The following judgment shall be helpful to understand the nature and claim of the Ramkrishna Mission and their Ramakrishna Religion
In Bramchari Sidheswar Shai and others Versus State of WEST BENGAL – 02/07/1995
21. The learned single Judge of the High Court, who decided the Writ petition, took the view that the followers of Ramakrishna were entitled to protection of Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India since the religion preached and propagated by Thakur Sri Ramakrishna and his great Chella Swami Vivekananda, is Ramakrishna religion – a universal religion, different from the Hindu religion. The factors which led the learned single Judge to take the above view in respect of the Ramakrishna religion are the following:
Fundamental tenets of Ramakrishna religion set out in the statement of Swami Ramanand in his affidavit filed in opposition to the Writ Petition, which according to him made it unique by comprehending all other religions without identifying itself with any of them:
“1. That Thakur Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa Deva practised various religions including Islam and realised the truth underlying these religions.
2. That Shri Ramakrishna’s spiritual practice culminated in experience that all beings are in essence divine and identical with Eternal Existence, Consciousness and Bliss, and that the ultimate aim of human life is to realise this Truth and attain eternal life.
3. Shri Ramakrishna discovered that the same Eternal Truth underlines all religious, which is the essence of all scriptures. That all religions are true.
4. According to Shri Ramakrishna, religion is not an end in itself but is a means to achieve the said aim of human life.
5. He (Ramakrishna) proclaimed that all religions are only different paths leading to the same goal.
6. He (Ramakrishna) preached that service to man as the veritable manifestation of God, in a spirit of worship, is a sure way to realise the Truth.
7. Accepting all religions to be true he (Ramakrishna) prohibited condemnation of any of them.”
22. Most important features of Ramakrishna religion, set out by Swami Ramananda in his affidavit in opposition, which according to him distinguished Ramakrishna religion from all other cults or religions including traditional Hinduism:
“(i) The religion of Shri Ramakrishna looks upon Sri Ramakrishna as an illustration and embodiment of the Religion Eternal which constitutes the core of all religious ideals and permits his worship through his image (like portraits, photos, statues, etc.) relics or otherwise with or without any ritual or ceremony.
(ii) It not only tolerates all religions, but also accepts them all to be true, and it considers all religions to be only different paths leading to the same goal, whereas other religions claim absolute authority in all matters to the exclusion of all others.
(iii) It believes that the underlying truth in all religions is the same Eternal Truth which is the essence of the scriptures of all religions.’
23. Further statement made in the self-same affidavit by Swami Ramananda:
“…that the followers of this religion or cult of Shri Ramakrishna believe in and practise the universal religion of all times, as practised and preached by him. They believe in the universal brotherhood of all irrespective of caste, colour, creed community, language or nationality. Amongst the followers of Shri Ramakrishna’s religion, there are persons coming from Hindu fold as well as from the followers of Islam, Christianity and other religions.”
Remark of notable historian Arnold Toyanbee:
“Shri Ramakrishna’s message was unique in being expressed in action …Religion is not just a matter for study, it is something that has to be experienced and to be believed, and this is the field in which Shri Ramakrishna manifested his uniqueness …His religious activity and experience, were, in fact, comprehensive to a degree that had perhaps never before been attained by any other religious genious in India or elsewhere.”
Statements of Swami Vivekananda made at different times:
“What is wanted is power of organisation do you understand me ? .. We want some disciples fiery youngmen … do you see ? …intelligent/and brave who dare to go to the jaws of death and are ready to swim the ocean across. Do you follow me? We want hundreds like that …both men and women. Try your utmost for that and alone. Make converts right and left and put them into our purity drilling machine.”
“And together we conceived that this ideal had to be spread, and not only spread, but made practical. That is to say, we must show the spirituality of the Hindus, the mercifulness of the Buddhists, the activity of the Christians, the brotherhood of Mohammadans, by our practical lives. We shall start a universal religion now and here.”
“Each soul is potentially divine, the goal is to manifest this divinity within, by controlling nature external and internal. Do this either by work or by worship by one or more, or all of them and be free.”
