Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Bengali Shastras

The Bengali Shastras are the Vamachara Tantras. 
They are published by the cart-load, and you poison the minds of your children with them instead of teaching them your Shrutis. 

Fathers of Calcutta, do you not feel ashamed that such horrible stuff as these Vamachara Tantras, with translations too, should be put into the hands of your boys and girls, and their minds poisoned, and that they should be brought up with the idea that these are the Shastras of the Hindus? 

If you are ashamed, take them away from your children, and let them read the true Shastras, the Vedas, the Gita, the Upanishads. 

           - Swami Vivekananda, 
             Address at Calcutta (1897), 
             Lectures From Colombo to Almora

[Note: In 19th Century Bengal this problem of Vamachara texts and practices was rampant.]

Monday, January 14, 2019

What Makes Men Miserable?

What makes men miserable? 
Because they are slaves, bound by laws, puppets in the hand of nature, tumbled about like playthings. 
We are continually taking care of this body that anything can knock down; and so we are living in a constant state of fear. 

… …

How are we to free ourselves from this is the question.
Utilitarians say, "Don't talk of God and hereafter; we don't know anything of these things, let us live happily in this world." 
I would be the first to do so if we could, but the world will not allow us. As long as you are a slave of nature, how can you?
The more you struggle, the more enveloped you become. 

                         - Swami Vivekananda, 
                          Addresses on Bhakti-Yoga, New York

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Slow and Silent Work

To many, Indian thought, Indian manners, Indian customs, Indian philosophy, Indian literature are repulsive at the first sight; but let them persevere, let them read, let them become familiar with the great principles underlying these ideas, and it is ninety-nine to one that the charm will come over them, and fascination will be the result. 

Slow and silent, as the gentle dew that falls in the morning, unseen and unheard yet producing a most tremendous result, has been the work of the calm, patient, all-suffering spiritual race upon the world of thought.  

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Eternal Fountain of Spirituality

There is an eternal fountain of spirituality in our scriptures, and nowhere on earth, except in this land of renunciation, do we find such noble examples of practical spirituality. 
I have had a little experience of the world. Believe me, there is much talking in other lands; but the practical man of religion, who has carried it into his life, is here and here alone. 

Talking is not religion; parrots may talk, machines may talk nowadays. But show me the life of renunciation, of spirituality, of all-suffering, of love infinite. 
This kind of life indicates a spiritual man. 

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

Friday, January 4, 2019

Necessity of Religion

Religions and sects are not the work of hypocrites and wicked people who invented all these to get a little money, as some of our modern men want to think. 
However reasonable that explanation may seem, it is not true, and they were not invented that way at all. 

They are the outcome of the necessity of the human soul. They are all here to satisfy the hankering and thirst of different classes of human minds, and you need not preach against them. 
The day when that necessity will cease, they will vanish along with the cessation of that necessity; and so long as that cremains, they must be there in spite of your preaching, in spite of your criticism. 

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Hinduism - 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