Saturday, March 31, 2007

003 VIVEKANANDA INFLUENCED EVERYBODY EXCEPT HIMSELF


I invite your comments. I am investigating deeply into his complete works. I shall come out shortly with details.

Whose thoughts frighten whom? Nobody is, and nobody need be afraid of anybody. What Vivekananda did was just "word-jugglery".

To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.

16 comments:

Brother Ethan said...

It's the teaching not the man.
Was Swami Vivekananda imperfect as a man? Most probably. Aren't we all? Most certainly. Is that important? No. Does whether he smoked cigars or enjoyed comfy beds invalidate his teachings? Nope.
Swami Vivekananda made Vedanta accessible to us all. His four Yogas have informed and guided many lives. The human condition is impermanent and imperfect like the swami himself, and it would be a mistake to fixate on it. He suggested a way forward without prejudice or exclusivity. Whether he was a hypocrite like the rest of us is immaterial.
These are my personal thoughts and are in no way a criticism of you. In fact I send you good wishes, Ethan.

agama said...

the author of this comment seems to have read very little about Vivekananda - his life and works. a thorough study would help him and all others who have such doubts to get a clear picture of the personality and his teachings.

multisubj yb said...

Brother Ethan: Thank you very much. The life of a Hindu monk is to be viewed differently from the lives of preachers of other religions. Reason: The Hindu system of Yoga, lays great stress on "jitendriyatva" Conquering of senses and organs of the body. The body is like a horse. The person who occupies the body is like a rider. A rider who cannot control his horse is led astray and cannot attain his goals. The Patanjali yoga sutras (you can find these on net through Google search) also lay great stress on controlling the mind and body. The maxim "Yoogaha citta vritti niroodhaha" is totally concerned with control of the ways of mind. If the mind is allowed to go on silly things like tobacco, hotels, meat, hair style, "what others think about me" etc., there can be little progress in Yooga (Phonetic spelling. Long vowel as in yoke.).

Teachings become valuable only when they are practised by the person who preaches. Hence personal lives of public figures, particularly those who take up great goals become important.

Vivekananda's wayward approach made thinkers like Prof. E T Sturdy and Miss Muller to part their ways from him.

I have gone through the Vedanta made accessible by Vivekananda, including his Complete Works, letters, lectures etc. Since many Western citizens are not well versed with the key elements of self-realisation as perceived by Hinduism, and since it was the first time that they were exposed to an English speaking orator who can present Hindu philosophy by compromising and adjusting things to agree with Western thought, he received a overwhelming response in from 1893 to 1897. In his second tour of 1899, this enthusiasm has slowed down and he had to face questions on accounts for funds etc.

Vivekananda brushed criticism against him as canards spread by Christian missionaries, Brahma Samajists, and Theosophists whom he attributed to be suffering from "envy". He asked the Westerners not to believe it. He was very keen on favorable personal publicity initially, which was provided by the organisers marketing his lectures selling tickets. Part of the criticism may be true and part may be untrue.

The Hindu philosophic thought itself had many vague things as sages and preachers tried to explain their points of view, and clarify concepts often biased by a tunnel vision of the cult they followed. For example Vivekananda professed to teach Advaita Vedanta first taught by S`ankaraacaarya. But what Vivekananda taught, moved away from what S`ankara (phonetic spellings)taught.

About prejudices and exclusivities, Vivekananda himself displayed several prejudices and exclusivities which have not come to the fore, but his letters and lectures, though censored by the publishers spill out if we analyse keenly.

As I have already pointed out most of the information available on the net and printed books available outside have been published by the cult which Vivekananda started.

However, I shall not prejudice myself against Vivekananda. I respect him as a great leader who inspired Indians to strive for independence and drew their attention to the miserable condition of the poor. Hence, I shall try to be objective and promise not to write things in haste.

multisubj yb said...

To Shri Agama:
I started reading the biography of Vivekananda at the age of 16 (now I am 56). It was by Swamy Chirantananda published by Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Madras. I went to Ramakrishna Math Mylapore, Chennai as well as RK Math Beluru, visited Dakshineswaram. I thought of joining their fraternity by taking Sanyas. Fortunately or unfortunately I did not.

