Monthly Archives - November 2018

TO A FRIEND

(Rendered from a Bengali poem composed by Swami Vivekananda)

Where darkness is interpreted as light, Where misery passes for happiness, Where disease is pretended to be health, Where the new-born’s cry but shows ’tis alive; Dost thou, O wise, expect happiness here? Where war and competition ceaseless run, Even the father turns against the son, Where “self”, “self”–this always the only note, Dost thou, O wise, seek for peace supreme here? A glaring mixture of heaven and hell, Who can fly from this Samsar of Maya? Fastened in the neck with Karma’s fetters, Say, where can the slave escape for safety? The paths of Yoga and of sense-enjoyment, The life of the householder and Sannyas, Devotion, worship, and earning riches, Vows, Tyaga, and austerities severe, I have seen through them all. What have I known? –Have known there’s not a jot of happiness, Life is only a cup of Tantalus; The nobler is your heart, know for certain, The more must be your share of misery. Thou large-hearted Lover unselfish, know, There’s no room in this sordid world for thee; Can a marble figure e’er brook the blow That an iron mass can afford to bear? Friendless, clad in rags, with no possession, Feeding from door to door on what chance would bring. The frame broken under Tapasya’s weight; What riches, ask thou, have I earned in life? Listen, friend, I will speak my heart to thee; I have found in my life this truth supreme– Buffeted by waves, in this whirl of life, There’s one ferry that takes across the sea. Formulas of worship, control of breath, Science, philosophy, systems varied, Relinquishment, possession, and the life, All these are but delusions of the mind– Love, Love–that’s the one thing, the sole treasure. Vol 4. Page 493
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Patriotism

They talk of patriotism. I believe in patriotism, and I also have my own ideal of patriotism. Three things are necessary for great achievements. First, feel from the heart. What is in the intellect or reason? It goes a few steps and there it stops. But through the heart comes inspiration. Love opens the most impossible gates; love is the gate to all the secrets of the universe. Feel, therefore, my would - be - reformers, my would-be-patriots! Do you feel? Do you feel that millions and millions of the descendants of gods and of sages have become next door neighbours to brutes? Do you feel that millions are starving today, and millions have been starving for ages? Do you feel that ignorance has come over the land as a dark cloud? Does it make you restless? Does it make you sleepless? Has it gone into your blood, coursing through your veins, becoming consonant with your heartbeats? Has it made you almost mad? Are you seized with that one idea of the misery of ruin, and have you forgotten all about your name, your fame, your wives, your children, your property, even your own bodies? Have you done that? This is the first step to become a patriot, the very first step.
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