Why I Hate Vivekananda – 16 Castiest Quotes of Vivekananda

1) I do not propose any leveling of castes. Caste is a very good thing. Caste is the plan we want to follow.


2) The plan in India is to make everybody a Brahmin, the Brahmin being the ideal of humanity.


3) Indian caste is better than the caste which prevails in Europe or America.

→ Which caste system prevails in Europe or America Mr. Vivekananda? Here he glorifies caste system in India!


4) Where would you be if there were no caste? Where would be your learning and other things, if there were no caste? There would be nothing left for the Europeans to study if caste had never existed!

→ We would have been better off without caste, our situations would have been better. What learning so called caste system gave to Dalits? Caste system taught only discrimination.

→ Yeah, you guys invented caste system so that Europeans have something to study because poor Europeans didn’t have anything to study!


5) Caste should not go; but should only be readjusted occasionally. Within the old structure is to be found life enough for the building of two hundred thousand new ones. It is sheer nonsense to desire the abolition of caste.


6) Brainy Vivekananda suggested to lower castes that are fighting and writing against higher castes is of no use, learn Sanskrit and you problems will be solved! Such a brainy was our Swami!


7) The Brahminhood is the ideal of humanity in India, as wonderfully put forward by Shankaracharya at the beginning of his commentary on the Gitâ, where he speaks about the reason for Krishna’s coming as a preacher for the preservation of Brahminhood, of Brahminness.

→  Dr. Ambedkar was against Brahminhood and Brahminism, which is a mentality of people that makes them to suppress and discriminate. Vivekananda supported Brahminism.


8) This Brahmin, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain; he must not go.

–> Yes, Vivekananda is against anyone fighting casteism, because fighting casteism is fighting against Brahmins, who are, of course, according to him, Gods on earth.


9) This Brahmin, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain; he must not go. And with all the defects of the caste now, we know that we must all be ready to give to the Brahmins this credit, that from them have come more men with real Brahminness in them than from all the other castes. That is true. That is the credit due to them from all the other castes.

–> Yes, Vivekananda is against anyone fighting casteism, because fighting casteism is fighting against Brahmins, who are, of course, according to him, Gods on earth.


10) In India, even the lowest caste never does any hard work. They generally have an easy lot compared to the same class in other nations; and as to ploughing, they never do it.

–> Dalits and Shudras, in Vivekananda’s opinion, do no work. The fields plough themselves, by magic! And only hard work is done by Brahmins sitting in A.C. Temples and earning millions, sitting in A.C. is very tough work!


11) Why is India not a superpower? Of course, because we “abolished caste”:

“Then what was the cause of India’s downfall? — The giving up of this idea of caste. As Gitâ says, with the extinction of caste the world will be destroyed. Now does it seem true that with the stoppage of these variations the world will be destroyed…Therefore what I have to tell you, my countrymen, is this: that India fell because you prevented and abolished caste… Let Jati have its sway; break down every barrier in the way of caste, and we shall rise.”


12) So what is the basis of the Indian’s social order? It is the caste law. I am born for the caste, I live for the caste. I do not mean myself, because, having joined an Order, we are outside. I mean those that live in civil society. Born in the caste, the whole life must be lived according to caste regulation.


13) Now look at Europe. When it succeeded in giving free scope to caste and took away most of the barriers that stood in the way of individuals, each developing his caste — Europe rose. In America, there is the best scope for caste (real Jati) to develop, and so the people are great.

–> Here Mr. Vivekananda again glorifies the caste system! First thing first, Mr. Vivekananda, there was/is no caste in western societies.  


14) “As Manu says, all these privileges and honours are given to the Brahmin, because “with him is the treasury of virtue”. He must open that treasury and distribute its valuables to the world. It is true that he was the earliest preacher to the Indian races, he was the first to renounce everything in order to attain to the higher realisation of life before others could reach to the idea. It was not his fault that he marched ahead of the other caste. Why did not the other castes so understand and do as he did? Why did they sit down and be lazy, and let the Brahmins win the race?”

–> Vivekananda is a defender of Manu, the “great” law-giver, and blames the lower castes for their sorry lot. Is it surprising that most of the followers of the cult of Vivekananda are high caste Hindus?


15) The only safety, I tell you men who belong to the lower castes, the only way to raise your condition is to study Sanskrit, and this fighting and writing and frothing against the higher castes is in vain…

–> Vivekananda doesn’t want that Dalits write against their oppressors and he wants that Dalits keep on suffering silently! Lower castes fight is for equality and Sanskrit is a language of discrimination and it originated to maintain the caste discrimination. How learning Sanskrit will help lower castes get jobs, respect and dignity and how it will solve the problem of caste discrimination? I am not able to understand, can you?


16) To the non-Brahmin castes I say, wait, be not in a hurry. Do not seize every opportunity of fighting the Brahmin, because, as I have shown, you are suffering from your own fault.

–> Vivekananda blames lower castes for their suffering. Yeah, as if while studying, lower castes themselves poured lead in their own ears, cut their own tongue and plucked their own eyes after reading!


