Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Humankind as Jivanmuktas

A time must come when every man will be as intensely practical in the scientific world as in the spiritual, and then that Oneness, the harmony of Oneness, will pervade the whole world. 
The whole of mankind will become Jivanmuktas -- free whilst living. 

We are all struggling towards that one end through our jealousies and hatreds, through our love and co-operation. 

A tremendous stream is flowing towards the ocean carrying us all along with it; and though like straws and scraps of paper we may at times float aimlessly about, in the long run we are sure to join the Ocean of Life and Bliss. 
                           - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Monday, January 29, 2018

Early Sanskritists

The earliest schools of Sanskritists in Europe entered into the study of Sanskrit with more imagination than critical ability. They knew a little, expected much from that little, and often tried to make too much of what little they knew. 
Then, in those days even, such vagaries as the estimation of Shakuntala as forming the high watermark of Indian philosophy were not altogether unknown! 

These were naturally followed by a reactionary band of superficial critics, more than real scholars of any kind, who knew little or nothing of Sanskrit, expected nothing from Sanskrit studies, and ridiculed everything from the East. 

While criticising the unsound imaginativeness of the early school to whom everything in Indian literature was rose and musk, these, in their turn, went into speculations which, to say the least, were equally highly unsound and indeed very venturesome. And their boldness was very naturally helped by the fact that these over-hasty and unsympathetic scholars and critics were addressing an audience whose entire qualification for pronouncing any judgment in the matter was their absolute ignorance of Sanskrit. 
What a medley of results from such critical scholarship!

- Swami Vivekananda, 
‘On Dr Paul Deussen’ - Article in 
Brahmavadin, 1896   

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Sense-World God

Suppose we obtain another sense, the whole universe must change for us. 
Suppose we had a magnetic sense, it is quite possible that we might then find millions and millions of forces in existence which we do not now know, and for which we have no present sense or feeling. 

Our senses are limited, very limited indeed; and 
within these limitations exists what we call our universe; and our God is the solution of that universe, 
but that cannot be the solution of the whole problem.
Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Give Up The Delusion

The whole world is full of the Lord. 
Open your eyes and see Him. This is what Vedanta teaches. 

Give up the world which you have conjectured, because your conjecture was based upon a very partial experience, upon very poor reasoning, and upon your own weakness. 

Give it up; the world we have been thinking of so long, the world to which we have been clinging so long, is a false world of our own creation. 
Give that up; open your eyes and see that as such it never existed; it was a dream, Maya. 
What existed was the Lord Himself. 
                      - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Happiness and Misery in the World

If the power to satisfy our desire is increasing in arithmetical progression, the power of desire is increased in geometrical progression. 

The sum total of happiness and misery in this world is at least the same throughout. If a wave rises in the ocean it makes a hollow somewhere. If happiness comes to one man, unhappiness comes to another or, perhaps, to some animal.

Men are increasing in numbers and some animals are decreasing; we are killing them off, and taking their land; 
we are taking all means of sustenance from them. 
How can we say, then, that happiness is increasing? 

                                - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

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’