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About ranjanbhandari

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    Junior Member


  • Biography
    Swami Vivekanandas life has always inspired me to a great extent. In Todays world we do need someone like swamiji. i hope my wish will come true.
  • Occupation
    Computer Networking
  1. If anticheaters thinks both advaita and dvaita are incomplete, that means he is not sure of both,he is not follower of any one,he still don't know about the truth. If that is so,How he can call swamiji as cheater ?. If he is not sure about himself ??. Love, Ranjan Bhandari
  2. Welcome Back Guest!! Thanks for your post,please continue the Great work. Love, Ranjan Bhandari
  3. Barney,It is very nice to see your posts...its so informative...keep up the good work. Love, Ranjan Bhandari
  4. Dear Anticheater and Raguraman , I want Logical proof that whatever i said is wrong, It is not great to see you are not answering my all posts,you all are answering only selected posts which you can understand.And one more thing, You said krishna is God giving some examples,For me it sounds just like another belief not a single bit of Logic!! And you stick to one concept which you know,which is limited Well, i will invite you to answer all my doubts,now its my turn to ask question....i don't want just assumptions i want logical answer from you the way in which i asked question. Lets start with No1,Once again i am reproducing the previous post. Dear anticheater, Advaita may seem like a philosophy on the outside (it is practiced as a religious stream by many Hindus), but this may very well be the place where Scientific world intersects with the Spiritual world. Many of us are aware of the Plancks equation E = hv , where E = Energy of a wave, and h = Plancks constant and v = frequency of the wavelength. With the arrival of Einstein it was also established that E = mc^2 where E = energy and m = mass of a particle and c = speed of light. When we combine the two equations, we get mc^2 = hv which gives us a very interesting relation which directly relates the mass of a particle to frequency, which means anything material has an associated wavelength namely, DeBroglie waves . To sum up, matter is another form of waves which in turn is another form of energy and so on.In fact it so appears that the whole mesh of this Universe is in fact blending into that One which exhibits itself as many (namely, mass, energy, wave etc). This is where Advaita takes over to explain that everything is but the manifestation of that "One" which is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Even the concept of these fundamental waves is seen in Hindu (and consequently Advaita) belief as Aum. Yes, Anticheater you have to answer this...Well i will put many more question on concepts related to Advanced Maths also...Let me check what realy you are. Ok....Prove me wrong if possible,in the same way i posted this one. Jai Swami Vivekananda Ranjan Bhandari
  5. Vivekananda warned us Of the mind division-religion-armour. He inspired us to be The heart-union-religion-lovers. -Shri Chinmoy
  6. God the Creator Vivekananda loved. God the creation Vivekananda served. He also advised us To go to God the Creator By serving God the creation, For it is at once easier and more fruitful Than approaching God the Creator first .
  7. India - The Eternal An annotated compilation from the works of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo Gokulmuthu N., CSA, IISc Human history has seen several civilisations in the West and in the East. One thing which we note in these civilisations is that the Western civilisations are short-lived while the Eastern civilisations seem eternal. Sri Aurobindo writes in the Bande Mataram, ``The East is more ancient by many thousands of years than the West, but a greater length of years does not necessarily imply a more advanced age ... Asia is long-lived, Europe is brief, ephemeral. Asia is in everything hugely mapped, immense and grandiose in its motions, and its life-periods are measured in accordingly. Europe lives by centuries, Asia by millennia. Europe is parcelled out in nations, Asia in civilisations. The whole of Europe forms only one civilisation with a common, derived and largely second-hand culture; Asia supports three civilisations, each of them original and of the soil."1 Swami Vivekananda also expresses the same idea in his first lecture in the East, after his four year tour of various countries in Asia, America and Europe. ``Civilisations have arisen in other parts of the world. In ancient times and in modern times, great ideas have emanated from strong and great races. In ancient and in modern times, wonderful ideas have been carried forward from one race to another. In ancient and in modern times, seeds of great truth and power have been cast abroad by the advancing tides of national life; but mark you, my friends, it has been always with the march of embattled cohorts. Each idea has to be soaked in a deluge of blood. Each idea has to wade through the blood of millions of our fellow-beings. Each word of power had to be followed by the groans of millions, by the wails of orphans, by