Why I Hate Vivekananda : 17 Castiest Quotes of Vivekananda


Vivekananda’s ”Ideological” Yatra

1. I do not propose any levelling of castes. Caste is a very good thing. Caste is the plan we want to follow.

2. The plan in India is to make everybody a Brahmin, the Brahmin being the ideal of humanity.

3.  Indian caste is better than the caste which prevails in Europe or America.

→ Which caste system prevails in Europe or America Mr. Vivekananda? Here he glorifies caste system in India!

4.  Where would you be if there were no caste? Where would be your learning and other things, if there were no caste? There would be nothing left for the Europeans to study if caste had never existed!

→ We would have been better off without caste, our situations would have been better. What learning so called caste system gave to Dalits? Caste system taught only discrimination.

→ Yeah, you guys invented caste system so that Europeans have something to study because poor Europeans didn’t have anything to study!

5. Caste should not go; but should only be readjusted occasionally. Within the old structure is to be found life enough for the building of two hundred thousand new ones. It is sheer nonsense to desire the abolition of caste.

6. Brainy Vivekananda suggested to lower castes that are fighting and writing against higher castes is of no use, learn Sanskrit and you problems will be solved! Sucha brainy was our Swami!

7. The Brahminhood is the ideal of humanity in India, as wonderfully put forward by Shankaracharya at the beginning of his commentary on the Gitâ, where he speaks about the reason for Krishna’s coming as a preacher for the preservation of Brahminhood, of Brahminness.

→  Dr. Ambedkar was against Brahminhood and Brahminism, which is a mentality of people that makes them to suppress and discriminate. Vivekananda supported Brahminism.

→ Yes, Vivekananda is against anyone fighting casteism, because fighting casteism is fighting against Brahmins, who are, of course, according to him, Gods on earth.

8. In India, even the lowest caste never does any hard work. They generally have an easy lot compared to the same class in other nations; and as to ploughing, they never do it.

→ Dalits and Shudras, in Vivekananda’s opinion, do no work. The fields plough themselves, by magic! And only hard work is done by Brahmins sitting in A.C. Temples and earning millions, sitting in A.C. is very tough work!

9. Why is India not a superpower? Of course, because we “abolished caste”: “Then what was the cause of India’s downfall? — The giving up of this idea of caste.As Gitâ says, with the extinction of caste the world will be destroyed. Now does it seem true that with the stoppage of these variations the world will be destroyed… Therefore what I have to tell you, my countrymen, is this: that India fell because you prevented and abolished caste… Let Jati have its sway; break down every barrier in the way of caste, and we shall rise.”

10. So what is the basis of the Indian’s social order? It is the caste law. I am born for the caste, I live for the caste. I donot mean myself, because, having joined an Order, we are outside. I mean those that live in civil society. Born in the caste, the whole life must be lived according to caste regulation.

11. Now look at Europe. When it succeeded in giving free scope to caste and took away most of the barriers that stood in the way of individuals, each developing his caste — Europe rose. In America, there is the best scope for caste (real Jati) to develop, and so the people are great.

→ Here Mr. Vivekananda again glorifies the caste system! First thing first, Mr. Vivekananda, there was/is no caste in western societies.

12. “As Manu says, all these privileges and honours are given to the Brahmin, because “with him is the treasury of virtue”. He must open that treasury and distribute its valuables to the world. It is true that he was the earliest preacher to the Indian races, he was the first to renounce everything in order to attain to the higher realisation of life before others could reach to the idea. It was not his fault that he marched ahead of the other caste. Why did not the other castes so understand and do as he did? Why did they sit down and be lazy, and let the Brahmins win the race?”

→ Vivekananda is a defender of Manu, the “great” law-giver, and blames the lower castes for their sorry lot. Is it surprising that most of the followers of the cult of Vivekananda are high caste Hindus?

13. The only safety, I tell you men who belong to the lower castes, the only way to raise your condition is to study Sanskrit, and this fighting and writing and frothing against the higher castes is in vain…

→ Vivekananda doesn’t want that Dalits write against their oppressors and he wants that Dalits keep on suffering silently! Lower castes fight is for equality and Sanskrit is a language of discrimination and it originated to maintain the caste discrimination. How learning Sanskrit will help lower castes get jobs, respectand dignity and how it will solve the problem of caste discrimination? I am not able to understand, can you?

14. To the non-Brahmin castes I say, wait, be not in a hurry. Do not seize every opportunity of fighting the Brahmin, because, as I have shown, you are suffering from your own fault.

15. Vivekananda blames lower castes for their suffering. Yeah, as if while studying, lower castes themselves poured lead in their own ears, cut their own tongue and plucked their own eyes after reading.

16. This Brahmin, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain; he must not go.

→ Yes, Vivekananda is against anyone fighting casteism, because fighting casteism is fighting against Brahmins, who are, of course, according to him, Gods on earth.

17. This Brahmin, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain; he must not go. And with all the defects of the caste now, we know that we must all be ready to give to the Brahmins this credit, that from them have come more men with real Brahminness in them than from all the other castes. That is true. That is the credit due to them from all the other castes.

References –

Swami Vivekananda, “The Abroad and the Problems at Home”, The Hindu, Madras, February 1987, in “Interviews”, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda,Volume 5.

Swami Vivekananda, in “The Future of India”, Delivered at Victoria Hall, Madras, in “Lectures from Colombo to Almora”, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3.

