Sunday, July 17, 2016

Idols

The result of Buddha's constant inveighing against a personal God was the introduction of idols into India. 
In the Vedas they knew them not, because they saw God everywhere, but the reaction against 
the loss of God as Creator and Friend was to make idols, and Buddha became an idol -- so too with Jesus. 
The range of idols is from wood and stone to Jesus and Buddha, but we must have idols.

Violent attempts at reform always end by retarding reform. 
Do not say, "You are bad"; say only, "You are good, but be better."
                           - Swami Vivekananda





Monday, July 4, 2016

To The Fourth of July

[It is well known that Swami Vivekananda's death (or resurrection, as some of us would prefer to call it!) took place on the 4th of July, 1902. On the 4th of July, 1898, he was travelling with some American disciples in Kashmir, and as part of a domestic conspiracy for the celebration of the day - the anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence - he prepared the following poem, to be read aloud at the early breakfast. The poem itself fell to the keeping of Dhira Mata.]

Behold, the dark clouds melt away,

That gathered thick at night, and hung

So like a gloomy pall above the earth!

Before thy magic touch, the world

Awakes. The birds in chorus sing.

The flowers raise their star - like crowns --

Dew - set, and wave thee welcome fair.

The lakes are opening wide in love

Their hundred thousand lotus - eyes

To welcome thee, with all their depth.

All hail to thee, thou Lord of Light!

A welcome new to thee, today,

O Sun! Today thou sheddest Liberty !

Bethink thee how the world did wait,

And search for thee, through time and clime.

Some gave up home and love of friends,

And went in quest of thee, self - banished,

Through dreary oceans, through primeval forests,

Each step a struggle for their life or death;

Then came the day when work bore fruit,

And worship, love, and sacrifice,

Fulfilled, accepted, and complete.

Then thou, propitious, rose to shed

The light of Freedom  on mankind.

Move on, O Lord, in thy resistless path!

Till thy high noon o'erspreads the world.

Till every land reflects thy light,

Till men and women, with uplifted head,

Behold their shackles broken, and

Know, in springing joy, their life renewed!

- Swami Vivekananda