himself. Both have solved some problems, but created many new questions. It was essential to solve these problems, we could not have the world divided into rich and poor; on the other hand to gap is growing. We could not afford to keep the vast majority of mankind not being regarded as part of the human race. Some of these are in our country. To improve them materially was the first step, but the other step is not less essential. Man cannot be at peace with the world unless he is at peace with himself. This is one step that has given us an understanding of such forces. Man has mastered nature, not by force, but by trying to understand these forces. That is why science has succeeded where magic has failed.


     We understand some forces of nature and as we understand them, we discover that there are many other forces which are still beyond our understanding. We have not even attempted to understand the small creature, a very tiny speck in the universe, which we call man. This is what our philosophy has tried to do, but as I said earlier, that part most of us have conveniently ignored. 


I spoke of the new questions being raised. It is hoped that questions are raised, because, by doubting, we are led to inquire and by inquiring we are likely to understand. Today there is a ferment in India of one kind and in the entire world of another kind. And the ferment is there, because many of the young people find fault with the old values. Does that mean that old values are wanting? I don't think that it is so. But I do think that because, we, of the older generation have not lived up to the older values, the young people wonder whether they can emphasise these values or not. Therefore they try to search new paths. To us, some of these paths, some of these experiments, do not make sense. But if through this approach of trial and error we can find the truth at last, I think that even the upheaval will have served a purpose. The world has also these problems as we have in our own country. Many great people have shown that all this variety was really a part of one great Unity and that we always should speak of this Unity. And science itself is nothing else than the quest to discover Unity in the wide variety of our experience.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Hon'ble PM Smt Indira Gandhi on 16 Sep 1970

SPEECH Delivered by

SMT. INDIRA GANDHI, Prime Minister of India.

     It is indeed a pleasure, a privilege for me to be here, to have the opportunity, of seeing the famous memorial. Swami Ranganathanandaji, I am afraid, has put too great a task on my shoulders. I do not think, that a few words of mine can give courage or wisdom or vision to the people.


     Swami Vivekananda, like other great leaders of Indian thought, has told us that all these qualities must come from within us. Others can show the path but whether to follow that path or not is the responsibility of each individual.

     This morning the Committee very graciously sent me a small booklet of the sayings of Swami Vivekananda. I had read it before, but I was glad to see it again. The grand words that spring up in every page, every saying of Swami Vivekananda breathe courage, strength, self-reliance and faith. This is what India has needed and what India needs today. We have been the inheritors of a truly great culture and a truly great tradition. How has he analysed our national illness? How has he pointed to the shaping of our nation? Swami Ranganathanandaji's words, just now, give some indication that we are in no way near living up to our great traditions and our great heritage. And, we have in a way, given up its importance by reducing it to ritual and routine. We have forgotten that the ritual, the routine is merely a way which could lead us to something, and is not an end in itself.


     The greatness of Swami Vivekananda was not only due to his great intellectual power and discretion but also his burning passion to do something not only to the whole of India but to the entire world. I think his greatness was that he sought to release our ancient wisdom, to find a sense of individual purpose and to promote social well-being and collective progress. His special intellectual gift was that he was keenly aware of the forces at work in the modern world. Just before coming here, I looked at the exhibition which has been arranged. And it was remarkable how he could address himself to the modern world knowing fully well the trends at work even in model days. He did not realise perhaps the great changes that science and technological advancement would bring, the great knowledge, and the great power put into the hands of man by those two things. Again what have we done with that knowledge and power? Swami Ranganathanandaji spoke, just now, of the need for removing economic poverty. We are pledged to do that. We are trying to take various steps which can lead us forward in that direction. We do not know if we would succeed. We know only that we must try, as far as we can, to do this with all the strength that we have.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Message of Kanyakumari -5

Swami Ranganathananda ji said :

Worldliness versus life in the world

     In the simple, humble duties and joys of life, man can cultivate and manifest the divine that is within him, making for compassion, making for social concern, making for love and service. This is the type of practical spirituality which has to became the character-strength of every citizen in our country. Too long have we made a distinction between life in the world and life of religion. And we have been widening that gulf century, inspite of the clear and definite teaching of the Gita. Ramakrishna and Vivekananda came to bridge this gulf between life and religion. In the words of Ramakrishna, wherein the essence of the philosophy of Vedanta, the message of the Gita is given in a brief utterance:

"Live in the world; but don't allow worldliness to enter into you."

