Friday, December 14, 2018

Lack of Faith

We have lost faith. Would you believe me, we have less faith than the Englishman and woman -- a thousand times less faith! 
These are plain words; but I say these, I cannot help it. 
Don't you see how Englishmen and women, when they catch our ideals, become mad as it were; and although they are the ruling class, they come to India to preach our own religion notwithstanding the jeers and ridicule of their own countrymen? 

How many of you could do that? And why cannot you do that? 
Do you not know it? You know more than they do; you are more wise than is good for you, that is your difficulty! 
Simply because your blood is only like water, your brain is sloughing, your body is weak! You must change the body. Physical weakness is the cause and nothing else. 

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sin for Householders

Heroes only enjoy the world. 
Show your heroism; apply, according to circumstances, the fourfold political maxims of conciliation, bribery, sowing dissensions, and open war, to win over your adversary and enjoy the world -- then you will be Dharmika (righteous). 
Otherwise, you live a disgraceful life if you pocket your insults when you are kicked and trodden down by anyone who takes it into his head to do so; 
your life is a veritable hell here, and so is the life hereafter. 

This is what the Shastras say. 
Do your Svadharma -- this is truth, the truth of truths. 
This is my advice to you, my beloved co-religionists. 
Of course, do not do any wrong, do not injure or tyrannise over anyone, but try to do good to others as much as you can. 
But passively to submit to wrong done by others is a sin -- with the householder. 

                    - Swami Vivekananda, 
                        The East and The West 

Monday, December 10, 2018

National Ship for Souls!

Why should you feel ashamed to take the name of Hindu, which is your greatest and most glorious possession? 

This national ship of ours, ye children of the Immortals, my countrymen, has been plying for ages, carrying civilisation and enriching the whole world with its inestimable treasures. 
For scores of shining centuries this national ship of ours has been ferrying across the ocean of life, and has taken millions of souls to the other shore, beyond all misery. 
But today it may have sprung a leak and got damaged, through your own fault or whatever cause it matters not. 

What would you, who have placed yourselves in it, do now? Would you go about cursing it and quarrelling among yourselves! Would you not all unite together and put your best efforts to stop the holes? 
Let us all gladly give our hearts' blood to do this; and if we fail in the attempt, let us all sink and die together, with blessings and not curses on our lips.  

             - Swami Vivekananda, 
                At Dacca, Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Friday, December 7, 2018

Riddle of Virtue and Vice

The scriptures of different religions point out different means to attain the ideals of universal love, freedom, manliness, and selfless benevolence. 
Every religious sect is generally at variance as to its idea of what is virtue and what is vice, and fights with others over the means of attaining virtue and eschewing vice, instead of aiming at realizing the end. 

Every means is helpful more or less, and the Gita (XVIII. 48) says, "Every undertaking is attended with defects as fire with smoke"; so the means will no doubt appear more or less defective. 
But as we are to attain the highest virtue through the means laid down in our respective scriptures, we should try our best to follow them. Moreover, they should be tempered with reason and discrimination. 
Thus, as we progress, the riddle of virtue and vice will be solved by itself. 

              - Swami Vivekananda, 
                 Sayings and Utterances

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Effect of Bauddhas on India

The aims of the Buddhistic and the Vedic religions are the same, but the means adopted by the Buddhistic are not right. 
If the Buddhistic means were correct, then why have we been thus hopelessly lost and ruined? It will not do to say that the efflux of time has naturally wrought this. Can time work, transgressing the laws of cause and effect?

Therefore, though the aims are the same, the Bauddhas for want of right means have degraded India. 

Perhaps my Bauddha brothers will be offended at this remark, and fret and fume; but there's no help for it; the truth ought to be told, and I do not care for the result. 

            - Swami Vivekananda, 
              The East and The West 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Universe - A False Attempt!

Can you thus limit Him who is the substance of all knowledge, Him who is the Sakshi, the witness, without whom you cannot have any knowledge, Him who has no qualities, who is the Witness of the whole universe, the Witness in our own souls? 
How can you know Him? 
By what means can you bind Him up? 

Everything, the whole universe, is such a false attempt. 
This infinite Atman is, as it were, trying to see His own face, and all, from the lowest animals to the highest of gods, are like so many mirrors to reflect Himself in, and He is taking up still others, finding them insufficient, until in the human body He comes to know that it is the finite of the finite, 
all is finite, there cannot be any expression of the Infinite in the finite. 
Then comes the retrograde march, and this is what is called renunciation, Vairagya. Back from the senses, back! 

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