Saturday, September 24, 2016

Realize Brahman

Vedanta is necessary because neither reasoning nor books can show us God. He is only to be realized by superconscious perception, and Vedanta teaches how to attain that. 
You must get beyond personal God (Ishvara) and reach the Absolute Brahman. God is the perception of every being: He is all there is to he perceived. 

That which says "I" is Brahman, but although we, day and night, perceive Him; we do not know that we are perceiving Him. As soon as we become aware of this truth, all misery goes; so we must get knowledge of the truth. 
Reach unity; no more duality will come. But knowledge does not come by sacrifice, but by seeking, worshiping, knowing the Atman.
                - Swami Vivekananda

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Knowledge and not pleasure

The goal of mankind is knowledge. 
That is the one ideal placed before us by Eastern philosophy. Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge. 
Pleasure and happiness come to an end. It is a mistake to suppose that pleasure is the goal. 
The cause of all the miseries we have in the world is that men foolishly think pleasure to be the ideal to strive for. 
After a time man finds that it is not happiness, but knowledge, towards which he is going, and that both pleasure and pain are great teachers, and that he learns as much from evil as from good.

                - Swami Vivekananda in Karma-Yoga 
                   (Classes in New York)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Children of Immortal Bliss

Is man a tiny boat in a tempest, raised one moment on the foamy crest of a billow and dashed down into a yawning chasm the next, rolling to and fro at the mercy of good and bad actions — a powerless, helpless wreck in an ever-raging, ever-rushing, uncompromising current of cause and effect; 
a little moth placed under the wheel of causation which rolls on crushing everything in its way and waits not for the widow's tears or the orphan's cry? 
The heart sinks at the idea, yet this is the law of Nature. 

Is there no hope? Is there no escape? — was the cry that went up from the bottom of the heart of despair. 
It reached the throne of mercy, and words of hope and consolation came down and inspired a Vedic sage, and he stood up before the world and in trumpet voice proclaimed the glad tidings: 
"Hear, ye children of immortal bliss! even ye that reside in higher spheres! I have found the Ancient One who is beyond all darkness, all delusion: knowing Him alone you shall be saved from death over again." 

"Children of immortal bliss" — what a sweet, what a hopeful name! Allow me to call you, brethren, by that sweet name — heirs of immortal bliss — yea, the Hindu refuses to call you sinners. Ye are the Children of God, the sharers of immortal bliss, holy and perfect beings. Ye divinities on earth — sinners! It is a sin to call a man so; it is a standing libel on human nature. 
Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; ye are not matter, ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter.

                       - Swami Vivekananda at Parliament of Religions

Saturday, September 17, 2016

One Source of Knowledge

Knowledge can never be created, it can only be discovered;
and every man who makes a great discovery is inspired. 
Only, when it is a spiritual truth he brings, we call him a prophet; and when it is on the physical plane, we call him a scientific man, and we attribute more importance to the former, although the source of all truth is one.

            - Swami Vivekananda

Friday, September 16, 2016

All-inclusive Hindu Religion

From the high spiritual flights of the 
Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists, and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu's religion.

     - Swami Vivekananda 
       at Parliament of Religions

Monday, September 5, 2016

Japa and Ceremonials

Japa is repeating the Holy Name; through this the devotee rises to the Infinite. This boat of sacrifice and ceremonies is very frail, we need more than that to know Brahman, which alone is freedom. Liberty is nothing more than destruction of ignorance, and that can only go when we know Brahman. It is not necessary to go through all these ceremonials to reach the meaning of the Vedanta. Repeating Om is enough.
                                                 - Swami Vivekananda

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Shravan, Manan, 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