INDIA GREAT AND FREE SERIES – 1 VANDE MATARAM

“VANDE MATARAM” is a mantra, it is not a slogan – a Mantra which relates our soul to our living deity – Bharat Mata.

“HOME IS INDIA – If there is one place where all the dreams of living men have found a home, it is India. – Romain Rolland.”

“India is not the earth, rivers and mountains of this land,” says the mother of Aurobindo Ashram, “neither is it a collective name for the inhabitants of this country. India is a living being… India is a Goddess. If she likes she can manifest in a human form”.

Just as the individual has a psychic being, which is his true self governing his destiny, so also each nation too has its psychic being which is its true self, moulding its destiny from behind.  It is the soul of the country. It is the natural genius of the nation, the fountain head of all that is beautiful, noble, great and generous in the life of a country. True patriots feel its presence as a tangible reality. It is this which in India has been made into a divine being. Those who truly love our country call it “Bharat Mata” mother India and it is to her that they daily offer a prayer for the welfare of our country. It is she who symbolizes and incarnates the true ideal of the country and its true mission in the world.

The ordinary idea of the nation consists of its geographical and territorial aspect. There is the passion for the land in which we dwell, ‘the land of our fathers’, “the land of our birth (pitrubhoomi, Janma bhoomi). It is a strong and passionate emotion, it has been behind historic efforts and sacrifices. But to see and adore our country as a land of our birth and life is not the same as to see it as a living being, a living being. For us to see our country as a mother – Goddess is to see Bharat – Mata”. This vision is possible to us only if we go deep within instead of being confined to surface.

It was this saintly-vision – a seer vision which was vouchsafed to Bankim Chandra in the 19th century. It was this vision of a “Rishi” that made him the giver of this Mantra “Vande Mataram” in the tradition of a vedic Rishi.

This Mantra “Vande Mataram” gave a new spirit, a new life, a new power to the nation.

Our nation of millions, then in deep slumber, was awakened like a lion. It rose to break the iron chains of British rule. But once the independence was achieved, the “Mantra of Vande Mataram” was gradually pushed to the back ground. There was an onrush of western materialism. The geographical and territorial, the country of rich rivers and minerals came to the fore. “Bharat Mata” Mother India was asked to be content with political freedom obtained by the warriors.

Here the Indian politicians did what any other materialistic country would have done. But this was not expected of a country with India’s spiritual heritage.

Maharshi Sri Aurobindo wrote in 1908:

“Man is of a less terrestrial (materialistic) mould. He has an element of the divine which the politician ignores. The practical politician looks to the position at the moment and imagines that he has taken everything into consideration. He has indeed studied the surface and the immediate surroundings, but he has missed what lies beyond material vision. He has left the divine (in him), the incalculable in man, that element which upsets the calculations of the schemer and disconcerts the wisdom of the diplomat”. And in post- independence India that is what has happened. Sri Aurobindo continues:

“Given the Brain- power, the man-power and the natural resources of India, any other materialistic nation would have developed much more of material prosperity than what has been in our country. The neglect of spiritual values, the erosion of dharma, ethics and morality has brought unbridled selfishness, deformation and corruption in all walks of life”.

This happened in all walks of life to such an extent that even the material progress has not taken place as has been expected.

The slogans that came to us after 1947 are many. The slogans of big dams and big industries, the slogans of political parties have remained as mere slogans only. In this plethora of slogans the mantra of “Vande Mataram” that stirred the soul of the masses to win freedom has been ignored. It is that mantra if invoked again devotedly can again touch the chords of the hearts of the people of our country. It is that mantra which relates us to our living Goddess “Bharat Mata”. It asks us to be in contact with our soul and the soul of the country. It exhorts us to adore our country and work for her greatness and prosperity with the simplicity of a child for.

On the momentous 15th August1947, at Pondicherry the mother invoked “Bharat Mata”,

“O our Mother, O Soul of India, Mother

Who has never forsaken thy children

Even in the days of darkest depression,

Even when they turned away from

Thy voice, served other masters and

Denied thee, now when they have arisen

And the light is on thy face in the dawn

of thy liberation, in this great hour

we salute thee”.

“Guide us so that the horizon of freedom

Opening before us may be also a

Horizon of true life in the community

Of the nations”.

“Guide us so that we may be always

On the side of great ideals and show

To men thy true visage, as a leader

In the ways of the spirit and friend

And helper of all these peoples”.

The mantra of ‘Vande Mataram’ has to be restored to the people of our country; Bharat Mata has to be invoked by the people of our country for guidance. By the worship of lesser Godheads of money and power- hunting India is not going to be great .With a sincere heart, with true adoration, we have to look to Mother India, we have to work for the high ideals set by her, we have to endeavor for the peaks of which are India’s destiny.

Why America Bombed Japan twice in the Second World War

Why America bombed Japan twice in second world war? Is it out of humanitarian compulsion  or is it choosing a lesser evil of dropping two atom bombs. Does America owe an apology to the world?  How far is America justified in bombing civilian targets? (The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). . Here are some facts.  Judge for yourself.   This article is written on the occasion of Theodore Van Kirk, the last surviving member of the crew of that  bomber that dropped an atomic Bomb on Hiroshima died on July 30th  2014.

69 years ago America bombed an atomic Bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing approximately 1,35,000 Japanese citizens. After the surrender of Germany in  1945 America unleashed  its full naval force for the defeat of Japan.  Towrds the end of July 1945 the American Naval forces landed in Okinawa, the outlying Japanese ice land in the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese put up an unprecedented  resistence on the ground . About 80% of the 3lakh people of the Island died in fighting. His slaughter was terrible. Thousands of American soldiers also died.

Former  American president Harry Truman was faced with  a dilemma.  If the American forces went on fighting to the Japanese mainland  they would encounter as much fierce resistance as in Okinawa . Millions of Japanese men and women will fight and die when the Americans land upon the Japanese mainland.  Lakhs  of American soldiers would also die as the Japanese were determined to die rather than surrender to the Americans.

If this fight with Japan was taken to the finish by both Japanese and  Americans, the number of soldiers that die on both the sides could be too terrible  and man kind would be shocked. In those circumstances President Truman has to decide as to how to end the war with least number of deaths. Should we use the Atom Bomb?  It was with a heavy conscience and over the opposition of Einstein the greatest scientist of that time that Truman decided  and  dropped  the first Atom Bomb on Hiroshima. A few hundred thousand Japanese died. But Japan did not surrender. Truman had to drop the second Bomb over Nagasaki. A few more lakhs of Japanese died. The destruction was ruthless. And finally Japan surrendered.  

What was the judgment of the world? Was Truman right in the use of Atom Bombs and putting an end to the second world war avoiding the slaughter of many more millions of civilians and soldiers.  The world by and large approved Truman’s decision as he chose a lesser evil.

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The Tale of Two Capital Cities

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Girivrajapur is the capital of Magadha Empire and Pataliputra is the capital of Gupta Empire. They were identified as ONE by the British historians purposely.
Wrong identification of Chandra Gupta Maurya of Maurya Dynasty with Gupta Chandra Gupta of Gupta Dynasty by the British Historians. In the same way Pataliputra the Capital of Maurya and Nanda Dynasties of Magadha Empire which was wrong. In fact It was Girvrajapur which was the Capital of Magadha Empire ruled by Chandra Gupta Maurya and Nanda Dynasties. Pataliputra was the Capital of Gupta Chandra Gupta Gupta Dynasty. On account of this confusion of the mistaken identity of Girivrajapur and Pataliputra which was actually Two different Capital Cities of Two different Dynasties.

The Magadha Kingdom was established 6000 yrs ago and it was ruled with Grivrajapur as the capital city by eight Maurya Dynasties commencing with barhadradha king and ending with Andhra Dynasty alone for 600 years. All the puranas ended the narration of the history of Magadha Kingdom with Andhra Dynasty. It was mentioned nowhere in the puranas that Pataliputra was their capital. It was only the Girivrajapur as the capital as the Capital City that all the eight Maurya Dynasties that ruled the Magadha Kingdom.

According to the Puranas the last Andhra Kings of Magadha empire was Chadra Sri and his minor son Pulaloman III. King Chandragupta of Gupta Dynasty killed them in a war and annexed a portion of Magadha to his own Territory which he included pataliputra. He could not get mastery over the whole of Magadha empire. So he left Girivrajapur and made Pataliputra as the capitalcity. Chandra Gupta Maurya and his successors had Girivrajapur as their Capital and never Patalipoutra. The puranas also uniformly mentioned Girivrajapur as the capital Magadha Empire and mentioned Pataliputra nowhere.

The puranas say the Twelve generations before Mahabharata war, Barhadradha, the Son of Uparichara Vasu founded the Magadha Empire with Girivrajapur as his Capital. Twenty Two kings of his Dynasty ruled over the empire with Girivrajapur as the Capital for 1000 years. Next to them Pradyota Dynasty took over the Empire. After that the Sisunaga Dynasty from Kasi ruled over the Empire Three hundred and sixty years. The last Sisunaga King Maha Nandi and his Son Maha Padma Nanda took over . He had been the originator of Nanda Dynasty. The Nanda Dynasty which included Maha Padma Nanda and his sons ruled for a century from Girivrajapur. Vishnu Gupta alias Chanakya took up the cause of Chandra Gupta the son of Mura, the second wife of Maha Padma Nanda. Chanakya dethroned the King Maha Padma Nanda and his eight Sons and made Chandra Gupta Maurya the Emperor of Magadha with Girivrajapur as his Capital. After the Maurya Dynasty came the Sunga Dynasty, Kanwa Dynasty and Andhra Dynasty. Gupta Chandra Gupta killed the Andhra Emperor Chandra Sri and annexed a portion of Magadha including Pataliputra. Later on Magadha Empire divided into small kingdoms and the city of Girivrajapur lost its importance.

It was fabricated by British historians that during Chandra Gupta’s reign(of Gupta Dynasty) that Alexander came during the period of 326 and 323 B.C. As there was a mutiny in the army of Alexander there was no possibility of Chandra Gupta encountering Alexander and the distance between Pataliputra and Punjab is more than 2000 miles. There was no historical evidence to prove that Alexander marched all the way with his army for about two thousand miles to attack Chandra Gupta as he was defeated by Purushotham, the King of Punjab, and Alexander was mortally wounded and died in Bharat and his army dissolved into small groups to escape through the sea route and land route back to Macedonia. (Please refer my article “ Alexander the Invader”) .

