Who is a True Sanyasi?, What is a Sanyasi’s Dharma according to Swami Vivekananda?

Life introduction

Swami Vivekananda’s Ancestral House – Kolkata . Now this house has been transformed into a museum.

BIRTH:- Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863 in his ancestral house in Gurumohan Street, Kolkata. Swami Vivekananda was born on the day of Makar Sankranti according to the Hindu calendar. Makar Sankranti, one of the most famous and sacred festivals of Hindus, took place on 12 January in 1863. The birthday of Swami Vivekananda is also celebrated as National Youth Day in India. The Government of India mentioned the significance of the day- “It was felt that the Philosophy of Swami ji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration to the Indian youth”. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MAKAR-SANKRANTI PLEASE VISIT:- https://nithinks.com/2021/01/18/makar-sankranti-is-an-ancient-hindu-festival-or-the-burden-of-old-tradition/

FAMILY MEMBERS AND SWAMI VIVEKANADA’S OTHER NAMES:- FATHER:- Vishwanath Dutta

Mother:- Bhubaneswari Devi

NAME:- Narendranath Dutta 

Nickname:- Naren 

Childhood name:- Bireshwar (Biley)

Siblings : Haramani , Swarnamayee , Kiranbala ,Jogendrabala , Mahendranath , Bhupendranath

Death:- 4th July 1902, Swami Vivekananda leaves his mortal body.

WHY DOES SWAMI VIVEKANANDA HAVE SO MANY NAMES? 

First image in the slideshow – Vireswar Mahadev temple in Varanasi

Second image in the slideshow – The room in Kolkata in which Swami Vivekananda was born.

Bhubaneswari Devi(Swamiji’s mother) offered her worship to Lord Shiva daily. At the end of her worship, each day she prayed to Shiva while offering pranam, “O Shiva, give me a son on my lap.” she already had a few daughters. But how could she live without a son? So, she offered daily worship to Shiva for a son. She had even asked one of her relatives, who lived in Benares (Varanasi)to offer daily worship to Vireswar Shiva there on her behalf. God heeds to whatever is asked from him with devotion. Bhubaneswari Devi’s wish was also granted. On January 12, 1863, in the early morning, she gave birth to a son. The child was named Vireswar after Vireswar (Shiva) as Bhubaneswari Devi believed that she was granted her son as a boon from the lord. But their family members thought that “Vireswar” was a bit to difficult to be pronounced and used in daily life. So everybody in the house used to call him Biley, which thereby became his Nickname. He was named Narendra Nath Dutt at the annaprasshana ceremony but still he remained Biley for all his family members. (Info source:- Vivekananda for children -publisher: Sri Ramkrishna Math Chennai) For more information about this subject please visit: https://nithinks.com/2019/09/19/bileybanarasvivekanandavaranasi/

How Narendranath Dutt got the name Swami Vivekananda.

Because of Vivekananda’s sweet nature, his guru Ramakrishna Paramahansa used to call him “Anand”. Khetri King Ajit Singh, after meeting Narendra Nath Dutt, found him very meritorious along with his sweet nature, so Raja Ajit Singh started calling him “Vivek + Anand” thus yielding the name Vivekananda. The word swami is commonly used in North India to express reverence for a sadhu. Soon the general public and newspapers also started using this same name to address him. He also participated in the World Religions Conference Chicago 1893 as Swami Vivekananda. For more information about this subject please visit: https://nithinks.com/2020/12/03/hindu-philosophy-and-the-importance-of-peace-9-11-1893-9-112001/

According to Swami Vivekananda: – Sadhus in India can be divided into four-types. (1) Sanyasi (2)Yogi (3) Vairagi (4)Panthi

SANYASI: Sannyasis are often the followers of Shankaracharya and are non-dual.(ADVAIT). Shankaracharya :- A Great philosopher and Hindu religious leader who was born in Kerala in 700 CE(disputed). He was instrumental in providing a solid foundation to Advaita Vedanta. He became a sannyasi at the age of eight. Like Swami Vivekananda, he also died at a very young age. He established four Dhams. These Dhams are considered very holy and sacred even today. Every hindu desired to visit these Dhams at least once his/her life. These four Dhams are as follows

Badrinath:- It is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state.

Dwarka: – It has also been the capital of Shri Krishna during the Mahabharata period. At present, this city is located in the state of Gujarat.

Jagannath Puri:- It is located in the present province of Orissa. Lord Krishna, Balarama, and her sister Subhadra are worshiped here.

Rameshwaram: – It is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, it is believed that while going to Sri Lanka, Shri Ram installed the idol of Lord Shiva and worshiped him here.

YOGI: Yogis are monistic but their special emphasis is on yoga. Due to different practices of yoga, a different category has been added to them. For more information about yoga and yogis please visit. :https://nithinks.com/2021/06/20/yoga-how-tech-yogi-saw-the-light-of-the-future-in-the-brahmastra-of-the-hindu-nationalists/

VAIRAGI : Vairagis are the followers of Ramanuja(born :25 april 1017 CE) and other dualistic masters.

Ramanuja : (Vishisthadwait ) Non- Dualism. He was born in the Tamil Nadu state of South India. Ramanuja believed that Bhakti does not mean worship-recitation, Bhajan-Kirtan. He believed that meditation is the true devotion to God. Ramanujacharya presented Bhakti in an ideal form and also provided a philosophical basis for Bhakti.

PANTHI : Panthis include both duality and non-duality. They established themselves during the Mughal period.

“Sannyasa, in essence, means to love death. Not self-annihilation but rather knowing that death is inevitable, offering oneself, in mind and body, completely, to the good of others”.

The very first duty of a sannyasi is public service. The only goal of a sannyasi is to sacrifice his whole life in the service of others. In ancient Hinduism, very high merits were set for a sannyasi. While becoming a sannyasi, a person has to perform his funeral rituals that take place after his death, with his own hands while he is alive! this is known as Atma-shraddha. By the end of this ritual the sannyasi attains complete freedom from his family, friends, worldly obstacles, after this any kind of worldly attachment is prohibited for him and his only goal is public service. Now no obstacle can stop or frighten him in the way of his public service because he has already conquered the biggest fear, the fear of “DEATH“.

Family background (There was a tradition of becoming Sanyasi in the Dutta family)

Vivekananda’s mother was a pious woman and his father Biswanath Dutt also had a special interest in Hinduism. Vivekananda’s ancestors also had unwavering faith in the Hindu religion and culture. Vivekananda’s grandfather’s was Durgaprasad. Durgaprasad ji had great reverence among the sadhus and sanyasis. Later he renounced worldly attachment and became a sannyasi himself. It is believed that one night he left the house and no one ever saw him again. The life of Swami Vivekananda was also deeply influenced by the eminent sannyasis, yogis, sadhus of that time. A clear impression of the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Pavahari Baba, Tailang Swami is visible in the literature of Vivekananda. In those days social, economic, and religious changes were taking place rapidly in Bengal. Old beliefs were falling apart, a new society was being born, it was the time of Bengal’s renaissance. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, who studied from the Presidency College of Kolkata(the same college from where Vivekananda studied), created a stir in the gentleman society of Kolkata by writing a wonderful book “Anand Math”. This book was based on a historical incident of the Sanyasi rebellion. Instilled in the spirit of sannyasis sacrificing everything for their motherland, for their religion, this book soon became popular all over India. Later on, this book became as holy as the Bible for Hindu nationalists. And what to say about the popularity of Vande Mataram, a poem which was mentioned in this book. Later on, this poem became so popular that it came to be known as the national song of India. For more information about Anand Math and the sanyasi rebellion please visit: https://nithinks.com/2021/08/12/sachindra-nath-sanyal-a-great-forgotten-freedom-fighter/

We do not consider anyone else as a mother – we believe only in the motherland. (Anand Math)

Most famous image of Swami Vivekananda.
Swamiji’s portrait photographed by Thomas Harrison, at his studio in Central Music Hall, Chicago. Seven such ‘Chicago style cabinet card photographs known as the Harrison series were taken in September 1893 during the World’s Parliament of Religions. Coloured posters based on this photograph were printed by a lithographic company and displayed all over Chicago
. source: THE MONK AS MAN (SANKAR)

Contribution of Swami Vivekananda to Sanyas Ideology

Hinduism does not consider any one person, idea, or book as paramount. Hinduism has a gradual history of thousands of years. Various philosophers, sannyasis, scholars in different periods added different ideas to it over time. Twenty-six hundred years ago, BUDDHA while giving a public welfare sermon said, “Don’t follow my teachings in a permanent manner. When I told them, the circumstances were different, take your own decision according to the time and circumstances that you are subject to.” Due to Islamic imperialism and then the British Raj, for centuries, there were no changes in the Acharya Samhita (CODE OF CONDUCT)of the sannyasis there were also no changes in their functioning, due to the lack of necessary changes over time, the sanyasi class was getting cut off from the common people, becoming irrelevant in the society. In such circumstances, Swami Vivekananda came like a breeze of fresh air, he tried to oppose and change the things of the sannyasi society which have become irrelevant in the modern times.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN? BY BECOMING A MONK, HAVE I BECOME DEVIOD OF FEELING??

