I went for a tour to hinterlands of India. Just to take a look at the those who far away from the modernity that embraces us. People who are more close to nature but quite far from the net civilization where we move around. This led me away from from my world of blog. On my way back I laid my hand on a book which I have read many a times, enjoying the message in it every time giving me anew meaning every time. Returning to the hustle bustle of Cosmopolitan city just those words reverberate in my heart and today’s prompt asking for the Person X to be commemorated I can think of no other name. I belong to a country that has produced innumerable saints and some of the greatest leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, who led India to independence and made peace his a synonym to his name, Mother Teresa, who was canonized for serving the poorest of poor, Rabindranath Tagore, who won Noble for literature and had there been any system of giving multiple noble for writing poems Short stories and Novels maybe he would have won 3 Nobel Prizes for literature.
This is about a man who lived nearly 150 years ago.Just a wanderer who preached most difficult religion to the world which was as ancient as the beginning of civilization and as modern as you can think of even now. On September 11, 1893 he stood up in country where he was initially abhorred for the colour of his skin and said ‘Sisters and Brothers of America!’ Regarding religion he said ‘Accept and understand one another!’ Incidentally even now we have fanatics who go on war or want to go on for war in the name of religion. He quoted two beautiful verses from the sacred books:
‘Whoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form,I reach him.’
‘All men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me’
He also said ‘May he who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians, give strength to you ……… The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow to his own law of growth ……’
‘ I do not care whether they are Hindus, or Mohammedans, or Christians, but those that love the Lord will always command my service. Plunge into fire, my children ………. Everything will come to you, if you only have faith…….. Let each one of us pray day and night for the downtrodden millions…………..I am no metaphysician, no philosopher, nay, no saint. I am poor, I love the poor ….. ‘
‘ If I succeed in my life to help one single man to attain freedom, my labours will not have been in vain.’ He was talking of real freedom not just political freedom. Freedom from tyranny freedom from restrictions of religion, freedom to attain or become close to God (Perhaps Godliness).
This is about a man who was always ahead of his time but told something which is still true as we still fight in the name of religion masking it our righteousness of politics. Politics of Weapons of Mass destruction, of Economics and most recently politics of democracy as in Syria and other places in Middle East.
We can still learn fro this man who lived 150 years ago and whose Chicago address is still remembered and the Museum in Chicago still maintains the podium. Swami Vivekananda.