Here also the British historians wrongly identified Chandra Gupta Maurya who ruled in the year 1534 B.C. with Gupta Chandra Gupta who ruled during the period of 323 – 326 B.C. as there was a difference of 1208 years between their rules. Samudra Gupta encountered Seluces and defeated him. Seluces gave Samudra Gupta his territory extending from Indus to Persia. He also gave his daughter in marriage and entered into an alliance with him. He sent his embassadors to Pataliputra like Megasthenes . Pataliputra developed as Capital of Gupta empire and Megasthanes described it i8n glorious terms. Hence the historical fact that Megasthenes resided at Pataliputhra and that he was at the court of Gupta kings and not in the court of Maurya Chandra Gupta. This historical absurdity must be set right .

These mistaken identities gave rise to many errors and blunders. There was a clear attempt by British historians and a plot to destroy a history of 1208 years beween Maurya Dynasty and Gupta Dynasty. They sowed the seeds of dis belief and distrust concerning the authenticity and veracity of purana’s, Indian Era’s and Buddhist records. The modern historians should rectify these errors and redeem past errors and it is never too late to correct these historical blunders and others.

Vivekananda on the Reincarnation of the Soul

Vivekananda on the Reincarnation of the Soul

                   (Part of the Series of Lectures Delivered in New York 26th Jan 1896)

                                                            ( an abridged version )

(Paper Presented  in Vivekananda Study Circle, Madras e.  Chapter to Commemorate his 150th Birthday.)

                 By

                                                              Dr.K.M.Rao  Ph.D.,

                                                                   State President

                                          Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti Tamilnadu

                   A-13, ‘C’ Block, Gulmohar Apts, 15B, South Boag Road

                 T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017Ph:  o44 – 24330150.

          Email: sujataraobjp@yahoo.com . Blog: http: // kmrao wordpress.com.

 

Sometimes people get frightened at idea, and superstition is so strong that thinking men even believe that they are the outcome of nothing, and then, with the grandest logic, try to deduce the theory that although they have come out of zero, they will be eternal after wards. Those that come out of zero will certainly have to go back to zero. Neither you, nor g nor any one present, has come out of zero, nor will go back to zero. We have been existing eternally, and will exist, and there is no power under the sun or above the sun which can undo your or my existence or send us back to zero. Now this idea of reincarnation is not only nota frightening idea, but is most essential for the moral will-being of the human race. It is the only logical conclusion that thought full men can arrive at. It you are going to exist in eternity hereafter, it must be that you have existed through eternity in the past: it cannot be otherwise. I will try to answer a few objections that are generally brought against the theory… The first objection is, why do we not remember our past? Do we remember all our past in this life? How many of you remember your early childhood, and if upon memory depends your existence, then this argument proves that you did not exist as babies, because you do not remember your babyhood. It is simply unmitigated nonsense to say that our existence depends on our remembering it why should we remember the past. That brain is gone, broken into pieces, and a new brain has been manufactured. What has come to this brain is the resultant, the sum total of the impressions acquired in our past, with which the mind has come to inhabit the new body.

                     I, as I stand here, am the effect, the result, of all the infinite past which is tacked on to me. And why is it necessary for me to remember all the past? When a great ancient sage, seer or a prophet of old, who came face to face with the truth, says something, the modern men stand up and say, “Oh, he was a fool!” But just use another name, “Huxley says it, or Tyndall”; then it must be true, and they take it for granted. In place of ancient superstitions, they have erected modern superstitions,  in place of the old popes of religion they have installed modern popes of science. So we see that this objection as to memory is not valid, and that is about the only serious objection that is raised against theory. Although we have seen that it is not necessary for the theory that there shall be the memory of past lives, yet at the same time we are in a position to assert that there are instances which show that this memory does come, and that each one of us will get back this memory in that life in which he will become free. Then alone you will find that this world is but a dream, then alone you will realize in the soul of your soul that you are but actors and the world is a stage; then alone will the idea of non-attachment comes to you with the power of thunder; then all this thirst for enjoyment, this clinging on to life and this world will vanish for ever; then the mind will see clearly as daylight how many times all these existed for you, how many times you had fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, relatives and friends, wealth and power. They came and went. How many times you were on the topmost crest of the wave, and how many times you were down at the bottom of despair. When memory will bring all these to you, then alone you will stand as a hero and smile when the world frowns upon you. Then alone you stand up and say, “I care not for thee even, O Death; what terror has thou for me?” This will come to all.

                             Are there any arguments, any rational proofs for this reincarnation of the soul? So far we have been giving the negative side, showing that the opposite arguments to disprove it are not valid. Are there any positive proofs? There are; and most valid ones, too. No other theory  except that of reincarnation accounts for the wide divergence that we find between man and man in their powers to acquire knowledge. First, let us consider the process by means of which knowledge is acquired. Suppose I go into the street and see a dog. How do I know it is a dog? I refer it to my mind, and in my mind are groups of all- my past experiences, arranged and pigeon-holed, as it were. As soon as a new impression comes, I take it up and refer it to some of the old pigeon-holes, and as soon as I find a group of the same impressions already existing, I place it in that group, and I am satisfied. I know it is a dog, because it coincides with the impressions already there. When I do not find the cognates of the new experience inside, I become dissatisfied, this state of the mind is called “ignorance” but, when, finding the cognates of an impression already existing, we become satisfied, this is called “knowledge.” When one apple fell, man became dissatisfied. Then gradually they found out the group. What was the group they found? That all apples fell, so they called it “gravitation.” Now we see that without a fund of already existing experience, any new experience would be impossible, for there would be nothing to which to refer the new impression. So, if, as some of the European philosophers think, a child came into the world with what they call “Tabula Rasa” such a child would never attain to any degree of intellectual power, because he would have nothing to which to refer his new experiences. We see that the power of acquiring knowledge varies in each individual and this shows that each one of us has come with his own fund of knowledge. Knowledge can only be got in one Way, the Way of experience; there is no other way to know. If we have not experienced it in this life, we must have experienced it in other lives. How is it that the fear of death is everywhere? A little chicken is just out of an egg and an eagle comes and the chicken flies in fear to its mother. There is an old explanation (I should hardly dignify it by such a name). it is called instinct. What make that little chicken just out of the egg afraid to die? How is it that as soon as a duckling hatched by a hen comes near water, it jumps into it and swims? It never swam before, nor saw anything swim. People call it instinct. It is a big word, but it leaves us where we were before. Let us study the phenomenon of instinct. A child begins to play on the piano. At first she must pay attention to every key she is fingering and as she goes on and on for months and years, the playing becomes almost involuntary, instinctive- what was first done with conscious will does not require later on an effort of the will. This is not yet a complete proof. One half remains, and that is that almost all the actions which are now instinctive can be brought under the control of will. Each muscle of the body can be brought under control. This is perfectly well known. So the proof is complete by this double method, that what we now call instinct is degeneration of voluntary actions; therefore, if the analogy applies to the whole of creation, if all nature is uniform, then what is instinct in lower animals, as well as in men, must be the degeneration of will.

                              Applying the law we dwelt upon under macrocosm, that each involution presupposes an evolution, and each evolution an involution, we see that instinct is involved reason. What we call instinct in men or animals must therefore be involved, degenerated, voluntary actions, and voluntary actions are impossible without experience. Experience started that knowledge, and that knowledge is there. The fear of death, the duckling taking to the water and all involuntary actions in the human being which have become instinctive, are the results of past experiences. So far we have proceeded very clearly and so far the latest science is with us. But here comes one more difficulty. The latest scientific men are coming back to the ancient sages, and far as they have done so, there is perfect agreement. They admit that each man and each animal is born with a fund of experience, and that all these actions in the mind are the result of past experience. “But what” they ask, “is the use of saying that that experience belongs to the soul? Why not say it belongs to the body, and the body alone? Why not say it is hereditary transmission?” This is the last question. Why not say that all the experience with which I am born is the resultant effect of all the past experience of my ancestors? The sum total of the experience from the little protoplasm up to the highest human being is in me, but it has come from body to body in the course of hereditary transmission. Where will the difficult be? This Question is very nice, and we admit some part of this hereditary transmission. How far? As far as furnishing the material. We, by our past actions, conform ourselves to a certain birth in a certain body, and the only suitable material for that body comes from the parents who have made themselves fit to have that soul as their offspring.

          The simple hereditary theory takes for granted the most astonishing proposition without any proof, that mental experience can be recorded in matters, that mental experience can be involved in matter. When I look at you, in the lake of my mind there is a wave. That wave subsides, but remains in fine form, as an impression. We understand a physical impression remaining in the body. But what proof is there for assuming that the mental impression can remain in the body, since the body goes to pieces? What carries it? Even granting it were possible for each mental impression to remain in the body, that every impression, beginning from the first man down to my father, was in my father’s body, how could it be transmitted to me?  Through the bio plasmic cell ? How could that be? Because the  father’s  body does not come to the child “in toto”.  The same parents may have a number of children; then, from this theory of hereditary transmission, where the impression and the impressed (that is to say, material) are one, it rigorously follows that by the birth of every child the parents must lose a part of their own impressions, or if the parents should transmit the whole of their impressions, then, after the birth of the first child, their minds would be a vacuum.

