Friday, June 30, 2017

Swami Vivekanand on Hindu Muslim Conflict

Swami Vivekananda Quotes
Swami Vivekananda on Why We Disagree
I think this is the best time to read and analyze the works of Narendranath Datta, or more popularly known as the disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda.

I cannot confirm that young Narendranath, himself, witnessed any case of communal violence, but the time was no different from the present moment. There was an undefined tension in between Hindu and Muslim populace. The Hindu groups Arya Samaj and others were demanding for cow slaughter ban. Cow protection related violence was rising and main cause of the communal riots. The Government of India (then) was mum over the issue of cow vigilantism and were simply playing with those pro-Hindus and their demand of protecting cow (to divert the discussion from the demand of reforms). Meanwhile, people of India were dying.

And this is where, Vivekananda came to rescue, especially those who still have some rationale left with them.

Vivekananda, in his famous speech, Why We Disagree?, explained the reasons for disagreement between two sects, communities, and religions. He told a story of a frog. A frog, by some freak of nature, born and brought up in a well, and used to think, the well is the biggest water body in the world. But one day, by some accident, a frog from the sea came to that well, and when frog from the sea told the frog from the well that sea is the biggest water body in the world. They started fighting.

In the end, Vivekananda summed up, "That has been the difficulty all the while. 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."

You can read Swami Vivekananda's Why We Disagree, here.

On beef-eating (or meat consumption as a whole), Vivekananda has an ambivalent point of view. He does not support beef or meat consumption, but he also not condemns those who eat meat. According to him, Hinduism is about accepting all viewpoints.

Vivekananda's message is loud and clear (especially to those who are stuck). You need to break away from your little, short-sighted, rigid way of thinking. There are uncountable other ways to see the world. You need to stop using violence to prove yourself, instead, you need to learn from others, and improve the world from your new found knowledge.

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