Indian children born abroad -- RSS and Vivekananda

Bijoy Misra bmisra at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Tue Dec 22 16:20:28 UTC 1998

This thread on  RSS and counter-RSS has little to do with Indology as
perceived in this forum.  Any scholarship and debate emanating
from such groups are necessarily biased.  If any one has studied
the Hindu non-vedic literature (Srimad Bhagavatam and other puranas)
some further light on migration and geography might evolve.

Thank you for your non-indulgence..

Bijoy Misra

On Tue, 22 Dec 1998, Ashish Chandra wrote:

> 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
> Brahma.
> 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.
> Ashish

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