Tuesday 26 February 2013

To call a Spade...

The recent hanging of a terrorist, involved in the parliament attack case, raised a lot of hue and cry in the “Secular” media. Their contention is that death penalty is a crime by the state, and one crime cannot be a punishment for another crime. There is a big lobby which calls for the abolishment of death penalty. And this sordid episode comes barely a fortnight after the calls for death penalty for the rapists by the very same media. In these secular pundit's dictionary, rape is a more heinous crime than the terrorist acts which claims innocent lives in dozens.  The convoluted logic may tire us if we think that these masqueraders are actually votaries   of truth. But there is more to it than what we get by a mere gloss over the events. These charlatans know that they will be strangled if they raise their voice against the menace called Islamic Fundamentalism. This religious fanaticism which is raising its hood, with a covert ambition of a pan Islamic brotherhood a.k.a nation, has a sly way of feigning innocence when they are less in number and exposing their fangs once they grow in numbers. All these years our media and 'secular 'politicians were tricked by this act of feigning and now when it is showing its true colors they are terrified to call it a spade. We see that people are mobilized on the streets in thousands to protest against corruption. There will be thousands to hold candles for the mirage called “peace” between us and our neighboring country.   But when it comes to terrorism seldom do we see any strong and sane voices being raised against it.  Religious fanaticism which surpasses all other crimes in terms of toll was never given a look into by our media or our activists. This cowardliness or dhimmitude is what the fanatics are striving for. The biggest obstacle to the dream of actualizing universal brotherhood is this cowardliness. The antidote to this malady is manliness which will come by following the grand vision called universal brotherhood, championed by Swami Vivekananda. He elaborates about the mind which is caught by this catch 22 situation thus: 

“……We have all been hearing from childhood of such things as love, peace, charity, equality, and universal brotherhood; but they have become to us mere words without meaning, words which we repeat like parrots, and it has become quite natural for us to do so. We cannot help it. Great souls, who first felt these great ideas in their hearts, manufactured these words ; and at that time many understood their meaning. Later on, ignorant people have taken up those words to play with them and made religion a mere play upon words, and not a thing to be carried into practice. It becomes "my father's religion", "our nation's religion", our country's religion", and so forth…..”
(Complete Works – P.376)

….Each religion brings out its own doctrines and insists upon them as being the only true ones. And not only does it do that, but it thinks that he who does not believe in them must go to some horrible place. Some will even draw the sword to compel others to believe as they do. This is not through wickedness, but through a particular disease of the human brain called fanaticism. They are very sincere, these fanatics, the most sincere of human beings; but they are quite as irresponsible as other lunatics in the world. This disease of fanaticism is one of the most dangerous of all diseases. All the wickedness of human nature is roused by it.  Anger is stirred up, nerves are strung high, and human beings become like tigers….” 
(Complete Works – P.377)

To wriggle  humanity out of this tangle he further says :

“…….We can make it run smoothly, we can lessen the friction, we can grease the wheels, as it were. How? By recognising the natural necessity of variation. Just as we have recognised unity by our very nature, so truth may be expressed in a hundred thousand ways, and that each of these ways is true as far as it goes. We must learn that the same thing can be viewed from a hundred different standpoints, and yet be the same thing Through high philosophy or low, through the most exalted mythology or the grossest, through the most refined ritualism or arrant fetishism, every sect, every soul, every nation, every religion, consciously or unconsciously, is struggling upward, towards God; every vision of truth that man has, is a vision of Him and of none else. This is the only recognition of universality that we can get. …..”

This simple yet grand vision is becoming more and more relevant in our Society where we are sinking to new lows every day.  The  choosy activists and the dormant masses are to be made aware of this humanitarian principle. 

Swami Vivekananda 150: The caravan moves on

This month marks the dawn of the year long celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the advent of Swami Vivekananda.  Swami Vivekananda represents a new phase in the social history of Hindustan and a new awakening the consciousness of the planet.  As the nineteenth century was drawing to a close Swamiji found him amidst a whirlpool of changes spanning all humanity. While more than half of the human race was subjugated by colonialism and plagued by internal stagnation, a considerable minority of humanity – the West- was progressing fast in science and technology, culture and in building socio-political institutions.  New discoveries in science were shaking the basis of the old religious structures of the West. But the same old structures of the West found new pastures for their predatory pursuits in the subjugated humanities of the colonized worlds. Native spiritual traditions under social stagnation and colonialism became internal tyrannies, mere decadent forms bereft of their soul-strength. It was at this juncture that Swami Vivekananda appeared on the world scene. His message of universal brotherhood based on Vedantic humanism, showing the immense possibilities of synthesis of science and religion, democracy and tradition and different cultures from all the directions of the globe. Even as the leading socio-political philosophers of the West were hotly debating the supremacy of individual or that of the State, Swami Vivekananda harmonized both in a characteristically Vedantic way. In his social vision, the importance of freedom and the need for social equality have to organically moderate each other. He spoke of liberation of the downtrodden through Vedanta. This was a revolutionary way of ushering Vedanta into the socio-political realm.  
The old order panicked. The predatory belief systems marked this penniless youth their prime enemy. And they slandered him. In his authoritative two-volume biography on Swami Vivekananda Prof.K.N.Dhar explains how various factions came together to slander Swamiji:

…at the time when the orthodox agitation against Swami Vivekananda was going on, his old “friends”, the Christian missionaries, perhaps also Pratap Chandra Majumdar, and Dr.Barrows also joined in the fray. They had a common object, viz., to bring down the Swami in public estimation, so as to ruin his work, though their lines of attack differed…. There was something funny in Christian missionaries and Brahmo reformers who did not believe in caste attempting to belittle one for non-orthodoxy… (A Comprehensive Biography, Vol-2, p.940)

 All these happened soon after Swami Vivekananda started his active mission in India after his success in the World Parliament of Religions. More than a century later, today as a nation fondly looks forward to celebrate Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary. 

In a nation today bitterly divided by identity politics and ideological vested interests, the figure of Swami Vivekananda towers above all petty divisions, uniting India emotionally, cerebrally and spiritually for the world mission She has. And the forces of divisiveness panic at the prospect of an India united and strong, progressive and spiritual. So we find another malicious campaign against Swami Vivekananda unleashed by a section of English media. Indo-phobic, anti-Hindu mania of a section of English media, owned by Marxist media barons, penned by limousine liberals and funded mostly by Western academic institutions, have started a scathing attack on Swami Vivekananda, showing how still Swami Vivekananda remains the enemy numero uno of these anti-Indian forces. 

Yet Swami Vivekananda continues to inspire and guide the nation. His grand vision of unity propelled Tesla; fructified in Einstein and proceeds in E.C.George Sudarshan. His idea of Karma Yoga was imbibed by Gandhiji in his interpretation of Gita. His vision of Vedantic human equality and projection of Buddhist compassion manifested itself in the actions of Dr.Ambedkar. His holistic vision of humanity inspired and found fulfillment in the writings of Sri Aurobindo whose evolutionary vision of humanity in transition into Overmind has become a map for the future of humanity. His vision of national uniqueness and fullness of human organism found a comprehensive ideological expression in Deendayal Upadyaya's Integral humanism. And he will continue to inspire many a million to come – each contributing his or her own song to the beauty of human civilization and glory of Mother India. 

Yes. The grand Indic caravan of peace and benediction will move on through the vastness of time and royal routes of history, creating paths where none existed before and unfolding possibilities for the expression of the highest where none dreamt it as plausible, ignoring the howls of the lesser minds with the rich compassion they deserve. 
Aravindan Neelakandan