(Published in journal Sadhana, January 22, 1994)
Excerpts from the book ‘Social Harmony’ by Narendra Modi
“Unique Approach of Swami Vivekananda Once during a discussion on non – duality, Swami Vivekananda told his disciples:” I belong to all people. We are followers of the Vedic Hindu Religion. We have nothing to do with
Untouchability as there is no such concept in the Hindu religion. Our scriptures do not mention untouchability; it is merely a superstition that keeps interfering with the routine concentration of work of the population. ”Swami Vivekananda never missed any opportunity to awake the society with his arguments based on religion. , logic or devotion.
He refuted irrational traditions and rigid mindsets with his irrefutable logic. He would say: “If virtue lies in obeying strict rules and regulations passed down over generations, then there can be nobody more virtuous than a tree? Has anyone ever seen a piece of stone defying nature?
Has anyone ever seen animals indulging in sin? ”Swami Vivekananda had a unique approach towards the repressed and the suffering. He never accepted the system of obliging others, but propagated the path of unity. The strength of his attitude towards the so-called lower class people is evident in his words: “I will not be offended if they call me a Shudra (person from lower caste). In a way, it would be a repentance for the tyranny of my ancestors on the poor. I will be happy to belong to the lower caste.
I am the disciple of a man who, in spite of being one of the highest Brahmins, was willing to clean the toilets of a Shudra.
The Shudra was aghast at the idea of a Brahmin saint cleaning his house, so he refused. But my Guru crept into his house at midnight, cleaned the toilets and wiped them with his long locks of hair. I bow down to such a great man. We Hindus should inculcate this spirit among the common people too.
If we have a reformer who serves the lower castes, I will sit at his feet and learn from him. Concrete action is more valuable than mere principles.
Today, the efforts for the progress of backward castes have been reduced to a game for political benefits.
On the other hand, the idea of caste distinctions has become a weapon for political exploitation. “With a view towards overall development of society, Swami Vivekananda raised shackles against caste distinction around 100 years ago.
He told the Brahmins:” If you argue that traditionally Brahmins are more inclined towards higher education than those from lower castes, then you should stop spending on education for Brahmins and use the money for educating people from lower castes instead. You should help the poor as they genuinely need help. If a Brahmin is clever by birth, he will be able to study without help. You need to provide education, teachers and other necessities to those who are not clever by birth.
This is what justice and logical reasoning tell us. Our poor and backward people need to discover themselves.
We need to explain to them greatness lies within the soul of each man, woman and child; without any riders of strength or weakness derived from caste distinctions.
Hence, we need to wake up and shrug off our weakness.
In reality, nobody is weak.
The soul of every person is infinitely powerful and omnipotent. “Harmonious Approach towards Political System Swami Vivekananda showed the path for eradicating the evils of society on the basis of religion, love and mercy.
He also envisaged a political system based on harmony for the progress of society.