Sunday, October 14, 2018

Gift of India

Those that tell you that Indian thought never went outside of India, those that tell you that I am the first Sannyasin who went to foreign lands to preach, do not know the history of their own race. 

Again and again this phenomenon has happened. 
Whenever the world has required it, this perennial flood of spirituality has overflowed and deluged the world. 
Gifts of political knowledge can be made with the blast of trumpets and the march of cohorts. Gifts of secular knowledge and social knowledge can be made with fire and sword. 
But spiritual knowledge can only be given in silence like the dew that falls unseen and unheard, yet bringing into bloom masses of roses. 

This has been the gift of India to the world again and again. Whenever there has been a great conquering race, bringing the nations of the world together, making roads and transit possible, immediately India arose and gave her quota of spiritual power to the sum total of the progress to the world. 

           - Swami Vivekananda, 
             Address at Victoria Hall Madras, 
            Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Friday, October 12, 2018

Ancient Reformers

Did India ever stand in want of reformers? 
Do you read the history of India? Who was Ramanuja? Who was Shankara? Who was Nanak? Who was Chaitanya? Who was Kabir? Who was Dadu? 

Who were all these great preachers, one following the other, a galaxy of stars of the first magnitude? 
Did not Ramanuja feel for the lower classes? Did he not try all his life to admit even the Pariah to his community? Did he not try to admit even Mohammedans to his own fold? 
Did not Nanak confer with Hindus and Mohammedans, and try to bring about a new state of things? 

They all tried, and their work is still going on. The difference is this. They had not the fanfaronade of the reformers of today; they had no curses on their lips as modern reformers have; their lips pronounced only blessings. 
They never condemned. 

             - Swami Vivekananda, 
               Address at Victoria Hall Madras, 
               Lectures From Colombo to Almora



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Idol Worship

Take a thousand idols more if you can produce Ramakrishna Paramahamsas through idol-worship, and may God speed you! 
Produce such noble natures by any means you can. 
Yet idolatry is condemned! 

Why? Nobody knows. 

Because some hundreds of years ago some man of Jewish blood happened to condemn it? 
That is, he happened to condemn everybody else's idols except his own. 

If God is represented in any beautiful form or any symbolic form, said the Jew, it is awfully bad; it is sin. 
But if He is represented in the form of a chest, with two angels sitting on each side, and a cloud hanging over it, 
it is the holy of holies. 
If God comes in the form of a dove, it is holy. But if He comes in the form of a cow, it is heathen superstition; 
condemn it! 

That is how the world goes. 

That is why the poet says, "What fools we mortals be!" 
How difficult it is to look through each other's eyes, and that is the bane of humanity. That is the basis of hatred and jealousy, of quarrel and of fight. 

               - Swami Vivekananda, 
                Address at Victoria Hall Madras, 
                Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Inheritance from the Buddhists

You read in books written by men who had never studied the rise and fall of Buddhism that the spread of Buddhism was owing to the wonderful ethics and the wonderful personality of Gautama Buddha. 
I have every respect and veneration for Lord Buddha, but mark my words, the spread of Buddhism was less owing to the doctrines and the personality of the great preacher, than to the temples that were built, the idols that were erected, and the gorgeous ceremonials that were put before the nation. 
Thus Buddhism progressed. 

The little fire-places in the houses in which the people poured their libations were not strong enough to hold their own against these gorgeous temples and ceremonies; but later on the whole thing degenerated. It became a mass of corruption of which I cannot speak before this audience; but those who want to know about it may see a little of it in those big temples, full of sculptures, in Southern India; and this is all the inheritance we have from the Buddhists. 

                          - Swami Vivekananda, 
                           Address at Victoria Hall Madras, 
                           Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Friday, October 5, 2018

Do Not Deny the God Within You

Let every man and woman and child, without respect of 
caste or birth, weakness or strength, hear and learn that 
behind the strong and the weak, behind the high and the low, behind every one, there is that Infinite Soul, 
assuring the infinite possibility and the infinite 
capacity of all to become great and good. 

