The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw Swami Vivekananda, a revered spiritual teacher and philosopher, play a significant part in influencing India’s nationalist discourse.
The following significant factors can be used to analyse his nationalist views:
Vivekananda held to the idea of spiritual nationalism, which placed emphasis on the compatibility of all religions and the spirituality of India. He regarded India as the spiritual hub of the globe and held that India’s deep spiritual legacy represented the country’s fundamental identity.
Vivekananda argued that nationalism should take into account a nation’s spiritual and cultural aspects in addition to its political and economic ones.
Vivekananda emphasised the concept of universal brotherhood and saw nationalism as a way to promote harmony and cohesion among many communities. He thought that genuine nationalism shouldn’t breed hatred or a sense of superiority towards other cultures or religions. It should instead encourage a sense of unity and respect for all people.
Vivekananda held that nationalism should be practised with the intention of serving humanity. He emphasised the value of seva, or selfless service, as a fundamental component of the nationalist struggle. Without regard to caste, creed, or religion, Vivekananda envisioned a country where people cooperated for the benefit and advancement of society.
Vivekananda understood the importance of education in determining a country’s future. He thought that education should emphasise the development of moral ideals and character as much as academic knowledge.
Vivekananda argued in favour of a system of education that integrated the best aspects of Western and Indian traditions and placed a strong focus on utilitarianism and a person’s overall development.
Vivekananda emphasised the significance of self-reliance and self-respect for the advancement of a nation. He urged Indians to become more self-assured and proud of their cultural heritage. According to Vivekananda, for people to truly identify as nationalists, they must have a strong feeling of their own value and worth, which will allow them to make valuable contributions to the advancement of their country.
It is significant to note that Vivekananda’s views on nationalism were derived from his broader Vedanta philosophy and his idea of spiritual enlightenment and social change. He did not see nationalism as an aim in itself, but rather as a method to improve society and advance human wellbeing.
The understanding of Indian nationalism has been affected by Vivekananda’s beliefs on nationalism, which are still relevant today. His emphasis on the moral and humanitarian aspects of nationalism, as well as his plea for education and selfless service, continue to strike a chord with people and groups trying to advance a harmonious and inclusive national identity.