Saturday, May 28, 2011


I get to meet and interact with a very large spectrum of people from all walks of life on a day to day basis. One thing which astounds me is the preconceived IGNORANT NOTION on Swami Vivekananda and his universal mission? Here is a copy of transcript from the book “THE LIFE OF VIVEKANANDA AND THE UNIVERSAL GOSPEL”- written by Romain Rolland which would help in clearing the preconceived ignorant notion which has creep into Indian minds on " Who Swami Vivekananda IS and what was his universal mission ?

- Thanks
Rajhashekher BC - raj
Sat, 6 November, 2010 9:35:07 PM



THE great disciple whose task it was to take up the spiritual heritage of Ramakrishna and disseminate the grain of his thought-out the world, was both physically and morally his direct antithesis.

The Seraphic Master had spent his whole life at the feet of the Divine Beloved, The Mother – the Living God. He had been dedicated to Her from infancy; before he had attained self – consciousness he had the consiciousness that he loved her. And although, in order to rejoin Her, he had been condemned to years of torment, that was only after the manner of a knight-errant, the sole object of whose trials was to make him worthy of the object of his chaste and religious love. She alone, the multiple God, among the thousands of faces. And when he had reached her, he found that he had learnt to recognize all those other faces and to love them in Her, so that with Her he embraced the whole world. The rest of his life had been spent in the serene fullness of this cosmic Joy, whose revelation Beethoven and Schiller have sung for the West.

But he had realized it more fully than our tragic heroes. Joy appeared to Beethoven only as a gleam of blue through the chaos of conflicting clouds, while the Paramahamsa – the Indian Swan – rested his great white wings on the sapphire lake of eternity beyond the veil of tumultuous days.

It was not given to his proudest disciples to emulate him. The greatest of them, the spirit with the widest wings – Vivekananda – could only attain his heights by sudden flights amid tempests, which remind me over and over again of Beethoven. Even in moments of rest upon its bosom the sails of his ship were filled with every wind that blew. Earthly cries, the sufferings of the ages fluttered round him like a flight of famished gulls. The passions of strength { never of weakness } were striving within his lion’s heart. He was energy personified, and action was is message to men. For him, as for Beethoven, it was the root of all the virtues. He went so far in his aversion to passivity, whose secular yoke weighs so heavily on the patient bovine brow of the East, as to say, “ Above all, be strong, be manly! I have a respect even for one who is wicked, so long as he is manly and strong; for his strength will make him some day give up his wickedness, or even give up all work for selfish ends, and will then eventually bring him into the Truth. “

His athletic form was the opposite of the fragile and tender, yet wiry body of Ramakrishna. He was tall { five feet, eight and a half inches }, square – shouldered, broad-chested, stout, rather heavily built; his arms were muscular and trained to all kinds of sports. He had an olive complexion, a full face, vast forehead, and strong jaw, a pair of magnificent eyes, large, dark, and rather prominent, with heavy lids, whose shape recalled the classic comparison to a lotus petal. Nothing escaped the magic of his glance, capable equally of embracing in its irresistible charm, or of sparkling with wit, irony, or kindness, of losing itself in ecstasy, or of plunging imperiously to the very depths of consciousness and of withering with its fury. But his per-eminent characteristic was kingliness. He was a born king and nobody ever came near him either in India or America without paying homage to his majesty.

When this quite unknown young man of thirty appeared in Chicago at the inaugural meeting of the Parliament of Religions, opened in September 1893, by Cardinal Gibbons, all his fellow – members were forgotten in his commanding presence. His strength and beauty, the grace and dignity of his bearing, the dark light of his eyes, his imposing appearance, and from the moment he began to speak, the splendid music of his rich deep voice enthralled the vast audience of American Anglo-Saxons, previously prejudiced against him on account of his colour. The thought of this warrior prophet of India left a deep make up on the United States.

It was impossible to imagine him in the second place. Where he went he was the first. Even his master Ramakrishna, in a vision which I have related, represented himself with regard to his beloved disciple as a child beside a great Rishi. It was in vain that Vivekananda refused to accept such homage, judging himself severely and humiliating himself – everybody recognized in him at sight the leader, the anointed of God, the man marked with the stamp of the power of command. A traveler who crossed his path in the Himalayas without knowing who he was, stopped in amazement, and cried, “ Shiva!...”

It was as if his chosen God had imprinted His name upon his forhead.

But this same forehead was weather – beaten like a crag by the four winds of the spirit. He very rarely realized the calm air, the limpid spaces of thought whereupon Ramakrishna’s smile hovered. His super-powerful body and too vast brain were the predestined battlefield for all the shocks of his storm-tossed soul. The present and the past, the East and the West, dream and action, struggled for supremacy. He knew and could achieve too much to be able to establish harmony by renouncing one part of his nature or one part of the truth. The synthesis of his great opposing forces took years of struggle, consuming his courage and his very life. Battle and life for him were synonymous. And his days were numbered. Sixteen years passed between Ramakrishna’s death and that of his great disciple…..years of conflagration….He was less then forty years of age when the athlete lay stretched up the pyre….

But the flame of that pyre is still alight today. From his ashes, like those of the Phoenix of old, has sprung anew the conscience of India – the magic bird – faith in her unity and in the Great Message, brooded over from Vedic times by the dreaming spirit of his ancient race – the message for which it must render account to the rest of mankind.

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