Remembering Vivekananda

English: Higher detail image of Swami_Vivekana...

Today is the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda (1863-2013) and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day in India. He was a spiritual leader, a man of principles and an avid orator in Interfaith Awareness.

I am sharing his speech at Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago in 1893. which I luckily found on the web.

Here’s the full length of the speech, a must read.

Sisters and Brothers of America:

It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions, and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.

My thanks, also, to some of the speakers on this platform who, referring to the delegates from the Orient, have told you that these men from far-off nations may well claim the honour of bearing to different lands the idea of toleration. I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. 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. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: “As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”

The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me.”

Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honour of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.

India- A Re-emerging Economy

As history remarks, from 0 AD to 1700 AD, India was the richest of all the economies in the world. By 1700, there was 32% of the wealth of the world, was in India. Then, came the era of colonization when different countries from the west started looting India with their trading prospects which ultimately led India to be a poor country (as westerners still think we are), but I am going to cite few examples as to how India is not an emerging economy, but a re-emerging economy. We were never poor.

At the time of Independence, the GDP of India was close to 4.2% and by 1973, during the state of Emergency declared by our then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, India’s GDP was the lowest of around 3%. But, after that there was no looking back. Today, the world reckons and eyes the emerging markets which is adding more than 50% to the Global GDP Calculations and India is one of them. That means, the developed economies has realized the potential of these emerging markets, which has led to globalization. Rich in tradition and societal culture, India is not just an emerging economy but a well-balanced socio-economic hybrid.

In 1991, as India opened its gates to the world, the post era of liberalization has given India Inc., an upper curvature in all the graphs. There are strengths, which cannot be unnoticed and itself being researched and published by a lot of westerners and Indians themselves, but more or less suppressed to the world. This is what I call an Indian Edge. 

There are few points which gives rise to this Indian Edge.

1. India, has always been a country of savings before liberalization and even after liberalization, the Gross Domestic Savings (GDS) accounts to around 30-32% despite western impact on India. Moreover, this GDS is utilized for capital formation which accounts parallel to the same amount of percentage growth. That means, a normal Indian still saves and create capital for himself/herself.

2. The domestic demand of India has always been more and despite of its global outreach, Indians consume a lot locally. That means, we are becoming globally local and locally global simultaneously.

3. India has low government and household debts then most of the developed economies in the world. That means, we are not that much in debt than most of the European countries like Italy, Spain, Germany etc and Britain having the highest debt.

4. India, is the second most entrepreneurial nation in the world, with the highest number of youth (aged 25 – 35), we have presently the highest number of startups in the world. Mexico being the first, marginally ahead by 1%. The number of Entrepreneurs in India, is around 18% from the world.

5. The Service sector in India accounts to 66%, which means a lot of Industries today are driven by different service sectors, which means there is an increasing demand-supply ratio in India, which will make us the most economically sustained nation in the future.

6. With people investing a lot in Gold (which is taken as consumption by global economists), even a small middle-class family has invested in gold, which has seen a tremendous and consistent rise in the last 30 years. And India is far more ahead than any other country in the world. Most of the gold reserves in US is under federal reserves, but in India, 75% of the total gold utilization is among the normal household.

7. The remittances to India from Indians all around the world is more than 50%. That means, there are a lot of Indians staying abroad who has a need to send their money to their loved ones in India or just for capital formation with sole intention of living their second innings in their home nation. This adds to the economic growth of India.

These are just few points, which describes India as a re-emerging economy. With ‘Jugaad’ i.e the Indian way of doing things out-of-the-box, Indians have more skills of doing the same thing in different ways. This adds to the Indian edge. With a lot more social parameters, which Indians are indebted to, India is not just a land of cows anymore. Well, every nation has its pros and cons. While every world is chasing its realms, India is never going to be ignored in the process. And the world will stop running behind GDP and Inflation but Human Development Index and Gross National Happiness, which India has to focus on. Then we will see India like in 1700.

Money can’t buy you happiness, or can it?

Chanakya and Classical Economics.

Twenty three hundred years ago, there was a learned Acharya (Scholar) named Chanak in the Kingdom of Magadha of the ancient India, formerly called BHARAT which aboded as a cultural heritage and a rich nation. Bharat was divided into kingdoms like Gandhar, Kashi, Avanti, Assaka, Kalinga, Magadha, Kuru, Mallayrajya and so on.

