Swami Vivekananda and the Erasing of the Dividing Line
This is a deeply insightful piece of writing by Swami Ranganathanandaji, the late thirteenth President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. Originally titled 'Swami Vivekananda and the Future of India', this article was written on that fateful day, 15 August 1947, and contributed to the Pakistan Independence Day special issue of The Daily Gazette of Karachi, Pakistan. In these pages is evident the loftiness of the Swami?s historical vision, and its relevance stands undimmed even after six decades. Book Review: This little booklet contains two articles of Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj, the late thirteenth President of the Ramakrishna Order. The first was written by him in Karachi on the 15th of August 1947, on the occasion of India?s Independence Day. The second is an extract from the speech given by him in 1986 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, while accepting the First Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. The ?Dividing Line? refers to the visible and invisible factors that gave rise to the Two-Nation theory at the time of independence. The seed of this theory had been planted insidiously by the British Government in the minds of the Muslim leaders, some of them being prominent members of the Indian National Congress. Today, there is hardly anyone on either side of the ?Dividing Line? who is optimistic about this line disappearing. But, in those days, there were many people on both sides who felt that this temporary insanity will blow over and the two peoples will come together again. Swami Ranganathanandaji was one such. He is a true disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, both of whom fervently hoped that the two communities would learn to live in true harmony. Swamiji even fervently hoped that Vedanta in its pure form would be the panacea. Who knows? A day may come when the apparently impossible may become possible. Did not the Cold War end? Did not the Berlin Wall fall? Swami Ranganathanadaji was asked several times by many people, including this reviewer about the turmoil in the subcontinent. His answer was that the countries of this subcontinent are now making a transition from the state of tamas (inertia) to rajas (activity). Very soon they would realize the need for moving over to sattva (equilibrium). The second article is quite short and talks of the need for us to understand the correct meaning of Secularism, not the fake one parading around the country. What we need today is the ancient wisdom that considered the whole world as one. The Swami feels that not only should there be an integration within the nation, but it should extend beyond its boundaries too. Both the articles carry the distinct style of Swami Ranganathanandaji, viz., lucidity and clarity. Bringing out this booklet is the tribute paid by the Advaita Ashrama to the Swami during his centenary year.