“I have a message and I will give it after my own fashion, will neither be Hinduism, nor Christianism and that is all. Liberty, Mukti is all my religion.”
“I shall inspire men every where, until the world shall know that it is one with God.”
Swami Jyotishwarananda’s statement:
“The Ramkrishna Mission is pre-eminently a religious body in service forming a part of Sadhana or spiritual practice. It stands on the universal ideals of religion. Its numerous preaching centres in India and America are trying to spread through the life and thought of their members a true knowledge of religion in its all embracing aspects and also to promote fellowship amongst the followers of different religions of the world, which are in fact as Sri Ramakrishna realised, so many forms of the Eternal and Universal Religion.”
Objects of Ramkrishna Math:
“1. The Ramakrishna Math, otherwise called the Belur Math, is an institution of Sannyasins, established to help individuals as to work out their own liberation and also to train them to serve the world in every possible way along the lines laid down by Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna.
2. The activities of the Ramakrishna Math Belur otherwise called the Belur Math, and other Maths associated with it and forming branch Maths or Ashramas, and the various centres of work shall be confined to the promotion of the objects and principles of the cult or religion of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, and to the propagation, advancement and furtherance of the same through publication of books, magazines etc., and establishment of temples, prayer halls, educational, cultural and charitable institutions of various types, as also other forms of preaching and seva, which all shall be conducted along the lines of universal principles taught by Sri Ramakrishna and exemplified by his life.”
Objects of Ramkrishna Mission:
“(a) to impart and promote the study of the Vedanta and its principles as propounded by Sri Ramakrishna and practically illustrated by his own life and of Comparative Theology in its widest form.
(b) To impart and promote the study of the arts, sciences and industries.
(c) To carry on educational work among masses.
(d) To establish, maintain, carry on and assist schools, colleges, Universities, Orphanages, Work Shops, Laboratories, Hospitals, Dispensaries, houses for the works and other educational and/or charitable works and institutions of a like nature.”
24. Division Bench of the High Court while dismissing the appeals filed against the order in the Writ Petition, has upheld the views of the learned single Judge that Ramakrishna religion was a different religion from Hindu religion by relying on the very factors on which the learned single Judge had based his views on the subject. However, the Division Bench has sought to point out how Swami Vivekananda in the latter days of his life changed his thoughts on religion influenced by Western thought and way of life and propounded a world religion, by referring to what was said of him by others:
“42. Undoubtedly, thoughts of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda were based on Vedanta. But their philosophy and religion were not identical with the Traditional Vedantabad. Dr. Satish Chandra, Chatterjee, formerly Head of the Department of Philosophy, Calcutta University, in his work,’ Classical Indian Philosphers:Their Synthesis in the Philosophy of Sri Ramakrishna’ published by the University of Calcutta, 1963, has described Sri Ramakrishna’s philosophy as Samanvaya Vedanta in the sence of being a synthesis of all the schools of Hindu Law. Dr. Chatterjee in Chapter-X of the said book has discussed in detail the said philosophy of Sri Ramakrishna. He has, inter alia, observed that Sri Ramakrishna’s experiences go beyond the Veda and Vedanta. According to him, the impersonal absolute and the personal God are not two different realities unrelated to each other, nor are the different realities inseparably related to each other as substance and quality. They are same realities in different states. According to the learned author, Bramhana is not different from Sakti or Kali in point of Reality. Sri Ramakrishna held that Bramhana is present in every thought and being the Universe Sri Ramakrishna’s teachings lay down a rational basis for reconciliation of different and conflicting systems of philosophy and religion. Dr. Chatterjee in his said book observes that religion, according to Sri Ramakrishna, is neither religious knowledge about God, nor philosophical speculation on God; it is direct experience or realisation of God. Sri Ramakrishna’s conception that the end of Man’s life is realization of the divine in him, was not identical with the traditional Hindu view of life. One of the most remarkable traits of Sri Ramakrishna’s religion was his doctrine of harmony of religions. He not only taught Universal Harmony but he himself demonstrated it.