Swami Vivekananda had a lifelong attachment with Varanasi, the holy city of Hindus, the city of his beloved Lord Shiva. Elaborating this topic of how Vivekananda is linked to Varanasi in this post would be totally bizarre as it is a vast topic for discussion. I have written a separate post on this topic so if you want to read more on this topic please visit https://nithinks.com/2020/07/05/the-unknown-life-of-swami-vivekananda/

Swami Gambhirananda (Eleventh President of Ramakrishna Mission and a famous scholar) once mentioned an incident and told that during his stay in Kashi, once Swamiji got very upset after hearing about the death of someone close to him. Pramada Das Mitra saw Swamiji weeping. Seeing this, he said, “Does it suit a sannyasi to be distressed like this?, Do worldly attachments and weakness of human nature befit a sannyasin”? Hearing this Swamiji replied “WHAT DO YOU MEAN? BY BECOMING A MONK, HAVE I BECOME DEVIOD OF FEELING”?? A true sanyasi’s heart is more tender and affectionate than that of an ordinary man. It must be more tender and affectionate than an ordinary man, to understand others feelings and help them in the way they want. We are, after all, humans.

 AND THEN CAME THE FIERY DECLARATION, ‘I DO NOT ACCEPT THAT FORM OF SANYAS WHICH EXPECTS ME TO HAVE A HEART OF STONE!’   The details of this event are given in Sankar’s book THE MONK AS MAN.

First Image in the slideshow – When Swami Vivekananda came to Varanasi in 1888 he stayed in the house of Pramada Das Mitra this is a postcard written by Swami Vivekananda in his own handwriting mentioning the same.

Second image in the slideshow – Bengali Dyhodi, Pramada Das Mitra’s ancestral house in Varanasi.

Third image in the slideshow – An Imaginative painting made by Kripa, one of my fellow painter, describing how Gopal Lal Villa might have looked in 1902 when Swami Vivekananda stayed there when he visited Varanasi for the last time before leaving his body.

Last Image in the slideshow – How Gopal Lal Villa looks at present.

Who was Pramada Das Mitra ? Pramada Mitra was a friend of Swami Vivekananda. He lived in Varanasi. Swami Vivekananda stayed at Pramada Das’s house many times when he was in Varanasi. Pramada Dasa was a distinguished scholar of Hinduism. He had a very firm grip on Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages. He translated Gita from Sanskrit to English and also the British national anthem English to Sanskrit. He also taught Sanskrit to Swami ji during his stay in Varanasi. Pramada Das Mitra remained a friend of Swamiji for his whole lifetime. A few days before his death, Swami Vivekananda visited Benares for the last time in 1902 and this time he stayed at Gopal Lal Villa, the garden house of Raja Kali Krishna Thakur. By this time Pramada Das had passed away and his son Kalidas Mitra had come to Gopal Lal Villa to meet Swamiji.

Vedas teach morality, the first words are, Let the mother be your God” and that she is. When we talk of woman in India, our idea of women is mother. The value of women consists in their being mothers of the human race. That is the idea of the Hindu. TAITTRIYA UPANISHAD 1.11

THE MOTHER IS THE GOD IN OUR FAMILY. THE IDEA IS THAT THE ONLY REAL LOVE THAT WE SEE IN THE WORLD, THE MOST UNSELFISH LOVE.

Vivekananda’s mother – Bhubaneswari Devi Ji

Swamiji always remained in touch with his mother. Even after becoming a sannyasi, Swamiji handled all his responsibilities. After the death of his father, Swamiji carried the financial responsibilities of the family on his shoulders, helped his siblings, and never let his mother feel lonely. Swami Vivekananda had mentioned on many occasions that “whatever I am today is because of my mother”.

READ THE VEDAS AND UPANISHADS, AND DRINK TEA –NO HARM IN IT!

A tea shop located near one of the Ghats in Varanasi

Today it may seem surprising that at one point in time there was a ban on drinking tea for sanyasis. Drinking tea and making tea was prohibited in many Hindu monasteries. This was for the reason that any kind of intoxicant or stimulating food is prohibited for sannyasis and tea was considered an agitating drink at that time, but Vivekananda changed this tradition. Swami ji used to make tea in the monastery and all the sannyasis used to drink tea with pleasure. In the Ghats of Varanasi, where rituals related to the Hindu religion take place all the time, tea shops are plentiful and at any point in time, a crowd of Hindu devotees can easily be seen at the tea shops. Not only this, the people who come to attend the funeral of the dead person can be seen drinking tea at the cremation Ghat Manikarnika, Harishchandra, whenever I see people involved in religious rituals and funerals, drinking tea at the Ghat of Varanasi. I think that if a young sannyasi had not got tea recognized in Hindu monasteries, would it have been possible for so many tea shops to exist in Varanasi on the Ghat. With the ease with which Hindu ascetics are seen enjoying tea, no doubt they have to be deprived of this divine drink. If you want to read more about how Swamiji contributed in making tea one of the most popular beverage in India and about how tea slowly got famous in India please visit : https://nithinks.com/2021/06/10/a-happily-tea-adict-country/

Swami Vivekananda was a versatile character. He contributed in many fields. In the same way, he had influenced people of different thinking from different countries. Swamiji has been a source of inspiration to people like Nikolai Tesla, Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi. My effort here was just to introduce the reader to how swamiji left his immpression on sannyas and ascetics. I have written this post based on what I saw during my stay in Kolkata, places associated with Swamiji in Varanasi and based on what I came to know from the family members of Pramada Das Mitra.


Vivekananda’s three stories that can change your life.

“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy – by one, or more, or all of these – and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.”

Swami Vivekananda

IN THE DARK AGES OF THE ISLAMIC RULE, except for a few exceptions, hardly any unique work was created in the field of economics, painting or literature in India. Islam is an anti-artism religion (Islam demands complete dedication, as a result, even today music, art, painting are banned in radical Islamic countries, or art is discouraged from the side of the ruling class). Surprisingly, India remained associated with its pre-Mughal period because of Hindu folk literature. With the help of this ancient Hindu folk literature, a common Hindu not only remained aware of the fundamental elements of his culture and religion but also took inspiration from this ancient literature in solving the problems of daily life. How was this possible? This became possible due to the storytelling art of Hindu sages. This unique art kept the common man in one thread.
The great saint of modern times, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, played a great role in the Bengal renaissance by telling short inspirational stories.
Many such short stories are archived in the famous book THE GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA written on the life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. He took the help of ancient, intuitive, tales to bring welfare ideas to the common people.

Sri Ramakrishna

Swami Vivekananda, the great disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa, who himself was a sanyasi, was also a great storyteller. Swami Vivekananda was a forerunner of the Hindu renaissance and a multi-faceted personality. Swami Vivekananda was the first person who introduced the countries of the West to Vedanta literature, Hindu philosophy and yoga. He tried to remove the absurdity and superstitions from the Hindu religion. Above all Swamiji made people realize that the Hindu civilization was one of the richest, rich in culture, rich in traditions, rich in art forms, rich in every aspect that anyone could probably think of. Unfortunately, Swamiji died at a very young age. He had a total life span of thirty-nine years, five months and twenty-four days.

“TO THE HUNGRY RELIGION COMES IN THE FORM OF BREAD”

Vivekananda believed “Service to the poor is the biggest religion”. This was a revolutionary initiative in those days, no one had ever taken such an initiative before. Daridra Narayan:- Swami Vivekananda urged people to see God only in the poor. Swamiji said that serving the poor, trying to solve their problems is like serving God. Mahatma Gandhi was greatly influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s idea of ​​”service to the poor”. Later on, Mahatma Gandhi further publicized and spread the idea of ​​service to the poor.

