Sunday, July 15, 2018

Om - Perfect Symbol for Sphota

The letter A is the least differentiated of all sounds, therefore Krishna says in the Gita [aksharaanaam Akaarosmi] — "I am A among the letters". 

Again, all articulate sounds are produced in the space within the mouth beginning with the root of the tongue and ending in the lips — the throat sound is A, and M is the last lip sound, and the U exactly represents the rolling forward of the impulse which begins at the root of the tongue till it ends in the lips. 
If properly pronounced, this Om will represent the whole phenomenon of sound-production, and no other word can do this; and this, therefore, is the fittest symbol of the Sphota, which is the real meaning of the Om. 

And as the symbol can never be separated from the thing signified, the Om and the Sphota are one.
And as the Sphota, being the finer side of the manifested universe, is nearer to God and is indeed that first manifestation of divine wisdom, this Om is truly symbolic of God.

- Swami Vivekananda, 
Bhakti-Yoga




Friday, July 13, 2018

Worshiping God as Human Being

Two kinds of men do not worship God as man -- 
the human brute who has no religion, and 
the Paramahamsa who has risen beyond all the weaknesses of humanity and has transcended the limits of his own human nature. 
To him all nature has become his own Self. He alone can worship God as He is. 

Here, too, as in all other cases, the two extremes meet. 
The extreme of ignorance and the other extreme of knowledge -- neither of these go through acts of worship. 

The human brute does not worship because of his ignorance, and the Jivanmuktas (free souls) do not worship because they have realized God in themselves. 
Being between these two poles of existence, if any one tells you that he is not going to worship God as man, take kindly care of that man; he is, not to use any harsher term, an irresponsible talker; his religion is for unsound and empty brains. 

                     - Swami Vivekananda, 
                      Bhakti-Yoga


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Books Alone won't Help

We may study books all our lives, we may become very intellectual, but in the end we find that we have not developed at all spiritually. 
It is not true that a high order of intellectual development always goes hand in hand with a proportionate development of the spiritual side in Man. 
In studying books we are sometimes deluded into thinking that thereby we are being spiritually helped; but if we analyse the effect of the study of books on ourselves, we shall find that at the utmost it is only our intellect that derives profit from such studies, and not our inner spirit. 

This inadequacy of books to quicken spiritual growth is the reason why, although almost every one of us can speak most wonderfully on spiritual matters, when it comes to action and the living of a truly spiritual life, we find ourselves so awfully deficient. 

                       - Swami Vivekananda, 
                         Bhakti-Yoga