                             Again, if in the bio plasmic cell the infinite amount of impressions from all time has entered, where and how is it? This is a most impossible position, and until these physiologists can prove how and where those impressions live in that cell, and what they mean by a mental impression sleeping in the physical cell, their position cannot taken for granted. So far it is clear then, that this impression is in the mind, that the mind comes to toke its birth and rebirth, and uses the material which is most proper for it, and that the mind which has made itself fit for only a particular kind of body will have to wait until it gets that material. This we understand. The theory then comes to this, that there is hereditary transmission so far as furnishing the material to the soul is concerned. But the soul migrates and manufactures body after body and each thought we think, and each deed we do, is stored in it in fine forms, ready to spring up again and take a new shape. When I look at you a wave rises in my mind. It dive down, as it were, and becomes finer and finer, but it does not die. It is ready to start up again as a wave in the shape of memory. So all these impressions are in my mind, and when I die the resultant force of them will be upon me. A ball is here, and each one of us takes a mallet in his hands and strikes the ball from all sides; the ball goes from point to point in the room, and when it reaches the door it flies out. What does it carry out with it? The resultant of all  these blows. That will give it its direction. So what directs the soul when the body dies? The resultant, the sum total of all the works it has done, of the thoughts it has thought. If the resultant is such that it has to manufacture a new body for further experience, it will go to those parents who are ready to supply it with suitable material for that body. Thus from body to body it will go, sometimes to a heaven, and back again to earth, becoming man, or some lower animal. This way it will go on until it has finished its experience, and completed the cycle. It then knows its own nature, knows what it is, and ignorance vanishes, its powers become manifest, it becomes perfect; no more is there any necessity for the soul to work through physical bodies, nor is there any necessity for it to work through finer, or mental bodies. It shines in its own light, and is free, no more to be born, no more to die

                               We will not go now into the particulars of this. But I will bring before you one more point with regard to this theory of reincarnation. It is the theory that advances the freedom of the human soul. It is the one theory that does not lay the blame of all our weakness upon somebody else, which is a common human fallacy. We do not look at our own faults; the eyes do not see themselves, they seethe eyes of everybody else. We human beings are very slow to recognize our own weakness, our own faults, so long as we can lay the blame upon somebody else. Men in general lay all the blame of life on their fellow- men, or, failing that, on God, or they conjure up a ghost, and say it is fate. Where is fate, and who is fate? We reap what we  sow.  We are the makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none else has the praise. The wind is blowing; those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not catch the wind. Is that the fault of the wind? Is it the fault of the merciful father, whose wind of mercy is blowing without ceasing, day and night whose mercy knows no decay, is it His fault that some of us are happy and some unhappy? We make our own destiny. His sun shines for the weak as well as for the strong. His wind blows for the saint and sinner alike. He is the lord of all, the father of all, merciful, and impartial. Do you mean to say that He, the lord of creation, looks upon the petty things of our life in the same light as we do? What a degenerate idea of God that would be! We are like little puppies, making life and death struggles here, and foolishly thinking that even God Himself will take as seriously as we do. He knows what the puppies’ play means. Our attempts to lay the blame on Him, making Him the punisher, and the re warder, are only foolish. He neither punishes, nor rewards any. His infinite mercy is upon every one, at all times, in all places, under all conditions, unfailing, unswerving. Upon us depends how we use it. Upon us depends how we utilize it. Blame neither man, nor God, nor any one in the world. When you find your selves suffering, blame your selves, and try to do better.

                       This is the only solution of the problem. Those that blame others… are generally miserable with helpless brains; they have brought them selves to that pass through their own mistakes and blame others, but way. This attempt to throw the blame up on others only weakens them the more. Therefore blame none for your own faults, stand upon your own feat, and take the whole responsibility upon your selves. Say, “This misery that I am suffering is my own doing and that very thing proves that it will have to be undone by me alone”. That which I created I can demolish; that which created by some one else I shall never be able to destroy. There fore stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succor you want is within your selves. Therefore, make your future. “Let the dead past bury its dead”. The infinite future is before you, and you must always remember, that each word, thought, and deed, lays up a store for you and that as the bad thoughts and bad works are reads to spring upon you like tigers, so also there is the inspiring hope that the good thoughts and good deeds are reads with the power of a hundred thousand angels to defend you always and for ever.                                   

Vivekananda on Cosmology – a Multiple Universe perspective

Vivekananda on Cosmology – a Multiple Universe perspective

                              Vivekananda’s Syncretic View of Microcosm and Macrocosm

(A paper presented at vivekananda study circle madras e chapter to commemorate his 150th Birthday)

(Part of series of Lectures Delivered at Los Angeles California., 5th January, 1900) Abridged Version

   By

                                                              Dr.K.M.Rao  Ph.D.,

                                                                   State President

Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti Tamilnadu

A-13, ‘C’ Block, Gulmohar Apts, 15B, South Boag Road

T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017Ph:  o44 – 24330150.

Email: sujataraobjp@yahoo.com . Blog: http: // kmrao wordpress.com.

 

There are two worlds, the microcosm and the macrocosm- the internal and the external. We get truth from both of these by means of experience. The truth gathered from internal experience is psychology, metaphysics and religion; from external experience, the physical sciences. Now a perfect truth should be in harmony with experiences in both these worlds. The microcosm must bear testimony to the macrocosm, and the macrocosm to the microcosm; physical truth must have its counterpart in the internal world, and the internal world must have its verification out side. Yet, as a rule, we find that many of these truths are in conflict. The modern European nations are very strong in their research of external physical knowledge. On the other hand… the Orientals… are very strong in their researches of the internal… Real truth in any field of knowledge will not contradict itself; the truths internal are in harmony with truths external.

We all know the theories of the cosmos according to the modern astronomers and physicists… and how woefully they undermine the theology of Europe, how these scientific discoveries that are made act as a bomb thrown at its stronghold; and we know how theologicians have in all times attempted to put down these researches.

I want here to go over the psychological ideas of the Orientals about cosmology and all that pertains to it, and you will find how wonderfully they are in accordance with the latest discoveries of modern science; and where there is disharmony, you will find that it is modern science which lacks and not they. We all use the word nature. The old sankhya philosophers called it by two different names, prakriti, which is very much the same as the word nature, and the more scientific name, Avyakta, undifferentiated, from which everything proceeds, such as atoms, molecules, and forces, mind, thought intelligence. It is startling to find that the philosophers and metaphysicians of India stated ages ago that mind is material. What are our present materialists trying to do, but to show that mind is as much a product of nature as the body? And so is thought and, we shall find by and by intelligence also: all issue from that nature which is called ‘Avyakta’ the undifferentiated. The sankhyas define it as the ‘equilibrium’ of three forces, one of which is called sattva, another Rajas and the third tamas. Tamas, the lower force, is that of attraction: a little higher is rajas, that of repulsion: and the highest is the balance of these two sattva: so that when these two forces, attraction and repulsion are held in perfect control by the sattva there is no creation, on movement in the world. As soon as this equilibrium is lost, the balance is disturbed and one of these forces gets stronger than the other, motion sets in and creation begins. This state of things goes on cyclically, periodically. That is to say, there is a period of disturbance of the balance, when force begins to combine and recombine, and things project outwards. At the same time, everything has a tendency to go back to the primal state of equilibrium, and the time comes when the total annihilation of all manifestation is reached. Again, after a period, the whole thing is disturbed, projected outwards, and again it slowly goes down- like waves. Some of these philosophers hold that the whole universe quiets down for a period. Others hold that this Quieting down applies only to systems; that is to say, that while our system here, this solar system, will quiet down and go back into the undifferentiated state, millions of other systems will go the other way and will project outwards. I should rather favor the second opinion that this Quieting down is not simultaneous all over the multiple universes, and that in different galaxies and nebulae different things go on endlessly. But the principle remains the same, that all we see- that is, nature herself is progressing in successive rises and falls. The one stage, falling down, going back to balance, the perfect equilibrium is called pralaya, the end of a cycle. the projection and the pralaya of universes have been compared by theistical writers in India to the out breathing and inbreathing of God; God, as it were, breathes out the universe, and it comes into him again. When it quiets down, what becomes of the universe? It exists, only in finer forms, in the form of cause, as it is called in the sankhya philosophy. Philosophy, it does not get rid of causation, time and space; they are there, only it comes to very fine and minute forms. Supposing that this whole universe begins to shrink, till every one of us becomes just a little molecule, we should not feel the change at all, because everything relating to us would be shrinking at the same time. The whole thing goes down and again projects out, the cause brings out the effect and so it goes on.

What we call matter in modern times was called by the ancient psychologists as Bhutas-the external elements. There is one element which, according to them, is eternal; every other element is produced out of this one. It is called Akasha. It is some what similar to the idea of ether of the moderns, though not exactly similar. Along with this element, there is the primal energy called prana. Prana and akasha combine and recombine and form the elements out of them. Then at end of the kalpa everything subsides, and goes back to Akasha and prana. There is in the Rig-Veda, the oldest human writing in existence a beautiful passage describing creation, and it is most poetical-“when there was neither aught nor naught, when darkness was rolling over darkness, what existed?” and the answer is given, “it then existed without vibration”. This prana existed then, but there was no motion into; Anidavatam means “existed without vibration”. Vibration had stopped. Then when the kalpa begins, after an immense interval, the Anidavatam (unvibrating atom) commences to vibrate, and blow after blow is given by prana to Akasha. The atoms become condensed and as they are condensed different elements are formed. We generally find these things are very curiously translated; people do not go the philosophers or the commentators for their translation, and have not the brains to understand them themselves. A silly man reads three letters of Sanskrit and translates a whole book. They translate the elements as air, fire and so on; if they would go to the commentators, they would find they do not mean air or anything of the sort.

The Akasha acted upon by the repeated blows of prana, produces vayu or vibrations. This vayu vibrates, and the vibrations growing more and more rapid result in friction giving rise to heat, tejas. Then this heat ends in liquefaction, and then it condensed into gross matter; and it goes back in exactly the reverse way. The solid will be liquefied and will then be converted into a mass of heat, and that will slowly get back into motion; that motion will stop, and this Aalpa will be destroyed. Then again it will come back and again dissolve into ather. 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 can not live alone or act without a medium; when it is pure prana, it has the Akasha itself 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 prana you call in English life, the vital force; but you must not restrict it to the life of man at the same time you must not identify it with spirit, Atman. So this goes on. Creation cannot have either a beginning or an end; it is an eternal on-going.

… All gross things are the results of fine ones. Everything that is gross is composed of fine things which they call the Tanmatras, the fine particles. I smell a flower. To smell, something must come in contact with my nose; the flower is there, but I do not see it move towards me. That which comes from the flower and in contact with my nose is called the Tanmatra, fine molecules of that flower. So with heat, light and everything. These Tanmatras can again be subdivided into atoms. It is sufficient for our purpose to know that everything gross is composed of things that are very, very fine we first get the gross elements which we feel externally, and then come the fine elements with which the nose, eyes and ears come in contact. The eyes are only a secondary instrument, not the organ of vision. The organ of vision is the nerve-centre in the brain. Likewise the nose is an instrument, and there is an organ behind it. The senses are simply the external instruments. It may be said that these different organs, Indriyas, as they are called Sanskrit, are the real seats of perception.

It is necessary for the mind to be joined to an organ to perceive. There is a different organ for each different instrument. What are the organs made of? We see that the instruments- eyes, nose and ears- are made of gross materials. The organs are also made of matter. Just as the body is composed of gross materials, and manufactures prana into different gross forces, so the organs are composed of the fine elements, Akasha, Vayu, Tajas etc., and manufactures prana into finer forces of perception. The organs, the prana functions, the mind and the Buddhi combined, are called the finer body of man- the linga or sukshma sharira. The linga sharira has a real form because everything material must have a form.

