August 15, India’s 67 Independence Day: Jai Hind…Brothers & Sisters of America

Independence-Day-India-9Yesterday was India’s 67 Independence day celebration. India is world’s largest democracy in terms of population while United States is World’s greatest superpower and democracy. We look at how both countries included each other through the real life of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda was an eminent scholar, spiritual master who set out on a long 10 year journey across the world to spread his teachings and message of love. When Swami Vivekananda stared his voyage he went to Hong Kong, Japan, United States and then to United Kingdom. He was warmly received by one and all. It his his experience in United States and England which touched him the most.  

4940858-3x2-300x200Coming back to America, an instance stands out in terms of how Vivekananda influenced some of the richest people in America. John Rockefeller, one of the richest American at that point of time, was very arrogant and refused to meet Vivekananda when one of Rockefeller’s friend urged him to do so. However through a hand of fate, he ended up directly in the house where Vivekananda was residing. Not to be stopped by anyone he barged into Vivekananda’s room and addressed Vivekananda a question. Swami Vivekananda without looking up from his work addressed him to be calm and ponder on the spiritual aspects of life. Rockefeller said that he had become rich because he was very smart. Vivekananda replied in a compassionate and witty manner that if he is 3 times smarter than average Joe in America but has earned 100 times then its wise to donate back some money to the society. (The wordings are loosely enunciated here). Rockefeller would go on to become one of the biggest philanthropists in American history. Swami Vivekananda not only influenced the likes of Rockefeller but also Tesla and J D Salinger. (Source pic above abc.net.au)

United Sates leads the world in Philanthropy by a mile for a long time. There have been outstanding people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Page, Eli Broad, Paul Allen( Co founder Microsoft), Pierre Omidyar (Founder ebay) and Mark Zuckerberg to name a few who have donated or pledged to donate a fortune to society which in many ways is due to the philosophy and character of the Founding Fathers of America especially George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Stating that Swami Vivekananda played a key role as a catalyst in influencing positive and philanthropic values in where ever he went. He was one of the earliest proponents of education for underprivileged in the modern era and his vision was actively supported by many of his followers especially Sister Nivedita. Swami Vivekananda’s journey to America invigorated in him a sense of vision in life when he was able to touch life of so many Americans and started one of the most symbiotic relation in modern era…one of wisdom, spiritual splendor and eternal magnanimity. Vivekananda in many ways changed the image of India in America and played an instrumental role in bounding America and India which hopefully shall continue till eternity…like his iconic speech in House of Parliaments which started with words “Brothers and Sisters of America”…

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/drishtikone/2011/12/how-swami-vivekananda-changed-john-rockefeller/