The Secret Doctrine elucidates the mysteries and essential teachings of various religions in order to show their unity. Blavatsky also intended to reveal the occult side of Nature that modern science was not approaching. For HPB evolution is spiritual and mental as well as physical. She wrote of the one Universal Life, and she perceived that matter and force are two sides of the same substance. She explained karma as action and the universal law of cause and effect or ethical causation that governs the world of being. This law of retribution is unerring; but it does not predestine because humans plan and create the causes. Destiny is self-made. The doctrine of karma explains the origin of evil, but all actions are resolved into universal harmony by the law of justice. Science by being too materialistic has left out the inner, spiritual, psychic, and moral aspects of human nature. The aggregate of individual karma becomes national karma, and the world is the total of national karma. Because of the principle of Harmony we reward and punish ourselves for our own actions. HPB wrote,
With right knowledge,
or at any rate with a confident conviction
that our neighbors will no more work to hurt us
than we would think of harming them,
two-thirds of the World’s evil would vanish into thin air.
Were no man to hurt his brother,
Karma-Nemesis would have neither cause to work for,
nor weapons to act through.5
When one breaks the laws of harmony and life, one falls into the chaos that is produced. Avenging angels only represent the reaction. The doctrines of karma and reincarnation explain the apparent injustices in life. When humans learn to act from their inner spiritual intuitions with real altruism instead of by the impulses of the selfish body, then brotherhood will become actual. Humans are their own destroyers but their own saviors as well. HPB warned that Europe was on the eve of a cataclysm because of its racial karma. In other writings she warned of future wars and an instantly devastating new weapon.
Mohandas Gandhi discovered Theosophy and met HPB in 1889 while he was studying law in London. He first read the Bhagavad-Gita in Edwin Arnold’s English translation, and he joined the Blavatsky lodge in March 1891. In her last years HPB began a secret Esoteric Section for more than a thousand people. From The Book of Golden Precepts she wrote The Voice of the Silence and “The Seven Portals” with its seven keys of love (charity), harmony in word and action, patience, detachment, courage to find truth, meditation, and wisdom. She published The Key to Theosophy to answer basic questions. The motto of the Theosophical Society is “There is no religion higher than truth.” The Wisdom-Religion has been known since ancient times and is passed on by initiates, profound seekers of truth, in all cultures. HPB divided human nature into seven levels: 1) physical body (rupa), 2) vital principle (prana), 3) astral body (linga sharira), 4) animal desires (kama rupa), 5) mind (manas), 6) soul (buddhi), and 7) Spirit (atman). However, in Indian traditions buddhi usually means intuition; atma is soul, and Brahman is God or Spirit. Blavatsky rejected the dangerous doctrine of atonement, that the sacrifice of Jesus can wipe out the enormous crimes against human and divine laws. Yet she described God’s mercy as boundless. She opposed retaliating against evil and advised leaving people to their karma. Because others do evil is no reason for doing evil oneself.
Blavatsky died on May 8, 1891, and her body was cremated. The Theosophical Glossary she wrote was published after her death.
Besant and Theosophy 1889-1905
Annie Wood was born October 1, 1847 in London. She married the Anglican priest Frank Besant in 1867. They had two children, but he abused her. When he said that she must accept Church dogma to stay with him, she left him and Christianity in 1873. Annie Besant joined the National Secular Society the next year, wrote for the National Reformer, and worked for woman suffrage, penal reform, trade unions, birth control, and against vivisection. She lectured on the political status of women and called for "equality before the law for all in public and in private." She said,
The man shall bring his greater strength
and more sustained determination,
the woman her quicker judgment and purer heart,
till man shall grow tenderer, and woman stronger,
man more pure, and woman more brave and free.6
She was secretary of the Malthusian League and educated people about birth control. In 1877 she and her mentor Charles Bradlaugh were prosecuted for republishing The Fruits of Philosophy by Charles Knowlton, and their acquittal allowed information on contraception. Because of her work for birth control, she lost custody of her daughter. Besant wrote The Law of Population: Its Consequences and Its Bearing upon Human Conduct and Morals. She argued that celibacy is not natural to men or women, and bodily needs require legitimate satisfaction. She suggested that by limiting population they would deprive the capitalists of their crowded labor market. Workers would have more opportunities with limited families. She was threatened with prosecution but not indicted, and the book eventually sold 175,000 copies. In February 1878 she helped organize the International Labor Union.