43. Thus, although thoughts of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda were based on Vedanta, their thought and action did not remain strictly within the limits of ancient Vedantic thought. The writings and speeches of Swami Vivekananda also clearly indicate his gradual transition from a preacher of Hindu thought into a world missionary. Swami Vivekananda’s views on religion did not remain static and unchanged. Therefore, stray quotations given from his various writings and speeches may not depict his true views on religion. With his greater and greater acquaintance with the western thought and ways of life, Swami Vivekananda’s own ideas about religion and its significances underwent change. He had began to lay greater and greater stress on the unity of religions. He came gradually to believe in and propounded world religion. Swamiji persistently sought to formulate on the basis of Sri Ramakrishna’s teachings of the One Principle behind all religious phenonmenon. Miss Marie Louse Burke in her book ‘Swami Vivekananda in the West Vol.II, had observed that from the summer of 1894 onwards simultaneous development keeping pace with one another were taking place in Swamiji’s thought along three lines. There was an evolution in his message, the change in his plan and work and the increasing degree in which he identified his own message with Vadanta. According to the learned author, all three were aspects of a single event – the emergence of his world mission. According to Miss Burke, Swamiji did not teach the orthodox Vedanta in every respect. He mixed with it, for instance, a great deal of Sankha in order to answer some of the questions posed by modern knowledge. The learned author has answered the question why Swamiji gave the name Vedanta to his Principles of Religion. She thinks that, on the face of it, it was not necessary, for as Swami Vivekananda himself often observed, these principles have always existed in greater or lesser degree in every religion. He wrote ‘the real thing is the religion taught by Sri Ramakrishna; let the Hindu call it Hinduism and the other call it in their own way.” According to Miss Burke, one obvious and important reason of calling his religion by specific name was that the name Vedanta already existed. One religion in all its aspects had been already formulated for thousands of years and called Vedanta. Miss Burke has given two other reasons, first, Swami Vivekananda attempted throughout to define harmony of relation in the truest sense and had concluded that it consisted in the recognition of the unity of religions or rather in the recognition of religion. Another reason why Swamiji wanted to give a name to One religion was that he was not only ensuring purity of his principles but to make it possible for any one to follow these principles without first attaching himself to specific creed and burdening himself with some forms and ceremonies not necessary to him. One would become a Vedantic and go straight to the heart of the religion.”
Ramakrishna’s view of Hindu religion:
“Hindu religion alone is the Sanatan Dharma. Various creeds you hear now a days have come into existence through the will of God and will disappear again through his will. They will not last for ever. Therefore, I bow down at the feet of even the modern Devotees. The Hindu religion has always existed and will always exist.” (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Vol. II, p. 642).
Swami Vivekananda’s views about his Master’s (Ramakrishna’s) religion:
“Then it was that Sri Ramakrishna incarnated himself in India to demonstrate what the true religion of the Aryan race is to show where amidst all its many divisions and off-shoots, scattered over the land in the course of its immemorial history, lies the true unity of the Hindu religion…”
“All that I am, all that the world itself will some day be, is owing to my Master, Sri Ramakrishna, who incarnated and experienced and taught this wonderful unity which underlines everything, having discovered it alike in Hinduism, in Islam and in Christianity.’ (Ramakrishna And His Message, p. 57).
29. Address given by Swami Vivekananda at the World’s Parliament of Religions at Chicago on 11th September, 1893 since assumes great significance, the same being accepted as the thoughts of Ramakrishna expressed on religion, through his principal disciple Swami Vivekananda, the important passages therein which bear on religion of Ramakrishna and his disciple Swami Vivekananda, are excerpted:
“It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I think you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions; and I thank you in the name of the millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects. ….
I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. ….
I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Mohammedan sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world. I have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of ours, and hope that, in the future, the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose….
“From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multiflavour, mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu religion…..
Here it may be said that these laws as laws may be without end, but they must have had a beginning. The Vedas teach us that creation is without beginning or end. Science is said to have proved that the sum total of cosmis energy is always the same. Then, if there was a time when nothing existed where was all these manifested energy.”
30. Coming to the paper on Hinduism read by Swami Vivekananda on Idolatry at the said Parliament of Religions on 19th September, 1893:
“One thing I must tell you, Idolatry in India does not mean anything horrible. It is not the mother of harlots. On the other hand, it is the attempt of undeveloped minds to grasp high spiritual truths. The Hindus have their faults, they sometimes have their exceptions; but mark this, they are always for punishing their own bodies, and never for cutting the throats of their neighbours.”