Let us proclaim to every soul: 
उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत -- arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached. Arise, awake! 

Awake from this hypnotism of weakness. 
None  is really weak; the soul is infinite, omnipotent, and 
omniscient. 
Stand up, assert yourself, proclaim the God within you, do not deny Him! 

              - Swami Vivekananda, 
           Address at Kumbakonam, 
                   Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Individuality

If we are inseparable from God, have we no individuality?
Oh, yes: that is God. Our individuality is God. 
This is not the individuality you have now; 
you are coming towards that. 

Individuality means what cannot be divided. 
How can you call this individuality? 
One hour you are thinking one way, and the next hour another way, and two hours after, another way. 
Individuality is that which changes not -- is beyond all things, changeless. 
It would be tremendously dangerous for this state to remain in eternity, because then the thief would always remain a thief and the blackguard a blackguard. 
If a baby died, he would have to remain a baby. The real individuality is that which never changes and will never change; and that is the God within us. 

                    - Swami Vivekananda, 
                     On the Vedanta Philosophy, 
                     Notes from Lectures and Discourses


Monday, October 1, 2018

Law and Freedom

Just as the greatest emperors sometimes play with dolls, 
so He [God] is playing with this nature; and what we call law is this. We call it law, because we can see only little bits which run smoothly. All our ideas of law are within the little bit. 
It is nonsense to say that law is infinite … 
… As a matter of fact, we get gradually outside of law, 
until we get out altogether, but with the added experience of a whole life. 
In God and freedom we began, and freedom and God will be the end. These laws are in the middle state through which we have to pass. 
Our Vedanta is the assertion of freedom always. 
The very idea of law will frighten the Vedantist; and eternal law is a very dreadful thing for him, because there would be no escape. If there is to be an eternal law binding him all the time, where is the difference between him and a blade of grass? We do not believe in that abstract idea of law. 
  
                              - Swami Vivekananda, 
                                Law and Freedom, 
                               Notes from Lectures and Discourses


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Root-and-Branch Reform

To the reformers I will point out that I am a greater reformer than any one of them. They want to reform only little bits. 
I want root-and-branch reform. Where we differ is in the method. Theirs is the method of destruction, mine is that of construction. 

I do not believe in reform; I believe in growth. 

I do not dare to put myself in the position of God and dictate to our society, "This way thou shouldst move and not that." 
I simply want to be like the squirrel in the building of Rama's bridge, who was quite content to put on the bridge his little quota of sand - dust. That is my position. 

This wonderful national machine has worked through ages, this wonderful river of national life is flowing before us. 
Who knows, and who dares to say, whether it is good and how it shall move? Thousands of circumstances are crowding round it, giving it a special impulse, making it dull at one time and quicker at another. Who dares command its motion? 
Ours is only to work, as the Gita says, without looking for results. Feed the national life with the fuel it wants, but the growth is its own; none can dictate its growth to it. 

                     - Swami Vivekananda, 
                      Address at Victoria Hall Madras, 
                     Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Address at the Final Session (125th Anniversary of Chicago Addresses)


(27th September, 1893)

The World's Parliament of Religions has become an accomplished fact, and the merciful Father has helped those who laboured to bring it into existence, and crowned with success their most unselfish labour.

My thanks to those noble souls whose large hearts and love of truth first dreamed this wonderful dream and then realized it. My thanks to the shower of liberal sentiments that has overflowed this platform. My thanks to this enlightened audience for their uniform kindness to me and for their appreciation of every thought that tends to smooth the friction of religions. A few jarring notes were heard from time to time in this harmony. 
My special thanks to them, for they have, by their striking contrast, made general harmony the sweeter.

Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if any one here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the other, to him I say, "Brother, yours is an impossible hope." Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid.

The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant, it develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant.

Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.

If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: 
"Help and not Fight," "Assimilation and not Destruction," "Harmony and Peace and not Dissension."


