Shall we see
Swamy Vivekananda as a Monk who renounced worldly pleasures to lead a
life of renunciation or as a man more “worldly” than the lesser
mortals? The dilemma persists if we do not study the Man and Monk in
him. True he, said “When you have no bread, whither religion” He
lived between 1863-1902. Though M.K. Gandhi was born in 1869, he
started public life at a time when Swamiji attained Maha Samadhi.
In latter days Gandhi too said, I quote,
are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them
except in the form of bread.”
of Swamy Vivekananda is reflected in the words of Gandhi and what Gandhi
stood for is relevant even today.
Assessment of Swamiji's teachings to world culture was made by
British Historian who said “in centuries to come he will be
remembered as one of the moulders of modern world”
primary contribution is defining religion as “Science”, more
Scientific than science itself. He defined religion as the “science
of the self-reality” In his view Science and Religion are
complimentary. The religious intolerance of present day, dogmatic
approach of few individual bigots, the theory of “science is
superior to religion” are all born out of ignorance of Swamyjee's
stress on “Meditaion” to attain self-realization for common good
is commendable. Present day society is torn with immorality,
corruption of body and mind, crime and violence. Swamyjee enunciated
the “supremacy of soul” and that by seeing the inner self only, one
can attain heights of humanism immersed in spirituality. An
understanding of this simple concept would make the world happier.
on one hand he made the West to understand the great cultural, social
and religious ethos, on the other hand he taught Indians to imbibe
the Western Science and Technological advances through research. Today we
stand high in the eyes of the West only because of Philosophers like
the Swamyjee. So too, the West learned a lot through his teachings, especially family values from India.
area where Swamyjee's teachings apply today are his stress on
realization of “Atman” through Meditation as the only way to
attain high moralistic ethos. He stressed that one can not attain
morals by fear of Law of the land or Laws of the Heaven, called
Karma. He stressed “Strength, Strength!” . Moral strength through strength of soul attained by meditation. He stressed no disease can
get hold on humans if they are strong by soul and body.
stress on environment is equally valid today. Population explosion
is, according to him, one of the reasons for deprivation and environmental pollution. Man's over
dependence on other beautiful creations of God like tress, animals,
flora and fauna and their eventual annihilation for assuaging human
hunger, leads to unmitigated harm to environment, according to him.
relevance to the society today is more than at any time in view of
the turmoil in the world. The other teachings of the Swamyjee are
equally relevant and will be discussed in subsequent papers.