Annie worked to stop the imminent war in Afghanistan by writing the pamphlets Rushing into War and England, India, and Afghanistan. During the elections of 1879 she published "The Story of Afghanistan: or, Why the Tory Government Gags the Indian Press: A Plea for the Weak Against the Strong." This excellent summary of British interventions in Afghanistan boldly criticized the crimes of the Tory Government that murdered men and froze women and children by burning villages. She accused Disraeli of bullying, boasting, and imperialism. She noted that Amir Sher Ali's delayed response in the summer of 1877 was because of the forty-day mourning period for his son Abdulla Jan. Public opinion in England was misled, and the Indian press was gagged. She concluded that the defeat of the Tory party would mean peace, liberty, and hope for South Africa, India, and Afghanistan.
Becoming a friend of George Bernard Shaw and Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Annie Besant joined the socialist Fabian Society in January 1885. She and Shaw were also on the executive committee of the Social Democratic Federation. She agreed with the Fabians' gradual approach to reform as evolution instead of revolution. Besant wrote pamphlets on why she was a socialist and on the socialist movement. During her atheistic phase she also wrote several pamphlets criticizing the Christian religion and in 1887 Why I Do Not Believe in God. She formed the short-lived Law and Liberty League in November 1887 with Jacob Bright and William Morris.
She was one of the leaders of the Social Democratic Federation that organized a march in Trafalgar Square with 10,000 people on November 13. Two thousand police and four hundred troops beat people, and one was killed on this “Bloody Sunday.” Two leaders and hundreds of others were arrested, but police refused to detain Besant.
In 1888 Besant and Willam T. Stead began editing The Link for humanitarian purposes. The Government issued an order against collecting money at public meetings; but Besant defied it in June 1888, and the rule was rescinded. She was in love with the socialist Herbert Burrows, and they helped organize a strike by women who worked at the Bryant and May match factory in East London and suffered terribly from starvation wages and phosphorus fumes that caused cancer. Shaw explained why Annie was different than himself and the Fabians when he wrote, "Injustice, waste, and the defeat of noble aspirations did not revolt her by way of irony and paradox; they stirred her to direct and powerful indignation and to active resistance."7 In 1889 Besant was elected to the London School Board, and her reforms included free meals and medical examinations for children in the elementary schools.
Annie Besant discovered Theosophy in 1889 when William Stead asked her to write a review of The Secret Doctrine. Like Shaw, she became a vegetarian. He asked her if she knew that Madam Blavatsky had been exposed by the Society for Psychical Research, and Blavatsky herself asked her to read the SPR report. Annie found that the allegations were not credible, and even if true they did not affect the teachings of Theosophy. She studied The Secret Doctrine and wrote a favorable review. In May 1889 she became a Fellow of the Theosophical Society and was blessed by Blavatsky and her master KH (Kuthumi). Besant became his disciple and soon was co-editing the magazine Lucifer (Light-bringer). She spoke on "Why I Became a Theosophist" and published it as a pamphlet, explaining that materialism had failed and that she was trying to follow the truth. In 1890 she published "The Trades Union Movement" pamphlet in which she wrote,
Now Trades Unionism is spreading among women,
and large and powerful unions
are springing up among unskilled workers;
so that there is hope that at last
all workers will be enrolled in disciplined hosts,
and there will be no stragglers from the army of labor.
When each Trade Union comprises
the majority of the workers in its Trade,
and when these unions are united
in a National Trade Federation,
then will come the time for the International Federation,
which will mean the triumph of labor
and the freedom of the workers everywhere.8
Besant gave her farewell speech to the secularists on August 30, 1891. She defended Blavatsky and said she had letters from the mahatmas in the same handwriting after her death. Besant, G. R. S. Mead, and Herbert Burrows emphasized that the principles of Theosophy were more important than occultism, but people still wanted to hear more about the mahatmas than brotherhood. Besant succeeded Blavatsky as head of the Esoteric Society in Europe, and she went on a speaking tour in the United States in 1892. She and her guru Gyanendra N. Chakravarti spoke at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago the next year.
