Swami Vivekananda was a Nationalist, however, his Nationalistic influence remains unsung. He was an epithet of true Unity. Swami Vivekananda was the hero of the intellect. His mind was the union of rationality and spirituality. He was born Narendranath Datta at Calcutta on 12 January 1863. Since the early days, Narendra was a rational kid. However one day, fortune knocked on the door of wisdom when he met his guru Shri Ramakrishna Paramhamsha. His perception of the world changed after he met Ramakrishna. He gave him the charge of propagating Indian Philosophy to the world.
During that time world had deep-rooted prejudice against Indian Philosophy. Perception of India was not more than the land of Snake Charmers but he taught the world, the message of unity and tolerance which Indians are practicing for centuries. Vivekananda told the world that everyone is inclusive of ideas of Indian Philosophy. This was proved to the world by the first words of his address at the Parliament of Religions in 1893.
‘Brothers and Sisters of America’ was the statement from which he started his speech. This itself was proof of inclusivity. During his interaction with the youths, he said “Arise! Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached.’
The key players of India’s freedom struggle like Subhash Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra pal, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajagopalachari, Vinoba Bhave, S. Radhakrishnan, and million others were inspired by his ideas. This also includes the reformers of Hinduism like Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
Nationalists have directly quoted him in their books, for instance, Mahatma Gandhi in his autobiography strongly felt the need for the thoughts of Swami Vivekananda for the youths that gives one a zeal.
A tribute to Indian wisdom and the role of VIvekananda.
The philosophical knowledge in the form of intellectual heritage was passed since millenniums in the land of Bharata. This was passed to Vivekananda from his Guru. Recorded history tells us that we followed the system of Jnana (knowledge), Prajna (wisdom), and Satya (truth). Every generation has followed this system for more than the last 5000 years.
However, the main aim of life is Purusharthas. They are Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Being Economically Strong), Kama ( Being stress-free and satisfied), and Moksha (Freedom). The last of the Purushartha i.e., Moksha is the most important among them. It is not only about religious liberation but the liberation in our mind by eliminating all the dualities. It is the ultimate freedom. All of our freedom fighters have verily given us the Moksha from the invaders but we need more to get all other forms of liberation.
Just like our Nationalists were majorly influenced by Swami Vivekananda, every youth must understand his teachings on Yoga derived from the Indian Culture to create a Holistic world view. The notion of Satya in the Vedas is Advaita or the vision of non-duality. Although, this is for the realization of metaphysics but applies to everything. This is because existence is about the unity of all. The Indian metaphysics considers Atman the individual soul to be not different from the Brahman, the universal soul. Atman is within the body which is enveloped in the Maya (illusion) which doesn’t let us realize Brahman.
The struggle with Maya is common and beyond the Maya exist the idea of unity or the Advaita. The final aim of life is the Moksha or the freedom itself. The ultimate freedom would give a person the ability to comprehend the non-duality in everything. This itself is the freedom from all the sufferings. The idea of freedom completely applies to philosophical schools like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, etc. It also applies in the spiritual schools of Islam, like Sufism and Mysticism of Christianity. Advaita Philosophy which the Vivekananda followed has the ability to unite the Religions too.
The most common word in the world for unity is ‘Yoga. The literal meaning of Yoga is the ‘Union’. As per the Vivekananda, Patanjali, the founder of a modern system of Yoga and Spiritual freedom hero calls yoga as Chitta vritti nirodhah, or calming down the fluctuations/patterns of consciousness”. Our awareness of the external or internal environment is called consciousness. Union of mind and body gives us the ability to see things as it is or the ‘whole’ when ultimate awareness is achieved. After this point, no duality exists. Vishwa seeks knowledge from India regarding existence through Yoga. Swami Vivekananda’s teachings had influenced the freedom fighters, now it has to influence the world towards non-dualism.
There is a lot of work to be done by the Youth of India so that its true meaning reaches everywhere. We have to take inspiration from the most influential people who propagated Indian Culture to the world like Swami Vivekananda. A true nationalist and hero of the minds.