I confess I have not read much on Swami Vivekananda except a few stories read during childhood and a book published by Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture Gol Park, Kolkata 700029 with title "My India, The India Eternal, Swami Vivekananda", thirteenth reprint Dec 2010. After reading and studying this book I understood passion of Swamiji for India and men (This includes women, the word is used as parallel to Purusha in Sanskrit). He is a different from others in this respect that is patriotism. Although Swamiji constrained himself to nationality his love for mankind is universal. What I understood that he believed in universal and eternal religion practiced in 2 parts that is scripture as explained in Vedanta (Vedas, Upanishads, and Shritis) and rituals as explained in Smritis, Puranas and traditions. Click here to sign petition
He believed that the second part is relative to time and place. I add society to this. First part is universal and eternal. However, second part is related to certain factors and hence, cannot be universal and eternal. I have full faith in this. My understanding is, there is only one religion in the universe. What we see or understand as different religions are only different editions came in to vogue from time to time and from place to place for different societies. Hence the rituals are different. Swamiji thinks that except ancient Indian religion no other so called religion has given stress on scripture. In scientific words the system and surrounding were different and hence there are many names for religion with differences in rituals. I will try to explain this with a simple example. Karma defined in religion and work defined in science has a great similarity. Karma says that the Phala (effect) is based on individual's Karma. Science says that result of work is based on the work itself. However, many blame that one did so and so thing like some one else but he was blessed with so much and I got very little. Some even blame the god for this disparity. If I throw a ball upward with certain force it would achieve certain height before it starts descending downwards. My friend goes to the moon and does exactly same thing with same force. He finds his ball goes to say 50 metres up against my ball going up less than 6 metres up. Both of us did exactly same karma but my friend could achieve much better effect. This is solely because our karma had been in different environment. Science considers this as 'system' and surroundings' whereas religion considers this as 'society and time' Moral is no one should compare results with any one else. Leave this to the supreme power and relax.
Swamiji as I understood had been great lover of ancient Indian religion, patriot with sympathy for downtrodden and poor people who couldn't earn bread for 2 meals in spite of working for hours per day. However, in the book referred, in addition he is projected for special sympathy for Muslims and communists. He also has been projected as having extra-ordinary powers of knowing past of a person and predicting future. I beg to differ after reading and understanding Swamiji. Swamiji had great faith in ancient Indian religion and he considered it as universal and eternal. He also believed in Smriti and Puranas need changes from time to time, place to place. Hence interpretation of his thoughts for Islam seems to be the personal opinion of the writer and may be based on certain selfish motive. Similarly Swamiji had great faith in living god rather than unknown god. He had soft corner for downtrodden and poor who didn't get enough bread in spite of hard work. He did believe in welfare of working class. He wanted that all classes be leveled up meaning bringing every man to same uppermost level. He didn't want that lower classes should rise above upper classes. Hence, it is difficult for me to believe he would have predicted or supported communism. In India and all over the world miracles are expected to imbibe faith in disciples and make a Swami acceptable to all. However Swami Vivekananda proclaimed that if he has to go to hell for helping needy, he will gladly accept it. He had renounced the world. He could have never thought of having disciple and making efforts to get disciples. In my understanding Swamiji never believed in miracles and his projection in the book on this line is incorrect.
Swamiji had been young in age (his stay on earth had been less than 40 years) but eternal in wisdom. His conviction was education. He always preached education is the only thing needed to help all. His motto and work throughout his life had been to educate each and every person irrespective whether a downtrodden or a woman. Educate all and they would solve their own problems had been his belief. He used to say if one teacher is needed for upper class child, 6 teachers are required for child who had been denied education for thousands of years. Education must be free for all, whether poor or rich, upper class or lower class, a woman or man. In addition downtrodden should be looked after for bread also not only for child but his/her parents too. In poor classes children not only earn their bread but also support their parents. They have no time for education else the family would starve. So take care of family of a child who is being given education. Even in today's India this is true to great extent.
Swmiji's conviction had been living god instead of unknown god. He saw god in every man (person to be understood correctly). He never differentiated between a man and woman. Both have same Atman. He said worship living god. Provide him with whatever is in your capability. He himself had picked up, so called low class persons from street and given them food and medicine. Treated them till they get healthy. He used to say don't touchable instead of untouchable. However he gave a name daridrinaran to all poor class people. He was convinced that Matri devo bhav, Pitri devo bhav, Gurur Devo bhav should be added with daridrinarayan devo bhav and even mudho devo bhav. He had great respect for man. Invisible god came next to man in his thinking. Country's future rests in properly educated people and not in a few educated people. Character building is possible only through education only. He established Math (boarding schools) for women. He wanted similar school for men where pupils from all classes would live together, study together and build their character together. Power of known god can be waken up only through right education.
Swamiji had full belief that western development is materialistic. He never criticised materialistic development. On the contrary he accepted it and wanted Indians should learn this from westerners. At the same time he never accepted westerners are superior to Indians. His thinking was there should be exchange of capabilities between Westerners and Indians. Indians should accept materialistic development from west and give spiritual thinking to west. This had been his advise. Indian scripture is the best in the world. He wanted to combine materialistic development with spiritual thinking. He believed in that through this understanding the world shall be at peace all the time. He was convinced that conversion from one so called religion to other so called religion is unnecessary. Let there be millions of religions. Let everybody follow his/her respective religion. Let every religion accept universal scripture. Conversion generates enmity among people. Giving freedom to follow self religion creates understanding and peace. There is no reason why religions should be compared when all are part of the universal religion. Let Smriti and Puranas be modified to suit present conditions. However, never modify Vedanta. This is what had been his conviction. How universal and eternal it is.
His most important message is awake, be brave, face all problems and never give way. Cowards and weak commit sins, tell lies. Be bold, never lie, and sacrifice for country and not for self or near relative only.
Never work for name or popularity. If you miss your chance to go to heaven while helping a needy, don't repent.
Move forward, don't look back except when you wish to judge your progress, march till the goal is reached, Once you reach first goal prepare for next and next till you live on the earth.
Have faith in yourself, be pure in mind and body, work hard, don't be afraid of barking dogs, even poison of snake is ineffective if you deny it.
Discard self-aggrandisement, faction mongering and jealousy. Never hate any one, any race or any nation. Those who get proper education have a duty to give same to their poor brothers/sisters.