Swami Vivekananda was a remarkably adept and intelligent being. He was not just well versed with the spiritual intricacies but also with Shastras and the worldly reality. He found himself in a world that was ruled by powers whose entire wealth and prosperity were predicated on the loot of others’ wealth. And, for some reason that is what they took as a sign of the superiority of their belief system. The Evangelicals in those days argued that it was their Christian faith that laid the foundation of their wealth.
What they would miss out is that their wealth was actually built by loot, subjugation, slavery, and colonial rule. The money they looted, the people they raped and plundered and continents they ravaged were being showcased as ‘wealth’.
Think of it – Britain looted in today’s terms $45 Trillion from India. After having looted so much and kept to themselves, just 70 years after their rule of India ended, India is on the verge of beating them in the total GDP terms! If there was a scale with Britain on one side and India on the other. Then Britain would be sitting with $45 trillion of loot from India and India would be sitting minus all that and an economic legacy of same Britain on the other. And, still, India would come out better!
Now, that says something about the Christian ethos and power, to use the logic of the Christian leaders of that time, doesn’t it?
It is with this background that one should read the views of Swami Vivekananda, who saw through many a charade that these so-called leaders spun around the faithful!
[Read about Swami Vivekananda here as well – Swami Vivekananda – A Light Beyond Dimensions and Geographies]
Here is Swami Vivekananda on the so-called prosperity brought by Evangelical Christian nations and their Armies. He was confronted in US by such evangelicals who wanted him to convert. This was his reply:“We who had come from the east have sat here day after day and have been told in a patronizing way that we ought to accept Christianity because Christian nations are the most prosperous. We look about us and we see England the most prosperous Christian nation in the world, with her foot upon the neck of 250,000,000 Asiatics. We look back into history and see that the prosperity of Christian Europe begin with Spain. Spain’s prosperity began with the invasion of Mexico. Christianity wins its prosperity by cutting the throats of its fellow men. At such a price the Hindoo will not have prosperity.They come to my country and abuse my forefathers, my religion, and everything; they walk near a temple and say ‘you idolators, you will go to hell’, but they dare not do this to the Mohammedans of India, for the sword will be out, but the Hindu is too mild.And may I ask you, Europeans, what country you have ever raised to better conditions? Wherever you have found weaker races, you have exterminated them by the roots, as it were. You have settled on their lands, and they are gone for ever. What is the history of your America, your Australia, and New Zealand, your Pacific Islands and South Africa? Where are the aboriginal races there today? They have all been exterminated, you have killed them outright, as if they were wild beasts. It is only where you have not the power to do so, and there only, that other nations are still alive. If Christianity is a saving power in itself, why has it not saved the Ethiopians, the Abyssinians?”
Swami Vivekananda was a very perceptive being who was not afraid of speaking his mind. And, he had an amazing tool of logic which was razor-sharp. That is why over a hundred years from when he spoke these words, today he stands vindicated.