the tears of widows. This, in the main, other nations have taught; but India has for thousands of years peacefully existed. Here activity prevailed even when Greece did not exist, when Rome was not thought of, when the fathers of the modern Europeans lived in the forest and painted themselves blue. Even earlier, when history has no record, and tradition dares not peer into the gloom of that intense past, even from then until now, ideas after ideas have marched out from her, but every word has been spoken with a blessing behind it and peace before it. We, of all nations of the world, have never been a conquering race, and that blessing is on our head, and therefore we live. ``There was a time when at the sound of the march of big Greek battalions the earth trembled. Vanished from off the face of the earth, with not even a tale left behind to tell, gone is that ancient land of the Greeks. There was a time when the Roman Eagle floated over everything worth having in this world; everywhere Roman's power was felt and pressed on the head of humanity; the earth trembled at the name of Rome. But the Capitoline Hill is a mass of ruins, the spider weaves its web where the Caesars ruled. There have been other nations equally glorious that have come and gone, living a few hours of exultant and exuberant dominance and of a wicked national life, and then vanishing like ripples on the face of the waters. Thus these nations made their mark on the face of humanity. But we live, and if Manu came back today he would not be bewildered, and would not find himself in a foreign land. The same laws are here, laws adjusted and thought out through thousands and thousands of years; customs, the outcome of the acumen of the ages and the experience of centuries, that seem to be eternal; and as the days go by, as blow after blow of misfortune has been delivered upon them, such blows seem to have served one purpose only, that of making them stronger and more constant.''2 All these centuries, India has served the world with its knowledge in science and technology, language and literature, arts and philosophy. In the words of Swami Vivekananda : ``India has given to antiquity the earliest scientifical physicians, and, according to Sir William Hunter, she has even contributed to modern medical science by the discovery of various chemicals and by teaching you how to reform misshapen ears and noses. Even more it has done in mathematics, for algebra, geometry, astronomy, and the triumph of modern science -- mixed mathematics -- were all invented in India, just so much as the ten numerals, the very cornerstone of all present civilisation, were discovered in India, and are in reality, Sanskrit words. ``In philosophy we are even now head and shoulders above any other nation, as Schopenhauer, the great German philosopher, has confessed. In music, India gave to the world her system of notation, with the seven cardinal notes and the diatonic scale, all of which we enjoyed as early as 350 B.C., while it came to Europe only in the eleventh century. In philology, our Sanskrit language is now universally acknowledged to be the foundation of all European languages, which, in fact, are nothing but jargonised Sanskrit. ``In literature, our epics and poems and dramas rank as high as those of any language; our Shaakuntala was summarised by Germany's greatest poet, as `heaven and earth united'.... In manufacture, India was the first to make cotton and purple (dye), it was proficient in all works of jewellery, and the very word `sugar', as well as the article itself, is the product of India. Lastly she has invented the game of chess and the cards and the dice. So great, in fact, was the superiority of India in every respect that it drew to her borders the hungry cohorts of Europe, and thereby indirectly brought about the discovery of America."3 ``If there is one word in the English language to represent the gift of India to the world, if there is one word in the English language to express the effect which the literature of India produced upon mankind, it is this one word, ``fascination''. It is the opposite of anything that takes you suddenly; it throws on you, as it were, a charm imperceptibly. To many, Indian thought, Indian manners, Indian customs, Indian philosophy and Indian literature are repulsive at first sight; but let them persevere, let them read, let them become familiar with the great principles underlying these ideas, and it is ninety-nine to one that the charm will come over them, and fascination will be the result. Slow and silent, as the gentle dew that falls in the morning, unseen and unheard yet producing the most tremendous result, has been the work of the calm, patient, all-suffering spiritual race upon the world of thought.'' 4 With this background, he blesses his countrymen, ``As I look back upon the history of my country, I do not find in the world another country which has done quite so much for the improvement of the human mind. Therefore I have no words of condemnation for my nation. I tell them, `You have done well; only try to do better.' "5 Now the question is, ``Are we doing better? Are we building upon the foundations laid by our ancient rishis? Is India treading the path she has tread for thousands of years?'' The answer is ``No". We seem to be too enthusiastic in copying the Western ideals of power and material prosperity. History has proved that the ideals of power and prosperity, followed by the West have led to ephemeral civilisations. These ideals have led civilisations to the grave. And we are blindly following them. The systematic weakening of the nation by the British Rule has worked like a charm. Sri Aurobindo in a speech in April 1908 remarked, ``British Rule, Britain's civilising mission in India, has been the record success in history in the hypnosis of a nation. It persuaded us to live in a death of the will and its activities, taking a series of hallucinations for real things and creating in ourselves the conditions of morbid weakness the hypnotist desired.''6 About a year later, he wrote in the Karmayoginabout the ideal of freedom, ``Our ideal is that of Swaraj or absolute autonomy free from foreign control. We claim the right of every nation to live its own life by its own energies according to its own nature and ideals. We reject the claims of aliens to force upon us a civilisation inferior to our own or to keep us out of our inheritance on the untenable ground of superior fitness.''7 In the lecture at Jaffna in 1897, Swami Vivekananda replied to the so called `reformers' who were trying to make India `civilised': `` ... the older I grow the better I seem to think of these time-honoured institutions of India. There was a time when I used to think that many of them were useless and worthless; but the older I grow the more I feel a diffidence in cursing anyone of them, for each one of them is an embodiment of the experience of centuries. A child of but yesterday, destined to die a death tomorrow, comes to me and asks me to change all my plans; and if I hear the advice of that baby and change all my surroundings according to his ideas, I myself should be a fool, and no one else. Much of the advice that is coming to us from different countries is similar to this. Tell these wiseacres: `I will hear from you when you have made a stable society yourselves. You cannot hold on to one idea for two days, you quarrel and fail; you are born like the moths in the spring and die like them in five minutes. You come up like bubbles and burst like bubbles too. First form a stable society like ours. First make laws and institutions that remain undiminished in their power through scores of centuries. Then will be the time to talk on the subject with you, but till then, my friend, you are only a giddy child.' ''8 To cater to the colonial interests of the British, the history of India was distorted (refer to the article titled The Myth of the Aryan Invasion in this magazine). The educational system was tailored to produce servants for the British government, who would have lost all pride in their heritage. The memory of the ten thousand years of civilisation was systematically wiped off the Indian mind. Every means was adopted to break the unity of the Indian people. One cannot expect anything better from a government whose sole aim is to suck the last drop of blood from this country to serve the vanity and luxury of its own people. What is pathetic is that, things have not changed even after 50 years of political freedom. Still the same education system is followed and the same crooked `history' is taught. The Bengal National College was started in 1906 by a group of freedom fighters. Sri Aurobindo was its Principal. In 1907, Aurobindo was arrested under a sedition law to curb the spread and impact of Bande Mataram. While taking leave of the teachers and students of the college, he reminded them of the aims with which the college was started and was functioning. ``When we established this college and left other occupations, other chances of life, to devote our lives to this institution, we did so because we hoped to see in it the foundation, the nucleus of a nation, of the new India which is to begin its career after this night of sorrow and trouble, on that day of glory and greatness when India will work for the world. What we want here is not merely to give you a little information, not merely to open to you careers for earning a livelihood, but to build up sons for the Motherland to work and to suffer for her. That is why we started this college and that is the work to which I want you to devote yourselves in future. What has been insufficiently and imperfectly begun by us, it is for you to complete and lead to perfection. When I come back I wish to see some of you becoming rich, rich not for yourselves but that you may enrich the Mother with your riches. I wish to see some of you becoming great, great not for your own sakes, not that you may satisfy your own vanity, but great for her, to make India great, to enable her to stand up with head erect among the nations of the earth, as she did in days of yore when the world looked up to her for light. Even those who will remain poor and obscure, I want to see their poverty and obscurity devoted to the Motherland. .... Work that she may prosper. Suffer that she may rejoice. All is contained in that one single advice.'' 