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तक्षशिला से मगध तक यात्रा एक संकल्प की . . .

To The Fourth Of July by Swami Vivekananda


To The Fourth Of July

by Swami Vivekananda

 

(From The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol5 Page 440. It is well known that Swami Vivekananda left his body on the 4th of July,1902. On the 4th of July 1898, he was travalling with some American disciples in Kashmir, and as part of a domestic conspiracy for the celebration of the day- the anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence- he prepared the following poem, to be read aloud at the early breakfast.)

 

LONDON_DEC_96_20x30_53_RGB_FINAL

 

Behold, the dark clouds melt away,
That gathered thick at night, and hung
So like a gloomy pall above the earth!

Before thy magic touch, the world
Awakes. The birds in chorus sing.
The flowers raise their star-like crowns-
Dew-set, and wave thee welcome fair.

The lakes are opening wide in love
Their hundred thousand lotus-eyes
To welcome thee, with all their depth.

All hail to thee, thou Lord of Light!
A welcome new to thee, today,
O sun! today thou sheddest LIBERTY!
Bethink thee how the world did wait,
And search for thee, through time and clime.

Some gave up home and love of friends,
And went in quest of thee, self banished,
Through dreary oceans, through primeval forests,
Each step a struggle for their life or death;

Then came the day when work bore fruit,
And worship, love, and sacrifice,
Fulfilled, accepted, and complete.
Then thou, propitious, rose to shed
The light of FREEDOM on mankind.

Move on, O Lord, on thy resistless path!
Till thy high noon o’erspreads the world.
Till every land reflects thy light,
Till men and women, with uplifted head,
Behold their shackles broken, and
Know, in springing joy, their life renewed!

 

 

जुलाई 4, 2013 Posted by | चरित्र, सामायिक टिपण्णी | , , , | टिप्पणी करे

स्वामी विवेकानन्द की विज्ञान दृष्टि


CHICAGO_1893_20x30_21_RGB_FINAL_00आज विज्ञान भी किसी सम्प्रदाय से कम नहीं रहा है। वैज्ञानिक अपनी अधूरी मान्यताओं को भी किसी साम्प्रदायिक विश्वास के समान ही सब पर थोपते रहते है। सभी प्रकार के अतीन्द्रिय अनुभव को पूर्णतः नकारनेवाले भौतिक विज्ञान को अपने सूक्ष्मतम सिध्दान्तों में ‘निरीक्षक पूर्वाग्रह’ (Observer Bias) जैसे विचारों को आज स्थान देना पड़ा है। जब परमाणू से भी सूक्ष्म कणों की स्थिति व गति को लेकर प्रयोग करना प्रारम्भ हुआ तब वैज्ञानिकों को एक अलौकिक अनुभूति हुई। निरीक्षण करनेवाले व्यक्ति के मन के विचार प्रयोग को प्रभावित करते दिखाई दिए। इसे निरीक्षक पूर्वाग्रह का सिद्धान्त कहा गया। वस्तुनिष्ठ कहलानेवाले भौतिक विज्ञान को मानवीय विषयनिष्ठा का आश्रय लेना पड़ा फिर भी आधुनिक विज्ञान अपनी उद्दण्डता को नहीं छोड़ पाया है।

स्वामी विवेकानन्द ने 1895 में अमेरिका में बोलते हुए इस बात पर टिप्पणी की थी। स्वामीजी के अनुसार विज्ञान का उद्देश बाहय दृश्यमान विविधता के मध्य विद्यमान एकत्व की खोज ही है। रसायनशास्त्र का अंतिम लक्ष्य ऐसे एक मूलतत्व की खोज है जिससे सभी पदार्थों के रहस्य का पता चल सके। भौतिक विज्ञान एकत्व ऊर्जा की खोज में रत है। यह आध्यात्मिक लगनेवाली बात पूर्णतः वैज्ञानिक है। यह भारतीय वैज्ञानिक जीवनदृष्टि है। इसी का प्रयोग जितना भौतिक विज्ञान में हुआ उतना ही धर्म में हुआ। अतः भारत का धर्म वैज्ञानिक है और विज्ञान धार्मिक। इनमें आपस में कोई विरोधाभास नहीं है। इसी कारण 19 वी शताब्दी के प्रारम्भ तक भारत में विज्ञान एवं प्रौद्योगिकी केवल उन्नत ही नहीं सर्वव्यापक थी। अंग्रेजों की नीतिओं इस समृध्द वैज्ञानिक परम्परा को नष्ट किया।

tatasvस्वामीजी ने भारत में पुनः विज्ञान अनुसंधान की नीव ड़ालने की प्रेरणा दी। मुम्बई से शिकागो जाते समय पहला पाड़ाव जापान था। इस यात्रा में जहाज पर जमशेदजी टाटा स्वामीजी के साथ थे। प्रतिदिन कई घण्टो दोनों के मध्य चर्चा होती थी। टाटा का जापान दौरा इस्पात निर्माण की तकनिक प्राप्त करने के लिए था। स्वामीजी ने टाटा कों जानकारी दी कि मिश्र धातु को ढालने की सर्वोत्तम तकनिक भारत में ही विकसित की गई थी। लौह असस्क से फौलाद निर्माण की अनेक भट्टियाँ भारत में थी। इस चर्चा में से टाटा को दो प्रेरणायें मिली। एक उन्होंने अपने ईस्पात उद्योग को जापान में ले जाने की जगह भारत में ही रखा। दूसरा कार्य था भारत में विज्ञान अनुसंधान हेतु प्रगत संस्थान का निर्माण। स्वामीजी के शिकागो लौटने के बाद टाटा ने स्वामीजी को पत्र लिखा। उस पत्र में उन्होंने भारतीय विज्ञान संस्थान, बंगलुरू की स्थापना की जानकारी प्रदान की तथा निवेदन किया कि स्वामीजी निदेशक का दायित्व ग्रहण करें। आज भी संस्थान के स्वागत कक्ष में इस पत्र की प्रतिलिपी सुशोभित है।

सन् 1900 में शताब्दी परिवर्तन के अवसर पर फ्रान्स में ‘विश्व विज्ञान परिषद’ (World Science Conference) का आयोजन हुआ। स्वामी विवेकानन्द ने इस परिषद में सूत्र वक्तव्य दिया। विज्ञान परिषद में सन्यासी के वक्तव्य की चर्चा हुई। फ्रेंच में भाषण होना यह चर्चा का बिन्दू था ही साथ में उनकी विज्ञानदृष्टि भी चर्चा का विषय था। परिषद में सहभाग के समय स्वामीजी का पेरीस में 15 दिन प्रवास रहा। इस प्रवास के समय प्रतिदिन जगदीश चन्द्र बसु भी वहाँ आया करते थे। उस चर्चा के कारण ही जगदीश चन्द्र बसु विषाद से बाहर आये। आज भारत के गौरव के रूप में हम जगदीश चन्द्र बसु को जानते है इसका श्रेय स्वामी विवेकानन्द को है। स्वामीजी के आग्रह पर भगिनी निवेदिता ने रायल सोसायटि लन्दन में बसु के रेडिओ लहरियों से संबंधित प्रबन्ध को खोजने का प्रयास किया। बाद में स्वयं उनके साथ बैठकर उस प्रबन्ध का पुनर्लेखन किया। वनस्पति में जीवन का परीक्षण, धातुओं पर विष का प्रभाव आदि प्रयोगों को जगदीश चन्द्र बसु ने सफलतापूर्वक किया। इन सबका मूल स्वामी विवेकानन्द से हुई चर्चा में था। यह एकत्वदृष्टि से प्रेरित वैज्ञानिक परम्परा आज भारत में लुप्त हो चुकी है उसका पुनर्जागरण अत्यावश्यक है।

आइनस्टाईन द्वारा E = mc2 के सिध्दान्त का प्रतिपादन करने से लगभग दो दशक पूर्व स्वामीजी ने जड़-चेतन सम्बन्ध पर व्याख्यान einsteinदेते समय प्रतिपादित किया था कि जड़ को उर्जा में परिवर्तित किया जा सकता है। उपनिषदों के सन्दर्भ देते हुए स्वामीजी ने बताया कि किसी भी भौतिक वस्तु को प्रकाश की गति से प्रक्षेपित किया जाए तो वह उर्जा में परिवर्तित हो जाती है। जब स्वामीजी ने रामकृष्ण मठ की स्थापना की तब सन्यासियों का आहवान किया कि ‘एक हाथ में पृथ्वि का गोल व दूसरे हाथ में टार्च लेकर गाँव गाँव में जाओ और हमारे भोले जनसामान्य को शिक्षा दो कि ग्रहण कैसे होता है।’

स्वामीजी कि यह विज्ञानदृष्टि आज भी भारत को प्रेरणा दे रही है। अंतरीक्ष विज्ञान में भारत को विश्व में उच्च स्थान प्रदान करनेवाले डा माधवन् नायर, डा ए.पी.जे अब्दुल कलाम, डा ब्रह्मभट जैसे वैज्ञानिकों ने विभिन्न अवसरों पर स्वामी विवेकानन्द को अपना प्रेरणास्त्रोत बताया है। परम महासंगणक प्रकल्प के द्रष्टा संयोजक डा विजय भटकर की प्रेरणा भी स्वामीजी ही है।

जून 1, 2013 Posted by | चरित्र | , , , , , , , | 1 टिप्पणी

धर्म का मर्म राम


rama-hanumanराम अर्थात मूर्तिमान धर्म। वाल्मिकी रामायण में कहा है – रामो विग्रहवान धर्म! जीवन के प्रत्येक समय में श्रीराम ने धर्म का पालन किया। यह माता कौसल्या की शिक्षा का ही परिणाम था कि कठीन से कठिन परिस्थिति में में रामजी ने धर्ममार्ग को चुना। विश्वामित्र के मांगने पर असुर नाश के लिये वन में भेजने में पिता दशरथ को हिचकिचाहट थी। पर बाल राम कर्तव्यपालन के लिये तत्पर थे। पूरी सभा में वे ही ऐसे थे जो इस कार्य के लिये पूर्ण उत्सुक थे। आयु भी कम थी, प्रशिक्षण भी नहीं था, विश्वामित्र से भी प्रथम भेंट ही थी फिर भी राम ने एक क्षण भी विचलन नहीं दिखाया। अपने कर्तव्य पालन के लिये सदैव तत्पर रहना धर्म का प्रथम लक्षण है।
आवश्यकता पड़ने पर समाज की तात्कालीन मान्यताओं के विरूद्ध जाकर भी न्याय के पथ का अनुसरण राम ने किया। अहिल्या का उद्धार इसी का परिचायक है। समाजद्वारा पूर्णतः दुर्लक्षित शिला के समान जड़वत जीवन जीने को विवश अहिल्या को रामजी ने अपनाकर सामाजिक मान्यता प्रदान की। यही शिला को पुनः जीवन प्रदान करने के रूपक का वैज्ञानिक सन्दर्भ है। धर्म की सामाजिक धारणा समय समय पर विकृत हो सकती है किंतु रामजी धर्म के वैज्ञानिक स्वरूप को जानते है और समाज में उसे पुनस्र्थापित करने का साहस भी रखते है। आधुनिक युवा के मन में प्रश्न आना स्वाभाविक है कि जो राम गौतम द्वारा त्यागी अहिल्या का उद्धारक है वही राम सीता की अग्निपरिक्षा क्यों लेते हैं? यदि समाज के सम्मूख सीता के शील को प्रतिष्ठित करने का यह मार्ग है ऐसा मान भी लिया जाय तो प्रश्न उठता है कि अग्निपरिक्षा में पार पाने के उपरान्त भी एक धोबी के अनर्गल प्रलाप के कारण सीतामाता का त्याग कहाँ तक उचित है? ऐसे प्रश्नों पर विचार करते समय ध्यान आता है कि धर्म का रहस्य कितना गुढ़ है। हिन्दुओं में अवतार के आचरण का भी मुल्यांकन करने की छूट है। कोई यह नही कहेगा कि रामजी ने किया इसलिये वो ठीक ही है। किन्तु अपने जीवन में धर्म को उतारने के उद्देश्य से राम के जीवन को समझने का जब प्रयत्न करते है तब उनके स्वभाव व पूरे जीवन में किये आचरण के आधार पर ही विवेचन किया जाना चाहिये। वर्तमान सामाजिक मूल्यों के आधार पर विचार करने से अश्रद्धा ही होगी। और लाभ कुछ नहीं होगा।
रामजी के जीवन में धर्म पर आचरण का एक सबसे बड़ा मापदण्ड है अपने व्यक्तिगत लाभसे अधिक महत्व समष्टि के हित को देना। इसका वे चरम पराकाष्ठा तक पालन करते है। भरत के लिये राज्यत्याग के पीछे भी यही सोच है। यदि स्वयं को वनवास का कष्ट देने से पिता के वचनपूर्ति का धर्मपालन होता है तो वे इसके लिये सहर्ष तत्पर हैं। त्याग से ही धर्मपालन सम्भव है यह राम का आदर्श है। इसी कारण चित्रकुट पर भरत कैकेयी आदि सभी के कहने पर भी वे वनवास को नहीं छोड़ते। पूरी अयोध्या आग्रह कर रही है कि वे लौटे और राज्य ग्रहण करें। पूरे नगर का आग्रह उन्हें त्याग से परावृत्त नहीं कर सकता। समाज के कहने में वे नहीं आते है यह बात तो इससे सिद्ध होती है। फिर एक धोबी का कथन कैसे सीता त्याग का कारण बनता है? रामजी की दृष्टि में सीता का त्याग उनके स्वयं को कष्ट देने का पर्याय है। समाज में आदर्श प्रस्थापित करने के लिये अपने व्यक्तिगत सुख का त्याग करने को धर्म कहा ही जाता है। राजाराम के लिये गर्भवति सीता का त्याग इसी श्रेणी में आता है। सीता मात को वे अपने से अलग नहीं समझते है। अतः उनका त्याग स्वयं के किसी अंग के त्याग के समान है। कबुतर को बचाने के लिये अपना मांस देनेवाले शिबि के समान ही रामजी का सीता त्याग है। समाज के आग्रह के कारण नहीं स्वयं के आदर्श के कारण। सीतामाता का त्याग करके वे स्वयं सुखी नहीं है। माताओं, गुरूजनों, अमात्यो वा समाज के श्रेष्ठियों के बार बार कहने पर भी वे दूसरा विवाह नहीं करते है। सीता के प्रति उनका समर्पण उनके व्यक्तिगत धर्म का भाग है और समाजहित में उसका त्याग उनका सामाजिक धर्मपालन का परम आदर्श है। वर्तमान समय की व्यक्तिगत स्वतंत्रता की मान्यताओं से यह सीतामाता पर अन्याय लगता है। नितांत वैयक्तिक चिंतन पर ऐसा है भी किन्तु रामने कभी भी व्यक्तिगत चिंतन किया ही नहीं है। अतः वे स्वयं को कष्ट देकर समाज में शुचिता का आदर्श प्रस्थापित करना चाहते है। राजा के रूप में वे कोई भी विशेषाधिकार नहीं लेना चाहते। सीता के उदाहरण को अपवाद भी नहीं बनाना चाहते।
अतः धर्म को सीखते समय केवल अन्धानुकरण से काम नहीं चलेगा। उसके लिये धर्म के मर्म को समझना पड़ेगा। त्याग धर्म है किन्तु त्याग का कारण समष्टि का हित होना चाहिये किसी धोबी का अनर्गल प्रलाप नहीं। वर्तमान समय में कोई सीता यदि रावण से प्रताड़ित होती है तो उसपर आक्षेप लेने की किसी धोबी की हिम्मत ही ना हो और किसी राम को उसका त्याग ना करना पड़े। धोबी भले ही बकते रहे रामको अब नया आदर्श प्रस्थापित करना होगा। हर स्थिति में सीता को अपनाना होगा। यही युगधर्म है। यही सनातन धर्म की समयानुकूल प्रासंगिक व्याख्या है।
कर्तव्य का पालन, त्याग व समष्टि का हित ये धर्म के तीन सिद्धांत राम के जीवन से हम सीख सकत है। समष्टि के हित के लिये अपने प्रेम, प्रेमास्पद के साथ ही अपने व्यक्तिगत सुख, आदर्श व प्रतिष्ठा को भी वे त्याग करने को तत्पर है। वाली वध के समय उनके द्वारा अपनाया तरिका उनके व्यक्तिगत आदर्श व प्रतिष्ठा के विपरित है। किन्तु बड़े हित व समष्टि की आवश्यकता को जानकर वे उसे अपनाते है। शूर्पणखा के साथ किया कठोर व्यवहार भी इसी श्रेणी में आता है। सामान्यतः स्त्री के प्रति आदर का भाव रखनेवाले श्रीराम सीता के सम्मान के लिये शूर्पणखा की नाक कटवा देते है। संदेश स्पष्ट है कि राम स्वयं के लिये नहीं जीते समाजधर्म के लिये जीते है।
समरसता व संगठन ये दो धर्म व्यवहार भी रामचरित्र में स्पष्ट परिलक्षित होते है। गुहक, निषाद, शबरी अन्य वनवासी तथा वानरों को उन्होंने सहज अपनेपन सेbibhishan स्नेही बना लिया। कोई भेद है ही नहीं मन में। उनके लिये सब अपने है। समाज के वंचित, दुर्लक्षित वर्ग को वे केवल अपनाते ही नहीं संगठित भी करते है। संगठन के द्वारा आत्मबल प्रदान करते है। और प्रशिक्षण के द्वारा कौशल प्रदान कर एक शक्ति के रूप में विकसित करते है। उसी के माध्यम से आसुरी शक्ति का विनाश करते है और धर्मराज्य की स्थापना करते है।
रामनवमी को भारतीय शिक्षण मण्डल का स्थापना दिवस है। विक्रम संवत् 2026 युगाब्द 5067 में इसी दिन शिक्षा में भारतीय मूल्यों की संस्थापना का राष्ट्रीय अभियान प्रारम्भ हुआ। धर्म की संस्थापना के लिये कर्तव्य, त्याग, समष्टि का हित समरसता व संगठन के मूल्यों पर आधारित शिक्षा व्यवस्था पुनः प्रस्थापित करना मण्डल का कार्य है।
जब समाज में रावण, शुर्पणखा, मारीच और ताड़का के साथ ही मंथरा व धोबी के वंशज ही प्रतिष्ठा पा रहे तब आइये इस रामनवमी पर अपने जीवन में राम को जगाने का प्रण करें। वन में जाते समय माता कौसल्या ने रामजी को आशिर्वाद दिया कि आजतक तुने जो धर्मपालन किया है वही धर्म कवच बन तेरी रक्षा करें। धर्म की रक्षा करने पर धर्म सबकी रक्षा करता है। अतः धर्म की शिक्षा द्वारा का धर्मराज्य की स्थापना के लिये कार्य करने का संकल्प लें।

अप्रैल 19, 2013 Posted by | चरित्र, सामायिक टिपण्णी | , , , , | 4 टिप्पणियाँ

My Master


आज अंगरेजी तिथि के अनुसार श्री रामकृष्ण परमहंस की जयंती है | हमारे युग के युगावतार श्री रामकृष्ण ने धर्मसंस्थापना के लिए अवतार लिया था | उनके परम शिष्य स्वामी विवेकानंद द्वारा उनके बारे में कहे गए वचन अत्यंत प्रेरक व ज्ञानवर्धक है| श्रीरामकृष्ण जयंती के अवसर पर ये आपके सेवार्थ सादर प्रस्तुत है| हिंदी में पुस्तक “मेरे गुरुदेव” अंतरताने से उतरनी होगी| Jay bhagavan!

http://downloads.ziddu.com/downloadfile/16497626/meregurudev.PDF.h.html

Today is The 176th Birth anniversary of Shri Ramkrishna Paramahansa.Was Shri Ramakrishna an avatar?