Swami Vivekananda as a Narrator:-

Swami Vivekananda told the stories of ancient Hindu literature, he also told stories related to some of the true events of his difficult life to the people in a very interesting way. These inspirational stories and Swamiji’s life experiences are relatable even today.

an eighteenth-century Hindu monk

“In a conflict between the heart and the brain, follow your heart. ”

Pavahari Baba:- There is a town named ‘Ghazipur’ which is situated at a distance of about 75 km from the famous Hindu city of Varanasi. A sadhu resided in this city, who was famous by the name of Pavahari Baba. Pavahari Baba used to reside in a pit made underground. He ate very little and spent most of his time meditating. He just had two vessels which he used for cooking and eating food and this was probably the only property(if you could possibly call it one) that he possessed. His philosophy of life was based on the belief that God is omnipresent. He considered all human beings, animals and birds as God. Once a thief came to his abode (pit). Knowing that Pavahari Baba was asleep, the thief took one of his pots and carefully came out of the pit. Suddenly Pavahari Baba woke up. Seeing that the thief was carrying one of his utensils, Pavahari Baba ran after him. When the thief saw that Pavahari Baba was chasing him, the thief started running too, but when the nearby locals saw that Pavahari Baba was chasing someone, they caught the thief for him. ( Pavahari Baba had quite a great reputation in the society so the people always tried to help him whenever it was possible). In no time, Pavahari Baba was also there. And to the people’s surprise, Pavhari Baba also gave his second vessel to the thief and said, “God why did you leave it, please take it too”. People were astonished by this act of Pavahari Baba. They wanted to know the reason for this from him, He said “I used to think that I have completely given up Maya, I have no attachment to any mortal thing, but now when I think about it I am realizing that I have become attached to these two utensils. God wanted to remove Maya from me through a thief. So by the will of God, I have got rid of this Maya as well.

Note: – Swami Vivekananda’s disciple Margaret Elizabeth Noble (Sister Nivedita) while referring to Pavahari Baba, wrote that if Swamiji was influenced by a person in his life after his guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa, then that person was Pavahari Baba.

WHAT IS MAYA???

Once Narada Muni asked Lord Krishna “What is Maya please explain it to me”.
Lord Krishna asked Narada Muni to follow him. After walking a long distance together they reached a desert. It was very hot there. Lord Krishna told Narada Muni that he was very thirsty and due to tiredness, he was unable to walk anymore, so Narada Muni decided to go to a nearby village and bring some water for him. Knocking on the door of a house, he asked for drinkable water. While he was waiting for the house owner to bring the water, he saw a beautiful girl in that house who was the daughter of that house owner. He became so engrossed while talking to that girl that he completely forgot that he came there, just to ask for some water for his master Lord Krishna and that he is waiting for him to return. After talking to that beautiful girl throughout the day, Narada Muni asked the girl’s father for her hand. Taking the permission of the girl’s father, he married that girl. Time passed. His father-in-law had now passed away. Narada Muni was also the father of three boys now. He felt that he was leading a happy life.

Once there was a flood in that village. Narada Muni decided to leave the village with his family to escape the ravages of floods. With one of his hands he held her wife’s hand, with the other he held two of his boys and made the third one sit on his shoulders. Narada Muni entered the floodwater intending to quickly cross the flood but unfortunately, because of the strong current of the water, his wife and children started flowing away from him. Soon Narada Muni’s wife and children disappeared from his sight. He too got washed away in the strong currents of the flood. Narada muni went far ahead while flowing in the strong current of the flood. When the flow of water subsided, Narada Muni found himself on the bank of a calm river. The moment he realized that his family wasn’t there with him, and remembered what happened, Narada Muni started crying. Just then, he heard a whisper in his ears. “It’s been half an hour Narada, you didn’t bring water.” Narad Muni was stunned to hear this. Half an Hour! Only half an hour had passed! According to him, twelve years have passed by, and all these events happened just in a time interval of half an hour. THIS IS WHAT MAYA IS.

VEDANTA PHILOSOPHY

“The one theme of the Vedanta philosophy is THE SEARCH AFTER UNITY. The Hindu mind does not care for the particular; it is always after the general, Nyay (justice), the universal. “what is it that by knowing which everything else is to be known.” That is the one search.”

TWO BIRDS were sitting on a tree. Both had golden wings. The bird which was sitting on the top branch was calm, majestic and engrossed in itself. The bird which was sitting on the lower branch seemed very playful. The bird sitting on the lower branch sometimes ate bitter fruits, sometimes sweet. On eating a bitter fruit, she became calm and after eating a sweet one, she became happy and playful once again. For a while she got only bitter fruits to eat, so she calmed down and looked at the bird sitting on the top branch, but soon she forgot about that bird. And was once again back in business eating the fruits bitter and sweet. She ate a bitter one once again and looked at the bird above which was not affected by the bitter and sweet fruits. While eating fruits, the bird sitting on the lower branch hopped onto the branches above her and because of this at one point in time, she reached the same branch where that calm and serious-natured bird was sitting. But what did she see? There was no bird there, the bird was astonished to see this but after thinking about this for some time she realized that the calm and serious bird was just a reflection of her good qualities.

“TALK TO YOURSELF AT LEAST ONCE IN A DAY, OTHERWISE YOU MAY MISS A MEETING WITH AN EXCELLENT PERSON IN THIS WORLD.”

A HAPPY TEA ADDICT COUNTRY

Hindu sages and saints have contributed a lot in the independence of India. Many social reforms were also initiated by sages and saints. Tea revolution in the eighteenth, nineteenth centuries (under which the style of drinking tea in India changed forever.
Tea was recognized as the beverage of the common Indian from the beverage of the Europeans)

“I believe tea has helped us, as a nation. At least, our tea drinkers outnumber those who consume alcohol, One may even go so far as to claim that the spread of alcoholism has been arrested in this country because of tea.” SANKAR THE MONK AS MAN

How hard it is to believe that we Indians were unaware of tea (chai) a few centuries ago. Now hardly any Indian starts the day without tea. (The people of South India are lucky in this case that they have the option of choice, they can choose between tea or coffee according to their convenience) It is a matter of happiness that today in the use and production of both tea and coffee, India is one of the major countries of the world. According to a national survey, fifteen cups of tea are consumed in India compared to one cup of coffee.

Gradually tea became a part of our daily life. It is also like that we Indians were unaware of potato, and tobacco,(Potato &Tobacco was introduced by Portuguese ) today without them the daily life of many Indians cannot be imagined.

Herbal tea has a centuries-old history in India. Even today there is a lot of custom in India to drink it, but today this drink is also called Kaadha. Consumption of decoction has its benefits. Herbals like black pepper, mint leaves, basil leaves, liquor ice, cloves, ginger etc are used in the decoction. India has historically been a stronghold of natural medicines and spices, so it is common for such beverages to become popular. Similarly, lemon tea is also very popular in India. In recent years, the increasing awareness of people towards natural beverages has made Kaadha very popular. It has been used as a medicine in colds. In recent times, its popularity has increased a lot in the outbreak of Corona. There will be hardly any home or hospital in India where this herbal drink is not being used.

CHAI

The extraordinary story of ordinary tea The story of tea was written in India during the Bengal rule of the East India Company. And within a few years it turned into a mass movement.
The East India Company was a commercial company, whose main reason for its arrival in India was the trade of spices. After the Battle of Plassey in Bengal, the East India Company’s feet were firmly established in Bengal. During this time, efforts were made by the people of East India Company to grow tea in India. It is believed that tea plants were first planted in 1787 by a British, Mr. Kydd, in a garden called Shivpur in Howrah. This was a failed attempt. Later at one place Mr. Kydd admitted that the climate of Howrah was not suitable for the growth of tea leaves. By the year 1820, some prominent Bengali families (Prince Dwarkanath Tagore) were also engaged in the tea leaf business in Assam in an effort to grow tea leaves in Bengal and its surrounding areas.

In 1864, India’s tea leaves were sold for £3 million by the Assam Company at an auction in Mincing Lane, London, England. This was just a beginning.

This was the effort of the East India Company and the famous Indian businessman of that time to capture a part of the tea market in England. Gradually these efforts paid off, by 1870 the share of China’s tea market in England was 90%, after thirty years it was 10%, this was possible due to the development of tea gardens in India and Sri Lanka. Till then the practice of drinking tea had not started among Indians, it is believed that the trend of tea was slowly starting in the city of Kolkata, India. Kolkata was then a rapidly growing British city in India. The political and economic capital of India. Kolkata was also called the White City in those days because the population of white people in the main area of ​​Kolkata was more than the native people, and Kolkata had more white people than any city in Asia. The British people had a habit of drinking tea according to their English tradition, gradually this habit was being adopted by the elite Indians also. In those days, association with British families and eating with them was common in the famous and prosperous houses of Kolkata, as a result many customs and traditions were adopted conveniently by the noble Indians, among them the habit of drinking tea. was involved.

