Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Captain of our souls

What more can we say about our country's darling son? In every way he has shown us the path, inspiring a nation by his ideal of sacrifice and service. More photos here, with descriptions.

Rabindranath said, "If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative".

"We perceive his influence still working gigantically, we know not well how, we know not well where, in something that is not yet formed, something leonine, grand, intuitive, upheaving that has entered the soul of India and we say, Behold, Vivekananda still lives in the soul of his Mother and in the souls of her children.",
wrote Aurobindo.

The monks of Ramakrishna Mission work tirelessly for the welfare of the needy. Their activities are carried out in various parts of our country on the basis of the principles of Shiva Jnane Jiva Seva ("Service to people as service to God") and work is worship.

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Anonymous said...

The senior monks of the Ramakrishna Mission have also covered up many abuses by pedophilic monks. The situation is eerily similar to that involving the Catholic church in America, with abusers merely transferred rather than disciplined, etc. Maybe monastic life draws in the pathological, maybe the pressures of celibacy do this to people. I don't know. But
as someone with friends who suffered such abuse, I hope for an eventual exposé.

A whole different angle is the suspension of students caught in harmless sexual acts, which, given how stigmatized sex still is in many parts of Indian society, can leave deep psychological scars...

Of course, this is not to say that they, or the Catholic church in America, don't do many great things and change many lives.

Holden Caulfield said...

Your comment is in bad taste, because:
1. In a post on a great soul, you have managed to find a slanted perspective, which is removed from the topic at hand: Swami Vivekananda. If you are a self-styled atheist, you might call him Narendranath Dutta.

2. You seem to have no respect for people who have achieved great things. Not only that, you have failed to pick the pearls. Probably you are swine. An arrogant one.

3. You are not informed by the work that Ramakrishna Mission does (they do not have an advertizing zeal, nor do they believe in proselytization), and you haven;lt navigated the links in the post. Because you have a jaundiced eye, you have been looking for negative angles in positive things.

Anonymous said...

Well, I went to a Ramakrishna Mission school for a few years, so I know them for what they are. Neither do I see them as only doing good or evil things- it's more complex than that. But they are a religious establishment and can only be as good as a religious establishment can be. I am generally sad that the secular education system in Bengal to the extent that the religious schools- Hindu and Christian- are the only ones left. I also want an analog of Christopher Hitchens' "The missionary position" - written about Mother Teresa, if you didn't know - for the RKM.

As for Narendranath, the man did some good things, but I rather wish the Brahmo movement didn't decline. Of course, the times were different, there was a need for nationalism, etc. But there's something essentially creepy about a monastic system run by celibate monks. But hey, I was never a fan of the Cathoic church either.

Note that you do not deny my allegations. But you accuse me of being arrogant. The very real stories of pedophilic monks must be swept under the rug, I suppose. I wonder if you are the type who blames the victim when the town priest rapes the prostitute: "she didn't have izzat, how could she have lost anything?"

Holden Caulfield said...

It seems you are uneducated about the Ramakrishna Mission. What's more, you have a distorted view of 'religion', but you have already shown enough signs of being a religious nut, only your religion is of a different variety.

As for Narendranath, the man did some good things

Your conceit is deplorable. It sems to me the education system has failed you. You have been trained to look for negative things with a jaundiced eye. I will not allow any negative comments on Swami Vivekananda and slanted comments on his monastic order. Constructive critiscism is fine, but you are neither constructive, nor are you interested in any work that they have done. Like a frog in a well, you are intersted in the dark corners, ignoring everything else.

If you write any more negative thoughts on Vivekananda, I will delete your comments.

Anonymous said...

You will not allow any slanted comments on his monastic order? Way to go with your tolerance and respect for free speech. As I said, I do not ignore "everything else that they have done." As a former student of one of the most respected RKM schools, I know it well enough; I acknowledge them just as I acknowledge Mother Teresa. However, their "dark corners" need to be confronted too. They could keep their religion, just not cover up crimes. And just look at you, your emotional reactions show the psychology that often lies behind those cover-ups.
You are probably the type who will think your son has sinned when he was actually molested by your priest.

Meg said...


Anonymous is confused and seems to be high on the other opium - atheism. Your posts are great. Keep them coming -- whenever you find time ;)


bhaisahib said...

I wouldn't be surprised if these guys go to Chinese forums and disparage their ancestor worship. Some of your ancestors were probably pedophiles; so why hold them in respect. blah blah blah.