Vivekananda, Letter to Mohammed Sarfaraz Husain of Naini Tal, Almora

10th June, 1898. MY DEAR FRIEND, I appreciate your letter very much and am extremely happy to learn that the Lord is silently preparing wonderful things for our motherland. Whether we call it Vedantism or any ism, the truth is that Advaitism is the last word of religion and thought and the only position from which one can look upon all religions and sects with love. I believe it is the religion of the future enlightened humanity. The Hindus may get the credit of arriving at it earlier than other races, they being an older race than either the Hebrew … Continue reading Vivekananda, Letter to Mohammed Sarfaraz Husain of Naini Tal, Almora

“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

Sw. Vireswarananda, President, Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Preface to Sw. Vivekananda’s Rebuild India

All over the country, since Independence, there has been a great deal of enthusiasm amongst the people, particularly among our young men, to rebuild our nation. It is very commendable. But then, before one takes up this work one must have a clear idea of the India that is to be. A painter paints a picture on the canvas only after he has a clear image, as it were, in his mind of what he wants to paint. Similarly, an engineer, before he begins the construction of any building, first gets complete information as to what purpose the building will … Continue reading Sw. Vireswarananda, President, Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Preface to Sw. Vivekananda’s Rebuild India

Karenge Ya Marenge (Do or Die) by Countee Cullen

Dark Rapture, Beauford Delaney Wherein are words sublime or noble? What  Invests one speech with haloed eminence,  Makes it the sesame for all doors shut,  Yet in its like sees but impertinence?  Is it the hue? Is it the cast of eye,  The curve of lip or Asiatic breath,  Which mark a lesser place for Gandhi’s cry  Than “Give me liberty or give me death!” Is Indian speech so quaint, so weak, so rude,  So like its land enslaved, denied, and crude,  That men who claim they fight for liberty  Can hear this battle-shout impassively,  Yet to their arms with high … Continue reading Karenge Ya Marenge (Do or Die) by Countee Cullen

Mahatma Gandhi observing the leprosy bacteria, 1942, Sevagram Ashram

What is this? Where is weakness? Who is strong? What is great and what is small? What is high and what is low in this marvellous interdependence of existence where the smallest atom is necessary for the existence of the whole? Who is great and who is small? It is past finding out! And why? Because none is great and none is small. All things are interpenetrated by that infinite ocean; their reality is that infinite; and whatever there is on the surface is but that infinite. The tree is infinite; so is everything that you see or feel — … Continue reading Mahatma Gandhi observing the leprosy bacteria, 1942, Sevagram Ashram