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Buddhism, The Fulfillment of Hinduism (125th Anniversary of Chicago Addresses)

(26th September, 1893)

I am not a Buddhist, as you have heard, and yet I am. 
If China, or Japan, or Ceylon follow the teachings of the Great Master, India worships him as God incarnate on earth. 
You have just now heard that I am going to criticize Buddhism, but by that I wish you to understand only this. Far be it from me to criticize him whom I worship as God incarnate on earth. But our views about Buddha are that he was not understood properly by his disciples. 
The relation between Hinduism (by Hinduism, I mean the religion of the Vedas) and what is called Buddhism at the present day is nearly the same as between Judaism and Christianity. Jesus Christ was a Jew, and Shakya Muni was a Hindu. The Jews rejected Jesus Christ, nay, crucified him, and the Hindus have accepted Shakya Muni as God and worship him. 
But 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 realize the import of this 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.

The religion of the Hindus is divided into two parts: the ceremonial and the spiritual. The spiritual portion is specially studied by the monks. In that there is no caste. A man from the highest caste and a man from the lowest may become a monk in India, and the two castes become equal. In religion there is no caste; caste is simply a social institution. Shakya Muni himself was a monk, and it was his glory that he had the large-heartedness to bring out the truths from the hidden Vedas and throw them broadcast all over the world. He was the first being in the world who brought missionarising into practice -- nay, he was the first to conceive the idea of proselytizing.

The great glory of the Master lay in his wonderful sympathy for everybody, especially for the ignorant and the poor. Some of his disciples were Brahmins. When Buddha was teaching, Sanskrit was no more the spoken language in India. It was then only in the books of the learned. Some of Buddha's Brahmin disciples wanted to translate his teachings into Sanskrit, but he distinctly told them, "I am for the poor, for the people; let me speak in the tongue of the people." And so to this day the great bulk of his teachings are in the vernacular of that day in India.

Whatever may be the position of philosophy, whatever may be the position of metaphysics, so long as there is such a thing as death in the world, so long as there is such a thing as weakness in the human heart, so long as there is a cry going out of the heart of man in his very weakness, there shall be a faith in God.

On the philosophic side the disciples of the Great Master dashed themselves against the eternal rocks of the Vedas and could not crush them, and on the other side they took away from the nation that eternal God to which every one, man or woman, clings so fondly. And the result was that Buddhism had to die a natural death in India. At the present day there is not one who calls oneself a Buddhist in India, the land of its birth.

But at the same time, Brahminism lost something -- that reforming zeal, that wonderful sympathy and charity for everybody, that wonderful leaven which Buddhism had brought to the masses and which had rendered Indian society so great that a Greek historian who wrote about India of that time was led to say that no Hindu was known to tell an untruth and no Hindu woman was known to be unchaste.

Hinduism cannot live without Buddhism, nor Buddhism without Hinduism. Then realise 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.



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Rationale of all Ethics and Spirituality

The rational West is earnestly bent upon seeking out the rationality, the raison d'être  of all its philosophy and its ethics; and you all know well that ethics cannot be derived from the mere sanction of any personage, however great and divine he may have been. … … 
... where is that eternal sanction to be found except in the only Infinite Reality that exists in you and in me and in all, in the Self, in the Soul? 

The infinite oneness of the Soul is the eternal sanction of all morality, that you and I are not only brothers -- every literature voicing man's struggle towards freedom has preached that for you -- but that you and I are really one. 
This is the dictate of Indian philosophy. 

This oneness is the rationale of all ethics and all spirituality. 

                 - Swami Vivekananda, 
                  Address at Kumbakonam, 
                 Lectures From Colombo to Almora



Sunday, September 23, 2018

Eastern and Western Approach

We have, as it were, thrown a challenge to the whole world from the most ancient times. 
In the West, they are trying to solve the problem how much a man can possess, and we are trying here to solve the problem on how little a man can live. 
This struggle and this difference will still go on for some centuries. But if history has any truth in it and if prognostications ever prove true, it must be that those who train themselves to live on the least and control themselves well will in the end gain the battle, and that those who run after enjoyment and luxury, however vigorous they may seem for the moment, will have to die and become annihilated. 

