Both the Hindus and the Muhammadans are vedantists

In the first part of the discourse,attempts were made to discover the real form of the spirit of Indian culture,

Published: 19th December 2013 08:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th December 2013 08:02 AM   |  A+A-

In the first part of the discourse,attempts were made to discover the real form of the spirit of Indian culture, which resulted in pointing out a particular form of the spiritual life. Now we should try to show how this particular gift of the nation instead of dying out; can revive itself and the nation by being diffused into every branch of its life and culture.

At the outset, we are not only to discover the  creative mind of the nation, but at all costs we should stunt the growth of the heterogenous elements that clash with the free and indigenous development of the nation’s life.

Deep, anxious and careful considerations are required to organise a system of education and scheme of studies, following which our students may discover the centre of their life and develop the life-giving art, which is nothing but a  creation from within to realise this end, a syndicate of scholars is required to consider the problem and lay down the rules thought fit.

Here, only a few ideas will be suggested to help the formulation of such rules and the proper handling of the practical side of the question.

A violent objection that has been raised against the construction of an All-india National University presupposes the racial differences between the Hindus and the Muhammedans. But after considering the problem more serionsly and deeply, this distinction seems to be more apparent than real.

Practically speaking, both the Hindus and the Muhammadans stand on the same platform, both of them are Vedantists in their practical life, one in thought, the other inaction more or less. The Muhammadans havo got the least hatred for  their co-religionists, the whole community, so to speak, moves like one man. What the one conceives, the other practises, Swami Viveka-nanda says.

“Advaitism is the last word of religion and thought......we  believe it is the religion of the future enlightened humanity...yet practical Advaitism which looks upon and behaves to all mankind as one’s own soul, is yet to be developed among the Hindus universally. On the other hand, our experience is that if ever the folollowers of any religion approached to this equality in any appreciable degree in the plane of practical work-a-day life, it is those of Islam and Islam alone.

There we are firmly persuaded that without the help of practical Islam, theories of Vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be, are entirely valueless to the vast mass of  mankind. For our own motherhnd a junction of the great systems, Hinduism and Islam - Vedantic brain and Islamic body - is the only hope. I see in my mind’s eye the future perfect India rising out of this chaos and strife, glorious and invincible, with Vedantic brain and Islamic body.”

The systems of education in India should be based on Vedanta, the outer aspect of which is equality, fraternity and liberty, while the inner aspect consists in being in touch, and gradually one with the universal soul. In a word, it requires man to be free, absolutely free - free in and out.

This is the ideal towards whieh every nation is striving but the Indians, the Hindus and the Muhammadans have realised it most. If this doctrine of Vedanta is made the fundamental principle in guiding Indian education, the University need not split, and find shelter one in the city of temples, and the other in the city of mosques. The country as a whole, shall then  be changed into a huge temple or a gigantic mosque.

Extracts  from Vedanta Kesari, an English monthly of the Ramakrishna Order, published from Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai.

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