Sunday, September 23, 2012

239 Do the questions of beef eating - drinking and smoking by Vivekananda really matter?

Ans: Yes. The questions of beef eating and alcohol consumption really matter, for "parama hamsas" (Great Swans) and UPLIFTERS-OF-NATIONS, like Swami Vivekananda. They do not matter for ordinary hoi pollois like you and me.

Question: Thousands of Vivekananda devotees seem to hold a view: *Was Vivekananda not entitled to his quota of fun? *What was wrong in Vivekananda's eating beef? *What was wrong in Vivekananda's consuming alcohol? *What was wrong in Vivekananda's smoking cigars?

ybrao-a-donkey's humble comments. वैबीराव एक गधे के विनम्र राय వైబీరావ్ గాడిద వినమ్ర నివేదన. I shall not impose my views on you.

ANSWERS: I am not here to pass any value judgements on Vivekananda's character or lifestyle. My objects here are to find out facts and examine how they differ from the generally held views of millions of Indians who worship him, reading the literature published by the Managers of his Cult.

These things have now become contextually important, because Mr. Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat State is on a vote-gathering mission, with bundles of Vivekananda's quotes in his luggage.

Answer to: Vivekananda's entitlement to his quota of fun:

Ans: Did Vivekananda go to United States to have fun? Did Alasinga and others of Madras pool up their small savings and fill the pockets of Vivekananda for going to United States to have fun? Did Vivekananda allow his co-disciples (brother disciples) and disciples to have fun? A person gets entitled to something, when he allows others to have similar things. Vivekananda administered one rule for himself and another rule for the rest of the world. The posts made by me at this blog, mainly center around these divergences between preachings and practices of SV.

Answer to devotees views about Vivekananda's beef eating: First of all most devotees of Swami Vivekananda do not know that Swamiji encouraged beef eating. Even deeply religious organisations like Visva Hindu Parishad and not know about it, because they do not bother to research into facts. The militant Hindu Organisations claim to strive for a ban on beef eating and cow-slaughter, whereas Vivekananda wanted Indians to become strong by consuming meat and beef.

Answer to : What was wrong in consuming alcohol? Ans: Nothing wrong. But this answer applies to ordinary citizens like you and me and not to a supposedly great monk who uplifted the Hindus and the Indian Nation. Everybody knows that alcohol makes a person an addict and an inebriated person does not know the consequences of his utterances and actions. Yogis are supposed to be conquerers of senses. Vivekananda claimed himself and his Guru Ramakrishna to be paramahamsas (Great Swans). How can Great Swans be so crazy for alcohol? If a great monk cannot exercise control on a small thing like alcohol, how can he guide a Nation?

What was wrong in Vivekananda's smoking cigars? Above reply holds good. Additional observation:

Swamiji wrote to Mr. Sturdy, his onetime host in London: Proof for this: Complete Works of SWami Vivekananda. In Nov. 1899 Swamiji wrote from New York to Mr. Sturdy:

"...I remember your place at Reading, where I was fed with boiled cabbage and potatoes and boiled rice and boiled lentils, three times a day, with your wife's curses for sauce all the time. I do not remember your giving me any cigar to smoke — shilling or penny ones. Nor do I remember myself as complaining of either the food or your wife's incessant curses, though I lived as a thief, shaking through fear all the time, and working every day for you. ... "
ybrem Any monk should be greatly pleased when a housewife offers him boiled cabbage, boiled lentils, boiled potatoes, and boiled rice, THREE TIMES A DAY. That must have been a royal feast, for a monk who claimed that he was given stale pan cakes (chapatis) by Indian housewises, when they went round streets seeking alms. Swamiji raised issue about his host's cursing him when he asked for more sauce. Vivekananda ought to have recalled the story of the Brahmin kausika in mahabharata, who was directed by a housewife to the meat seller DharmavyAdha for learning true dharma. Had Swamiji not been addicted to smoking cigars, he would not have made a hue and cry of Mr. Sturdy not offering him cigars. Another quote:
"...I remember Mrs. Sturdy giving me a dinner and a night's lodging in her place, and then the next day criticising the black savage — so dirty and smoking all over the house. ..."
This embarrassing predicament of being cursed by a tired housewife-cum-host (Mrs. Sturdy who was serving him lentils three times a day), Swamiji could have easily avoided by relinquishing cigars.

Another quote:
But "Willy" or no "Willy", I must have my money, don't forget. Harriet is discreetly silent since she got her boy; but where is my money, please? Remind her and her husband of it. If she is Woolley, I am greasy Bengali, as the English call us here — Lord, where is my money? I have got a monastery on the Ganga now, after all, thanks to American and English friends. Tell Mother to look sharp. I am going to deluge your Yankee land with idolatrous missionaries. Tell Mr. Woolley he got the sister but has not paid the brother yet. Moreover, it was the fat black queerly dressed apparition smoking in the parlour that frightened many a temptation away, and that was one of the causes which secured Harriet to Mr. Woolley; therefore, I want to be paid for my great share in the work etc., etc. Plead strong, will you?

