Random Thoughts-1: "Swami Vivekananda Memorial Day"

Photo of Swami Vivekananda at Vivekananda Kendra, Kunyakumari,
taken by Suri using his Canon Powershot A-590 camera

It is on this day, July 4, Swami Vivekananda attained Mahasamadhi. It also coincides with the American Independence Day.

I call myself a devotee, admirer, follower, worshipper of Swami Vivekananda. He is just ‘swamiji’ for his devotees. He has been a great source of inspiration for me. His writings have moulded me; but still I have to go a long way to call myself as a true devotee of swamiji.

On this day, I choose one of his great sayings and would like to dwell on it, discuss it and share with you my personal thoughts on that.

“Strength is Life, Weakness is Death.
Expansion is Life, Contraction is Death.
Love is Life, Hatred is Death.”

The first line exhorts us to develop strength of mind, body and character. With strength you overcome weaknesses, don’t yield to temptations, surmount obstacles however big they seem to be and face evil with courage and confidence.

The third line reminds us that without love, life is meaningless, worthless, pointless and a total waste. When we hate somebody, whether it affects the other person or not, it definitely affects us; not only that, it could destroy us; it takes us away from our goal of life.

The second line is the most beautiful to me. We all begin our life, so to say, as a dot. That dot grows into a small circle encompassing our beloved mother and father; then the circle gradually expands to include all our near and dear; people of our place, our country and our world; not only that, even plants, birds and animals; finally breaking all barriers, we become one with the universe. (We find this all-embracing love in great souls like the Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and others.) It is the goal of life, the purpose of life, fulfilment or whatever you want to call it. So if we stop or stagnate at any particular point, it is a pity, for we lose the purpose of our life; we have fallen short of the goal; if you are a believer in reincarnation like me, then we may have to take more births and continue from where we left off till we finally reach the goal.

It is ‘maya’ or ignorance which deludes us and distracts us from our real purpose of life. We think name and fame are the goal of life; or still worse, money and other material possessions are the goal of life; they are not. We easily forget this. Days like this are to remind us of our true goal and to goad us to seek and strive for that goal- no matter how many times we forget it or lose the battle; it may be a thousand times; still we keep on trying and never stop till we realize the goal of life.

Jai, Sri Swamiji Maharaj ki Jai!
Jai, Sri Mahamayee ki Jai!
Jai, Sri Guru Maharaj ki Jai!

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