           - Swami Vivekananda, 
           Address at Kumbakonam, 
           Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Religion Not The Crying Need of India (125th Anniversary of Chicago Addresses)

(20th September, 1893)

Christians must always be ready for good criticism, and 
I hardly think that you will mind if I make a little criticism. 
You Christians, who are so fond of sending out missionaries to save the soul of the heathen -- why do you not try to save their bodies from starvation? 
In India, during the terrible famines, thousands died from hunger, yet you Christians did nothing. You erect churches all through India, but the crying evil in the East is not religion -- they have religion enough -- but it is bread that the suffering millions of burning India cry out for with parched throats.
They ask us for bread, but we give them stones. 
It is an insult to a starving people to offer them religion; 
it is an insult to a starving man to teach him metaphysics. 
In India a priest that preached for money would lose caste and be spat upon by the people. I came here to seek aid for my impoverished people, and I fully realized how difficult it was to get help for heathens from Christians in a Christian land.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Paper on Hinduism (125th Anniversary of Chicago Addresses)

... ...
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.
... ... 
...
So then the Hindu believes that he is a spirit. Him the sword cannot pierce -- him the fire cannot burn -- him the water cannot melt -- him the air cannot dry. The Hindu believes that every soul is a circle whose circumference is nowhere, but whose centre is located in the body, and that death means the change of this centre from body to body. Nor is the soul bound by the conditions of matter. In its very essence it is free, unbounded, holy, pure, and perfect. But somehow or other it finds itself tied down to matter, and thinks of itself as matter.
... ... 
...
Thus it is that the Vedas proclaim not a dreadful combination of unforgiving laws, not an endless prison of cause and effect, but that at the head of all these laws, in and through every particle of matter and force, stands One "by whose command the wind blows, the fire burns, the clouds rain, and death stalks upon the earth."

 And what is His nature?


He is everywhere, the pure and formless One, the Almighty and the All - merciful. "Thou art our father, Thou art our mother, Thou art our beloved friend, Thou art the source of all strength; give us strength. Thou art He that beareth the burdens of the universe; help me bear the little burden of this life." Thus sang the Rishis of the Vedas.

... ... ... 
... 

To the Hindu, then, the whole world of religions is only a travelling, a coming up, of different men and women, through various conditions and circumstances, to the same goal. Every religion is only evolving a God out of the material man, and the same God is the inspirer of all of them.

... ...

May He who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians, give strength to you to carry out your noble idea!

...

Read Full at: Paper On Hinduism
 



Monday, September 17, 2018

Faith Faith Faith

What our country now wants are muscles of iron and nerves of steel, gigantic wills which nothing can resist, which can penetrate into the mysteries and the secrets of the universe, and will accomplish their purpose in any fashion even if it meant going down to the bottom of the ocean and meeting death face to face. 

That is what we want, and that can only be created, established, and strengthened by understanding and realizing the ideal of the Advaita, that ideal of the oneness of all. 

Faith, faith, faith in ourselves, faith, faith in God -- this is the secret of greatness. If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty millions of your mythological gods, and in all the gods which foreigners have now and again introduced into your midst, and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you. 
Have faith in yourselves, and stand up on that faith and be strong; that is what we need. 

            - Swami Vivekananda, Address at Kumbakonam, 
               Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Why We Disagree (125th Anniversary of Chicago Addresses)

(15th September, 1893)

I will tell you a little story. You have heard the eloquent speaker who has just finished say, "Let us cease from abusing each other," and he was very sorry that there should be always so much variance.But I think I should tell you a story which would illustrate the cause of this variance. 