After spending a week in Ceylon and visiting a Theosophical college there, Besant arrived with Olcott in India on November 16, 1893. Many Indians joined the Theosophical Society because they did not have to give up their religion. Some Hindu women came out of purdah to attend a convention, but Muslim women were more reluctant. Besant spoke to three thousand people in Madras on "India and Its Mission." Olcott gave her the Hindu name Annabai, and she followed most Hindu customs. Olcott had been reviving Buddhism and Zoroastrianism, and she hoped to do the same for Hinduism. She gave several lectures in Calcutta and stayed with Dr. Bhagavan Das. The London Times quoted her as telling Bengalis, "If the youths of India would act up to the traditions of their past, instead of fawning on a foreign power, they would not long remain under a foreign yoke."9 However, she explained in a letter that she came to India as a spiritual and educational worker rather than for political work. In four months she gave 121 lectures to audiences ranging from 600 to 6,000. Besant would spend the rest of her life as a resident of India, but she would travel to England annually for conferences and occasionally to America.
Besant learned from her own master that the mahatma letters she had found had been written by W. Q. Judge, who engaged in a struggle for power in the TS with Olcott and her. Judge was suspended and then reinstated as the head of the American TS. Besant widened her base of support by traveling to Australia and New Zealand in 1894. On October 29 the Westminster Gazette began a series of articles on "Isis Very Much Unveiled: The Truth about the Great Mahatma Hoax." The Theosophical Society in America declared itself the original and genuine TS. President Olcott in India expelled Judge and cancelled the American charters. Many branches in America formed independent associations. Besant learned Sanskrit and translated the Bhagavad-Gita in 1895. In The Ancient Wisdom she explained that on the higher planes whether a motive is good or bad can be even more important than whether the action is beneficial or not because one can learn from the results. She worked with the clairvoyant Charles W. Leadbeater and published books on thought forms and other spiritual studies. Judge died on March 21, 1896, and the spiritualist Katherine A. Tingley became Besant's rival by traveling to Europe and India. Leadbeater got into trouble by advising boys to use sexual self-gratification and for having close relations with them. Besant repudiated these, and they continued to work together.
In 1898 Besant founded the Central Hindu College, which became Benares Hindu University. She believed that the spiritual wisdom in India's philosophies could help the entire world. Theosophists started 250 schools that included women and the poor. They opposed caste restrictions and child marriage while helping outcasts and widows. To discourage child marriage she refused to admit married boys to the elementary departments and doubled the fees for boys who married in college. In 1903 Besant said that India must be governed by Indians and Indian ideas. However, in 1905 she refused to allow students to attend the college without shoes as part of the Swadeshi protest.
In her book A Study in Consciousness, which was first published in 1904, Besant observed that our knowledge of right and wrong comes from many experiences; but it can be guided by ideals. She suggested that studying divine teachers such as Krishna, Buddha, and Christ could be helpful. Evil desires will fall away if good desires are fostered. One way to avoid bad desires is to imagine the likely consequences that bring misery. The emotion of love directed to a living being is virtue, and vices springing from hate can be eradicated. What is right is in harmony with the great law and brings bliss, but what is wrong brings unhappiness. Love draws people together, whether it be a family, tribe, or nation. Right reason works actions of love into permanent obligations or duties. The will expressing as desire is not free but bound by those impulses. When the will is directed as love, the self-determined person is free. She served as the president of the Theosophical Society from 1907 until her death in 1933.
Besant, Krishnamurti, and Bhagavan Das
Indian National Congress 1885-1905
Surendranath Banerjea (1848-1926) was one of only a handful of Indians who qualified for the Indian Civil Service, but he was dismissed for failing to correct the false report of a subordinate. He went to London to appeal and was not even allowed to take the bar examinations. He decided to dedicate his life to redressing wrongs and protecting rights, both personal and collective. When he was arrested for criticizing a judge, he began the Indian tradition of welcoming imprisonment in order to expose the injustice of the Government's policies. In 1876 he founded the Indian Association of Calcutta to work for a united India. The next year he launched a national campaign against the reduction of the age limit for the Civil Service Examination, holding large meetings in Calcutta, Agra, Lahore, Amritsar, Mirat, Allahabad, Delhi, Kanpur, Lakhnau, Aligarh, and Benares. They petitioned for a higher age and exams in India as well as England, and they sent the Bengali barrister Lalmohan Ghosh to England as their representative.
