Rashtra-Drishta Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda on his landing in India was overwhelmed with the enthusiasm, the unprecedented welcome given to him by people of India. India was all ears to listen to him. Swami Vivekananda too had become a conduit like a Rishi to receive and proclaim the great Truth about India. The first speech that he gave at Colombo has become like a Rashtra mantra from the great Rashtra-Drishta Swami Vivekananda. His language has a charm of Vedic poetry and appeal of universality of Vedic truth. In this speech of Swami Vivekananda one can see the great vision ahead, the lines on which his work would start, the lines on which this nation would be rebuilt. This speech is worthy of reflection before the thoughts of Swamiji on various topics related to India on his return are studied.

Rashtra-Mantra that from Swami Vivekananda at Colombo was, “What little work has been done by me has not been from any inherent power that resides in me, but from the cheers, the goodwill, the blessings that have followed my path in the West from this our very beloved, most sacred, dear Motherland. Some good has been done, no doubt, in the West, but specially to myself; for what before was the result of an emotional nature, perhaps, has gained the certainty of conviction and attained the power and strength of demonstration.

Formerly I thought as every Hindu thinks, and as the Hon. President has just pointed out to you, that this is the Punya Bhumi, the land of Karma. Today I stand here and say, with the conviction of truth, that it is so. If there is any land on this earth that can lay claim to be the blessed Punya Bhumi, to be the land to which all souls on this earth must come to account for Karma, the land to which every soul that is wending its way Godward must come to attain its last home, the land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, above all, the land of introspection and of spirituality -- it is India. Hence have started the founders of religions from the most ancient times, deluging the earth again and again with the pure and perennial waters of spiritual truth. Hence have proceeded the tidal waves of philosophy that have covered the earth, East or West, North or South, and hence again must start the wave which is going to spiritualise the material civilisation of the world. Here is the life - giving water with which must be quenched the burning fire of materialism which is burning the core of the hearts of millions in other lands. Believe me, my friends, this is going to be.

So much I have seen, and so far those of you who are students of the history of races are already aware of this fact. The debt which the world owes to our Motherland is immense. Taking country with country, there is not one race on this earth to which the world owes so much as to the patient Hindu, the mild Hindu. …India has for thousands of years peacefully existed. Here activity prevailed when even Greece did not exist, when Rome was not thought of, when the very fathers of the modern Europeans lived in the forests and painted themselves blue. Even earlier, when history has no record, and tradition dares not peer into the gloom of that intense past, even from then until now, ideas after ideas have marched out from her, but every word has been spoken with a blessing behind it and peace before it. We, of all nations of the world, have never been a conquering race, and that blessing is on our head, and therefore we live.”

After referring in glowing words the greatness of India, Swamiji pointed out again that India has a mission to fulfill and her mission is spiritualization of human race for that the modern science has already prepared channels of communication. He said, “Each race, similarly, has a peculiar bent, each race has a peculiar raison d'être, each race has a peculiar mission to fulfil in the life of the world. Each race has to make its own result, to fulfil its own mission. Political greatness or military power is never the mission of our race; it never was, and, mark my words, it never will be. But there has been the other mission given to us, which is to conserve, to preserve, to accumulate, as it were, into a dynamo, all the spiritual energy of the race, and that concentrated energy is to pour forth in a deluge on the world whenever circumstances are propitious. Let the Persian or the Greek, the Roman, the Arab, or the Englishman march his battalions, conquer the world, and link the different nations together, and the philosophy and spirituality of India is ever ready to flow along the new - made channels into the veins of the nations of the world. The Hindu's calm brain must pour out its own quota to give to the sum total of human progress. India's gift to the world is the light spiritual.”

He pointed out by giving his own example that how religion is the life center of India, “…How many of you know that there has been a Sino - Japanese War? Very few of you, if any. That there are tremendous political movements and socialistic movements trying to transform Western society, how many of you know? Very few indeed, if any. But that there was a Parliament of Religions in America, and that there was a Hindu Sannyasin sent over there, I am astonished to find that even the cooly knows of it. …That is our nation's life.”

When we say that the life center of India is religion or India;s gift to the world is light spiritual what is it exactly the we have to contribute? He further explains, “Once more history is going to repeat itself. For today, under the blasting light of modern science, when old and apparently strong and invulnerable beliefs have been shattered to their very foundations, …here comes to the fore the philosophy of India, which displays the highest religious aspirations of the Indian mind, where the grandest philosophical facts have been the practical spirituality of the people. This naturally is coming to the rescue, the idea of the oneness of all, the Infinite, the idea of the Impersonal, the wonderful idea of the eternal soul of man, of the unbroken continuity in the march of beings, and the infinity of the universe. … above all, the infinite glory of the spirit of man governed all the search for religion. …what can hold any more the allegiance of cultured humanity but the most wonderful, convincing, broadening, and ennobling ideas that can be found only in that most marvellous product of the soul of man, the wonderful voice of God, the Vedanta? … And herein is the explanation of the most remarkable phenomenon that is only witnessed here -- all the various sects, apparently hopelessly contradictory, yet living in such harmony. You may be a dualist, and I may be a monist. You may believe that you are the eternal servant of God, and I may declare that I am one with God Himself; yet both of us are good Hindus. How is that possible? Read then [Sanskrit]--"That which exists is One; sages call It by various names." Above all others, my countrymen, this is the one grand truth that we have to teach to the world.”

Swamiji cautions us, “At the same time, I must remark that what I mean by our religion working upon the nations outside of India comprises only the principles, the background, the foundation upon which that religion is built. The detailed workings, the minute points which have been worked out through centuries of social necessity, little ratiocinations about manners and customs and social well - being, do not rightly find a place in the category of religion. …Even in our own nation these minor laws have been changing all the time. Customs of one age, of one Yuga, have not been the customs of another, and as Yuga comes after Yuga, they will still have to change. Great Rishis will appear and lead us to customs and manners that are suited to new environments.”

Swamiji also explains the method of ‘giving’ spirituality to the world very beautifully. He says, “But there is another peculiarity, as I have already hinted to you. We never preached our thoughts with fire and sword. If there is one word in the English language to represent the gift of India to the world, if there is one word in the English language to express the effect which the literature of India produces upon mankind, it is this one word, "fascination". It is the opposite of anything that takes you suddenly; it throws on you, as it were, a charm imperceptibly. …Slow and silent, as the gentle dew that falls in the morning, unseen and unheard yet producing a most tremendous result, has been the work of the calm, patient, all - suffering spiritual race upon the world of thought.”

In today’s terminology, it is called as the soft-power of India. For protection of soft power, India can and should have hard power but the way India has to spiritualize the world is not by dominating and destroying others but fascinating them by living the life which is based on Oneness. This is the task that is in front of us. We have to be rishis to find the yugadharma – of developing right systems, rituals, customs that would promote the practice of the eternal principles of Oneness, of unity in diversity and of potential divinity of man. That soft power none would be able to resist. Since the advent of Swami Vivekananda, India started again influencing the world. The coming of 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda offers us an opportunity to increase pace of enlightening of the world. World awaits awakened India!

published date: 
Wed, 02/29/2012
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