Tea and Nationalism

In those days a new industry was also spreading rapidly in Bengal. That was the printing industry. For the first time in India, the trend of books, newspapers was increasing, many British and Indian businessmen of Kolkata were also seeing the possibility in this new business. Due to the spread of education, the number of educated people in India was also increasing. The old gurukul system of education (which was largely based on Hindu traditions) and Muslim education which was based on madrasas was now getting out of date. Western education and employment based on western education were increasing, a new intellectual class was emerging among Hindus. (Muslims were keeping distance from this education system) This new intelligentsia was to some extent British in language, lifestyle and food, but inspired by Hindu culture, religion, and the spirit of patriotism. Many of these intellectuals did not accept to work under the British government and started working independently in journalism, Hinduism and social reformer. There was also a lot of drinking tea among such people, due to which soon the tag of white people’s beverage was removed from tea.

Tea Break চা বিরতি

Bengalis have tea in their and blood and nobody can do anything about it. Bengalis will never forget that coffee smells like burnt shal leaf, while Darjeeling tea tastes like champagne. Sankar- The Monk as MAN

Rabindra Nath Tagore, a prolific nationalist of the time, and world-renowned Writer, Poet, Philosopher ( first Indian who received the Nobel prize of Literature )
Dwarka Nath Tagore was his grandfather, who started the tea business in India with the British people. He was counted among the tea lovers of that time. He has shared his love of tea with people many times.

Swami Vivekananda A young sannyasi(MONK) whose popularity was at its peak in those days, a voice that was a ray of hope among the nationalists, was a tea lover. This young monk left an impact on the world’s finest minds of his time.
The uncivilized image of Hindus and India in the West and America, which was based on some prejudices, was broken by this great sannyasi, not only kept the true picture of India in front of the world, but also introduced the world to yoga and meditation for the first time. The great scientist Nikola Tesla, writer Aldous Huxley, Tolstoy, Ja de Salinger Rockefeller, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, Arvind Ghosh, Nivedita, Jamshedji Tata, Vimal Mitra Shachindranath were influenced by his ideas. Vivekananda’s habits were always the subject of discussion in those days, especially among the youth and the intelligentsia in Kolkata. Swami Vivekananda, along with other poets, writers, and intellectuals associated with the Rama Krishna Mission, have mentioned the popularity of tea at many places due to Vivekananda’s influence. Swami Sardananda once jokingly told Swami Vivekananda’s younger brother Mahendranath that the habit of drinking tea to the people associated with the Math is due to your brother Vivekananda. For more information related to this topic please visit:- https://nithinks.com/2021/01/11/is-vivekananda-still-relevant-today-national-youth-day/

BELUR -MATH HOWRAH (KOLKATA )

Tilak the Chaiwala of Belur :-

Once Tilak, (LOKMANYA BALGANGADHAR TILAK)the great nationalist of that time, came to Kolkata. Tilak came to Belur Math to meet and discuss with Swami Vivekananda. On the request of Swami Vivekananda, Lokmanya Tilak made tea for all the people present in the Math. Undoubtedly, this tea party is ranked among the most historic tea parties in India.
This incident is mentioned by Shankar in his famous book the monk as man
Giving the details of this incident, Sankar has told that’ Tilak had brought nutmeg, mace ,cardamom ,cloves, and saffron with him. He boiled these things together, added the tea leaves, milk and sugar ,and made tea.’ This incident shows that Our current Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose father had a small tea shop, and whose childhood is spent selling tea, he is not the only chaiwala in Indian politics.

BODHI- DHARMA

There is a belief in china that in the fifth-sixth century, a monk from India, Bodhidharma, reached China for the propagation of Buddhism. He is credited to propagate Buddhism in china. It is believed that Bodhidharma spent nine years meditating in a cave, due to constant waking and not sleeping, Bodhidharma was feeling sleepy, due to which Bodhidharma cut off his eyelid in anger and threw it away. A few days later a tree grew at the same place. The leaves of that tree had a special quality – drinking a drink made from the leaves of that tree did not cause sleep and felt energized. This was the first tea plant.

Tea Capital of India :- Undoubtedly Kolkata is the tea capital of India. From the planting of tea leaves to the cultivation, export, acceptance of tea in the society, everything is built in the history of Kolkata itself. Although tea shops will be found in every city, nook, street square of India, but the variety of tea found in Kolkata is rare. The way of serving tea is also varied. From plastic glasses, glasses, fancy cups, to clay pots.
Many shops in Kolkata still make tea in the old style kiln, but the tea found at these shops is usually strong tea. (This is the Indian version of Britain’s sailors tea) The taste of tea in a cup made of clay changes completely, the smell of earthy aroma in strong tea – wonderful.
In Kolkata, the use of milk in tea is also less, in Kolkata tea leaves are more important, after taking a few sips of tea, it is understood that the whole game here is of tea leaves.


Cultural Capital of India & Some very unique tea shops:- Varanasi is not only the cultural capital of India, it is also called Mini Kolkata or Mini Bengal. The reason for this is a large number of Bengalis here. Most Bengalis live in one city outside the state of Bengal, then it is Varanasi. The trend of tea in Varanasi has come from Kolkata itself. Here too many old tea shops serve tea in earthen cups. (KULLHADA) But there is a fundamental difference in the tea found here – milk is used more in the tea here. Apart from this, basil leaves, ginger, bay leaves are commonly used in tea here. In their taste and aroma, it reduces the taste of tea leaves . There is one more thing that is worthy of praise at the tea stalls in Varanasi – the special attention to cleanliness. A small tea shop on the side of the road also washes the utensils used for making tea with hot water several times a day. In Varanasi, tea is a beverage to be consumed at any time, and at any place.

“I think Banaras (Varanasi) is one of the most wonderful places I have ever seen. It it has struck me that a westerner feels in Banaras very much as an oriental must feel while he is planted down in the middle of London”. (MARK TWAIN)

MAHASAMASHAN AND TEA SHOPS

If one is not familiar with the traditions and philosophy of Hindu religion, then the tea shops and tea drinking places in Varanasi can surprise him.
The most unique seems to be the hundreds of tea shops on Samashan. In Hinduism, the last rites of a dead person are performed on the banks of rivers or water bodies, in Varanasi also on the banks of the holy Ganges there are two very ancient ghats Manikarnika and Harishchandra, both these ghats are used for cremation. There are many tea shops on both the ghats. On Manikarnika, there are more tea shops than shops of materials used in cremation. The funeral rites never stop on Manikarnika, day and night. Similarly, tea is available at any time at the tea shops here. The well-wishers of the deceased who come to attend the last rites can also be seen drinking tea at the time of the last rites of the deceased. To know the thousands of years old tradition of Varanasi’s Samashan, Aghori please visit:- https://nithinks.com/2021/03/26/rangbhari-ekadsi-masan-holiashes-of-dead-persons/ This is a normal reaction. The use of tea was once banned in Hindu monasteries considering it to be a stimulating beverage, today drinking tea is a common practice among Hindus in any religious activity. Many Hindus do not consume grains during the fast, they only survive on fruits, but tea is also drunk during this time. To know the story and tradition related to fasting in Hindu festivals please visit:- https://nithinks.com/2021/03/14/mahashivratrishiv-barat-and-varanasi/ I would like to end this post with these words of Swami Vivekananda.

READ THE VEDAS AND UPNISSHADS, AND DRINK TEA –NO HARM IN IT!


Dawn of civilization and shiva (SHIVA, GANGA & VARANASI)

In Shiva, who is the Lord of this Universe, Or Vishnu, its soul, I see no difference, But still, my love is for Him

Who has the young moon on His forehead.

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Oh when will that time come,

When in a beautiful full-moon night, Sitting on the banks of some river, And in a calm, yet high notes repeating

“Shiva! Shiva! Shiva!” All my feelings will come out through the eyes In the form of tears?

When, wearing only the Kaupina, Lying on the sands of the holy Ganges in Benares,(Varanasi) When shall I weep aloud, “O Lord of ghouls”, Saying this, and whole days shall pass like moments?(Swami Vivekananda -The Complete Works)

Dawn of human civilization:- The unique relationship between Shiva, Ganga and Varanasi.

