Among the galaxy of scholars, Swami Vivekananda stands out as a majestic tower of light who has given a new tempo to the building up of a new sense of nationalism in modern India. The uniqueness of Vivekananda was his endeavour to translate every ounce of Vedanta into a social living and was never a cold theoretician or an abstract metaphysician. He was aware that India's life is governed by her sovereign sense of the infnite and inclusiveness which nourished her national life and India has been a spiritual strength for her people, implanting the seeds that have continuously sprouted and flowered in her art, literature, religion, philosophy, science and politics. It is a civilization that should be seen, not as a closed system or as a finished product, but as a dynamic and unfolding process. Whatever the differences, India's spiritual heritage should be recognized as the focal point and to be appropriated in the conception of a new resurgent India. Regrettably, what we had been glorifying as the central value of this culture and civilization is disorientated today due to the brutal exhibition of barbarous instincts which were exhibited through the rivalry between religious groups. What is being experienced is the loss of inherited values and our inability in reinventing new values. By virtue of its characteristic pluralism and its continuously evolving synthesis, India represents a nation which is continuously unfolding its civilizational potentialities. In making of such an Indian ethos, the foundational ideal which has been the basis of Indian culture and civilization is the concept of Dharma and Vivekananda was able to comprehend and articulate the relation between morality (dharma) and human affairs which are the concerns of practical Vedanta.
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About the Author
Sebastian Velassery, UGC National Emeritus professor, Department of Philosophy, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India did his masters from Hyderabad Central University and doctoral studies from IIT/Kanpur. Professor Velassery has contributed more than seven dozens of research articles in various national/international journals and anthologies. He has published Twelve books. Some of his books are Casteism and Human Rights: Toward an Ontology of the Social Order; Caste Identities and the Ideology of Exclusion; Globalization and Cultural Identities: Philosophical Challenges and opportunities; Foundations of Indian Social Life: Cultural, Religious & Aesthetic; Identity, Creativity and Modernization: Perspectives on Indian Cultural Tradition; Reasoning in Faith: Cultural Foundations for Civil Society and Globalization and Wisdom Tradition, Cultural Creativity and Social Change. Prof. Velassery was a visiting research professor at The Catholic University of America, Washington D. C in the years 1996-97, 2001-2002, and 2005.