Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Importance Of Sri Ramakrishna

From a lecture delivered under the auspices of the Bombay National Union by Sri Aurobindo to a large gathering at Mahajanwadi, Bombay, on Sunday, the 19th January, 1908. The title is "The present situation".[…] The Bengali has the faculty of belief. Belief is not a merely intellectual process, belief is not a mere persuasion of the mind, belief is something that is in our heart, and what you believe, you must do, because belief is from God. It is to the heart that God speaks, it is in the heart that God resides. That saved the Bengali. Because of this capacity of belief, we were chosen as the people who were to save India, the people who were to stand foremost, the people who must suffer for their belief, the people who must meet everything in the faith that God was with them and that God is in them. Such a people need not be politically strong, it need not be a people sound in physique, it need not be a people of the highest intellectual standing. It must be a people who can believe.In Bengal there came a flood of religious truth.Certain men were born, men whom the educated world would not have recognised if that belief, if that God within them had not been there to open their eyes, men whose lives were very different from what our education, our Western education, taught us to admire.One of them, the man who had the greatest influence and has done the most to regenerate Bengal, could not read and write a single word. He was a man who had been what they call absolutely useless to the world. But he had this one divine faculty in him, that he had more than faith and had realised God. He was a man who lived what many would call the life of a madman, a man without intellectual training, a man without any outward sign of culture or civilisation, a man who lived on the alms of others, such a man as the English-educated Indian would ordinarily talk of as one useless to society. He will say, "This man is ignorant. What does he know? What can he teach me who have received from the West all that it can teach?"But God knew what he was doing. He sent that man to Bengal and set him in the temple of Dakshineshwar in Calcutta, and from North and South and East and West, the educated men, men who were the pride of the university, who had studied all that Europe can teach, came to fall at the feet of this ascetic.The work of salvation, the work of raising India was begun.Sri Aurobindo from "Speeches", booklet edition pages 26-27also in SABCL, volume 1published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherrydiffusion by SABDA


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