     Worldliness should not be allowed to enter our hearts; if it enters, life will become heavy with selfishness and pettiness, jealousy and exploitation, making for stagnation. But with the stirring of the ever-present divinity in the heart, life flows out in a spirit of lover and service, making for dynamism and progress. So Ramakrishna adds, by way of an illustration:   

     "The boat will be on water but water should not be in the boat. That is the wrong place for the water and bad for the boat. For, the boat will become stagnant and unfit for the purpose for which it is meant."

     So when worldliness enters the human hearts, it makes for the stagnation of samsara, the stagnation of the little self of "I" and "mine", resulting in exploitation, social tension and violence; human life then becomes, in the words of Hobbes, "short, nasty, and brutish". That is what happened to us during the last few centuries. Inspite of our piety, inspite of our religiosity, which were become-essentially worldly, we were mainly selfish and self-centered. We practiced that may be termed a piety-fringed worldliness, which could not generate ethical sense, human concern, or character – efficiency. We exploited each other and reduced our collective life to elementary levels. Vivekananda rescued us form that false idea of religion as static piety and inspired us with his message of religion as dynamic spirituality, with its twin expressions of renunciation and service.


     And Kanyakumari represents this great message of dynamic spirituality, the fruit of Practical Vedanta, whereby Eternal India's energy of spiritual vision becomes channelized into socially creative ends and purposes, endowing the nation with the resources of an ever-increasing spirituality, side by side with the other type of strength and resource, namely, physical energy resources, which are being increasingly generated and utilized by our five-year plans of consumption of this latter energy is the accepted criterion to assess the development of a country. According to this criterion, India today is far behind, tenth or twelfth among the nations, with America leading, followed by U.S.S.R., up, with the steady implementation of her development programmes. Very soon we shall be developing a national electrical grid, connecting every region of our vast country with every other region, and helping to hasten the pace of our industrial growth and brighten the environment of the life of our people.


But this alone will not make for human fulfilment. The criterion of per capita production and consumption of Physical energy with respect to national development is a necessary but not a sufficient criterion. Humanity today in several nations which have fulfilled this criterion and are classed as highly developed, is not experiencing the expected sense of fulfilment. Vivekananda had therefore proposed more than seventy years ago, after a penetrating study of the philosophy of man behind modern Western civilization, a second criterion of human development, not opposed but complementary to that first criterion, namely, the per capita production and consumption of spiritual energy. He wanted India to retain her historically acquired hold on the science and technical know-how of this unique energy generation and consumption and to share it with the rest of humanity, while learning from the advanced nations the know-how of the physical science of man, with a view to enriching man externally and internally, materially and spiritually.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Message of Kanyakumari -4

Swami Ranganathananda ji on 16 Sep 1970 addressed the people on the Message of Kanyakumari. He said :


     This is what Swami Vivekananda presented to the people of India as practical religion and practical politics in one, the twin aspects of his philosophy of Practical Vedanta. He used to quote his Master's pungent words relating to religion as static worldly piety or piety-fringed worldliness: "Religion is not for empty bellies." We need the religion of work, the discipline of intelligent, co-operative, team work, to destroy the demon of hunger. This is the yoga of the Bhagavad-Gita, with its message of dynamic spirituality conveyed in three words: Yogah karmasu kausalam – "Yoga is efficiency, dexterity, in action." In contemporary post-independence India, where the unhealthy politics of the sheer pursuit of power has ousted the healthy polities of service, we need a new dictum to complement that dictum of Sri Ramakrishna, namely, "Politics is not for empty bellies." The Problems of poverty and general backwardness can be successfully tackled only by a politics of service; and such politics is what is inspired by a sense of national vision and dedication. "God and truth are the only politics in the world all else is trash," says Vivekananda.  Our nation has to infuse this sense of dedication for the service of the common man in our politics and administration. This is the spirituality of politics; and the other is the spirituality of practical religion. These two rivers of spirituality need to flow together today to fertilize the life of our people in a fundamental way. Our people need healthy political education. Their awakened political sense will be the perennial strength of our infant democratic State. 

     It is in such life and work that we shall manifest the spirit of Vivekananda. It is by such work that we shall pay our tribute to the memory of this great teacher, this lover of man, who lives in spirit in the hearts of our millions, in the hearts of millions in all parts of the world. There is no greater work for us today than to inspire ourselves with that vision of Vivekananda, the vision of India's greatness and glory, and with the resolve to translate that vision into our special experiment and experience. This is the way by which we can endow our nation with a healthy body-politic; this is the guarantee of the steady moral and spiritual uplift of not only our own people, but of the rest of the world as well.

