India, What a Land : Swami Vivekananda


Not sure how many of you will read the full article below. We are becoming a generation whose attention span has come down to less than 5 min. The art of reading a few pages for a minimum of 20 minutes and converting a set of words into a language and in turn into a message; followed by visualizing scenes and contemplating deep into space and time – this is called chinthana. It is a form of power and so referred as chinthana shakthi. Here is a test for your chinthana shakthi. Swami Vivekananda says this about his Gurudev, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Those whose eyes have been blinded by the glamour of material things, whose whole dedication of life is to eating and drinking and enjoying, whose ideal of possession is lands and gold, whose ideal of pleasure is that of the senses, whose God is money, and whose goal is a life of ease and comfort in this world and death after that, whose minds never look forward, and who rarely think of anything higher than the sense-objects in the midst of which they live, if such as these go to India, what do they see? Poverty, squalor, superstition, darkness, hideousness everywhere. Why? Because in their minds enlightenment means dress, education and social politeness. But in the presence of my Master I found out that man could be perfect, even in this body. Those lips never cursed anyone, never even criticised anyone. Those eyes were beyond the possibility of seeing evil, that mind had lost the power of thinking evil. He saw nothing but good. That tremendous purity, that tremendous renunciation is the one secret of spirituality. The more such men are produced in a country, the more that country will be raised; and that country where such men absolutely do not exist is simply doomed. Nothing can save it.

Later he wrote this (the article below) about the land that pulsates with spirituality, that which continuously produces the earth’s best and purest sons. After 130 years these words are still as precious as he wrote them in 1890. As a devotee of Mahaperiyava can you see how Swamiji’s predictions (in the last para of the article below) have come true through Mahaperiyava’s avatharam on this earth? Use your chinthana shakthi and share with us the result of such meditation. Also meditate upon what we can do as sons of this great land in spiritulaizing the world using Periyava’s teachings, and in that process purify ourselves.

India, What a Land : Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works, Vol. 4

To this land I owe whatever I possess, physical, mental, and spiritual; and if I have been successful in anything, the glory is yours, not mine. Mine alone are my weaknesses and failures, as they come through my inability of profiting by the mighty lessons with which this land surrounds one, even from his very birth.

And what a land! Whosoever stands on this sacred land, whether alien or a child of the soil, feels himself surrounded, unless his soul is degraded to the level of brute animals, by the living thoughts of the earth’s best and purest sons, who have been working to raise the animal to the divine through centuries, whose beginning,history fails to trace. The very air is full of the pulsations of spirituality. This land is sacred to philosophy, to ethics and spirituality, to all that tends to give a respite to man in his incessant struggle for the preservation of the animal to all training that makes man throw off the garment of brutality and stand revealed as the spirit immortal, the birthless, the deathless, the ever blessed — the land where the cup of pleasure was full, and fuller has been the cup of misery, until here, first of all, man found out that it was all vanity; here, first of all in the prime of youth, in the lap of luxury, in the height of glory and plenitude of power, he broke through the fetters of delusion.

Here, in this ocean of humanity, amidst the sharp interaction of strong currents of pleasure and pain, of strength and weakness, of wealth and poverty, of joy and sorrow, of smile and tear, of life and death, in the melting rhythm of eternal peace and calmness, arose the throne of renunciation! Here in this land, the great problems of life and death, of the thirst for life, and the vain mad struggles to preserve it only resulting in the accumulation of woes were first grappled with and solved solved as they never were before and never will be hereafter; for here and here alone was discovered that even life itself is an evil, the shadow only of something which alone is real. This is the land where alone religion was practical and real, and here alone men and women plunged boldly in to realize the goal, just as in other lands they madly plunge in to realize the pleasures of life by robbing their weaker brethren. Here and here alone the human heart expanded till it included not only the human, but birds, beasts, and plants; from the highest gods to grains of sand, the highest and the lowest, all find a place in the heart of man, grown great, infinite. And here alone, the human soul studied the universe as one unbroken unity whose every pulse was his own pulse.

We all hear so much about the degradation of India. There was a time when I also believed in it. But today standing on the vantage ground of experience, with eyes cleared of obstructive predispositions and above all, of the highly-coloured pictures of other countries toned down to their proper shade and light by actual contact, I confess in all humility that I was wrong. Thou blessed land of the Aryas, thou wast never degraded. Sceptres have been broken and thrown away, the ball of power has passed from hand to hand, but in India, courts and kings always touched only a few; the vast mass of the people, from the highest to the lowest, has been left to pursue its own inevitable course, the current of national life flowing at times slow and half-conscious, at others, strong and awakened. I stand in awe before the unbroken procession of scores of shining centuries, with here and there a dim link in the chain, only to flare up with added brilliance in the next, and there she is walking with her own majestic steps, my motherland to fulfil her glorious destiny, which no power on earth or in heaven can check, the regeneration of man the brute into man the God.

