SWAMIJI visited America and Europe, twice, for a period of little more than five years. After the famous Parliament of Religions, Swamiji wanted to give the people lessons on the Hindu religion, Vedanta, spirituality and yoga. He did receive many flattering offers to give lectures in various parts of US. For a few months he gave lectures under the direction of the Ponds Lecture Bureau. After his lecture in the Thousand Island Park a Chicago friend invited him to New York in the early part of 1894. His western experiences had convinced him that there were many in America who would gladly learn the ancient philosophy of India. Dr. Janes invited Swamiji to give lecture before the Association in Brooklyn; thus began his public works in America, by teaching Vedanta philosophy. Swamiji gave his services free as air.
Swamiji had the opportunity to visit all the important states in United States. Then he proceeded to England, France, Germany, Greece, Athens and Egypt. So he was able to give an assessment and judgment of the social condition in these countries. According to Swamiji, “these western cultures, which boast of its supremacy, had once exercised the art of killing their own brothers and the natives for the sake of amassing wealth. Fortunately they have stopped total annihilation now, and that is why they are able to exist today.”
Vivekananda, during discussions, had proved that, “The physical science, which they claim to be unchangeable, cannot give solution to the fundamental issues of the life and the inner and final essence of beings. The laws about which they are proud of have no relevance outside the mental realm; the very explanation of matter itself is a theoretical exercise, because the inner state of matter is a non-stationary energy form. So the present knowledge of matter is mixed up with mistakes.” Swamiji explained that Vedanta can give the final and definite solution for such problems.
By the end of the 19th century, Europe had an impression that the glitter of the materialistic affluence is permanent and the people are at the zenith of progress as well as civilisation. But Swamiji cautioned that this glitter is only temporary and it cannot give permanent satisfaction and solace; instead it will lead only to discontent and rivalry. People should realise this fact and turn to spirituality of Bharat.
Regarding the political situation Swamiji remarked “Europe is bristling with portents of war; Europe is a vast military camp.”And he prophesied rightly, “After the death of the present Austrian Emperor (Francis Joseph, who died in 1916) Germany will surely try to absorb German-speaking portions of the Austrian Empire and Russia and others are seen to oppose her, so there is the possibility of a dreadful war, a catastrophe is brewing in the West. Europe is on the edge of a volcano, if the fire is not extinguished by a flow of spirituality, it will erupt.”He said these words to Christine in 1895, nineteen years prior to the starting of the First World War.
By the later part of the 20th century, proving the prophesy of Swamiji, to be true, we are witnessing a thirst in the West for spirituality. Simply a formal framework of a religion, which is, by the thrust of economic gain, slowly transforming into a mere social organisation, cannot satisfy the urge of the people to realise the ultimate truth. Because of this in some countries of the West many churches are being closed, for, no people go there for religious matters.
Until the starting of the Second World War the type of governments in almost all the countries was monarchy or aristocracy. Swamiji says, “accumulation of power is as necessary as its diffusion, or rather more so. The accumulation of blood in the heart is an indispensible condition for life; its non-circulation throughout the body is death. For the welfare of the society, it is absolutely necessary at certain times to have all knowledge and power concentrated in certain families or castes, if the diffusion be withheld ,the destruction of that society is, without doubt ,near at hand. The same condition is true for any government. Whether the leadership of society is in the hands of those who monopolise learning or yield the power of riches or arms, the source of its power is always the subject masses.”
It was in India that the kings, after having enjoyed for some time earthly pleasures to their full satisfaction they retired in their old age into secluded forests. So if the benefit of power is not distributed to the lowest strata of society a common cause of hatred in the people will bind them together and that will be equal to the power of millions which will throw away the power centres. So a time will come when there will be the rising of the Shudra class, the poor and down-trodden people, remaining as Shudras, will gain absolute supremacy in every country.
After sixty or seventy years of Swamiji’s prediction, we have seen democracy creeping in to the power centres, and world order of governments is democracy.