Sunday, 8 September 2019

SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT SHRI V.V.GIRI - 3

SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT SHRI V.V.GIRI ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE VIVEKANANDA ROCK MEMORIAL AT KANYAKUMARI ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1970 - 3

   The problem of human suffering and inequality between man and man has no doubt existed from the dawn of time, but it was only during the recent decades the affluence of a few and the misery of the many has become sharper and more acute. Whether one approaches the problem purely from the materialistic angle or a humanistic angle or from as ethical angle, one will find that only by a change of heart and outlook can we wipe out sufferings and truly we will be able to establish the kingdom of God.

Swami Vivekananda, during his lifetime, strove to understand the causes of human sufferings and inequality. His solution was to purify the mind of man. When he came across human selfishness and concerted attempts to justify human inequality, he could not help saying:

'Where darkness is interpreted as light,
Where misery passes for happiness,
Where disease is pretended to be health,
Where the new –borns cry but shows' tis alive;
Does thou, O wise, expect happiness here?'.

Swamiji stressed that both pleasure and pain are great teachers and that man learns as much from evil as from good. As pleasure and pain pass before one's soul, they leave upon it different pictures, and the result of these combined impressions is what is called is "man's character". He pointed out that good and evil have an equal share in moulding character, and in some circumstances, misery is a greater teacher than happiness just as it is poverty that teaches us more than wealth.

Swamiji thus emphasized the realization of the divinity latent in every man. He, therefore, pleaded acceptance and respect of religious modes and methods, as pathways leading to the same goal. He accepted all religions that were in the past and worshipped them all with the same intensity and sincerity. He believed as much in Hinduism as in Christanity or Islam or Buddhism. To him, as it should be to everyone, all Religions laid themselves on the same foundations of charity, truth and tolerance.

Swami Vivekananda's establishment of the Ramakrishna Mission was one of his greatest gifts to India and to the world. The Ramakrishna Mission which he founded has always kept before it the ideal of social and national service. The inmates of this mission have always rushed to the rescue of the victims of natural calamities and selflessly contributed their mite for affording succor and solace to the destitute. His coined phrase "Daridra Narayana" (the Divine in the form of the poor) became the symbol of active service to the poor and the underdogs.

Vivekananda's message is of special significance when we are on the cross – roads of destiny. With such a great legacy still may of the parochial and narrow and divisive forces tend to thwart not only the underlying unity but cut at the very root of our great cultural heritage. It should be our resolve on this occasion that we will fight these forces and re-enthrone in our hearts the laudable and lofty message of all-pervading humanism of Swami Vivekananda.

In conclusion, let us chant with this great son of India his song of renaissance: "Let new India arise out of the peasant's cottage, grasping the plough, out of the huts of the fisherman, the cobbler and the sweeper. Let her spring from beside the oven of the fritter – seller. Let her emerge from the factory, from marts and from markets. Let her emerge from the groves and forests, from hills and mountains …. Arise, Awake, and stop not till the goal is reached".

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हमें कर्म की प्रतिष्ठा बढ़ानी होंगी। कर्म देवो भव: यह आज हमारा जीवन-सूत्र बनना चाहिए। - भगिनी निवेदिता {पथ और पाथेय : पृ. क्र.१९ }
Sister Nivedita 150th Birth Anniversary : http://www.sisternivedita.org
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