In Hinduism, there has been an ancient concept of city God and village God. According to this concept, there is a belief in Hinduism that every city, village was built by a different deity for people to live. Perhaps our expression of economic, social freedom of the villages also developed from similar sentiments. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2020/12/03/hindu-philosophy-and-the-importance-of-peace-9-11-1893-9-112001/

Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru

Glimpses of world history: ———– “Some old inscriptions from south India tell us how the members of the panchayats were elected, their qualifications and disqualifications. If any member did not render accounts of public funds he was disqualified.  Another very interesting rule seems to have been that near relative of members were disqualified from office. How excellent if this could be enforced now in all our councils and assemblies and municipalities.” (Jawaharlal Nehru)

This question will probably be one of the most difficult questions in human history, who first came into existence in Shiva, Varanasi and Ganga? It is impossible for a very ordinary person like me to answer this question, and I have no such attempt. My effort is just an attempt to shed light on the sacred relationship of Varanasi, Ganga and Shiva and its historicity. Mark Twain is probably the best on this subject.

As we mentioned the city deity – Shiva is honored with the city deity of Varanasi (Banaras, Kashi) is one of the oldest cities in the world. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2019/12/31/oldest-living-city-happy-new-year/ The Ganges river goes a long way until it reaches the sea from the Himalayas.(About fifteen hundred miles) Many ancient and religious cities of North India developed on the banks of river Ganges.(HARIDWAR,PRAYAGRAJ-Allahabad, KANPUR,VARANASI,MIRZAPUR,FARRUKHABAD,KANNAUJ,BHAGALPUR,PATNA,HAJIPUR,MUNGER,KOLKATA etc.) But the way the river Ganges behaves in Varanasi is not seen anywhere else. For more information about this subject please visit :-

Rajghat :- Remains of ancient Varanasi city found in archaeological excavations.
Lal Khan’s tomb amidst these ruins shows the influence of Islamic imperialism on Varanasi. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2019/10/07/islamic-imperialism-breaking-of-idols-hindu-struggle-past-present/

Almost all the great historians are of the opinion that ancient Varanasi city was near Rajghat. Near Rajghat, the Varuna River meets with the Ganges River, due to this river, the city got its name Varanasi. And in ancient times this river got its name due to the Varan (a species of trees) The river Varanavati is mentioned in the Atharva Veda.( period:-1000-900BCE)

Standing on a bridge built on the river Ganges near Rajghat, the crescent structure of Varanasi city is clearly visible. Always has a tradition of showing the Ganges River and the crescent moon on the forehead of Shiva. Beyond the imagination, amazing thousands of years old Shiva’s image, the unique SANGAM (GANGES MEETS VARANASI) of Ganges and Varanasi can be seen even today. Our ancestors, who had imagined such beautiful, accurate images of Shiva’s human form thousands of years ago, would undoubtedly have good knowledge of geography, mathematics and literature. It is a miracle that the seals of many Shiva temples have been found in the excavation of Rajghat, which has confirmed the Shiva-temples mentioned in the Puranas.(DATE:c 250 CE )

I love the area where the holy river Ganges flows in Varanasi. (SHIV Matsya Purana)

Many historians, archaeologists have estimated from the material obtained from the excavation of Rajghat that the ancient Varanasi city existed in 11th or 12 century BC.

Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same—-Walt Whitman

Markandeya Mahadev: – On the border of Varanasi-Ghazipur, another holy river, Gomti, meets with the Ganges. The place of this confluence is located in a village called Kathy. The importance of this place, and the antiquity can be inferred from the fact that the description of this temple is also mentioned in Mahabharata. —-

‘मार्कण्डेयस्य राजेन्द्रतीर्थमासाद्य दुर्लभम् ।

गोमतीगङ्गयोश्चैव सङ्गमे लोकविश्रुते॥

(MAHABHARAT -PAGE 241)

The temple building has been changing over time, some historians believe that the Sangam place was also at some distance in ancient times. I personally feel very attached to this temple, because my mother’s village is near this temple, she used to come here since childhood, her habit continued in the later days as well. It seems to me that my mother used to feel connected to her ancestors in this temple more than religious significance.

My father was a civil engineer, (He was a graduate of India’s most prestigious civil engineering college and Asia’s oldest civil engineering college, Roorkee.)He also had reverence for the temple. Father’s scientific thinking about rivers, soils, and excellent knowledge of history used to make the journey to any historical, religion place interesting.


Visiting this temple in Shiva-Ratri is of great importance. Many stories related to Hinduism, are prevalent about this temple. Many stories related to here are also mentioned in Hindu, Buddhism, Jainism religious texts. There is a deep reverence for the temple in the surrounding area.

This freedom came from the feeling that all human lives were interrelated, a certainty that they flowed into each other—a happy feeling that all events took place not only on the earth, in which the dead are buried, but also in some other region which some called the Kingdom of God, others history, and still others by some other name.(Boris Pasternak)

Veereshwar Mahadev: – The mention of this temple of Varanasi is also found in the Kashi Khanda. This temple was of great importance in ancient times. This temple is situated on the banks of the Ganges near Scindia Ghat. The event of the birth of Swami Vivekananda, the world-renowned philosopher of modern times, is also associated with this temple. For more information about this subject please visit :- https://nithinks.com/2020/07/05/the-unknown-life-of-swami-vivekananda/

Birth of Vivekananda, Shiva temple and Varanasi.

Bhubaneswari was worshiping lord shiva in one of the houses in that locality. At the close of the her worship , she prayed to Shiva everyday while offering pranam, “o Shiva , give me a son on my lap.” she had a few daughters already . but how could she live without a son? so, she offered daily worship to Shiva for a son . she had even asked one of her old relatives at Benares (Varanasi)to offer daily worship to Vireswar Shiva there on her behalf . god heeds to whatever is asked of him with devotion in a simple heart . Bhubaneswari’s prayer was also granted. In the early morning of January 12,1863, she gave birth to a son .the child was named  Vireswar after Vireswar Shiva as his mother believed that she was granted her son as a boon from the lord . but the name was too difficult to be used as a nickname.so everybody in the house used to call him as a Biley.  he was named NarendraNath Dutta at the annaprasshana ceremony but still he remained the same Biley for all .(Vivekananda for children -publisher : Sri Ramkrishna Math Chennai)

Panch Ganga Ghat: – a is among the five major and oldest ghats of Varanasi. This place is described in the Matsya Purana as an area of ​​influence of Vishnu .Its ancient name was Bindumadhav Ghat. This Ghat got its name from the ancient temple of Bindumadhav (Lord Vishnu). In the seventeenth century, this ancient temple was demolished by the Islamic ruler Aurangzeb, and a mosque was built from the rubble of that ancient temple. Since then the name of this place became Panch Ganga in place of Bindumadhav. For more information about this subject please visit :—

Indus Valley Civilization :- (2350-2000 BCE)

The remains of the Indus Valley Civilization, Shiva are also there. Shiva also has a name Pashupati. Pashupati means God of animals. Under the Indus Valley Civilization, a stone seal was found at a place called Mohenjodaro, in which Shiva is in a yoga pose (AADI YOGI) and is surrounded by a variety of animals. Shiva’s crown is like a trident, this seal is kept in the museum of Delhi.

One thing is clear that according to our convenience, we call Shiva by religion, civilization culture, deity and nature by any name Shiva is prevalent among all. Man himself is a creation of prehistoric times. The imagination of man’s prehistoric period, the sequence of development, Shiva is included in himself.
According to Hindu religion philosophy, God is omnipresent. Shiva is the history of human development journey from the beginning of nature till date. Shiva is the symbol of power – the combined power. Shiva is the symbol of any endeavor for the welfare of human life.
Shiva is the symbol of the communication of spiritual power. Shiva is the basis of nature and human relations, , and these cooperation.

BENARES(Varanasi) REBELLION (15,AUGUST 1781)

“ANY MAN WHO TELLS YOU THAT AN ACT OF ARMED RESISTANCE-EVEN IF OFFERED BY TEN MEN ONLY-EVEN IF OFFERED BY MEN ARMED WITH STONES-ANY MEN WHO TELL YOU THAT SUCH AN ACT OF RESISTANCE IS PREMATURE,IMPRUDENT,OR DANGEROUS,ANY AND EVERY SUCH MAN SHOULD BE AT ONCE SPURNED AND SPAT AT,FOR REMARK YOU THIS AND RECOLLECT THAT SOMEWHERE AND SOME HOW AND BY SOMEBODY A BEGINNING MUST BE MADE AND THAT THE FIRST ACT OF RESISTANCE IS ALWAYS AND MUST BE EVER PREMATURE , IMPRUDENT AND DANGEROSUS”

The “Benares Rebellion” could not leave a significant mark in its history due to lack of vision and inability to take decisions in the King of Banares.

