“I remember that in my student days I have read the speeches of the Swami and was deeply attracted to it. Its impact on my mind was so great that my perceptions were all changed, and I started to have a different idea about life.

When the nation was in a deep slumber, he created the stir. He talked on the Vedanta; nevertheless, this sage-philosopher aroused the people. India was like an open picture before him. He wanted that the people of our country should embark on work and be active. His Advaitism was not a passivity, and he never directed to await luck or fate. He knew that if the people of the country were not ready for toil and sacrifice, India would hardly achieve wealth and prosperity. Subjugation of the country deeply troubled him. … He called everyone to sacrifice for the attainment of a noble goal. Aspirants of wealth and power were deeply despised by him. In a country where millions of people were living in deprivation, individual enjoyments were considered unjust by him. …His message was to awake, arise and stop not till the goal is reached. He was a seer and a God- commanded entity.”

Lal Bahadur Shastri (1904-1966)

Lal Bahadur Shastri was the Prime Minister of India from 1964 until his death in 1966. He had an unimpeachable political career and served the Central Ministry first as its Railway Minister. In 1956, he resigned in the wake of a fatal Railway accident while owing its full responsibility. e-book from www.belurmath.org Biographical sketch of the Great Thinkers 189 In 1958, he became India’s Commerce & Industry Minister. In 1961, he was the Home Minister of India. During his tenure as the Prime Minister of India, the Indo- Pak war broke out. India’s victory in that war owes much to Lal Bahadur Shastri. The surname ‘Shastri’ used after his name, was in fact a title which was conferred upon him after his graduation in Philosophy from the ‘Kàsi’ (Benaras) Sanskrit University.