Friday, January 19, 2018

Real Giving Up of World

If we understand the giving up of the world in its old, crude sense, then it would come to this: that we must not work, that we must be idle, sitting like lumps of earth, neither thinking nor doing anything, but must become fatalists, driven about by every circumstance, ordered about by the laws of nature, drifting from place to place. That would be the result. 

But that is not what is meant. 
We must work. … …  

He works, who is not propelled by his own desires, by any selfishness whatsoever. He works, who has no ulterior motive in view. 
He works, who has nothing to gain from work. 

   - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Social and Religious Liberty

We, in India, allowed liberty in spiritual matters, and we have a tremendous spiritual power in religious thought even today. You grant the same liberty in social matters, and so have a splendid social organisation. 

We have not given any freedom to the expansion of social matters, and ours is a cramped society. You have never given any freedom in religious matters but with fire and sword have enforced your beliefs, and the result is that religion is a stunted, degenerated growth in the European mind. 

In India, we have to take the shackles from society; in Europe, the chains must be taken from the feet of spiritual progress.
Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Monday, January 15, 2018

God as Soul and Human Being

The idea that the goal is far off, far beyond nature, attracting us all towards it, has to be brought nearer and nearer, without degrading or degenerating it. 
The God of heaven becomes the God in nature, and the God in nature becomes the God who is nature, and the God who is nature becomes the God within this temple of the body, and the God dwelling in the temple of the body at last becomes the temple itself, becomes the soul and man -- and there it reaches the last words it can teach. 

                - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Walking on Razor's Edge

Religion begins with a tremendous dissatisfaction with the present state of things, with our lives, and a hatred, an intense hatred, for this patching up of life, an unbounded disgust for fraud and lies. 

He alone can be religious who dares say, as the mighty Buddha once said under the Bo–tree … … 
"Death is better than a vegetating ignorant life; it is better to die on the battle-field than to live a life of defeat." 

This is the basis of religion. … 
Those who dare, therefore, to struggle for victory, for truth, for religion, are in the right way; and that is what the Vedas preach: Be not in despair; the way is very difficult, like walking on the edge of a razor; yet despair not, arise, awake, and find the ideal, the goal. 

            - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Maya of Sense-Pleasures

The senses drag the human soul out. 
Man is seeking for pleasure and for happiness where it can never be found. 

For countless ages we are all taught that this is futile and vain, there is no happiness here. But we cannot learn; it is impossible for us to do so, except through our own experiences. 
We try them, and a blow comes. 

Do we learn then? Not even then. 

Like moths hurling themselves against the flame, we are hurling ourselves again and again into sense-pleasures, hoping to find satisfaction there. We return again and again with freshened energy; thus we go on, till crippled and cheated we die. And this is Maya. 

        - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Trying to Rise Above Brute Nature

Ideals come into our head far beyond the limit of our 
sense-ideals, but when we seek to express them, we cannot do so. 
On the other hand, we are crushed by the surging mass around us. Yet if I give up all ideality and merely struggle through this world, my existence is that of a brute, and I degenerate and degrade myself. 

Neither way is happiness. Unhappiness is the fate of those who are content to live in this world, born as they are. 
A thousand times greater misery is the fate of those who dare to stand forth for truth and for higher things and who dare to ask for something higher than mere brute existence here.

Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Eternal Play of Light and Darkness

This standing between knowledge and ignorance, this mystic twilight, the mingling of truth and falsehood -- and where they meet -- no one knows. 

We are walking in the midst of a dream, half sleeping, half waking, passing all our lives in a haze; this is the fate of everyone of us. This is the fate of all sense-knowledge. 
This is the fate of all philosophy, of all boasted science, of all boasted human knowledge. 

This is the universe. … …

This eternal play of light and darkness -- indiscriminate, indistinguishable, inseparable -- is always there. A fact, yet at the same time not a fact; awake and at the same time asleep. 

This is a statement of facts, and this is what is called Maya. We are born in this Maya, we live in it, we think in it, we dream in it. … … 
everything that is bound by the laws of time, space and causation is within Maya.

- Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Lord Beyond Maya

We see, then, that beyond this Maya the Vedantic philosophers find something which is not bound by Maya; and if we can get there, we shall not be bound by Maya.

This idea is in some form or other the common property of all religions. But, with the Vedanta, it is only the beginning of religion and not the end.

 The idea of a Personal God, the Ruler and Creator of this universe, as He has been styled, the Ruler of Maya, or nature, is not the end of these Vedantic ideas; it is only the beginning. The idea grows and grows until the Vedantist finds that He who, he thought, was standing outside, is he himself and is in reality within. He is the one who is free, but who through limitation thought he was bound.

- Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

World Has No Absolute Existence

What does the statement of the existence of the world mean, then? 
"This world has no existence." 
What is meant by that? 

It means that it has no absolute existence. It exists only in relation to my mind, to your mind, and to the mind of everyone else. … … 

It has, therefore, no real existence; it has no unchangeable, immovable, infinite existence. 
Nor can it be called non - existence, seeing that it exists, and we have to work in and through it. It is a mixture of existence and non-existence. 

               - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Monday, January 1, 2018

First Have Something to Give

My Master taught me this lesson hundreds of times, yet I often forget it. 

Few understand the power of thought. If a man goes into a cave, shuts himself in, and thinks one really great thought and dies, that thought will penetrate the walls of that cave, vibrate through space, and at last permeate the whole human race. 

Such is the power of thought; be in no hurry therefore to give your thoughts to others. 

First have something to give. 

                 - Swami Vivekananda, Talk on ‘My Master’