Aye, a glorious destiny, my brethren, for as far back as the days of the Upanishads we have thrown the challenge to the world: न कर्मणा न प्रजया धनेन त्यागेनैके अमृतत्वमानशुः — Not by progeny, not by wealth, but by renunciation alone immortality is reached. Race after race has taken the challenge up and tried their utmost to solve the world-riddle on the plane of desires. They have all failed in the past the old ones have become extinct under the weight of wickedness and misery, which lust for power and gold brings in its train, and the new ones are tottering to their fall. The question has yet to be decided whether peace will survive or war; whether patience will survive or non-forbearance, whether goodness will survive or wickedness; whether muscle will survive or brain; whether worldliness will survive or spirituality. We have solved our problem ages ago, and held on to it through good or evil fortune, and mean to hold on to it till the end of time. Our solution is unworldliness renunciation.

Renunciation is the theme of Indian life work, the burden of her eternal songs, the backbone of her existence, the foundation of her being, the raison d’être of her very existence, the spiritualisation of the human race. In this her life-course she has never deviated, whether the Tartar ruled or the Turk, whether the Mogul ruled or the English.
And I challenge anybody to show one single period of her national life when India was lacking in spiritual giants capable of moving the world. But her work is spiritual, and that cannot be done with blasts of war-trumpets or the march of cohorts. Her influence has always fallen upon the world like that of the gentle dew, unheard and scarcely marked, yet bringing into bloom the fairest flowers of the earth. This influence, being in its nature gentle, would have to wait for a fortunate combination of circumstances, to go out of the country into other lands, though it never ceased to work within the limits of its native land. As such, every educated person knows that whenever the empire-building Tartar or Persian or Greek or Arab brought this land in contact with the outside world, a mass of spiritual influence immediately flooded the world from here. The very same circumstances have presented themselves once more before us. The English high roads over land and sea and the wonderful power manifested by the inhabitants of that little island have once more brought India in contact with the rest of the world, and the same work has already begun. Mark my words, this is but the small beginning, big things are to follow; what the result of the present work outside India will be I cannot exactly state, but this I know for certain that millions, I say deliberately, millions in every civilized land are waiting for the message that will save them from the hideous abyss of materialism into which modern money worship is driving them headlong, and many of the leaders of the new social movements have already discovered that Vedanta in its highest form can alone spiritualize their social aspirations.



Categories: Upanyasam

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10 replies

  1. An article that once again reinforces the eternal message of the eternal spirituality of our पुण्यभूमि भारत वर्षम्!
    May every single citizen of Bharatavarsham realise the highest ideals of our greatest Rishis and Sages!
    🙏🕉️🙏वन्दे मातरम् 🙏🕉️🙏

  2. It took me two readings to understand what Swamiji was indicating. And true to His words today we continue to export spiritualism to our brothers and sisters of America and elsewhere as well. That without any expectations of favour and with the same fervour that She did in the past. As you stifle her more She will escalate this only further, as seen in the birth of stalwarts of spirituality more so during the foreign rules and invasions. Our own Periyavaa was a great example and born when She was ruled over by the English. This is the land of the sages and continues as is from time immemorial. She has cracked the mystery of the genesis of this universe and every other puzzle is too miniscule to even attempt. Compassion is what drives Her to accept foreign rule and in turn gives them a hop realize Her greatness and themselves. Never has been as Swamiji observes this spiritual succession was broken and never shall be in future. Nothing better exemplified by Periyavaa when He compared the world to a human and India to its heart. Not only compassion but the essential non stop work of pumping the spiritual blood to all over continues unabated. Let us be immersed by this land and it only eludes the intellectuals who have sought the physical comfort elsewhere and for the rest as Swamiji observes the outside has not touched and the spirit continues to rule. Periyavaa Saranam

  3. Thank You for this post! Wonderful article by Swami Vivekananda.

  4. Many Many Thanks for posting such a gem of an article. This needs to be read by one and all. Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara!

  5. JAI HIND
    JAYA JAYA SANKARA HARA HARA SANKARA

  6. JAGADGURU SRI MAHA PERIYAVAA THIRUVADI SARANAM SARANAM
    HARA HARA SANKARA JAYA JAYA SANKARA
    OM SRI MATRE NAMAHA

    • Excellent article to be read by everyone!! Our land is full of spirituality ! We should be proud of our country which is the birth place of so.many Rishi’s, Mahans like our Maha periyava, Sri Seshadri Swamigal, Sri Sivan SAR ,Sri Ramana maharishi so on. Sri Rama Krishna parama hamsar, Sri Vivekananda Swamigal are also among them !!
      Thanks for posting such a nice article !!
      Jaya Jaya Shankara…

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