In order to shed light on this incident and its importance, I have made the basis of the letters of the British officers of that time, their statements, buildings and ruins connected with this incident in and around Benares. Indian intellectuals (especially Sampurna Nand)You were a great educationist and was also the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and the Governor of Rajasthan. (Your great-grandfather Sadanand ji was the divan of King Chet Singh.)

WARREN HASTINGS

Warren Hasting himself wrote that —
“If Chet Singh had not run away at this time and would have attacked the garden of Madhodas, I would surely have been killed and thus rebellion would have spread all around”.

SELECTIONS FROM THE STATE PAPERS OF THE GOVERNORS-GENERAL OF INDIA :WARREN HASTINGS (George Forest Page 160)

IMAGE SOURCE:-(KASHI KA ITIHAS, DR. MOTICHAND) BHARAT KALA BHAVAN (B.H.U) VARANASI .CHET SINGH (MAHARAJA OF BENARES)
A locality and some buildings in Varanasi are still named after you.
IMAGE SOURCE :- (WIKIPEDIA) WARREN HASTINGS.

WARREN HASTINGS WAS THE FIRST GOVERNOR OF THE PRESSIDENCY OF FORT WILLIAM, THE HEAD OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF BENGAL, THE FIRST DE FACTO GOVERNOR GENERAL OF INDIA .WARREN HASTINGS CREDITED ALONG WITH ROBERT CLIVE FOR LAYING THE FOUNDATION OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE IN INDIA.

On July 7, 1781, Warren Hastings left Kolkata for Banaras (Varanasi) with his men. On the way, Warren Hasting also stopped at Bhagalpur and Buxar.
On August 15, 1781, Warren Hastings arrived in Varanasi. Warren Hasting came to Varanasi to investigate complaints against Maharaja Banaras Chet Singh.

MADHODAS BAG OR MADHODAS GARDEN HOUSE NOW KNOWN AS RADHASWAMI BAAG OR SWAMI BAAG (RADHASWAMI GARDEN OR SWAMI GARDEN)
(IMAGE:- Dinesh Seth.)

Warren Hasting reached Varanasi and stayed in a garden named Madhodas.
This garden of Madhodas is presently known as Radhaswami Bagh or Swami Bagh in Varanasi.

The inscription on the wall of Radhaswami Bagh is hidden somewhere in shops. The story of Warren Hasting’s stop at this rockplate is described.
( Image:- Dinesh Seth)

SHIVALA BHAVAN NOW KNOWN AS CHET SINGH OR CHAIT SINGH GHAT
( Image:- Dinesh Seth)
IMAGE SOURCE:- WIKIMEDIA ( SHIVALA BHAVAN, NOW KNOWN AS CHET SINGH GHAT ) WILLIAM DANIELL R A,(1769-1837)

On the banks of the Ganges, Shivala Bhavan, now known as Chet Singh Ghat, the Maharaja of Benares was arrested and detained here by order of Warren Hastings.The disobedience of Maharaj by the soldiers of Warren Hastings provoked the soldiers of Maharaj’s army and then the people also joined the soldiers of Maharaj.

The rockplate at Shivala Bhavan, from where Maharaja Benaras had escaped from Warren Hastings. (Image:-Dinesh Seth)

The english army suffered a major loss in the encounter of the english and the native army at Shivala. Some British officers, many English and native soldiers were killed. ( Image:- Dinesh Seth)

LieutT Arch.Scott 1s Battalion sepoys,

LieutT Jer Symes2nd Battalion sepoys

Lieut J Stalker Resd. Body Guard

WHO WERE KILLED WITH 200 SEPOYS AUGUST (17TH 1781)

NEAR THIS SPOT,DOING THEIR DUTY.

(SEPOY:-INDIAN FOOT -SOLDIER, esp. IN THE SERVICE OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY .)

Ram-Nagar (Varanasi)

Padaav Ramnagar encounter:

1-Here 30 foreign soldiers, 150 native soldiers were killed, and 100 men were wounded in the struggle between British and Maharaja Varanasi soldiers.

Only two soldiers of Maharaja Varanasi died.

2-An officer named Captain Mayfair marched into the city of Varanasi, a troop of his army, where he was surrounded, the public beaten Mayfair and his soldiers badly in the streets of Varanasi. Mayfair was killed along with 36 white soldiers, 108 native soldiers were also killed, 42 soldiers were injured.

I AM NOT AFRAID OF AN ARMY OF LIONS LED BY A SHEEP,I AM AFRAID OF AN ARMY OF SHEEP LED BY A LION.

(ALEXANDER )

The public was very excited by this incident and was ready to avenge the insult of the king. At this time the people needed a skilled leadership, but unfortunately the king could not lead such enthusiastic people either.

At such a time, instead of leading the public, it was very sad for the king to run away like cowards and only worry about himself and family.

This shameful attitude of Maharaja soon led to the loss of trust of the people and the army from his Majesty.

CHUNARGARH: Chunar’s ancient and historical fort( Image:-Dinesh Seth)

Warren Hastings was very frightened to see himself surrounded in Varanasi and decided to leave Varanasi at the earliest.
Decided to go to Chunar, located just a few kilometers away from Varanasi, because this fort was in the possession of the East India Company.
Warren Hasting, along with some confidant men, made the journey to Chunar in the night somehow.

IMAGE SOURCE : WIKIMEDIA NORTH VIEW OF THE FORT OF CHUNARGARH ON THE GANGES FROM ACROSS THE RIVER . IT IS IN THE MURSHIDABAD STYLE AND ON ITS BACK IS INSCRIBED ” FROM A PAINTING BY “DANIELS. DATE :1795 BRITISH LIBRARY.
This kothi was built by the company(EAST INDIA COMPANY) in Chunar Fort. Warren Hasting had to stay here until he got help from Allahabad and Kolkata. (Image Dinesh Seth.)

The problem of lack of leadership in India continued even further.

The only reason for the failure of the first freedom struggle of 1857 was the lack of skilled leadership.

Swami Vivekananda has mentioned this

A LEADER LEADS BY EXAMPLE:

AN English friend of mine, named General Strong, was in India during the sepoy mutiny. He used to tell many stories about it. One day, in the course of conversation, I asked him how it was that the sepoys who had enough of guns, ammunition’s, and provisions at their disposal ,and were also trained veterans, came to suffer such a defeat.

Sepoy Mutiny(Later on, it got the status of India’s first independence struggle.)

He replied that the leaders among them ,instead of advancing forward , only kept shouting from a safe position in the rear , fight on brave lads, and so forth but unless the commanding officer goes ahead and faces death , the rank and file will never fight with heart. It is the same in every branch. a captain must sacrifice his head they say. If you can laydown your life, for a cause ,then only you can be a leader . But we all want to be leaders without making the necessary sacrifice. and the result is zero-no body listen to us!.

(THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA,7:325-26 )

These major events of Indian history provide two very important lessons.

1. When the leadership becomes ill-informed, then the public should lead themselves.

2 . The immediate decision of renunciation is necessary to maintain independence. In the future, we will take care of these things only then we can maintain independence.

Vivekananda(warrior monk)Varanasi

विवेकानंद ने अपना शरीर त्यागने से कुछ दिन पहले अपने आराध्य शिव की नगरी में जहाँ कुछ समय बिताया. ( गोपाल लाल विला) राजा काली कृष्ण ठाकुर का garden house

GOPAL LAL VILLA(VARANASI)

1971 भारत पाकिस्तान युद्ध के   नायक  hero” मानेकशॉ” ने एक बार कहा था कि”भारत की सबसे बड़ी समस्या भ्रष्टाचार,राजनीति-दुर्बलता, जनसंख्या(Corruption, political will ,Population) नहीं वरन जिम्मेदार नेतृत्व का न होना  है”.

सिकंदर ने कहा था कि “मुझे शेरो की उस सेना से डर नहीं लगता जिसका  नेतृत्व एक भेड़िये के हाथ मे हो मुझे  भेडियो की  उस सेना से डर लगता है जिसका नेतृत्व एक  शेर के हाथ मे हो”. इन  बातों से नेतृत्व के महत्व का पता चलता है. परन्तु  लीडर  बनने  के लिए जरूरत होती है त्याग की, बलिदान की. अगर किसी बड़े काम को करने के लिए कोई व्यक्ति  जान देने को तैयार  हो तो  ही  वह सच्चा  लीडर  हो सकता है. विवेकानंद ने 1857 की क्रांति के असफल होने  का प्रमुख कारण  सच्चे  नेतृत्व का अभाव  बताया है इसी  कारण  से शायद , उन्होने  देश  को प्रतेक  क्षेत्र  मे सच्चा  नेतृत्व प्रदान करने वाले लोगो को जागृत  केर देश  सेवा  मे लगा दिया .  