9 How many of our educational institutions work with this aim? How many of them even try to build up worthy sons and daughters for the Motherland? The purely scientific education given in the schools and colleges today is very harmful to the individual and to the society at large. Sri Aurobindo writes in the Karmayogin, ``A purely scientific education tends to make keen and clear-sighted within certain limits, but narrow, hard and cold ..... Man, intellectually developed, mighty in scientific knowledge and the mastery of the gross and subtle nature, using the elements as his servants and the world as his foot-stool, but underdeveloped in heart and spirit, becomes only an inferior kind of asurausing the powers of a demigod to satisfy the nature of an animal.'' 10 Swami Vivekananda used a word for the type of education needed -- man-making education. In a letter he writes, ``What is education? Is it book-learning? No. Is it diverse knowledge? Not even that. The training by which the current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called education.''11 In the course of a conversation with a disciple in 1898, he said, ``The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out the strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion -- is it worth its name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on one's own legs.''12 Sri Aurobindo has worked out a detailed plan of this type of education. He calls for an integrated education system where moral values, art, literature and science have a place for themselves. Education must begin with the mother-tongue of the child. He writes, ``The mother-tongue is the proper medium of education and therefore the first energies of the child should be directed to the thorough mastering of the medium. Almost every child has an imagination, an instinct for words, a dramatic faculty, a wealth of idea and fancy. These should be interested in the literature and history of the nation. Instead of stupid and dry spelling and reading books, looked on as a dreary and ungrateful task, he should be introduced by rapidly progressive stages to the most interesting parts of his own literature and the life around him and behind him, and they should be put before him in such a way as to attract and appeal to the qualities of which I have spoken. All other study at this period should be devoted to the perfection of the mental functions and moral character. A foundation should be laid at this time for the history, science, philosophy and art, but not in an obtrusive and formal manner. Every child is a lover of interesting narrative, a hero worshipper and a patriot. Appeal to these qualities in him and through them let him master, without knowing it, the living and human parts of his nation's history. Every child is an inquirer, an investigator, an analyser, a merciless anatomist. Appeal to these qualities in him and let him acquire, without knowing it, the right temper and the necessary fundamental knowledge of the scientist. Every child has an insatiable intellectual curiosity and turn for metaphysical enquiry. Use it to draw him on slowly to an understanding of the world and himself. Every child has a gift of imitation and a touch of imaginative power. Use it to give him the ground work of the faculty of the artist.....''13 Moral education has to be given through examples from history. In the words of Sri Aurobindo, ``The first rule of moral training is to suggest and invite, not command or impose. The best method of suggestion is by personal example, daily converse and the books read from day to day. These books should contain, for the younger students, the lofty example of the past given, not as moral lessons, but as things of human interest, and for the elder students, the great thoughts of great souls, the passages of literature which set fire to the highest emotions and prompt the highest ideals and aspirations, the records of history and biography which exemplify the living of those great thoughts, noble emotions and aspiring ideals. This is a kind of good company, satsanga, which can seldom fail to have effect so long as sententious sermonising is avoided, and becomes of the highest effect if the personal life of the teacher is itself moulded by the great things he places before his pupils. It cannot, however, have full force unless the young life is given opportunity, within its limited sphere, of embodying in action the moral impulses which rises within it.''14 This type of education will remind the Indian mind of its heritage. With this revival of the past will come renewed energy. In the words of Swami Vivekananda, ``... out of the past is built the future. Look back, therefore, as far as you can, drink deep of the eternal fountains that are behind, and after that, look forward, march forward and make India brighter and greater, much higher than she ever was. Our ancestors are great. We must first recall that. We must learn the elements of our being, the blood that courses in our veins; we must have faith in that blood and what it did in the past; and out of that faith and consciousness of past greatness, we must build an India yet greater than what she has been.''