ADDED ON 17.5.2016, as reply to ANONYMOUS, for his comment

Here is my revised observation:

ybrao-a-donkey's humble observation: 1. Vivekananda was calling himself "fat black queerly apparition", may be for humor. 2. He was taking credit for Ms. Harriet, getting Mr. Woolley as groom. 3. It seems he wanted some money in return for the service.

The above quote can be considered as authentic, as it is a part of his "Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda". This quote can be seen in his dated 16th March 1899 written from Belur Math to Ms. Mary Hale.

(For detailed crticism on the above, please see my blog posts, here.) summary: A Nation's up-lifter has to live an exemplary life, unlike hoi polloi Indians like us.


Aseem Mishra said...

Please go and read and most importantly understand if you are not funded to do this...vyadh gita...which tells you as in all of vedanta and vedas that it is the inner motive or mental schemata(which you cant know of him or others)that brings spiritual growth and realisation and not external works...even vivekananda has explianed these things...and we have such ideals that Lord shiv remained absorbed in samadhi even when he was offered a prasad of bhaang(intoxicating substance) ashes from graves(highly ominous substance) and he could transform everything into powerful highlight is that negative is not suprem power in the universe but real knowledge...why are you guys obsessed in character assassination of any one who is not christian!!

Anonymous said...

This is nothing new. Even when Vivekananda was in US, Church used to hire prostitutes to entice him. And he said only one thing to these women - You are like my mother!
Do remember that Church back then was center of power and would use all political and dirty tools to assert and maintain its hegemony.

Anonymous said...

Wrong information.please stop it.

ybr (alias ybrao a donkey) said...

REPLY TO SHRI ANONYMOUS: All the quotes furnished in all the posts at this Vivekanandayb blog, are from his Complete Works i.e. Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, published by his devotees and his monasteries. None of them are those which are taken from publication of Christian Missionaries. His devotees and monasteries have not published LETTERS RECEIVED BY SWAMI VIVEKANANDA (INWARD MAIL OR INBOX), there will be greater clarity. Some of the in-mail of Swami Vivekananda may be lying in the records / offices of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda monasteries. Let us hope that those letters will also be published.

My request to Shri Anonymous: There is nothing wrong in loving one's own country and religion. I also agree that Christian Missionaries receiving funds in India from abroad are recklessly converting Indians by false propaganda and inducements. But, for all the harm which is being done to the integrity of India by Missionaries, making Vivekananda a God , is not a solution. Govt. of India has to make suitable laws and enforce them in India. What is the use of garlanding Vivekananda statues and making speeches every day?

ybr (alias ybrao a donkey) said...

Reply to Shri anonymous:

I have given information only when the quotes are authentic. I have left out, some other important areas such as Viveekananda's alleged misbehavior with the wife of Governor of Michigan in Detroit City, because Vivekananda blamed the incident as malicious propaganda by Ramabai (an Indian Christian Missionary who also worked in USA), and Late Prafulla Chandra Mozundar of Brahmo Samaj (in Chicago, he too helped Swami Vivekananda to participate in the Congress of Religions 1893). Both Vivekananda and Mazundar used their publications (journals) to criticise one another.

Vivekananda deserves due credit and praise, notwithstanding his alleged misdemeanours abroad. But, when compared to the service done by the freedom fighters who were incarcerated in Andaman Cellular Prison, the services rendered by Vivekananda will pale into insignificance. Compared to the sacrifices made by Andaman Freedom fighters, even Mahatma Gandhi's work, Nehru dynasty's work, pale into insignificance. But the Andaman Prisoners do not have monasteries to sing their praises, and worship them, while Vivekananda had left behind monasteries to do canvassing work. They do not have Gandhi Memorial Trusts behind them. They do not have Nehru dynasty successors extending upto Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka.

All our ideas seem to get skewed year by year.

Nilanjana said...

Your article is wrong on so many levels there is no point argueing with you. I just want to tell one thing.... one does not need to drink/ eat beef/ smoke to have fun. A lot of us Indians do not do either of these three and I can assure we are a hell lot happier than you are. Thank you.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Who is this idiot? What does he want to prove by maing some quotes out of context? yes, Swamiji was a non-vegetarian, but does it make a non-Hindu? Does Hinduosm prohibit meat eating? And, of course he did not travel to the West to have fun, you idiot. And he needed money to run the Math,

ybr (alias ybrao a donkey) said...

Reply to the Latest Anonymous: I am neither a supporter of beef eaters, nor a critic of beef eaters. Similarly I am neither a Great Admirer of Swami Vivekananda nor a Great Hater of him. What is pertinent at this context is: 1. Many States in India have banned cow slaughter. There are some instances of beef-haters lynching innocent persons calling them as cattle-killers. If any animal-killer breached any Indian Law, the right course of Action is Reporting to Police.

As far as Vivekananda is concerned, millions of Indians revere him. Non-Indians may not be able to understand the rigors attached to Indian Monks. Traditionally, there are some dos and don'ts for them. A person who professes to be an Indian Monk will have to follow such traditions, particularly when a Monk goes abroad, claiming to represent India and Hinduism. Fun is for ordinary Indians or ordinary foreigners. Not for Indian Monks, especially Hindu Monks. Vivekananda himself criticized hypocrisy. Then, the Expectation is that he himself will not become a hypocrite.