Sunday, July 30, 2017

World of False Shadows and Selfishness

If there is one universal truth in all religions, I place it here -- in realising God

Ideals and methods may differ, but that is the central point. 
There may be a thousand different radii, but they all converge to the one centre, and that is the realisation of God: 
something behind this world of sense, this world of eternal eating and drinking and talking nonsense, this world of false shadows and selfishness

There is that beyond all books, beyond all creeds, beyond the vanities of this world, and it is the realisation of God within yourself.
Swami Vivekananda, 
Lecture in Hartford, Connecticut



Thursday, July 27, 2017

Good and Evil - Different Forms of Superstition

There are no two Gods. 
When He is less manifested, it is called darkness, evil; and when He is more manifested, it is called light. That is all.

Good and evil are only a question of degree: more manifested or less manifested. … So good and evil are but superstitions, and do not exist. 

The difference is only in degree. It is all a manifestation of that Atman; He is being manifested in everything; only, when the manifestation is very thick we call it evil; and when it is very thin, we call it good. … 

… Good and evil are different forms of superstition. 
They have gone through all sorts of dualistic delusion and all sorts of ideas, and the words have sunk into the hearts of human beings, terrorising men and women and living there as terrible tyrants. 
… All the hatred with which we hate others is caused by these foolish ideas which we have imbibed since our childhood -- good and evil. Our judgment of humanity becomes entirely false; we make this beautiful earth a hell; but as soon as we can give up good and evil [and realise Atman], it becomes a heaven.

                  - Swami Vivekananda,
                  ‘Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi’ – Class in New York



                

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tolerance of Hindus

"That which exists is One; sages call It by various names." 

Tremendous results have followed from that one verse. 
Some of you, perhaps, are surprised to think that India is the only country where there never has been a religious persecution, where never was any man disturbed for his religious faith. 

Theists or atheists, monists, dualists, monotheists are there and always live unmolested. Materialists were allowed to preach from the steps of Brahminical temples, against the gods, and against God Himself; they went preaching all over the land that the idea of God was a mere superstition, and that gods, and Vedas, and religion were simply superstitions invented by the priests for their own benefit, and they were allowed to do this unmolested. … 
… endless examples there are. Before the Mohammedan wave came into India, it was never known what religious persecution was; the Hindus had only experienced it as made by foreigners on themselves. 

And even now it is a patent fact how much Hindus have helped to build Christian churches, and how much readiness there is to help them. 
                   - Swami Vivekananda, Class-Talk in England

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Because of Self, All Love Exists

“It is not for the sake of the husband that the wife loves the husband, but for the sake of the Atman that she loves the husband, because she loves the Self. 

None loves the wife for the sake of the wife; but it is because one loves the Self that one loves the wife. 

None loves the children for the children; but because one loves the Self, therefore one loves the children. 

None loves wealth on account of the wealth; but because one loves the Self, therefore one loves wealth. 

None loves the Brahmin for the sake of the Brahmin; but because one loves the Self, one loves the Brahmin. So, none loves the Kshatriya for the sake of the Kshatriya, but because one loves the Self. 

Neither does any one love the world on account of the world, but because one loves the Self. None, similarly, loves the gods on account of the gods, but because one loves the Self. None loves a thing for that thing's sake; but it is for the Self that one loves it. 

This Self, therefore, is to be heard, reasoned about, and meditated upon. O my Maitreyi, when that Self has been heard, when that Self has been seen, when that Self has been realised, then, all this becomes known.”
                  - Swami Vivekananda , 
              ‘Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi’ – Class in New York


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Samadhi

Samadhi is the property of every human being -- nay, every animal. From the lowest animal to the highest angel, some time or other, each one will have to come to that state, and then, and then alone, will real religion begin for him. 
Until then we only struggle towards that stage. 

There is no difference now between us and those who have no religion, because we have no experience. 
What is concentration good for, save to bring us to this experience? 

Each one of the steps to attain Samadhi has been reasoned out, properly adjusted, scientifically organised, and, when faithfully practised, will surely lead us to the desired end.
Then will all sorrows cease, all miseries vanish; the seeds for actions will be burnt, and the soul will be free for ever.
- Swami Vivekananda, 
Raja-Yoga (Classes in New York)



Friday, July 21, 2017

Swami Ramakrishnananda Tithi Puja

'Shashi [Swami Ramakrishnananda] will remain always constant to his spot; his steadfastness is a great foundation-rock.'
- Swami Vivekananda

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

India for Tolerance and Acceptance

I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. 

We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. 