The mind is called the manas, the chitta in vritti or vibrating, the unsettled state. If you throw a stone in a lake, first there will be vibration and then resistance. For moment the water will vibrate and then it will react on the stone. So when any impression comes on the chitta, it first vibrates a little. That is called the manas. The mind carries the impression farther in, and presents it to the determinative faculty, Buddhi, which reacts. Behind Buddhi is Ahamkara, egoism, the self- consciousness which says “I am”. Behind Ahamkara is Mahat, intelligence, the higest form of nature’s existence. Each one is the effect of the succeeding one. Behind intelligence is the self of man, purusha, the atman, the pure, perfect, who alone is the seer, and for whom is all this change.

Why does nature do all this? Nature is undergoing all these changes for the development of the soul; all this creation is for the benefit of the soul, so that it may be free. This immense book which we call the universe is stretched out before man so that he may read; and he discovers eventually that he is an omniscient and omnipotent being

A whole of the universe is built upon the same plan as a part of it; so just as I have a mind, there is a cosmic mind. As in the individual, so in the universal. There is the universal gross body; behind that a universal fine body; behind that, a universal mind; behind that a universal egoism or consciousness; and behind that a universal intelligence. And all this is in nature, the manifestation of nature, not out side it.

The Historic meeting of Vivekananda with Kranti veer Shyamji Krishna Varma

                      The Historic meeting of Vivekananda

                   with Kranti veer Shyamji Krishna Varma

                     at Ajmer in Rajastan in December 1891 –

             Vivekananda’s seismic undercurrents of Influence

                    on the life of Shyamji Krishna Varma –

                              an influence in   retrospect.

                                                By

                                                            Dr.K.M.Rao  Ph.D.,

                                                                 State President

                                                Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti Tamilnadu

A-13, ‘C’ Block, Gulmohar Apts, 15B, South Boag Road

T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017Ph:  o44 – 24330150.

  Email: sujataraobjp@yahoo.com . Blog: http: // kmrao wordpress.com.

        After  a little over two and a half months at Khetri, Rajastan, the Swami felt that he must go forth into the wide world again, unattached. He left Khetri towards the end of October, and went to Ajmer, where he stayed for about three weeks. First he stayed for three or four days with Har Bilas Sarda’s friend, Shyamji Krishna Varma. Mr. Sarda’s reminesences, relating to swami’s

Visit Ajmer in November and December 1891, run as follows:

            I met the Swami more than once at Mount Abu and again at Ajmer. I met swami Vivekananda four times. I went to mount Abu to stay with my friend Mukund Singh, who was staying at Mount Abu for the hot season. When I reached there, I found Swami Vivekananda staying with Mukund Singh. Mukund Singh was an Arya Samajist. I stayed with my friend for about ten days and we, Swamiji and I, were together there and talked about various subjects. I was about twenty one years old then and was impressed by Swami Vivekananda’s personality. He was a most delightful talker and was very well informed. We used to go out for our afternoon walks. After dinner the first day , Swami Vivekananda gave a song at Mukund Singh’s request. He sang in a most melodious tone, which gave me a great delight. I was charmed by his songs, and every day I begged him to sing one or two songs. His musical voice and his manner have left a lasting impression on me. We some times talked about Vedanta.  Swami Vivekananda’s talks on Vedanta greatly interested me. His views on various subjects were most welcome to me, as they were very patriotic. He was full of love motherland and Hindu culture. The time I passed in his company was one of the most pleasant times I have passed in my life. His independence of character particularly impressed me. He is a most pleasant companion. He had large luminous eyes and discoursed eloquently on religious and philosophical subjects. I was charmed by Swami Vivekananda’s songs. What delighted me was his singing. He had a musical and melodious voice and I was greatly entranced by his singing. From Ajmer he went to Bombay presidency.

            The next time I met Swami Vivekananda was at Ajmer. He was my guest for two or three days. I remember asking him what his name was before he became a sanyasa. He gave it to me… he left me and went away to Beawar. Sri Shyamji Krishna Varma, one of the most learned men I have met lived in Ajmer in those days, but had gone to Bombay, when the swamiji was with me. On his return, I spoke to him abou Swami Vivekananda’s learning, inspiring eloquence and patriotism and told him that he had left only two or three days ago and was in Beawar.  Shyamji Krishna Varma as if was instinctively drawn to Vivekananda by some unknown destiny had to go t Beawar the next day and promised with some premonition that he will bring Vivekananda with him back to Ajmer as though they were destined to meet to mould the history of freedom movement. The next day he returned to Ajmer with Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda  was his guest for about fourteen or fifteen days. Some mysterious transmission of thought might have taken place which changed Shyamji Krishna Varma. Later he was closely connected with bomb explosions in India. They used to go out for evening walk. He used to have most interesting discussions with him on such occasions about the predicament of the nation that prevailed at that time. He said:  Vivekananda will be a phenomenon in the world if I err not greatly”. They used to have long conversations  and talks on various subjects during the day and during afternoon walks. Swami Vivekananda’s eloquence, nationalistic attitude of mind and patriotism greatly greatly impressed Shyamji Krishna Varma. He was indirectly instrumental when Shyamji Krishna Varma changed his field of revolutionary activities to England.

            Not finding himself safe in India he slipped away to London. There he looked for dedicated young men who could be sent to lead revolution in India. He announced a ‘scholarship worth thousands of rupees. Vinayak Savarkar came to England on that scholarship. The famous revolutionary, lala Hardayal, rejected a scholarship offerd by Oxford University and accepted the scholarship offered by Shyamji Krishna Varma. London had now become a stronghold of Indian revolutionaries and Shyamji Krishna Varma was their chief.

            Shyamji Krishna Varma constructed a three storey building called “INDIA HOUSE” in London for the residence of Indian revolutionaries. It was a kind of free hostel for students where Indian revolutionaries were provided free boarding and Lodging facilities to work for the armed revolution. From here many revolutionaries carried on the movement in France also. Madame Cama and Sardar Singh Rana set up a good organization in France. In Germany they created an active group known as the “Berlin Committee”.

References:

  1. “ The life of Swami Vivekananda” by his Eastern and Western disciples. Vol.I. Advaita Ashrama, 5Dehi Entally Road, Kolkatta – 14 PP.282,286,287.
  1. “Glimpses of Bharatiya History by Dr.R.S.Kushwaha. Ocean Books Pvt.ltd, 4/19,Asaf Ali Road, Delhi-2. PP.392,393.

The Historic meeting of Vivekananda with Kranti veer Shyamji Krishna Varma

                      The Historic meeting of Vivekananda

                   with Kranti veer Shyamji Krishna Varma

                     at Ajmer in Rajastan in December 1891 –

             Vivekananda’s seismic undercurrents of Influence

                    on the life of Shyamji Krishna Varma –

                              an influence in   retrospect.

                                                By

                                                            Dr.K.M.Rao  Ph.D.,

                                                                 State President

                                                Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti Tamilnadu

A-13, ‘C’ Block, Gulmohar Apts, 15B, South Boag Road

T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017Ph:  o44 – 24330150.

  Email: sujataraobjp@yahoo.com . Blog: http: // kmrao wordpress.com.

        After  a little over two and a half months at Khetri, Rajastan, the Swami felt that he must go forth into the wide world again, unattached. He left Khetri towards the end of October, and went to Ajmer, where he stayed for about three weeks. First he stayed for three or four days with Har Bilas Sarda’s friend, Shyamji Krishna Varma. Mr. Sarda’s reminesences, relating to swami’s

Visit Ajmer in November and December 1891, run as follows:

            I met the Swami more than once at Mount Abu and again at Ajmer. I met swami Vivekananda four times. I went to mount Abu to stay with my friend Mukund Singh, who was staying at Mount Abu for the hot season. When I reached there, I found Swami Vivekananda staying with Mukund Singh. Mukund Singh was an Arya Samajist. I stayed with my friend for about ten days and we, Swamiji and I, were together there and talked about various subjects. I was about twenty one years old then and was impressed by Swami Vivekananda’s personality. He was a most delightful talker and was very well informed. We used to go out for our afternoon walks. After dinner the first day , Swami Vivekananda gave a song at Mukund Singh’s request. He sang in a most melodious tone, which gave me a great delight. I was charmed by his songs, and every day I begged him to sing one or two songs. His musical voice and his manner have left a lasting impression on me. We some times talked about Vedanta.  Swami Vivekananda’s talks on Vedanta greatly interested me. His views on various subjects were most welcome to me, as they were very patriotic. He was full of love motherland and Hindu culture. The time I passed in his company was one of the most pleasant times I have passed in my life. His independence of character particularly impressed me. He is a most pleasant companion. He had large luminous eyes and discoursed eloquently on religious and philosophical subjects. I was charmed by Swami Vivekananda’s songs. What delighted me was his singing. He had a musical and melodious voice and I was greatly entranced by his singing. From Ajmer he went to Bombay presidency.

            The next time I met Swami Vivekananda was at Ajmer. He was my guest for two or three days. I remember asking him what his name was before he became a sanyasa. He gave it to me… he left me and went away to Beawar. Sri Shyamji Krishna Varma, one of the most learned men I have met lived in Ajmer in those days, but had gone to Bombay, when the swamiji was with me. On his return, I spoke to him abou Swami Vivekananda’s learning, inspiring eloquence and patriotism and told him that he had left only two or three days ago and was in Beawar.  Shyamji Krishna Varma as if was instinctively drawn to Vivekananda by some unknown destiny had to go t Beawar the next day and promised with some premonition that he will bring Vivekananda with him back to Ajmer as though they were destined to meet to mould the history of freedom movement. The next day he returned to Ajmer with Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda  was his guest for about fourteen or fifteen days. Some mysterious transmission of thought might have taken place which changed Shyamji Krishna Varma. Later he was closely connected with bomb explosions in India. They used to go out for evening walk. He used to have most interesting discussions with him on such occasions about the predicament of the nation that prevailed at that time. He said:  Vivekananda will be a phenomenon in the world if I err not greatly”. They used to have long conversations  and talks on various subjects during the day and during afternoon walks. Swami Vivekananda’s eloquence, nationalistic attitude of mind and patriotism greatly greatly impressed Shyamji Krishna Varma. He was indirectly instrumental when Shyamji Krishna Varma changed his field of revolutionary activities to England.

