Dec 31st

51. Summing Up

By Raja
(Rajaram, the Author says)

Swamiji opened my eyes
When I was a lad of sixteen years,
And read then seven volumes
Of his famous speeches.

It was at that tender age
I was blessed with the knowledge
On our ancient Hindu Scriptures
Thro’ Swamiji’s golden speeches.

Right from the day of his birth,
Until the day of his death,
His life was full of events,
Written in thousands of pages.

This brief book when I wrote
I was in a confused state,
As to what I should write
Or what I should omit?

His life story to some extent,
In these pages, I’ve brought,
But tip of an iceberg this one is
Not covering all the events.

I waded thru’ all his books
And picked up some points
About his memorable life,
To write this poetry in brief.

The Ramakrishna Mission,
A philanthropic Association,
Have brought out the books,
In volumes, on all his works.

The Readers are advised to go
Thru’ all his works to know
His glorious life history in full
And reap the benefits well.

I’m grateful to Guru Ramakrishna
And to Swami Vivekananda
For allowing me this freedom
To write a few lines about them.

Oh Readers, kindly excuse me
For mistakes, if any, they may see
In my simple and humble work
That brought out this poetry book.

                    THE END
Dec 31st

50. Swamiji's Last Days

By Raja
(Born on 12-1-1863,
Lived for 39 years)
and died on 4-7-1902)

Swamiji came very late
To Belur Math at night.
None expected him by then,
As he didn’t inform anyone.

He had to scale the gate.
And in the kitchen, he met
His brother disciples
Who sat there for meals.

On his silent homecoming,
They enjoyed in a gathering.
They exchanged greetings,
And shared their feelings.

After staying there for sometime
He proceed to Advaita Ashram
At Mayavati, near Himalayas,
To meet the other disciples.

He set up this institution,
For non-dualistic discipline,
That differed from dualistic one
Both followed in the Hindu Religion.

He said, “The Ultimate Reality is
Non-dual in its existence.
The stage one is dualism,
That leads to non-dualism.”

This was his opinion,
That came in the open,
Through this institution,
Of the Hindu Religion.

Back to Belur Math, he came.
Bad to worse his health became.
His disciples forced him
To take rest in his room.

But he was still moving about
Without taking any rest.
Too much worried they were,
But he didn’t take any care.

It was one evening time,
He was sitting in his room
With closed windows and doors
And was meditating for an hour.

Later, he called them
And when they came 
He was in his bed,
With his eyes closed.

They were under impression
He was in deep meditation.
He took a deep breath twice,
And fell into an eternal silence.

A voice from the sky echoed
While they stood around
The lifeless body of a soul
That cared for the poor still.

“May I be born 
Again and again
To suffer all miseries
To worship God who exists.”

“For me the only God is,
The sum total of all souls.
I shall inspire everyone.
This is my only mission.”
Dec 30th

49. Visit To West Again

By Raja
On 20th June, 1899, once again,
Swamiji started out on a plan
To visit the Western world,
Where branches he had opened.

The sea trip was smooth
And it improved his health.
With two of his disciples,
He enjoyed the sea travel.

He reached the destination,
New York, one afternoon,
His old friends and disciples
Welcomed his grand arrival.

Then, he went to Los Angeles,
Where he conducted classes
And gave many public lectures,
Attended by local admirers.

Back in New York, he visited
Vedanta Society, which enlisted
Several University professors
And other learned scholars.

In Paris, he attended the Congress
Of the History of Religions,
Like the Parliament of Religions,
Last held in the United States.

After visiting many places,
He was feeling more restless.
So, to Bombay, he left then
By the first available ship alone.

During his second visit,
He smelt war in the West,
Europe looked like a base
For all military operations.

On a Volcano, Europe stood.
And if there was no flood
Of spirituality to put it out
The fire would burn it.

In this second visit
More commercial interest
Greed, craze for power,
He saw everywhere.

It gave rise to a question
About his Universal Religion,
How best it would integrate
And harmonize East and West?
Dec 29th

48. Whirlwind Tour In North India

By Raja
From May 1897, he travelled
In North India and lectured
At many places, like Almora
Punjab and Jammu-Kashmir.