“The Lord has declared to the Hindu in His incarnation as Krishna:’I AM IN EVERY RELIGION AS THE THREAD THROUGH A STRING OF PEARLS. WHEREVER THOU SEEST EXTRAORDINARY HOLINESS AND EXTRAORDINARY POWER RAISING AND PURIFYING HUMANITY, KNOW THOU THAT I AM THERE.’”
31. Again speaking at the World’s Parliament of Religions on 20th September, 1893:
“In India, during the terrible famines, thousands died from hunger, yet you Christians did nothing. You erect churches all through India, but the crying evil in the East is not religion – they have religion enough – but it is bread that the suffering millions of burning India cry out for with parched throats. They ask us for bread, but we give them stones. It is an insult to a starving people to offer them religion; it is an insult to a starving man to teach him metaphysics.”
“The religion of the Hindus is divided into two parts, the ceremonial and the spiritual; the spiritual portion is specially studied by the monks.”
“In that there is no caste. A man from the highest caste and a man from the lowest may become a monk in India and the two castes become equal. In religion there is no caste; caste is simply a social Institution.”
32. Other exhortations of Swami Vivekananda on Hindu religion (Hinduism):
Three religions now stand in the world which have come down to us from time prehistoric – Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. They have all received tremendous shocks and all of them prove, by their survival, their internal strength. But while Judiasm failed to absorb Christianity and was driven out of its place of birth by its all-conquering daughter, and a handful of Parsees is all that remains to tell the tale of their grand religion, sect after sect arose in India and seemed to shake the religion of the Vedas to its foundations, but like the waters of the seashore in a tremendous earthquake, it receded only for a while, only to return in an all-absorbing flood, a thousand times more vigorous, and when the tumult of the rush was over, these sects were all sucked in, absorbed and assimilated into the immense body of the mother faith. (1.6)
From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Budhists, and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu religion. (1.6)
The Hindu religion does not consist in struggles and attempts to believe a certain doctrine or dogma, but in realising – not in believing, but in being and becoming. Thus the whole object of their system is by constant struggle to become perfect, to become divine, to reach God and see God, and thus reaching God, becoming perfect, even as the Father in Heaven is perfect, constitutes the religion of the Hindus. (1.13)
We not only tolerate, but we Hindus accept every religion, praying in the mosque of the Mohamedans, worshipping before the fire of the Zorostrains, and kneeling before the cross of the Christians, knowing that all the religions, from the lowest fetishism, mean so many attempts of the human soul to grasp and realise the infinite, each determined by the conditions of its birth and association, and each of them making a stage of progress. We gather all these flowers and bind them with the twine of love, making a wonderful bouquet of worship. (1.331-32)
The religion of the Vedanta can satisfy the demands of the scientific world, by referring it to the highest generalisation and to the law of evolution.
Vedanta lays down that each man should be treated not as what he manifests, but as what he stands for. Each human being stands for the divine, and, therefore, every teacher should be helpful, not by condemning man, but by helping him to call forth the divinity that is within him. (1.388)
In India there never was any religious persecution by the Hindus, but only that wonderful reverence, which they have for all the religions of the world. (1.391)
If your mind says something and the Vedas say something else, stop your mind and believe in the Vedas. (1.452)
Not only is Vedanta the highest philosophy in the world, but it is the greatest poem. (1.499)
In one word, the ideal of Vedanta is to know man as he really is, and this is its message, that if you cannot worship your brother man, the manifested God, how can you worship a God who is unmanifested?(II.325-26)
Taking country with country, there is not one race on this earth to which the world owes so much as to the patient Hindu, the mild Hindu. ‘The mild Hindu’ sometimes is used as an expression of reproach; but if ever a reproach concealed a wonderful truth, it is in the term ‘the mild Hindu’ who has always been the blessed child of God. (III.105).