Narendra was also faced with the same dilemma about his Guru. Many devotees called Shri Ramakrishna an avatar. Narendra himself had many miraculous experiences with the great master. He attained Nirvikalp Samadhi, had Shaktipat (Transfer of Spiritual power by touch) and also the Sakara Darshan (Vision in Form) of Mother Kali by the grace of the great Guru. Still he could not come to a definite conclusion as to Shri Ramakrishna being a divine incarnation till the very last days of Thakur. To resolve the dilemma he decides in his mind, ”I will accept him as a divine incarnation, an avatar, only if he himself directly tells me so.” It is documented that he got the answer then and there. As if the Guru was reading the mind of the disciple, Thakur, taking Narendra’s hand proclaimed very clearly, ”One who was Rama, who was Krishna, has now born as Ramakrishna”; leaving no ambiguity whatsoever.

Swami Vivekananda has paid a moving tribute to the guru in his lecture in New york and London. Here we present the same for you reading on this auspicious day as a humble offering at the feet of Yugavatar Shri Ramakarishna.

MY MASTER

(Two lectures delivered in New York and England in 1896 were combined subsequently under the present heading.)

“Whenever virtue subsides and vice prevails, I come down to help mankind,” declares Krishna, in the Bhagavad-Gitâ. Whenever this world of ours, on account of growth, on account of added circumstances, requires a new adjustment, a wave of power comes; and as a man is acting on two planes, the spiritual and the material, waves of adjustment come on both planes. On the one side, of the adjustment on the material plane, Europe has mainly been the basis during modern times; and of the adjustment on the other, the spiritual plane, Asia has been the basis throughout the history of the world. Today, man requires one more adjustment on the spiritual plane; today when material ideas are at the height of their glory and power, today when man is likely to forget his divine nature, through his growing dependence on matter, and is likely to be reduced to a mere money-making machine, an adjustment is necessary; the voice has spoken, and the power is coming to drive away the clouds of gathering materialism. The power has been set in motion which, at no distant date, will bring unto mankind once more the memory of its real nature; and again the place from which this power will start will be Asia.

This world of ours is on the plan of the division of labour. It is vain to say that one man shall possess everything. Yet how childish we are! The baby in its ignorance thinks that its doll is the only possession that is to be coveted in this whole universe. So a nation which is great in the possession of material power thinks that that is all that is to be coveted, that that is all that is meant by progress, that that is all that is meant by civilisation, and if there are other nations which do not care for possession and do not possess that power, they are not fit to live, their whole existence is useless! On the other hand, another nation may think that mere material civilisation is utterly useless. From the Orient came the voice which once told the world that if a man possesses everything that is under the sun and does not possess spirituality, what avails it? This is the oriental type; the other is the occidental type.

Each of these types has its grandeur, each has its glory. The present adjustment will be the harmonising, the mingling of these two ideals. To the Oriental, the world of spirit is as real as to the Occidental is the world of senses. In the spiritual, the Oriental finds everything he wants or hopes for; in it he finds all that makes life real to him. To the Occidental he is a dreamer; to the Oriental the Occidental is a dreamer playing with ephemeral toys, and he laughs to think that grown-up men and women should make so much of a handful of matter which they will have to leave sooner or later. Each calls the other a dreamer. But the oriental ideal is as necessary for the progress of the human race as is the occidental, and I think it is more necessary. Machines never made mankind happy and never will make. He who is trying to make us believe this will claim that happiness is in the machine; but it is always in the mind. That man alone who is the lord of his mind can become happy, and none else. And what, after all, is this power of machinery? Why should a man who can send a current of electricity through a wire be called a very great man and a very intelligent man? Does not nature do a million times more than that every moment? Why not then fall down and worship nature? What avails it if you have power over the whole of the world, if you have mastered every atom in the universe? That will not make you happy unless you have the power of happiness in yourself, until you have conquered yourself. Man is born to conquer nature, it is true, but the Occidental means by “nature” only physical or external nature. It is true that external nature is majestic, with its mountains, and oceans, and rivers, and with its infinite powers and varieties. Yet there is a more majestic internal nature of man, higher than the sun, moon, and stars, higher than this earth of ours, higher than the physical universe, transcending these little lives of ours; and it affords another field of study. There the Orientals excel, just as the Occidentals excel in the other. Therefore it is fitting that, whenever there is a spiritual adjustment, it should come from the Orient. It is also fitting that when the Oriental wants to learn about machine-making, he should sit at the feet of the Occidental and learn from him. When the Occident wants to learn about the spirit, about God, about the soul, about the meaning and the mystery of this universe, he must sit at the feet of the Orient to learn.

I am going to present before you the life of one man who has put in motion such a wave in India. But before going into the life of this man, I will try to present before you the secret of India, what India means. If those whose eyes have been blinded by the glamour of material things, whose whole dedication of life is to eating and drinking and enjoying, whose ideal of possession is lands and gold, whose ideal of pleasure is that of the senses, whose God is money, and whose goal is a life of ease and comfort in this world and death after that, whose minds never look forward, and who rarely think of anything higher than the sense-objects in the midst of which they live — if such as these go to India, what do they see? Poverty, squalor, superstition, darkness, hideousness everywhere. Why? Because in their minds enlightenment means dress, education, social politeness. Whereas occidental nations have used every effort to improve their material position, India has done differently. There live the only men in the world who, in the whole history of humanity, never went beyond their frontiers to conquer anyone, who never coveted that which belonged to anyone else, whose only fault was that their lands were so fertile, and they accumulated wealth by the hard labour of their hands, and so tempted other nations to come and despoil them. They are contented to be despoiled, and to be called barbarians; and in return they want to send to this world visions of the Supreme, to lay bare for the world the secrets of human nature, to rend the veil that conceals the real man, because they know the dream, because they know that behind this materialism lives the real, divine nature of man which no sin can tarnish, no crime can spoil, no lust can taint, which fire cannot burn, nor water wet, which heat cannot dry nor death kill. And to them this true nature of man is as real as is any material object to the senses of an Occidental.

Just as you are brave to jump at the mouth of a cannon with a hurrah, just as you are brave in the name of patriotism to stand up and give up your lives for your country, so are they brave in the name of God. There it is that when a man declares that this is a world of ideas, that it is all a dream, he casts off clothes and property to demonstrate that what he believes and thinks is true. There it is that a man sits on the bank of a river, when he has known that life is eternal, and wants to give up his body just as nothing, just as you can give up a bit of straw. Therein lies their heroism, that they are ready to face death as a brother, because they are convinced that there is no death for them. Therein lies the strength that has made them invincible through hundreds of years of oppression and foreign invasion and tyranny. The nation lives today, and in that nation even in the days of the direst disaster, spiritual giants have, never failed to arise. Asia produces giants in spirituality, just as the Occident produces giants in politics, giants in science. In the beginning of the present century, when Western influence began to pour into India, when Western conquerors, sword in hand, came to demonstrate to the children of the sages that they were mere barbarians, a race of dreamers, that their religion was but mythology, and god and soul and everything they had been struggling for were mere words without meaning, that the thousands of years of struggle, the thousands of years of endless renunciation, had all been in vain, the question began to be agitated among young men at the universities whether the whole national existence up to then had been a failure, whether they must begin anew on the occidental plan, tear up their old books, burn their philosophies, drive away their preachers, and break down their temples. Did not the occidental conqueror, the man who demonstrated his religion with sword and gun, say that all the old ways were mere superstition and idolatry? Children brought up and educated in the new schools started on the occidental plan, drank in these ideas, from their childhood; and it is not to be wondered at that doubts arose. But instead of throwing away superstition and making a real search after truth, the test of truth became, “What does the West say?” The priests must go, the Vedas must be burned, because the West has said so. Out of the feeling of unrest thus produced, there arose a wave of so-called reform in India.

If you wish to be a true reformer, three things are necessary. The first is to feel. Do you really feel for your brothers? Do you really feel that there is so much misery in the world, so much ignorance and superstition? Do you really feel that men are your brothers? Does this idea come into your whole being? Does it run with your blood? Does it tingle in your veins? Does it course through every nerve and filament of your body? Are you full of that idea of sympathy? If you are, that is only the first step. You must think next if you have found any remedy. The old ideas may be all superstition, but in and round these masses of superstition are nuggets of gold and truth. Have you discovered means by which to keep that gold alone, without any of the dross? If you have done that, that is only the second step; one more thing is necessary. What is your motive? Are you sure that you are not actuated by greed of gold, by thirst for fame or power? Are you really sure that you can stand to your ideals and work on, even if the whole world wants to crush you down? Are you sure you know what you want and will perform your duty, and that alone, even if your life is at stake? Are you sure that you will persevere so long as life endures, so long as there is one pulsation left in the heart? Then you are a real reformer, you are a teacher, a Master, a blessing to mankind. But man is so impatient, so short-sighted! He has not the patience to wait, he has not the power to see. He wants to rule, he wants results immediately. Why? He wants to reap the fruits himself, and does not really care for others. Duty for duty’s sake is not what he wants. “To work you have the right, but not to the fruits thereof,” says Krishna. Why cling to results? Ours are the duties. Let the fruits take care of themselves. But man has no patience. He takes up any scheme. The larger number of would-be reformers all over the world can be classed under this heading.

As I have said, the idea of reform came to India when it seemed as if the wave of materialism that had invaded her shores would sweep away the teachings of the sages. But the nation had borne the shocks of a thousand such waves of change. This one was mild in comparison. Wave after wave had flooded the land, breaking and crushing everything for hundreds of years. The sword had flashed, and “Victory unto Allah” had rent the skies of India; but these floods subsided, leaving the national ideals unchanged.

The Indian nation cannot be killed. Deathless it stands, and it will stand so long as that spirit shall remain as the background, so long as her people do not give up their spirituality. Beggars they may remain, poor and poverty-stricken, dirt and squalor may surround them perhaps throughout all time, but let them not give up their God, let them not forget that they are the children of the sages. Just as in the West, even the man in the street wants to trace his descent from some robber-baron of the Middle Ages, so in India, even an Emperor on the throne wants to trace his descent from some beggar-sage in the forest, from a man who wore the bark of a tree, lived upon the fruits of the forest and communed with God. That is the type of descent we want; and so long as holiness is thus supremely venerated, India cannot die.

Many of you perhaps have read the article by Prof. Max Müller in a recent issue of the Nineteenth Century, headed “A Real Mahâtman”. The life of Shri Ramakrishna is interesting, as it was a living illustration of the ideas that he preached. Perhaps it will be a little romantic for you who live in the West in an atmosphere entirely different from that of India. For the methods and manners in the busy rush of life in the West vary entirely from those of India. Yet perhaps it will be of all the more interest for that, because it will bring into a newer light, things about which many have already heard.

It was while reforms of various kinds were being inaugurated in India that a child was born of poor Brâhmin parents on the eighteenth of February, 1836, in one of the remote villages of Bengal. The father and mother were very orthodox people. The life of a really orthodox Brahmin is one of continuous renunciation. Very few things can he do; and over and beyond them the orthodox Brahmin must not occupy himself with any secular business. At the same time he must not receive gifts from everybody. You may imagine how rigorous that life becomes. You have heard of the Brahmins and their priestcraft many times, but very few of you have ever stopped to ask what makes this wonderful band of men the rulers of their fellows. They are the poorest of all the classes in the country; and the secret of their power lies in their renunciation. They never covet wealth. Theirs is the poorest priesthood in the world, and therefore the most powerful. Even in this poverty, a Brahmin’s wife will never allow a poor man to pass through the village without giving him something to eat. That is considered the highest duty of the mother in India; and because she is the mother it is her duty to be served last; she must see that everyone is served before her turn comes. That is why the mother is regarded as God in India. This particular woman, the mother of our subject, was the very type of a Hindu mother. The higher the caste, the greater the restrictions. The lowest caste people can eat and drink anything they like. But as men rise in the social scale, more and more restrictions come; and when they reach the highest caste, the Brahmin, the hereditary priesthood of India, their lives, as I have said, are very much circumscribed. Compared to Western manners, their lives are of continuous asceticism. The Hindus are perhaps the most exclusive nation in the world. They have the same great steadiness as the English, but much more amplified. When they get hold of an idea they carry it out to its very conclusion, and they, keep hold of it generation after generation until they make something out of it. Once give them an idea, and it is not easy to take it back; but it is hard to make them grasp a new idea.

The orthodox Hindus, therefore, are very exclusive, living entirely within their own horizon of thought and feeling. Their lives are laid down in our old books in every little detail, and the least detail is grasped with almost adamantine firmness by them. They would starve rather than eat a meal cooked by the hands of a man not belonging to their own small section of caste. But withal, they have intensity and tremendous earnestness. That force of intense faith and religious life occurs often among the orthodox Hindus, because their very orthodoxy comes from a tremendous conviction that it is right. We may not all think that what they hold on to with such perseverance is right; but to them it is. Now, it is written in our books that a man should always be charitable even to the extreme. If a man starves himself to death to help another man, to save that man’s life, it is all right; it is even held that a man ought to do that. And it is expected of a Brahmin to carry this idea out to the very extreme. Those who are acquainted with the literature of India will remember a beautiful old story about this extreme charity, how a whole family, as related in the Mahâbhârata, starved themselves to death and gave their last meal to a beggar. This is not an exaggeration, for such things still happen. The character of the father and the mother of my Master was very much like that. Very poor they were, and yet many a time the mother would starve herself a whole day to help a poor man. Of them this child was born; and he was a peculiar child from very boyhood. He remembered his past from his birth and was conscious for what purpose he came into the world, and every power was devoted to the fulfilment of that purpose.

While he was quite young, his father died; and the boy was sent to school. A Brahmin’s boy must go to school; the caste restricts him to a learned profession only. The old system of education in India, still prevalent in many parts of the country, especially in connection with Sannyasins, is very different from the modern system. The students had not to pay. It was thought that knowledge is so sacred that no man ought to sell it. Knowledge must be given freely and without any price. The teachers used to take students without charge, and not only so, most of them gave their students food and clothes. To support these teachers the wealthy families on certain occasions, such as a marriage festival, or at the ceremonies for the dead, made gifts to them. They were considered the first and foremost claimants to certain gifts; and they in their turn had to maintain their students. So whenever there is a marriage, especially in a rich family, these professors are invited, and they attend and discuss various subjects. This boy went to one of these gatherings of professors, and the professors were discussing various topics, such as logic or astronomy, subjects much beyond his age. The boy was peculiar, as I have said, and he gathered this moral out of it: “This is the outcome of all their knowledge. Why are they fighting so hard? It is simply for money; the man who can show the highest learning here will get the best pair of cloth, and that is all these people are struggling for. I will not go to school any more.” And he did not; that was the end of his going to school. But this boy had an elder brother, a learned professor, who took him to Calcutta, however, to study with him. After a short time the boy became fully convinced that the aim of all secular learning was mere material advancement, and nothing more, and he resolved to give up study and devote himself solely to the pursuit of spiritual knowledge. The father being dead, the family was very poor; and this boy had to make his own living. He went to a place near Calcutta and became a temple priest. To become a temple priest is thought very degrading to a Brahmin. Our temples are not churches in your sense of the word, they are not places for public worship; for, properly speaking, there is no such thing as public worship in India. Temples are erected mostly by rich persons as a meritorious religious act.

If a man has much property, he wants to build a temple. In that he puts a symbol or an image of an Incarnation of God, and dedicates it to worship in the name of God. The worship is akin to that which is conducted in Roman Catholic churches, very much like the mass, reading certain sentences from the sacred books, waving a light before the image, and treating the image in every respect as we treat a great man. This is all that is done in the temple. The man who goes to a temple is not considered thereby a better man than he who never goes. More properly, the latter is considered the more religious man, for religion in India is to each man his own private affair. In the house of every man there is either a little chapel, or a room set apart, and there he goes morning and evening, sits down in a corner, and there does his worship. And this worship is entirely mental, for another man does not hear or know what he is doing. He sees him only sitting there, and perhaps moving his fingers in a peculiar fashion, or closing his nostrils and breathing in a peculiar manner. Beyond that, he does not know what his brother is doing; even his wife, perhaps, will not know. Thus, all worship is conducted in the privacy of his own home. Those who cannot afford to have a chapel go to the banks of a river, or a lake, or the sea if they live at the seaside, but people sometimes go to worship in a temple by making salutation to the image. There their duty to the temple ends. Therefore, you see, it has been held from the most ancient times in our country, legislated upon by Manu, that it is a degenerating occupation to become a temple priest. Some of the books say it is so degrading as to make a Brahmin worthy of reproach. Just as with education, but in a far more intense sense with religion, there is the other idea behind it that the temple priests who take fees for their work are making merchandise of sacred things. So you may imagine the feelings of that boy when he was forced through poverty to take up the only occupation open to him, that of a temple priest.

