In what context did Swami Vivekananda say this?
This quote of Sri Vivekananda in the book "COLOMBO TO ALMORA".
An inspiring speech of Sri Vivekananda, to the people of India, to rise up and move on.
There everything told him, as it were, "Slave! you are a slave, remain so. Hopeless you were born, hopeless you must remain." Even the very air murmured round him, as it were, "There is no hope for you; hopeless and a slave you must remain", while the strong man crushed the life out of him.
And when he landed in the streets of New York, he found a gentleman, well-dressed, shaking him by the hand; it made no difference that the one was in rags and the other well-clad. He went a step further and saw a restaurant, that there were gentlemen dining at a table, and he was asked to take a seat at the corner of the same table.
He went about, and found a new life, that there was a place where he was a man among men. Perhaps he went to Washington, shook hands with the President of the United States, and perhaps there he saw men coming from distant villages, peasants, and ill-clad, all shaking hands with the President.
Then the veil of mayA slipped away from him. He is Brahman, who has been hypnotised into slavery and weakness, once more awake, and he rises up and finds himself a man in a world of men. Aye, in this country of ours, the very birthplace of the Vedanta, our masses have been hypnotised for ages into that very state. To touch them is pollution ; to sit with them is pollution ! Hopeless you were born ; remain hopeless ; and the result is that they have been sinking, sinking, sinking, and have come to the last stage to which a human being can come.
For what country is there in the world where man has to sleep with the cattle, and for this blame no body else, do not commit the mistake of the ignorant. The effect is here and the cause is here too. We are to blame.
Stand up, be bold, and take the blame on your own shoulders. Do not go about throwing mud at others ; for all the faults you suffer you are the sole and only cause.
This quotation has link to Advaita, in a practical sense. The following are the points in brief, which Swami Vivekananada, spoke.
Thus you see that this, and this alone, and none else, can be the only scientific religion.
Know first, that you are cowards yourselves, and if society frightens you, if your own superstitions of the past frighten you so much, how much more will these superstitions frighten and bind down those who are ignorant? That is the Advaita position. Have mercy on others.
Advaita and Advaita alone explains morality.
Every religion preaches that the essence of all morality is to do good to others.
You cannot explain it except when you come to know the truth as given in the Gita: "He who sees everyone in himself, and himself in everyone, thus seeing the same God living in all, he, the sage, no more kills the Self by the self." Know through Advaita that whomsoever you hurt, you hurt yourself; they are all you.
Know that all sins and all evils can be summed up in that one word, weakness. It is weakness that is the motive power in all evil doing; it is weakness that is the source of all selfishness; it is weakness that makes men injure others; it is weakness that makes them manifest what they are not in reality.
If you want to be great materially, believe that you are so.
The secret of Advaita is: Believe in yourselves first, and then believe in anything else. In the history of the world, you will find that only those nations that have believed in themselves h
Therefore, children of the Aryans, do not sit idle; awake, arise, and stop not till the goal is reached. The time has come when this Advaita is to be worked out practically.
Ay, you may be astonished to hear that as practical Vedantists the Americans are better than we are.
And when he landed in the streets of New York, he found a gentleman, well-dressed, shaking him by the hand; it made no difference that the one was in rags and the other well-clad.
He went about and found a new life, that there was a place where he was a man among men. Perhaps he went to Washington, shook hands with the President of the United States, and perhaps there he saw men coming from distant villages, peasants, and ill clad, all shaking hands with the President.
These will be of no use until there is that sympathy, that love, that heart that thinks for all; until Buddha's heart comes once more into India, until the words of the Lord Krishna are brought to their practical use, there is no hope for us.
Therefore, young men of Lahore, raise once more that mighty banner of Advaita, for on no other ground can you have that wonderful love until you see that the same Lord is present everywhere. Unfurl that banner of love!
"Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached."