Thursday, August 31, 2017


When a man has become ready even to give up his life for a little insect, he has reached the perfection which the Advaitist wants to attain; and at that moment when he has become thus ready, the veil of ignorance falls away from him, and he will feel his own nature. 
Even in this life, he will feel that he is one with the universe. For a time, as it were, the whole of this phenomenal world will disappear for him, and he will realise what he is. 
But so long as the Karma of this body remains, he will have to live. 

This state, when the veil has vanished and yet the body remains for some time, is what the Vedantists call the Jivanmukti, the living freedom. 

         - Swami Vivekananda, 
       Address to Graduate Philosophical Society, Harvard 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Bold Thinkers of India

The Hindus were bold, to their great credit be it said, bold thinkers in all their ideas, so bold that one spark of their thought frightens the so-called bold thinkers of the West. 

Well has it been said by Prof. Max Muller about these thinkers that they climbed up to the heights where their lungs only could breathe, and where those of other beings would have burst. 

These brave people followed reason wherever it led them, no matter at what cost, never caring if all their best superstitions were smashed to pieces, never caring what society would think about them, or talk about them; but what they thought was right and true, they preached and they talked. 

         - Swami Vivekananda, Class-Talk in England

Thursday, August 24, 2017

One Existence - I am He

Let everything go but that One Existence. 
"Where one hears another, where one sees another, that is small; where one does not hear another, where one does not see another, that is Infinite." 

That is the highest when the subject and the object become one. When I am the listener and I am the speaker, when I am the teacher and I am the taught, when I am the creator, and I am the created -- then alone fear ceases; there is not another to make us afraid. 

There is nothing but myself, what can frighten me? 
This is to be heard day after day. Get rid of all other thoughts. Everything else must be thrown aside, and this is to be repeated continually, poured through the ears until it reaches the heart, until every nerve and muscle, every drop of blood tingles with the idea that I am He, I am He. Even at the gate of death say, "I am He." 

                     - Swami Vivekananda, Talk in New-York

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Design Theory

… out of the external world we can only get the idea of an architect, that which is called the Design Theory. 
It is not a very logical argument, as we all know; there is something childish about it, yet it is the only little bit of anything we can know about God from the external world, that this world required a builder. 
But this is no explanation of the universe. 
… the God that the Design Theory gives is at best only an architect, and a limited architect of the universe; 
He is bound and restricted by the materials; He is not independent at all.

                        - Swami Vivekananda, Class-Talk in England

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

India’s Gift to the World

India has given to antiquity the earliest scientific physicians, and, according to Sir William Hunter, she has even contributed to modern medical science by the discovery of various chemicals and by teaching you how to reform misshapen ears and noses. Even more it has done in mathematics, for algebra, geometry, astronomy, and the triumph of modern science -- mixed mathematics -- were all invented in India, just so much as the ten numerals, the very cornerstone of all present civilization, were discovered in India, and are in reality, Sanskrit words.

In philosophy we are even now head and shoulders above any other nation, as Schopenhauer, the great German philosopher, has confessed. In music India gave to the world her system of notation, with the seven cardinal notes and the diatonic scale, all of which we enjoyed as early as 350 B.C., while it came to Europe only in the eleventh century. In philology, our Sanskrit language is now universally acknowledged to be the foundation of all European languages, which, in fact, are nothing but jargonized Sanskrit.

In literature, our epics and poems and dramas rank as high as those of any language; our ‘Shakuntala’ was summarized by Germany's greatest poet, as 'heaven and earth united'. India has given to the world the fables of Aesop, which were copied by Aesop from an old Sanskrit book; it has given the Arabian Nights, yes, even the story of Cinderella and the Bean Stalks. In manufacture, India was the first to make cotton and dye, it was proficient in all works of jewelry, and the very word 'sugar', as well as the article itself, is the product of India. Lastly she has invented the game of chess and the cards and the dice. So great, in fact, was the superiority of India in every respect, that it drew to her borders the hungry cohorts of Europe, and thereby indirectly brought about the discovery of America.

And now, what has the world given to India in return for all that? Nothing but vilification and curse and contempt. The world waded in her children's life-blood, it reduced India to poverty and her sons and daughters to slavery, and now it adds insult to injury by preaching to her a religion which can only thrive on the destruction of every other religion. But India is not afraid. It does not beg for mercy at the hands of any nation. Our only fault is that we cannot fight to conquer; but we trust in the eternity of truth. India's message to the world is first of all, her blessing; she is returning good for the evil which is done her, and thus she puts into execution this noble idea, which had its origin in India. Lastly, India's message is, that calm goodness, patience and gentleness will ultimately triumph. For where are the Greeks, the one - time masters of the earth? They are gone. Where are the Romans, at the tramp of whose cohorts the world trembled? Passed away. Where are the Arabs, who in fifty years had carried their banners from the Atlantic to the Pacific? and where are the Spaniards, the cruel murderers of millions of men? Both races are nearly extinct; but thanks to the morality of her children, the kinder race will never perish, and she will yet see the hour of her triumph.

                       - Swami Vivekananda at 
                      Brooklyn Ethical Association, February 25, 1895

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Knowledge is Limitation

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." 
Can we see God? Of course not. 
Can we know God? Of course not. 
If God can be known, He will be God no longer. 
Knowledge is limitation. 

But I and my Father are one: I find the reality in my soul. These ideas are expressed in some religions, and in others only hinted. In some they were expatriated. 
Christ's teachings are now very little understood in this country. If you will excuse me, I will say that they have never been very well understood.
Swami Vivekananda, 
Lecture in Hartford, Connecticut

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hinduism and Buddhism

Hinduism cannot live without Buddhism, nor Buddhism without Hinduism. 
Then realize what the separation has shown to us, that the Buddhists cannot stand without the brain and philosophy of the Brahmins, nor the Brahmin without the heart of the Buddhist

This separation between the Buddhists and the Brahmins is the cause of the downfall of India
That is why India is populated by three hundred millions of beggars, and that is why India has been the slave of conquerors for the last thousand years. 
Let us then join the wonderful intellect of the Brahmins with the heart, the noble soul, the wonderful humanising power of the Great Master [Buddha].

- Swami Vivekananda 
at Parliament of Religions, Chicago

Monday, August 7, 2017

God - Fundamental Element of Human Constitution

The concept of God is a fundamental element in the human constitution. 
In the Vedanta, Sat-chit-ananda (Existence - Knowledge - Bliss) is the highest concept of God possible to the mind. 
It is the essence of knowledge and is by its nature the essence of bliss. 

We have been stifling that inner voice long enough, seeking to follow law and quiet the human nature, but there is that human instinct to rebel against nature's laws. We may not understand what the meaning is, but there is that unconscious struggle of the human with the spiritual, of the lower with the higher mind, and the struggle attempts to preserve one's separate life, what we call our "individuality". 

                    - Swami Vivekananda, 
                     Lecture in New York

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Buddha Came for Fulfillment

… the real difference that we Hindus want to show between modern Buddhism and what we should understand as the teachings of Lord Buddha lies principally in this: 

Shakya Muni came to preach nothing new. 

He also, like Jesus, came to fulfill and not to destroy. 
Only, in the case of Jesus, it was the old people, the Jews, who did not understand him, while in the case of Buddha
it was his own followers who did not realise the import of his teachings.

As the Jew did not understand the fulfillment of the Old Testament, so the Buddhist did not understand the fulfillment of the truths of the Hindu religion. 

Again, I repeat, Shakya Muni came not to destroy, but he was the fulfillment, the logical conclusion, the logical development of the religion of the Hindus.

- Swami Vivekananda 
at Parliament of Religions, Chicago