  8. Quest For God (This was part of the letter written by Swamiji on Sep. 4, 1893 to Prof. J.H. Wright of Boston who introduced Swami Vivekananda in the Parliament of Rligions.) O'ver hill and dale and mountain range, In temple, church, and mosque, In Vedas, Bible, Al Koran I had searched for Thee in vain. Like a child in the wildest forest lost I have cried and cried alone, "Where art Thou gone, my God, my love? The echo answered, "gone." And days and nights and years then passed A fire was in the brain, I knew not when day changed in night The heart seemed rent in twain. I laid me down on Ganges's shore, Exposed to sun and rain; With burning tears I laid the dust And wailed with waters' roar. I called on all the holy names Of every clime and creed. "Show me the way, in mercy, ye Great ones who have reached the goal." Years then passed in bitter cry, Eacch moment seemed an age, Till one day midst my cries and groans Some one seemed calling me. A gentle soft and soothing voice That said 'my son' 'my son', That seemed to thrill in unison With all the chords of my soul. I stood on my feet and tried to find The place the voice came from; I searched and searched and turned to see Round me, before, behind, Again, again it seemed to speak The voice divine to me. In rapture all my soul was hushed, Entranced, enthralled in bliss. A flash illumined all my soul; The heart of my heart opened wide. O joy, O bliss, what do I find! My love, my love you are here And you are here, my love, my all! And I was searching thee - From all eternity you were there Enthroned in majesty! From that day forth, wherever I roam, I feel Him standing by O'ver hill and dale, high mount and vale, Far far away and high. The moon's soft light, the stars so bright, The glorious orb of day, He shines in them; His beauty - might - Reflected lights are they. The majestic morn, the melting eve, Teh boundless billowing sea, In nature's beauty, songs of birds, I see through them - it is He. When dire calamity seizes me, The heart seems weak and faint, All natures seems to crush me down, With laws that enver bend. Meseems I hear Thee whispering sweet My love, "I am near", "I am near". My heart gets strong. With thee, my love, A thousand deaths no fear. Thou speakest in the mother's lay Thous shuts the babies eye, When innocent children laugh and play, I see Thee standing by. When holy friendship shakes the hand, He stands between them too; He pours the nectar in mother's kiss And the baby's sweet "mama". Thou wert my God with prophets old, All creeds do come from Thee, The Vedas, Bible, and Koran bold Sing Thee in Harmony. "Thou art," Thou art" the Soul of souls In the rushing stream of life. "Om tat sat om." Thou art my God, My love, I am thine, I am thine. -Swami vivekananda
  9. "The greater the difficulty, the more glory is surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputations from storms and tempests." "The secret of success in life is to be ready for opportunity when it comes." Live, daringly, boldly, fearlessly. Taste the relish to be found in competition- in having put forth the best within you." The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible "Be determined and take action against your obstacles in life... You will find they haven''t half the strength you think they have." It''s easy to sit up and take notice... What''s difficult is standing up and taking action." Too busy to be sad... Too positive to be doubtful... And too determined to be defeated." Some people want it to happen... Some people wish it to happen... Others make no excuses and make it happen." A leader is one who knows the way... Goes the way... And shows the way." Winners must have two things... Definite goals and a burning desire to achieve them." What the mind can conceive and believe... it can achieve." Excellence is the result of... Caring more than others think is wise, Dreaming more than others think is practical, And expecting more than others think is possible." Love Ranjan Bhandari
  10. It is good to love God for hope of reward in this or the next world, but it is better to love God for love's sake; and the prayer goes: "Lord, I do not want wealth nor children nor learning. If it be Thy will, I shall go from birth to birth; but grant me this, that I may love Thee without the hope of reward - love unselfishly for love's sake." One of the disciples of Krishna, the then Emperor of India, was driven from his kingdom by his enemies and had to take shelter with his queen, in a forest in the Himalayas and there one day the queen asked how it was that he, the most virtuous of men, should suffer so much misery. Yudhishthira answered, "Behold, my queen, the Himalayas, how grand and beautiful they are; I love them. They do not give me any- thing but my nature is to love the grand, the beautiful, therefore I love them. Similarly, I love the Lord. He is the source of all beauty, of all sublimity. He is the only object to beloved; my nature is to love Him, and therefore I love. I do not pray for any- thing; I do not ask for anything. Let Him place me wherever He likes. I must love Him for love's sake. I cannot trade in love." The Vedas teach that the soul is divine, only held in the bondage of matter; perfection will be reached when this bond will burst, and the word they use for it is, therefore, Mukti - freedom, freedom from the bonds of imperfection, freedom from death and misery. And this bondage can only fall off through the mercy of God, and this mercy comes on the pure. So purity is the condition of His mercy. How does that mercy act? He reveals