In 1878 Banerjea urged college graduates to dedicate their lives to helping their country. He argued that violence was not necessary to redress grievances. He believed that under the British they could secure their rights by constitutional agitation. He noted that Nanak, who founded the Sikh empire, did much to unite Hindus and Muslims, and he preached good will between all religions. By living worthy, honorable, and patriotic lives they could live and die happily while making India great. Their next protest was against the oppressive Vernacular Press Act. During the debate over the controversial Ilbert Bill in 1883 they formed an All-India National Fund and the Indian National Conference.
Allan Octavian Hume had been secretary to the Government of India, but in 1879 Viceroy Lytton removed him for asserting his independent views. After he retired from the Indian Civil Service in 1882, Hume worked on forming a political organization that would unite the efforts of Indians. His idea was to have leading Indian politicians meet annually to discuss issues and plan strategies. He founded the Indian National Union in March 1885, and they planned a conference for the last week of December. Because of a cholera epidemic in Poona, the conference was moved to Bombay, and 72 volunteer delegates to the first Indian National Congress met on December 28. Bengali barrister W. C. Bonnerjea presided, and they passed nine resolutions that called for a royal commission to investigate the Indian administration, abolishing the Secretary of State's Indian Council, creating more legislative councils and allowing more elected members and discussion of budgets, reducing military spending, and simultaneous public service examinations in England and India with older candidates. They also protested the annexation of Upper Burma as part of India and sent the resolutions to political associations. Coincidentally in 1885 the second session of the Indian National Conference was meeting in Calcutta. This group merged with the Indian National Congress, which met annually the last week in December in various cities, followed by second and third sessions in Calcutta and Madras. Hume served as general secretary of the Congress for 21 years, and he often went to England to promote their causes.
The second annual Congress at Calcutta was attended by 434 delegates, 230 of them from Bengal. Dadabhai Naoroji presided and called for unity on the political program even though communities have social differences. They wanted India to have the same representative institutions as the British colonies of Canada and Australia. Madan Mohan Malaviya made his first speech and said there should be "no taxation without representation." Viceroy Dufferin invited members of Congress to a garden party as did the Governor of Madras the next year. In 1886 Dufferin appointed six Indians among the fifteen members of the Public Service Commission. The Civil Service was reorganized, and more Indians were recruited into the provincial and subordinate services. However, before leaving office in December 1888, Viceroy Dufferin objected to the methods of the Indian Congress and called them a "microscopic minority" of educated Indians.
In 1888 the Congress demanded that the minimum taxable income be raised to 1,000 rupees. The fifth annual Congress in 1889 was attended by 1,502 delegates, including 254 Muslims. Congress used constitutional agitation, and they published the journal India. Its editor William Digby established the Congress Agency in London, and William Wedderburn was elected chairman of the British Committee of the Indian National Congress and served in that position until his death in 1918. In 1890 Charles Bradlaugh introduced a bill in the House of Commons to expand the legislative councils. When an eleven-year-old bride died after intercourse in Calcutta, agitation increased to raise the age of marriage for girls from ten to twelve or fourteen. Behramji Merwanji Malabari was a Parsi and had published Notes on Infant Marriage and Enforced Widowhood in 1884. This reform campaign led in 1891 to the Age of Consent Act that prohibited marriage before the age of twelve. In 1892 Naoroji was elected as a Liberal to the British House of Commons, and he argued that Europeans were not natural leaders of India because they did not belong to the people.
Malaviya noted at the eighth Congress that it was unjust to compel Indians to travel 10,000 miles to take an examination for service in their own country. In 1893 the House of Commons favored simultaneous exams in India and England for the Civil Service, but all the governments of India except Mysore opposed this, believing it would exclude Muslims and Sikhs. In the Congress that year Malaviya spoke about the miserable poverty of fifty million Indians because of British exploitation. In 1894 a delegate from Natal persuaded the Congress to pass a resolution asking the British Government to veto a law disenfranchising the Indians in South Africa. In 1895 "Surrender-not" Banerjea suggested that they could transplant the spirit of free institutions that made England a great nation. Never before had an ancient civilization been so influenced by modern ideas. Civilization had moved, like the sun, from east to west, and the west owes a great debt to the east. He hoped that the debt would be repaid by the enfranchisement of their people. In 1896 the Congress sponsored an Industrial Exhibition and a Social Conference.
