Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Though Swami Vivekananda studied B.A., he did not like the idea of working for his livelihood. This can be seen in his conversation with Priya Nath Sinha, his old friend.

" ... In the case of a post of twenty or thirty rupees falling vacant, five hundred B.A.s and M.A.s will apply for it! And, dear me! how curiously worded these petitions are! "I have nothing to eat at home, sir, my wife and children are starving; I most humbly implore you, sir, to give me some means to provide for myself and my family, or we shall die of starvation! ... "

We can see the scorn he uses in his language. This shows that Vivekananda might not have tried for a job at all. When compared to 2007, the job opportunities for B.A. studied persons in Kolkata (at that time it was the Capital of Undivided India) of 1890s were far more. The amount of Rs. 20 or 30 per month appears too paltry for Vivekananda.

In the same conversation he deplored that Indians beg the British Government for relief from famines.

"... O English rulers, admit our countrymen to the higher offices of the State, relieve us from famines ... "

What is wrong in asking the ruling Government of the day for jobs or relief from famines! Anyway, it is better to beg the Government of the country than begging the American Women. Vivekananda's speech at Shakespeare Club of Pasadena, California, dated 27th Jan. 1900 entitled "My Life and Mission" makes a description of his eating stony dried unleavened bread received by begging. This was intended to arouse sympathy of American listeners. Are begging for job in India and begging for Dollars in an alien land on a different planes?

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