Himself to the pure heart; the pure and the stainless see God, yea, even in this life; then and then only all the crookedness of the heart is made straight. Then all doubt ceases. He is no more the freak of a terrible law of causation. This is the very center, the very vital conception of Hinduism. The Hindu does not want to live upon words and theories, If there are existences beyond the ordinary sensuous existence, he wants to come face to face with them. If there is a soul in him which is not matter, if there is an all-merciful universal Soul, he will go to Him direct. He must see Him, and that alone can destroy all doubts. So the best proof a Hindu sage gives about the soul, about God, is: "I have seen the soul; I have seen God." And that is the only condition of perfection. The Hindu religion does not consist in struggles and attempts to believe a certain doctrine or dogma, but in realizing - not in believing, but in being and becoming. Thus the whole object of their system is by constant struggle to become perfect, to become divine, to reach God, and see God; and this reaching God, seeing God, becoming perfect even as the Father in Heaven is perfect, constitutes the religion of the Hindus. And what becomes of a man when he attains perfection? He lives a life of bliss infinite. He enjoys infinite and perfect bliss, having obtained the only thing in which man ought to have pleasure, namely God, and enjoys the bliss with God. So far all the Hindus are agreed. This is the common religion of all the sects of India; but then perfection is absolute, and the absolute cannot be two or three. It cannot have any qualities. It cannot be an individual. And so when a soul becomes perfect and absolute, it must become one with Brahman, and it would only realize the Lord as the perfection, the reality, of its own nature and existence, the existence absolute, knowledge absolute, and bliss absolute. We have often and often read this called the losing of individuality and becoming a stock or a stone. "He jests at scars that never felt a wound." I tell you it is nothing of the kind. If it is happiness to enjoy the consciousness of this small body, it must be greater happiness to enjoy the consciousness of two bodies, the measure of happiness increasing with the consciousness of an increasing number of bodies, the aim, the ultimate of happiness, being reached when it would become a universal consciousness. Therefore, to gain this infinite universal individuality, this miserable little prison - individuality must go. Then alone can death cease when I am one with life, then alone can misery cease when I am one with happiness itself, then alone can all errors cease when I am one with knowledge itself; and this is the necessary scientific conclusion- Science has proved to me that physical individuality is a delusion, that really my body is one little continuously changing body in an unbroken ocean of matter, and Advaita (unity) is the necessary conclusion with my other counterpart, Soul. Science is nothing but the finding of unity. As soon as science would reach perfect unity, it would stop from further progress, because it would reach the goal. Thus chemistry could not progress farther when it would discover one element out of which all others could be made. Physics would stop when it would be able to fulfill its services in discovering one energy of which all the others are hut manifestations, and the science of religion become perfect when it would discover Him who is the one life in a universe of death, Him who is the constant basis of an ever-changing world, One who is the only Soul of which all souls are but delusive manifestations. Thus is it, through multiplicity and duality, that the ultimate unity is reached. Religion can go no farther. This is the goal of all science. All science is bound to come to this conclusion in the long run. Manifestation, and not creation, is the word of science today; and the Hindu is only glad that what he has been cherishing in his bosom for ages is going to be taught in more forcible language and with further light from the latest conclusions of science. Descend we now from the aspirations of philosophy to the religion of the ignorant. At the very outset, I may tell you that there is no polytheism in India. In every temple, if one stands by and listens, one will find the worshipers applying all the attributes of God, including omnipresence. to the images. It is not polytheism, nor would the name monotheism explain the situation. "The rose, called by any other name, would smell as sweet." Names are not explanations. I remember, as a boy, hearing a Christian missionary preach to crowd in India. Among other sweet things he was telling them was, that if he gave a blow to their idol with his stick. what could it do? One of his hearers sharply answered, "If I abuse your God, what can He do?You would be punished," said the preacher, "when you die.So my idol will punish you when you die," retorted the Hindu. The tree is known by its fruits. When I have seen amongst them that are called idolaters, men, the like of whom, in morality and spirituality and love, I have never seen anywhere, l stop and ask myself, "Can sin beget holiness?" Superstition is a great enemy of man, but bigotry is worse. Why does a Christian go to church? Why is the cross holy? Why is the face turned toward the sky in prayer? Why are there so many images in the Catholic Church? Why are there so many images in the minds of Protestants when they pray? My brethren, we can do more, think about anything without a mental image than we