Although they encouraged Muslims to attend and chose Badruddin Tyabji as president for their third annual meeting, only a few Muslims joined the Congress. Tyabji urged all educated and public-spirited citizens to work together for reforms to benefit all. He tried to persuade Muslims that Congress would not interfere with their religion. Sayyid (Syed) Ahmad Khan emphasized education and had founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh in 1877. He advocated working with Hindus to support each other; but he generally opposed the Indian National Congress because he believed the Hindus and Muslims had conflicting interests. He trusted the British more than the Hindus. He formed the Annual Muslim Educational Congress in 1886, and they held their sessions at the same time of year as the Indian Congress.
Theodore Beck was the first principal of the Aligarh College, and he devoted his career to serving the Muslims in India. He was instrumental in forming the United Indian Patriotic Association in 1888 and the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental Defence Association of Upper India in 1893. These organizations were parallel to the Indian National Congress and were intended to protect the political rights of Muslims by strengthening British rule in India. Sayyid Ahmad was concerned that Muslims as only one-fourth of the population of India would be outvoted by Hindus in a democratic government. His writings in Urdu in a clear style were influential. Beck died in 1899, and Theodore Morison was the principal of Aligarh College until 1905. He continued the hostility toward the Indian Congress, emphasizing educational and economical development rather than political agitation. Sayyid Ahmad died in 1898, and his policies were also followed by his successor, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk.
Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866-1915) was strongly influenced by his teacher Ranade and carried on his work. When he graduated from Elphinstone College in 1885 he joined the Deccan Education Society in Poona, taking a vow of poverty for twenty years and dedicating his life to public service. That year Fergusson College was founded, and he began teaching English and mathematics. Gokhale first spoke at the Indian National Congress in 1889 and his annual speeches at Calcutta on the budget began in 1902. They called for self-government in the central and provincial governments, abolishing the India Council, spreading education, reducing military expenditures and military training for Indians, separating the judicial and executive functions in criminal justice, employing more Indians in higher public offices, reducing taxes, and using surpluses to promote medical relief, scientific agriculture, and industrial education. He argued that the large annual surpluses of the Government did not indicate success but that taxes on the people were much too high.
In 1903 Gokhale spoke about how they must improve the conditions of the low-caste Hindus by helping them get education and employment to improve their social standing and self-respect. He said it was monstrous that a class of people should be condemned to utter wretchedness, servitude, and degradation by permanent barriers that were impossible for an individual to overcome. He recalled how Gandhi had reported on the discrimination Indians were suffering in South Africa and how Ranade became an advisor to Gandhi. Ranade pointed out that Indians should correct the disgraceful oppression and injustice in their own country. Modern civilization is making greater equality a priority over the privilege and exclusiveness of the old world. Gokhale asked how they could realize their national aspirations if so many of their countrymen remained in ignorance and degradation. He served on the Bombay Legislative Council from 1902 until his death, and Gandhi considered him his political guru. Gokhale declined a position on the Secretary of State's Council and a knighthood. He urged the Parliament to pass mandatory education for boys and educational provisions for girls.
In 1905 Gokhale founded the Servants of India Society for those willing to take vows of poverty to serve the poor and help India to achieve self-government. Their five goals were to create love of the motherland, organize political education and agitation, promote goodwill and cooperation among different communities, assist in educating women and the poor, and lift up the depressed classes. Each member joining the Society took a vow to think of one's country first, serve it without seeking personal advantage, regard all Indians as brothers, be content with provisions provided by the Society, lead a pure life, quarrel with no one, and always work for the aims of the Society.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak was born on July 23, 1856 as a Maratha Brahmin. He earned a university degree and taught mathematics in Poona. He founded the Deccan Education Society and Fergusson College in 1884; but he resigned in 1890 after his associates gave up the ideal of selfless service by keeping their outside earnings. Tilak advocated action for political reforms and published two weekly newspapers - Kesari (which means "The Lion") in Marathi and The Mahratta in English. He argued that no alien government has the right to interfere in social customs no matter how worthy the cause. As a Hindu nationalist he opposed all British laws that restricted their religion, including banning the marriage of young girls. Yet he led by example and did not allow his own daughters to marry until they were at least sixteen. Tilak suggested self-help and national revival. He considered untouchability a cancer in the body of Hindu society and said it must be eradicated at all costs. He was so opposed to the Indian National Congress letting the Indian National Social Conference use their tent that he threatened to burn it down.
