Thursday, November 29, 2018

Nearer to Heaven Through Football!

First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards. Be strong, my young friends; that is my advice to you. 
You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. I know where the shoe pinches. 

I have gained a little experience. You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger. 
You will understand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of Krishna better with a little of strong blood in you. You will understand the Upanishads better and the glory of the Atman when your body stands firm upon your feet, and you feel yourselves as men. 
Thus we have to apply these to our needs. 

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Only Moksha - Problem with Buddha and Christ!

What does Buddha or Christ prescribe for the man who neither wants Moksha nor is fit to receive it?-- nothing!
Either you must have Moksha or you are doomed to destruction -- these are the only two ways held forth by them, and there is no middle course. You are tied hand and foot in the matter of trying for anything other than Moksha. There is no way shown how you may enjoy the world a little for a time; not only all openings to that are hermetically sealed to you, but, in addition, there are obstructions put at every step.

It is only the Vedic religion which considers ways and means and lays down rules for the fourfold attainment of man, comprising Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. 
Buddha ruined us, and so did Christ ruin Greece and Rome

Then, in due course of time, fortunately, the Europeans became Protestants, shook off the teachings of Christ as represented by Papal authority, and heaved a sigh of relief. 
In India, Kumarila again brought into currency the 
Karma-marga, the way of Karma only, and 
Shankara and Ramanuja firmly re-established the Eternal Vedic religion, harmonising and balancing in due proportions Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha.

 - Swami Vivekananda, 
   The East and The West

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Renunciation - The Banner of India

Renunciation, that is the flag, the banner of India, floating over the world, the one undying thought which India sends again and again as a warning to dying races, as a warning to all tyranny, as a warning to wickedness in the world. 

Ay, Hindus, let not your hold of that banner go. Hold it aloft. Even if you are weak and cannot renounce, do not lower the ideal. 
Say, "I am weak and cannot renounce the world", but do not try to be hypocrites, torturing texts, and making specious arguments, and trying to throw dust in the eyes of people who are ignorant. 
Do not do that, but own you are weak. For the idea is great, that of renunciation. 

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

Friday, November 16, 2018

Hinduism - The Universal Religion

[The ancient Indian] sages left it open to all Indian people to worship such great personages, such Incarnations.
 Nay, the greatest of these Incarnations goes further: 
"Wherever an extraordinary spiritual power is manifested by external man, know that I am there; it is from Me that that manifestation comes." 

That leaves the door open for the Hindu to worship the Incarnations of all the countries in the world. The Hindu can worship any sage and any saint from any country whatsoever, and as a fact we know that we go and worship many times in the churches of the Christians, and many, many times in the Mohammedan mosques, and that is good.

 Why not? Ours, as I have said, is the universal religion. 

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

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Strength - Message of the Upanishads

Strength, strength is what the Upanishads speak to me from every page. 
This is the one great thing to remember, it has been the one great lesson I have been taught in my life; strength, it says, strength, O man, be not weak.

 Are there no human weaknesses?-- says man. 
There are, say the Upanishads, but will more weakness heal them, would you try to wash dirt with dirt? Will sin cure sin, weakness cure weakness? 
Strength, O man, strength, say the Upanishads, stand up and be strong. 
Ay, it is the only literature in the world where you find the word "Abhih", "fearless", used again and again; in no other scripture in the world is this adjective applied either to God or to man. Abhih, fearless! 
      - Swami Vivekananda, 
         Address at Madras, 
         Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Conquer the World with Spirituality

Everything looks propitious, and Indian thought, philosophical and spiritual, must once more go over and conquer the world. 
The problem before us, therefore, is assuming larger proportions every day. It is not only that we must revive our own country -- that is a small matter; I am an imaginative man -- and my idea is the conquest of the whole world by the Hindu race. … …

Up, India, and conquer the world with your spirituality! 
Ay, as has been declared on this soil first, love must conquer hatred, hatred cannot conquer itself. 
Materialism and all its miseries can never be conquered by materialism. Armies when they attempt to conquer armies only multiply and make brutes of humanity. 
Spirituality must conquer the West. 