            Not finding himself safe in India he slipped away to London. There he looked for dedicated young men who could be sent to lead revolution in India. He announced a ‘scholarship worth thousands of rupees. Vinayak Savarkar came to England on that scholarship. The famous revolutionary, lala Hardayal, rejected a scholarship offerd by Oxford University and accepted the scholarship offered by Shyamji Krishna Varma. London had now become a stronghold of Indian revolutionaries and Shyamji Krishna Varma was their chief.

            Shyamji Krishna Varma constructed a three storey building called “INDIA HOUSE” in London for the residence of Indian revolutionaries. It was a kind of free hostel for students where Indian revolutionaries were provided free boarding and Lodging facilities to work for the armed revolution. From here many revolutionaries carried on the movement in France also. Madame Cama and Sardar Singh Rana set up a good organization in France. In Germany they created an active group known as the “Berlin Committee”.

References:

  1. “ The life of Swami Vivekananda” by his Eastern and Western disciples. Vol.I. Advaita Ashrama, 5Dehi Entally Road, Kolkatta – 14 PP.282,286,287.
  1. “Glimpses of Bharatiya History by Dr.R.S.Kushwaha. Ocean Books Pvt.ltd, 4/19,Asaf Ali Road, Delhi-2. PP.392,393.

The Religion of Vivekananda – a call to a universal science of spiritual life.

The Religion of Vivekananda – a call to a universal science of spiritual life.

                                                             By                                     

Dr.k.M.Rao  Ph.D.,

            Formerly Professor of Philosophy    New College (AUT)    University of Madras.

                                         A Publication of Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti,  Tamilnadu

                (A-13, ‘C’ Block, Gulmohar Apts, T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017. Ph: 24330150.) Email:     

                        sujataraobjp@yahoo.com . Blog: http: // kmrao wordpress.com.

A paper presented in Vivekananda Study Circle, Madras e chapter  on the occasion of his 150th Birthday

 

            A tremendous impact was created by Swami Vivekananda during his two visits to America, the first from 1893 to 1896 and the second from 1899 to 1900. Eleanor stork a well known American academician in his work “The Gift Unopened” wrote:

            “There was an advent on the American scene of a voice from the East, which in a few short years, sowed the seeds of a regeneration of a great people. At the turn of the century,  an un heralded and quiet revolution took place across the land. A message was given by Vivekananda to the American people in words of such universal wisdom and power that those who heard him at the time found their lives changed and their spirits freed. It was a message of humanism in depth, a ringing declaration of a science of human development that did not deny but deepened to new dimensions America’s achievements in science and humanistic philosophy. It was not a call to a new religion but to a new way of thinking about religion… a call to a universal science of spiritual life that affirmed man as God and asked him to look within, to turn inward in order to discover the growth of his Being, and there to discover the same ground in all”.

            He told to Americans that the all pervasive divine consciousness he is the infinite principle of God embodied in every one of us. Every thing in this universe is the manifestation of the divine consciousness from which we come, through which we live and in which we get absorbed in the end.

            He explained the vedantic philosophy and emphasized that this philosophy places utmost importance to self realization and discovery of Eternal Divine Force of which man is a constituent and to which he is also a contributor. The real goal is one of attaining a stage of higher spirituality where there is only worship of the spirit by a spirit.  Vivekananda asserted that what was conventionally regarded as religion was really an ethnic religion with all its dogmas and doctrines. The real religion was only one. He said : “There was never my religion or yours, my national religion or your national religion. There is only one religion – one infinite religion existing all through eternity and will ever exist, expressing it self in various ways in different communities, countries and races”.  Every religion he exhorted,  was true; but it was perfected within man only through self realization and identification with the eternal divine force. He gave a new perspective on religion and opened a new vision to perceive and move to a higher level of thinking. He emphasized upon the need to understand that for digesting material prosperity, spiritual strength was necessary; ignoring spiritual growth will create imbalances at the individual and social levels.

            It is Swami Vivekananda who in the present age has most clearly shown the creative role of religion in bringing about the desired evolution of modern civilization not only in India but in the whole world. This was his most original contribution to modern thought of the world. True, his voice has not been fully heard either in India or abroad; but there are signs that thinkers all over the world are slowly veering round to his views.

                    THE IDEAL OF A UNIVERSAL RELIGION

                An analysis of religio-spiritual content contained by major religions is provided by Swami Vivekananda in one of his lectures on ‘Ideal of a universal religion’ given at Pasadena in California (USA) in the year 1900 is quite enlightening. He says : “ In every religion there are three parts. First there is a philosophy which presents the whole scope of that religion, setting forth its basic principles, the goal and the means of reaching it. The second part is mythology, which is philosophy made concrete. It consists of legends relating to the lives of men or super natural beings… it is the abstractions of philosophy concretised in more or less imaginary lives of men and super natural beings. The third part is the ritual. This is still more concrete and is made up of forms and ceremonies, various physical attitudes, flowers and incense, and many other things that appealed to the senses. In these consists the ritual… All recognized religions have these three elements. Some lay more stress on one, some on another”6

________________________________________________________________6. Swami Vivekananda, “Jnana Yoga”, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.

23rd edn.2001P.370

 

 

                       

 

 

 

 

 

If we take these three aspects together and consider them one by one we will find that there is no agreement between religions as far as its philosophy, mythology and ritual are concerned. No body in the world is able to make out the fine distinction between history and mythology. All such stories to whatever religion they may belong, are really mythological, mixed up occasionally it may be, with a little history. Even in rituals, there is no universal symbol, which can command general recognition and acceptance. How is it possible, then, to have a universal form of religion? That, however, already exists, let us examine what it is.

                        Various are our faces. But no two faces are alike, yet we are all human beings. Where is this one humanity? Among all these faces there  is an abstract humanity which is common to all. We may not find it when we try to grasp it, to sense it and to actualize it and yet we know for certain that it is there – this humanity which is common to us all. It is through this generalized entity that we see everybody as a man or a woman. So it is with this universal religion which runs through all these various religions of the world  in the form of God; it must and does exist through eternity. ‘ He is the thread that runs through all these pearls’ and each pearl is a religion. Such are the different pearls, and the lord is the thread that runs through all of them; only the majority of the mankind are entirely unconscious of it.

                        Unity in variety is the plan of the universe. As existence we are one with the whole universe. That universal existence is God-the ultimate unity in the universe. In Him we are all one. At the same time, in manifestation these differences must always remain. We find them that if by the idea of a universal religion it is meant that one set of doctrines should be believed in by all mankind, it is wholly impossible. It can never be. There can never be a time when all faces will be the same. Again, if we accept that there will be one universal mythology, that is also impossible, it can not be. Neither there can be one universal ritual. Such a state of things can never come into existence- if it ever did the world would be destroyed, because variety is the first principle of life. It is differentiation that makes the formed beings. The unity of the same ness can come only when this universe is destroyed.  It is this difference,  this differentiation which is the very soul of our progress, the soul of our thought. This must always be .

                        By the ideal of a universal religion, it does not mean any one universal philosophy or any one universal mythology, or any one universal ritual held by all alike. What is of utmost importance is to know at this juncture is that this world must go on working, wheel with in  wheel, this intricate mass of machinery most complex and most wonderful. What we can do is to make it run smoothly, lessen the friction and grease the wheels by recognizing the variation. Just as we recognize unity by our very nature, so also we must recognize variation. We must learn that truth may be expressed in a hundred thousand ways and each of these ways is true as far as it goes. We must learn that the same thing can be viewed from a hundred different stand points and yet be the same thing. Even so is it with the Lord. Through high philosophy are low, through the most exalted mythology are the grossest, through the most refined ritualism or arrant fetishism, every sect, every soul, every nation, every religion consciously, is the struggling upward, towards God; Every vision of truth that man has, is a vision of Him,  and of none else. This is the only recognition of universality that we can get.

                        It appears all right theoretically. But is there any way of practically working out this harmony in religion. Hundreds of attempts have been made in India, in Alexandria, in Europe, in China, in Japan, in Tibet and lastly in America to formulate a harmonious religious creed, to make all religions to come together in love. They have all failed, because they did not adopt any practical plan. Many have admitted that all religions of the world are right, but they show no practical way of bringing them together so as to enable each of them to maintain its own individuality in the conflux. That plan is alone practical which does not destroy the individuality of any man in religion and at the same time shows him a point of union with all others. But so far all the plans of a religious harmony that have been tried, while proposing to take all the various views of religion, have, in practice, tried to bind them all down to a few doctrines, and so have produced  more new sects, fighting, struggling and pushing against each other.         

In this context Swami Vivekananda exhorts:

I have also my little plan. I do not know whether it will work or not… I would ask mankind to recognize this maxim, ‘Do not Destroy’. Iconoclastic reformers do no good to the world. Break not, pull not any thing down, but build.7

                        God is the centre of all religions and each one of us is moving towards Him; Then it is certain that all of us must reach that centre; But until we reach there , there will be differences. Each one, according to his nature, travels along one of these ways, and another along another and shall surely come to the centre because each one of us is naturally growing and developing according to his own nature  and each one will in time come to know the highest truth. Spiritual growth must come from inside. There is no other teacher to make us spiritual than our own soul.

                        There are thousands and thousands of varieties of minds and inclinations. A thorough generalization of them is impossible. But for practical purposes they can be classified into four categories.  First there is active man, the worker; he wants to work.  His aim is to work- to build hospitals, do charitable deeds to plan and organize. The second category is the emotional man who loves the sublime, to adore love and the God of love. The third category is the mystique whose mind wants to analyze his own self, to understand its own self, to understand the human mind, the forces that are working inside and how to know, manipulate, and obtain control over them. This is the mystical mind. The fourth category is the philosopher who wants to weigh every thing and use his intellect beyond the possibilities of human philosophy.

                        Religion to satisfy the largest portion of mankind, must be able to supply food for all these various types of mind and where this capability is wanting, the existing sex will become one sided. This is the condition of religion. The world is in need of a religion that will be equally acceptable to all minds; it must be equally philosophic, equally emotional, equally mystique and equally conducive to action. A religion that will be able to show how to realize the philosophy that teaches us that this world is one, that there is but one existence in the Universe. A combination of all these elements of philosophy

______________________________________________________________________________________________________7. Swami Vivekananda, “Jnana Yoga”, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.

