26 March 2014

Kaka Kalelkar On Swami Vivekananda

Kaka Kalelkar
Image source: Gujarat Vidyapith
Kaka Kalelkar (Devanagari: काका कालेलकर) or Kakasaheb Kalelkar, birth name: Dattatreya Balkrushna Kalelkar (Devanagari: दत्तात्रेय बाळकृष्ण कालेलकर) (1885–1981) was an Indian freedom fighter, social reformer and a journalist. He was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy and made contributions to Gandhi's Constructive Work in the field of education. He received  Sahitya Akademi Award in 1965 for his Jeevan-Vyavastha collection of essays in Gujarati. In 11 he was honoured with Sahitya Akademi Fellowship. His books include— Quintessence of Gandhian Thought , Stray Glimpses of Bapu, Mahatma Gandhi's Gospel of Swadeshi, Rashtriya Shiksha Ka Adarsha, Latanche Tandav etc. A detailed biography of Kalelkar is available at Wikipedia. In this article you'll find Kaka Kalelkar's quotes and comments on Swami Vivekananda.

Kaka Kalelkar told—
To Swami Vivekananda belongs the honour of familiarizing India with the idea of a Parliament of Religions, and of proclaiming to the world that a Parliament of Religions would be incomplete without Hinduism being represented there as an equal partner. Educated India felt in 1893 that Hinduism had been vindicated and that day Swami Vivekananda's name became with us a name to conjure with. I remember as a child the glowing enthusiasm of my elder brothers discussing the news and giving expression to their wild hopes for the future of Hinduism. Swami Vivekananda's lectures were soon translated into Marathi, my mother tongue, and people read the lectures with avidity. There was nothing new in them for Vedantic India, at least so far as the substance went; but every word therein was instinct with life and hope and self-confidence. The novelty about the Swamiji's presentation of Hinduism was its modern outlook and his application of Vedantic principles to the solution of modern, social and educational problems. The importance of his teachings grew on me as I grew in years and I looked up to the Swami as the high-water mark of Indian culture.


  • Prabuddha Bharata, January 1940, p.22

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