Swami Vivekananda, in “Women of India”, Delivered at the Shakespeare Club House, in Pasadena, California, on January 18, 1900, in “Lectures and Discourses”, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 8.

Swami Vivekananda, in “A Plan of Work for India”, in “Writings: Prose”, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 4.

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A Brief History Of Priestly Rage

The priests who denounced the Bengal CM as a ‘beef-supporter’ have forgotten that their forebears had welcomed ‘beef-eater’ Lord Mountbatten

A. K. Biswas


History stands witness to the twists and turns of pol­itical fortune the Puri Jagannath temple has been embroiled in over the centuries. The protests voiced recently against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s entry into the temple to offer puja is in line with the politics the servitors of the deity have always dabbled in. Pre-Mughal Muslim rulers introduced pilgrimtax in India. Emperor Akbar abolished it and Shah Jahan continued this liberal policy. Aurangzeb, however, went back to levying it. Interestingly, the tax continued to be extracted by the Hindu Peshwas who ruled Orissa in the 18th century. Later, the East India Company actually systematised it: a regulation was passed in 1806, classifying pilgrims into four categories, with tax rates varying from Rs 2 to Rs 10 per head. Some Bengali zamindars were known to have visited Puri with a retinue of 2,000 men by paying pilgrim tax.

It was in September 1803 that Wellesley’s army took Orissa—in 14 days flat, without even a shot being fired or a drop of bloodshed. The army marched right up to the outskirts of Puri and camped at Pipili, four miles off the temple town. A delegation of high priests from Puri called on the commanding officer of the victorious army in his camp. Swami Dharma Teertha (1893-1978), whose pre-ascetic name was Parameswara Menon, wrote in History of Hindu Imperial­ism(1941): “The oracle of the Puri Jagannath Temple proclaimed that it was the desire of the deity that the temple too should be controlled by the Company, and the latter under took to maintain the temple buildings, pay the Brahmans and do everything for the service of the deity as was customary.” In the very first year, the institution yielded a net profit to the Company of Rs 1,35,000, the swami wrote. Puri was not the only temple town under the British tax net. The Company earned tax of some two to three lakhs from Gaya. Huge tax in flows also came in from other pilgrimage centres like Tirupati, Kashipur, Sarkara, Sambol etc—the net revenue amounted to anaverage to £75,000 and upwards annually.

By Regulation XI of 1809,the Company banned the entry of the Lolee (or Kasbee), Kalal (or Sunri), Machua, Namasudra (or Chandal), Gazur, Bagdi, Jogi (or Narbaf), Kahar Bauri (or Dulia), Rajbansi, Pirali, Chamar, Dom, Pan, Tior, Bhuimali and Hari castes or sub-castes into the Jagannath temple. The Piralis, considered degraded Brahmins, was the lineage into which Rabindranath Tagore was born. In 1810, the ban against Piralis was revoked. This exercise—the exclusion of many and inclusion of some—was guided by the political wisdom of the priests. The pecuniary gains of the Company, the priests and others concerned were phenomenal. Official reports disclosed that, during the period 1806-32, pilgrim tax collected grossed at Rs 24,57,655 whereas expenditure stood at Rs 12,36,034. The Company treasury swelled during this period by Rs 12,16,174, as quoted in Col Laurie’s article ‘Puri and the Temple of Jagannath’ in The Calcutta Review, September 1848. The average annual gross tax collection aggregated at Rs 1,11,711 and expenditure at Rs 56,183. In Orissa Vol 1(1872), William Hunter wrote that “not less than 20,000 men, women and children live directly or indirectly, by service of Lord Jagannath”. No contemporary industrial establishment, either on the west or east of the Atlantic, perhaps boasted such a large population dependent on a single institution for subsistence.

The Company shared a portion of the pilgrim tax with some stake holders. Ten per cent of the gross tax collected from pilgrims of Gaya (Rs 26,078) was paid to the Maharaja of Tekari, who had jurisdiction over the Vishnupad temple, wrote James Peggs in Pilgrim Tax in India (1830). The favour was returned in kind too. On the outbreak of the 1857 revolt in Bihar, a delegation of priests from Vishnupad temple waited on the Gaya district magistrate, Alonzo Money, and offered of 3,000 lathials (club-men) who would defend the Englishmen, their families, treasuries and government properties in that engulfing crises. Money immediately communicated the novel initiative to the Government of Bengal, Calcutta. Dabbling in politics, thus, has hardly been an unknown phenomenon among temple priests in the country over the ages.


Who’s In, Who’s Out ?

Ambedkar was denied entry into the Puri temple, while Lord Mountbatten was welcomed; Tagore’s clan too was barred entry during 1809-10

Madhu Dandavate, who was railway minister in the government headed by Morarji Desai and finance minister under V.P. Singh, while deposing before the Backward Classes Commission with B.P. Mandal as chairman, stated that Lord Mountbatten, accompanied by Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the Governor-General’s executive council member, visited the Jagannath temple once. The British Paramount was accordeda red carpet reception by the Jagannath temple, while Dr Ambedkar was denied entry.Was Mountbatten a vegetarian? Did he not prefer beef as his staple diet? Then what leg do they have to stand on, this section of the servants of Jagannath who denounced the West Bengal chief minister, who has only defended the freedom of dietary choice for the people of India?

(The writer is a retired IAS officer and former vice-chancellor, B.R. Ambedkar University, Muzaffarpur, Bihar.)

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