Friday, June 29, 2018

Religion - Positive Something

Tell your children that religion is a positive something, and not a negative something.
It is not the teachings of men, but a growth, a development of something higher within our nature that seeks outlet.

 Every child born into the world is born with a certain accumulated experience. The idea of independence which possesses us shows there is something in us besides mind and body.
The body and mind are dependent.
The soul that animates us is an independent factor that creates this wish for freedom.

If we are not free how can we hope to make the world good or perfect?

          - Swami Vivekananda, 
            Talk in Brooklyn

Monday, June 25, 2018

Real Knowledge and Bliss

… real knowledge is not what we know, not intuition, nor reason, nor instinct. 
When that degenerates and is confused, we call it intuition; 
when is degenerates more, we call it reason; 
and when it degenerates still more, we call it instinct. 

That knowledge itself is Vijnana, neither intuition, nor reason nor instinct. The nearest expression for it is 
all-knowingness. There is no limit to it, no combination in it. 

That bliss, when it gets clouded over, we call love, 
attraction for gross bodies or fine bodies, or for ideas. 
This is only a distorted manifestation of that blessedness.

- Swami Vivekananda, 
Talk in New York

Saturday, June 23, 2018

March of Humanity

Each religion, as it were, takes up one part of the great universal truth, and spends its whole force in embodying and typifying that part of the great truth. 
It is, therefore, addition, not exclusion. 
That is the idea. 

System after system arises, each one embodying a great idea, and ideals must be added to ideals. 
And this is the march of humanity. 
Man never progresses from error to truth, but from truth to truth, from lesser truth to higher truth -- but it is never from error to truth. 

                     - Swami Vivekananda, 
                       Talk in Pasadena, California

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Points about Buddhism

Every one of Buddha's teachings is founded in the Vedanta. 
He was one of those monks who wanted to bring out the truths, hidden in those books and in the forest monasteries. 

I do not believe that the world is ready for them even now; 
it still wants those lower religions, which teach of a personal God. Because of this, the original Buddhism could not hold the popular mind, until it took up the modifications, which were reflected back from Tibet and the Tartars. 

Original Buddhism was not at all nihilistic. 
It was but an attempt to combat caste and priestcraft; it was the first in the world to stand as champion of the dumb animals, the first to break down the caste, standing between man and man. 

               - Swami Vivekananda, 
                Talk in Brooklyn

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sankhya Philosophy

The meditative state is called always the highest state by the Yogi, when it is neither a passive nor an active state; 
in it you approach nearest to the Purusha

The soul has neither pleasure nor pain; it is the witness of everything, the eternal witness of all work, but it takes no fruits from any work. 
As the sun is the cause of sight of every eye, but is not itself affected by any defects in the eye or as when a crystal has red or blue flowers placed before it, the crystal looks red or blue, and yet it is neither; 
so, the soul is neither passive nor active, it is beyond both. 

The nearest way of expressing this state of the soul is that it is meditation. 
This is Sankhya philosophy. 

                     - Swami Vivekananda, 
                      Talk in New York

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sankhya Philosophy - First Rational System

Sankhya [philosophy] … is the basis of the philosophy of the whole world. There is no philosophy in the world that is not indebted to Kapila. 

Pythagoras came to India and studied this philosophy, and that was the beginning of the philosophy of the Greeks. 
Later, it formed the Alexandrian school, and still later, the Gnostic. 
It became divided into two; one part went to Europe and Alexandria, and the other remained in India; and out of this, the system of Vyasa was developed. 

The Sankhya philosophy of Kapila was the first rational system that the world ever saw. 
Every metaphysician in the world must pay homage to him. 
I want to impress on your mind that we are bound to listen to him as the great father of philosophy. 

                   - Swami Vivekananda, Talk in New York

Friday, June 15, 2018

Akasha and Prana

Prana cannot work alone without the help of Akasha
All that we know in the form of motion, vibration, or thought is a modification of the Prana, and everything that we know in the shape of matter, either as form or as resistance, is a modification of the Akasha. 

The Prana cannot live alone, or act without a medium; when it is pure Prana, it has the Akasha itself to live in, and when it changes into forces of nature, say gravitation, or centrifugal force, it must have matter. 
You have never seen force without matter or matter without force; what we call force and matter are simply the gross manifestations of these same things, which, when superfine, are called Prana and Akasha. 