A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. It was born there and brought up there, and yet was a little, small frog. Of course the evolutionists were not there then to tell us whether the frog lost its eyes or not, but, for our story's sake, we must take it for granted that it had its eyes, and that it every day cleansed the water of all the worms and bacilli that lived in it with an energy that would do credit to our modern bacteriologists. In this way it went on and became a little sleek and fat. Well, one day another frog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well.

"Where are you from?"

"I am from the sea."

"The sea! How big is that? Is it as big as my well?" and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other.

"My friend," said the frog of the sea, "how do you compare the sea with your little well?"

Then the frog took another leap and asked, "Is your sea so big?"

"What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your well!"

"Well, then," said the frog of the well, "nothing can be bigger than my well; there can be nothing bigger than this; this fellow is a liar, so turn him out."

That has been the difficulty all the while.

I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Mohammedan sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world. I have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of ours, and hope that, in the future, the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

India - Example of Real strength

Q: Is your teaching a system of comparative religion?

Swamiji: It might convey a more definite idea to call it the kernel of all forms of religion, stripping from them the 
non-essential, and laying stress on that which is the real basis. 

I am a disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, a perfect Sannyasin whose influence and ideas I fell under. 
This great Sannyasin never assumed the negative or critical attitude towards other religions, but showed their positive side -- how they could be carried into life and practiced. 
To fight, to assume the antagonistic attitude, is the exact contrary of his teaching, which dwells on the truth that the world is moved by love. 

You know that the Hindu religion never persecutes. 
It is the land where all sects may live in peace and amity. 
The Mohammedans brought murder and slaughter in their train, but until their arrival peace prevailed. 
Thus the Jains, who do not believe in a God and who regard such belief as a delusion, were tolerated, and still are there today. 
India sets the example of real strength, that is meekness. Dash, pluck, fight, all these things are weakness. 

               - Swami Vivekananda, 
                 ‘Sunday Times, London’ Interview (1896)


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Marriage and Chastity

. . . In my opinion, a race must first cultivate a great respect for motherhood, through the sanctification and inviolability of marriage, before it can attain to the ideal of perfect chastity. 

The Roman Catholics and the Hindus, holding marriage sacred and inviolate, have produced great chaste men and women of immense power. 
To the Arab, marriage is a contract or a forceful possession, to be dissolved at will, and we do not find there the development of the idea of the virgin or the Brahmacharin. 
Modern Buddhism -- having fallen among races who had not yet come up to the evolution of marriage -- has made a travesty of monasticism. 

So until there is developed in Japan a great and sacred ideal about marriage (apart from mutual attraction and love), I do not see how there can be great monks and nuns. 

As you have come to see that the glory of life is chastity, so my eyes also have been opened to the necessity of this great sanctification for the vast majority, in order that a few lifelong chaste powers may be produced. . . . 

                  - Swami Vivekananda, 
 in a Letter to Mrs Ole Bull from Belur Math (May 1902)


Friday, September 7, 2018

Religion Getting into Kitchen!

Give up all those old discussions, old fights about things which are meaningless, which are nonsensical in their very nature. 
Think of the last six hundred or seven hundred years of degradation when grown-up men by hundreds have been discussing for years whether we should drink a glass of water with the right hand or the left, whether the hand should be washed three times or four times, whether we should gargle five or six times. 

What can you expect from men who pass their lives in discussing such momentous questions as these and writing most learned philosophies on them! 

There is a danger of our religion getting into the kitchen. 
We are neither Vedantists, most of us now, nor Pauranics, nor Tantrics. We are just "Don't touchists". Our religion is in the kitchen. 
Our God is in the cooking-pot, and our religion is, "Don't touch me, I am holy". If this goes on for another century, every one of us will be in a lunatic asylum. 

               - Swami Vivekananda, Address at Manamadurai, 
                  'Lectures From Colombo to Almora'


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Through Renunciation is the Way

Ours is the true religion because it teaches that God alone is true, that this world is false and fleeting, that all your gold is but as dust, that all your power is finite, and that life itself is oftentimes an evil; therefore it is, that ours is the true religion. 