There have been various poets in Bengal whose songs have passed down to the people; they are sung in the streets of Calcutta and in every village. Most of these are religious songs, and their one central idea, which is perhaps peculiar to the religions of India, is the idea of realisation. There is not a book in India on religion which does not breathe this idea. Man must realise God, feel God, see God, talk to God. That is religion. The Indian atmosphere is full of stories of saintly persons having visions of God. Such doctrines form the basis of their religion; and all these ancient books and scriptures are the writings of persons who came into direct contact with spiritual facts. These books were not written for the intellect, nor can any reasoning understand them, because they were written by men who saw the things of which they wrote, and they can be understood only by men who have raised themselves to the same height. They say there is such a thing as realisation even in this life, and it is open to everyone, and religion begins with the opening of this faculty, if I may call it so. This is the central idea in all religions, and this is why we may find one man with the most finished oratorical powers, or the most convincing logic, preaching the highest doctrines and yet unable to get people to listen to him, while we may find another, a poor man, who scarcely can speak the language of his own motherland, yet half the nation worships him in his own lifetime as God. When in India the idea somehow or other gets abroad that a man has raised himself to that state of realisation, that religion is no more a matter of conjecture to him, that he is no more groping in the dark in such momentous questions as religion, the immortality of the soul, and God, people come from all quarters to see him and gradually they begin to worship him.

In the temple was an image of the “Blissful Mother”. This boy had to conduct the worship morning and evening, and by degrees this one idea filled his mind: “Is there anything behind this images? Is it true that there is a Mother of Bliss in the universe? Is it true that She lives and guides the universe, or is it all a dream? Is there any reality in religion?”

This scepticism comes to the Hindu child. It is the scepticism of our country: Is this that we are doing real? And theories will not satisfy us, although there are ready at hand almost all the theories that have ever been made with regard to God and soul. Neither books nor theories can satisfy us, the one idea that gets hold of thousands of our people is this idea of realisation. Is it true that there is a God? If it be true, can I see Him? Can I realise the truth? The Western mind may think all this very impracticable, but to us it is intensely practical. For this their lives. You have just heard how from the earliest times there have been persons who have given up all comforts and luxuries to live in caves, and hundreds have given up their homes to weep bitter tears of misery, on the banks of sacred rivers, in order to realise this idea — not to know in the ordinary sense of the word, not intellectual understanding, not a mere rationalistic comprehension of the real thing, not mere groping in the dark, but intense realisation, much more real than this world is to our senses. That is the idea. I do not advance any proposition as to that just now, but that is the one fact that is impressed upon them. Thousands will be killed, other thousands will be ready. So upon this one idea the whole nation for thousands of years have been denying and sacrificing themselves. For this idea thousands of Hindus every year give up their homes, and many of them die through the hardships they have to undergo. To the Western mind this must seem most visionary, and I can see the reason for this point of view. But though I have resided in the West, I still think this idea the most practical thing in life.

Every moment I think of anything else is so much loss to me — even the marvels of earthly sciences; everything is vain if it takes me away from that thought. Life is but momentary, whether you have the knowledge of an angel or the ignorance of an animal. Life is but momentary, whether you have the poverty of the poorest man in rags or the wealth of the richest living person. Life is but momentary, whether you are a downtrodden man living in one of the big streets of the big cities of the West or a crowned Emperor ruling over millions. Life is but momentary, whether you have the best of health or the worst. Life is but momentary, whether you have the most poetical temperament or the most cruel. There is but one solution of life, says the Hindu, and that solution is what they call God and religion. If these be true, life becomes explained, life becomes bearable, becomes enjoyable. Otherwise, life is but a useless burden. That is our idea, but no amount of reasoning can demonstrate it; it can only make it probable, and there it rests. The highest demonstration of reasoning that we have in any branch of knowledge can only make a fact probable, and nothing further. The most demonstrable facts of physical science are only probabilities, not facts yet. Facts are only in the senses. Facts have to be perceived, and we have to perceive religion to demonstrate it to ourselves. We have to sense God to be convinced that there is a God. We must sense the facts of religion to know that they are facts. Nothing else, and no amount of reasoning, but our own perception can make these things real to us, can make my belief firm as a rock. That is my idea, and that is the Indian idea.

This idea took possession of the boy and his whole life became concentrated upon that. Day after day he would weep and say, “Mother, is it true that Thou existest, or is it all poetry? Is the Blissful Mother an imagination of poets and misguided people, or is there such a Reality?” We have seen that of books, of education in our sense of the word, he had none, and so much the more natural, so much the more healthy, was his mind, so much the purer his thoughts, undiluted by drinking in the thoughts of others. Because he did not go to the university, therefore he thought for himself. Because we have spent half our lives in the university we are filled with a collection of other people’s thoughts. Well has Prof. Max Müller said in the article I have just referred to that this was a clean, original man; and the secret of that originality was that he was not brought up within the precincts of a university. However, this thought — whether God can be seen — which was uppermost in his mind gained in strength every day until he could think of nothing else. He could no more conduct the worship properly, could no more attend to the various details in all their minuteness. Often he would forget to place the food-offering before the image, sometimes he would forget to wave the light; at other times he would wave it for hours, and forget everything else.

And that one idea was in his mind every day: “Is it true that Thou existest, O Mother? Why cost Thou not speak? Art Thou dead?” Perhaps some of us here will remember that there are moments in our lives when, tired of all these ratiocinations of dull and dead logic, tired of plodding through books — which after all teach us nothing, become nothing but a sort of intellectual opium-eating — we must have it at stated times or we die — tired with all this, the heart of our hearts sends out a wail: “Is there no one in this universe who can show me the light? If Thou art, show the light unto me. Why dost Thou not speak? Why dost Thou make Thyself so scarce, why send so many Messengers and not Thyself come to me? In this world of fights and factions whom am I to follow and believe? If Thou art the God of every man and woman alike, why comest Thou not to speak to Thy child and see if he is not ready?” Well, to us all come such thoughts in moments of great depression; but such are the temptations surrounding us, that the next moment we forget. For the moment it seemed that the doors of the heavens were going to be opened, for the moment it seemed as if we were going to plunge into the light effulgent; but the animal man again shakes off all these angelic visions. Down we go, animal man once more eating and drinking and dying, and dying and drinking and eating again and again. But there are exceptional minds which are not turned away so easily, which once attracted can never be turned back, whatever may be the temptation in the way, which want to see the Truth knowing that life must go. They say, let it go in a noble conquest, and what conquest is nobler than the conquest of the lower man, than this solution of the problem of life and death, of good and evil?

At last it became impossible for him to serve in the temple. He left it and entered into a little wood that was near and lived there. About this part of his life, he told me many times that he could not tell when the sun rose or set, or how he lived. He lost all thought of himself and forgot to eat. During this period he was lovingly watched over by a relative who put into his mouth food which he mechanically swallowed.

Days and nights thus passed with the boy. When a whole day would pass, towards the evening when the peal of bells in the temples, and the voices singing, would reach the wood, it would make the boy very sad, and he would cry, “Another day is gone in vain, Mother, and Thou hast not come. Another day of this short life has gone, and I have not known the Truth.” In the agony of his soul, sometimes he would rub his face against the ground and weep, and this one prayer burst forth: “Do Thou manifest Thyself in me, Thou Mother of the universe! See that I need Thee and nothing else!” Verily, he wanted to be true to his own ideal. He had heard that the Mother never came until everything had been given up for Her. He had heard that the Mother wanted to come to everyone, but they would not have Her, that people wanted all sorts of foolish little idols to pray to, that they wanted their own enjoyments, and not the Mother, and that the moment they really wanted Her with their whole soul, and nothing else, that moment She would come. So he began to break himself into that idea; he wanted to be exact, even on the plane of matter. He threw away all the little property he had, and took a vow that he would never touch money, and this one idea, “I will not touch money”, became a part of him. It may appear to be something occult, but even in after-life when he was sleeping, if I touched him with a piece of money his hand would become bent, and his whole body would become, as it were, paralysed. The other idea that came into his mind was that lust was the other enemy. Man is a soul, and soul is sexless, neither man nor woman. The idea of sex and the idea of money were the two things, he thought, that prevented him from seeing the Mother. This whole universe is the manifestation of the Mother, and She lives in every woman’s body. “Every woman represents the Mother; how can I think of woman in mere sex relation?” That was the idea: Every woman was his Mother, he must bring himself to the state when he would see nothing but Mother in every woman. And he carried it out in his life.

This is the tremendous thirst that seizes the human heart. Later on, this very man said to me, “My child, suppose there is a bag of gold in one room, and a robber in the next room; do you think that the robber can sleep? He cannot. His mind will be always thinking how to get into that room and obtain possession of that gold. Do you think then that a man, firmly persuaded that there is a Reality behind all these appearances, that there is a God, that there is One who never dies, One who is infinite bliss, a bliss compared with which these pleasures of the senses are simply playthings, can rest contented without struggling to attain It? Can he cease his efforts for a moment? No. He will become mad with longing.” This divine madness seized the boy. At that time he had no teacher, nobody to tell him anything, and everyone thought that he was out of his mind. This is the ordinary condition of things. If a man throws aside the vanities of the world, we hear him called mad. But such men are the salt of the earth. Out of such madness have come the powers that have moved this world of ours, and out of such madness alone will come the powers of the future that are going to move the world.

So days, weeks, months passed in continuous struggle of the soul to arrive at truth. The boy began to see visions, to see wonderful things; the secrets of his nature were beginning to open to him. Veil after veil was, as it were, being taken off. Mother Herself became the teacher and initiated the boy into the truths he sought. At this time there came to this place a woman of beautiful appearance, learned beyond compare. Later on, this saint used to say about her that she was not learned, but was the embodiment of learning; she was learning itself, in human form. There, too, you find the peculiarity of the Indian nation. In the midst of the ignorance in which the average Hindu woman lives, in the midst of what is called in Western countries her lack of freedom, there could arise a woman of supreme spirituality. She was a Sannyâsini; for women also give up the world, throw away their property, do not marry, and devote themselves to the worship of the Lord. She came; and when she heard of this boy in the grove, she offered to go and see him; and hers was the first help he received. At once she recognised what his trouble was, and she said to him. “My son blessed is the man upon whom such madness comes. The whole of this universe is mad — some for wealth, some for pleasure, some for fame, some for a hundred other things. They are mad for gold, or husbands, or wives, for little trifles, mad to tyrannise over somebody, mad to become rich, mad for every foolish thing except God. And they can understand only their own madness. When another man is mad after gold, they have fellow-feeling and sympathy for him, and they say he is the right man, as lunatics think that lunatics alone are sane. But if a man is mad after the Beloved, after the Lord, how can they understand? They think he has gone crazy; and they say, ‘Have nothing to do with him.’ That is why they call you mad; but yours is the right kind of madness. Blessed is the man who is mad after God. Such men are very few.” This woman remained near the boy for years, taught him the forms of the religions of India, initiated him into the different practices of Yoga, and, as it were, guided and brought into harmony this tremendous river of spirituality.

Later, there came to the same grove a Sannyasin, one of the begging friars of India, a learned man, a philosopher. He was a peculiar man, he was an idealist. He did not believe that this world existed in reality; and to demonstrate that, he would never go under a roof, he would always live out of doors, in storm and sunshine alike. This man began to teach the boy the philosophy of the Vedas; and he found very soon, to his astonishment, that the pupil was in some respects wiser than the master. He spent several months with the boy, after which he initiated him into the order of Sannyasins, and took his departure.

When as a temple priest his extraordinary worship made people think him deranged in his head, his relatives took him home and married him to a little girl, thinking that that would turn his thoughts and restore the balance of his mind. But he came back and, as we have seen, merged deeper in his madness. Sometimes, in our country, boys are married as children and have no voice in the matter; their parents marry them. Of course such a marriage is little more than a betrothal. When they are married they still continue to live with their parents, and the real marriage takes place when the wife grows older, Then it is customary for the husband to go and bring his bride to his own home. In this case, however, the husband had entirely forgotten that he had a wife. In her far off home the girl had heard that her husband had become a religious enthusiast, and that he was even considered insane by many. She resolved to learn the truth for herself, so she set out and walked to the place where her husband was. When at last she stood in her husband’s presence, he at once admitted her right to his life, although in India any person, man or woman, who embraces a religious life, is thereby freed from all other obligations. The young man fell at the feet of his wife and said, “As for me, the Mother has shown me that She resides in every woman, and so I have learnt to look upon every woman as Mother. That is the one idea I can have about you; but if you wish to drag me into the world, as I have been married to you, I am at your service.”

The maiden was a pure and noble soul and was able to understand her husband’s aspirations and sympathise with them. She quickly told him that she had no wish to drag him down to a life of worldliness; but that all she desired was to remain near him, to serve him, and to learn of him. She became one of his most devoted disciples, always revering him as a divine being. Thus through his wife’s consent the last barrier was removed, and he was free to lead the life he had chosen.

The next desire that seized upon the soul of this man as to know the truth about the various religions. Up to that time he had not known any religion but his own. He wanted to understand what other religions were like. So he sought teachers of other religions. By teachers you must always remember what we mean in India, not a bookworm, but a man of realisation, one who knows truth a; first hand and not through an intermediary. He found a Mohammedan saint and placed himself under him; he underwent the disciplines prescribed by him, and to his astonishment found that when faithfully carried out, these devotional methods led him to the same goal he had already attained. He gathered similar experience from following the true religion of Jesus the Christ. He went to all the sects he could find, and whatever he took up he went into with his whole heart. He did exactly as he was told, and in every instance he arrived at the same result. Thus from actual experience, he came to know that the goal of every religion is the same, that each is trying to teach the same thing, the difference being largely in method and still more in language. At the core, all sects and all religions have the same aim; and they were only quarrelling for their own selfish purposes — they were not anxious about the truth, but about “my name” and “your name”. Two of them preached the same truth, but one of them said, “That cannot be true, because I have not put upon it the seal of my name. Therefore do not listen to him.” And the other man said, “Do not hear him, although he is preaching very much the same thing, yet it is not true because he does not preach it in my name.”

That is what my Master found, and he then set about to learn humility, because he had found that the one idea in all religions is, “not me, but Thou”, and he who says, “not me”, the Lord fills his heart. The less of this little “I” the more of God there is in him. That he found to be the truth in every religion in the world, and he set himself to accomplish this. As I have told you, whenever he wanted to do anything he never confined himself to fine theories, but would enter into the practice immediately; We see many persons talking the most wonderfully fine things about charity and about equality and the rights of other people and all that, but it is only in theory. I was so fortunate as to find one who was able to carry theory into practice. He had the most wonderful faculty of carrying everything into practice which he thought was right.

Now, there was a family of Pariahs living near the place. The Pariahs number several millions in the whole of India and are a sect of people so low that some of our books say that if a Brahmin coming out from his house sees the face of a Pariah, he has to fast that day and recite certain prayers before he becomes holy again. In some Hindu cities when a Pariah enters, he has to put a crow’s feather on his head as a sign that he is a Pariah, and he has to cry aloud, “Save yourselves, the Pariah is passing through the street”, and you will find people flying off from him as if by magic, because if they touch him by chance, they will have to change their clothes, bathe, and do other things. And the Pariah for thousands of years has believed that it is perfectly right; that his touch will make everybody unholy. Now my Master would go to a Pariah and ask to be allowed to clean his house. The business of the Pariah is to clean the streets of the cities and to keep houses clean. He cannot enter the house by the front door; by the back door he enters; and as soon as he has gone, the whole place over which he has passed is sprinkled with and made holy by a little Gangâ water. By birth the Brahmin stands for holiness, and the Pariah for the very reverse. And this Brahmin asked to be allowed to do the menial services in the house of the Pariah. The Pariah of course could not allow that, for they all think that if they allow a Brahmin to do such menial work it will be an awful sin, and they will become extinct. The Pariah would not permit it; so in the dead of night, when all were sleeping, Ramakrishna would enter the house. He had long hair, and with his hair he would wipe the place, saying, “Oh, my Mother, make me the servant of the Pariah, make me feel that I am even lower than the Pariah.” “They worship Me best who worship My worshippers. These are all My children and your privilege is to serve them” — is the teaching of Hindu scriptures.

There were various other preparations which would take a long time to relate, and I want to give you just a sketch of his life. For years he thus educated himself. One of the Sâdhanâs was to root out the sex idea. Soul has no sex, it is neither male nor female. It is only in the body that sex exists, and the man who desires to reach the spirit cannot at the same time hold to sex distinctions. Having been born in a masculine body, this man wanted to bring the feminine idea into everything. He began to think that he was a woman, he dressed like a woman, spoke like a woman, gave up the occupations of men, and lived in the household among the women of a good family, until, after years of this discipline, his mind became changed, and he entirely forgot the idea of sex; thus the whole view of life became changed to him.

We hear in the West about worshipping woman, but this is usually for her youth and beauty. This man meant by worshipping woman, that to him every woman’s face was that of the Blissful Mother, and nothing but that. I myself have seen this man standing before those women whom society would not touch, and falling at their feet bathed in tears, saying, “Mother, in one form Thou art in the street, and in another form Thou art the universe. I salute Thee, Mother, I salute Thee.” Think of the blessedness of that life from which all carnality has vanished, which can look upon every woman with that love and reverence when every woman’s face becomes transfigured, and only the face of the Divine Mother, the Blissful One, the Protectress of the human race, shines upon it! That is what we want. Do you mean to say that the divinity back of a woman can ever be cheated? It never was and never will be, It always asserts itself. Unfailingly it detects fraud, it detects hypocrisy, unerringly it feels the warmth of truth, the light of spirituality, the holiness of purity. Such purity is absolutely necessary if real spirituality is to be attained.