One thing we may note that whereas you will find that good and great men of other countries take pride in tracing back their descent to some robber-baron who lived in a mountain fortress and emerged from time to time to plunder passing wayfares, we Hindus, on the other hand, take pride in being the decendants of Rishis and sages who lived on roots and fruits in mountain and caves, meditating on the Supreme. (III.139)
We must remember that for all periods the Vedas are the final goal and authority, and if the Puranas differ in any respect from the Vedas, that part of the Puranas is to be rejected without mercy. (III.173)
Here we are, the Hindu race, whose vitality, whose life-principle, whose very soul, as it were, is in religion. (III.177)
……. I think that it is Vedanta, and Vedanta alone that can become the universal religion of man, and no other is fitted for the role. Excepting our own, almost all the other great religions in the world are inevitably connected with the life or lives of one or more of their founders. All their theories, their teachings, their doctrines and their ethics are built round the life of a personal founder from whom they get their sanction, their authority and their power; and, strangely enough, upon the historicity of the founder’s life is built, as it were, all the fabric of such religions. If there is one blow dealt to the historicity of that life,…if that rock of historicity…is shaken and shattered, the whole building tumbles down, broken absolutely, never to regain its lost status.
Every one of the great religions of the world, excepting our own, is built upon such historical characters; but ours rests upon principles. There is no man or woman who can claim to have created the Vedas. They are the embodiment of eternal principles; sages discovered them…(III.182-83)
India alone was to be, of all lands, the land of toleration and of spirituality;…For one of the greatest sages that was ever born found out here in India even at that distant time, which history cannot reach, and into whose gloom even traditions itself dares not peep-in that distant time the sage arose and declared Ekkam Sad Vipra bahuda Vadanti – He who exists is one; the sages call Him variously. This is one of the most memorable sentences that was ever uttered, one of the grandest truths that was ever discovered. And for us Hindus this truth has been the very backbone of our national existence. For throughout the vistas of the centuries of our national life this one idea-Ekkam Sad vipra bahuda Vadanti-comes down gaining in volume and in fullness till it has permeated the whole of our national existence, till it has mingled in our blood and has become one with us. We live that grant truth in every vein, and our country has become the glorious land of religious tolerance. It is here and here alone that they build temples and churches for the religions which have come with the object of condemning our own religion.(III.186-87)
…our religion is not based upon persons but on principles. That you obey your religion is not because it came through the authority of a sage, no, not even of an Incarnation. Krishna is not the authority of the Vedas, but the Vedas are the authority of the Krishna himself. His glory is that he is the greatest preacher of the Vedas that ever existed. (III.249)
The Hindu can worship any sage and any saint from any country whatsoever, and as a fact we know that we go and worship many times in the churches of the Christians, and many, many times in the Mohammedan mosques and that is good. Why not? Ours, as I have said, is the universal religion. It is inclusive enough, it is broad enough to include all the ideals. All the ideals of religion that already exist in the world can be immediately included, and we can patiently wait for all the ideals that are to come in the future to be taken in the same fashion, embraced in the infinite arms of the religion of the Vedanta. (III.251-52)
Ours is the religion of which Buddism, with all its greatness, is a rebel child, and of which Christianity is a very patchy imitation. (III.275)
Ours is the only religion that does not depend on a person or persons; it is based upon principles. (III.280)
… this religion of ours admits of a marvellous variation, an infinite amount of liberty to think and live our own lives. (III.286-87).
