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Category Archives: World Thinkers on Swami

Hindu Spiritual Leaders

(Independent of Ramakrishna order)

Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo

  • The going forth of Vivekananda as the heroic soul destined to take the world between his two hands and change it was the first visible sign that India was awake…He was a power if ever there was one, a very lion among men. We perceive his influence still working gigantically in something grand, intuitive, upheaving…
  • Aurobindo Ghosh considered Vivekanaqndai as his mentor. While in Alipore Jail, Sri Aurobindo beleived he was visited by Swami Vivekananda in visions during his meditation and guided Sri Aurobindo in mystical experiences.
    Aurobindo: Vivekananda was a soul of puissance if ever there was one, a very lion among men, but the definitive work he has left behind is quite incommensurate with our impression of his creative might and energy. We perceive his influence still working gigantically, we know not well how, we know not well where, in something that is not yet formed, something leonine, grand, intutive, upheaving that has entered the soul of India and we say, “Behold, Vivekananda still lives in the soul of his Mother and in the souls of her children. –Sri Aurobindo–1915 in Vedic Magazine.

    –Sri Aurobindo (Aug 15, 1872 – Dec 5, 1950)

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Historians and Orientalists

Arthur Llewellyn Basham

  • Swami Vivekananda will be remembered as one of the most significant figures in the whole history of Indian religion, comparable in importance to such great teachers as Shankara and Ramanuja. Since the days of the Indian missionaries who traveled in Southeast Asia and China preaching Buddhism and Hinduism more than a thousand years earlier, he was the first Indian religious teacher to make such an impression outside India.
  • It is very difficult to evaluate his [Swami Vivekananda’s] importance in the scale of world history. It is certainly far greater than any Western historian or most Indian historians would have suggested at the time of his death. The passing of the years and the many stupendous and unexpected events which have occurred since then suggest that in centuries to come he will be remembered as one of the main moulders of the modern world, especially as far as Asia is concerned, and as one of the most significant figures in the whole history of Indian religion.

– Arthur Llewellyn Basham, Indologist, was appointed Swami Vivekananda Professor in Oriental Studies at the Asiatic Society Calcutta in September 1985.

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Indian Political Leaders

Sri C. Rajagopalachari

Rajagopalachari

Rajagopalachari with Mahatma Gandhi

“Swami Vivekananda saved Hinduism and saved India. But for him, we would  have lost our religion and would not have gained our freedom. We therefore owe everything to Swami Vivekananda.”
Sri Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari (Dec 10, 1878 – Dec 25, 1972). He was popularly known as Rajaji or C.R. He was the first governor general of Independent India and was an Indian lawyer, writer, statesman and a devout Hindu.

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Indian Litterateurs

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore

Vivekananda said that there was the power of God in every man, that God wanted to have our service through the poor. This is what I call real gospel. This gospel showed the path of infinite freedom from man’s tiny egocentric self beyond the limits of all selfishness. This was no sermon relating to a particular ritual, nor was it a narrow injunction to be imposed upon one’s external life. Vivekananda’s gospel marked the awakening of man in his fullnessIf you want to know India , study Vivekananda.
–Rabindranath Tagore (May 7, 1861 – Aug 7, 1941)

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Western Litterateurs

Romain Rolland

  • Vivekananda’s words are great music, phrases in the style of Beethoven, stirring rhythms like the march of Handel choruses. I cannot touch these sayings of his at thirty years distance without receiving a thrill through my body like an electric shock. The present leaders of India : Gandhi, Aurobindo, and Tagore, have grown, flowered, and born fruit under the double constellation of the Swan (Ramakrishna) and the Eagle (Vivekananda) –– a fact publicly acknowledged by both Gandhi and Aurobindo.
  • I cannot touch these sayings of his, scattered as they are through the pages of this book at thirty distance, without receiving a thrill through my body like an electric shock. And what shock, what transport, must have been produced when, in burning words, they issued from the lips of the hero!

– Romain Rolland, the French savant, novelist, dramatist, essayist, and mystic was awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915. Born on Jan 19, 1866, in Clamecy, Nièvre,  France . An  admirer of Gandhi, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, he wrote books on all three. Died Dec 30,1944 in Vezelay.

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Educators

William James

The paragon of all Unity systems is the Vedanta philosophy of India , and the paragon of Vedantist missionaries was the late Swami Vivekananda who visited our land some years ago. I have just been reading some of Vivekananda’s address in England , which I had not seen. The man is simply a wonder for oratorical power…the Swami is an honor to humanity.
–William James,  Harvard professor, philosopher and author

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20th Century Indian Freedom Fighters

Subhash Chandra Bose

Subash Chandra Bose

  • I cannot write about Vivekananda without going into raptures. Reckless in his sacrifice, unceasing in his activity, boundless in his love, profound and versatile in his wisdom, exuberant in his emotions… I can go on for hours and yet fail to do the slightest justice to that great man. He was so great, so profound, so complex. He was a Yogi of the highest spiritual level, in direct communion with the Truth, who consecrated his whole life to the moral and spiritual uplift of humanity.
  • “Swamiji harmonized the East and the West, religion and science, past and present.  And that is why he is great.  Our countrymen have gained unprecedented self-respect, self-reliance and self-assertion from his teachings.”
  • “He was so great, so profound, so complex. A Yogi of the highest spiritual level in direct communion with the truth who had for the time being consecrated his whole life to the moral and spiritual uplift of his nation and of humanity, that is how I would describe him. If he had been alive, I would have been at his feet

–Subhash Chandra Bose (Jan 23, 1897 – Aug 18, 1945?)

Mahatma Gandhi

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