  सैकड़ो वर्ष की गुलामी मे अपने धर्मं, भाषा, संस्कृति,  सभ्यता को हीन (inferior) समझने वाले और कुरीति, आडम्बर, ढकोसला (malpractice ,hypocrisy) को ही धर्म समझने वाले लोगो को किस प्रकार से उन्होनो जागृत (awake) किया, जिम्मेदार नेतृत्व में ये याद दिलाया, की तुम श्रेष्ठ हो किसी से कम नहीं.( तुम शुद्ध हो, मुक्त हो, महान हो) और वर्तमान में उसकी क्या उपयोगिता है जिससे मज़बूत भविष्य की नींव रखी जा सके. “गुलामी बुरी चीज़ है”(slavery is a bad thing) मद्रास में ये बात उन्होने कही जो एक नयी बात थी अभी तो देश में लोगों ने ऐसा सोचना शुरू भी नहीं किया था. वास्तव में स्वामी जी नायको के नायक थे. महात्मा गांधी, सुभाष चंद्र बोस, अरविन्द घोष, निवेदिता, जमशेद जी टाटा, विमल मित्र शचीन्द्रनाथ सान्याल दो बार आजीवन कारावास की सजा पानेवाले (“हिंदुस्तान प्रजातंत्र संगठन” hindustan republican association H.R.A की स्थापना आप ही के द्वारा की गयी, जिनकी पुस्तक क्रांतिकारियों की बाईबिल “बंदी जीवन” के नाम से से जानी जाती थी और जिसका दो दर्जन से ज्यादा भाषा मे अनुवाद हुआ .आगे चलकर त्रैलोक्य चक्रवर्ती ,भगवती चरण वोहरा, चंद्रशेखर आजाद, नलिनी किशोर गुह, बाबा पृथ्वी सिंह, भगत सिंह, रास बिहारी बोस, सुखदेव, राजगुरु, लाला हरदयाल, अजीत सिंह आदि इन के  सहयोगी रहे ). राजनीतिक कारणों  से इस महापुरुष  को हम लगभग भुला ही  चुके हैं. वर्तमान मे अन्ना हजारे, नरेंद्र मोदी और अनगिनत लोगों के विवेकानंद प्रेरणा स्रोत हैं और रहेंगे. अलग अलग क्षेत्र के लोगों को एक व्यक्ति के द्वारा प्रभावित होना एक  दुर्लभ घटना है उन्होने सबसे पहले गरीब,दलित, महिलाओं (poor,depressed) की बात की. अनेक संत आए साधु आए, पर गरीब के बारे  मै ऐसी बाते किसी ने नहीं कही थी “दरिद्र नारायण” गरीब की सेवा ही सबसे बड़ा धर्म है यही मातृभूमि की सेवा है और मातृभूमि की सेवा ही सब से बड़ा कार्य .” विश्व का एक व्यक्ति  भी जब तक भूखा है प्रत्येक  व्यक्ति  तब तक गुनहगार है।“ उन्होने कहा की  हिन्दू धर्म केवल एक बर्तन धर्मं “मुझको मत छुओ”(don’t touch) पर आ कर रुक गया है उस समय हिन्दू धर्म मे खास कर ब्राह्मणो मे छुआछूत का बड़ा बोलबाला था. और सारा धर्म केवल खाने का बर्तन तक  सीमित हो कर रह गया था. किसी दलित के साथ खाना खाना तो दूर उसके बरतन को छू जाने से भी धर्म का नाश हो जाता था, इस प्रकार की परिस्थितियां  ईसाई धर्म प्रचारकों (Christian missionaries) और अंग्रेज़ों को बहुत भाती थी अकाल, गरीबी भूखमरी के कारण बंगाल मे आम लोगों का जीवन बहुत कठिन हो गया था  मृत्यु एक सामान्य घटना थी घर के पुरुष की मृत्यु पूरे परिवार को बेसहारा और लाचार बना देती थी. परिवार के अन्य सदस्य या विधवा हो चुकी औरतों जिनके पास कफन खरीदने के पैसे भी नहीं होते दाह संस्कार का खर्च और धार्मिक आडम्बर पाखंड धर्म भीरू समाज के डर से जीवित रहने के लिए धर्म परिवर्तन का सरल रास्ता अपना लेंती थीं हिन्दू धर्म की कुरीति, आडम्बर, ढकोसला छुआछूत (malpractice ,hypocrisy, untouchability) वास्तव मे हिन्दू धर्म के सबसे बड़े दुश्मन थे ये धर्म की सार्थकता (significance) को दीमक की तरह खा रहे थे. बंगाल के शिक्षित लोग केवल अंग्रेजों की खुशामद करना (flattery)और हिन्दू धर्म की बुराई कर अपने काम का अंत समझ लेते थे. बंगाल और देश के प्रतिष्ठित लोगो का समर्पण बंगाल में होने वाला ईसाई  धर्म परिवर्तन देश की आज़ादी को कितना नुकसान पहुंचाते ये सोच से भी परे है. इसी कारण से महात्मा गांधी और सरदार पटेल ने भी धर्म परिवर्तन का पुर ज़ोर विरोध किया, अफ्रीका महाद्वीप के अनेक देशों को धर्म प्रचारकों की मदद से फिर प्रशासन के गंदे खेल ने “मूल धर्म”(basic religion)  और “परिवर्तित धर्म”(converted religion) के लोगों में जो आग लगाई कि आज भी अनेक देश उस आग में झुलस रहे हैं .

गृह युद्ध(civil war) में लाखों  लोग मारे जा चुके हैं प्राकृतिक संसाधन(natural-resources) पर अपरोक्ष (through)रूप से यूरोप के देश कब्ज़ा किये बैठे हैं. हिन्दू धर्म मे खुद को श्रेष्ठ समझने का भ्रम पाले बैठी जातियों को अपने सम्बोधन मे कहा की “ये अपने लोग हैं( दलित अछूत) इनसे कैसी नफरत ?जिस दिन तुम्हारे गलत व्यवहार से ये तुम्हारे विरोधी हो गए बचने का रास्ता नहीं मिलेगा .“अपने इन्हीं कामों के कारण स्वामी जी हिन्दू  धर्म के पाखंडी, धर्म का धंधा करने वालों तथा  ईसाई  धर्म प्रचारकों दोनों को खटकने लगे, इन लोगों ने स्वामी जी को उल्टा सीधा कहने और गाली गलौज करने का कोई मौका नहीं छोड़ा. पर स्वामी जी अपने गुरु “रामकृष्ण परमहंस”,के बताए रास्ते पर मुट्ठी भर समर्थित बिना साधन के कुछ युवाओं के साथ देश सेवा और गरीबों और दुखियारों की सेवा मे लगे रहे. अपने  अमेरिका और  इंग्लैंड  प्रवास के समय उन्होने वहां अपनी संस्कृति ,धर्म का सच्चा अर्थ आम  लोगों  तक पहुंचाने  का  काम किया (1893 The parliament of the world’s religions) मे हिन्दू धर्म पर उनके विचार तो “अमृत वचन” हैं .हज़ारों  साल पुरानी हमारी सहिष्णुता,(tolerance) सहनशीलता योग, ध्यान से विश्व को अवगत (aware) कराया यही नहीं ईसाई धर्म प्रचारकों (Christian missionaries)  द्वारा भारत को अँधेरी दुनिया (dark world)और भारतीयों को असभ्य बता कर अमेरिका मे उन्हे सभ्य  बनाने का पुण्य काम (holy work) का दावा और चन्दा इकट्ठा करने की साजिश का भी खुलासा किया, अपने स्वभाव के अनुरूप अमेरिका और यूरोप  के अनेक क्षेत्रों  के विद्वानो को प्रभावित किया. महानतम वैज्ञानिकों मे से एक निकोला टेस्ला, ऐलडस हक्सले,टालस्टॉय,जा डी सेलिंगेर जैसे लेखक रॉकफेलर जैसे धनकुबेर(very rich)  उनके विचारों  से प्रभावित हुए रॉकफेलर जैसे धनकुबेर पूंजीपति का समाज की भलाई के इतनी ज्यादा मात्रा मे धन दान करना अपने आप में  एक अनोखी घटना थी  विवेकानंद को केवल सन्यासी मानना  गलत होगा वो एक योद्धा सन्यासी (warrior monk)थे. एक ऐसा युवा  योद्धा  सन्यासी जो अपने देश के लिए, धर्म, संस्कृति  सभ्यता, भाषा के लिए संपूर्ण  मानवता, के कल्याण के लिए और इनकी रक्षा के लिए आजीवन कहीं  भी लड़ने से पीछे नहीं हटा अल्बर्ट आइंस्टीन ने एक बार कहा था कि” मै एक लड़ाकू शांतिप्रिय हूँ,  शान्ति  के लिए मैं  बुरे लोगों से हर वक़्त लड़ने को तैयार रहता हूँ. “विवेकानंद पर भी यह बात उतनी  ही सही बैठती है.