At Jammu, he had a discussion
Personally with Maharaja to open
A Monastery for training young men
On the doctrines of Hindu Religion.

Despite his physical weakness,
He covered many places,
Situated in Northern parts
And spoke about the Vedas.

“The individual’s strength
Is the Nation’s strength,”
This was his slogan
That he told everyone.

“Be good to others.
Learn all the virtues,
Such as service to the poor,
Universal love and character.”

“Build up strength,
Self-respect is worth.
Promote unity among all.
Practice self-control.”

In all the meetings,
These were the slogans,
With his powerful voice,
He told the audience,

Early in 1898, the Belur Math,
In the name of Ramakrishna Math,
Was commissioned to function
As Headquarters of this mission.

The lady disciple, Sister Nivedita,
Was trained by Vivekananda
Along with other western disciples,
To take up various arduous duties.

In the Holy Mother’s vision,
They moved like her children.
Nivedita adopted the ways
Of a woman in a Hindu house.

He took rest for a few days
In the vicinity of Himalayas.
He felt that place homely
And his health improved slightly.
Dec 28th

47. Back In India

By Raja
At Colombo, the ship halted.
Vivekananda never expected
Such a big crowd of people
At the port would assemble.

The people of Ceylon
Took him in procession
Thro’ decorated arches
Erected in all the streets.

It wasn’t, he felt, his victory,
But a success to the spirituality,
For which he went the West,
And returned back to the East.

He visited Kandy, Aruradhapuram,
Jaffna, Pamban, Rameswaram,
Ramnad, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli,
Kumbakonam, and Madras finally.

Everywhere people gathered,
And he blessed the multitude.
He revealed his intentions,
To start many institutions.

He wanted more preachers
To preach on Hindu scriptures,
In India and abroad as well,
And enlighten more people.

On 19th February 1897,
At Kolkata, he was given
A hearty public reception
In a grand welcome function.

The Ramakrishna Mission,
A noble Hindu Association,
With his blessings, came up,
Under his able leadership.

A bold statement he made,
That he had worshiped
The one and only God,
On this earth, who existed.

At the end, he declared,
“My God is the wicked.
The poor, the miserable,
The sum total of all souls.”
Dec 27th

46. Other Visits In The West

By Raja
After his American visits,
Swamiji chose several places
In London and European Cities
To give his religious lectures.

In London, he met scholars,
Who heard his lectures,
On the merits of Hindu Religion,
And the benefits of meditation.

After attending his classes,
Many became his disciples.
He found it too strenuous
To manage these activities.

Here, he had a premonition
Of his imminent death soon.
Yet, he had his own concern
To fulfill his people’s expectations.

Unmindful of his last days,
To uplift the Indian masses,
The only thought he had,
Made him to work still hard.

In the European countries,
His itinerary went on like this,
Such as Switzerland, France,
Germany, Italy, and other places.

There was a pressing recall
From the Indian people,
For Swamiji’s early return.
To see him, they were keen.

The great India’s regeneration
O’er its religious foundation,
Remained as his pending work
Though it was an uphill task.

The support, he had from the West,
Never before he had from his East.
He had his recognition from India,
Only after he was honored by America.
Dec 26th

45. Lectures On Vedanta

By Raja
The touring lecture bureau
Displayed Swamiji like a circus hero,
In their every advertisement,
That caused him embarrassment.

With them, he snapped his ties
And had his own lecture tours.
People came in thousands,
More learned gents and ladies.

While many appreciated him,
A few jealous critics also came
To malign his popular name
And discredit him with shame.

Due to his extensive tour
In the country all over,
He fell sick almost,
And badly needed rest.

His admirers and devotees
Gave him all the comforts,
Particularly American ladies,
Who took care like his sisters.

He said, “The women here
Are too kind hearted, pure,
Independent, life and soul 
Of this country as a whole.”

Miss Elizebeth Dutcher
His student and admirer,
Took him for his rest
To her summer resort.

He gave lectures on Vedanta
And trained students on yoga.
He sent money earned thus
For philanthropic causes.