can live without breathing- By the law of association the material image calls up the mental idea and vice versa. This is why the Hindu uses an external symbol when he worships. He will tell you. it helps to keep his mind fixed on the Being to whom he prays. He knows as well as you do that the image is not God, is not omnipresent; finer all, how much does omnipresence mean to almost the whole world? It stands merely as a word, a symbol. Has God superficial area? If not, when we repeat that word "omnipresent", we think of the extended sky. or of space - that is all. As we find that somehow or other, by the laws of our mental constitution, we have to associate our ideas of infinity with the image of the blue sky, or of the sea, so we naturally connect our idea of holiness with the image of a church, a mosque, or a cross. The Hindus have associated the ideas of holiness, purity, truth, omnipresence, and such other ideas with different images and forms. But with this difference that while some people devote their whole lives to their idol of a church and never rise higher, because with them religion means an intellectual assent to certain doctrines and doing good to their fellows, the whole religion of the Hindu is centered in realization. Man is to become divine by realizing the divine. Idols or temples or churches or books are only the supports, the helps, of his spiritual childhood; but on and on he must progress. He must not stop anywhere. "External worship, material worship," say the scriptures, "is the lowest stage; struggling to rise high, mental prayer is the next stage, but the highest stage is when the Lord has been realised." Mark, the same earnest man who is kneeling before the idol tells you, "Him the sun cannot express, nor the moon, nor the stars, the lightning cannot express Him, nor what we speak of as fire; through Him they shine." But he does not abuse anyone's idol or call its worship sin. He recognizes in it a necessary stage of life. "The child is father of the man." Would it be right for an old man to say that childhood is a sin or youth a sin? If a man can realize his divine nature with the help of an image, would it be right to call that a sin? Nor, even when he has passed that stage, should he call it an error. To the Hindu, man is not travelling from error to truth, but from truth to truth, from lower to higher truth. To him all the religions from the lowest fetishism to the highest absolutism, mean so many attempts of the human soul to grasp and realize the Infinite, each determined by the conditions of its birth and association, and each of these marks a stage of progress; and every soul is a young eagle soaring higher and higher, gathering more and more strength till it reaches the Glorious Sun. Unity in variety is the plan of nature, and the Hindu has recognized it. Every other religion lays down certain fixed dogmas and tries to force society to adopt them. It places before society only one coat which must fit Jack and John and Henry, all alike. If it does not fit John or Henry he must go without a coat to cover his body. The Hindus have discovered that the absolute can only be realized, or thought of, or stated through the relative, and the images, crosses, and crescents are simply so many symbols - so many pegs to hang spiritual ideas on. It is not that this help is necessary for everyone, but those that do not need it have no right to say that it is wrong. Nor is it compulsory in Hinduism. One thing I must tell you. Idolatry in India does not mean anything horrible. It is not the mother of harlots. On the other hand, it is the attempt of undeveloped minds to grasp high spiritual truths. The Hindus have their faults, they sometimes have their exceptions; but mark this, they are always for punishing their own bodies, and never for cutting the throats of their neighbors. If the Hindu fanatic burns himself on the pyre, he never lights the fire of Inquisition. And even this cannot be laid at the door of his religion any more than the burning of witches can be laid at the door of Christianity. To the Hindu, then, the whole world of religions is only a travelling, a coming up, of different men and women, through various conditions and circumstances, to the same goal. Every religion is only evolving a God out of the material man, and the same God is the inspirer of all of them. Why, then, are there so many contradictions? They are only apparent, says the Hindu. The contradictions come from the same truth adapting itself to the varying circumstances of different natures. It is the same light coming through glasses of different colors- And these little variations are necessary for purposes of adaptation. But in the heart of everything the same truth reigns. The Lord has declared to the Hindu in His incarnation as Krishna: "I am in every religion as the thread through a string of pearls. Wherever thou seest extraordinary holiness and extraordinary power raising and purifying humanity, know thou that I am there." And what has been the result? I challenge the world to find, throughout the whole system of Sanskrit philosophy, any such expression as that the Hindu alone will be saved and not others. Says Vyasa, "We find perfect men even beyond the pale of our caste and creed." One thing more. How, then, can the Hindu, whose whole fabric of thought centers in God, believe in Buddhism which is agnostic, or in Jainism which is atheistic? The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God; but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man. They have not seen the Father, but they