Since then, I have purchased numerous books published by the Math and other Hindu organisations and read many of them, though I cannot lay a claim to be omniscient. I have great respect for Vivekananda and his concern for poor. One day I read an article written by Shri N. Innaiah, a Senior Journalist in a Telugu newspaper. Though I do not remember exactly what he wrote (now it is available on net I think. I shall revisit his site), it opened my eyes.

I re-read all the Vivekananda literature and was shocked to about his fascination for friendship with Maharajas
and non-vegetarian food. I give below a link to a hither unpublished letter from Vivekananda to Maharaja of Khetri.
www.vivekananda.org/newSVLetters.asp. This letter shows how arrogantly and wrecklessly, Vivekananda wrote to Maharaja of Khetri, about vegetarianism. He wants all Indians to eat grass, as implied from the following paragraph:

quote:"In that case poor Indians are fools to die of starvation in famine times while their natural food, grass, is so abundant, and your Highness’ servants are fools to serve you while they have only to get up the nearest hillock and get a bellyful of grass instead of undergoing all the trouble of serving others!!! "

Pl. also see my blogs on Ramayana and Mahabhagavata, so that you can know what our preachers conceal and what our scriptures also contain. I hope you will excuse my outspokenness which is increasing day by day because our Puranas and Itihasas are revealing things which our common people do not know. Suppose if Mahabhagavata says (in the words of Krishna) that Sudras should weave baskets and mats to eke out their livelihood, till they find masters to serve, what kind of preaching does it contain?

If Kausalya is asked to stab/pierce a horse with three gold knives as part of Asvametha what culture does Ramayana represent? And Dasaratha is asked to smell the fumes from the pyre in which the horse's fat is burnt. Then his sins are cleansed and he is enabled to beget children.

My sincere request is read Valmiki Ramayana, Vyasa Bhagavata, Vyasa Mahabharata thoroughly to recognise both good things, acceptable practices and abominable practices in our scriptures. Blind praise or blind castigation does not help Hinduism. That is the bane of today. If you have questions, I shall answer sincerely to the best of my ability. Then pl. do not brand "seems to have read very little".

Vivekananda suffered from at least 10 diseases in spite of being a non-vegetarian. The Indians who eat grass (rice is grass!) do not suffer from 10 diseases in one person. His letters from US explain his anguish about his travails of eating problems and diet. I request you to read all his letters thoroughly and you will find that at least 99% of them deal with his ill health ranging from lumbargo to renal failure and earning money abroad.

I am hesitating to write frankly on the subject because I have to take care that I shall not hurt the sentiments of millions of Indians who adore Vivekananda without studying in depth what he did in US or in India.

We have to free ourselves from publicity materials of cults and Centres. For example, one Vivekananda used his slogan "Arise, awake and stop not till thy goal is achieved" for joining a camp in diagnosis of diabetes.
Swamiji himself suffered from diabetes and it led to other complications like his overweight. His doctors advised him to control his food. It is difficult to say whether he succeeded or not.
I shall write more on this subject with quotations from his letters, if you show some interest. Pl. do not treat that I am an enemy of Vivekananda. I am greatly influenced by his thoughts.

Note: This is not a comment on what RK Math is doing today. It is not our subject. They may be doing better than what the founder himself did.

multisubj yb said...

Correction in comment addressed to Shri Agama: "One Vivekananda used the slogan" should read as "One Vivekananda Centre used the slogan ... Arise,awake etc." I apologise for this typing error.

bhattathiri said...

In the storm of life we struggle through myriads of stimuli of pressure, stress, and muti-problems that seek for a solution and answer. We are so suppressed by the routine of this every life style that most of us seem helpless. However, if we look closely to ancient techniques we shall discover the magnificent way to understand and realize the ones around us and mostly ourselves. If only we could stop for a moment and allow this to happen. May all beings be happy (Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu)

Multisubj Yb TruthSeeker said...

