5 reasons why Swami Vivekananda is the original Indian rockstar
This is the swag we are talking about.
- Total Shares
'The word Hindu is a misnomer; the correct word should be a Vedantin, a person who follows the Veda'
Swami Vivekananda was truly the ultimate Hindu icon — and India's first and foremost 'woke' rockstar who would have utterly smashed it in today's world of social media.
Here's five reasons we think so:
1. Hindu icon
Swami Vivekananda was no arm-chair rant artist. Neither was he a swami who would vanish into the hills or jungles, leaving others wondering. He was a traveller and traversed the world in search of knowledge — which he shared right back with the world.
In 1893 on September 11, Swami Vivekananda changed the world. He introduced it to Hinduism for the very first time at the Chicago Convention of the Parliament of Religions.
So, what's Hinduism?
"We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth"
Eloquence we love!
True rockstar! For ages to come.
2. A lesson on nationalism
There have been plenty of discussions on Vivekananda, his life and his works. His comments on Islam have been debated. His speeches have been deconstructed and new and newer conclusions have been drawn.
His personal correspondence has been scrutinised to examine whether or not he is duly deified.
Well, he was not a deity.
He was a human being and a rather cool one who apparently smoked (it is said he even smoked all the hookahs kept in his father's chamber, different ones for the diverse castes of people who came by, to see whether they tasted different or not) and was in favour of playing football instead of learning the Gita by heart.
But here's why he was the nationalist we want. This is what he said:
The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.
A Hindu swami who believed in unity — with diversity.
Did we tell you Swami Vivekananda was special?
3. A scientific mind
Laugh at yourself for belonging to a time when the Indian Science Congress promotes unfounded ideas like the Kauravas were all born of test tube technology and Ravana had airplanes (and airports).
Swami Vivekananda would, in all likelihood, also laugh,
The first time Swami ji met Guru Ramakrishna, he asked him directly, 'Have you seen God?'
This was not the first time he asked this question. While Vivekananda was in college, he joined the Brahmo Samaj — a branch of Hinduism which was opposed to idolatry. He was intrigued by this one question; a seeking, rational, ever-scientific mind, he wanted to meet one person who would confirm that he had seen God.
And then, he met Ramakrishna who said to him:
Yes, I have seen God. I see Him as I see you here, only more clearly. God can be seen. One can talk to him. But who cares for God? People shed torrents of tears for their wives, children, wealth, and property, but who weeps for the vision of God? If one cries sincerely for God, one can surely see Him
4. No dynasty — sheer merit
His father was a barrister. But Vivekananda became a pauper after his father's death. He had a superb BA degree (in Philosophy, from Scottish Church College) and went door to door looking for a job, but remained unemployed forever. He was acknowledged widely as a genius though. It is said that he could memorise anything just by taking a look at it. A voracious reader, he used to return books to the library a day after and could then deliver speeches verbatim from them without a pause. A polyglot and a tremendous reader, Swami Vivekananda would awe the world with his own writing, and the sheer eloquence of his words.
5. Plus, a heartthrob!
'Five feet eight inches tall, quite plump and cherubic' — in the manner of all rockstars, Swami Vivkenanda was actually a heartthrob as well.
Wherever he went, it was said, droves of adoring admirers would surround him, fall at his feet, even beg for his attention.
One lady asked him to marry her because she wanted a child of such an intellect. And this was his gentle reply:
My dear lady, I understand your desire. Marrying and bringing a child into this world and understanding whether it is intelligent or nnot takes very long time. Moreover it is not guaranteed. Instead, to fulfill your desire immediately, I can suggest a guaranteed way. Take me as your child. You are my mother, Now your desire of having a child of my intellect is fulfilled.
That's the swag we are talking about.