This rigorous, unsullied purity came into the life of that man. All the struggles which we have in our lives were past for him. His hard-earned jewels of spirituality, for which he had given three-quarters of his life, were now ready to be given to humanity, and then began his mission. His teaching and preaching were peculiar. In our country a teacher is a most highly venerated person, he is regarded as God Himself. We have not even the same respect for our father and mother. Father and mother give us our body, but the teacher shows us the way to salvation. We are his children, we are born in the spiritual line of the teacher. All Hindus come to pay respect to an extraordinary teacher, they crowd around him. And here was such a teacher, but the teacher had no thought whether he was to be respected or not, he had not the least idea that he was a great teacher, he thought that it was Mother who was doing everything and not he. He always said, “If any good comes from my lips, it is the Mother who speaks; what have I to do with it?” That was his one idea about his work, and to the day of his death he never gave it up. This man sought no one. His principle was, first form character, first earn spirituality and results will come of themselves. His favourite illustration was, “When the lotus opens, the bees come of their own accord to seek the honey; so let the lotus of your character be full-blown, and the results will follow.” This is a great lesson to learn.

My Master taught me this lesson hundreds of times, yet I often forget it. Few understand the power of thought. If a man goes into a cave, shuts himself in, and thinks one really great thought and dies, that thought will penetrate the walls of that cave, vibrate through space, and at last permeate the whole human race. Such is the power of thought; be in no hurry therefore to give your thoughts to others. First have something to give. He alone teaches who has something to give, for teaching is not talking, teaching is not imparting doctrines, it is communicating. Spirituality can be communicated just as really as I can give you a flower. This is true in the most literal sense. This idea is very old in India and finds illustration in the West in the “theory, in the belief, of apostolic succession. Therefore first make character — that is the highest duty you can perform. Know Truth for yourself, and there will be many to whom you can teach it after wards; they will all come. This was the attitude of nay Master. He criticised no one. For years I lived with that man, but never did I hear those lips utter one word of condemnation for any sect. He had the same sympathy for all sects; he had found the harmony between them. A man may be intellectual, or devotional, or mystic, or active; the various religions represent one or the other of these types. Yet it is possible to combine all the four in one man, and this is what future humanity is going to do. That was his idea. He condemned no one, but saw the good in all.

People came by thousands to see and hear this wonderful man who spoke in a patois every word of which was forceful and instinct with light. For it is not what is spoken, much less the language in which it is spoken, but it is the personality of the speaker which dwells in everything he says that carries weight. Every one of us feels this at times. We hear most splendid orations, most wonderfully reasoned-out discourses, and we go home and forget them all. At other times we hear a few words in the simplest language, and they enter into our lives, become part and parcel of ourselves and produce lasting results. The words of a man who can put his personality into them take effect, but he must have tremendous personality. All teaching implies giving and taking, the teacher gives and the taught receives, but the one must have something to give, and the other must be open to receive.

This man came to live near Calcutta, the capital of India, the most important university town in our country which was sending out sceptics and materialists by the hundreds every year. Yet many of these university men — sceptics and agnostics — used to come and listen to him. I heard of this man, and I went to hear him. He looked just like an ordinary man, with nothing remarkable about him. He used the most simple language, and I thought “Can this man be a great teacher?”— crept near to him and asked him the question which I had been asking others all my life: “Do you believe in God, Sir?” “Yes,” he replied. “Can you prove it, Sir?” “Yes.” “How?” “Because I see Him just as I see you here, only in a much intenser sense.” That impressed me at once. For the first time I found a man who dared to say that he saw God that religion was a reality to be felt, to be sensed in an infinitely more intense way than we can sense the world. I began to go to that man, day after day, and I actually saw that religion could be given. One touch, one glance, can change a whole life. I have read about Buddha and Christ and Mohammed, about all those different luminaries of ancient times, how they would stand up and say, “Be thou whole”, and the man became whole. I now found it to be true, and when I myself saw this man, all scepticism was brushed aside. It could be done; and my Master used to say, “Religion can be given and taken more tangibly, more really than anything else in the world.” Be therefore spiritual first; have something to give and then stand before the world and give it. Religion is not talk, or doctrines, or theories; nor is it sectarianism. Religion cannot live in sects and societies. It is the relation between the soul and God; how can it be made into a society? It would then degenerate into business, and wherever there are business and business principles in religion, spirituality dies. Religion does not consist in erecting temples, or building churches, or attending public worship. It is not to be found in books, or in words, or in lectures, or in organisations. Religion consists in realisation. As a fact, we all know that nothing will satisfy us until we know the truth for ourselves. However we may argue, however much we may hear, but one thing will satisfy us, and that is our own realisation; and such an experience is possible for every one of us if we will only try. The first ideal of this attempt to realise religion is that of renunciation. As far as we can, we must give up. Darkness and light, enjoyment of the world and enjoyment of God will never go together. “Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” Let people try it if they will, and I have seen millions in every country who have tried; but after all, it comes to nothing. If one word remains true in the saying, it is, give up every thing for the sake of the Lord. This is a hard and long task, but you can begin it here and now. Bit by bit we must go towards it.

The second idea that I learnt from my Master, and which is perhaps the most vital, is the wonderful truth that the religions of the world are not contradictory or antagonistic. They are but various phases of one eternal religion. That one eternal religion is applied to different planes of existence, is applied to the opinions of various minds and various races. There never was my religion or yours, my national religion or your national religion; there never existed many religions, there is only the one. One infinite religion existed all through eternity and will ever exist, and this religion is expressing itself in various countries in various ways. Therefore we must respect all religions and we must try to accept them all as far as we can. Religions manifest themselves not only according to race and geographical position, but according to individual powers. In one man religion is manifesting itself as intense activity, as work. In another it is manifesting itself as intense devotion, in yet another, as mysticism, in others as philosophy, and so forth. It is wrong when we say to others, “Your methods are not right.” Perhaps a man, whose nature is that of love, thinks that the man who does good to others is not on the right road to religion, because it is not his own way, and is therefore wrong. If the philosopher thinks, “Oh, the poor ignorant people, what do they know about a God of Love, and loving Him? They do not know what they mean,” he is wrong, because they may be right and he also.

To learn this central secret that the truth may be one and yet many at the same time, that we may have different visions of the same truth from different standpoints, is exactly what must be done. Then, instead of antagonism to anyone, we shall have infinite sympathy with all. Knowing that as long as there are different natures born in this world, the same religious truth will require different adaptations, we shall understand that we are bound to have forbearance with each other. Just as nature is unity in variety — an infinite variation in the phenomenal — as in and through all these variations of the phenomenal runs the Infinite, the Unchangeable, the Absolute Unity, so it is with every man; the microcosm is but a miniature repetition of the macrocosm; in spite of all these variations, in and through them all runs this eternal harmony, and we have to recognise this. This idea, above all other ideas, I find to be the crying necessity of the day. Coming from a country which is a hotbed of religious sects — and to which, through its good fortune or ill fortune, everyone who has a religious idea wants to send an advance-guard — I have been acquainted from my childhood with the various sects of the world. Even the Mormons come to preach in India. Welcome them all! That is the soil on which to preach religion. There it takes root more than in any other country. If you come and teach politics to the Hindus, they do not understand; but if you come to preach religion, however curious it may be, you will have hundreds and thousands of followers in no time, and you have every chance of becoming a living God in your lifetime. I am glad it is so, it is the one thing we want in India.

The sects among the Hindus are various, a great many in number, and some of them apparently hopelessly contradictory. Yet they all tell you they are but different manifestations of religion. “As different rivers, taking their start from different mountains, running crooked or straight, all come and mingle their waters in the ocean, so the different sects, with their different points of vied, at last all come unto Thee.” This is not a theory, it has to be recognised, but not in that patronising way which we see with some people: “Oh yes, there are some very good things in it. These are what we call the ethnical religions. These ethnical religions have some good in them.” Some even have the most wonderfully liberal idea that other religions are all little bits of a prehistoric evolution, but “ours is the fulfilment of things”. One man says, because his is the oldest religion, it is the best: another makes the same claim, because his is the latest.

We have to recognise that each one of them has the same saving power as the other. What you have heard about their difference, whether in the temple or in the church, is a mass of superstition. The same God answers all; and it is not you, or I, or any body of men that is responsible for the safety and salvation of the least little bit of the soul; the same Almighty God is responsible for all. I do not understand how people declare themselves to be believers in God, and at the same time think that God has handed over to a little body of men all truth, and that they are the guardians of the rest of humanity. How can you call that religion? Religion is realisation; but mere talk — mere trying to believe, mere groping in darkness, mere parroting the words of ancestors and thinking it is religion, mere making a political something out of the truths of religion — is not religion at all. In every sect — even among the Mohammedans whom we always regard as the most exclusive — even among them we find that wherever there was a man trying to realise religion, from his lips have come the fiery words: “Thou art the Lord of all, Thou art in the heart of all, Thou art the guide of all, Thou art the Teacher of all, and Thou caress infinitely more for the land of Thy children than we can ever do.” Do not try to disturb the faith of any man. If you can, give him something better; if you can, get hold of a man where he stands and give him a push upwards; do so, but do not destroy what he has. The only true teacher is he who can convert himself, as it were, into a thousand persons at a moment’s notice. The only true teacher is he who can immediately come down to the level of the student, and transfer his soul to the student’s soul and see through the student’s eyes and hear through his ears and understand through his mind. Such a teacher can really teach and none else. All these negative, breaking-down, destructive teachers that are in the world can never do any good.

In the presence of my Master I found out that man could be perfect, even in this body. Those lips never cursed anyone, never even criticised anyone. Those eyes were beyond the possibility of seeing evil, that mind had lost the power of thinking evil. He saw nothing but good. That tremendous purity, that tremendous renunciation is the one secret of spirituality. “Neither through wealth, nor through progeny, but through renunciation alone, is immortality to be reached”, say the Vedas. “Sell all that thou hast and give to the poor, and follow me”, says the Christ. So all great saints and Prophets have expressed it, and have carried it out in their lives. How can great spirituality come without that renunciation? Renunciation is the background of all religious thought wherever it be, and you will always find that as this idea of renunciation lessens, the more will the senses creep into the field of religion, and spirituality will decrease in the same ratio.

That man was the embodiment of renunciation. In our country it is necessary for a man who becomes a Sannyasin to give up all worldly wealth and position, and this my Master carried out literally. There were many who would have felt themselves blest if he would only have accepted a present from their hands, who would gladly have given him thousands of rupees if he would have taken them, but these were the only men from whom he would turn away. He was a triumphant example, a living realisation of the complete conquest of lust and of desire for money. He was beyond all ideas of either, and such men are necessary for this century. Such renunciation is necessary in these days when men have begun to think that they cannot live a month without what they call their “necessities”, and which they are increasing out of all proportion. It is necessary in a time like this that a man should arise to demonstrate to the sceptics of the world that there yet breathes a man who does not care a straw for all the gold or all the fame that is in the universe. Yet there are such men.

The other idea of his life was intense love for others. The first part of my Master’s life was spent in acquiring spirituality, and the remaining years in distributing it. People in our country have not the same customs as you have in visiting a religious teacher or a Sannyasin. Somebody would come to ask him about something, some perhaps would come hundreds of miles, walking all the way, just to ask one question, to hear one word from him, “Tell me one word for my salvation.” That is the way they come. They come in numbers, unceremoniously, to the place where he is mostly to be found; they may find him under a tree and question him; and before one set of people has gone, others have arrived. So if a man is greatly revered, he will sometimes have no rest day or night. He will have to talk constantly. For hours people will come pouring in, and this man will be teaching them.

So men came in crowds to hear him, and he would talk twenty hours in the twenty-four, and that not for one day, but for months and months until at last the body broke down under the pressure of this tremendous strain. His intense love for mankind would not let him refuse to help even the humblest of the thousands who sought his aid. Gradually, there developed a vital throat disorder and yet he could not be persuaded to refrain from these exertions. As soon as he heard that people were asking to see him, he would insist upon having them admitted and would answer all their questions. When expostulated with, he replied, “I do not care. I will give up twenty thousand such bodies to help one man. It is glorious to help even one man.” There was no rest for him. Once a man asked him, “Sir, you are a great Yogi. Why do you not put your mind a little on your body and cure your disease? “At first he did not answer, but when the question had been repeated, he gently said, “My friend, I thought you were a sage, but you talk like other men of the world. This mind has been given to the Lord. Do you mean to say that I should take it back and put it upon the body which is but a mere cage of the soul?”

So he went on preaching to the people, and the news spread that his body was about to pass away, and the people began to flock to him in greater crowds than ever. You cannot imagine the way they come to these great religious teachers in India, how they crowd round them and make gods of them while they are yet living. Thousands wait simply to touch the hem of their garments. It is through this appreciation of spirituality in others that spirituality is produced. Whatever man wants and appreciates, he will get; and it is the same with nations. If you go to India and deliver a political lecture, however grand it may be, you will scarcely find people to listen to you but just go and teach religion, live it, not merely talk it, and hundreds will crowd just to look at you, to touch your feet. When the people heard that this holy man was likely to go from them soon, they began to come round him more than ever, and my Master went on teaching them without the least regard for his health. We could not prevent this. Many of the people came from long distances, and he would not rest until he had answered their questions. “While I can speak, I must teach them,” he would say, and he was as good as his word. One day, he told us that he would lay down the body that day, and repeating the most sacred word of the Vedas he entered into Samâdhi and passed away.

His thoughts and his message were known to very few capable of giving them out. Among others, he left a few young boys who had renounced the world, and were ready to carry on his work. Attempts were made to crush them. But they stood firm, having the inspiration of that great life before them. Having had the contact of that blessed life for years, they stood their ground. These young men, living as Sannyasins, begged through the streets of the city where they were born, although some of them came from high families. At first they met with great antagonism, but they persevered and went on from day to day spreading all over India the message of that great man, until the whole country was filled with the ideas he had preached. This man, from a remote village of Bengal, without education, by the sheer force of his own determination, realised the truth and gave it to others, leaving only a few young boys to keep it alive.

Today the name of Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is known all over India to its millions of people. Nay, the power of that man has spread beyond India; and if there has ever been a word of truth, a word of spirituality, that I have spoken anywhere in the world, I owe it to my Master; only the mistakes are mine.

This is the message of Shri Ramakrishna to the modern world: “Do not care for doctrines, do not care for dogmas, or sects, or churches, or temples; they count for little compared with the essence of existence in each man which is spirituality; and the more this is developed in a man, the more powerful is he for good. Earn that first, acquire that, and criticise no one, for all doctrines and creeds have some good in them. Show by your lives that religion does not mean words, or names, or sects, but that it means spiritual realisation. Only those can understand who have felt. Only those who have attained to spirituality can communicate it to others, can be great teachers of mankind. They alone are the powers of light.”

The more such men are produced in a country, the more that country will be raised; and that country where such men absolutely do not exist is simply doomed nothing can save it. Therefore my Master’s message to mankind is: “Be spiritual and realise truth for Yourself.” He would have you give up for the sake of your fellow-beings. He would have you cease talking about love for your brother, and set to work to prove your words. The time has come for renunciation, for realisation, and then you will see the harmony in all the religions of the world. You will know that there is no need of any quarrel. And then only will you be ready to help humanity. To proclaim and make clear the fundamental unity underlying all religions was the mission of my Master. Other teachers have taught special religions which bear their names, but this great teacher of the nineteenth century made no claim for himself. He left every religion undisturbed because he had realised that in reality they are all part and parcel of the one eternal religion.

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फ़रवरी 18, 2012 Posted by | चरित्र, सामायिक टिपण्णी, English Posts | , , , , , , , , , | 3 टिप्पणियाँ

115 Years of Swamiji’s address at Ramnad


REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF WELCOME AT RAMNAD

RAMNAD, 25th January, 1897.

The longest night seems to be passing away, the sorest trouble seems to be coming to an end at last, the seeming corpse appears to be awaking and a voice is coming to us — away back where history and even tradition fails to peep into the gloom of the past, coming down from there, reflected as it were from peak to peak of the infinite Himalaya of knowledge, and of love, and of work, India, this motherland of ours — a voice is coming unto us, gentle, firm, and yet unmistakable in its utterances, and is gaining volume as days pass by, and behold, the sleeper is awakening! Like a breeze from the Himalayas, it is bringing life into the almost dead bones and muscles, the lethargy is passing away, and only the blind cannot see, or the perverted will not see, that she is awakening, this motherland of ours, from her deep long sleep. None can desist her any more; never is she going to sleep any more; no outward powers can hold her back any more; for the infinite giant is rising to her feet.


Your Highness and gentlemen of Ramnad, accept my heartfelt thanks for the cordiality and kindness with which you have received me. I feel that you are cordial and kind, for heart speaks unto heart better than any language of the mouth; spirit speaks unto spirit in silence, and yet in most unmistakable language, and I feel it in my heart of hearts. Your Highness of Ramnad, if there has been any work done by my humble self in the cause of our religion and our motherland in the Western countries, if any little work has been done in rousing the sympathies of our own people by drawing their attention to the inestimable jewels that, they know not, are lying deep buried about their own home — if, instead of dying of thirst and drinking dirty ditch water elsewhere out of the blindness of ignorance, they are being called to go and drink from the eternal fountain which is flowing perennially by their own home — if anything has been done to rouse our people towards action, to make them understand that in everything, religion and religion alone is the life of India, and when that goes India will die, in spite of politics, in spite of social reforms, in spite of Kubera’s wealth poured upon the head of every one of her children — if anything has been done towards this end, India and every country where any work has been done owe much of it to you, Raja of Ramnad. For it was you who gave me the idea first, and it was you who persistently urged me on towards the work. You, as it were, intuitively understood what was going to be, and took me by the hand, helped me all along, and have never ceased to encourage me. Well is it, therefore, that you should be the first to rejoice at my success, and meet it is that I should first land in your territory on my return to India.