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

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Upanishads - The Authority

Truly has it been said of the Upanishads by Ramanuja that they form the head, the shoulders, the crest of the Vedas, and surely enough the Upanishads have become the Bible of modern India
The Hindus have the greatest respect for the Karma Kanda of the Vedas, but, for all practical purposes, we know that for ages by Shruti has been meant the Upanishads, and the Upanishads alone. 

We know that all our great philosophers, whether Vyasa, Patanjali, or Gautama, and even the father of all philosophy, the great Kapila himself, whenever they wanted an authority for what they wrote, every one of them found it in the Upanishads, and nowhere else, for therein are the truths that remain for ever.

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

Saturday, November 10, 2018

If You Are a Hindu

Mark me, then and then alone you are a Hindu when the very name sends through you a galvanic shock of strength. 
Then and then alone you are a Hindu when every man who bears the name, from any country, speaking our language or any other language, becomes at once the nearest and the dearest to you. 
Then and then alone you are a Hindu when the distress of anyone bearing that name comes to your heart and makes you feel as if your own son were in distress. 
Then and then alone you are a Hindu when you will be ready to bear everything for them, like the great example I have quoted at the beginning of this lecture, of your great Guru Govind Singh. … … 

Mark me, every one of you will have to be a Govind Singh, if you want to do good to your country. You may see thousands of defects in your countrymen, but mark their Hindu blood. They are the first Gods you will have to worship even if they do everything to hurt you, even if everyone of them send out a curse to you, you send out to them words of love. 

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

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Immortal India

This is the ancient land where wisdom made its home before it went into any other country, the same India whose influx of spirituality is represented, as it were, on the material plane, by rolling rivers like oceans, where the eternal Himalayas, rising tier above tier with their snowcaps, looks as it were into the very mysteries of heaven. 
Here is the same India whose soil has been trodden by the feet of the greatest sages that ever lived. Here first sprang up inquiries into the nature of man and into the internal world. Here first arose the doctrines of the immortality of the soul, the existence of a supervising God, an immanent God in nature and in man, and here the highest ideals of religion and philosophy have attained their culminating points. 

This is the land from whence, like tidal waves, spirituality and philosophy have again and again rushed out and deluged the world, and this is the land from whence once more such tides must proceed in order to bring life and vigour into the decaying races of mankind. 
It is the same India which has withstood the shocks of centuries, of hundreds of foreign invasions, of hundreds of upheavals of manners and customs. 
It is the same land which stands firmer than any rock in the world, with its undying vigour, indestructible life. 
Its life is of the same nature as the soul, without beginning and without end, immortal; and we are the children of such a country.

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

Friday, November 2, 2018

Speaking and Not Doing - National Habit!

In spite of the greatness of the Upanishads, in spite of our boasted ancestry of sages, compared to many other races, 
I must tell you that we are weak, very weak. 
First of all is our physical weakness. That physical weakness is the cause of at least one-third of our miseries. 

We are lazy, we cannot work; we cannot combine, we do not love each other; we are intensely selfish, not three of us can come together without hating each other, without being jealous of each other. 
That is the state in which we are -- hopelessly disorganised mobs, immensely selfish, fighting each other for centuries as to whether a certain mark is to be put on our forehead this way or that way, writing volumes and volumes upon such momentous questions as to whether the look of a man spoils my food or not! 
This we have been doing for the past few centuries. 

We cannot expect anything high from a race whose whole brain energy has been occupied in such wonderfully beautiful problems and researches! 
And are we not ashamed of ourselves? 
Ay, sometimes we are; but though we think these things frivolous, we cannot give them up. We speak of many things parrot-like, but never do them; speaking and not doing has become a habit with us. 

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