Indian children born abroad -- RSS and Vivekananda

Ashish Chandra achandra at WNMAIL.WNDEV.ATT.COM
Tue Dec 22 15:42:36 UTC 1998

Partha Banerjee wrote :
About Swami Vivekananda:

Hindu Student Council, VHP, BJP, and RSS leaders frequently quote Swami
Vivekananda. But they rather misuse him - because they do not ever bring up
his words that are not comfortable to them or suitable for their
hate-doctrines. For example, Vivekananda said,

"Our experience is such that if there is one religion that followed true
socialism, that religion is Islam.  Therefore, we strongly believe that
Vedanta, without the help from Islam, is meaningless to mankind. We want to
take humanity to a goal where there is no Vedas, no Bible, or no Koran. For
our country, a combination of Islam and Hinduism is the only hope."
(Collection of letters - translated from Bengali).

Vivekananda said, "there will be a time when the Shudras will rise with
their Shudra identity." He said, "this rising sun has already showed its
light in the West. Socialism, and other such  philosophies, in other words,
the complete destruction of the state-sponsored status quo is indeed the
pioneer of a future social revolution." [From, Bhupendranath Dutta (Swami
Vivekananda's brother), Swami Vivekananda]

Vivekananda's disciple Sister Nivedita was one of the foremost leaders of
Indian armed revolutionaries. She, with help from Bhupendranath Dutta (a
leading socialist activist-scholar), Barindranath Ghosh, and Aurobindo
Ghosh first established socialist revolutionary groups in Bengal for armed
struggles against the-then tyrant and colonial British government.

The so-called Sangh Parivar never mentions these facts either.

Let us not get led away here by what Swami Vivekananda said. In one of his
lectures, he has criticized the Theosophists and Christian Missionaries who
were opposed to him throughout his American tour. One other occasions, he
has said that there are religions (with direct reference to Islam) where if
you try and help them with talking to them about the concept of God, they
will try and kill you. I think the one thing he has reiterated over and
over again is that the need of the hour is for our knowledgeable men to
take the gem of Vedanta and present it to our masses. He (Swamiji) was of
the firm belief that just as the theme of capitalism is what drove America,
similarly the theme of Dharma ran through the veins of India. He has said
this on several occasions.

As goes the Shudras rising to their Shudra identity, I think you have
misrepresented what the Swami said. He said that when you present the
beauty of Vedanta to even a fisherman, who is a Shudra, he will realize and
say that he is also God and that will help him be a better fisherman and so
forth. He is not talking of a Shudra revolt here mind you. Merely the
essence of the theme gaining ground that we are all the same, One with

As goes the relationship between Socialist concepts as they are and the use
of Guru Aurobindo Ghosh, I am reminded of something I had read that Guruji
has said. He said that if there is one thing Indians have ignored, it is
materialism, the gathering of wealth. Of course, what one would do with it
is different in his eyes from what wealth is generally used for.

The Sangha encourages the reading of our national heroes like Swami
Vivekananda. I am indeed surprised that Swami Vivekananda, if he was
socialistically inclined, was not prescribed as a must-read in Indian
schools where socialism is a favored ideology over capitalism. He was, and
I can say this with all the confidence, a foremost proponent of the primacy
of Vedanta over all else. At one occasion, he is said to have remarked, "I
am the proudest Hindu that was ever born". This remark can be misconstrued
but it reflects the Swami's belief in the Vedanta philosophy. What the
Sangha does not encourage is selective quotations as being the true
embodiments of the entire message, something you and I are both guilty of,
at the moment.

I am not sure about the remark Swami made about Vedanta being meaningless
without Islam. Could you provide more info. I have access to all the
Swami's writings through the Vedanta Society of New York. I would like to
read that letter.


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