Tilak began organizing Ganapati festivals in 1893 to worship the popular Hindu god Ganesha. Tilak admired the Maratha warrior Shivaji and began the annual Shivaji festival in 1895. Rabindranath Tagore wrote a famous poem about the 17th-century hero of Maharashtra. Tilak urged civil disobedience for political change years before Gandhi began his experiments in South Africa; but he was a freedom fighter and considered nonviolence only a strategy, not a moral principle. Gandhi would later call Tilak the "maker of modern India." Tilak favored revolutionary action in politics but moderate evolution in social reforms. When the famine occurred in 1896, he demanded that victims receive the benefits mandated by the Famine Relief Code.
In May 1897 Tilak wrote in Kesari that Shivaji was justified in murdering the Mughal general Afzal Khan, and he suggested that it was not wrong to kill "for the good of others." He objected to the destruction of Hindu property as a means to prevent the bubonic plague from spreading. The Plague Commissioner W. C. Rand ordered stringent inspections and measures in Poona, and the next week on June 22 he and his assistant were shot after celebrating Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. Both died, and two Natu brothers were detained. Tilak was tried in September, and six Europeans on the jury found him guilty of sedition while the three Indian jurors voted not guilty; the judge sentenced him to eighteen months. The Indian newspapers censured the Government and praised Tilak. Eventually Balkrishna Chapekar and his brother Damodar Chapekar confessed and were hanged. Because of public pressure, Tilak was released early on September 6, 1898. The two Dravid brothers who informed on the Chapekar brothers were murdered on February 8, 1899 by a third brother, Vasudev Chapekar, and his friend, and they were also hanged. Going to prison made Tilak a hero, and he was given the name Lokamanya, which means "leader of the people." He demanded self-government (swaraj) and coined the slogan, "Swaraj is my birthright, and I will have it."
Using Government records, William Digby calculated that the capital drained out of India in the 19th century was £6,080,172,021. This figure represents how much the Europeans were exploiting the natural and human resources of India. India's public debt increased from 94 crores of rupees in 1860 to 312 crores by 1901.
Arabinda Ghose (later called Sri Aurobindo) was born on August 15, 1872 in Calcutta. His father was a barrister, and in 1879 he sent him to Manchester, where he was taught English, Latin, and French by Mr. and Mrs. Drewett. In 1884 Aurobindo went to St. Paul's in London and then to King's College at Cambridge in 1890 on a classics scholarship. He learned more languages and liked writing poetry. He passed his examination in only two years but did not apply for the degree he had earned. Not wanting to be in the Indian Civil Service nor disobey his father, he failed the examination by not showing up for the horse-back riding test.
Aurobindo returned to India at the beginning of 1893. When his father heard that the ship his son was sailing on had sunk, he died of heart failure; but Aurobindo had taken another ship. He taught college in Baroda and was described as speaking little, being desireless, self-controlled, and always given to study. In his series of articles "New Lamps for Old" in Induprakash he ridiculed those who talked about "the blessings of British rule." He criticized the Congress for being too middle-class and selfish without being a popular organization. Ranade warned the editor that he might be prosecuted for sedition, and young Aurobindo had to tone down his rhetoric. He and others began to form secret societies dedicated to Indian freedom such as the Lotus and Dagger Society. His poetry was published as Songs to Myrtilla in 1895. No press would publish his pamphlet "No Compromise" in 1903, but the Maratha revolutionary Kulkarni printed a few thousand copies at night and freely distributed them. Aurobindo became vice principal of the college in 1904 and began yoga. By practicing breath control (pranayama) five hours a day he found his mind worked much better, enabling him to write two hundred lines of poetry in a half hour.
Aurobindo tried to remain hidden behind the scenes. During the time of the Bengal partition, he wrote the revolutionary booklet Bhawani Mandir arguing that India needed to be reborn by developing the Shakti power of the Divine Mother. He wrote that we are all gods and creators with the energy of God within us. He noted that Ramakrishna came, and Vivekananda preached. Now it was up to them to work for progress. Influenced by Bankim Chandra's novel Anandamath and the "Bande Mataram" anthem, he devised rules for a new Order of Sannyasis that would practice strict discipline and work to instruct and help the poor, educate the middle class, and persuade the rich to benefit the public for the general welfare of the country.