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  1. Introduction Swami Vivekananda's letter emphasized the need to instill morality and an understanding of nationalism, equality, coexistence, acceptance, and harmony among the youth. He believed that a nation's prosperity depends on the disposition of the people. The letter was written on 3rd March 18Read more

    Introduction

    Swami Vivekananda’s letter emphasized the need to instill morality and an understanding of nationalism, equality, coexistence, acceptance, and harmony among the youth. He believed that a nation’s prosperity depends on the disposition of the people.

    The letter was written on 3rd March 1894 addressing Swami Vivekananda’s disciple Singaravelu Mudaliyar who was affectionately called Kidi. It provides an in-depth understanding of the relationship between character, soul, and religion.

    Swami Vivekananda highlighted the importance of humanistic values and their significance in the Gita. In contrast to these values, he criticized certain creeds such as the Brahmins who denied several rights to people. He also criticized the Vyasa for laying down meanings on the Vedas to cheat the Shudras. According to him, inculcating morals would help a nation, particularly India to reach final equality and unity.

    While cooking we incorporate different flavors together and while composing music, we make different notes work together, similarly, he explains that an amalgamation of faith, knowledge, and love is the kernel of religious harmony.

    He elaborated that faith is sublime, but there lies a fear of developing extremism. Swami Vivekananda appreciated Jnana (knowledge) but pointed out the possibility of it turning into dry intellectualism. He also admired the nobility of love but indicated that it may perish as illogical sentimentalism. To achieve harmony, he suggested collective counteracting, equipoising i.e creating balance, adjusting, and fulfilling one another.

    Religion and acceptance of beliefs

    Swami Vivekananda supported zest towards religion for its effectiveness but he advised men and women to be non-sectarian and avoid division of creeds. Although he considered Ramakrishna perfect and worshipped him, he politely allowed everyone else to regard him in accordance with their likeness.

    He wrote about how one should embrace and respect people with varied beliefs about the existence of God, whether a theist, pantheist, monist, polytheist, agnostic, or atheist. A theist is someone who believes in the existence of Gods, a pantheist believes that God is not a personality but all the laws, forces, and manifestations.

    A monist believes in the existence of only one Creator, a polytheist believes in more than one God. An agnostic person is skeptic about the known existence of God and an atheist is someone who lacks belief in the existence of God.

    Swami Vivekananda preached unvarying freedom of thought and action for everyone. He opined to leave everyone free to make a choice and follow what befits them but at the same time, condemned any criticism towards people’s choices. One may be gratified by eating meat and the other, by eating fruit. But that does not affect religion, as Swami Vivekananda says that the abundance of God’s mercy is not obstructed by a piece of meat.

    Souls

    Swami Vivekananda described souls as the sun, cloaked by clouds of ignorance, and that the mere difference between souls is the density of these clouds. This, according to him is the history of human progress and the basis of religion.

    He added that the soul has neither sex, caste nor imperfection and is related only to religion and no other social matters. Swami Vivekananda considered every soul divine and perceived that it is the onus of the soul to behave and treat other souls rightly. He firmly mentioned, that no Puran, Tantra, Darshana or Veda has ever classified souls on grounds of sex, creed, or caste.

    He reckoned that religion hypocritically claimed that framing social reforms is not its responsibility yet contradicted itself by creating economic conditions under the pretext of religion.

    Conclusion

    He concludes the letter to Kidi, by saying that the youth of India is capable of saving it from the hypocrites and cowards. Through the letter’s medium, he guided the men and women to use Ramakrishna’s life and his preaching as an inspiration to lead an unprejudiced life.

    He urges them to shoulder the responsibility of eradicating jealousy and preaching a new life with the ideas about religion and soul and the qualities that he described. The letter promotes a strong sense of patriotism, intellectualism and righteousness.

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