Great works are to be done, wonderful powers have to be worked out, we have to teach other nations many things, as has been said already by your Highness. This is the motherland of philosophy, of spirituality, and of ethics, of sweetness, gentleness, and love. These still exist, and my experience of the world leads me to stand on firm ground and make the bold statement that India is still the first and foremost of all the nations of the world in these respects. Look at this little phenomenon. There have been immense political changes within the last four or five years. Gigantic organizations undertaking to subvert the whole of existing institutions in different countries and meeting with a certain amount of success have been working all over the Western world. Ask our people if they have heard anything about them. They have heard not a word about them. But that there was a Parliament of Religions in Chicago, and that there was a Sannyasin sent over from India to that Parliament, and that he was very well received and since that time has been working in the West, the poorest beggar has known. I have heard it said that our masses are dense, that they do not want any education, and that they do not care for any information. I had at one time a foolish leaning towards that opinion myself, but I find experience is a far more glorious teacher than any amount of speculation, or any amount of books written by globe-trotters and hasty observers. This experience teaches me that they are not dense, that they are not slow, that they are as eager and thirsty for information as any race under the sun; but then each nation has its own part to play, and naturally, each nation has its own peculiarity and individuality with which it is born. Each represents, as it were, one peculiar note in this harmony of nations, and this is its very life, its vitality. In it is the backbone, the foundation, and the bed-rock of the national life, and here in this blessed land, the foundation, the backbone, the life-centre is religion and religion alone. Let others talk of politics, of the glory of acquisition of immense wealth poured in by trade, of the power and spread of commercialism, of the glorious fountain of physical liberty; but these the Hindu mind does not understand and does not want to understand. Touch him on spirituality, on religion, on God, on the soul, on the Infinite, on spiritual freedom, and I assure you, the lowest peasant in India is better informed on these subjects than many a so-called philosopher in other lands. I have said, gentlemen, that we have yet something to teach to the world. This is the very reason, the raison d’être, that this nation has lived on, in spite of hundreds of years of persecution, in spite of nearly a thousand year of foreign rule and foreign oppression. This nation still lives; the raison d’être is it still holds to God, to the treasure-house of religion and spirituality.

In this land are, still, religion and spirituality, the fountains which will have to overflow and flood the world to bring in new life and new vitality to the Western and other nations, which are now almost borne down, half-killed, and degraded by political ambitions and social scheming. From out of many voices, consonant and dissentient, from out of the medley of sounds filling the Indian atmosphere, rises up supreme, striking, and full, one note, and that is renunciation. Give up! That is the watchword of the Indian religions. This world is a delusion of two days. The present life is of five minutes. Beyond is the Infinite, beyond this world of delusion; let us seek that. This continent is illumined with brave and gigantic minds and intelligences which even think of this so called infinite universe as only a mud-puddle; beyond and still beyond they go. Time, even infinite time, is to them but non-existence. Beyond and beyond time they go. Space is nothing to them; beyond that they want to go, and this going beyond the phenomenal is the very soul of religion. The characteristic of my nation is this transcendentalism, this struggle to go beyond, this daring to tear the veil off the face of nature and have at any risk, at any price, a glimpse of the beyond. That is our ideal, but of course all the people in a country cannot give up entirely. Do you want to enthuse them, then here is the way to do so. Your talks of politics, of social regeneration, your talks of money-making and commercialism — all these will roll off like water from a duck’s back. This spirituality, then, is what you have to teach the world. Have we to learn anything else, have we to learn anything from the world? We have, perhaps, to gain a little in material knowledge, in the power of organisation, in the ability to handle powers, organising powers, in bringing the best results out of the smallest of causes. This perhaps to a certain extent we may learn from the West. But if any one preaches in India the ideal of eating and drinking and making merry, if any one wants to apotheosise the material world into a God, that man is a liar; he has no place in this holy land, the Indian mind does not want to listen to him. Ay, in spite of the sparkle and glitter of Western civilisation, in spite of all its polish and its marvellous manifestation of power, standing upon this platform, I tell them to their face that it is all vain. It is vanity of vanities. God alone lives. The soul alone lives. Spirituality alone lives. Hold on to that.

Yet, perhaps, some sort of materialism, toned down to our own requirements, would be a blessing to many of our brothers who are not yet ripe for the highest truths. This is the mistake made in every country and in every society, and it is a greatly regrettable thing that in India, where it was always understood, the same mistake of forcing the highest truths on people who are not ready for them has been made of late. My method need not be yours. The Sannyasin, as you all know, is the ideal of the Hindu’s life, and every one by our Shâstras is compelled to give up. Every Hindu who has tasted the fruits of this world must give up in the latter part of his life, and he who does not is not a Hindu and has no more right to call himself a Hindu. We know that this is the ideal — to give up after seeing and experiencing the vanity of things. Having found out that the heart of the material world is a mere hollow, containing only ashes, give it up and go back. The mind is circling forward, as it were, towards the senses, and that mind has to circle backwards; the Pravritti has to stop and the Nivritti has to begin. That is the ideal. But that ideal can only be realised after a certain amount of experience. We cannot teach the child the truth of renunciation; the child is a born optimist; his whole life is in his senses; his whole life is one mass of sense-enjoyment. So there are childlike men in every society who require a certain amount of experience, of enjoyment, to see through the vanity of it, and then renunciation will come to them. There has been ample provision made for them in our Books; but unfortunately, in later times, there has been a tendency to bind every one down by the same laws as those by which the Sannyasin is bound, and that is a great mistake. But for that a good deal of the poverty and the misery that you see in India need not have been. A poor man’s life is hemmed in and bound down by tremendous spiritual and ethical laws for which he has no use. Hands off! Let the poor fellow enjoy himself a little, and then he will raise himself up, and renunciation will come to him of itself. Perhaps in this line, we can be taught something by the Western people; but we must be very cautious in learning these things. I am sorry to say that most of the examples one meets nowadays of men who have imbibed the Western ideas are more or less failures.

There are two great obstacles on our path in India, the Scylla of old orthodoxy and the Charybdis of modern European civilisation. Of these two, I vote for the old orthodoxy, and not for the Europeanised system; for the old orthodox man may be ignorant, he may be crude, but he is a man, he has a faith, he has strength, he stands on his own feet; while the Europeanised man has no backbone, he is a mass of heterogeneous ideas picked up at random from every source — and these ideas are unassimilated, undigested, unharmonised. He does not stand on his own feet, and his head is turning round and round. Where is the motive power of his work? — in a few patronizing pats from the English people. His schemes of reforms, his vehement vituperations against the evils of certain social customs, have, as the mainspring, some European patronage. Why are some of our customs called evils? Because the Europeans say so. That is about the reason he gives. I would not submit to that. Stand and die in your own strength, if there is any sin in the world, it is weakness; avoid all weakness, for weakness is sin, weakness is death. These unbalanced creatures are not yet formed into distinct personalities; what are we to call them – men, women, or animals? While those old orthodox people were staunch and were men. There are still some excellent examples, and the one I want to present before you now is your Raja of Ramnad. Here you have a man than whom there is no more zealous a Hindu throughout the length and breadth of this land; here you have a prince than whom there is no prince in this land better informed in all affairs, both oriental and occidental, who takes from every nation whatever he can that is good. “Learn good knowledge with all devotion from the lowest caste. Learn the way to freedom, even if it comes from a Pariah, by serving him. If a woman is a jewel, take her in marriage even if she comes from a low family of the lowest caste.” Such is the law laid down by our great and peerless legislator, the divine Manu. This is true. Stand on your own feet, and assimilate what you can; learn from every nation, take what is of use to you. But remember that as Hindus everything else must be subordinated to our own national ideals. Each man has a mission in life, which is the result of all his infinite past Karma. Each of you was born with a splendid heritage, which is the whole of the infinite past life of your glorious nation. Millions of your ancestors are watching, as it were, every action of yours, so be alert. And what is the mission with which every Hindu child is born? Have you not read the proud declaration of Manu regarding the Brahmin where he says that the birth of the Brahmin is “for the protection of the treasury of religion”? I should say that that is the mission not only of the Brahmin, but of every child, whether boy or girl, who is born in this blessed land “for the protection of the treasury of religion”. And every other problem in life must be subordinated to that one principal theme. That is also the law of harmony in music. There may be a nation whose theme of life is political supremacy; religion and everything else must become subordinate to that one great theme of its life. But here is another nation whose great theme of life is spirituality and renunciation, whose one watchword is that this world is all vanity and a delusion of three days, and everything else, whether science or knowledge, enjoyment or powers, wealth, name, or fame, must be subordinated to that one theme. The secret of a true Hindu’s character lies in the subordination of his knowledge of European sciences and learning, of his wealth, position, and name, to that one principal theme which is inborn in every Hindu child — the spirituality and purity of the race. Therefore between these two, the case of the orthodox man who has the whole of that life-spring of the race, spirituality, and the other man whose hands are full of Western imitation jewels but has no hold on the life-giving principle, spirituality — of these, I do not doubt that every one here will agree that we should choose the first, the orthodox, because there is some hope in him — he has the national theme, something to hold to; so he will live, but the other will die. Just as in the case of individuals, if the principle of life is undisturbed, if the principal function of that individual life is present, any injuries received as regards other functions are not serious, do not kill the individual, so, as long as this principal function of our life is not disturbed, nothing can destroy our nation. But mark you, if you give up that spirituality, leaving it aside to go after the materialising civilisation of the West, the result will be that in three generations you will be an extinct race; because the backbone of the nation will be broken, the foundation upon which the national edifice has been built will be undermined, and the result will be annihilation all round.

Therefore, my friends, the way out is that first and foremost we must keep a firm hold on spirituality — that inestimable gift handed down to us by our ancient forefathers. Did you ever hear of a country where the greatest kings tried to trace their descent not to kings, not to robber-barons living in old castles who plundered poor travellers, but to semi-naked sages who lived in the forest? Did you ever hear of such a land? This is the land. In other countries great priests try to trace their descent to some king, but here the greatest kings would trace their descent to some ancient priest. Therefore, whether you believe in spirituality or not, for the sake of the national life, you have to get a hold on spirituality and keep to it. Then stretch the other hand out and gain all you can from other races, but everything must be subordinated to that one ideal of life; and out of that a wonderful, glorious, future India will come — I am sure it is coming — a greater India than ever was. Sages will spring up greater than all the ancient sages; and your ancestors will not only be satisfied, but I am sure, they will be proud from their positions in other worlds to look down upon their descendants, so glorious, and so great.

Let us all work hard, my brethren; this is no time for sleep. On our work depends the coming of the India of the future. She is there ready waiting. She is only sleeping. Arise and awake and see her seated here on her eternal throne, rejuvenated, more glorious than she ever was — this motherland of ours. The idea of God was nowhere else ever so fully developed as in this motherland of ours, for the same idea of God never existed anywhere else. Perhaps you are astonished at my assertion; but show me any idea of God from any other scripture equal to ours; they have only clan-Gods, the God of the Jews, the God of the Arabs, and of such and such a race, and their God is fighting the Gods of the other races. But the idea of that beneficent, most merciful God, our father, our mother, our friend, the friend of our friends, the soul of our souls, is here and here alone. And may He who is the Shiva of the Shaivites, the Vishnu of the Vaishnavites, the Karma of the Karmis, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jina of the Jains, the Jehovah of the Christians and the Jews, the Allah of the Mohammedans, the Lord of every sect, the Brahman of the Vedantists, He the all-pervading, whose glory has been known only in this land — may He bless us, may He help us, may He give strength unto us, energy unto us, to carry this idea into practice. May that which we have listened to and studied become food to us, may it become strength in us, may it become energy in us to help each other; may we, the teacher and the taught, not be jealous of each other! Peace, peace, peace, in the name of Hari!

जनवरी 25, 2012 Posted by | चरित्र, सामायिक टिपण्णी | , , , , , , , , , , | टिप्पणी करे

दे दी तुने आज़ादी या पायी है हमने बलिदानों से?


जो राष्ट्र अपने वीरों का सम्मान नहीं करता वह अपनी अस्मिता को खो देता है। ऐसे पाप तो रक्त से ही धोये जाते हैं। नेताजी सुभाषचन्द्र बोस ऐसे वीरों में से एक हे जिनके साथ देश के शासन ने न्याय नहीं किया। आज जब सारा देश इस वीर के जन्मदिन को मना रहा है तब इस अन्याय का स्मरण करना आवश्यक हो जाता है। सरकार भले ही स्वयं भूल जाये और प्रयत्नपूर्वक देश की नई पीढ़ियों को इतिहास के इस महत्वपूर्ण तथ्य से अनभिज्ञ रखें पर सत्य तो घनघोर बादलों को चीर कर आलोकित होनेवाले सूर्य के समान अपने आप को प्रगट कर ही देता है। पर जब प्रस्थापित व्यवस्था जानबूझकर बलिदानों को भूलाने के घोर पातक करती है तो कीमत पूरे राष्ट्र को चुकानी पड़ती है। क्यों आज भारत में समस्त क्षमताओं के होते हुए हम दुय्यम नेतृत्व की कायर नीतियों को सहनें के लिये विवश है? पूरे देश से ही वीरत्व ना केवल लुप्त हो रहा है इसे तिरस्करणीय बनाया जा रहा है। आतंक, साम्प्रदायिकता व भ्रष्टाचार से इस पावन मातृभूमि को बार बार क्षत विक्षत किया जा रहा है। सर्वस्व देश के लिये अर्पण करनेवाले वीर के बलिदान को भी जब विवादास्पद बना दिया जाता है; न्यूनगण्ड से ग्रसित नेतृत्व अपनी सत्ता को खोने के भय से जब अपने वीर राष्ट्रनायक को षड़यन्त्र पूर्वक जीवित ही समाधि में गाड़ देने के लिये संदेह से देखे जाते है तब पूरे राष्ट्र को अपने रक्त, स्वेद ओर मेद की आहुति से कीमत चुकानी पड़ती है।

कुछ वर्ष पूर्व जब अपने विराट योग शिविरों में स्वामी रामदेवजी ने यह प्रश्न पूछना शुरु किया कि हमको क्या अधिकार है कि हम, ‘‘दे दी तुने आज़ादी हमे बिना खड्ग बिना ढ़ाल’’ जैसे पूर्णतः असत्य गीतों को आलापकर हमारे वीरों के बलिदान का अपमान करें, तब इसे गांधी के विरुद्ध बात कहकर उनकी आलोचना की गई। पर क्या वर्तमान पीढ़ि को अधिकार नहीं हे कि वे इतिहास का वस्तुनिष्ठ विश्लेषण समस्त उपलब्ध अभिलेखों के आधार पर करें? क्या आज के दिन यह प्रश्न नहीं पुछा जाना चाहिये कि गीता का प्रतिदिन पाठ करने वाले हे महात्मा, अंधे धृतराष्ट्र के समान किस मोह में पड़कर तूने काँग्रेस अधिवेशन में लोकतान्त्रिक विधि से निर्वाचित सुभाषचन्द्र बोस को हटाकर अपने चमचे पट्टाभिसीतारामय्या को अध्यक्ष बनाया था? हम में से कम ही लोग इस ऐतिहासिक तथ्य से अवगत होंगे कि इसी विराट हृदय के योद्धा ने इस अन्याय के बाद भी मोहनदास करमचंद गांधी को राष्ट्रपिता की उपाधि दी। नेताजी का प्रशंसा की अतिशयोक्ति में कहा गया विशेषण आज ऐसा चिपक गया है कि हम गांधी के निर्णयों का विश्लेषण ही नहीं करना चाहते। ऐसा करने का नाम लेना भी मानों घोर अपराध है।

पर 1947 में भारत के स्वतंत्र होने के महत्वपूर्ण अध्याय का तो विश्लेषण करना ही होगा ना। महानायक सुभाष बाबू के जन्मदिन से अधिक उपयुक्त पर्व इस पावन कार्य के लिये और कौनसा होगा। आधुनिक भारत के निर्विवाद रुप से सबसे सशक्त इतिहासकार आर सी मजुमदार ने इस पूरी घटना के बारे में स्पष्टता से लिखा है। अहिंसा, ‘भारत छोड़ो’ आंदोलन के माध्यम से गांधी को भारत की स्वतंत्रता पूरा श्रेय देनेवाले इतिहास को रोज रोज पढ़नेवाले और ‘दे दी हमें . . .’ के तरानों को निर्लज्जता से दोहरानेवाले भारतवासी इस ऐतिहासिक सच्चाई को अवश्य पढ़े।

Majumdar, R.C., Three Phases of India’s Struggle for Freedom, Bombay, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1967, pp. 58-59. There is, however, no basis for the claim that the Civil Disobedience Movement directly led to independence. The campaigns of Gandhi … came to an ignoble end about fourteen years before India achieved independence…. During the First World War the Indian revolutionaries sought to take advantage of German help in the shape of war materials to free the country by armed revolt. But the attempt did not succeed. During the Second World War Subhas Bose followed the same method and created the INA. In spite of brilliant planning and initial success, the violent campaigns of Subhas Bose failed…. The Battles for India’s freedom were also being fought against Britain, though indirectly, by Hitler in Europe and Japan in Asia. None of these scored direct success, but few would deny that it was the cumulative effect of all the three that brought freedom to India. In particular, the revelations made by the INA trial, and the reaction it produced in India, made it quite plain to the British, already exhausted by the war, that they could no longer depend upon the loyalty of the sepoys for maintaining their authority in India. This had probably the greatest influence upon their final decision to quit India.

