Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Advaita For All

Not only in this country, but in the land of its very birth, if you tell people this truth, they are frightened. 
They say, "This idea is for Sannyasins who give up the world and live in the forests; for them it is all right. But for us poor householders, we must all have some sort of fear, we must have ceremonies," and so on.

Dualistic ideas have ruled the world long enough, and this is the result. 
Why not make a new experiment? It may take ages for all minds to receive monism, but why not begin now?

Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Common Idea in all Religions

One idea seems to be common in all the Indian systems, 
and I think, in every system in the world, 
whether they know it or not, and that is what 
      I should call the divinity of man. 

There is no one system in the world, no real religion, which does not hold the idea that the human soul, 
whatever it be, or whatever its relation to God, 
is essentially pure and perfect, 
whether expressed in the language of 
mythology, allegory, or philosophy. 

Its real nature is blessedness and power, not weakness and misery.

Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Friday, February 23, 2018

Existing Eternally

Sometimes people get frightened at the idea [reincarnation of the soul], and superstition is so strong that thinking men even believe that they are the outcome of nothing, and then, with the grandest logic, try to deduce the theory that although they have come out of zero, they will be eternal ever afterwards. 
Those that come out of zero will certainly have to go back to zero. 

Neither you, nor I nor anyone present, has come out of zero, nor will go back to zero. 
We have been existing eternally, and will exist, and there is no power under the sun or above the sun which can undo your or my existence or send us back to zero. 

- Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, New-York

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Power of Expression

The difference between man and man, and all things in the whole creation, is not in kind but only in degree. 
The background, the reality, of everyone is that same Eternal, Ever Blessed, Ever Pure, and Ever Perfect One. 

It is the Atman, the Soul, in the saint and the sinner, in the happy and the miserable, in the beautiful and the ugly, in men and in animals; it is the same throughout. 

It is the shining One. The difference is caused by the power of expression. 
                         - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ignorant World

They grope in darkness who worship this ignorant world, the world that is produced out of ignorance, thinking of it as Existence, and those who live their whole lives in this world, and never find anything better or higher, are groping in still greater darkness. 
But he who knows the secret of nature, seeing That which is beyond nature through the help of nature, he crosses death, and through the help of That which is beyond nature, he enjoys Eternal Bliss.
Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mahashivaratri 2018

He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva; and if he sees Shiva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary. 

He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Shiva in him, without thinking of his caste, or creed, or race, or anything, with him Shiva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples.

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

Monday, February 12, 2018

Fire in Wood

The people of old knew that fire lived in the flint and in dry wood, but friction was necessary to call it out. 
So this fire of freedom and purity is the nature of every soul, and not a quality, because qualities can be acquired and therefore can be lost. 
The soul is one with Freedom, and the soul is one with Existence, and the soul is one with Knowledge. The Sat-chit-ananda -- existence-knowledge-bliss Absolute -- is the nature, the birthright of the Soul, and all the manifestations that we see are Its expressions, dimly or brightly manifesting Itself.

     - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Why Drink Ditch Water!

I do not believe at all that monistic ideas preached to the world would produce immorality and weakness. 
On the contrary, I have reason to believe that it is the only remedy there is. 

If this be the truth, why let people drink ditch water when the stream of life is flowing by? 
If this be the truth, that they are all pure, why not at this moment teach it to the whole world? Why not teach it with the voice of thunder to every man that is born, to saints and sinners, men, women, and children, to the man on the throne and to the man sweeping the streets?

-  Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Thursday, February 8, 2018

True Optimist

Wherever there is good, evil follows, but beyond and behind all these manifestations, all these contradictions, the Vedanta finds out that Unity. 
It says, "Give up what is evil and give up what is good." 
What remains then? 

Behind good and evil stands something which is yours, the real you, beyond every evil, and beyond every good too, and it is that which is manifesting itself as good and bad. 

Know that first, and then and then alone you will be a true optimist, and not before; for then you will be able to control everything.
Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Verify Yourself

There are certain religious facts which, as in external science, have to be perceived, and upon them religion will be built. 

Of course, the extreme claim that you must believe every dogma of a religion is degrading to the human mind. 
The man who asks you to believe everything, degrades himself, and, if you believe, degrades you too. 

The sages of the world have only the right to tell us that they have analysed their minds and have found these facts, and if we do the same we shall also believe, and not before. 
That is all that there is in religion.

Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Are You Strong?

This is the one question I put to every man, woman, or child, when they are in physical, mental, or spiritual training. 

Are you strong? Do you feel strength? -- for I know it is truth alone that gives strength. 
I know that truth alone gives life, and nothing but going towards reality will make us strong, and none will reach truth until he is strong. 

Every system, therefore, which weakens the mind, makes one superstitious, makes one mope, makes one desire all sorts of wild impossibilities, mysteries, and superstitions, I do not like, because its effect is dangerous.

           - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London

Friday, February 2, 2018

Hidden In Atom

This is the watchword of Vedanta -- realise religion, 
no talking will do. 

But it is done with great difficulty. 

He has hidden Himself inside the atom, this Ancient One who resides in the inmost recess of every human heart. 

The sages realised Him through the power of introspection, and got beyond both joy and misery, beyond what we call virtue and vice, beyond good and bad deeds, beyond being and non-being; he who has seen Him has seen the Reality. 

               - Swami Vivekananda, Jnana-Yoga, London