23rd edn.2001. Ibid

 

 

Mysticism, emotion, and of work will be the ideal of the nearest approach to a universal religion. To become harmoniously balanced in all these four directions will be an ideal religion. And this religion is attained by Yoga-union. To the worker, it is union between men and the whole of humanity; To the mystique, between the lower and higher self; To the lover union between himself and the God of love; and to the philosopher it is the union of all existence. This is what is meant by yoga. There are four divisions of yoga. The man who seeks after this kind of union is called a Yogi. The worker is called Karmayogi. He who seeks union through love is called Bhakti Yogi. He who seeks it through mysticism is called Raja Yogi.  And he who seeks it through philosophy is called The Jnana Yogi.

                                                           

 

RAJA- YOGA

                        Raja-yoga is the controlling of the mind. Raja-yogais the psychological way to union. The power of concentration is the only king to the treasure house of spiritual knowledge. The system of Raja-yoga deals almost exclusively with this which has to be practiced under the careful supervision- a teacher who is a realized soul himself. He also decides this particular Patanjali Yoga system suits your body-mind status which you have acquired in this birth from the accumulated karma of your previous births .

                                                                        KARMA-YOGA

                        Karma-Yoga is the attainment of God through work. There are many persons in society who seem to be born for some sort of activity who have but one idea, concretised in work, visible and tangible. There is a science for this kind of life also. Each one of us is engaged in some work, but the majority of us fritter away the greater portion of our energies because we do not know the secret of work. Karma-Yoga explains the secret and teaches where and how to work, how to employ to the greatest advantage the largest part of our energies in the work that is before us. But with this secret we must take into consideration the great objection against work, namely that it causes pain. All misery and pain come from attachment. You want to do work, you want to do good to a human being; and it is ninety to one that human being whom you have helped will prove ungrateful and go against you; and the result to you is pain. Such things deter mankind from working and it spoils a good portion of the work and energy of mankind- this fear of pain and misery. Karma-Yoga  teaches us how to work for work’s sake, un attached without caring who is helped and what for. The Karma-Yogi works because it is his nature, because he feels that it is good for him to do so, and he has no object beyond that. His position in this world is that of a giver, and he never cares to receive anything. He knows that he is giving and does not ask for anything in return and, therefore, he alludes the grasp of misery. The grasp of pain, whenever it comes is the result of reaction of “attachment”

                                                            BHAKTI-YOGA

                        Bhakti-Yoga is meant for the person who is of emotional nature, the lover. He wants to love God, he relies upon and uses all sorts of rituals, flowers, incense, beautiful temples, forms and all such things. The worlds greatest spiritual joints have all been produced only by those religious sects which have been in possession of very rich mythology and ritual. The greatest men, the most wonderfully developed in spirituality have all come through the discipline of these rituals. God to them is something tangible the only thing that is real; they feel, hear; and see Him and love Him. Bhakti-Yoga teaches us how to love, without any ulterior motives, loving the God because it is good to do so, not for going to heaven, wealth or anything. It teaches us that love itself is the highest recompense of love-that God Himself is love. It teaches us to pay all kinds of tribute to God as the creator, the omnipresent, Almighty Ruler  the Father and the Mother. Where ever there is love it is He. Where ever the heart expands, He is there manifested. This is what the Bhakti-Yoga teaches.

                                                            JNANA-YOGA

                        The Jnana-Yogi is the philosopher, the thinker. He wants to go beyond the visible. His soul wants to go beyond all that into the heart of being, by saying reality as it is, by realizing It, by being It, By becoming one with that Universal Being. To him God is the life of his life. The soul of his soul. God is his own Self. He is the basis of His life. “Nay Thou art That”. This is what Jnana-Yoga teaches. It tells man that he is essentially Divine. It shows to mankind the real unity of being and that each one of us is the Lord God Him self manifested on earth. He is life of this Universe, present in the atom and in Sons and Moons.

                        It is imperative that all these four yogas should be carried out in practice; Mere theories about them will not do any good. First we have to hear them reverentially by sitting at the feet of an accomplished Guru sought by us after a life long search for a spiritual guru who is himself a realized soul. We have to reason the thoughts out, impress them on our minds and we have to meditate on them, realize them until at last they become our whole life.  No longer will religion then remain a bundle of ideas or theories nor an intellectual assent; It will enter into our very life.

As Swami Vivekananda puts it aptly; “By means of intellectual assent we may to day subscribe to many foolish things and change our minds altogether tomorrow. But the true religion never changes. Religion is realization; not talk, nor doctrine, nor theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing and acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes”8.This is the ideal of universal religion.

 

                                           

 

                                                On realization of a universal religion

 

While giving a lecture on “on the way to Realization of a universal Religion” Swami Vivekananda said;

“No search has been dearer to human heart than that which brings  to us light from God. No study has taken so much of human energy… as the study of the human soul, of God and of human destiny. However immersed we are in our daily occupations, in our ambitions, in our work, in the midst of the greatest of our struggles, sometimes there will come a pause; the mind stops and wants to know something beyond this world. Sometimes it catches glimpses of a realm beyond the senses and struggle to get at it is the result. Thus it has been through out ages, in all countries man has wanted to look beyond, wanted to expand himself; and all that we call progress , evolution, has always been measured by that one search for human destiny, the search for God”9

                        Man’s spiritual struggle is represented by various religions. There is a tremendous power in all the great religions of the world. Each one of them is progressive. Burt all religions sometimes advance and some times decline. Any attempt to bring all humanity to one method of thinking in spiritual matters will

_____________________________________________________________

8. Swami Vivekananda, “Jnana Yoga” Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, P.342.

9. Swami Vivekananda, “Jnana Yoga” Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, P.343

Be a failure. If all of us think exactly the same thoughts, there would be no thoughts for us to think. It is the clash of thought, the differentiation of thought that awakes thought.  So long as mankind thinks there will be sects. Variation is the sign of life.  There will be as many sects as human beings and each one  will have his own method, his individual method of thought in religion. Every religion has a soul behind it, and that soul may differ from the soul of another religion. But they are not contradictory; The are supplementary.  Each religion 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. System after system arises, each one embodying, and ideals must be added to ideals and this is the march of humanity. Man never progresses from error to truth, from truth to truth, from lesser truth to higher truth-but it is never from error to truth. It is like looking at the truth from different stand point which vary according to our birth, education and surroundings. We are viewing truth getting as much of it as the circumstances permit, coloring the truth with our own heart, understanding it with our own intellect and grasping it with our own mind. We can only know as much of truth as is related to us, as much of it as we are able to receive. This makes the difference between man and man and occasions some times even contradictory ideas. At the same time we all belong to the same great universal truth.

                        All these religions are different forces of God, working for the good of mankind. They are all spiritual forces. Each religion is a living religion and intelligenyly on the m arch. Just as the universal brotherhood is already existing  so also is universal religion. Each religion represents a particular excellence – something which is its soul. The fact that all these religions are living today proves that they have kept their mission intact – the great mission for which they came  for.

                        Islam came to preach the world the practical brother hood of all belonging to their faith. This is the essential part of Islam. The central idea of Christianity is; “ watch and pray, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” – which means purify your minds  and be ready. Christian countries prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord by trying to help others, building Hospitals and so on. So long as the Christians keep to their ideals, their religion lives.

                         The one national idea of Hindus is spirituality. A lot of energy is being spent in refining the idea of God they are trying to define the ideal of soul so that no earthly touch might mar it. The spirit must be divine. The spirit understood as spirit must not be made into a man. The idea of unity, the realization of God, the Omni present is preached through out. They think it is all non-sense to say that he lives in heaven and all that. It is a mere human and anthropomorphic idea. All the heaven that existed is now and hear. One moment in infinite time is as good as any other moment. They think that religion begins when one has realized something. It is not believing in doctrines, nor giving intellectual assent, nor making declarations. They say that if there is a God, one has to see Him to believe Him and one has to struggle to see Him and renounce the world and spend the whole life for this one object. Renunciation and spirituality are the two great ideas of India and it is because India clings to these ideas their religion lives.

                        There are various ways of mind. One may be matter -of-fact, common sense rationalist. He will not care for forms and ceremonies. He wants intellectual hard ringing facts. They alone will satisfy him. There are puritans who will not allow a picture or a statue in their place of worship like Islam. But there is another man who is more artistic. He wants a great deal of art-beauty of lines and curves, the colors, flowers, forms; He wants candles, lights and all the insignia, paraphernalia of ritual, that he may see God. His mind takes God in those forms. Then there is a devotional man whose soul is crying for God; He has no other idea but to worship God and to praise him. Then there is philosopher, standing out side all these, mocking at them about their ideas of God.

They may laugh at one another, but each one has a place in this world.All these various types are necessary. An ideal religion must be broad and large enough to supply food for all these minds. It must supply the strength of philosophy to the philosopher, the devotee’s heart to the worshipper, to the  ritualist it will give all that the most marvelous symbolism can convey, to the poet it will give as much of heart as he can take in. To make such a broad  religion, we have to go back to the time when religions began and take them all in.  The watch word is acceptance not exclusion. Pray God with a Muslim in the mosque; enter church with a Christian to kneel before the crucifix, sit down in meditation with a Hindu who is trying to see the light which enlightens the heart of every one.

                                    God’s book is not finished. A continuous revelation is going on. It is a marvelous book of spiritual revelations of the world. The Bible, the Veda’s, The Koran, and all other sacred books are but so many pages, and an infinite number of pages remain yet to be unfolded. Let us stand in the present but open our selves to the infinite future. Let us take in all that has been in the past, enjoy the light of the present and open every window of the heart for all that will come in the future. Salutations to all the prophets of the past and to all that are to come in the future. Some times it is better to dream a dream than die on hard facts. Great truths even in a dream are good, better than bad facts. So, let us dream a dream .

 

The Religion of Vivekananda – a call to a universal science of spiritual life.

The Religion of Vivekananda – a call to a universal science of spiritual life.

                                                             By                                     

Dr.k.M.Rao  Ph.D.,

            Formerly Professor of Philosophy    New College (AUT)    University of Madras.

                                         A Publication of Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti,  Tamilnadu

                (A-13, ‘C’ Block, Gulmohar Apts, T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017. Ph: 24330150.) Email:     

                        sujataraobjp@yahoo.com . Blog: http: // kmrao wordpress.com.

A paper presented in Vivekananda Study Circle, Madras e chapter  on the occasion of his 150th Birthday

 

            A tremendous impact was created by Swami Vivekananda during his two visits to America, the first from 1893 to 1896 and the second from 1899 to 1900. Eleanor stork a well known American academician in his work “The Gift Unopened” wrote:

            “There was an advent on the American scene of a voice from the East, which in a few short years, sowed the seeds of a regeneration of a great people. At the turn of the century,  an un heralded and quiet revolution took place across the land. A message was given by Vivekananda to the American people in words of such universal wisdom and power that those who heard him at the time found their lives changed and their spirits freed. It was a message of humanism in depth, a ringing declaration of a science of human development that did not deny but deepened to new dimensions America’s achievements in science and humanistic philosophy. It was not a call to a new religion but to a new way of thinking about religion… a call to a universal science of spiritual life that affirmed man as God and asked him to look within, to turn inward in order to discover the growth of his Being, and there to discover the same ground in all”.