अंतिम पंक्ति में वे स्पष्ट लिखते है कि आज़ाद हिन्द सेना के वीरों के उपर चलाये गये देशद्रोह के मुकदमें में उजागर तथ्यों व उनपर पूरे देश में उठी प्रतिक्रियाओं के कारण द्वितीय महायुद्ध में क्षीण हुए ब्रिटिश साम्राज्य का भारत में टिका रहना असम्भव था। वे भारत में उनकी सेना के सिपाहियों पर विश्वास नहीं कर सकते थे। इस बात का भारत छोड़ने के उनके अंतिम निर्णय पर सर्वाधिक प्रभाव था।

नेताजी भारत छोड़कर विदेश जाने से पूर्व रत्नागिरी में स्थानबद्ध सावरकर से मिलने गये थे। सावरकर ने उन्हें द्वितीय महायुद्ध के समय विदेश में जाकर सेना गठित करने का सुझाव दिया। योरोप के क्रांतिकारियों से अपने सम्पर्क भी उन्होंने नेताजी को दिये। इन्हीं में से एक की सहायता से नेताजी अफगानिस्तान मार्ग से योरोप पहुँचे। सावरकर की योजना का दूसरा अंग था- ब्रिटिश सेना का हिन्दवीकरण अर्थात हिन्दूओं क सैनिकीकरण। कुछ वर्ष पूर्व अंडमान से सावरकर के नाम पट्ट को हटाने वाले देशद्रोही नेता सावरकर के जिस पत्र का हवाला देकर उन्हें अंग्रजों का एजण्ट कहते थे वही पत्र सावरकर की चाणक्य नीति का परिचायक है। सावरकर ने अंग्रेजों को इस बात के लिये अनुमति मांगी कि वे देशभर घूमघूम कर युवाओं को सेना में भरती होने का आवाहन करना चाहते है। महायुद्ध के लिये सेना की मांग के चलते सावरकर को स्थानबद्धता से मुक्त किया गया। सावरकर ने देशभर में सभायें कर हिन्दू युवाओं से सेना में भरती होने को कहा। एक अनुमान के अनुसार उनके आह्वान के प्रत्यूत्तर के रूप में 6 लाख से अधिक हिन्दू सेना में भरती हूए। एक साथी के शंका करने पर सावरकर ने उत्तर दिया कि 20 साल पूर्व जिस ब्रिटिश शासन ने हमारे शस्त्र छीने थे वह आज स्वयं हमें शस्त्र देने को तत्पर है। एक बार हमारे युवाओं को शस्त्रबद्ध हो जाने दों। समय आने पर वे तय करेंगे कि इसे किस दिशा में चलाना है।

योजना यह थी कि बाहर से सुभाष की आज़ाद हिन्द सेना चलो दिल्ली के अभियान को छेड़ेगी और जब उनसे लड़ने के लिये अंग्रेज भारतीय सेना के भेजेंगे तो यह सावरकरी युवक विद्रोह कर देंगे। हिरोशिमा व नागासाकी पर हुए अमानवीय आण्विक हमले के कारण जापान के असमय युद्धविराम कर देने से यह योजना इस रूप में पूण नही हो सकीं। किन्तु भारत के स्वतन्त्रता अधिनियम को ब्रिटिश पार्लियामेण्ट में प्रस्तुत करते समय प्रधानमन्त्री क्लेमण्ट एटली द्वारा दिये कारण इस योजना की सफलता को स्पष्ट करते है। उन्होंने अपनी असमर्थता में सेना के विद्रोह की बात को पूर्ण स्पष्टता से कहा है। गांधी के ‘भारत छोड़ो’ अथवा सविनय आज्ञाभंग का उसमें कतई उल्लेख नहीं मिलता। आज़ाद हिन्द सेना का भय व भारतीय सेना पर अविश्वास के अलावा बाकि कारण केवल दिखावटी सिद्धान्त मात्र है।
कलकत्ता उच्च न्यायालय के पुर्व मुख्य न्यायाधीश पी वी चक्रवर्ति के 30 मार्च 1976 को लिखे पत्र से स्पष्ट है कि एटली ने उन्हें साफ शब्दों में भारत की स्वतन्त्रता के समय ब्रिटिश सोच के बारे में बताया था।

Dhanjaya Bhat, Writing in The Tribune,Sunday, February 12, 2006. Spectrum Suppl.

Which phase of our freedom struggle won for us Independence? Mahatma Gandhi’s 1942 Quit India movement or The INA army launched by Netaji Bose to free India or the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny of 1946? According to the British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, during whose regime India became free, it was the INA and the RIN Mutiny of February 18–23, 1946 that made the British realize that their time was up in India. It has been argued that when the leaders of the Congress were finally released, they came out as tired and broken men. This allowed the British and the sectarian parties to press home the advantage and negotiate better terms for themselves. An extract from a letter written by P.V. Chuckraborty, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court, on March 30, 1976, reads thus: “When I was acting as Governor of West Bengal in 1956, Lord Clement Attlee, who as the British Prime Minister in post war years was responsible for India’s freedom, visited India and stayed in Raj Bhavan Calcutta for two days`85 I put it straight to him like this: ‘The Quit India Movement of Gandhi practically died out long before 1947 and there was nothing in the Indian situation at that time, which made it necessary for the British to leave India in a hurry. Why then did they do so?’ In reply Attlee cited several reasons, the most important of which were the INA activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, which weakened the very foundation of the British Empire in India, and the RIN Mutiny which made the British realise that the Indian armed forces could no longer be trusted to prop up the British. When asked about the extent to which the British decision to quit India was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s 1942 movement, Attlee’s lips widened in smile of disdain and he uttered, slowly, ‘Minimal’.”

माननीय न्यायमुर्ति के अनुसार पूर्व प्रधानमन्त्री एटलीने दो बाते बिलकुल स्पष्टता से कही है – 1. गांधी का असहयोग व सविनय आज्ञाभंग का आंदोलन तो कबका समाप्त हो गया था। स्पष्ट प्रश्न के उत्तर में उन्होंने कहा कि उसका प्रभाव ‘नहीं के बराबर’ था। 2. भारत छोड़ने की जल्दबाजी के मुख्य कारणों में सुभाष जी की आज़ाद हिन्द सेना और भारतीय शाही नौसेना में विद्रोह से उपजे अविश्वास को गिनाया।

अब इन तथ्यों पर चर्चा करने का समय आ गया है। केवल स्वतन्त्रता के श्रेय की बात नहीं, भारत के खोये आत्मविश्वास को पुनः पाने की बात है। कब तक भीरु बनकर मार खाने के तराने गर्व से गाते रहेंगे? दे दी तुने आज़ादी कहते लज्जा नहीं आती? अरे क्या किसी ने भीक्षा में दी है ये स्वतन्त्रता? वीरों ने अपने बासंती बलिदान से छीनी है अत्याचारी के क्रूर कराल जबड़े से माता की धानी चुनरियाँ।

‘दे दी . . ’ के कायर तराने छोड़ो! वीर सुभाष के जन्मदिन पर गर्व से सिंहगर्जन करों – दे दी तुने आज़ादी नहीं पायी है हमने बलिदानों से स्वतन्त्रता ! वीरों की शहादत ने छिनी है जालीम से आज़ादी। किसी का उपकार नही अपने लहू के पराक्रम की है ये गाथा।

हे वीर सुभाष! अच्छा ही है कि इस कायर सरकार के विज्ञापनों से अपवित्र नहीं है आपकी जयंति। हमारे हृदय की हर धड़कन में तेरा हर संघर्ष आज भी है जीवित। कसम है हमें किसी अज्ञात कोने में तुम्हारे अंतेष्टि को तरसते अस्थियों की – तुम्हारी गाथा को हम दुखान्तिका मे न बदलने देंगे। अपने पौरुष से तेरा खोया सम्मान पुनः दिलायेंगे।
जय हिन्द  . . .

जनवरी 23, 2012 Posted by | चरित्र, सामायिक टिपण्णी | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 टिप्पणियाँ

जाग उठी है तरुणाई !


विवेकानन्द जयंती १२ जनवरी “राष्ट्रीय युवा दिवस” पर विशेष:


‘‘मेरी आशा युवाओं में है। इनमें से मेरे कार्यकर्ता आयेंगे।’’ स्वामी विवेकानन्द ने कहा था। युवा शक्ति ने प्रतिसाद भी दिया और देश के लिये अपने आप को समर्पित कर दिया। भारतीय स्वतन्त्रता संग्राम में सम्मिलित क्रांतिकारी हो या असहयोग के शांतिपूर्ण मार्ग से विरोध प्रदर्शन करने वाले देशभक्त हो दोनों ही ने स्वामी विवेकानन्द से प्रेरणा प्राप्त की। वर्तमान में भी भारत को पुनः उस जागरण की आवश्यकता है।
शिकागों से लौटते ही रामेश्वरम के किनारे पर अपने सम्बोधन में स्वामी विवेकानन्द ने कहा था, ‘‘सूदीर्घ रजनी अब समाप्तप्राय सी दिखाई देती है। लम्बी काली रात टल गई अब उषा होने को है। यह सोया भारत जाग उठा है। केवल अन्धे देख नही सकते, विक्षिप्तबुद्धि समझ नहीं सकते कि यह सुप्त विराट जाग गया है। हिमालय से चल रही मंद शीतल लहर ने इस महाकाय को जगा दिया है। अपनी नियती को यह प्राप्त करके रहेगा। विश्व की कोई शक्ति इसे नहीं रोक सकती।’’
वर्तमान में एक ओर स्वामीजी की भविष्यवाणी सत्य होने के लक्षण दिखाई दे रहे है। देश की युवाशक्ति अनेक क्षेत्रों में नये नये कीर्तिमान गढ़ रही है। ज्ञान-विज्ञान, आर्थिक विकास, अंतरिक्ष तकनिक, संगणक, व्यापार आदि सब में भारतीय युवा पुनः अपने खोये गौरव को प्राप्त कर विश्व नेतृत्व की ओर अग्रेसर है। भारत विश्व का सर्वाधिक युवा जनसंख्या वाला देश बन गया है। इतना ही नहीं विश्व के सर्वाधिक अभियंता व चिकित्सक निर्माण करने का श्रेय भी हमें ही है। इसके साथ ही इतनी बड़ी कुशल व अकुशल श्रामिक संख्या भी और किसी देश के पास नहीं है। जनसंख्या में चीन भले ही हमसे आगे हो किंतु उसकी औसत आयु प्रौढ़ता की ओर है और 3 वर्षों में वहाँ कार्यबल इतना कम हो जायेगा कि वर्तमान उत्पादकता बनाये रखने के लिये भी उसे अन्य आशियाई देशों की सहायता लेनी होगी। आध्यात्मिक क्षेत्र में तो भारत का वर्चस्व सदा से ही रहा है।
किन्तु दूसरी ओर एक राष्ट्र के रुप में भारत की स्थिति बड़ी विकट है। देश चारों ओर से चुनौतियों से घिरा हुआ है। चीन व पाकिस्तान का आपसी गठजोड़ सामरिक रूप से भारत को चारों ओर से घेर रहा है। इसी समय हमारी प्रशासकीय व्यवस्था पूर्णतः चरमराई हुई दिखाई पड़ रही है। समाज में मूल्यों के ह्रास का संकट है। शासन द्वारा अल्पसंख्यकों के नाम पर चल रहा तुष्टीकरण का खेल फिर से विभाजन जैसे हालात पैदा कर रहा है। अर्थात चारों ओर चुनौती ही चुनौती है।


अवसर व चुनौती के एकसाथ सामने है ऐसे समय देश के युवाशक्ति को सन्नध होना होगा। अपनी तरुणाई को ललकार कर शक्ति को जागृत करना होगा। युवा की परिभाषा ही बल से है। स्वामी विवेकानन्द युवाओं से आवाहन किया करते थे, ‘‘मुझे चाहिये लोहे की मांसपेशियाँ, फौलाद का स्नायुतन्त्र व वज्र का सा हृदय।’’ शारीरिक बल, मानसिक बल व आत्मबल तीनों से युक्त युवा ही स्वामीजी का कार्य कर सकता है। स्थान स्थान पर फिर आखाड़े लगें। बलोपासना को पुनः जगाने का प्रसंग है। जागों युवा साथियों अपनी कमर कस कर खड़े हो जाओ। माँ की सेवा के लिये सामर्थ्य जुटाओं!
तरुणाई का आह्वान है तो साहस तो चाहिये ही। स्वामीजी के शब्दों में, ‘‘समुद्र को पी जाने का साहस, सागर तल की गहराई से माती चुन लाने का साहस, मृत्यु का सामना कर सके ऐसा साहस।’’ साहस की जागृति होती हे वीरव्रत के धारण करने से। युवा के जीवन में व्रत हो। व्रत के बिना जीवन व्यर्थ है। व्रत अर्थात संकल्प के साथ चुनौती धारण कर किया पूर्ण नियोजित कार्य। जागो भारती के पुत्रों वीरेश्वर विवेकानन्द के समान वीरव्रती बनों।
राष्ट्रीय चुनौतियों का प्रतिसाद भी राष्ट्रीय होना होगा। अतः सामर्थ्य व साहस से सम्पन्न युवाओं को संगठित होना होगा। स्वामी जी ने भारत को संगठन का मन्त्र देकर सामूहिक साधना की वैदिक परम्परा का पुनर्जागरण किया। उनकी प्रेरणा व विचार से ही देश में सकारात्मक कार्य करनेवाले सामाजिक, सांस्कृतिक, आध्यात्मिक तथा वैचारिक संवा संगठनों का महाप्रवाह प्रारम्भ हुआ। वीर पूत्रों अपनी स्वार्थी तमनिद्रा को त्याग संगठित हो जाओ। सदियों की मानसिक दासता से उत्पन्न इर्ष्या का त्याग कर साथ कंधे से कंधा मिलाकर काम करनें को तत्पर हो जाओ। जहाँ जहाँ हो वही संगठित होकर देशसेवा में लग जाओ। स्वामीजी का आश्वासन हमारे साथ है, ‘‘मेरे बच्चों यदि तुम मेरी योजना पर कार्य करना प्रारम्भ कर दो तो मै सदा तुम्हारे साथ कंधे से कंधा मिलाकर कार्य करुंगा। इसके लिये मुझे बार बार ही क्यों ना जन्म लेना पड़े?’’
जागृत, सामर्थ्यशाली, वीर व संगठित तरुणाई को समर्पित भी होना होगा। समर्पण के बिना, आहुती के बिना तो सारा प्रयास ही अधुरा रह जाता है। स्वामीजी कहते है, ‘‘उठो! काम में लग जाओं! अपने आप को झोंक दो। कोई व्यक्तिगगत चिंता ना करों भगवति सब चिंता करेगी। मेरे बच्चों मै तुमसे अपार प्रेम करता हूँ। इसीलिये चाहता हूँ कि देश का काम करते करते तुम हँस कर मृत्यु का वरण करों!’’ कितना अद्भूत प्रेम! क्या हम इस अनल प्रेम का प्राशन करने के अधिकारी है? क्या इतना समर्पण है कि अपने आप को मिटाकर माँ भारती की सेवा में लग जाये?
स्वामी विवेकानन्द के 149 वी जयन्ति 12 जनवरी के अवसर पर हम संकल्पबद्ध होकर स्वामीजी को जन्मदिन पर अपने युवा जीवन का उपहार प्रदान करें। ताकि फिर गान गूँज उठे
जाग उठी है तरुणाई!!

जनवरी 11, 2012 Posted by | चरित्र, सामायिक टिपण्णी | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 टिप्पणियाँ

