San Francisco Examiner
March 18, 1900
We are hypnotized into weakness by our surroundings
(From the Complete Works)
Hindoo Philosopher Who Strikes at the Root of Some Occidental Evils and Tells How We Must Worship God Simply and Not with Many Vain Prayers.
One American friend he may be assured of — the Swami is a charming person to interview.
Pacing about the little room where he is staying, he kept the small audience of interviewer and friend entertained for a couple of hours.
"Tell you about the English in India? But I do not wish to talk of politics. But from the higher standpoint, it is true that but for the English rule I could not be here. We natives know that it is through the intermixture of English blood and ideas that the salvation of India will come. Fifty years ago, all the literature and religion of the race were locked up in the Sanskrit language; today the drama and the novel are written in the vernacular, and the literature of religion is being translated. That is the work of the English, and it is unnecessary, in America, to descant upon the value of the education of the masses."
"What do you think of the Boers War?" was asked.
"Oh! Have you seen the morning paper? But I do not wish to discuss politics. English and Boers are both in the wrong. It is terrible — terrible — the bloodshed! English will conquer, but at what fearful cost! She seems the nation of Fate."
And the Swami with a smile, began chanting the Sanskrit for an unwillingness to discuss politics.
Then he talked long of ancient Russian history, and of the wandering tribes of Tartary, and of the Moorish rule in Spain, and displaying an astonishing memory and research. To this childlike interest in all things that touch him is doubtless due much of the curious and universal knowledge that he seems to possess.
- www.vivekananda.net edited by Frank Parlato Jr.