Ours is the true religion because, above all, it teaches renunciation and stands up with the wisdom of ages to tell and to declare to the nations who are mere children of yesterday in comparison with us 
Hindus -- who own the hoary antiquity of the wisdom, discovered by our ancestors here in India -- 
to tell them in plain words: 
"Children, you are slaves of the senses; there is only finiteness in the senses, there is only ruination in the senses; the three short days of luxury here bring only ruin at last. Give it all up, renounce the love of the senses and of the world; that is the way of religion." 

Through renunciation is the way to the goal and not through enjoyment. Therefore ours is the only true religion. 

                - Swami Vivekananda, Address at Kumbakonam, 
                 Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Monday, September 3, 2018

False Argument Against Hinduism

Politics, social improvement, in one word, this world, is the goal of mankind in the West, and God and religion come in quietly as helpers to attain that goal. Their God is, so to speak, the Being who helps to cleanse and to furnish this world for them; this is apparently all the value of God for them. 

Do you not know how for the last hundred or two hundred years you have been hearing again and again out of the lips of men who ought to have known better, from the mouths of those who pretend at least to know better, that all the arguments they produce against the Indian religion is this -- that our religion does not conduce to well-being in this world, that it does not bring gold to us, that it does not make us robbers of nations, that it does not make the strong stand upon the bodies of the weak and feed themselves with the life - blood of the weak. 
Certainly our religion does not do that. 

It cannot send cohorts, under whose feet the earth trembles, for the purpose of destruction and pillage and the ruination of races. Therefore they say -- what is there in this religion? 
It does not bring any grist to the grinding mill, any strength to the muscles; what is there is such a religion? 

          - Swami Vivekananda, 
            Address at Kumbakonam, 
           Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Friday, August 31, 2018

Idea of God in India

The idea of God was nowhere else ever so fully developed as in this motherland of ours, for the same idea of God never existed anywhere else. Perhaps you are astonished at my assertion; but show me any idea of God from any other scripture equal to ours; they have only clan-gods, the God of the Jews, the God of the Arabs, and of such and such a race, and their God is fighting the Gods of the other races. 

But the idea of that beneficent, most merciful God, our father, our mother, our friend, the friend of our friends, the soul of our souls, is here and here alone. 

And may He who is the Shiva of the Shaivites, the Vishnu of the Vaishnavites, the Karma of the Karmis, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jina of the Jains, the Jehovah of the Christians and the Jews, the Allah of the Mohammedans, 
the Lord of every sect, the Brahman of the Vedantists, 
He the all-pervading, whose glory has been known only in this land -- may He bless us, may He help us, may He give strength unto us, energy unto us, to carry this idea into practice. 

  - Swami Vivekananda, 
    Address at Ramnad, Lectures From Colombo to Almora


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

You Manufacture Your Body

The Omnipresent Lord has been hidden through ignorance, and the responsibility is on yourself. 

You have not to think that you were brought into the world without your choice and left in this most horrible place, but to know that you have yourself manufactured your body bit by bit just as you are doing it this very moment. 
You yourself eat; nobody eats for you. You assimilate what you eat; no one does it for you. You make blood, and muscles, and body out of the food; nobody does it for you. 
So you have done all the time. 

One link in a chain explains the infinite chain. If it is true for one moment that you manufacture your body, it is true for every moment that has been or will come. 
And all the responsibility of good and evil is on you. 
This is the great hope. What I have done, that I can undo.

And at the same time our religion does not take away from mankind the mercy of the Lord. That is always there. 
On the other hand, He stands beside this tremendous current of good and evil. He the bondless, the ever-merciful, is always ready to help us to the other shore, for His mercy is great, and it always comes to the pure in heart. 

                 - Swami Vivekananda, Address at Paramakudi, 
                   Lectures From Colombo to Almora