He would cast these ancestors in Colas Breugnon He received his degree in history in and spent two years in Rome, where his encounter with Malwida von Meysenbug —who had been a friend of Nietzsche and of Wagner —and his discovery of Italian masterpieces were decisive for the development of his thought. In he was appointed to the first chair of music history at the Sorbonne , he also directed briefly in the musical section at the French Institute in Florence. As a humanist, he embraced the work of the philosophers of India "Conversations with Rabindranath Tagore " and Mohandas Gandhi. Rolland was strongly influenced by the Vedanta philosophy of India, primarily through the works of Swami Vivekananda. He was not indifferent to youth: Jean-Christophe, Olivier and their friends, the heroes of his novels, are young people.
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For him, as for Beethoven, it was the root of all the virtues. He was a born king and nobody ever came near him either in India or America without paying homage to his majesty. When this quite unknown young man of thirty appeared in Chicago at the inaugural meeting of the Parliament of Religions, opened in September , by Cardinal Gibbons, all his fellow members were forgotten in his commanding presence. His strength and beauty, the grace and dignity of his bearing, the dark light of his eyes, his imposing appearance, and from the moment he began to speak, the splendid music of his rich deep voice enthralled the vast audience of American Anglo-Saxons, previously prejudiced against him on account of his colour.
The thought of this warrior prophet of India left a deep mark upon the United States. It was impossible to imagine him in the second place. Wherever he went he was the first. From his ashes, like those of the Phoenix of old, has sprung anew the conscience of India—the magic bird—faith in her unity and in the Great Message, brooded over from Vedic times by the dreaming spirit of his ancient race—the message for which it must render account to the rest of mankind.
Madras had been expecting him for weeks in a kind of passionate delirium…. This is the only God that is awake, our own race—everywhere His hands, everywhere His feet, everywhere His ears, He covers everything. All other Gods are sleeping. Did India, thrilling to the sound of his words, reply to the hope of her herald?
Was her noisy enthusiasm translated into deeds? At the time nearly all this flame seemed to have been lost in smoke. Two years afterwards Vivekananda declared bitterly that the harvests of young men necessary for his army had not come from India.
It is impossible to change in a moment the habits of a people buried in a Dream, enslaved by prejudice, and allowing themselves to fail under the weight of the slightest effort. She never forgot it. From that day the awakening of the torpid Colossus began. This message of energy had a double meaning : a national and a universal.
Although, for the great monk of the Advaita, it was the universal meaning that predominated, it was the other that revived the sinews of India. His words are great music, phrases in the style of Beethoven, stirring rhythms like the march of Handel choruses. And what shocks, what transports must have been produced when in burning words they issued from the lips of the hero! The West ought to be aware of the tremendous energies liberated by these means. The world finds itself face to face with an awakening India.
Its huge prostrate body, lying along the whole length of the immense peninsula, is stretching its limbs and collecting its scattered forces. Whatever the part played in this reawakening by the three generations of trumpeters during the previous century— the greatest of whom we salute, the genial Precursor : Rammohun Roy , the decisive call was the trumpet blast of the lectures delivered at Colombo and Madras.
And the magic watchword was Unity. Unity of every Indian man and woman and world-unity as well ; of all the powers of the spirit—dream and action ; reason, love, and work. Unity of the hundred races of India with their hundred different tongues and hundred thousand gods springing from the same religious centre, the core of present and future reconstruction. Unity of the thousand sects of Hinduism. Unity within the vast Ocean of all religious thought and all rivers past and present, Western and Eastern.
The time is past for the pre-eminence of one incomplete and partial civilization. Asia and Europe, the two giants, are standing face to face as equals for the first time. If they are wise they will work together, and the fruit of their labours will be for all.
The twin star of the Paramahansa and the hero who translated his thoughts into action, dominates and guides her present destinies. Its warm radiance is the leaven working within the soil of India and fertilizing it. Rich in both, free in both, he has serenely wedded the West and the East in his own spirit. There is no doubt that the breath of such a Forerunner must have played some part in his evolution. In my opinion Gandhi, when he stated it so frankly, showed himself to be the heir of Ramakrishna.
There is no single one of us who cannot take this lesson to heart. Received Nobel Prize for literature. About the Author: Swami Vivekananda Swami Vivekananda 12 January — 4 July was an Indian saint, social reformer, and a great teacher of mankind. He was the foremost disciple of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Dev who is considered as the prophet of modern age.
Swami Vivekananda was a towering spiritual personality, great thinker, orator and the prophet of universal harmony and progress. Related Posts.
Life of Vivekananda and the Universal Gospel