Pratap Simha recalls Rabindranath Tagore’s words on Swami Vivekananda to Romain Rolland
Mysore/Mysuru: Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha has said that the Viveka Memorial that is coming up on Narayana Shastri Road will be like a ‘Kalasha’ (crown) to Mysuru. He was addressing the gathering at the foundation laying ceremony for Viveka Memorial in city yesterday.
The MP recalled the friendship between Romain Rolland, the French dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian and mystic who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915 and Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore who got the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his collection of poems Gitanjali.
“Tagore’s contact with Romain Rolland dated from 1919 when Rolland wrote to compliment Tagore on his definition of narrow nationalism. When Rolland expressed his desire to Tagore that he wanted to know more about India, the Gurudev told Rolland, ‘if you want to know about India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative.’ This was mentioned by Romain Rolland, in a letter written to Swami Ashokananda,” the MP said.
“If Tagore could implore Rolland to study Swami Vivekananda, then imagine what a great personality Swami Vivekananda was. Later, Romain Rolland wrote, ‘The Life of Vivekananda and the Universal Gospel’. In the course of his celebrated address at the opening session of the World Parliament of Religions on Sept. 11, 1893, Swami Vivekananda began with the words “Sisters and Brothers of America” which aroused thunderous applause from the audience. He professed the universality of religious truths, spirituality and ethics and the sameness of all religious realisations,” Pratap Simha recounted.
“Swami Vivekananda captured everyone by his magnificent presence, his gospel of the unity of all religions and human service as the best worship of God. The day after Swami Vivekananda’s speech, newspapers wrote that he redefined the meaning and role of spirituality. While Columbus discovered the soil of America, Swami Vivekananda discovered the soul of America, one of the newspapers wrote,” the MP said.