Friday, July 6, 2007

#50 he should feed himself by spending from his own pocket

Swami Vivekananda like any other average human being tends to view himself and others from different planks. Examples from his Complete Works. On the 20th May 1897 he writes from Almora a hill centre, to Brahmananda (Rakhal) (brother-disciple and his successor to Belur Math):

"... Write to Gangadhar that if he finds it difficult to get alms etc. there, he should feed himself by spending from his own pocket ...".

Gangadhar's another name is Swami Akhand`ananda. He was another brother disciple of Vivekananda. When Vivekananda (before he left for US in 1893) was taking rest at Pavahari Baba Asram, Akhand`ananda toured Tibet mostly on foot, starving and living like a true monk. He was a real worker. At this point of time May 1897 Vivekananda returned from US and is taking rest at Almora. Akhand`ananda seems to be working somewhere in Rajastan or N.W. Uttar Pradesh (this is to be checked and correct). From the context of this letter, we can deduce that Brahmananda informed him about the difficulties suffered by Gangadhar in obtaining alms, while spreading the message of the Math. Vivekananda as leader was expected to give some temporary sustenance to Gangadhar till he gets good alms to survive. Instead Vivekananda advises him that if Gangadhar could not get alms etc., he should feed himself by spending from his own pocket. At least he should have written some consolatory words for Gangadhar, though financial support could be not be given owing to paucity of funds.

*To spend money from his own pocket, was Gangadhar doing any business?

Now let us see Vivekananda's rule, in respect of his own case. On the 20th December 1896 he writes from Hotel Minerva, Florence to Brahmananda (This is before returning to India from the first trip to USA and before knowing that he had suffered from diabetes):

"... If there are oranges in Calcutta, send a hundred to Madras care of Alasinga, so that I may have them when I reach Madras. ..."

On 29TH MAY 1897, Vivekananda writes from Almora to Dr. Shashi Bhushan Ghosh (while receiving treatment for diabetes):

"... I began to take more fruit than usual as soon as I came. But the only fruit to be got here now is the apricot. I am trying to get more varieties from Naini Tal. ..."

On 20th June 1897, Vivekananda writes from Almora to Brahmananda:

"...I am having plenty of mangoes. ...". "...Henceforth I am to have three meals a day in the English fashion, as Miss Müller's guest ..." .


kRSNA said...

Hey, you seem to be terribly biased. What is the basis for this statement that you made - "..When Vivekananda (before he left for US in 1893) was taking rest at Pavahari Baba Asram, Akhand`ananda toured Tibet mostly on foot, starving and living like a true monk. He was a real worker. At this point of time May 1897 Vivekananda returned from US and is taking rest at Almora. Akhand`ananda seems to be working somewhere in Rajastan or N.W. Uttar Pradesh (this is to be checked and correct)....". Your logic is so flawed. This whole blog sounds like a lawyer trying to prove a criminal, innocent just based on some parts of the complete incident which support the criminal. See to make judgements like the one you have made one should know the complete picture. That is one should know what exactly were the circumstances, which I don't think you have any idea about and you cook up stories. I feel sorry that there are lawyers like you in India. You are making remarks just based on svAmijI's letter. How do you know that gangAdhar really did not have money?! Your sympathy for gangadhar seems to be extremely artificial. The reason for that being your hatred towards svAmi vivekAnandA, I speculate.
Also your thing about oranges! svAmijI clearly says - IF there are oranges send 100 of them. Firstly he is asking the maTh to do that. The maTh takes care of all the monks there and why would they not do so for svAmijI. svAmijI asks the other monks without any inhibition because they are like brothers. I guess the number 100 was asked because svAmijI is not like us. When he comes there are usually a lot people with him. He doesn't have the practice of eating food just by himself. He shares it with others who go with him and they are so huge in number. I seriously ask you to stop misleading people like this. I hope you get enough intellectual clarity to appreciate things in the true spirit and to appreciate svAmi vivekAnandA.

P.S. I'm not related to shivasenA in anyway.

kRSNA said...

I wish to modify a part of my comment there that is - "...trying to prove a criminal, innocent just based ..." to - " trying to prove an innocent (vivekAnandA) a criminal just based...". I chose to do this because my comment might sound as if I wish to say that gangAdhar was not living like a monk, to people with immaturity, which was not the point. The point was that vivekAnandA was not wrong.

multisubj yb said...

Dear Krsnaji: I welcome your frank and fiercest comments in future also. Normally, I do not delete comments of anybody, So far I have not deleted the comments of anybody. I am optimistic that such occasions will not arise in future. Hence, you can visit my blog without inhibitions and criticise me. After all, a person cannot play chess for himself only. Playing alone, he will be in about half an hour. Same way, a chess player continuously winning his games gets bored. Hence we can fight with one another sportively sometimes I winning, sometimes you winning and sometimes there may be a stalemate.

About my prosecuting Vivekananda and my bias against him: Not true. If a mother chides its child finding his clothes stained or something else, can we say that she is biased? Love also makes people to criticise the persons they love. Here I request you to remember the story of the father of the Sanskrit poet Bharavi. The father was not praising Bharavi at all particularly in the presence of others. Bharavi misunderstood this and decided to kill his father by throwing a stone from the attick. At the time of taking meal, Bharavi's mother talked to his father who revealed that he was not praising Bharavi simply because it is not in his interest and welfare to praise him. He said his son immensely. Then Bharavi got down from the attick and appeared before his father. (This story continuation if you have not read elsewhere, if you are interested I shall write a post.