            He told to Americans that the all pervasive divine consciousness he is the infinite principle of God embodied in every one of us. Every thing in this universe is the manifestation of the divine consciousness from which we come, through which we live and in which we get absorbed in the end.

            He explained the vedantic philosophy and emphasized that this philosophy places utmost importance to self realization and discovery of Eternal Divine Force of which man is a constituent and to which he is also a contributor. The real goal is one of attaining a stage of higher spirituality where there is only worship of the spirit by a spirit.  Vivekananda asserted that what was conventionally regarded as religion was really an ethnic religion with all its dogmas and doctrines. The real religion was only one. He said : “There was never my religion or yours, my national religion or your national religion. There is only one religion – one infinite religion existing all through eternity and will ever exist, expressing it self in various ways in different communities, countries and races”.  Every religion he exhorted,  was true; but it was perfected within man only through self realization and identification with the eternal divine force. He gave a new perspective on religion and opened a new vision to perceive and move to a higher level of thinking. He emphasized upon the need to understand that for digesting material prosperity, spiritual strength was necessary; ignoring spiritual growth will create imbalances at the individual and social levels.

            It is Swami Vivekananda who in the present age has most clearly shown the creative role of religion in bringing about the desired evolution of modern civilization not only in India but in the whole world. This was his most original contribution to modern thought of the world. True, his voice has not been fully heard either in India or abroad; but there are signs that thinkers all over the world are slowly veering round to his views.

                    THE IDEAL OF A UNIVERSAL RELIGION

                An analysis of religio-spiritual content contained by major religions is provided by Swami Vivekananda in one of his lectures on ‘Ideal of a universal religion’ given at Pasadena in California (USA) in the year 1900 is quite enlightening. He says : “ In every religion there are three parts. First there is a philosophy which presents the whole scope of that religion, setting forth its basic principles, the goal and the means of reaching it. The second part is mythology, which is philosophy made concrete. It consists of legends relating to the lives of men or super natural beings… it is the abstractions of philosophy concretised in more or less imaginary lives of men and super natural beings. The third part is the ritual. This is still more concrete and is made up of forms and ceremonies, various physical attitudes, flowers and incense, and many other things that appealed to the senses. In these consists the ritual… All recognized religions have these three elements. Some lay more stress on one, some on another”6

________________________________________________________________6. Swami Vivekananda, “Jnana Yoga”, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.

23rd edn.2001P.370

 

 

                       

 

 

 

 

 

If we take these three aspects together and consider them one by one we will find that there is no agreement between religions as far as its philosophy, mythology and ritual are concerned. No body in the world is able to make out the fine distinction between history and mythology. All such stories to whatever religion they may belong, are really mythological, mixed up occasionally it may be, with a little history. Even in rituals, there is no universal symbol, which can command general recognition and acceptance. How is it possible, then, to have a universal form of religion? That, however, already exists, let us examine what it is.

                        Various are our faces. But no two faces are alike, yet we are all human beings. Where is this one humanity? Among all these faces there  is an abstract humanity which is common to all. We may not find it when we try to grasp it, to sense it and to actualize it and yet we know for certain that it is there – this humanity which is common to us all. It is through this generalized entity that we see everybody as a man or a woman. So it is with this universal religion which runs through all these various religions of the world  in the form of God; it must and does exist through eternity. ‘ He is the thread that runs through all these pearls’ and each pearl is a religion. Such are the different pearls, and the lord is the thread that runs through all of them; only the majority of the mankind are entirely unconscious of it.

                        Unity in variety is the plan of the universe. As existence we are one with the whole universe. That universal existence is God-the ultimate unity in the universe. In Him we are all one. At the same time, in manifestation these differences must always remain. We find them that if by the idea of a universal religion it is meant that one set of doctrines should be believed in by all mankind, it is wholly impossible. It can never be. There can never be a time when all faces will be the same. Again, if we accept that there will be one universal mythology, that is also impossible, it can not be. Neither there can be one universal ritual. Such a state of things can never come into existence- if it ever did the world would be destroyed, because variety is the first principle of life. It is differentiation that makes the formed beings. The unity of the same ness can come only when this universe is destroyed.  It is this difference,  this differentiation which is the very soul of our progress, the soul of our thought. This must always be .

                        By the ideal of a universal religion, it does not mean any one universal philosophy or any one universal mythology, or any one universal ritual held by all alike. What is of utmost importance is to know at this juncture is that this world must go on working, wheel with in  wheel, this intricate mass of machinery most complex and most wonderful. What we can do is to make it run smoothly, lessen the friction and grease the wheels by recognizing the variation. Just as we recognize unity by our very nature, so also we must recognize variation. We must learn that truth may be expressed in a hundred thousand ways and each of these ways is true as far as it goes. We must learn that the same thing can be viewed from a hundred different stand points and yet be the same thing. Even so is it with the Lord. Through high philosophy are low, through the most exalted mythology are the grossest, through the most refined ritualism or arrant fetishism, every sect, every soul, every nation, every religion consciously, is the struggling upward, towards God; Every vision of truth that man has, is a vision of Him,  and of none else. This is the only recognition of universality that we can get.

                        It appears all right theoretically. But is there any way of practically working out this harmony in religion. Hundreds of attempts have been made in India, in Alexandria, in Europe, in China, in Japan, in Tibet and lastly in America to formulate a harmonious religious creed, to make all religions to come together in love. They have all failed, because they did not adopt any practical plan. Many have admitted that all religions of the world are right, but they show no practical way of bringing them together so as to enable each of them to maintain its own individuality in the conflux. That plan is alone practical which does not destroy the individuality of any man in religion and at the same time shows him a point of union with all others. But so far all the plans of a religious harmony that have been tried, while proposing to take all the various views of religion, have, in practice, tried to bind them all down to a few doctrines, and so have produced  more new sects, fighting, struggling and pushing against each other.         

In this context Swami Vivekananda exhorts:

I have also my little plan. I do not know whether it will work or not… I would ask mankind to recognize this maxim, ‘Do not Destroy’. Iconoclastic reformers do no good to the world. Break not, pull not any thing down, but build.7

                        God is the centre of all religions and each one of us is moving towards Him; Then it is certain that all of us must reach that centre; But until we reach there , there will be differences. Each one, according to his nature, travels along one of these ways, and another along another and shall surely come to the centre because each one of us is naturally growing and developing according to his own nature  and each one will in time come to know the highest truth. Spiritual growth must come from inside. There is no other teacher to make us spiritual than our own soul.

                        There are thousands and thousands of varieties of minds and inclinations. A thorough generalization of them is impossible. But for practical purposes they can be classified into four categories.  First there is active man, the worker; he wants to work.  His aim is to work- to build hospitals, do charitable deeds to plan and organize. The second category is the emotional man who loves the sublime, to adore love and the God of love. The third category is the mystique whose mind wants to analyze his own self, to understand its own self, to understand the human mind, the forces that are working inside and how to know, manipulate, and obtain control over them. This is the mystical mind. The fourth category is the philosopher who wants to weigh every thing and use his intellect beyond the possibilities of human philosophy.

                        Religion to satisfy the largest portion of mankind, must be able to supply food for all these various types of mind and where this capability is wanting, the existing sex will become one sided. This is the condition of religion. The world is in need of a religion that will be equally acceptable to all minds; it must be equally philosophic, equally emotional, equally mystique and equally conducive to action. A religion that will be able to show how to realize the philosophy that teaches us that this world is one, that there is but one existence in the Universe. A combination of all these elements of philosophy

______________________________________________________________________________________________________7. Swami Vivekananda, “Jnana Yoga”, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.

23rd edn.2001. Ibid

 

 

Mysticism, emotion, and of work will be the ideal of the nearest approach to a universal religion. To become harmoniously balanced in all these four directions will be an ideal religion. And this religion is attained by Yoga-union. To the worker, it is union between men and the whole of humanity; To the mystique, between the lower and higher self; To the lover union between himself and the God of love; and to the philosopher it is the union of all existence. This is what is meant by yoga. There are four divisions of yoga. The man who seeks after this kind of union is called a Yogi. The worker is called Karmayogi. He who seeks union through love is called Bhakti Yogi. He who seeks it through mysticism is called Raja Yogi.  And he who seeks it through philosophy is called The Jnana Yogi.

                                                           

 

RAJA- YOGA

                        Raja-yoga is the controlling of the mind. Raja-yogais the psychological way to union. The power of concentration is the only king to the treasure house of spiritual knowledge. The system of Raja-yoga deals almost exclusively with this which has to be practiced under the careful supervision- a teacher who is a realized soul himself. He also decides this particular Patanjali Yoga system suits your body-mind status which you have acquired in this birth from the accumulated karma of your previous births .

                                                                        KARMA-YOGA

                        Karma-Yoga is the attainment of God through work. There are many persons in society who seem to be born for some sort of activity who have but one idea, concretised in work, visible and tangible. There is a science for this kind of life also. Each one of us is engaged in some work, but the majority of us fritter away the greater portion of our energies because we do not know the secret of work. Karma-Yoga explains the secret and teaches where and how to work, how to employ to the greatest advantage the largest part of our energies in the work that is before us. But with this secret we must take into consideration the great objection against work, namely that it causes pain. All misery and pain come from attachment. You want to do work, you want to do good to a human being; and it is ninety to one that human being whom you have helped will prove ungrateful and go against you; and the result to you is pain. Such things deter mankind from working and it spoils a good portion of the work and energy of mankind- this fear of pain and misery. Karma-Yoga  teaches us how to work for work’s sake, un attached without caring who is helped and what for. The Karma-Yogi works because it is his nature, because he feels that it is good for him to do so, and he has no object beyond that. His position in this world is that of a giver, and he never cares to receive anything. He knows that he is giving and does not ask for anything in return and, therefore, he alludes the grasp of misery. The grasp of pain, whenever it comes is the result of reaction of “attachment”

                                                            BHAKTI-YOGA

                        Bhakti-Yoga is meant for the person who is of emotional nature, the lover. He wants to love God, he relies upon and uses all sorts of rituals, flowers, incense, beautiful temples, forms and all such things. The worlds greatest spiritual joints have all been produced only by those religious sects which have been in possession of very rich mythology and ritual. The greatest men, the most wonderfully developed in spirituality have all come through the discipline of these rituals. God to them is something tangible the only thing that is real; they feel, hear; and see Him and love Him. Bhakti-Yoga teaches us how to love, without any ulterior motives, loving the God because it is good to do so, not for going to heaven, wealth or anything. It teaches us that love itself is the highest recompense of love-that God Himself is love. It teaches us to pay all kinds of tribute to God as the creator, the omnipresent, Almighty Ruler  the Father and the Mother. Where ever there is love it is He. Where ever the heart expands, He is there manifested. This is what the Bhakti-Yoga teaches.

