This verse captured the imagination of Swami Vivekananda who used it in the context of the sleeping leviathan, the masses of India of those times who were under a thousand years of foreign subjugation and quite content to be so, imitating western culture and manners, and believing that the prosperity of the western nations was due to Christianity and that Hinduism was no match to it being ridden with image worship, polytheism, practice of sati, child marriage, etc.
The nation had to be awakened to the sublime Indian heritage, which Vivekananda placed before the western world and which had a resounding echo on the Indian soil.
When a person is sleeping, he is practically dead to the outside world. In the Chhandogya Upanishad we come across King Ajatasatru instructing Gargya. He takes him by the hand, and walking up to a sleeping man calls him using various words such as ‘O Great One’, ‘O White-robed One’, ‘O Radiant One’, ‘O Soma’ etc. But the sleeping man does not get up. The king pushes the sleeping man again and again with his hand until he awakens.
A sleeping man has first to be aroused from his deep slumber which requires him to be pushed for long. Thereafter he opens his eyes and looking around, gradually comes to understand the situation: where he is, what is the day, what are the works to be done, etc. Immediately on waking up one is not aware of all these and it takes its own time.
This was the situation of India as a whole: slumbering for a thousand years under the hypnotism of foreign rule, neglecting the masses and the women, forgetful of her Vedantic realisations both in theory and practice. The nation had to be aroused from this hypnotism and awakened to the need to become free, to elevate the masses and women by applying the truths of Vedanta in daily life, and to spread this nectarine message of Vedanta to the entire world. A hypnotised nation has first to be ‘aroused’ from the state of hypnotism and then ‘awakened’ to its real greatness and the contributions it can make to the rest of the world. This is the significance of “Arise! Awake!” Furthermore, this awakening should not be given up until the goal is reached. This is Swami Vivekananda’s modified interpretation of the rest of the first line of the verse.
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The Order on the March
News & Notes from Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission
Reminiscences of Sargachhi
(Continued from previous issue. . .) Swami Premeshananda (1884 – 1967) was a disciple of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi. For over two decades he lived at Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Sargachhi, West Bengal. Under his inspiration countless people led a life of spirituality and service, and many young men and women entered into monastic life. His conversations – translated from Bengali and presented below – were noted by his attendant who is now Srimat Swami Suhitananda Ji, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Ramakrishna Order.
The Three Gunas
Under the spell of God’s maya man forgets his true nature. He forgets that he is heir to the infinite glories of his Father. This divine maya is made up of three gunas.
The Story of Periaazhvaar
Srimat Swami Tapasyananda Ji (1904 – 1991) was one of the Vice-Presidents of the Ramakrishna Order. His deeply convincing answers to devotees’ questions raised in spiritual retreats and in personal letters have been published in book form as Spiritual Quest: Questions & Answers. Pariprasna is a selection from this book.
This is the ninth story in the series on devotees who had a role in the divine play of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna.
Naren Worships Mother Ganga
A fictional narrative based on incidents from the childhood of Swami Vivekananda.
The Katha Upanishad states, “Arise, awake, and learn by approaching the excellent ones. The wise ones describe that path to be as impassable as a razor’s edge, which when sharpened, is difficult to tread.”1
Swami Shivananda: A Living Light
(Continued from the previous issue...) In this article, Swami Shraddhanandaji reminiscences about his interaction with Swami Shivananda, one of the direct-disciples of Sri Ramakrishna and the 2nd President of the Ramakrishna Order. From 1957, Shraddhanandaji served in the American centres of San Francisco and Sacramento until his mahasamadhi in July 1996. This article was sent to The Vedanta Kesari by Lali Maly, a devotee of Vedanta Society of Sacramento, USA.
Shiva: Interval Between Enjoyment And Its Negation
Swami Nityabodhanandaji was a disciple of Swami Shivanandaji, the second President of the Ramakrishna Order. He was editor of The Vedanta Kesari, from 1942-1948 and later for three decades he was the head of Geneva centre of the Ramakrishna Order in Switzerland. This article is reproduced from the March 1968 issue of Prabuddha Bharata.
‘NEVER HAVE I EVER' BRINGS RARE VOICE, AND A NEWCOMER, TO TV
When Mindy Kaling was growing up in the Boston area, few classmates looked like her, and her television choices ranged from angsty white teenagers to funny white teenagers.
THE EVERYDAY APOCALYPSE
Social confinement spurred a new way of living. Suddenly, home was where you both worked and played and technology became our bridge to the world outside
पूज्य गुरुदेव ने सन् २०२०, यह वर्ष ‘बाल वर्ष' के रूप में घोषित किया है। इसी उपलक्ष्य में हम एक विशेष लेख शृंखला अपने बाल पाठकों के लिए प्रस्तुत कर रहे हैं। आशा है, इस शृंखला के तहत प्रकाशित होने वाले बालयोगियों एवं बाल संतों के जीवन-चरित्र से बच्चों को निश्चित ही प्रेरणा मिलेगी।
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Maitreyi Ramakrishnan represents the inclusive future of television, with her breakout performance in a new Netflix comedy