Song: “Cry to your Mother Syama,” Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

MASTER: “Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money. But who weeps for God? Cry to Him with a real cry.” The Master sang: Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind!And how can She hold Herself from you?How can Syama stay away?How can your Mother Kali hold Herself away? O mind, if you are in earnest, bring Her an offeringOf bel-leaves and hibiscus flowers;Lay at Her feet your offeringAnd with it mingle … Continue reading Song: “Cry to your Mother Syama,” Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Freedom of the soul

To be more free is the goal of all our efforts, for only in perfect freedom can there be perfection. This effort to attain freedom underlies all forms of worship, whether we know it or not…It is because freedom is every man’s goal. He seeks it ever, his whole life is a struggle after it…This longing for freedom produces the idea of a Being who is absolutely free. —Sw. Vivekananda, What is Religion? Continue reading Freedom of the soul

“Our Greatest National Sin” by Sw. Vivekananda

In this essay, Swamiji enjoins Indians to unite in loving brotherhood in protection of their sisters, wives, and daughters. He emphasizes that the uplift of India is impossible so long as the nation’s leaders ignore the inherent worth of women and the poor. The causes of their ongoing oppression lie in foreign conquests, the dishonoring of womanhood (shakti), the abuse of caste, and above all, materialism. The “don’t touchism” of puritannical untouchability is the bane of India’s progress, Swamiji argued; “The chief cause of India’s ruin has been the monopolising of the whole education and intelligence of the land, by … Continue reading “Our Greatest National Sin” by Sw. Vivekananda

The Salt of the Earth

The peasant, the shoemaker, the sweeper, and such other lower classes of India have much greater capacity for work and self-reliance than you. They have been silently working through long ages and producing the entire wealth of the land, without a word of complaint. (8) Never mind if they have not read a few books like you—if they have not acquired your tailor-made civilisation. What do these matter? But they are the backbone of the nation in all countries. If these lower classes stop work, from where will you get your food and clothing? If the sweepers of Calcutta stop … Continue reading The Salt of the Earth

Nirvanashatakam or Song of Self-Realization

If night and day are but the wink of God’s eye, A million calyxes have opened and closed in a single wink. Desire blinds and bewilders memory of love, like the slow torpor of heat escaping a tormented earth the wrath that follows is a midnight howl, a bloodless gash in the soul of man, wrought in the anvils of lust, ever gluttonous bitterness, ever paralyzing, now violent now lecherous, a pestilential torrent beating against the castle of the soul, sullen like a devil who cannot wet it. Sorrows only end when we become perfect witnesses and he who no … Continue reading Nirvanashatakam or Song of Self-Realization

Portrait of Nandalal Bose, artist and freedom fighter

Bose was a key figure in the Indian Satyagraha for Freedom, pupil of Abindranath Tagore, and Gandhi’s favorite artist. He also sketched the emblems for the Government of India’s awards, including the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Shri, per Nehru’s request, in addition to decorating the Constitution of India Continue reading Portrait of Nandalal Bose, artist and freedom fighter

Mahatma Gandhi in Sudan

“In 1935, Mahatma Gandhi stopped over in Port Sudan (on his way to England through sea) and was welcomed by the Indian community there. In 1938, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stopped over in Port Sudan on his way to Britain and was hosted through a function at the home of Chhotalal Samji Virani. The Graduates General Congress of Sudan formed in 1938 drew heavily on the experience of the Indian National Congress.” “British Indian troops fought alongside Sudanese in Eritrea in 1941 winning the decisive battle of Keren (Bengal Sappers won a Victoria Cross for mine clearance in Metemma, now on … Continue reading Mahatma Gandhi in Sudan

The Gift of India and the Violence of the West: Some Reflections

Can ye measure the grief of the tears I weep Or compass the woe of the watch I keep? Or the pride that thrills thro’ my heart’s despair And the hope that comforts the anguish of prayer? And the far sad glorious vision I see Of the torn red banners of victory? when the terror and the tumult of hate shall cease And life be refashioned on anvils of peace, And your love shall offer memorial thanks To the comrades who fought on the dauntless ranks, And you honour the deeds of the dauntless ones, Remember the blood of my … Continue reading The Gift of India and the Violence of the West: Some Reflections