Vivekananda in the West

To Swami Vivekananda , India was not only a demography or a geographical location , even more. Like mother , to him motherland was a great place of serenity and purity he respected highly from the bottom of his heart. Mother and Motherland , both the things was stupendously great to him. After Sri Chaitanya , he is the only man who visited India to look into the socioeconomic conditions of the Indian subcontinent people by traveling mostly on walking . Though Swami Vivekananda was born in a well-to-do family as his father being a renowned Baristar in Calcutta High Court and managed a huge money , but after his sudden death, his family faced a lot of financial and worldly problems. Because he was the only support of the family . Swami ji, the then Naren having no employment, roaming from one office to another for a service. What I want to express that Swami had to experience a painful life in his pre- monastic life. Even after the victory of Chicago World Religion Conference , when he was in the West , he had to think about the financial condition of his family because he was the eldest son of his mother , rest brothers were very young and studying then in school and college in Calcutta . He wrote a letter to the Maharaj of Khetry (Rajasthan), Ajit Singh where he requested to Maharaja to look after his mother and brothers providing financial help. So , being faced a lot of financial devastations in his personal life and at the same time he observed the poverty stricken people of his motherland, he determined to do something for the poor and the same time for betterment of his country he agreed to attend the the great conference of Chicago.

¶¶ But there was a hidden desire to his mind . During his travel through almost all the historic places of Rajputana, Bombay (Mumbai) state , and Southern India till at last he reached Kannyakumari on 23 December 1892 Swami undoubtedly gathered vivid experiences about the people , their livelihood and culture , social and economical problems and so on. No doubt, every moment of this travels of his with an open mind for several years throughout the length and breadth of India – from the dreamy poetic regions of the snow – capped Himalayas down to Kannyakumari, the last promontory of the land where the mighty ocean spreads out into infinity – were eventful. All this wandering had a great educational value for him, opening up, as it did, opportunities for original thought and observation, the most striking element in all of which was his tireless search for unity in the world of Indian ideals. Nevertheless, it was at Kannyakumari that his pilgrimage throughout his motherland, and his days and months of thought on the problem of the Indian masses bore fruit.

Swami was overwhelmed to visit the the temple of Mother Kanyakumari . He prostrated before the image of the Divine Mother in the seashore temple at Kanyakumari as if being back with its mother a child , so was Swami . After worshiping the Mother, he swam across some two furlongs of the shark – infested ocean and reached the farther of the two rocks that form the southernmost extremity of India. Over the three days he sat there , he was in a long and deep meditation. The Swami himself has told of the thoughts that moved through his mind during that period. He saw , as it were , the whole of India – her past , present , and future, her centuries of greatness and also her centuries of degradation. The Swami saw that it was not religion that was the cause of India’s downfall but , on the contrary, the fact that her true religion, the very life and breath of her individuality, was scarcely to be found, and he knew that her only hope was a renascence of the lost spiritual culture of the ancient rishis. His mind encompassing both the roots and the ramifications of India’s problem, and his heart suffering for his country’s downtrodden, poverty – stricken masses, he hit, as he later wrote , ‘upon a plan’.

What was this plan & How to implement this plan ?

¶¶ ” An Empty Stomach Is No Good For Religion ” And The Ignorance Which leads A Poor Into A Life Of Brutes . The first sentence was told by his Guru Sri Ramakrishna and the second is undoubtedly felt by Swami Vivekananda during his travel throughout His Motherland – India. He emphasized on the education of the poor section of the society. If they are not interested to come to the school , go to them and teach them by means of maps , cameras , globes ,and other accessories. Swamiji’s opinion was that if the mountain does not come to Mohammad, Mohammad must go to the mountain. The poor are too poor to come to schools, and it is no need to teach them poetry, rather they should be imparted the education of self – identity and the education which can improve their personality. Swami told ,” We as a nation have lost our individuality, and that the cause of all mischief in India . We have to give back to the nation its lost individuality and raise the masses. ” He did not blame religion, but men . A section of people are consciously bad handled the religion for their own interest. So , he wanted to have a group of highly sacrificed youths for this works . He needed two things : one is sacrificed men , and the second, which is also important for implementation of the works if funds. As a result of that , he determined to visit the West . In the presence of the Maharaja of Mysore , the Swami burst forth into an eloquent description of what was prompting him to go to the West .