Lesson from Mother

When Swami Vivekananda [then Narendra] was studying in school he was punished for no fault of his own. The Geography teacher asked him a question which Narendra answered correctly. But the teacher thought Narendra he was wrong and punished him. But Naredra was undaunted even as a boy. He protested, ‘I committed no error, sir; I am sure what I said is right.’ This made the teacher furious and he caned Narendra mercilessly.

Narendra returned home, his eyes filled with tears and narrated every thing to his mother. But Bhuvaneshwari Devi consoled him saying, ‘My son, why do you care if you are in the right? Follow the truth always, whatever happens.’

Narendra found his Master, Sri Ramakrishna to be an embodiment of the ideal his mother had instilled in him. Sri Ramakrishna used to say: ‘Truth is to be cultivated by all means. If a man holds to truth in this Kaliyuga, he will certainly realize God.’ And Sri Ramakrishna himself practised what he preached.

This ideal of unwavering loyalty to truth which, Swami Vivekananda saw in his mother and later in his spiritual master Sri Ramakrishna found expression in all his actions. It was therefore only but natural that the world would later hear him proclaim: ‘Every thing can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.’