About lawyers: According to jurisprudence (philosophy of law) the duty of a lawyer is to help the judge to find the truth. This duty lies both on the prosecutor and the defence lawyer. Suppose the prosecutor finds a piece of evidence which helps the judge to decide that the accused is innocent, the prosecutor should forget that he is arguing on behalf of police and help the judge in exploring truth. The gist of this is that all the parties in the court have only one aim, i.e. finding the truth. Hence please do not imagine that I am treating Vivekananda like an accused or criminal. (The two words have different connotations).

About my finding fault with Vivekananda all the time and not praising him at all. For this my answer: Internet has at least 2000 blogs praising Vivekananda and 5000 blogs quoting him profusely. Everybody has covered almost every aspect beyond proportions. There are some positive things which others have not written, and observed by me, I shall write about them with joy. Hence, please leave the impression of my being biased.

Other things raised by you, I shall try to answer to your satisfaction and to the best of my ability by more posts.

The problem is that there are thousand things to write not only about Vivekananda but about mathapadhipatis' role, Advaita Philosophy and atheism.

My area is not going to be preaching philosophy or God. I have about 10 years of active life left (I am 56). My future work will be in Indian politics, though I may lose infinite number of elections. I worked in rural poverty very close to the poorest. My agenda will in future will be rural and urban poor. Vivekananda I took up here because his concern was about "poor". When I read his Complete works, the first thing I came across was he said that he was going to USA Parliament of Religions to find solutions for Indian poor. This made me to go in depth, of what he found and proceeded. I was thoroughly disappointed.

Everything I wrote here is based on his Complete Works, nothing cooked up by me. Even if you raise questions, I shall have to prove to you and satisfy you by referring to his Complete Works. Hence my requst: Read his Complete Works particularly letters (epistles) thoroughly word by word.
See you again in more depth. Pl. do not stop writing your comments.

kRSNA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kRSNA said...

...there is nothing like winning or losing. The point is that granthams like rAmAyaNam, BAgavatam etc are for developing rAma and kRSNa Bakti. If you think that upaniSad shows the best of paths why get into unnecessary discussions about these granthams. As a spiritual seeker you are getting lost in unwanted arthavAdams which are in-built in purANams. The life histories of recent mahAns like svAmijI are no exceptions. If you can't find something positive in them why look at the seemingly (word to be noted, which is subjective) negative issues and occupy your mind with pessimism? Just do self-enquiry based on upaniSadic mArgam, if that is what you like, and be done with it. This unwanted analyses are neither going to lead you to liberation nor is it going to help anyone else. Liberation (advaitic) will come only by knowing your svarUpam then why get involved in these vein talks. What are you going to prove to the world by doing this? Even if you prove something it won't help you in realizing your Self. All these unwanted analyses will only pain a dRDha Baktan or will rot the Bakti of a newbie. So I don't intend to prove anything here. All I want to say is if you want to get the best out of rAmAyaNam then the shAstram says that you better start with the assumption that rAman can't be wrong. Else it will lead neither to rAma Bakti nor to anything else useful for that matter. It will only fill you with pessimism. I hope by kRSNa kRpai you get sadbuddhi and stop all this.

multisubj yb said...

Shri kRSNa ji: Thank you very much. You have raised a number of questions, which I shall answer in the future posts one by one.

Since you are a man of science studying at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, a great institution of repute in India, pl. permit me to bring to your notice that in a scientific spirit of enquiry we have to start with neutrality. Your saying that we should start with the assumption that Rama or Krishna cannot be wrong will only push us into a tunnel vision and force us to pick up those verses and incidents where Rama and Krishna were not wrong and ignore their shortcomings. When we start with a neutral approach/attitude we take into account both positive and negative factors, the historical factors, mythological factors, interpolations, social environment of the contemporary times etc. and make fair and just deductions. As a science student, you will appreciate that there is no finality to any finding. When fresh evidence comes to light, even the most trusted theories change. There is no adamency in science and history. I have already explained at several places in my blogs, why I am not pointing out the positive aspects. The great qualities have been repeatedly covered by the orators, preachers, writers, everybody beyond stretchable limits, to the point of their becoming cliches. They conveniently ignored the awful things such as human sacrifices etc. for various reasons, the foremost among them being anything that questions the tradition is not conducive to the business of running temples and Maths. There is market economics of demand and supply involved in it. For example if Valmiki says that Rama was an ocean of compassion one day and the next day Rama + Sita + Lakshmana three people devor four deer, such verse cannot be ignored. Valmiki was motivated to write Ramayana because he was moved with compassion when a hunter killed a bird and curses the hunter. The same Valmiki does not get moved with compassion when Sita Rama Lakshmana kill four deer. It is not clear whether you have fully read my Ramayana and Mahabhagavata blog posts fully and the analyses contained therein. There is no concoction of stories. Every verse quoted there is from Valmiki only.

I am not a pessimist. If what you said about kRSNa kRpai (Grace of Krishna) is true, for the time being, please accept that kRSNa gave me sadbuddhi (good intention and wisdom) to write this.

See you again, with best wishes,

MIRABAI said...

interesting article. you may want to read this about swami vivekananda's thoughts on vedanta at