Monday, July 30, 2018

God as a Child

This idea of loving God as a child comes into existence and grows naturally among those religious sects which believe in the incarnation of God. 
For the Mohammedans it is impossible to have this idea of God as a child; they will shrink from it with a kind of horror.
But the Christian and the Hindu can realise it easily, because they have the baby Jesus and the baby Krishna. 

The women in India often look upon themselves as Krishna's mother; Christian mothers also may take up the idea that they are Christ's mothers, and it will bring to the West the knowledge of God's Divine Motherhood which they so much need. 

                   - Swami Vivekananda, 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Task for Giant Will

The person who aspires to be a Bhakta must be cheerful. 
In the Western world the idea of a religious man is that he never smiles, that a dark cloud must always hang over his face, which, again, must be long-drawn with the jaws almost collapsed. 

People with emaciated bodies and long faces are fit subjects for the physician, they are not Yogis. 
It is the cheerful mind that is persevering. It is the strong mind that hews its way through a thousand difficulties. 
And this, the hardest task of all, the cutting of our way out of the net of Maya, is the work reserved only for giant wills. 

          - Swami Vivekananda, 

Friday, July 27, 2018


Guru-bhakti is the foundation of all spiritual development.
- Swami Vivekananda

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Vedanta Welcomes All

With the kindest solicitude, the Vedanta points out to aspiring men and women the numerous roads, 
hewn out of the solid rock of the realities of human life, 
by the glorious sons, or human manifestations, of God, 
in the past and in the present, and 
stands with outstretched arms to welcome all -- to welcome even those that are yet to be -- to that Home of Truth and
that Ocean of Bliss, wherein the human soul, 
liberated from the net of Maya, may transport itself with 
perfect freedom and with eternal joy. 

         - Swami Vivekananda, 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Permeation of Indian Thought

At the beginning of this century, Schopenhauer, the great German philosopher, studying from a not very clear translation of the Vedas made from an old translation into Persian and thence by a young Frenchman into Latin, says, "In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death." 

This great German sage foretold that "The world is about to see a revolution in thought more extensive and more powerful than that which was witnessed by the Renaissance of Greek Literature", and today his predictions are coming to pass. 

Those who keep their eyes open, those who understand the workings in the minds of different nations of the West, those who are thinkers and study the different nations, will find the immense change that has been produced in the tone, the procedure, in the methods, and in the literature of the world by this slow, never-ceasing permeation of Indian thought.  

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

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Eternal Fountain of Love

The nearer we approach God, the more do we begin to see that all things are in Him. 
When the soul succeeds in appropriating the bliss of this supreme love, it also begins to see Him in everything. 
Our heart will thus become an eternal fountain of love. 

And when we reach even higher states of this love, all the little differences between the things of the world are entirely lost; man is seen no more as man, but only as God; 
the animal is seen no more as animal, but as God; 
even the tiger is no more a tiger, but a manifestation of God. 

Thus in this intense state of Bhakti, worship is offered to every one, to every life, and to every being. 

एवं सर्वेषु भूतेषु भक्तिरव्याभिचारिणी | 
कर्तव्या पण्डितैर्ज्ञात्वा सर्वभूतमयं हरिम् || --
"Knowing that Hari, the Lord, is in every being, the wise have thus to manifest unswerving love towards all beings."

- Swami Vivekananda, 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bhakti-Yoga - Natural Renunciation

The Karma-Yogi's renunciation is in the shape of giving up all the fruits of his action; he is not attached to the results of his labor; he does not care for any reward here or hereafter. 

The Raja-Yogi knows that the whole of nature is intended for the soul to acquire experience, and that the result of all the experiences of the soul is for it to become aware of its eternal separateness from nature. … 

The Jnana-Yogi has the harshest of all renunciations to go through, as he has to realize from the very first that the whole of this solid-looking nature is all an illusion. … … 

Of all renunciations, the most natural, so to say, is that of the Bhakti-Yogi. Here there is no violence, nothing to give up, nothing to tear off, as it were, from ourselves, nothing from which we have violently to separate ourselves. 
The Bhakta's renunciation is easy, smooth flowing, and as natural as the things around us. 

                - Swami Vivekananda, 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Image-Worship in Various Religions

Of the principal religions of the world we see Vedantism, Buddhism, and certain forms of Christianity freely using images; 
only two religions, Mohammedanism and Protestantism, refuse such help. Yet the Mohammedans use the graves of their saints and martyrs almost in the place of images; and the Protestants, in rejecting all concrete helps to religion, are drifting away every year farther and farther from spirituality till at present there is scarcely any difference between the advanced Protestants and the followers of August Comte, or agnostics who preach ethics alone. 

