My Great India :
Thoughts of Swami Vivekanand
Prof. Narayan Gune & Principal Prabhakar Nankar
Pages : 414, Price : Rs. 400/-
The book at hand is unique in many ways. All of us know Swami Vivekanand as a "Seer". One who made an indelible mark in the spiritual world way back in 1893. It is no more a secret that westerners convened international conference in Chicago to prove to the world that western philosophy has deeper spiritual values. As the story goes, Swamiji's speech and presentation was very well appreciated and it made a deeper impact on religious gurus who attended the International summit. On the second day also, organisors kept Swami Vivekanand's speech at the end so that participants will attend the conference till the end! All of us know that, Swamiji's talks enlightened the globe about Indian Philosophy and culture.
Editors Prof. Narayan.Gune and Principal Prabhakar Nankar deserve special appreciation for presenting Swami Vivekanand's thoughts in the form of Daily Readings. Swami Vivekanand was a great thought leader and it was a job to compile his thoughts from the ocean of literature in the form of letters documents, lectures - The Complete Works of Swami Vivekanand, is running into nine volumes! It was very thoughtful on the part of editors to study, interpret & present in this attractive publication - "My Great India".The novelty and utility of this book is highly appreciated. Novelty is in its format : one thought a Day for 365 Days and utility is that "one page a day" hardly fifteen minutes per day. Nobody can say, "I can't spare 15 minutes per day! Students studying in schools/colleges, people working in corporates, Banks, those who are making careers in music, art and painting or philosophy can plan their day and block a spot of 15-20 minutes per day. Ladies who are "home ministers" or teachers, nurses or corporates can positively make a good beginning almost from any day - why not today?
Swami Govinddev Giri has rightly mentioned in "Prologue" that Swami Vivekanand's thoughts are timeless fully positive, patriotic, idealistic and practical and our day to day life will be enhanced by reading on the basis of one thought (one page) a day.
Those who have read books on contribution of Swami Vivekanand will agree with me that he had never been prescriptive in approach. Whether he is talking about 'materialism' or 'globalization' or 'mindset', he will put his ideas across - give an illustration from day to day life and make you think. You have to draw your conclusion. Naturally, this 'one page a day' scheme is useful because the thought will be lingering in your mind... throughout the day without disturbing your daily routine!
The book is also unique in one more way. The book is divided into thoughtful sections like 'Vision, 'Problems', 'Solutions', 'Implementation'. It means that your journey and destination is explored every quarter of the year. Also check month wise titles: Jan. Prophecy, Feb. Strong India, March 'Unique Country' etc. What I found was that very comfortable journey is assured.
Those who are confused about relationship between 'science' and 'spirituality' will find relief on page 267 "Union of Science and Religion - Highest Philosophy" or If you are looking for the 'real' purpose of education, on page 229 purpose of Education : Character Building' (Also mentioned in New Education Policy 2020) Even when you glance through the book (say) page 149 "Spiritual Foundation is essential" - on page 37 "You are all Gods" touch your heart.
One more application can be suggested here. Teachers in colleges, Universities can think of "Reading one page in the class" - no discussion and start with your regular lecture. One of my students, now a teacher in the college teaching 'Costing' and 'Accounting' did this for one full year. Dr. Deelip Shirude's students liked the idea also followed on Sunday/Holiday at home and were highly benefited. It was an enriching experience indeed.
One more suggestion. Since the book is available in English – “My Great India” and in Marathi “विश्वगुरु भारत”All India Radio can start broadcasting these messages on daily basis. Considering its ethical value, I strongly recommend.
I am tempted to illustrate two points here: (1) Mindset (Page 180) "There may be a nation whose theme of life is political supremacy; religion and everything else become subordinate to that one great theme of its life. But here is another nation whose great theme of Life is spirituality and renunciation, whose one watch word is that world is all vanity and delusion of three days and every thing else whether science or knowledge, enjoyment or power wealth, name or fame must be subordinated to that one theme" Does it make you think? (2) Globalization (Page 312): Well it is a thought for October : "The whole of the western world is on a volcano which may burst tomorrow, go to pieces tomorrow. They have searched every corner of the world and have found no respite. Now is the time to work so that India's spiritual ideas may penetrate deep into the West. We must conquer the world through spirituality and philosophy". Does the bell ring?
One can recollect Swami Vivekanand's oft quoted statement: "Western efficiency and dynamismcoupled with India value system will be the best management system in the world (1894)”. Perhaps, his thoughts there is a great awakening among today's thought leaders in education & industry.
The beauty of "My Great India" is that it inspires. I am sure that, readers will be amply benefited by the book. Both Continental Prakashan and editors Prof. N.K. Gune & Principal Prabhakar Nankar deserve kudos for unfolding the thoughts of Swami Vivekanand in very attractive manner. Readers, Happy Reading.
Dr. S.G. Bapat
Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth,