Thursday, March 31, 2016

'Nididhyasan'

Brahman is without action, Atman is Brahman, and we are Atman; knowledge like this takes off all error. 
It must be heard, apprehended intellectually, and lastly realised. 
Cogitating is applying reason and establishing this knowledge in ourselves by reason. Realising is making it a part of our lives by constant thinking of it. 

This constant thought or Dhyana is as oil that pours in one unbroken line from vessel to vessel; Dhyana rolls the mind in this thought day and night and so helps us to attain to liberation. 
Think always "Soham, Soham"; this is almost as good as liberation. Say it day and night; realisation will come as the result of this continuous cogitation. 

This absolute and continuous remembrance of the Lord is what is meant by Bhakti.
- Swami Vivekananda

Monday, March 28, 2016

Ishwara is All-good

Ishwara is the sum total of individuals; yet He Himself also is an individual in the same way as the human body is a unit, of which each cell is an individual. 

Samashti or the Collective is God. 
Vyashti or the component is the soul of Jiva.  

... ... Jiva, and Ishwara are co - existent beings.  

... ... Again, since in all the higher spheres, except on our earth, the amount of good is vastly in excess of the amount of bad, the sum total or Ishwara may be said to be All - good, Almighty, and Omniscient.
                      - Swami Vivekananda

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Every Being is Divine

We believe that every being is divine, is God. 
Every soul is a sun covered over with clouds of ignorance, the difference between soul and soul is owing to the difference in density of these layers of clouds. 

We believe that this is the conscious or unconscious basis of all religions, and that this is the explanation of the whole history of human progress either in the material, intellectual, or spiritual plane--the same Spirit is manifesting through different planes.

We believe that this is the very essence of the Vedas.

                          - Swami Vivekananda

Saturday, March 26, 2016

'My Life's Work'

 ... to put the Hindu ideas into English and then make out of dry philosophy and intricate mythology and queer startling psychology, a religion which shall be easy, simple, popular, and at the same time meet the requirements of the highest minds -- is a task only those can understand who have attempted it. 

The dry, abstract Advaita must become living -- poetic -- in everyday life; out of hopelessly intricate mythology must come concrete moral forms; and out of bewildering Yogi-ism must come the most scientific and practical psychology -- and all this must be put in a form so that a child may grasp it. 

That is my life's work.

                - Swami Vivekananda

Friday, March 25, 2016

We are the 'Unborn' Light

Progression in Maya is a circle that brings you back to the starting point; but you start ignorant and come to the end with all knowledge. 
Worship of God, worship of the holy ones, concentration and meditation, and unselfish work, these are the ways of breaking away from Maya's net; but we must first have the strong desire to get free. 

The flash of light that will illuminate the darkness for us is in us; it is the knowledge that is our nature -- there is no "birthright", we were never born. 
All that we have to do is to drive away the clouds that cover it.
                   - Swami Vivekananda

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Swadharma

Every man should take up his own ideal and endeavour to accomplish it. 
That is a surer way of progress than taking up other men's ideals, which he can never hope to accomplish. 
For instance, we take a child and at once give him the task of walking twenty miles. Either the little one dies, or one in a thousand crawls the twenty miles, to reach the end exhausted and half - dead. That is like what we generally try to do with the world. 

All the men and women, in any society, are not of the same mind, capacity, or of the same power to do things; they must have different ideals, and we have no right to sneer at any ideal. 

Let every one do the best he can for realising his own ideal. Nor is it right that I should be judged by your standard or you by mine. 
The apple tree should not be judged by the standard of the oak, nor the oak by that of the apple. 
To judge the apple tree you must take the apple standard, and for the oak, its own standard.
          - Swami Vivekananda

Monday, March 7, 2016

Mahashivaratri - Shiva Himself




Mahashivaratri - Shiva Incarnate

Whoever knows the longing of a mother that a son should be born to her, enters into the world of Bhuvaneshwari, 
the wife of Vishwanath Datta. Though she had been blessed with motherhood at an early age, her first child, a son, 
and her second, a daughter, had died in their childhood. Her next three children were all daughters--Haramohini (also called Haramoni), 
Swarnamayi, and another who also died in childhood. So, she longed for a son to carry on the family tradition, 
to be the link, forged out of the materials of love and suffering, between the past and the future. It has been 
the practice of Hindu women down the ages to place their wants and complaints before the household Deity, 
and to practise austerities while waiting to receive the blessings of the Lord. 
Thus, as Bhuvaneshwari went about her daily tasks, she prayed silently that her desire might be fulfilled. 
Now, it was customary in those days--and still is--for one in dire need, or anxious that some special event should come to pass, 
to make offerings and sacrifices to Shiva in Varanasi. 
Those who lived a long distance from that holy city could make their offerings through a relative or friend who might be resident there. 
Accordingly, Bhuvaneshwari Devi wrote to an old aunt of the Datta family in Varanasi, asking her to make the necessary offerings and 
prayers to Vireshwar Shiva that a son might be born to her. It was arranged that on Mondays the aunt would offer worship to 
Vireshwar Shiva, while Bhuvaneshwari would practise special austerities on those same days. It is said that by observing a vow of 
this sort for one year, one is blessed with a son. Thus Bhuvaneshwari was content to wait in perfect assurance that her prayers 
would be answered. She spent her days in practising Japa and meditation. She observed fasts and intensified her many other austerities, 
her whole soul given over to constant recollectedness, her heart fixed in love on the Lord Shiva. 

Often did her mind go to Varanasi, uniting in thought with the venerable aunt as the latter poured the sacred Ganga water on 
the symbol of Shiva, or worshipped Him with flowers and Mantras. One night Bhuvaneshwari had a vivid dream. 
She had spent the day in the shrine and, as evening deepened into night, she fell asleep. 
The household was hushed in silence and rest. Then in the highest heavens the hour struck--the time had come for the pious 
woman to receive the special grace of the Lord. In her dream she saw the Lord Shiva rouse Himself from His meditation and take 
the form of a male child who was to be her son. She awoke. Could this ocean of light in which she found herself bathed be but a dream? 
Shiva! Shiva! 

Thou fulfillest in various ways the prayers of Thy devotees! From the inmost soul of Bhuvaneshwari a joyous prayer welled up, 
for she was confident that her long months of supplication were over and that the vision was an announcement that her prayers were to 
be answered. Her faith was justified; for in due course a son was born to her.
The light of the world dawned for the first time upon the future Swami Vivekananda on Monday, January 12, 1863. 
It was the holy morning hour--33 minutes and 33 seconds after six, a few minutes before sunrise.