Surendra K Puri
Today our politicians and bureaucrats are struggling to get new ideas to make our motherland, Bharat an ideal country. Politicians make tall promises at the hustings which are seldom fulfilled. They even pay lip service to national heroes like Swami Vivekananda, the patriotic saint of India and an enlightened citizen of the world community but never pay any heed to his sane pieces of advice.
Common folk are struggling hard to make their two ends meet. Everyday, the daily necessities of life are going beyond the reach of the common people.
Crime graph is rising everyday and man has become worse than brute. In such circumstances, whom to blame. Should we blame the Government, the media, the businessmen, the police or all of us.
In such a paradox everyone seems to be in search of some new ideas as if these have fallen into some ditch!
Yet one gets relaxed on reading the hallowed life and teachings of the illustrious son of India, Swami Vivekananda, whose birth anniversary the whole world celebrated on January 15, 2012.
Swamiji has given us many precious ideas like “Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached”, “Love your country from the core of your heart”, “Each soul is potentially divine”, “Serve living beings as Shiva”.
Shivajnane Jivaseva “Serve living beings as Shiva” is perhaps the epochal message of Swamiji for the welfare of not only India but the entire world. It can restore peace in this world which has been awfully divided by man-made walls and shattered by violence and wars. Here Karma is brought to the level of Karma Yoga into which all other yogas blend. But Swamiji says that service to man considering him as divine must be done with utmost humility and irrespective of caste, creed, colour and other distinctions.
A little practice of it gives a lot of peace of mind to the individual as well as to the persons who are thus served. Swamiji has time and again said that service to humanity is the highest worship of God and the shortest way to emancipation.
Swami Jitananda of Ramakrishna Mission has eulogised this path in the following words:
“This is the message of practical Vedanta, which is crowning glory of Ramakrishna Vivekananda tradition. Shankracharya explained Hinduism as Brahman alone is real, the world is unreal; living beings are none but Brahman.” In Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition, the later portion the presence of God in living beings, is more prominent, it is this message of serving God in man that has inspired a thousand service activities both secular and spiritual all over the world for the last one hundred years.”
I think all our problems are the off-shoots of our not paying due heed to the sound advice of this God man. Let us do a little heart-searching. Most of our problems arise because of our lack of love for our Motherland whom Swamiji paid rich tribute in his well-known Chicago addresses. Through these Swamiji actually shook the world and made it to have a better evaluation about India and its rich cultural heritage. Many enlightened foreigners acknowledge the glory and greatness of India and its positive role in spreading peace in the world. They also paid heartfelt homage to Swamiji.
If we love our country wholeheartedly, surely we cannot waste the precious human lives of our brethren and the national property in communal wars or riots.
Similarly, if we know for certain that there is a living God residing in another human being, how can we dare to dupe him or kill him?
On the contrary, our heads would bow in the service of such a God enshrined in each human heart. In fact, Swamiji explains, our visits to a church, temple or mosque were mere preparation for that elevated vision which has not ensued so far.
Even our great martyrs and freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji, Shri Rajgopalacharya and Pt Nehru had the sagacity and will to put Swamiji’s live ideas into practice and from being mere creatures of history, we became the creators of history and India became a sovereign country.
Now, when we have not been able to put our country on a strong financial footing and a big chunk of our population, despite 64 years of Swarajya, lies below the poverty line , would it not be in fitness of things if we follow his sane advice to win the war against poverty?
Hence, all the problems that the present day India, nay, the world is facing are the result of our not paying due regard to the sound advice of this saint and visionary. For, if the politicians of the world had implemented some of the salubrious thoughts of Swamiji as expressed by him in his Chicago addresses, the world map would have changed and the peace would have been restored in the world long back.