Friday, January 12, 2007

Arise Awake !!

Some time back in an episode of KBC2, a confused young guy was facing Big B. The question was 'which Indian Sage started his speech with words "Brothers and Sisters of America" in Chicago? The boy had to take life line of 'call a friend' and called his younger sister (or friend maybe). Boy could not even complete the question to girl and came the speedy reply "Swami Vivekananda". Big B said she is the one who should be here at hot seat.

This day is birthday of two great souls I am inspired of. One was born Sanyaasi and other became Vaanprasthi after his retirement from government job at the age of 58.

'Naren' as called in childhood Swami Vivekananda, had only one question for every god man he met, “Have you seen God?” It was indeed a very embarrassing question to reply for all those people who tried to reply avoiding the main part. But it was only Ramkrishana Paramhans who said, “Yes, I talk to God like I am talking to you now.” Since then Naren never left Paramahans.

After untimely death of father Naren had to face enormous financial difficulties to feed his family. His guru Swami Ramkrishan Paramhans send him thrice to Ma Kali for financial help. But Naren every time could only speak of Vairagya and Vivek.

Days before the sessions of the Parliament of Religions, Swamiji used to wander on the roads of Chicago. One day an American staring at Swamiji's saffron chola and turban remarked on him, "what you people gonna speech us about, you don't even know how to dress like a gentleman." Swamiji politely gave him reply, “In your country tailors make the gentleman but in my country high thinking make a person gentleman."

Through out his life of 38 years he kept struggling for the upliftment of Indians. He always insisted to be brave, bold and self esteemed. He used to call for the youths of India,

"Arise Awake and stop not till the goal is reached!”


The other person, for 58 years he lived like a loin in jungle who fears nothing. Living life of a senior government officer he enjoyed all the colors of the seasons of his carrier. He never believed in financial savings. Never showed distrust to anyone. That’s why he was stabbed many times in his back by his so called relatives and friends. But he would always give example of a Sadhu who receives stings while saving a drowning honey bee. Helping people beyond his limits was his favorite hobby.

The second act of his life started after his retirement at the age of 58. He was completely a new person for all of us. Until now I was never able to see his passion, emotions or dedication towards our society or country. He pledged to Vanprasth (one of the four ashrams described in Hinduism) in year 2001 in a ceremony at Hardwar organized by a social institution and devoted his remaining life for our society.

He was given charge of 220 schools of Vidya Bharti (India’s biggest NGO in education sector) in Punjab state for the internal auditing and regularizing of financial norms. Of course this was a non paying social service. Since my birth I very rarely saw him traveling in a bus or wearing a suit without crease. But now he traveled for 20 days in a month in sarkari buses without caring for the iron of his clothes for this noble cause.

His friends, who joined other jobs or started helping their children’s businesses after their retirement, used to ask him that how much is he getting out of this? Some would simply smile that may be there is good under table income in this social service. But he would laugh at them and genuinely reply that for 60 years we have only received from our society and now it’s time to payback. He urged many of his friends to come and join him but we all know it’s never so easy.

He never shared with us but we knew that he had adopted some orphan kids and was regularly paying for their monthly expenses from his pension account. He also pledged to donate his eyes and he did.

In two years of his hard work and dedication he was given charge of entire north India. He was getting busier and busier and moreover enjoying his job despite the various difficulties.

We started missing him as he used to stay away from home for many days. His grandsons kept calling him over his cell for different goodies and he never disappointed them. Until 2005.

We still miss you dad we all miss you badly.


multisubj yb said...

Loving thy parents is reasonable.

About Vivekananda: Seems to be publicity material for Ramakrishna Math who never published an impartial biography of Vivekananda. Of course, they have a right to censor whatever they did not like the world to know about Vivekananda.

Praney said...

Reasonable? eeeeee!!

And would love to hear if you have other than usual about Vivekananda. Pls also share your source of information if its not Math.

BTW, thanks for your comments, Multi !