                                                            JNANA-YOGA

                        The Jnana-Yogi is the philosopher, the thinker. He wants to go beyond the visible. His soul wants to go beyond all that into the heart of being, by saying reality as it is, by realizing It, by being It, By becoming one with that Universal Being. To him God is the life of his life. The soul of his soul. God is his own Self. He is the basis of His life. “Nay Thou art That”. This is what Jnana-Yoga teaches. It tells man that he is essentially Divine. It shows to mankind the real unity of being and that each one of us is the Lord God Him self manifested on earth. He is life of this Universe, present in the atom and in Sons and Moons.

                        It is imperative that all these four yogas should be carried out in practice; Mere theories about them will not do any good. First we have to hear them reverentially by sitting at the feet of an accomplished Guru sought by us after a life long search for a spiritual guru who is himself a realized soul. We have to reason the thoughts out, impress them on our minds and we have to meditate on them, realize them until at last they become our whole life.  No longer will religion then remain a bundle of ideas or theories nor an intellectual assent; It will enter into our very life.

As Swami Vivekananda puts it aptly; “By means of intellectual assent we may to day subscribe to many foolish things and change our minds altogether tomorrow. But the true religion never changes. Religion is realization; not talk, nor doctrine, nor theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing and acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes”8.This is the ideal of universal religion.

 

                                           

 

                                                On realization of a universal religion

 

While giving a lecture on “on the way to Realization of a universal Religion” Swami Vivekananda said;

“No search has been dearer to human heart than that which brings  to us light from God. No study has taken so much of human energy… as the study of the human soul, of God and of human destiny. However immersed we are in our daily occupations, in our ambitions, in our work, in the midst of the greatest of our struggles, sometimes there will come a pause; the mind stops and wants to know something beyond this world. Sometimes it catches glimpses of a realm beyond the senses and struggle to get at it is the result. Thus it has been through out ages, in all countries man has wanted to look beyond, wanted to expand himself; and all that we call progress , evolution, has always been measured by that one search for human destiny, the search for God”9

                        Man’s spiritual struggle is represented by various religions. There is a tremendous power in all the great religions of the world. Each one of them is progressive. Burt all religions sometimes advance and some times decline. Any attempt to bring all humanity to one method of thinking in spiritual matters will

_____________________________________________________________

8. Swami Vivekananda, “Jnana Yoga” Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, P.342.

9. Swami Vivekananda, “Jnana Yoga” Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, P.343

Be a failure. If all of us think exactly the same thoughts, there would be no thoughts for us to think. It is the clash of thought, the differentiation of thought that awakes thought.  So long as mankind thinks there will be sects. Variation is the sign of life.  There will be as many sects as human beings and each one  will have his own method, his individual method of thought in religion. Every religion has a soul behind it, and that soul may differ from the soul of another religion. But they are not contradictory; The are supplementary.  Each religion 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. System after system arises, each one embodying, and ideals must be added to ideals and this is the march of humanity. Man never progresses from error to truth, from truth to truth, from lesser truth to higher truth-but it is never from error to truth. It is like looking at the truth from different stand point which vary according to our birth, education and surroundings. We are viewing truth getting as much of it as the circumstances permit, coloring the truth with our own heart, understanding it with our own intellect and grasping it with our own mind. We can only know as much of truth as is related to us, as much of it as we are able to receive. This makes the difference between man and man and occasions some times even contradictory ideas. At the same time we all belong to the same great universal truth.

                        All these religions are different forces of God, working for the good of mankind. They are all spiritual forces. Each religion is a living religion and intelligenyly on the m arch. Just as the universal brotherhood is already existing  so also is universal religion. Each religion represents a particular excellence – something which is its soul. The fact that all these religions are living today proves that they have kept their mission intact – the great mission for which they came  for.

                        Islam came to preach the world the practical brother hood of all belonging to their faith. This is the essential part of Islam. The central idea of Christianity is; “ watch and pray, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” – which means purify your minds  and be ready. Christian countries prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord by trying to help others, building Hospitals and so on. So long as the Christians keep to their ideals, their religion lives.

                         The one national idea of Hindus is spirituality. A lot of energy is being spent in refining the idea of God they are trying to define the ideal of soul so that no earthly touch might mar it. The spirit must be divine. The spirit understood as spirit must not be made into a man. The idea of unity, the realization of God, the Omni present is preached through out. They think it is all non-sense to say that he lives in heaven and all that. It is a mere human and anthropomorphic idea. All the heaven that existed is now and hear. One moment in infinite time is as good as any other moment. They think that religion begins when one has realized something. It is not believing in doctrines, nor giving intellectual assent, nor making declarations. They say that if there is a God, one has to see Him to believe Him and one has to struggle to see Him and renounce the world and spend the whole life for this one object. Renunciation and spirituality are the two great ideas of India and it is because India clings to these ideas their religion lives.

                        There are various ways of mind. One may be matter -of-fact, common sense rationalist. He will not care for forms and ceremonies. He wants intellectual hard ringing facts. They alone will satisfy him. There are puritans who will not allow a picture or a statue in their place of worship like Islam. But there is another man who is more artistic. He wants a great deal of art-beauty of lines and curves, the colors, flowers, forms; He wants candles, lights and all the insignia, paraphernalia of ritual, that he may see God. His mind takes God in those forms. Then there is a devotional man whose soul is crying for God; He has no other idea but to worship God and to praise him. Then there is philosopher, standing out side all these, mocking at them about their ideas of God.

They may laugh at one another, but each one has a place in this world.All these various types are necessary. An ideal religion must be broad and large enough to supply food for all these minds. It must supply the strength of philosophy to the philosopher, the devotee’s heart to the worshipper, to the  ritualist it will give all that the most marvelous symbolism can convey, to the poet it will give as much of heart as he can take in. To make such a broad  religion, we have to go back to the time when religions began and take them all in.  The watch word is acceptance not exclusion. Pray God with a Muslim in the mosque; enter church with a Christian to kneel before the crucifix, sit down in meditation with a Hindu who is trying to see the light which enlightens the heart of every one.

                                    God’s book is not finished. A continuous revelation is going on. It is a marvelous book of spiritual revelations of the world. The Bible, the Veda’s, The Koran, and all other sacred books are but so many pages, and an infinite number of pages remain yet to be unfolded. Let us stand in the present but open our selves to the infinite future. Let us take in all that has been in the past, enjoy the light of the present and open every window of the heart for all that will come in the future. Salutations to all the prophets of the past and to all that are to come in the future. Some times it is better to dream a dream than die on hard facts. Great truths even in a dream are good, better than bad facts. So, let us dream a dream .

 

Vivekananda’s July 4th Surprise

Of the innumerable July 4th celebrations over the pasr 213 years in American History, one instance stands out for the manner of its observance, as also the person who conceived it.

The special celebration took place in 1898 in a houseboat on Dal lake in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. It was conceived by Swami Vivekananda as a “surprise present” for two American disciples who had chosen “to love and serve India” at the call of the young Indian visionary.

Persistent researches carried out in India and in America reveal that this is how the Srinagar July 4th celebrations came about.

On his return to India in 1897, at the conclusion of his triumphant lecture tour of America and following his inspiring address at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893, Swami Vivekananda launched a ceaseless campaign “to elevate the downtrodden Indian masses.”

Out of this campaign was born the Ramakrishna Mission dedicated to “the service of the needy and the uplift of the outcasts.”

Realising that this stupendous mission demanded the services of countless volunteers, Vivekananda called upon his many foreign friends to lend a helping hand. From England came Margaret Noble, who subsequently became famous as sister Nivedita.

And from America came Mrs.Ole bull and Miss Josephine Macleod. Bull, daughter of a wealthy senator from Madison, Wisconsin, and wife of a renowned Norwegian violinist, came into contact with Vivekananda in 1894. Her home in Cambridge Massachusetts, became a meeting place for Swami’s admirers and ardent devotees when he was there.

Macleod happened to attend a Vivekananda’s lecture in New York city in January 1895. “From that moment, life had a different import,” she later declared. “it was like the sun that you will never forget once you have seen it.”

As part of the “training to serve in India,” Swami Vivekananda took all three for a journey through India so they could know the people, the conditions of life and their needs. The party journeyed through northern India and on to the beautiful Kashmir valley.

Hereabout it was almost July 4th. Realizing its importance to his American friends, Swami Vivekananda thought out “a secret plan to surprise them” with a colorful celebration of American Independence.

“With a touch of youthful zest,” according to one account – Vivekananda was only 35 at that time – he took the one non-American member of the party, Sister Nivedita, into his confidence to carry out his plan. He got the services of a Kashmiri tailor and guided him to stitch an American flag, complete with the stars and stripes.

And on the morning of July 4th, when the two American ladies entered the common hall of the houseboat for breakfast they were thrilled to see old glory bedecked with Kashmir’s choicest flowers and bunches of evergreens. The American Independence day turned out to be as colorful and heart warming as at home, back in America.

To enhance the joy of the occasion, “Swami Vivekananda composed a special poem for the grand observance that he read aloud..

Titled “To the 4th of July,” and very carefully preserved by Bull, the poem in part reads:

Bethink thee hoe the world did wait,

And search for thee, through time and clime,

Some gave up home and love of friends,

And went in quest of thee, self banished,

Through dreary oceans, through primeval forests,

Each step a struggle for their life or death;

Then came the day when work bore fruit,

And worship, love, and sacrifice,

Fulfilled, accepted, and complete

Then thou, propitious, rose to shed

The Light of FREEDOM on mankind.

That then was the unique July 4th celebrations, perhaps the one and only celebrated on a houseboat in Srinagar.

And as fate would have it, Swami Vivekananda died on the same date – July 4th – four years later in 1902.

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