A nation is building in India today before the eyes of
the world so swiftly, so palpably that all can watch the
process and those who have sympathy and intuition distinguish
the forces at work, the materials in use, the lines of
the divine architecture. This nation is not a new race raw from
the workshop of Nature or created by modern circumstances.
One of the oldest races and greatest civilisations on this earth,
the most indomitable in vitality, the most fecund in greatness,
the deepest in life, the most wonderful in potentiality, after
taking into itself numerous sources of strength from foreign
strains of blood and other types of human civilisation, is now
seeking to lift itself for good into an organised national unity.
Formerly a congeries of kindred nations with a single life and
a single culture, always by the law of this essential oneness
tending to unity, always by its excess of fecundity engendering
fresh diversities and divisions, it has never yet been able
to overcome permanently the almost insuperable obstacles to
the organisation of a continent. The time has now come when
those obstacles can be overcome. The attempt which our race
has been making throughout its long history, it will now make
under entirely new circumstances. A keen observer would predict
its success because the only important obstacles have been
or are in the process of being removed. But we go farther and
believe that it is sure to succeed because the freedom, unity and
greatness of India have now become necessary to the world.
This is the faith in which the Karmayogin
puts its hand to the work and will persist in it, refusing to be discouraged by
difficulties however immense and apparently insuperable. We
believe that God is with us and in that faith we shall conquer.
We believe that humanity needs us and it is the love
and service of humanity, of our country, of the race, of our
religion that will purify our heart and inspire our action in the

The task we set before ourselves is not mechanical but moral
and spiritual. We aim not at the alteration of a form of government
but at the building up of a nation. Of that task politics
is a part, but only a part. We shall devote ourselves not to
politics alone, nor to social questions alone, nor to theology or
philosophy or literature or science by themselves, but we include
all these in one entity which we believe to be all-important,
the dharma, the national religion which we also believe to be
universal. There is a mighty law of life, a great principle of
human evolution, a body of spiritual knowledge and experience
of which India has always been destined to be guardian, exemplar
and missionary. This is the sanatana dharma, the eternal religion.
Under the stress of alien impacts she has largely lost
hold not of the structure of that dharma, but of its living reality.
For the religion of India is nothing if it is not lived. It has to be
applied not only to life, but to the whole of life; its spirit has
to enter into and mould our society, our politics, our literature,
our science, our individual character, affections and aspirations.
To understand the heart of this dharma, to experience it as a
truth, to feel the high emotions to which it rises and to express
and execute it in life is what we understand by Karmayoga. We
believe that it is to make the yoga the ideal of human life that
India rises today; by the yoga she will get the strength to realise
her freedom, unity and greatness, by the yoga
she will keep the strength to preserve it. It is a spiritual revolution we foresee and
the material is only its shadow and reflex.

The European sets great store by machinery. He seeks to
renovate humanity by schemes of society and systems of government;
he hopes to bring about the millennium by an act of
Parliament. Machinery is of great importance, but only as a
working means for the spirit within, the force behind. The nineteenth
century in India aspired to political emancipation, social
renovation, religious vision and rebirth, but it failed because
it adopted Western motives and methods, ignored the spirit,
history and destiny of our race and thought that by taking over
European education, European machinery, European organisation
and equipment we should reproduce in ourselves European
prosperity, energy and progress. We of the twentieth century
reject the aims, ideals and methods of the Anglicised nineteenth
precisely because we accept its experience. We refuse to make
an idol of the present; we look before and after, backward to the
mighty history of our race, forward to the grandiose destiny for
which that history has prepared it.

We do not believe that our political salvation can be attained
by enlargement of Councils, introduction of the elective principle,
colonial self-government or any other formula of European
politics. We do not deny the use of some of these things as
instruments, as weapons in a political struggle, but we deny
their sufficiency whether as instruments or ideals and look beyond
to an end which they do not serve except in a trifling
degree. They might be sufficient if it were our ultimate destiny
to be an outlying province of the British Empire or a dependent
adjunct of European civilisation. That is a future which
we do not think it worth making any sacrifice to accomplish.
We believe on the other hand that India is destined to work
out her own independent life and civilisation, to stand in the
forefront of the world and solve the political, social, economical
and moral problems which Europe has failed to solve, yet the
pursuit of whose solution and the feverish passage in that pursuit
from experiment to experiment, from failure to failure she calls
her progress. Our means must be as great as our ends and the
strength to discover and use the means so as to attain the end
can only be found by seeking the eternal source of strength in

