Excerpts from Works
1. Volume 3, Page 379 of Complete Works chapter The Common Basis of Hinduism.
“Mark me, then and then alone you are a Hindu when the very name sends through you a galvanic shock of strength. Then and then alone you are a Hindu when every man who bears the name, from any country, speaking our language or any other language, becomes at once the nearest and the dearest to you. Then and then alone you are a Hindu when the distress of anyone bearing that name comes to your heart and makes you fell as if your own son were in distress. Then and then alone you are a Hindu when you will be ready to bear everything for them, like the great example I have quoted at the beginning of this lecture, of your great Guru Govind Singh. Driven out from this country, fighting against its oppressors, after having shed his own blood for the defence of the Hindu religion, after having seen his children killed on the battlefield- ay, this example of the great Guru, left even by those for whose sake he was shedding his blood and the blood of his own nearest and dearest-he, the wounded lion, retired from the field calmly to die in the South, but not a word of curse escaped his lips against those who had ungratefully forsaken him! Mark me; every one of you will have to be a Govind Singh, if you want to do good to your country. You may see thousands of defects in your countrymen, but mark their Hindu blood. They are the first Gods you will have to worship even if they do everything to hurt you, even if everyone of them send out a curse to you, you send out to them words of love. If they drive you out, retire to die in silence like that mighty lion, Govind Singh. Such a man is worthy of the name of Hindu; such an ideal ought to be before us always. All our hatches let us bury; send out this grand current of love all around”.
2. Volume 6 Page 166 of Complete Works chapter Historical Evolution of India
One great prophet, however, arose in the north, Govind Singh, the last Guru of the Sikhs, with creative genius; and the result of his spiritual work was followed by the well-known political organization of the Sikhs. We have seen throughout the history of India, a spiritual upheaval is almost always succeeded by a political unity extending over more or less area of the continent, which in its turn helps to strengthen the spiritual aspiration that brings it to being. But the spiritual aspiration that preceded the rise of the Mahratta or the Sikh empire was entirely reactionary. We seek in vain to find in the court of Poona or Lahore even a ray of reflection of that intellectual glory which surrounded the courts of the Muguls, much less the brilliance of Malava or Vidyanagara. It was intellectually the darkest period of Indian history; and both these meteoric empires, representing the upheaval of mass-fanaticism and hating culture with all their hearts lost all their motive power as soon as they had succeeded in destroying the rule of the hated Mohammedans.
3. Volume 6 Page 513 of Complete Works chapter Conversations & Dialogues.
[Place: Balaram Babu’s residence, Calcutta. Year: 1898.]
Swamiji had been staying during the last two days at Balaram Babu’s residence at Baghbazar. He was taking a short stroll on the roof of the house, and the disciple with four or five others was in attendance. While walking to and fro, Swamiji took up the story of Guru Govind Singh and with his great eloquence touched upon the various points in his life - how the revival of the Sikh sect was brought about by his great renunciation, austerities, fortitude, and life-consecrating labors-how by his initiation he re-Hinduised Mohammedan converts and took them back into the Sikh community-and how on the banks of the Narmada he brought his wonderful life to a close. Speaking of the great power that used to be infused in those days into the initiates of Guru Govind, Swamiji recited a popular Doha (couplet) of the Sikhs:
The meaning is: “When Guru Govind gives the Name, i.e. the initiation, a single man becomes strong enough to triumph over a lakh and quarter of his foes.” Each disciple, deriving from his inspiration a real spiritual devotion had his soul filled with such wonderful heroism! While holding forth thus on the glories of religion, Swamiji’s eyes dilating with enthusiasm seemed to be emitting fire, and his hearers, dumb-stricken and looking at his face, kept watching the wonderful sight.
After a while the disciple said: “Sir, it was very remarkable that Guru Govind could unite both Hindus and Mussulamans within the fold of his religion and lead them both towards the same end. In Indian history, no other example of this can be found.”
Swamiji: Men can never be united unless there is a bond of common interest. You can never unite people merely by getting up meetings, societies, and lectures if their interests be not one and the same. Guru Govind made it understood everywhere that the men of his age, be they Hindus or Mussulmans, were living under a regime of profound injustice and oppression. He did not create any common interest; he only pointed it out to the masses. And so both Hindus and Mussulmans followed him. He was a great worshipper of Shakti. Yet, in Indian history, such an example is indeed very rare.
Friends, every time I see the picture of Swami Vivekananda in orange robes with those big eyes something within me stirs as if saying get up and work hard for India’s success, annihilate her enemies.