I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. 

I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation.
     - Swami Vivekananda at Parliament of Religions, Chicago

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Spirit Worshiping Spirit

We are physically immortal even, one with the universe. 
So long as there is one that breathes throughout the universe, I live in that one. I am not this limited little being, I am the universal. I am the life of all the sons of the past. 
I am the soul of Buddha, of Jesus, of Mohammed. 
I am the soul of the teachers, and I am all the robbers that robbed, and all the murderers that were hanged, I am the universal. Stand up then; this is the highest worship. 

You are one with the universe. That only is humility -- not crawling upon all fours and calling yourself a sinner. That is the highest evolution when this veil of differentiation is torn off. The highest creed is Oneness. 

I am so - and - so is a limited idea, not true of the real "I". 
I am the universal; stand upon that and ever worship the highest through the highest form, for God is Spirit and should be worshipped in spirit and in truth. 

                                                    - Swami Vivekananda, 
                                                        Lecture in New York



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Acceptance and Not Tolerance

Our watchword, then, will be acceptance, and not exclusion.
Not only toleration, for so - called toleration is often blasphemy, and I do not believe in it. I believe in acceptance. 

Why should I tolerate? Toleration means that I think that you are wrong and I am just allowing you to live. Is it not a blasphemy to think that you and I are allowing others to live? I accept all religions that were in the past, and worship with them all; I worship God with every one of them, in whatever form they worship Him. 

I shall go to the mosque of the Mohammedan; I shall enter the Christian's church and kneel before the crucifix; I shall enter the Buddhistic temple, where I shall take refuge in Buddha and in his Law. I shall go into the forest and sit down in meditation with the Hindu, who is trying to see the Light which enlightens the heart of every one.

Not only shall I do all these, but I shall keep my heart open for all that may come in the future. Is God's book finished? Or is it still a continuous revelation going on? It is a marvelous book -- these spiritual revelations of the world. 

The Bible, the Vedas, the Koran, and all other sacred books are but so many pages, and an infinite number of pages remain yet to be unfolded. I would leave it open for all of them. 
                                     - Swami Vivekananda, 
                                      Talk in Pasadena, California


Friday, July 14, 2017

Individual Religion for Each

… it is good to be born in a church, but it is bad to die there. 

It is good to be born a child, but bad to remain a child. Churches, ceremonies, and symbols are good for children, but when the child is grown, he must burst the church or himself. We must not remain children for ever. 

It is like trying to fit one coat to all sizes and growths. 
I do not deprecate the existence of sects in the world. 
Would to God there were twenty millions more, for the more there are, there will be a greater field for selection. 

What I do object to is trying to fit one religion to every case. Though all religions are essentially the same, they must have the varieties of form produced by dissimilar circumstances among different nations. 
We must each have our own individual religion, 
individual so far as the externals of it go.
- Swami Vivekananda, 
Lecture in Hartford, Connecticut




Sunday, July 9, 2017

Guru Purnima

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. 

To quicken the spirit, the impulse must come from another soul.

The person from whose soul such impulse comes is called the Guru -- the teacher; and the person to whose soul the impulse is conveyed is called the Shishya -- the student. 

To convey such an impulse to any soul, in the first place, the soul from which it proceeds must possess the power of transmitting it, as it were to another; and in the second place, the soul to which it is transmitted must be fit to receive it.

                         - Swami Vivekananda, Bhakti-Yoga

Monday, July 3, 2017

Beware of Dancing & Jumping Sects

All over the world there have been dancing and jumping and howling sects, who spread like infection when they begin to sing and dance and preach; they also are a sort of hypnotists.
They exercise a singular control for the time being over sensitive persons, alas! often, in the long run, to degenerate whole races.

Ay, it is healthier for the individual or the race to remain wicked than be made apparently good by such morbid extraneous control.

One's heart sinks to think of the amount of injury done to humanity by such irresponsible yet well - meaning religious fanatics. They little know that the minds which attain to sudden spiritual upheaval under their suggestions, with music and prayers, are simply making themselves passive, morbid, and powerless, and opening themselves to any other suggestion, be it ever so evil.

Little do these ignorant, deluded persons dream that whilst they are congratulating themselves upon their miraculous power to transform human hearts, which power they think was poured upon them by some Being above the clouds, they are sowing the seeds of future decay, of crime, of lunacy, and of death. Therefore, beware of everything that take away your freedom.

Know that it is dangerous, and avoid it by all the means in your power.
                                             - Swami Vivekananda ,
                                             Raja-Yoga (Classes in New York)