METRO PLUS

A harmony of all human energy

An intent gaze at the statue of Swami Vivekananda, standing majestically facing the Bay of Bengal beside the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, quietly unveils before us the picture of a self-reliant, self-confident, self-respecting and self-sufficient proud Aryan of Rigveda proportionately blended with the enlightened self-realised, ascetical Aryan of the Aryanyaka Upanishad. He was not a meek, mild Hindu as Winston Churchill caricatured the Indians in his imperial haughtier.

Born on January 12, 1863, as Narendranath of the deeply religious parents Viswanatha Dutta and Bhuvaneswari Devi, he made wonder-struck by his deeds the people that enthusiastically came to see him.

He was a discerning and versatile monk of monks. The Vaidik heritage came to stay in him to get spread far and wide engulfing human multitudes, to awake, arise and to stop not until the goal is reached. Was he not the peripatetic personification of India's wisdom, commonsense, egalitarianism and practical philosophy? He was from the moment he saw light of the day a wonder boy, a boy of immense potential essential for the making of a world-teacher of the kind of Adi Sankara who in his day resuscitated, regenerated the cold, maimed slumbering lion, Hindu wisdom. Swamiji was a spiritual athlete, a religious giant in a hurry to attain the goal not only for himself but for all mankind. His abhorrence of individual emancipation was told and retold in multimillion tongues. In a sense he was quite the antithesis of his seraphic master Sri Ramakrishna who long waited for the man who would don his mantle, who would thunder and inundate the world with the heaven-born waters of his altogether novel message which already made thrust into the pastures of faiths faded and crippled by long misuse. These were faiths that were able to ruin the prospect of the human advancement, that were dividing, that were stunting the psychical, spiritual progress given impetus to by the Gita laying ground for raising a citadel of civilization which could accommodate all faiths without detriment to their individual identity.

The Raja of Kshetri on the eve of Swamiji's departure to the US rechristened Narendranath Dutta as Vivekananda Swami who was to become the noble (sovereign) Swami of the spiritual world. Elder by six years to Bapu the Swami did the spadework for the political re-generation of India. He was not a mere awakener. He was the heart and soul of the Indian masses. He had felt the pulse of India. He coined the phrase "Daridra Narayan'' for the overwhelming downtrodden people of Mother India. "Daridra'' denoted "Rudra'' and "Narayan'' is the source and destination of all creation. Thus he elevated the position of the poor man stricken in the web of grinding poverty to one worshippable and regarded as the means to obtain visa to the place of gods. Unlike Sri Ramakrishna, who stuck to Dakshineswar his disciple Swami Vivekananda, the saviour of the soul of humanity and the restorer of human dignity converted the whole world as the viable arena of his movement underscored by the spirit that rests not until it attained the end.

Swamiji was 30 years old when his virile inner voice impelled and instigated him to leave for America to participate in the proceedings of the Parliament of Religions to which he was no invitee nor was he aware of the venue of it in the vast America. Pennyless, no cold resisting clothing, no fried, none but the invisible God as his companion he reached at long last Chicago, the venue of Parliament of Religions, in September 1893. Chicago was the Bodh Gaya of Vivekananda. He possessed the heart of the Buddha and the head of Adi Sankara. His looks were sparkling with the inner Light of Divinity. His language, his dignified demeanour played not a little in endearing him to the affluent American. The Vaidik Lion in unmistakable majesty entered the Parliament of Religions. No sooner he pronounced the very simple opening words ''Sisters and Brothers of America'' than hundreds did arise in their seats and applauded. He presented Hinduism as "the Mother of all religions'' who taught the dual precept: ''accept and understand one another''. He quoted two telling passages from the Song Celestial, "Whoever comes to Me through whatsoever form, I reach Him''. "All men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me''. The Parliament of Religions gave Swami, the breath-taking orator, an ovation. He spoke about eight times. The `New York Herald', the `Boston Evening Post-Script' stated that he was a great favourite of that Parliament. To keep the attention of the audience unflagged it was to announce that Vivekananada would speak at the end. It was the triumph of Vaidik India!

Swami was the Sthitapragna and Vichakshana of the Gita. It may be centuries hence that mankind may see the kind of complete man, of complete manliness. Aurobindo felt Vivekananda still lives in the soul of his Motherland, and in the soul of her children. Two years older and a world renowned poet laureate himself Gurudev Tagore said, the message of Vivekananda is a call to the totality of our manhood. To Nehru he was one of the great founders of modern movement of India. Subhas Chandra Bose wrote, "If Sri Swami had been alive, I would have been at his feet. Modern India is his creation--if I err not.'' Swamiji was the personification of the harmony of all human energy, according to Romain Rolland.

In conclusion, Swamiji's spiritual universality knows no bounds, every creed is true, everything is God. In one of his sayings his spiritual universality went to the extreme extent that he uttered "if Christ were alive I would have washed his feet with my tears''. His heart equals with the heart of Mother India that offered asylum to the virtuous and the villainous. He was the eloquent epitome of Sanatana Dharma.

Swami Vivekananda, who shed his mortal frame on July 4, 1902, bequeathed to the nations of the world a dialect and a dharma that unify and vivify and that banish the contrary.

CHALLA SIVASANKARAM

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