References – 

  • Swami Vivekananda, “The Abroad and the Problems at Home”, The Hindu, Madras, February 1987, in “Interviews”, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 5, Access it from here.
  • Swami Vivekananda, in “The Future of India”, Delivered at Victoria Hall, Madras, in “Lectures from Colombo to Almora”, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3, Access it from here.
  • Swami Vivekananda, in “Women of India”, Delivered at the Shakespeare Club House, in Pasadena, California, on January 18, 1900, in “Lectures and Discourses”, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 8, Access it from here.
  • Swami Vivekananda, in “A Plan of Work for India”, in “Writings: Prose”, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 4, Access it from here.
  • Vivekananda’s Ideological Yatra



Filed under Caste Discrimination, Casteism, Dr B R Ambedkar, Latest

13 responses to “Why I Hate Vivekananda – 16 Castiest Quotes of Vivekananda

  1. Please go through the full passages of these sentences. Swami vivekananda was one who came down heavily on priesthood in many instances. He recommended inter caste marriage too . He is a vast ocean and to limit him by isolated quotes is not fair.

    Both for women & lower castes , his path was clear – provide them education, science, and they will decide for themselves of what they want to do .

    The reason he said to learn sanskrit was this – Brahmins ( by birth) hid the wonderful spiritual books from lower caste because the Sanskrit language was kept hidden for them – once you learn lanuage, anybody can become spiritual without reliance on one caste.

    He recommended becoming brahmins by quality – i.e people who are steadfast on spirituality. The reason he said not to abolish caste system was that the qualities need to be understood and any person can choose which quality that they want to take in – but he was against caste as followed now. Ramakrishna Math by itself has sanyasins of all castes ( and Shri Ramakrishna’s disciples were also of different castes ) . When he mentioned caste system in Europe, he did not mean like what we see now – he meant by qualities only.

    ( Infact, he quoted then that is if a brahmin has 1 school, a lower caste person should have 5 schools)


  2. Shamsul Islam

    Though Vivekananda seems to be casteist, he has criticized Brahmins and their Brahminism in his ‘Caste, Culture and Socialism’.


  3. Avinash

    my english is not great, so if you misunderstand what i say, first ask me what i meant about something. Like every coin has two sides, people the author of this article expressed his/her views on what vivekananda said. But why don’t you just did deep into what those words of vivekananda mean. I’m not in support of casteism first, but what vivekananda says about brahmin is not to be concludation as discrimination against the lower caste. It is about the knowledge and intellectuality. I will try to explain in my own way of understanding. For an illiterate student when he joins under a great teacher, the student right away is inferior to the teacher, though the student might have a great intelligence, which is of no use unless he is trained, he is inferior to his teacher. but under that great teacher, he can gain all the knowledge that the teacher has and the student can even be greater than the teacher or superior to the teacher which is well accepted. so in the same way, brahmin means, not just the caste, a brahmin is the one who suppresses or overcomes his sensory pleasures and lives for gaining knowledge which is indeed eternal. we can simply apply this to our life too. when we are under the control of our senses, we cannot succeed in our life. and even if a brahmin who is under the control of sensory pleasures, he is disrespected and lose value. here sudra means, the one who has no knowledge or under the influence of his senses. Not about the casteism that we think. And what a sudra becoming a brahmin means, A sudra who controls all his senses, give up materialistic pleasures, can attain that greatness of a brahmin and experience brahman. I will try to compare this as, we know that everyone who joins an iit cant get into facebook or everyone who joins iit can be a millionaire just like that. if a student who joins iit and dont study, even he fails. In the same way, for the author, here vivekananda’s words are discriminatory, but i can relate them in other way. we shall understand that, every human is born same(according to me and also for who are against casteism), but by their deeds,everyone is not the same. but brahmins are termed as the people who do only good(a basic idea, but a brahmin loses his brahminism or value if he does bad), and the people who do bad are not brahmins. but can become brahmin by being and doing good. Here i am not emphasising on change of caste, but the nature. And according to me, coming to the present day situation, a person from lower caste may be good and do good and be a greatest person around(like an ideal brahmin, again for me its not just caste, being brahmin is being and doing good, it is about a persons nature) and a person from an upper caste can do bad and be bad to fall down to a lowest level of humanity. so for me, what vivekananda said is about human nature here, but not the humans. in a spiritual path,there is no discrimination of any kind, and everyone can explore and attain spirituality. vivekananda talks about spirituality as a whole. And you shall understand that, nowhere he said, untouchables or people from untouchables be like that forever. I am not actually concluding anything here, but i did not attend each point quoted by the author. As of today, though I am not from any upper caste, I follow vivekananda for what he said about human enlightenment, and i never believe if someone finds him casteist. It is limited to ones’ own perception too. because, something that is beautiful for me may be ugly to someone else and vice versa. And even about what the author here said, i suggest, one shall not come down to a narrow conclusion just like that.
    Because when vivekananda said everyone shall be a brahmin, because brahmin being the ideal of humanity, author understood it as casteist, but i understood it as, all humans being good and doing good.
    And again, there is good and bad everywhere, bad where ever it is, it shall be eradicated. So casteism must be eradicated. Putting aside those people who are still casteist these days, dalits or lower caste people forming armies does not solve the issue, but having discussions with wisdom will. fight shall be with people who are casteist, but not the whole caste. because as i said there is good and bad everywhere, there are good people who are not casteist but born in upper castes. And education against casteism is what helps many times. For example, my father is a teacher, there is no casteism in our home, so i am not casteist, and even my children will have no casteism.
    this issue is to be solved with patience and intelligence from all sides but not with anger.
    Please don’t come to your own conclusions from what i said. you may not know what is there in my mind perfectly.


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