Wednesday 20 September 2023

Swami Vimalananda on Swami Vivekananda - 3

And the purity which gave Swamiji this spiritual insight was something extraordinary. It was not the fragile purity that can protect itself by keeping itself away from all corrupting influences. It had long outgrown the need of the citadel of isolation. But that was not all. It became aggressive, taking a sort of delight in encountering its enemies on their own grounds and winning them over to its side. In other words, it could not only keep itself untouched amidst corrupting influences, but could turn them into positive powers for good. Gentlemen, I cannot go into personal details on a subject like this. But my knowledge of Swamiji's marvellous achievements in this direction compels me to lay at his feet my deepest reverence; this one element of perfection in Swamiji would have been quite enough to compel me to give him the highest place in my heart.

...There was one more prominent feature of Swamiji's life which speaks to me volumes about his renunciation. I mean his dealing with rich men. Many of you are aware that among his foreign disciples some are very wealthy and a few of them came out to India to help Swamiji in his work. The treatment which he used to give them did not in the least differ from that given to his most insignificant Indian disciples. He was kind and loving by nature to all, but his love did not make him blind to their flaws and defects which needed mending.

Gentle speech would not always serve the purpose, and Swamiji would have to be at times hard. And in this apparently unpleasant treatment, his wealthy disciples would have exactly the same fate as his begging sannyasins. At times, this would be too much for persons born and brought up in the lap of luxury and accustomed to hear words of praise and flattery From a worldly point of view, Swamiji paid dear for it. But did he ever regret? Far from it. The perfect unconcern which he showed whether rich people would stick to him or give him up is truly unprecedented.

...Of the few pregnant proverbs and epigrammatical expressions which Swamiji would never be tired of repeating, one was "— The giver of the head is alone the leader", that is, he atone can be a leader who is ready to die for others. And Swamiji's own life determines his place among his fellow beings. I have already told you that Swamiji was not only kind and soft but was very hard also at times. He could not only lay down his life for others, but could take arms against others if needed. Whatever he would think or feel he would do so with wonderful vehemence and intensity. And this whole-souledness was another marked feature of Swamiji's life. One evening in the course of a talk that Swamiji was giving to one of his disciples, opening his eyes to the fact that the disciple's inability to manage the servants of the Math (which was one of his duties then) and make them do their respective duties was a weakness and did not proceed from love, he said, "Don't think that your heart is full of love, because you cannot give them a little scolding now and then. Can you give your life for them? I know, you can't, because you do not love them. This minute I can die for them; but also I can hang them on this tree this minute if need be. Can you do that? No, my boy, namby-pamby is not love. Remember the words of the poet, —'Harder than the thunderbolt and softer than the flower', this is the ideal, No, love is not weak sentimentality."

To Be Continue..

(Source : Vedanta Kesari, January-February 1923)
कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

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