Thank you Shri Bhattathiri garu. In the past we were made helpless by the feudalist system of society. Now we are made helpless by the Capitalist system of society. Realisation is only a starting point for implementation. Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu is not achieved by wishing or by praying or by charity. We, Indians, have a long way to go in the path of the well being of starving Indians, not to speak of the welfare of the whole world including the dark Continent Africa.

love4india said...

hi all,

First of alli would like to say my sincere thanks to owner of this blog, as he is doing good efforts, to make Sw. Vivekananda's character more visible.
As Swami ji did so many experiences in his life, thats the reason he came to good results abt Human life, He did some experiences which you people could nt digest/ understand.
but I wana to give u my view that he was very much near to life, he learnt a lot in his life, and he gave us his best teaches to us for the betterment of our lives, he told us what is life, how could we spend this life without any problems.
Since he was a Human Being, and no human can be perfect any time, till we other humans are watching each other, as a normal human starts his life by learning critic abt other humans, so this is in our blood, we should use this gr8 feature of our nature.

any ways friend keep it up
best of luck.

harish said...

I am making this comment as I have grown more philosophically and spiritually mature.

Our scriptures are clear about two things
1. Only under certain special circumstances, should an individual be non vegetarian
2. Non vegetarian is prohibitted for renunciates

Vivekandanda neither fit into 1 nor 2. Then can he be called spiritually advanced? Yes and No.
Yes in the sense that in the present day world- people have come down to such a low state that even commoners of ancient times were more spiritual than saints of modern times. In this relative sense vivekananda is a spiritual person. He is just a reflection of the society. He saved hinduism because , he said exactly what the educated people wanted to hear. He spoke of charity as a hindu concept at a time when the missionaries were using it as an instrument to attack hinduism.He spoke against caste system. He spoke of the great merits of modern science. All this is exactly what modern men wanted to hear.

Now for people uninitiated in spirituality(who come from families with no background in vedic ways), he can be considered as a first introduction to religion and spiriuality .

But a real sadhaka has much higher aims.

Why should we be vegetarian?
It is part of the process of cleaning our external self.
Does it matter to a real sadhaka?
Answer is yes- Unlike what is being regularly said by lay men, the people who have transcended the need for maintainance of the body are few and rare- so for all practical purposes it can be considered that there are no such people. This is important- because we have a habit of blindly accepting the words of a guru.Until the external body is kept completely pure-It will be difficult for the majority to break the tough challenges of yogic attainments or even devotional attainments.And unless that is done,spiritual progress will stop somewhere.

It is said that we have to read that Vivekananda could not even quit smoking. Do you know he is such a bad example? Majority of bengali are chain smokers and their health is in a bad state due to this habit. Had he been able to control even this one bad habit, a lot of lives would have been saved. This is one example how a guru becomes a bad example.All talk of vedanta without following the basic rules- is meaningless.Its time we get over our obsession of the Gurus

What is the way ahead
1. Follow the basic rules of our religion on purity-Its logical and simple- eat satvic food-Abjure from Non vegetarian food, spicy veg (include onion , garlic and even potato).
2. Dont touch alcohol at any cost
3. Dont speak lies
4. Dont hurt any creature or any human by deeds or words
5. Spend as much time on God as possible
6. Be very active and work very hard- you dont need to eat non veg for that. Be physically active
7.Learn only the technique of bhakti and yoga(meditation essentially) from the gurus. Always Maintain a healthy sceptism towards their teachings. Dont throw away your belief,religion just because a guru says so.


This will take care. Dont waste time in the rest.

rajan said...

In Indian philosophical (sanathana dharma) syatem knowledge is imparted by a guru. The guru must be a perfect human being who have conquered all desires and weaknesses of human flesh. Ramakrishna and Vivekananda were ordinary humans with all base desires. Their teachings are of no value because they indulged in things which are proscribed in default definitions of Hindu religious tenets.

The two people were glorified by their disciples and made to appear that they were saints. But actually they were just ordinary men and as such their teachings are of no value. I thing Indians should forget characters like Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Saibaba, Nithyananda et al.

Semanti said...

Swamiji need not influence Himself because He Himself is the Divine Nectar & Energy for all. Dear blog writer, I pray to Swamiji to forgive & Bless you always!

Obat Tradisional Infeksi Saluran Kemih said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ybr (alias ybrao a donkey) said...