There was King named Dhanananda who was ruling Magadha, who was adamant, wine-loathed and women laden man. He had a cabinet of ministers, which was headed by a wise prime minister named Shaktar. He was the King’s advisor and a learned man. One day in the assembly, he announced to the king, that women in their kingdom are raped and murdered, and no one seem to care about it. The king got furious, by Shaktar’s comment and sent him to Nanda’s hell, which was a torture cell in the underground reigns of the kingdom. Acharya Chanak, was Shaktar’s close friend, was found propagating to the people of Magadha about the king’s misconducts and deeds. Soon as King Dhanananda got acquainted of it, he ordered his soldiers to cut of the Acharya’s head, which eventually happened. Vishnugupta, was the son of Acharya Chanak, which later known to become Chanakya was helped by one of the ministers in the King’s cabinet named Katyayan, cremated his father’s dead body and was sent to Takshila University (which is the oldest university in the world) with a letter to the dean.

The University comprised of with princes and children of the kings and governors in the world. Young Chanakya, being interviewed by the admissions head of the university, was being probed and asked ” What are the possible means by which a king can settle political disputes?”, the witty and knowledgeable Chanakya replied ” There are four possible methods. Sama- Gentle persuasion and praise; Daama- Monetary incentives; Danda- Punishment or War and Bheda-Intelligence, Propaganda and Disinformation. Amazed by his knowledge and wit, the dean let Chanakya to study in the university and later on he went on to become a professor in Political Science at the university. He, then became the Guru of Chandragupta Maurya, who invaded Magadha and set the kingdom out from the ruins of King Dhanananda, later found the Mauryan Empire.

Chanakya or Kautilya, is known for his undisputed works such as Arthashastra and Neetishastra, which discussed monetary and fiscal policies, international relations and war strategies. The remains of the manuscript was lost near the end of Gupta Dynasty in 5 BC, and which was not rediscovered until 1915. Today, these works are recognized by nations and being implemented as wise thoughts in dealings with economics and international relations. His works are identified as the precursor to Classical economics.

The Modern classical economics developers include Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, John Stuart Mill etc, did not get the privilege to go through the works of Chanakya. Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations in 1776 is usually considered to mark the beginning of classical economics, but instead Chanakya’s Arthashastra was the true beginning of classical economics.

More on the views of Chanakya’s works and Arthashastra has been researched and being identified as the birth mark of Classical Economics: ArthaShastra Research Report.

As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it. – Chanakya. 


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Was he a true hindu?

Yesterday, just browsing through some youtube links, I found one video on Nathuram Godse, who assassinated the father of our nation, M.K Gandhi. One thing is clear that sometimes, you just don’t know what is going on in a head of the person who took a stand in doing something hurtful and relentless.

But, that is where the human psychology lies? Sometimes we do things, which we are not supposed to or even in our life thought of, and we convince ourself with a reason to do it whether its right, wrong or extreme in both situations. Nathuram Godse, being a journalist and an activist in his life, he was one deep-rooted personality. On January 30th, 1948 when Gandhiji was addressing an evening prayer, he did something which changed his life completely and shot Gandhiji in the chest 3 times. And then was the end of a legacy.

During his one of the court proceedings, he said

” If the country wanted his leadership, it had to accept his infallibility; if it did not, he would stand aloof from the Congress and carry on in his own way. Against such an attitude there can be no halfway house. Either Congress had to surrender its will to his and had to be content with playing second fiddle to all his eccentricity, whimsicality, metaphysics and primitive vision, or it had to carry on without him. He alone was the judge of everyone and everything; he was the master brain guiding the Civil Disobedience movement; no other could know the technique of that movement. He alone knew when to begin it and when to withdraw it. The movement might succeed or fail, but that could make no difference to the Mahatma’s infallibility. ‘A Satyagrahi can never fail’ was his formula for his own infallibility and nobody except himself knew what a Satyagrahi is.”

He was an extremist and a self-righteous man with a different vision altogether. He was not that wrong, but the step he took was unacceptable. But, he wouldn’t have made a difference otherwise. Human psychology is the mastermind of all deeds inhuman and mysterious. And only the mind knows, whats there in the heart and not vice-versa.  Process Philosophy suggests that fundamental elements of the universe are occasions of experience, which can be collected into groups creating something as complex as a human being. This experience is not consciousness; there is no mind-body duality under this system as mind is seen as a very developed kind of experience. Source-Wikipedia. Which is related to meta-physical concept of human mind which accurate and complex at the same time.

We never know what is behind it and in it. As we already know, Life is a mystery. This is might as well be a mystery not bought.