Again, in Christianity and Mohammedanism whatever exists of image worship is made to fall under that category in which the Pratika or the Pratima is worshiped in itself, but not as a "help to the vision" (Drishtisaukaryam) of God; therefore it is at best only of the nature of ritualistic Karmas and cannot produce either Bhakti or Mukti. 
In this form of image-worship, the allegiance of the soul is given to other things than Ishvara, and, therefore, such use of images, or graves, or temples, or tombs, is real idolatry; 
it is in itself neither sinful nor wicked -- it is a rite -- a Karma, and worshipers must and will get the fruit thereof. 

               - Swami Vivekananda, 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Om - Perfect Symbol for Sphota

The letter A is the least differentiated of all sounds, therefore Krishna says in the Gita [aksharaanaam Akaarosmi] — "I am A among the letters". 

Again, all articulate sounds are produced in the space within the mouth beginning with the root of the tongue and ending in the lips — the throat sound is A, and M is the last lip sound, and the U exactly represents the rolling forward of the impulse which begins at the root of the tongue till it ends in the lips. 
If properly pronounced, this Om will represent the whole phenomenon of sound-production, and no other word can do this; and this, therefore, is the fittest symbol of the Sphota, which is the real meaning of the Om. 

And as the symbol can never be separated from the thing signified, the Om and the Sphota are one.
And as the Sphota, being the finer side of the manifested universe, is nearer to God and is indeed that first manifestation of divine wisdom, this Om is truly symbolic of God.

- Swami Vivekananda, 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Worshiping God as Human Being

Two kinds of men do not worship God as man -- 
the human brute who has no religion, and 
the Paramahamsa who has risen beyond all the weaknesses of humanity and has transcended the limits of his own human nature. 
To him all nature has become his own Self. He alone can worship God as He is. 

Here, too, as in all other cases, the two extremes meet. 
The extreme of ignorance and the other extreme of knowledge -- neither of these go through acts of worship. 

The human brute does not worship because of his ignorance, and the Jivanmuktas (free souls) do not worship because they have realized God in themselves. 
Being between these two poles of existence, if any one tells you that he is not going to worship God as man, take kindly care of that man; he is, not to use any harsher term, an irresponsible talker; his religion is for unsound and empty brains. 

                     - Swami Vivekananda, 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Books Alone won't Help

We may study books all our lives, we may become very intellectual, but in the end we find that we have not developed at all spiritually. 
It is not true that a high order of intellectual development always goes hand in hand with a proportionate development of the spiritual side in Man. 
In studying books we are sometimes deluded into thinking that thereby we are being spiritually helped; but if we analyse the effect of the study of books on ourselves, we shall find that at the utmost it is only our intellect that derives profit from such studies, and not our inner spirit. 

This inadequacy of books to quicken spiritual growth is the reason why, although almost every one of us can speak most wonderfully on spiritual matters, when it comes to action and the living of a truly spiritual life, we find ourselves so awfully deficient. 

                       - Swami Vivekananda, 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

No God Separate From Higher "You"

You are where you are; 
these dreams, these various clouds move. 
One dream follows another without connection. 

There is no such thing as law or connection in this world, 
but we are thinking that there is a great deal of connection. … 

… When we wake from this dream of the world and compare it with the Reality, it will be found all incongruous nonsense, a mass of incongruity passing before us, we do not know whence or whither, but we know it will end; and this is called Maya, 
and is like masses of fleeting fleecy clouds. They represent all this changing existence, and the sun itself, the unchanging, is you. 

When you look at that unchanging Existence from the outside, you call it God; and when you look at it from the inside, you call it yourself. 

It is but one. There is no God separate from you, no God higher that you, the real "you".

- Swami Vivekananda, 
Talk in New-York

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Free Will - Sheer Nonsense!

As long as you are in the network of time, space, and causation, to say you are free is nonsense, because in that network all is under rigorous law, sequence and consequence. 
Every thought that you think is caused, every feeling has been caused; to say that the will is free is sheer nonsense. 
It is only when the infinite existence comes, as it were, into this network of Maya that it takes the form of will. 
Will is a portion of that being, caught in the network of Maya, and therefore "free will" is a misnomer. 
It means nothing -- sheer nonsense. 

So is all this talk about freedom. 
There is no freedom in Maya. … … 

True freedom cannot exist in the midst of this delusion, this hallucination, this nonsense of the world, this universe of the senses, body, and mind.

- Swami Vivekananda, 
Talk in New-York

Monday, July 2, 2018

Only Atman

Where none sees none, where none speaks to none, that is the highest, that is the great, that is the Brahman. 
Being That, you are always That. 
What will become of the world then? 
What good shall we do to the world? 

Such questions do not arise. 
"What becomes of my gingerbread if I become old?" says the baby! 
"What becomes of my marbles if I grow? So I will not grow," says the boy! 
"What will become of my dolls if I grow old?" says the little child! 

It is the same question in connection with this world; 
it has no existence in the past, present, or future. 
If we have known the Atman as It is, if we have known that there is nothing else but this Atman, that everything else is but a dream, with no existence in reality, then this world with its poverties, its miseries, its wickedness, and its goodness will cease to disturb us. 

            - Swami Vivekananda, 
              Talk in New-York