     India has always exercised a fascination for all contemporary civilizations during the millennia of her history. There is much hunger today in the rest of the world for that bread of spirituality which India has always manufactured and accumulated for the good of mankind. It is true that when we look around us today we don't see evidences of that spirituality on the surface of our national life. That surface greets us with much that is unspiritual, much that is distressing and depressing. But in the depths of our national consciousness Vivekananda experienced the tangible pulsations of the spiritual energy resources of our nation. We need to master and apply the technical know-how of bringing these spiritual energy resources to the surface of life in order to become available to our people so as to overcome the spiritual and moral malnutrition of our nation, side by side with our mastering and applying the technical know-how of bringing to the surface the physical energy resources of our nation to overcome our material backwardness.

     This technical know-how of the science of spirituality teaches us that it can be mastered and applied by every citizen in every field of life – in the fields and factories, in the home and offices, everywhere. None need to go to a forest or a cave to become spiritual, except to intensify the spirituality gained in life and work; for this science teaches us that spirituality is the birth right of one and all, that the Atman is our true nature, that the kingdom of heaven is within  us, and that life and action are the field, the Kurukshetra, for the culture of our spiritual awareness.  This is the great message of Practical Vedanta of Swami Vivekananda, the perennial message of dynamic and comprehensive spirituality of the Bhagavad-Gita.

Monday, 16 September 2019

16 Sep 1970 PM visits VRM



     About a fortnight after the opening of the Memorial, i.e., on 16th September, 1970, the Prime Minister Shrimati Indira Gandhi, visited Kanyakumari to participate in the two-month-long celebrations organised by the committee to mark the completion of the Memorial.

     The Prime Minister reached Kanyakumari on the night of 15th September, 1970. The following day, after visiting the Kanyakumari temple, she flew to the Vivekananda Rock at 8.00 A.M. by a navy helicopter. The office-bearers of the Committee and Shrimat Swami Ranganathananda of the Ramakrishna Mission, who was specially invited by the Committee for the occasion, received the Prime Minister on the Rock.

     Shrimati Indira Gandhi spent about half an hour on the Rock, going round the Shripada Mandapam, Sabha Mandapam and the Dhyana Mandapam. Paying homage to the memory of Swami Vivekananda, she placed flowers at the feet of his statue.

     While going round the Mandapam, Swami Ranganathananda and the Committee's Organising Secretary, Shri Eknath Ranade, explained to her about the purpose and significance of the various structures put up on the Rock and also apprised her of the Committee's plan of further activities.

     Flying back to the Mainland, the Prime Minister visited a Pictorial Exhibition on Swamiji's Life and Mission, Organised by the Committee under the able guidance of a reputed artist, Shri R. Goswami of Calcutta. A well-decorated temporary hall, put up near the Kanyakumari temple, housed the Exhibition.

     The Prime Minister spent about 20 minutes in the Exhibition, evincing keen interest in many of the exhibits.

     Shrimati Indira Gandhi then moved to the adjacent spacious pandal where she addressed a meeting organised by the Committee in her honour. The meeting was presided over by Shrimat Swami Ranganathananda.

     After a vote of thanks proposed by Shri K.R. Sundararajan, Secretary of the Committee, the meeting concluded with national anthem.

In the impressions, Smt Indira Gandhi ji wrote :

It is a moving experience to come to Kanyakumari and see how the faith of thousands in Swami Vivekananda's Message has made possible this memorial. May it inspire all who visit it and give them the courage to live up to Swamiji's great and timeless teachings. The second phase of the programme for establishment of a lay order is no less important and will give practical shape to Swamiji's Message of Service.

Smt Indira Gandhi ji in her speech said :

     I had the special privilege of being introduced to the writings, sayings, and life of Swami Vivekananda and the Ramakrishna Mission. That was when I was very small. In fact both may parents and specially my mother had very close connections with the Mission. And I can truly say that the words of Swami Vivekananda inspired the whole of my family, in our political work as well as in our daily lives. Today I would like to ask the same question which Swami Vivekananda asked, "Why is India alive? What is it that she is fighting for?" We are fighting for something which we must nourish and cherish. Without work and sacrifice in our lives, we cannot do that.

     I should like to give my good wishes to this Committee which has done a great work of adding something to the memory of Swamiji in this place of pilgrimage which is so close to the hearts of all Indians. I don't think that a reminder was needed for Swami Vivekananda. But there are some who need this reminder, and therefore they provided it, and I hope it will be a source of strength to all those who come here.