26 December 2013

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Hindutva

Quick quiz

The following two statements have some minor logical errors —
  1. Ramakrishna invited Swami Vivekananda to visit Dakshineswar. . .
  2. Doctor Sadashiv Mohanty, the renowned neurologist, was born in 1954. . .
Can you guess what is the error?

In brief. . .

I may start and end this article in just one sentence that Swami Vivekananda never said anything on/about "Hindutva"

Answer time

Now let me answer the first two questions — logical conflicts.
  1. Ramakrishna invited Swami Vivekananda to visit Dakshineswar. . . — when Ramakarishna invited Swami Vivekananda to visit Dakshineswar, Swami Vivekananda was not Swami Vivekananda, but his name was Narendranath Datta. He was named Vivekananda much after Ramakrishna's death.
  2. Doctor Sadashiv Mohanty, the renowned neurologist, was born in 1954. . . — when he was born, he was not a doctor (Sadashiv Mohanty was born who later became a doctor)
Hindutva or Hinduism
The Hindu nation proceeded through the study
of the mind, through metaphysics and logic.
—Swami Vivekananda
Image source: Own work

Similarly, Swami Vivekananda never directly told anything on Hindutva as the word "Hindutva" was coined in 1923 (more than 20 years after Vivekananda's death) when Vinayak Damodar Savarkar published a pamphlet named Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu? We have thoroughly searched in books like Complete Works, Life of Swami Vivekananda, Diary of a Disciple etc but have not found any mention of the word "Hindutva" anywhere, and the reason is understandable.

We find Swami Vivekananda's comments on Hinduism and specially Vedanta in almost every chapter of his Works. But, "Hindutva"— no. If someone says Vivekananda said something on Hindutva, that means he is re-interpreting his comments. We are not going analyse that if those are correctly done interpretations or misinterpretation. But those are re-interpretations or comment analysis.

In Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu? Savarkar envisioned an Akhanda Bharata (United India), Hindu Rashtra (Hindu nation) and discussed on the qualities of being a Hindu.

In this article too, we are going to make a collection of Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on the qualities of being a Hindu or how a Hindu should follow Hinduism.

Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on qualities of a Hindu
Swami Vivekananda told—
  • I belong to the Hindu religion. That is not the Buddhists' creed, one of the sects of the Hindu religion. We never indulge in missionary work. We do not seek to thrust the principles of our religion upon anyone. The fundamental principles of our religion forbid that. Nor do we say anything against any missionaries whom you send from this country anywhere. For all of us they are entirely welcome to penetrate the innermost recesses of the earth. Many come to us, but we do not struggle for them; we have no missionaries striving to bring anyone to our way of thinking. With no effort from us many forms of the Hindu religion are spreading far and wide.[Source]
  • I search of religion, I had travelled among various sects — sects which had taken up the ideals of foreign nations as their own, and I had begged at the door of others, not knowing then that in the religion of my country, in our national religion, there was so much beauty and grandeur. It is now many years since I found Hinduism to be the most perfectly satisfying religion in the world. Hence I feel sad at heart when I see existing among my own countrymen, professing a peerless faith, such a widespread indifference to our religion — though I am very well aware of the unfavourable materialistic conditions in which they pass their lives — owing to the diffusion of European modes of thought in this, our great motherland.[Source]
  • Mark me, then and then alone you are a Hindu when the very name sends through you a galvanic shock of strength. Then and then alone you are a Hindu when every man who bears the name, from any country, speaking our language or any other language, becomes at once the nearest and the dearest to you. Then and then alone you are a Hindu when the distress of anyone bearing that name comes to your heart and makes you feel as if your own son were in distress. Then and then alone you are a Hindu when you will be ready to bear everything for them, like the great example I have quoted at the beginning of this lecture, of your great Guru Govind Singh. Driven out from this country, fighting against its oppressors, after having shed his own blood for the defence of the Hindu religion, after having seen his children killed on the battlefield — ay, this example of the great Guru, left even by those for whose sake he was shedding his blood and the blood of his own nearest and dearest — he, the wounded lion, retired from the field calmly to die in the South, but not a word of curse escaped his lips against those who had ungratefully forsaken him! Mark me, every one of you will have to be a Govind Singh, if you want to do good to your country. You may see thousands of defects in your countrymen, but mark their Hindu blood. They are the first Gods you will have to worship even if they do everything to hurt you, even if everyone of them send out a curse to you, you send out to them words of love. If they drive you out, retire to die in silence like that mighty lion, Govind Singh. Such a man is worthy of the name of Hindu; such an ideal ought to be before us always. All our hatchets let us bury; send out this grand current of love all round.[Source]
  • No religion on earth preaches the dignity of humanity in such a lofty strain as Hinduism, and no religion on earth treads upon the necks of the poor and the low in such a fashion as Hinduism. The Lord has [Source]shown me that religion is not in fault, but it is the Pharisees and Sadducees in Hinduism, hypocrites, who invent all sorts of engines of tyranny in the shape of doctrines of Pâramârthika and Vyâvahârika.
  • The Hindu must not give up his religion, but must keep religion within its proper limits end give freedom to society to grow.[Source]
  • The Hindu says that political and social independence are well and good, but the real thing is spiritual independence—Mukti. This is our national purpose; whether you take the Vaidika, the Jaina, or the Bauddha, the Advaita, the Vishishtâdvaita, or the Dvaita—there, they are all of one mind.[Source]
  • The Hindus have cultivated the power of analysis and abstraction. No nation has yet produced a grammar like that of Panini.[Source]
  • The Hindus have to learn a little bit of materialism from the West and teach them a little bit of spirituality.[Source]
  • The old Hinduism can only be reformed through Hinduism, and not through the new-fangled reform movements.[Source]
  • The three essentials of Hinduism are belief in God, in the Vedas as revelation, in the doctrine of Karma and transmigration.[Source]
  • We are Hindus. I do not use the word Hindu in any bad sense at all, nor do I agree with those that think there is any bad meaning in it. In old times, it simply meant people who lived on the other side of the Indus; today a good many among those who hate us may have put a bad interpretation upon it, but names are nothing. Upon us depends whether the name Hindu will stand for everything that is glorious, everything that is spiritual, or whether it will remain a name of opprobrium, one designating the downtrodden, the worthless, the heathen. If at present the word Hindu means anything bad, never mind; by our action let us be ready to show that this is the highest word that any language can invent. It has been one of the principles of my life not to be ashamed of my own ancestors. I am one of the proudest men ever born, but let me tell you frankly, it is not for myself, but on account of my ancestry. The more I have studied the past, the more I have looked back, more and more has this pride come to me, and it has given me the strength and courage of conviction, raised me up from the dust of the earth, and set me working out that great plan laid out by those great ancestors of ours. Children of those ancient Aryans, through the grace of the Lord may you have the same pride, may that faith in your ancestors come into your blood, may it become a part and parcel of your lives, may it work towards the salvation of the world![Source]
  • We Hindu must believe that we are the teachers of the world.[Source]

Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on Hindu Nation
Swami Vivekananda told—
  • In speaking of the sages of India, my mind goes back to those periods of which history has no record, and tradition tries in vain to bring the secrets out of the gloom of the past. The sages of India have been almost innumerable, for what has the Hindu nation been doing for thousands of years except producing sages?[Source]
  • The Hindu nation proceeded through the study of the mind, through metaphysics and logic.[Source]
  • There are among us at the present day certain reformers who want to reform our religion or rather turn it topsyturvy with a view to the regeneration of the Hindu nation. There are, no doubt, some thoughtful people among them, but there are also many who follow others blindly and act most foolishly, not knowing what they are about. This class of reformers are very enthusiastic in introducing foreign ideas into our religion. They have taken hold of the word "idolatry", and aver that Hinduism is not true, because it is idolatrous. They never seek to find out what this so-called "idolatry" is, whether it is good or bad; only taking their cue from others, they are bold enough to shout down Hinduism as untrue. There is another class of men among us who are intent upon giving some slippery scientific explanations for any and every Hindu custom, rite, etc., and who are always talking of electricity, magnetism, air vibration, and all that sort of thing. Who knows but they will perhaps some day define God Himself as nothing but a mass of electric vibrations! However, Mother bless them all![Source]
  • Why should the Hindu nation with all its wonderful intelligence and other things have gone to pieces? I would answer you, jealousy. Never were there people more wretchedly jealous of one another, more envious of one another's fame and name than this wretched Hindu race. And if you ever come out in the West, the absence of this is the first feeling which you will see in the Western nations.[Source]
  • With clear-sighted, devoted, and altogether unselfish workers like you in our midst, the future of the Hindu nation cannot but be bright and hopeful.[Source]
  • You understand clearly where the soul of this ogress is—it is in religion. Because no one was able to destroy that, therefore the Hindu nation is still living, having survived so many troubles and tribulations. Well, One Indian scholar asks, "what is the use of keeping the soul of the nation in religion? Why not keep it in social or political independence, as is the case with other nations?" It is very easy to talk like that. If it be granted, for the sake of argument, that religion and spiritual independence, and soul, God, and Mukti are all false, even then see how the matter stands. As the same fire is manifesting itself in different forms, so the same one great Force is manifesting itself as political independence with the French, as mercantile genius and expansion of the sphere of equity with the English, and as the desire for Mukti or spiritual independence with the Hindu. Be it noted that by the impelling of this great Force, has been moulded the French and the English character, through several centuries of vicissitudes of fortune; and also by the inspiration of that great Force, with the rolling of thousands of centuries, has been the present evolution of the Hindu national character. I ask in all seriousness—which is easier, to give up our national character evolved out of thousands of centuries, or your grafted foreign character of a few hundred years? Why do not the English forget their warlike habits and give up fighting and bloodshed, and sit calm and quiet concentrating their whole energy on making religion the sole aim of their life? [Source]

CPI (M) leader criticises Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

In March 2014, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader of Kerala V. S. Achuthanandan criticised Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for attempting to depict Swami Vivekananda as a pioneer of Hindutva.

Achuthanandan told—[Source]
The Sangh Parivar has always tried to confine Vivekenanda in a narrow chamber. They say he is the acharya of Hindutva. Of course, he worked for the unity of Hindu religion and for reforming it. But his greatness is that he lashed out at the life negating idealism and exploitative casteism of the Hindu religion.

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