If there is any sect here which believes that OM ought not to be the symbol of Hinduism, it has no right to call itself Hindu. (III.302)
Whether we are conscious of it or not, we think Vedanta, we live in the Vedanta, we breathe the Vedanta, and we die in the Vedanta, and every Hindu does that. To preach Vedanta in the land of India, and before an Indian audience seems, therefore, to be an anomaly. But it is the one thing that has to be preached and it is the necessity of the age that it must be preached. (III.323)
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 and any language can invent. It has been one of the principles of my life not to be ashamed of my own ancestors…(III.368-69)
Ay, when a man has begun to hate himself, then the last blow has come. When a man has begun to be ashamed of his ancestors, the end has come. Here am I, one of the least of the Hindu race, yet proud of my race, proud of my ancestors. I am proud to call myself a Hindu, I am proud that I am one of your unworthy servants. I am proud that I am a countryman of yours:- you, the decendants of the sages, you the descendants of the most glorious Rishis the world ever saw. Therefore, have faith in yourselves, be proud of your ancestors, instead of being ashamed of them. (III.381)
I found Hinduism to be the most perfectly satisfying religion in the world.(III.449)
The principles of the Vedanta not only should be preached everywhere in India, but also outside. Our thought must enter into the make-up of the minds of every nation, not through writings, but through persons. (IV.311)
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.(V.15)
The Hindu must not give up his religion, but must keep religion within its proper limits and give freedom to society to grow. All the reformers in India made the serious mistake of holding religion accountable for all the horrors of priestcraft and degeneration and went forthwith to pull down the indestructible structure and what was the result? Failure(V.22)
I want to see you, Swami, asked the correspondent of Prachudha Bharata, on this matter of receiving back into Hinduism those who have been perverted from it. Is it your opinion that they should be received ?
Certainly, said the Swami, they can and ought to be taken. (V.233-34)
Most of the upanishads were written by Kshatriyas, while the ritualistic portions of the Vedas came from the Bramins (V.309)
One peculiarity of the Vedas is that they are the only scriptures that again and again declare that you must go beyond them. The Vedas say that they were written just for the child mind; and when you have grown, you must go beyond them. (V.311)
The Vedas, i.e. only those portions of them which agree with reason are to be accepted as authority. Other Shastras, such as Puranas, etc. are only to be accepted so far as they do not go against the Vedas. All the religious thoughts that have come subsequent to the Vedas, in the world, in whatever part of it, have been derived from the Vedas. (V.315)
In Vedanta the chief advantage is that it was not the work of one single man:and, therefore, naturally, unlike Buddism or Christianity or Mohammedanism, the prophet or teacher did not entirely swallow up or overshadow the principles. (VI.7)
The religion on the Vedas is the religion of the Hindus, and the foundation of all Oriental religions are offshoots of the Vedas; all Eastern systems of religion have the Vedas as authority.(VI.48)
Hinduism is the very genius of absorption. We have never cared for fighting. Of course, we could strike a blow now and then, in defence of our homes ! That was right. But we never cared for fighting for its own sake. Every one had to learn that. So let these race of new comers whirl on. They will be taken into Hinduism in the end. (VIII.266)
[Hinduism by Swami Vivekananda, published by Shri G. M. Jagtiani]
This is the gist of all worship – to the pure and to do good to others. He who sees Siva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Siva; and if he sees Siva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary. (III.141-42)
The only way of getting our divine nature manifested is by helping others to do the same. If there is inequality in nature, still there must be equal chance for all -or if greater for some and for some less – the weaker should be given more chance than the strong. In other words, a Brahmana is not so much in need of education as a Candala. If the son of a Brahmana needs one teacher, that of the Candala needs ten. For greater help must be given to him whom nature has not endowed with an acute intellect from birth. It is a madman who carries coals to Newcastle. The poor, the downtrodden, the ignorant – let these be your god. (VI.319)
There are many things to be done, but means are wanting in this country. We have brains, but no hands. We have the doctrine of Vedanta, but we have not the power to reduce it into practice. In our books, there is the doctrine of universal equality, but in work we make great distinctions. It was in India that unselfish and disinterested work of the most exalted type was preached, but in practice we are awfully cruel. awfully heartless – unable to think of anything besides our own mass-of-flesh bodies…I too believe that India will awake again, if anyone could love with all his heart the people of the country bereft of the grace of affluence, of blasted fortune, their discretion totally lost, down trodden, ever-starved, quarrelsome, and envious. Then only will India awake, when hundreds of large-hearted men and women, giving up all desires of enjoying the luxuries of life, will long and exert themselves to their utmost for the well-being of the millions of their countrymen who are gradually sinking lower and lower in the vortex of destitution and ignorance. (V.125-26)
Carry the light and the life of the Vedanta to every door, and rouse up the divinity that is hidden within every soul. (III.199)
[Vivekananda – His call to the Nation, pp.64, 86-87 and 89]