“For the good of the world,”
He said, “Even if I’m dead,
I shall work incessantly,
Tirelessly and honestly.”

“Stand on your own feet.
For anything, fear not.
Be strong like a lion.
Truth will always win.”
Dec 25th

44. Religion In America

By Raja
Freedom, equality and justice
Had been the most valuable treasures
Cherished in the American hearts
And were the basis of their politics.

Religion also played its vital role,
Well among the American people,
But more than the spiritual progress,
Material value occupied the first place.

The reason was, the tremendous
Progress in technology and science,
That increased their prospects
Besides their rich life styles.

To give America a religious flavor,
Efforts were made thereafter.
As in the Parliament of Religion,
A forum to study all religions.

This forum gave a chance
For every religion to place
Their best religious practices
Before the learned audience.

Vivekananda scored high marks
In this evaluation process
To the credit of the Hindus,
With his thundering lectures.

He kept America in high esteem
For having extended this forum
To all the world religions
In the name of Parliament of Religions.

This forum proved that the success
Of technology and science
Responsible for material prosperity,
Couldn’t destroy any spiritual activity.

The result was, a closer contact
Between the East and the West
On the material platform
As well as in the spiritual forum.

In the eyes of America
The prestige of India
Shot up by leaps and bounds
Only after Swamiji’s lectures.
Dec 24th

43. Swamiji's Reaction

By Raja
A secluded life, Swamiji wanted,
But it was the will of God,
That he had to go for
A public religious career.

After he earned a name,
Many rich people came
To take care of his needs.
Another act of God, indeed!

But to accept their hospitality,
When his people were in poverty,
He was feeling sick at heart.
And felt sorry for it.

“I don’t care for any name,”
He cried, “Nor for my fame.
Here they spend millions
For their personal comforts.”
 
“My people die out of hunger.
Who’ll give them all succor?
How can I help my people”
Like this, for them, he did feel.

In one session, he said,
“What India needs is bread,
And not any religion.”
This was his opinion.

He accepted an offer
For a long lecture tour
From a lecture Bureau
Since he wanted money.

With the funds thus earned
There was no need to depend
Upon his friends or any one,
For financial support then.

He visited many places
And gave his hot lectures,
Provoking some religious fanatics,
Who threw on him accusations.

Once he said, “Better live in rags.
With Christ, than in palaces
Without Christ.”  Like this,
He made fiery comments.

Though the truth, he spoke,
Rich Christians didn’t like
To hear such strong words,
Which troubled their minds.

When some orthodox Hindus
Passed derogatory remarks
He was eating forbidden food,
Like this, he retorted:

“If the people of India want
I should take Hindu diet,
Let them send me a cook
And money for his sake.”

When any one confronted
He remained unperturbed,
But he gave bold replies
To all their relevant queries.

However, eminent people
Came to hear him still
As all his fine lectures
Were intensely religious.
Dec 23rd

42. The Public Opinion

By Raja
The young Vivekananda,
The unknown monk of India,
Suddenly became a popular
Religious man the World over.

In the Chicago streets,
His life-size portraits,
Attracted many passers-by
Who stopped close-by.

With all due reverence,
They bowed their heads
In front of the portrait,
And paid their respect.

What he meant by Vedas,
Was those spiritual laws
Discovered by many seers
During various periods

Even before they found,
Those laws really existed;
Seers discovered them
From time to time.

“The law of gravitation,
Was it a new invention?
No, it did exist before
And will exist thereafter.”

This example he quoted,
For the spiritual world,
That had its own laws,
Those found later by seers.

The Chairman of Parliament
Dr J.H. Barrows, in his statement
Appreciated Swamiji’s influence
O’er the entire audience.

One Newspaper flashed,
“After hearing him, to send
Missionaries to this learned nation
Will be a foolish action.”

In the Parliament of Religion,
He was a center of attraction.
To make the audience sit,
His speech was kept last.

They all waited for hours
There to hear his words
Eagerly, as a special case,
Just for fifteen minutes

The son of the Indian Nation
Earned such a glorification,
The whole country felt proud
When, the news, Indians heard.

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