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> Swami Vivekananda on India
Swami Vivekananda on India
#. Our sacred Motherland is a land of religion and philosophy - the birthplace of spiritual giants - the land of renunciation, where and where alone, from the most ancient to the most modern times, there has been the highest ideal of life open to man.
#. Each nation has a theme; everything else is secondary. India's theme is religion. Social reform and everything else are secondary.
#. Hidden under the ashes of apparent death, the fire of our national life is yet smouldering and ... the life of this nation is religion, its language religion, and its idea religion; and your politics, society, municipality, plague-prevention work, and famine-relief work - all these things will be done as they have been done all along here, viz. only through religion; otherwise your frantic yelling and bewailing will end in nothing, my friend! If you succeed in the attempt to throw off your religion and take up either politics, or society, or any other things as your centre, as the vitality of your national life, the result will be that you will become extinct.
#. To many, Indian thought, Indian manners, Indian customs, Indian philosophy, Indian literature are repulsive at the first sight; but let them persevere, let them read, let them become familiar with the great principles underlying these ideas, and it is ninety-nine to one that the charm will come over them, and fascination will be the result. 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.
#. 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... In ancient and in modern times, seeds of great truth and power have been cast abroad by the advancing tides of national life; but mark you... it has been always with the blast of war trumpets and with the march of embattled cohorts. Each idea had to be soaked in a deluge of blood... This, in the main, other nations have taught; but India has for thousand of years peacefully existed... 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.
#. The more therefore, the Hindus study the past, the more glorious will be their future, and whoever tries to bring the past to the door of everyone, is a great benefator to his nation. The degeneration of India came not because the laws and customs of the ancients were bad, but because they were not allowed to be carried to their legitimate conclusions.
#. Shall India die? Then from the world all spirituality will be extinct, all moral perfection will be extinct, all sweet-souled sympathy for religion will be extinct, all ideality will be extinct; and in its place will reign the duality of lust and luxury as the male and female deities, with money as its priest, fraud, force, and competition its ceremonies, and the human soul its sacrifice. Such a thing can never be.
#. Once more the wheel is turning up, once more vibrations have been set in motion from India, which are destined at no distant day to reach the farthest limits of earth. Believe, believe, the decree has gone forth, the fiat of the Lord has gone forth - India must rise, the masses and the poor are to be made happy.
#. India will be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with the power of the spirit; not with the flag of destruction, but with the flag of peace and love, the garb of the Sannyasin; not by the power of wealth, but by the power of the begging bowl.
#. On our work depends the coming of the India of the future. She is there ready waiting. She is only sleeping.
#. Therefore to make a great future India, the whole secret lies in organisation, accumulation of power, coordination of wills. Already before my mind rises one of the marvellous verses of the Rig-Veda Samhita which says, 'Be thou all of one mind, be thou all of one thought'... Being of one mind is the secret of society... That is the secret - accumulation of will-power, co-ordination, bringing them all, as it were, into one focus.
#. Let us all work hard, my brethren; this is no time for sleep. Do not figure out big plans at first, but begin slowly, feel the ground, and proceed. Up, up, the long night is passing, the day is approaching, the wave has risen, nothing will be able to resist its tidal fury.
#. I see in my mind's eye the future perfect India rising out of this chaos and strife, glorious and invincible, with Vedanta brain and Islam body. For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems, Hinduism and Islam - Vedanta brain and Islam body - is the only hope.
#. Let her New India arise - out of the peasants' cottage, grasping the plough; out of the huts of the fisherman, the cobbler, and the sweeper. Let her spring from the grocer's shop, from beside the oven of the fritter-seller. Let her emanate from the factory, from marts, and from markets. Let her emerge from groves and forests, from hills and mountains... Skeletons of the Past, there, before you, are your successors, the India that is to be. Throw those treasure-chests of yours and those jewelled rings among them, as soon as you can; and you vanish into the air, and be seen no more - only keep your ears open. No sooner will you disappear than you will hear the inaugural shout of Renaissant India, ringing with the voice of a million thunders and reverberating throughout the universe, 'Wah Guru Ki Fateh' - victory to the Guru!.
#. The longest night seems to be passing away, the sorest trouble seems to be coming to an end at last, the seeming corpse appears to be awakening and a voice is coming to us - away back where history and even tradition fails to peep into the gloom of the past, coming down from there, reflected as it were from peak to peak of the infinite Himalaya of knowledge, and of love, and of work, India, this motherland of ours - a voice is coming unto us, gentle, firm, and unmistakable in its utterances, and is gaining volume as days pass by, and behold, the sleeper is awakening! Like a breeze from the Himalayas, it is bringing life into the almost dead bones and muscles, the lethargy is passing away, and only the blind cannot see, or the perverted will not see, that she is awakening, this motherland of ours, from her deep long sleep. None can resist her any more; never is she going to sleep any more; no outward powers can hold her back any more; for the infinite giant is rising to her feet.
#. Arise and awake and see her seated here on her eternal throne, rejuvenated, more glorious than she ever was - this Motherland of ours.