Reason for deleting the above comments: Some Indonesian Language medical spam, unrelated to our work and the above other comments. I would have retained it, even if it contained harsh criticism. But spams may not really serve any purpose.

ybr (alias ybrao a donkey) said...

Reply to Shri Semanti: Swamiji cannot forgive me or bless me now. He does not exist. Only his memories remain. Mr. Narendra Modi is using some of them, to derive political benefits by displaying Vivekananda's image. Divine Nectar & Energy are all imaginary. If Swamiji really enjoyed the divine nectar, there would not have been any need for him to crave for American Turtles, shad fish, chicken. He would not have encouraged sacrificing a goat for Durga Puja, Was there any divine nectar in goat's meat?

The main weakness of Indians (a la the Europeans and North Americans) is they do not make efforts to identify true merit. They go by packing of goods, instead of the quantity and quality of the underlying goods.

Solid proof fr this: I have earlier given. When Vivekananda was on his first tour of USA in connection with the Chicago Congress of Religions, Veerchand Gandhi also participated in it. At that time, India was passing through a famine. Veerchand Gandhi mobilised two shiploads wheat in USA and returned to India for serving the drought-stricken. Vivekananda stayed there for four years, entering into a "promotion" contract with an American Speech Promotion, Company, got cheated by them, cursed them.

I have not seen Narendra Modi, or Indians (or at least Jains and Gujaratis) remembering the services of Veerchand Gandhi with warmth. Why Veerchand Gandhi was forgotten? Why Vivekananda's name is hammered everywhere?

Will my admirers of Vivekananda answer this riddle?

ybr (alias ybrao a donkey) said...

To Shri Rajan: Most Important: Hinduism is not a religion at all. Sanatana dharma, claimed by Sanskrit Pandits is only one branch of Hinduism. Hinduism is Indian culture. There is lot of confusion in BJP, RSS, VHP and others about Hindutva. Both the terms Hindutva and Hinduism refer to geographical name of the people residing to the East of Indus River. For this reason only, Hindus never indulged in converting others. Conversion by inducements, use of physical force, false propaganda, abuse of Gods/Goddesses whom people worship in India, has become a lucrative business for the foreign missionaries and , Indian missionaries receiving funds from abroad. Under 1000 years of Muslim and Christin rule, both of which fished in the troubled waters of India, made Indians feel insecure, that something was happening to their lives. This gave opportunity to God persons like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda, Paramahamsa Yogandanda, (this list is unlimited) to imitate the alien missionaries and take up propagation work.

Now, we have the latest fad yoga, with the UNO declaring June 21 as International Yoga Day. This may be a stunt by powers controlling UNO, to curry favor with Modi. The European and American Powers have a knack. Whenever Indian Heads of State/Govt. visit their countries, they will arrange for unveiling of some statues of Indians like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru etc. Why? This is because India has 350 billion bucks with it mobilised by begging for foreign investments offering allocation of valuable public lands in India, and the Indian markets on a golden plater. India is too eager to buy weapons, oil, aircrafts, ships, submarines, radars, drones (hurry is for valid reasons), which the Europe, America, Israel sell, competing with one another, offering kickbacks. Opening a Vivekananda chair, installing a Gandhi statue, declaring a Yoga day, they are all baits attached to the strong nets. Indians have to be very very wary of manoeuvers of the MNCs and their Govts.

tomfire said...

the fact that rk math is doing so much of service in the fields of education and spirituality is the answer for swamiji's staying in foreign. If he came back quickly for serving in one famine it would be the end. but after his tremendous victory he and the people inspired by him did a lot of service to the country in a no of famines..........where is ur virchand gandhi he made people beggars by donating and then left.........but swami made people stand on their own feet......by the way swmiji praised and stood by the side virchand gandhi for his strict vegetarianism and scolded people of India for making him an outcaste. swamiji was not made famous by his followers.....they made his message famous and this in turn made him famous.......But it is better to know that he is not craving for his own fame or even his own salvation...... the first persons to say that all religions lead to same place in practice are paramahansa and swamiji................there are no hypocratic feelings in them like u fools