कल्पतरु दिवस 1 जनवरी


श्री रामकृष्ण-विवेकानन्द भावधारा में 1 जनवरी को कल्पतरु दिवस के रुप में मनाया जाता है। इसके पीछे के इतिहास को देखने से पहले हम थोड़ा वर्तमान में मनाये जा रहे नववर्ष के बारे में सोच ले। ताकि ये मन में स्पष्ट हो कि केवल इसके बदले में कल्पतरु दिवस नहीं मनाया जा रहा। वास्तव में नववर्ष सारी दुनिया के लिये एक मनाने का आग्रह ही बड़ा विचित्र है। उत्सव तब मनाया जाता है जब मन में उत्साह हों। वातावरण में उत्साह हो या कोई ऐतिहासिक, सांस्कृतिक कारण हो आनन्द का उल्हास का। तब उत्सव मनाया जाता है। भारत में मुख्य नववर्ष वर्षप्रतिपदा पर होता है, जो मार्च अथवा अपैल के माह में होता है। उस समय अधिकतर भारत में उत्साह का वातावरण भी होता है। किन्तु फिर भी भारत के ही भिन्न भिन्न स्थानों पर अलग अलग समय पर नववर्ष होता है। गुजरात में दिवाली के समय होता हैं आसाम में भी अलग समय होता है।
भारत की जलवायु के अनुसार 1 जनवरी यह नववर्ष के लिये उपयोगी समय नहीं हैं। ग्रहों की दृष्टि से भी उस समय दक्षिणायन का अंत हो रहा होता है। ऋतु भी कड़ाके की सर्दी की होती है। निसर्ग भी आराम कर रहा होता हैं ऐसे में एत्सव नहीं मनाया जाता। भारत के अधिकतर भागों में इसे मल मास कहते है। इस समय में अपने मल अर्थात  मन, बुद्धि व शरीर के मैल को साफ करना होता है। अतः 31 दिसम्बर की काली रात को मध्यरात्री अथवा दूसरे दिन ठण्डी सुबह भी नववर्ष को मनाना उचित नहीं है। केवल विदेशी वर्ष की ही बात नहीं है यह विज्ञान की बात है।
जैसाकि उपर बताया गया यह मैल को धोने के लिये उपयुक्त समय है। अतः साधना का समय है। 1886 में अपनी महासमाधि से कुछ ही माह पूर्व स्वामी विवेकानन्द के गुरु श्रीरामकृष्ण परमहंस ने 1 जनवरी की शाम अपने शिष्यों को बड़ा ही अद्भूत प्रसाद प्रदान किया। काशिपुर उद्यान की घटना है। ठाकुर को गले का कर्करोग (Cancer) था। विश्राम के लिये काशिपुर उद्यान में वास्तव्य था पर भक्तगण तो रहते ही थे। शाम के समय जब कीर्तनानन्द में सब निमग्न थे तब ठाकुर समाधि से उठकर प्रांगण में आ गये। गिरीश घोष उनके साथ थे। उन्होंने गिरीश से पूछा, ‘‘ तुम मुझे क्या मानते हो?’’ वैसे ये प्रश्न वे गिरीश से कई बार कर चुके थे। गिरीशबाबू ने पूरी श्रद्धा से उत्तर दिया, ‘‘हम सब आपको ईश्वर का अवतार मानते है।’’ किसी बालक की भाँति श्री रामकुष्णदेव प्रसन्न हुए। ‘‘अब मै और क्या कहू?’’ ऐसा कुछ कहते हूए समाधिमग्न हो गये। समाधि से बाहर आते ही उन्होने सब शिष्यों पर अपनी कृपावृष्टि प्रारम्भ की। किसी को गले लगाकर, किसी को केवल दृष्टिक्षेप से उन्होने उपकृत किया। वह अलौकिक आशिर्वाद था। उस दिन उस समय जो भी वहाँ उपस्थित थे उन्न्होंने अपने अन्दर अलौकिक आध्यात्मिक शक्ति का संचार अनुभव किया। उनके शिष्य बताते है वर्षों से जिस जिस लक्ष्य को लेकर वे साधना कर रहे थे। ठाकुर के आशिर्वाद से वे उस दिन साक्षात हो गये। जो माँ के दर्शन करना चाहता था उसे वह मिल गया। जो मन क शांति चाहता था उसे वह मिल गया। जो भक्ति चाहता था उसे अविचल भक्ति का प्रसाद मिला। कोई निराकार को अनुभव करना चाहता था। उसकी वह ईच्छा पूर्ण हुई। ठाकुर स्वयं साक्षात् कल्पतरु बन गये।
कल्पतरु अथवा कल्पवृक्ष एक ऐसा वृक्ष है जिसके नीचे बैठकर जो भी ईच्छा की जाये वह पूर्ण होती है। ऐसी ही शक्ति कामधेनु में भी मानी गई है। इसीलिये भारत में गाय का बड़ा महत्व है। गोमाता की सेवा में भी मन, बुद्धि व शरीर का मैल धोने की क्षमता है। गाय के सान्निध्य में कोई विकार नहीं टिकता।
कामधेनु, कल्पतरू, यह सामाजिक साधना के ही नाम है। राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ के द्वितीय सरसंघचालक श्री गुरूजी कल्पवृक्ष के बारे में एक कथा सुनाया करते थे। एक राज्य में यह प्रचलित था कि एक गुरुकुल में कल्पवृक्ष है। राजा को भी इसका समाचार था पर वो इसे केवल अंधश्रद्धा मानता था। एक बार राज्य में लगातार तीन वर्ष तक अकाल आया। राजा ने अपनी ओर से सब प्रयास किये पर तीन वर्ष तक अनावृष्टि से जब अन्न की ही कमी आ गयी तो वह क्या करेगा? भूख से मरती प्रजा के दुख को देखकर अन्ततः उसने विचार किया कि इस कल्पवृक्ष की मान्यता को जाँच ही लिया जाय। जब वह आश्रम पंहुचा तो उसने पाया कि गुरु और सारे शिष्य उग्र श्रम में लगे है। राजा ने गुरुजी से कल्पवृक्ष के बारे में पूछा टोर अपने आने का उद्देश्य बताया। गुरु जी ने कल्पवृक्ष के होने की पूष्टि की और राज को वहाँ भेज दिया। राजा ने कल्पवृक्ष से बारीश के लिये वरदान मांगा और उनकी ईच्छा तुरंत पूर्ण हो गई। वापिस आने पर राजा ने गुरु से पूछा एक शंका है जब आपके पास कल्पवृक्ष है तो फिर आप और सारे शिष्य इतने काम में क्यों लगे हो? गुरुजी का उत्तर कलपतरु दिवस पर मननीय है। कल्पवृक्ष में समाज की इच्छाओं का वरदान देने की शक्ति हमारे तप और त्याग से ही आती है। यदि हम त्याग और श्रम छोड़ देंगे तो कल्पवृक्ष का बल भी जाता रहेगा।
समाज में जब त्याग जीवित होता है तब ऐसा आदर्श समाज ही कल्पतरु के समान हो जाता है। फिर वहाँ कोई भी भूखा नहीं होता। प्रत्येक की ईच्छापूर्ति के धार्मिक साधन समाज उपलब्ध करा देता है। हमारे महापुरूष अपने तप से हम पर कुपादृष्टि का वरदान देकर हमारी इस त्याग व तप के जीवन में श्रद्धा को दृढ़ करते है। 16 अगस्त 1886 को शरीर छोडने से पूर्व 1 जनवरी को ठाकुर ने अपने शिष्यों पर ऐसी ही कृपा की, ताकि हम इस तप के पथ पर सदा दृढ़ता से अग्रेसर होते रहें।
अपने व्रत को सम्बल प्रदान करने हम सब 1 जनवरी को कल्पतरु दिवस मनाते है। उस दिन शाम को भजन करते है। श्रीरामकृष्ण की जीवनी, लीलीप्रसंग अथवा भक्तमालिका में से इस प्रसंग का पठन करते है। ठाकुर के समक्ष अपनी उदात्त इच्छा, जीवन के आध्यात्मिक, सामाजिक अथवा राष्ट्रीय ध्येय को प्रगट करते है। हमारी श्रद्धा है कि सच्चे मन से इस दिन की हुई प्रार्थना व्यर्थ नहीं जाती। हाँ ! पर एक याद रहे प्रार्थना स्वार्थ की ना हो। व्यक्तिगत प्रार्थनाओं के बारे में कोई खातरी नहीं दे सकते। उसका असर तो उलटा होता है। स्वार्थ तो मन का मैल बढ़ाता है घटाता नहीं।

जनवरी 1, 2012 Posted by | चरित्र, सामायिक टिपण्णी | , , , , , , , , , | 2 टिप्पणियाँ

विवेकानन्द और ख्रिसमस


स्वामी विवेकानन्द के जीवन में 25 दिसम्बर का बड़ा ही ऐतिहासिक महत्व है। किन्तु जैसा कि कुछ लोगों द्वारा अतिउत्साह में प्रचारित किया जाता है उसका ख्रिसमस के साथ कोई सीधा सम्बन्ध नहीं है। सहिष्णुता व सर्वपंथसमभाव की स्वामीजी की संकल्पना को ठीक से ना समझने का यह परिणाम है। वर्तमान समय में प्रचलित ‘सेक्युलर’ शब्दावली के अर्थ के सन्दर्भ में स्वामीजी की सद्भावना को रखकर विकृत किया जाता है। स्वामीजी ने कभी भी इस प्रकार की संकल्पना नहीं रखी कि भारतीय संस्कृति के मूल तत्वों के साथ समझौता करने को पंथनिरपेक्षता माना जाय। स्वामीजी तो इसाइयों के बीच में जाकर उनको उनकी सैद्धांतिक व व्यावहारिक तृटियों को स्पष्टतः बताते थे। शिकागो की सर्वधर्मसभा में उन्होंने 20 सितम्बर को स्पष्टतः इसाइयों को चेतावनी दी थी कि भारत में उनके धर्मप्रसार व मतांतरण की कोई आवश्यकता नहीं है। लंदन में बालते हुए उन्होंने यहा तक कहा था कि जितना कीचड़ इसाई मिशनरियों ने हिन्दूओं के विरुद्ध उछाला है उसकी तुलना में तो बंगाल की खाडी के तल से सारा गर्त उठाकर उन पर ड़ाला जाय तो भी कम होगा। इसाई पाद्रियों को दिये गये इस व्याख्यान का विषय था ‘‘ईसा मसीह की ओर लौटों।’’ स्वामीजी के मन में ईसा मसीह की करुणा के प्रति बड़ी श्रद्धा थी।  किन्तु वे स्पष्टतः जानते थे की चर्च ने ईसा के मार्ग को कब का छोड़ दिया है।
प्रत्येक हिन्दू के समान ही उनका विश्वास था कि ईश्वर तक कई मार्गों से जाया जा सकता है। अतः किसी का यह सोचना कि केवल उसका ही सम्प्रदाय मुक्ति का एकमात्र मार्ग है यह अपने आप में स्वीकार्य नहीं था। स्वामीजी ने शिकागो की सभा में दिये समापन भाषण में 27 सितम्बर को स्पष्ट कहा था कि कोई यदि ऐसा विचार करता है तो मै उस पर दया करता हूँ। यह बात सीधे सीधे ग्रंथाधारित, एकांगी, अब्राहमिक पंथों के लिये कही गई थी। इसाई तथा इस्लाम ने इसी गैरविश्वास के कारण अपने संगठित अस्तीत्व के प्रारम्भ से ही सदा धर्मयुद्ध किये है। जिहाद व क्रुसेड़ के कारण ही पुरी पृथ्वी को कई बार लहूलूहान किया गया था। स्वामीजी ने इस बात पर सीधे आलोचना शिकागों में की थी। यह भी स्पष्ट किया था कि पूर्व के पंथ, अर्थात भारतीय मूल के सम्प्रदाय, जिनकी जननी हिन्दूत्व है उनका इतिहास ऐसे किसी रक्तरंजित प्रसार का साक्षी नहीं है। लंदन में ये पूछे जाने पर कि आप भारत को महान कैसे कह सकते हैं जब विश्व इतिहास में आपने कभी किसी पर आक्रमण कर विजय ही नहीं प्राप्त की? क्योंकि पश्चिमी दृष्टि में आक्रमण व विश्वविजय ही महानता का लक्षण है। स्वामीजी ने तपाक से उत्तर दिया यही हमारी महानता है कि हमने कभी किसी पर आक्रमण नहीं किया। भारत से निकला हर संदेश प्रेम व शांति से ही प्रसारित हुआ है। अतः वर्तमान में जब स्वामीजी के बाहर देशों में दिये गये उद्धरणों को संदर्भ से हटाकर हिन्दूओं के लिये कहा जाता है तो वह अर्थहीन हो जाता है।
स्वामीजी के जीवन में 25 दिसम्बर से जुड़ी दो महत्वपूर्ण घटनायें हैं। एक तो 1886 की है जब ठाकूर की समाधि के बाद महत्प्रयास से स्वामीजी ने उनके युवा वैरागी शिष्यों को वराहनगर के एक भूतहा बंगले में एकत्रित किया था। 1886 का वर्ष स्वामीजी के लिये बड़ा ही विपदाओं भरा था। ठाकूर के जाने के बाद उनके युवा शिष्यों को जोड़े रखना एक चुनौति थी। स्वयं की घर की समस्या भी विकराल थी। रामकृष्ण भावधारा के गृहस्थ शिष्य किसी मठ या सन्यासी परम्परा के पक्ष में नहीं थे। अतः उनमें से कुछ का ही सहयोग मिल पाता था। कुछ युवा साथी भी परिवार के दबाव में घर लौट गये थे। उनसे सम्पर्क बनाये रखना कठीन किन्तु आवश्यक था। ठाकुर इन शिष्यों का भार स्वामीजी पर सौंप गये थे। इस काल में नरेन्द्रनाथ ने किस प्रकार संगठन को आकार दिया यह अध्ययन हम सभी कार्यकर्ताओं के लिये अत्यन्त प्रेरक है। कम ही लोग जानते है कि किस प्रकार स्वामीजी एक एक युवा साथी के घर जाकर उसे ठाकुर की याद दिलाया करते थे। कई बार उन मित्रों के घर के लोगों ने और कई बार तो स्वयं उन साथियों ने भी स्वामीजी का अपमान किया था। पर स्वामीजी ड़टें रहे। कहते है किसी साथी के द्वार को वे 3 घण्टे तक खटखटाते रहे बिना किसी संकोच के और इतने अपमानजनक व्यवहार के बाद भी जब द्वार खुला तो ऐसे प्रेम से मिले जैसे विरह के बाद अपने भाई से मिल रहे हो। फिर घण्टों सत्संग चला। ठाकुर की छोटी छोटी बाते, स्नेह और भक्ति के प्रसंगों पर चर्चा हुई। इस सम्पर्क ने उस साथी को गृहस्थी के फेर में जाने से बचा लिया।
ऐसे एक एक हीरे को जोड़कर वराहनगर मठ की स्थापना हुई। ठाकुर के पुष्प वहाँ पूजे गये। और मठ इन युवाओं की साधना स्थली बन गई। 24 दिसंबर 1886 की रात सब युवा आग के चारों ओर बैठर ध्यान कर रहे थे। उस दिन ध्यान कुछ ज्यादा ही गहरा लगा। ध्यान से जागृत होते ही अचानक नरेन्द्र आविष्ट सा वक्तृत्व देने लगा। सब ध्यान पूर्वक सुन रहे थे। ठाकुर के सेवा संन्देश के बारे में बालते बोलते अचानक ईसा का विषया चल पड़ा दीन दुखियों के प्रति करुणा के उनके संदेश का भावपूर्ण वर्णन नरेन्द्र के मुख से निसृत हो रहा था। उन्होंने अपने साथियों का आहवान किया कि जिस तरहा इसा के संदेशवाहको (Aposltles)  ने उनके संदेश को पूनर्जीवित कर विश्व में प्रसारित किया हम भी ठाकूर के जीवन संदेश के वैरागी प्रसारक बन जाये। स्वामीजी के भावपूर्ण वक्तव्य के प्रभाव में सभी साथी उठ खड़े हुए और अग्नि को साक्षी मानकर सन्यास व रामकृष्ण भावधारा के प्रसार की शपथ ग्रहण की बाद में किसी को ध्यान आया कि मध्यरात्री उलट चुकी थी व ख्रिसमस का शुभारम्भ हो चुका था। स्वामीजी व उनके गुरूभाइयों ने सन्यास की विधिवत् दीक्षा बाद मे सम्भवतः जनवरी 1887 के तीसरे सप्ताह में विरजा होम के द्वारा स्वयं का तर्पण कर ली थी। पूरी घटना को अनुसंधानपूर्ण वर्णन विवेकानन्द केन्द्र द्वारा प्रकाशित Comprehensive Biography of Swami Vivekananda में लेखक शैलेन्द्रनाथ धर ने किया है। जो इस आलेख के अन्त में ज्यों का त्यों दिया है।
इस प्रसंग को लेकर कई बार यह कहा जाता है कि स्वामीजी ने ख्रिसमस के दिन सन्यास ग्रहण किया। इस बात को लेकर कई भक्त आज भी इस उत्सव को मनाते है। इस सन्दर्भ में स्वामीजी की भूमिका को स्पष्टतः समझने की आवश्यकता है। अन्यथा हम उनकी ईच्छा के विपरित कार्य करने के दोषी होंगे। आज पूरे देश के विशेषकर जनजातीय पीछड़े क्षेत्र में इसाई मिशनरी ख्रिसमस का उपयोग बड़े प्रमाण में मतांतरण के लिये कर रहे है। यह मतांतरण राष्ट्रविरोधी शक्तियों का पोषण करता है। पूर्वोत्तर के कई अलगाववादी आतंकी संगठनों के साथ ही माओवादी आतंकी भी चर्च का प्रश्रय व सहयोग प्राप्त करते है यह स्पष्ट हो चुका है। ऐसे में स्वामीजी के नाम पर हम भी इस त्योहार को विकृत रुप में सम्बल ना प्रदान करें। 24 दिसंबर 1886 की घटना में स्पष्ट है कि स्वामीजी ख्रिस्त के संदेशवाहकों के उदाहरण से ठाकुर के संदेशवाहक बनने का अपने गुरुभाइयों से आहवान कर रहे थे। संयोग की बात है कि संख्या 12 ही थी। पर संदेश तो ठाकूर का ही देना था। मतांतरण के राष्ट्रविरोधी होने के मामले में स्वामीजी के मन में कोई शंका नहीं थी। शिकागों से लौटने के बाद रामकृष्ण मठ की विधिवत् स्थापना के समय उन्होंने अपने हाथ से जो विनियम लिखे उसमें यह स्पष्टतः अंकित है कि एक हिन्दू का मतांतरित होना केवल एक संख्या का कम होना नहीं है अपितु एक शत्रु का बढ़ना है। हिन्दूओं द्वारा अपने वंचित लोगों की सेवा के लिये मिशन के रुप में काम करने की आवश्यकता को देखते हुए ही उन्होंने मठ के साथ ही रामकृष्ण मिशन नाम से सेवाकार्यों का भी सुत्रपात किया। इसका स्पष्ट उद्देश्य सेवा के नाम पर मतांतरण करनेवाले इसाइयों को व्यावहारिक उत्तर देना ही था।
अतः आज के दिन स्वामी जी के सर्वपंथसमभाव को ठीक ढ़ंग से समझने की आवश्यकता है अन्यथा सेक्यूल्यारिज्म के नाम पर हम सच्चाई से मुख मोड़ने का राष्ट्रद्रोह करते रहेंगे और उसमें स्वामीजी व ठाकूर जैसे महापूरुषों का गलत उदाहरण भी देते रहेंगे।
25 दिसम्बर के साथ जुड़ा दूसरा प्रसंग स्वामीजी के जीवन को दिशा देनेवाला है। कन्याकुमारी की शिलापर उनका राष्ट्रचिंतन इसी दिन प्रारम्भ हुआ था। पूरे देश का परिव्राजक के रुप में भ्रमण करने के बाद तीन दिन व तीन रात्री कन्याकुमारी की श्रीपाद शिलापर उन्होंने ध्यान किया था। उन्होंने बाद में स्वयं अपने गुरुभाईको लिखे पत्र में लिखा है है कि मा भारती के अंतिम छोर पर मुझे मेरे जीवन की कार्ययोजना प्राप्त हुई। उसी स्थान पर आज भव्य विवेकानन्द शिला स्मारक की स्थापना हुई है। स्मारक के प्रणेता माननीय एकनाथजी रानडे कहा करते थे कि स्वामीजी के जीवन में इस शिला का वही महत्व है जो गौतम बुद्ध के जीवन में गया के बोधिवृक्ष का।
इस राष्ट्र चिंतन में स्वामीजी ने भारत के गौरवशाली अतीत, चिंताजनक वर्तमान व स्वर्णीम भविष्य का साक्षत्कार किया था। हम भी इस पर्व के स्मरण में इसी क्रम में भारत को समझने का प्रयत्न करें उस पर चिन्तन करें।

Comprehensive Biography of Swami Vivekananda By S N Dhar

Volume I- Page 285-288

In suitable atmosphere and association, the light of the youngmen’s combined spiritual fire “blazed into a tremendous conflagration”. During their stay here, Narendranath constantly told them, “Godrealization is the one and only aim of life. That is what the Master had told us”. Sri Ramakrishna’s name was always on their lips. The whole place thus became surcharged with the spirit of renunciation. All this found expression one night, 24th December, 1886, as they sat under the canopy of a starlit wintry sky in the compound of the house before the fire of huge logs. The meditation lasted long. Then Narendranath suddenly broke the silence with a narration of the wonderful story of the life of Jesus. Through his eloquence his listeners were next admitted into that apostolic world in which Paul had preached the gospel of the Arisen Christ and spread Christianity far and wide. In an inspired voice he exhorted them to be apostles themselves to carry abroad the new message for the uplift and salvation of mankind, till they all rose up in a body, with the blazing fire in front and shining stars above as their witnesses, to pledge themselves to a life of renunciation. At the end of it all, they recollected that it was Christmas Eve. The very air seemed to vibrate with their ecstatic fervour. Antpur proved to be the spark that detonated the spirit of renunciation. There was no longer to be want of young men who would follow their example.