We do not believe that by changing the machinery so as to
make our society the ape of Europe we shall effect social renovation.
Widow-remarriage, substitution of class for caste, adult
marriage, intermarriages, interdining and the other nostrums
of the social reformer are mechanical changes which, whatever
their merits or demerits, cannot by themselves save the soul of
the nation alive or stay the course of degradation and decline.
It is the spirit alone that saves, and only by becoming great and
free in heart can we become socially and politically great and

We do not believe that by multiplying new sects limited
within the narrower and inferior ideas of religion imported from
the West or by creating organisations for the perpetuation of the
mere dress and body of Hinduism we can recover our spiritual
health, energy and greatness. The world moves through an indispensable
interregnum of free thought and materialism to a new
synthesis of religious thought and experience, a new religious
world-life free from intolerance, yet full of faith and fervour,
accepting all forms of religion because it has an unshakable
faith in the One. The religion which embraces Science and faith,
Theism, Christianity, Mahomedanism and Buddhism and yet is
none of these, is that to which the World-Spirit moves. In our
own, which is the most sceptical and the most believing of all,
the most sceptical because it has questioned and experimented
the most, the most believing because it has the deepest experience
and the most varied and positive spiritual knowledge, —
that wider Hinduism which is not a dogma or combination of
dogmas but a law of life, which is not a social framework but
the spirit of a past and future social evolution, which rejects
nothing but insists on testing and experiencing everything and
when tested and experienced turning it to the soul’s uses, in this
Hinduism we find the basis of the future world-religion. This
sanatana dharma has many scriptures, Veda, Vedanta, Gita,
Upanishad, Darshana, Purana, Tantra, nor could it reject the
Bible or the Koran; but its real, most authoritative scripture is in
the heart in which the Eternal has His dwelling. It is in our inner
spiritual experiences that we shall find the proof and source of
the world’s Scriptures, the law of knowledge, love and conduct,
the basis and inspiration of Karmayoga.

Our aim will therefore be to help in building up India for the
sake of humanity — this is the spirit of the Nationalism which
we profess and follow. We say to humanity, “The time has come
when you must take the great step and rise out of a material
existence into the higher, deeper and wider life towards which
humanity moves. The problems which have troubled mankind
can only be solved by conquering the kingdom within, not by
harnessing the forces of Nature to the service of comfort and
luxury, but by mastering the forces of the intellect and the spirit,
by vindicating the freedom of man within as well as without
and by conquering from within external Nature. For that work
the resurgence of Asia is necessary, therefore Asia rises. For that
work the freedom and greatness of India is essential, therefore
she claims her destined freedom and greatness, and it is to the
interest of all humanity, not excluding England, that she should
wholly establish her claim.”

We say to the nation, “It is God’s will that we should be
ourselves and not Europe. We have sought to regain life by
following the law of another being than our own. We must
return and seek the sources of life and strength within ourselves.
We must know our past and recover it for the purposes of our
future. Our business is to realise ourselves first and to mould
everything to the law of India’s eternal life and nature. It will
therefore be the object of the Karmayogin
to read the heart of
our religion, our society, our philosophy, politics, literature, art,
jurisprudence, science, thought, everything that was and is ours,
so that we may be able to say to ourselves and our nation, ‘This
is our dharma.’ We shall review European civilisation entirely
from the standpoint of Indian thought and knowledge and seek
to throw off from us the dominating stamp of the Occident;
what we have to take from the West we shall take as Indians.
And the dharma
once discovered we shall strive our utmost not
only to profess but to live, in our individual actions, in our social
life, in our political endeavours.”

We say to the individual and especially to the young who are
now arising to do India’s work, the world’s work, God’s work,
“You cannot cherish these ideals, still less can you fulfil them if
you subject your minds to European ideas or look at life from the
material standpoint. Materially you are nothing, spiritually you
are everything. It is only the Indian who can believe everything,
dare everything, sacrifice everything. First therefore become Indians.
Recover the patrimony of your forefathers. Recover the
Aryan thought, the Aryan discipline, the Aryan character, the
Aryan life. Recover the Vedanta, the Gita, the Yoga. Recover
them not only in intellect or sentiment but in your lives. Live
them and you will be great and strong, mighty, invincible and
fearless. Neither life nor death will have any terrors for you.
Difficulty and impossibility will vanish from your vocabularies.
For it is in the spirit that strength is eternal and you must win
back the kingdom of yourselves, the inner Swaraj, before you can
win back your outer empire. There the Mother dwells and She
waits for worship that She may give strength. Believe in Her,
serve Her, lose your wills in Hers, your egoism in the greater
ego of the country, your separate selfishness in the service of
humanity. Recover the source of all strength in yourselves and
all else will be added to you, social soundness, intellectual preeminence,
political freedom, the mastery of human thought, the
hegemony of the world.”