“India is no longer a political power; it is an enslaved race. Indians have no say, no voice in their own government; they are three hundred millions of slaves — nothing more! The average income of a man in India is two shillings a month. The common state of the vast mass of the people is starvation, so that, with the least decrease in income, millions die. A little famine means death. So there, too, when I look on that side of India, I see ruin – hopeless ruin.”
A dishevelled, enslaved and downtrodden society is what he saw. Having an intense desire to understand what the situation of the country was, Swami Vivekananda spent years travelling across his country, living with his people and experiencing each and every facet of the Hindu society. That was the conclusion he drew. A dishevelled, enslaved and downtrodden society.
On 25th December 1892, he arrived at Kanyakumari. He gazed out to sea and saw two rocks out in the ocean. Swamiji developed an intense urge to go to these rocks, and noticed some fishermen with some boats. But he had no money to pay them. Without any hesitation, he plunged into the ocean and despite the torrid conditions and the cold temperature, he swam across to the rock (which is some distance away). There, at the southernmost tip of his country, he passed into deep meditation for 3 days and 2 nights.
It is on this rock that he came to a great realisation.
His life mission had become clear: awaken the Hindu society to its greatness, uplift the whole nation, and inspire the world with the message of the Hindus. Bring the masses out of abject poverty, empower each and every section of society, remove the rife superstition that had plagued the country and restore the Hindu nation to its former spiritual greatness.
Hindu Awareness Week is here to carry forward Vivekananda’s mission. To awaken ourselves to who we really are and show this on a national stage. To bring awareness that “Hinduness” does not depend on any superstition, or ritual, or even scripture. To realise that it is a profound philosophy grounded in values and a pluralistic worldview.
It is now time we realise who we are and showcase this across the country.
Krinvanto Vishvamaryam – Let us ennoble the world.