After they had thus solemnly resolved to live a life of renunciation, it was only natural that they should think of initiating themselves as monks by the performance of sastric rites. Narendranath consulted his gurubhais on the subject and was overjoyed when he learned from Kali that he knew all about Viraja Homa, which was the particular rite that had to be performed for initiation. Kali explained that once during their stay at Cossipore he had set out for Barabar Hill near Gaya with a view to meeting a Hathayogi about whom he had learned from Vijayakrishna Goswami. While staying at a dharmasala in a village situated at the foot of the hill, said he, he had chanced to meet a Dasanama sannyasi who was a Puri and who had with him a book containing the mantras, etc., of Viraja Homa, He had carefully copied them out in a notebook which was still with him. All of them gladly agreeing to the idea, a day was fixed for the ceremony, which was performed duly. Kali, acting as tantradharaka at the bidding of Narendranath, read out the mantras, which the others recited while they offered the oblations to the sacred fire. (At the Viraja Homa, the wouldbe sannyasis offer pindas or oblations to themselves as persons performing the sraddha rite do to the manes of dead relations. They discard caste insignia, such as the sacrificial thread for the Brahmins, and for all practical purposes thereafter are dead to the world). The first to perform the Homa was Narendranath and he was followed in order by Rakhal, Niranjan, Sarat, Sasi, Sarada, Latu and others. Tarak refused to perform the Homa, though pressed very much to do so. He did it later. After all had finished performing the Homa Kali recited the mantras and offered oblations to the sacred fire and was thus initiated. The ceremony was performed, according to Swami Abhedananda, in the early days of the month of Magha, 1293 B.S., which correspond with the third week of January, 1887.

The sannyasis assumed new names, Narendranath taking the name Vividishananda and giving his gurubhais the names which were suggested by their respective natures, such as Brahmananda, Premananda, Ramakrishananda, Saradananda, etc., He gave Kali the name Abhedananda, because he was a staunch Vedantin, Sasi the name Ramakrishnananda, because he spent nearly all his time in the worship of the Master, and Latu the name Adbhutananda because his spirit of renunciation and tapasyas were really adbhuta (unique). The monks henceforth used their new names, except Narendranath, who perhaps did not use a monastic name because the lawsuit was going on, and a change of name, or even his acceptance of sannyasa might create legal difficulties, that might help his adversaries. Even after the lawsuit had ended in 1889, however, he rarely used a monastic name, or stuck to one, (sometimes calling himself  Sachchidananda), and it was not till the very eve of his departure for the West in 1893 that he publicly called himself by his worldfamous name, Vivekananda. We shall discuss the subject later on. A list of the new names is found in a letter from Swami Sivananda (signed Sivananda) to Gangadhar on 4 January 1890.

The names are as follows:

Niranjan — Swami Niranjanananda

Jogin — Swami Yogananda

Baburam — Swami Premananda

Latu — Swami Adbhutananda

Sasi — Swami Ramakrishnananda

Hari — Swami Turiyananda

Tulasi — Swami Nirmalananda

Daksha — Swami Jnanananda

Kali — Swami Abhedananda

Gopal Senior — Swami Advaitananda

The names of the sannyasis not mentioned in Swami Sivananda’s list are as follows:

Rakhal — Swami Brahmananda

Sarat — Swami Saradananda

Sarada — Swami Trigunatitananda

(later shortened, at Swami Vivekananda’s request, to Swami Trigunatita)

Subodh — Swami Subodhananda

Gangadhar, who was on his trip to Tibet and was not present at the Viraja Homa spoken of above, was initiated into sannyasa by Narendranath and given the name of Swami Akhandananda after his return to the monastery in the first week of July 1890. The list of Sri Ramakrishna’s direct disciples taking the monastic vow is completed with Hariprasanna, who joined much later, after Swami Vivekananda’s return from America, assuming the name Swami Vijnanananda. It may be noted that Swami Sivananda’s list contains a new name, Daksha, who joined the Baranagore Math in 1887, and being very devoted to Narendranath, came to be recognized as one of the circle of devotees. Curiously enough, it does not mention Narendranath.

You can buy the book here http://eshop.vivekanandakendra.org/books/Comparehensive-Biography-of-Swami-Vivekananda

दिसम्बर 25, 2011 Posted by | चरित्र, सामायिक टिपण्णी, English Posts | , | 3 टिप्पणियाँ

आदर्श सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता गुरुदेव दत्त


दत्तजयंति पर विशेष :

भगवान दत्तात्रेय के जीवन के अनेक पहलु है जो सामाजिक जीवन में कार्य करनेवाले कार्यकर्ताओ के लिये मार्गदर्शक हैं। दत्तात्रेय के जन्म की कथा ही सामाजिक जीवन में शुचिता का सबसे बडा उदाहरण है। देवताओं के मन में भी जिनके सतित्व के बारे में असुया पैदा हुई ऐसी अत्रि की पतिव्रता अनुसुया। उनके जीवन की पवित्रता की चर्चा सुनकर तीनों महादेवताओं की पत्नियों को ईष्र्या हो गई। सामाजिक जीवन में भी ऐसा अक्सर होता है। आपके अन-असुया, ईष्र्या के विना होने से यह खातरी नहीं है कि लोग आपसे मत्सर नहीं करेंगे। और ऐसा भी नहीं है कि बुरे लोग आपसे ईष्र्या करेंगे। यदि आप समाज के कार्य में लगे है तो फिर बुरे लोग आपका विरोध तो कर सकते हे पर असुया तो आपके अपने साथी ही करेंगे। तो याद रहे कि वे आपके अपने है। अच्छे है इसिलिये आपके अच्छे गुणों व कार्यों से जल रहे है। हाँ! एक और बात! सीधे इस निष्कर्ष पर पहुँचना भी ठीक नहीं कि किसी से आपकी अनबन हो गई तो वह व्यक्ति आपसे ईष्र्या कर रहा है। पहले स्वयं को जाँच लें। आपके कार्य, कार्य के पीछे के भाव को ठीक से समझ लें। कही आपका अहंकार तो आपका संचालन नहीं कर रहा? कही आप अपने व्यवहार से लोगों को अपमानित तो नहीं कर रहे?
अनुसुया का जीवन तो समाज की सेवा मे पूर्णतः रत था। अत्रि का आश्रम समाज को स्वावलम्बन का पाठ पढ़ाने कार्य कर रहा था। हर स्तर के व्यक्ति को अपने स्तर से उपर उठाने का मार्ग दिखा रहा था। अनुसुया इस सारे कार्य में पूरा सहभाग कर रही थी। वह इसका महत्वपूर्ण हिस्सा थी। फिर भी जगत का सृजन, पालन व संहार का दायित्व धारण करनेवाली शक्तियों के स्वामी ही अपनी सहधर्मचारिणियों के हठ के आगे झुक कर अनुसुया के सतित्व का परिक्षण करने आये। ब्रह्मा, विष्णु, महेश जगत को चलाने वाली तीन शक्तियों के प्रतीक हैं। ये ही कार्यकर्ताओं की परीक्षा लेते है। सृजन की शक्ति अर्थात अपने जैसे औरों का निर्माण करने की शक्ति। तो इस अर्थ में हर कार्यकर्ता में ब्रह्मा की शक्ति होती है। पालन अर्थात कार्य को स्थायित्व प्रदान करना। अपने होने या ना होने की स्थिति में भी कार्य सतत चलता रहे इस प्रकार की व्यवस्था का निर्माण करना और उसे बनाये रखना। यह प्रत्येक कार्यकर्ता में यह विष्णुत्व होता है। कार्य करते समय अनेक त्याज्य बातें इकðी हो जाती है समय समय पर उनका संहार भी करना होता है। अपने अंदर के विचारों में ऐसी कुण्ठा आ सकती है जो सृजन के स्थान पर सड़ान्ध पेदा करें। कभी कभी अपने अत्यन्त निकट के कोई लाग भी कार्य में बाधा बन सकते है। उनके द्वारा कार्यका नुकसान ना हो इसलिये उनको कार्य से दूर करने का काम भी कार्यकर्ता को करना होता है। यह शिवत्व भी कार्यकर्ता की शक्तियों का महत्वपूर्ण अंग है। ये तीनों सतित्व की रक्षा करने के स्थान सतित्व की परीक्षा करने के लिये अत्रि के आश्रम में आये है। यह दत्तजयंति का दिन है जिस दिन ये ऐतिहासिक घटना हुई।
तीनों देवता अतिथि बनके आये हैं। अत्रि आश्रम मे अतिथि को ईच्छा भोजन दिया जाता है। अत्रि स्वयं कार्य पर गये है। अनुसुया पर अतिथि सत्कार करने दायित्व था। उसने अतिथि देवता का स्वागत किया पाद्यपूजा के बात पूछा कि क्या इच्छा है ताकि उसे पूरा किया जा सके। सतित्व की परीक्षा लेने आये देवताओं ने अजीब सी इच्छा व्यक्त कर दी। उन्होंने कहा कि हम आपके सौन्दर्य की चर्चा सुनकर आये है और हम चाहते है कि आप निर्वस्त्र होकर हमें भोजन कराये। अतिथियों कि ईच्छा सुनकर अनुसुया के सामने धर्मसंकट खड़ा हो गया। समाज हमारे सम्मूख कई बार इस प्रकार की स्थितियाँ पैदा कर देता है। जहाँ दोनों ओर ही धर्म की हानी होती दिखाई देती है। ऐसे में ही कार्यकर्ता के व्यवहार कुशलता की परीक्षा होती है। संकट में से राह निकालना अपनी शुचिता और चारित्र्य पर निर्भर करता है। अनुसुया के भी चरित्र की परीक्षा थी। यदि अतिथि की इच्छा का सम्मान ना किया जाये तो पति के व्रत में खण्ड पड़ेगा और यदि इच्छा के अनुरुप कार्य किया तो स्वयं का पातिव्रत्य खण्डित होगा। वैसे शास्त्रानुसार धर्म के विपरित माँग को मानने का कोई बन्धन नहीं है। किन्तु सामाजिक कार्य में लगे कार्यकर्ता तर्क में नहीं पड़ सकते। समाज में शील व चरित्र का आदर्श प्रस्तुत करने का दायित्व उनके उपर होता है अतः उन्हें तो धोबी की ‘समझ’ का भी सम्मान कर अपनी प्रियतम निधि का त्याग करने को प्रस्तुत होना होता है। अनुसुया की दुविधा राजाराम से भी बड़ी है। वनगमन अथवा पलायन का कोई अवसर ही नहीं है। कई बार समाज की संवेदनहीनता के कारण निराश, हताश कार्यकर्ता को पलायन का विकल्प सम्मूख दिखाई देता है। यह सरल भी लगता है। जब अपने ही वरीष्ठ परीक्षा लेते है तब सीधे संघर्ष का भी कोई मार्ग भी नहीं होता है। तब अपनी व्यवहार कुशलता व सृजनशक्ति का प्रयोग करना होता है। माता अनुसुया ने मन में संकल्प किया कि ये अतिथि तो मेरे पुत्रों समान है। माता को विवस्त्र देखने की योग्यता तो केवल नवजात शिशु में ही होती है। अतः मै इन्हें ऐसा ही मानकर आहार कराती हूँ। सत्संकल्प बड़ों बड़ों को बौना कर देता है। तीनों महादेवता अनुसुया के तपस से शिशु बन गये और माता ने बड़े प्रेम से उन्हें अपना दुग्धपान कराया।
जिनकी ईष्र्या के कारण यह सब हुआ था वे देवियाँ अब परेशान हो उठी। कहाँ सति अनुसुया के सत्व की परीक्षा लेने चली थी और अब तो अपने पतियों से ही हाथ धोना पड़ गया था। माता अनुसुया ने उनके अनुरोध को बड़ी सहजता से स्वीकार किया और तीनों देवताओं को अपने संकल्प से मुक्त किया। प्रसाद में तीनों ने अपने अंश को एकाकार कर एक बालक माता को दिया। वे ही त्रिमुर्ति दत्तात्रेय है।
गुरु दत्त पूर्ण कार्यकर्ता है। संकट में से मार्ग निकालने के फलस्वरुप जन्म हुआ। सृजन, पालन और संहार की महाशक्ति के अंश को धारण किया। और सारे जीवन तप किया। भ्रमण और तप के द्वारा समाज का संगठन। यही तो एक संगठक का कार्य होता है। भारत के कोने कोने में अनेक तीर्थस्थानों पर हमें दत्तात्रेय की तपोभूमि मिलती है। चाहे माउण्ट आबू हो या महाराष्ट्र का माहुर या त्र्यम्बकेश्वर, या आसाम का कोई तीर्थ सबसे उँची चोटी पर दत्तात्रेय की तपोस्थली मिलेगी। चरैवेति चरैवेति के मन्त्र को साकार कर पूरे राष्ट्र को एक सुत्र में बान्धने का कार्य दत्तात्रेय ने किया है। कहते है कि उनके 24 गुरु थे। 24 की सूची में सब स्तर के मानव ही नहीं पशु, पक्षी और अन्य स्थावर-जंगम वस्तुएँ भी है। जब जीवनदर्शन का मूल तत्व पकड़ में आ जाता है तो उसे आचरण में लाने की शिक्षा सभी से ली जा सकती है। यह महाशिष्यत्व सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता के लिये अनिवार्य है। समाज के प्रत्येक व्यक्ति व जीवन के प्रत्येक अनुभव से शिक्षा प्राप्त करने की तत्परता व क्षमता दोनों ही हमारे लिये आवश्यक है। साथही जब हमको पता होता है कि हमने कितने लोगों की कृपा से यह ज्ञान व कौशल प्राप्त किया है तो अहंकार के बढ़ने की सम्भावना भी कम होती है। सीखते तो हम सभी है अपने परिवेष से, पर उसका भान नहीं रखते और इस कारण श्रेय को भी बाँटने की जगह स्वयं का ही मान लेते है। दत्तात्रेय का जीवन हमे बताता है कि छोटी से छोटी शिक्षा को देने वाले के गुरुत्व को स्वीकार करों। इसी गुण के कारण वे स्वयं आदर्श गुरु भी है। प्रत्येक कार्यकर्ता को ये दोनों दायित्व निभाने होते है। सारे जीवन पर्यन्त हम शिष्य भी बने रहते है और गुरु भी।
गुरु दत्तात्रेय ने अनेक रूपों में अवतरित होकर कार्य निरन्तर रखा। दत्तजयंति से पूर्व सप्ताह के रूप में पढ़े जाने वाले गुरु चरित्र में श्रीपाद श्रीवल्लभ व नृसिंह सरस्वति इन दो अवतारों का बड़ा ही विस्तृत विवरण हमें मिलता है। जगत के कल्याण के लिये, धर्म को स्थापित करने का कार्य ऐसे ही अनेक रूपों में करने की आज अत्यधिक आवश्यकता है। सामाजिक कार्य में रत कार्यकर्ता को भी अनेक दायित्वों का निर्वाह ऐसे ही अवतारों के समान करना होता है।
तापसी जीवन अपरिग्रह का भी आदर्श है। अकिंचन भाव से बिना किसी भी सुविधा की अपेक्षा लिये आनन्द से जीवनयापन करते हुए समाज को सर्वस्व देने का उदाहरण है श्री गुरुदत्त। इसी के साथ समाज में तिरस्कृत ऐसे आवारा, रुग्ण कुत्तों को वे सदा साथ में लेकर चलते है। प्राणियों में श्रेष्ठतम गोमाता की पूजा के साथ ही इन पशुओं में निम्नतर माने जानेवाले श्वान को भी वे अपने संग से पूजनीय बना देते है। एक आदर्श सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता में समाज के श्रेष्ठतम जनों के साथ उनके स्तर पर संवाद व सम्पर्क करने की क्षमता तो होनी ही चाहिये साथ ही समाज के वंचित, दुर्लक्षित वर्ग को भी उतनी ही आत्मीयता से अपनाने की तत्परता भी होनी चाहिये। यह भी सीख दत्तात्रेय के जीवन से हमें मिलती है।
आईये भगवान् दत्तात्रेय के जन्मदिवस पर उनकी शिक्षा को अपने जीवन में उतारने का संकल्प उनके चरणों में अर्पित कर अपने जीवन को सार्थक करें  . . .
गुरुदेव दत्त।।

दिसम्बर 10, 2011 Posted by | चरित्र, सामायिक टिपण्णी | , , , , , , , , , | 5 टिप्पणियाँ

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