              - Swami Vivekananda, 
                Talk in New York

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Remedy for all Disease

That is the remedy for all disease, the nectar that cures death. 
Here we are in this world, and our nature rebels against it. 
But let us repeat, "I am It; I am It. I have no fear, nor doubt, nor death. I have no sex, nor creed, nor colour. What creed can I have? What sect is there to which I should belong? What sect can hold me? I am in every sect!"

However much the body rebels, however much the mind rebels, in the midst of the uttermost darkness, in the midst of agonizing tortures, in the uttermost despair, repeat this, once, twice, thrice, ever more. 
Light comes gently, slowly, but surely it comes. 

          - Swami Vivekananda, 
           Talk in Los Angles, California

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dualism - First View of Religion

We have seen that there is the eternal God, and there is eternal nature. And there is also an infinite number of eternal souls. 
This is the first stage in religion, it is called dualism, the stage when man sees himself and God eternally separate, when God is a separate entity by Himself and man is a separate entity by himself and nature is a separate entity by itself. 
This is dualism, which holds that the subject and the object are opposed to each other in everything. 

When man looks at nature, he is the subject and nature the object. He sees the dualism between subject and object.
When he looks at God, he sees God as the object and himself as the subject. They are entirely separate. This is the dualism between man and God. 
This is generally the first view of religion. 

                 - Swami Vivekananda, Talk in New York

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Impossible Question

… how is it that what is infinite, ever perfect, ever blessed, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, has come under these delusions? 
It is the same questions that has been asked all the world over. In the vulgar form the question becomes, "How did sin come into this world?" This is the most vulgar and sensuous form of the question, and the other is the most philosophic form, but the answer is the same. 

The same question has been asked in various grades and fashions, but in its lower forms it finds no solution, because the stories of apples and serpents and women do not give the explanation. In that state, the question is childish and so is the answer. 
But the question has assumed very high proportions now: "How did this illusion come?" And the answer is as fine. 
The answer is that we cannot expect any answer to an impossible question. The very question is impossible in terms. You have no right to ask that question. Why? 

What is perfection? 
That which is beyond time, space and causation -- that is perfect. Then you ask how the perfect became imperfect. 
In logical language the question may be put in this form: "How did that which is beyond causation become caused?" You contradict yourself. 

                   - Swami Vivekananda, 
                       Talk in New-York

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Solid Ground to Stand Upon

This is, therefore, true knowledge; that the Soul of our souls, the Reality that is within us, is That which is unchangeable, eternal, ever-blessed, ever-free. 
This is the only solid ground for us to stand upon. 
This, then, is the end of all death, the advent of all immortality, the end of all misery. 

And he who sees that One among the many, that One unchangeable in the universe of change, he who sees Him as the Soul of his soul, unto him belongs eternal peace -- unto none else.

            - Swami Vivekananda, 
              Talk in Los Angles, California

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Walking in Dreams

We seem to be walking in dreams.
Dreams are all right in a dream-mind; but as soon as you want to grasp one of them, it is gone. 
Why? Not that it was false, but because it is beyond the power of reason, the power of the intellect to comprehend it.

Everything in this life is so vast that the intellect is nothing in comparison with it. It refuses to be bound by the laws of the intellect! It laughs at the bondage the intellect wants to spread around it. 
And a thousandfold more so is this the case with the human soul. 

"We ourselves"-- this is the greatest mystery of the universe. 

                         - Swami Vivekananda, 
                         Talk in Los Angles, California

Sunday, June 3, 2018

My Ideal of a Perfect Man and Religion

Would to God that all men were so constituted that in their minds all these elements of philosophy, mysticism, emotion, and of work were equally present in full! 
That is the ideal, my ideal of a perfect man. 

Everyone who has only one or two of these elements of character, I consider "one-sided"; and this world is almost full of such "one-sided" men, with knowledge of that one road only in which they move; and anything else is dangerous and horrible to them. 

To become harmoniously balanced in all these four directions is my ideal of religion. 

                  - Swami Vivekananda, 
                  Talk in Pasadena, California

Friday, June 1, 2018

Truth is Nobody's Property

All truth is eternal. 
Truth is nobody's property; no race, no individual can lay any exclusive claim to it. 

Truth is the nature of all souls. Who can lay any special claim to it? 
But it has to be made practical, to be made simple (for the highest truths are always simple), so that it may penetrate every pore of human society, and become the property of the highest intellects and the commonest minds, of the man, woman, and child at the same time. 

                    - Swami Vivekananda, 
                        Practical Vedanta IV, London