र्तमान में भारत की और विश्व  की अनेक समस्याए हैं- इस्लामिक टेररिज्म , इस्लामिक चरमपंथी,   i.s.i.s का उदय देश मे ईसाई धर्म प्रचारकों, धर्म परिवर्तन का गंदा  खेल, राजनीतिक बैर, वोट  बैंक  की राजनीति, अंधविश्वास, धार्मिक पाखण्ड और  हर शहर गाँव मे फैला पाखण्डियों का मायाजाल (हाल के वर्षों मे बाबा और गुरु जी)लोंगो की कारगुजारियों से  हम सब ही परिचित हैं. ये हमारी संस्कृति सभ्यता के सबसे बड़े दुश्मन हैं.  इन समस्याओं से समाज को किसी योद्धा  की तरह लड़ने की जरुरत है  विवेकानंद की मूर्ति  को माला  पहनाने से कुछ नहीं होगा.  उनके योद्धा की तरह किये गए कामोँ  को आने वाली पीढियों को बताना होगा , और उनकी ही तरह  लड़ना होगा  जब विश्व “सभ्यताओँ के संघर्ष (clash of civilization)” का एक खुला मैदान बन गया हो, तो अपनी सभ्यता संस्कृति  को बचाने  के लिए लड़ना ही पड़ता है. जो अपने महापुरुषों  से इतिहास  से नहीं सीखता उसको सभ्यताओँ के संघर्ष में  जीतने वाली सभ्यता से सीखना पड़ता है और ये सीख  आने वाली पीढियों  को बहुत भारी पड़ती  है.

                                विवेकानंद  और बनारस (वाराणसी)

एक चित्रकार (KRIPA) की कल्पना GOPAL-LAL VILA (1902)

 

GOPAL LAL VILA (VARANASI)

सिस्टर निवेदिता ने एक बार एक घटना का जिक्र करते हुए  बताया की विवेकानंद  की माँ भुवनेश्वरी देवी की एक पुत्र की इच्छा  थी जिस कारण  से बनारस मे अपने एक रिश्तेदार  को उन्होने बीरेश्वर महादेव (शिव मंदिर )में रोज़ उनके लिए पूजा करने का आग्रह किया 12 जनवरी 1863 को पुत्र  होने के बाद इसी कारण  से उसका नाम बीरेश्वर रखा गया परन्तु बोलने मे कठिन होने के कारण नामकरण के समय उनका नाम “नरेंद्र नाथ दत्त” (नरेन्) रखा गया लेकिन अपने घर वालों के लिए वो सदा “बिली” के नाम से ही जाने जाते रहे।  बाद मे अनेकों बार विवेकानंद  का बनारस आना हुआ विवेकानंद भूदेव मुखोपाध्याय, तैलंग-स्वामी से भी मिले.1890 गाजीपुर (बनारस के निकट ) इलाहाबाद भी इनका आना हुआ और इन स्थानों पर समय व्यतीत किया “भय पर विजय की शिक्षा” भी उन्हे यहीं मिली.  दुर्गाकुण्ड  मंदिर  से आते समय बंदरों से सामना होने पर एक साधु के कहने पर आप ने बंदरों से डर   के भागने के स्थान  पर बंदरों को भगाया ये छोटी घटना से स्वामी जी ने सच और डर का सामना करने का का अनोखा पाठ पढ़ा. इस छोटी घटना का उन पर बहुत प्रभाव पड़ा, और इसका जिक्र उन्होने अनेक स्थानों पर किया.  प्रमादादास मित्रा,  जिनसे विवेकानंद  की मित्रता थी, और उनसे उन्होने संस्कृत का भी  ज्ञान लिया था. प्रमादादास मित्रा जी ने गीता का इंग्लिश मे अनुवाद भी  किया था. स्वामी जी वाराणसी आने  पर इनके ही घर रुका करते थे. 1902  मे विवेकानंद  का आना एक  दूसरा अर्थ रखता था, अब वो स्वामी विवेकानंद विश्वप्रसिद्ध ,दार्शनिक और विद्वान थे, परन्तु बेहद कमज़ोर और बीमार, बंगाल के प्रसिद्ध लेखक शंकर ने अपनी किताब the monk  as man में chapter 4पेज 175 ,176  मे  उनकी 31 बिमारियों के बारे मे और  इन बिमारियों से दृहता से लड़ते हुए  सामाजिक भलाई मे लगे रहने का जिक्र  किया है.  स्वामी जी इस बार बनारस आ कर  राजा  काली  कृष्ण ठाकुर  के गार्डन हाउस गोपाल लाल  विला  मे रुके स्थानीय लोग  इस जगह  को सोंधा बास  भी कहते थे  यहाँ विवेकानंद जी लगभग एक महीना तक रुके राजा  काली  कृष्ण ठाकुर  के गार्डन हाउस गोपाल लाल  विला  का अपने पत्रो मे जिक्र करते हुए इस स्थान को स्वास्थ्य के अनुकूल बताया, स्वास्थ्य  ख़राब होने के बाद भी यहाँ  सामाज़िक  गतिविधियों मे लगे लोगों से मिलते रहे  स्वामी जी से प्रभावित हो कर “दरिद्र नारायण सेवा समिति” “poor men’s relief association”  का गठन करने वाले चारु चंद्र दास सहयोगी सदाशिवनन्द(आप ही ने स्वामी जी की इस बार बनारस में आगवानी की और गोपाललाल विला में उनके प्रवास के बारे मे स्वामी विवेकानंद संस्मरण नाम से एक लेख लिखा) लगभग प्रतिदिन मिलने आते थे आप लोगों के अनुरोध पर स्वामी जी ने संगठन का नाम” the Ramakrishna home of service”  कर दिया जो आगे चल कर और वर्तमान में वाराणसी का एक प्रमुख हॉस्पिटल है. समाज सेवा मे लगे उदय प्रताप से भी उनके गार्डन घर पर जा कर मिले.  केदार घाट के पुजारी से भी मुलाकात .की यहाँ से जाने के कुछ महीनों बाद ही(4july 1902) स्वामी जी मृत्यु हो गयी. स्वामी जी के अंतिम दिनों  का साक्षी उनका निवास स्थल वर्तमान मे गोपाल लाल विला एक खण्डहर बन चूका है क्या ही अच्छा होता की सरकार भारत की सांस्कृतिक राजधानी(cultural capital of India) वाराणसी मे इस खण्डहर को एक धरोहर रूप प्रदान करती, भारत की सांस्कृतिक राजधानी मे  भारत की संस्कृति को बचाने वाले और सम्पूर्ण विश्व को भारत की संस्कृति से परिचित कराने वाले योद्धा सन्यासी (warrior monk) विवेकानंद की इस धरोहर को बचाने का प्रयास तो होना ही चाहिए. वाराणसी  का पुराना नाम काशी है जिसका अर्थ होता है प्रकाश.  पर यहाँ प्रकाश का अर्थ ज्ञान से है कृत्रिम प्रकाश से नहीं. मालवीय जी ने भी वाराणसी को सर्व विद्या की राजधानी कहा था. गौतम बुद्ध महावीर स्वामी, कबीर, तुलसी, न जाने कितनो को इस शहर ने प्रभावित  किया देश ही नहीं विदेश मार्क ट्वेन,  स्टीव जॉब्स, जॉर्ज हैरिसन इस शहर से प्रेरणा लेते रहे. इस प्रकार से न जाने  कितने अनगिनत व्यक्तियों  प्रेरणा देने वाले शहर मे अनगिनत व्यक्तियों को प्रेरित करने वाले व्यक्ति का स्मारक  एक  पुनीत कार्य(holy work) होगा और ये स्वामी जी के प्रति हमारी सच्ची श्रद्धांजलि.(tribute)