The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 9/Notes of Lectures and Classes
(New Discoveries, Vol. 6, pp. 275-76.)
[Sister Nivedita’s notes of a New York Bhagavad-Gitâ class, recorded in a June 16, 1900 letter to Miss Josephine MacLeod]
This morning the lesson on the Gitâ was grand. It began with a long talk on the fact that the highest ideals are not for all. Non-resistance is not for the man who thinks the replacing of the maggot in the wound by the leprous saint with “Eat, Brother!” disgusting and horrible. Non-resistance is practised by a mother’s love towards an angry child. It is a travesty in the mouth of a coward, or in the face of a lion.
Let us be true. Nine-tenths of our life’s energy is spent in trying to make people think us that which we are not. That energy would be more rightly spent in becoming that which we would like to be. And so it went — beginning with the salutation to an incarnation:
Salutation to thee — the Guru of the universe, Whose footstool is worshipped by the gods.
Thou one unbroken Soul,
Physician of the world’s diseases.
Guru of even the gods,
To thee our salutation.
Thee we salute. Thee we salute. Thee we salute. In the Indian tones — by Swami himself.
There was an implication throughout the talk that Christ and Buddha were inferior to Krishna — in the grasp of problems — inasmuch as they preached the highest ethics as a world path, whereas Krishna saw the right of the whole, in all its parts — to its own differing ideals.