have seen the Son. And he that hath seen the Son bath seen the Father also. This, brethren, is a short sketch of the religious ideas of the Hindus. The Hindu may have failed to carry out all his plans, but if there is ever to be a universal religion, it must be one which will have no location in place or time; which will be infinite like the God it will preach, and whose sun will shine upon the followers of Krishna and of Christ, on saints and sinners alike; which will not be Brahminic or Buddhistic, Christian or Mohammedan, but the sum total of all these. and still have infinite space for development; which in its catholicity will embrace in infinite arms, and find a place for, every human being from the lowest grovelling savage, not far removed from the brute, to the highest man towering by the virtues of his head and heart almost above humanity, making society stand in awe of him and doubt his human nature. It will be a religion which will have no place for persecution or intolerance in its polity, which will recognize divinity in every man and woman, and whose whole scope, whose whole force, will be centered in aiding humanity to realize its own true, divine nature. Offer such a religion and all the nations will follow you. Ashoka's council was a council of the Buddhist faith. Akbar's. though more to the purpose, was only a parlor meeting. It was reserved for America to proclaim to all quarters of the globe that the Lord is in every religion. May He who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians, give strength to you to carry out your noble idea! The star arose in the East; it travelled steadily towards the West, sometimes dimmed and sometimes effulgent, till it made a circuit of the world, and now it is again rising on the very horizon of the East, the borders of the Sanpo¹, a thousand fold more effulgent than it ever was before. Hail Columbia, motherland of liberty! It has been given to thee, who never dipped her hand in her neighbor's blood, who never found out that the shortest way of becoming rich was by robbing one's neighbors, it has been given to thee to march at the vanguard of civilization with the flag of harmony. Christians must always be ready for good criticism and I hardly think that you will mind if I make a little criticism. You Christians, who are so fond of sending out missionaries to save the soul of the heathen - why do you not try to save their bodies from starvation? In India, during the terrible famines, thousands died from hunger, yet you Christians did nothing. You erect churches all through India, but the crying evil in the East is not religion - they have religion enough -but it is bread that the suffering millions of burning India cry out for with parched throats. They ask us for bread, but we give them stones. It is an insult to the starving people to offer them religion; it is an insult to the starving man to teach him metaphysics. In India a priest that preached for money would lose caste and be spat upon by the people. I came here to seek aid for my impoverished people, and I fully realized how difficult it was to get help for heathens from Christians in a Christian land. I am not a Buddhist, as you have heard, and yet I am. If China, or Japan, or Ceylon follow the teachings of the Great Master, India worships him as God incarnate on earth. You have just now heard that I am going to criticize Buddhism, but by that I wish you to understand only this. Far be it from me to criticize him whom I worship as God incarnate on earth. But our views about Buddha are that he was not understood properly by his disciples. The relation be- tween Hinduism (by Hinduism, I mean the religion of the Vedas) and what is called Buddhism at the present day, is nearly the same as between Judaism and Christianity. Jesus Christ was a Jew, and Shakya Muni was a Hindu. The Jews rejected Jesus Christ, nay, crucified him, and the Hindus have accepted Shakya Muni as God and worship him. But the real difference that we Hindus want to show between modern Buddhism and what we should understand as the teachings of Lord Buddha, lies principally in this: Shakya Muni came to preach nothing new. He also, like Jesus, came to fulfill and not to destroy. Only, in the case of Jesus, it was the old people, the Jews, who did not understand him, while in the case of Buddha, it was his own followers who did not realize the importance of his teachings, As the Jew did not understand the fulfillment of the Old Testament, so the Buddhist did not understand the fulfillment of the truths of the Hindu religion. Again, I repeat, Shakya Muni came not to destroy, but he was the fulfillment, the logical conclusion, the logical development of the religion of the Hindus. The religion of the Hindus is divided into two parts, the ceremonial and the spiritual; the spiritual portion is specially studied by the monks. In that there is no caste. A man from the highest caste and a man from the lowest may become a monk in India and the two castes become equal. In the religion there is no caste; caste is simply a social institution, Shakya Muni himself was a monk, and it was his glory that he had the large-heartedness to bring out the truths how the hid- den Vedas and throw them broadcast all over the world. He was the first being in the world who brought missionarizing into practice - nay, he was the first to conceive the idea of proselytizing. The great glory of the Master lay in his wonderful sympathy for everybody, especially for the ignorant and the poor. Saint of his disciples were Brahmins. When Buddha was teaching, Sanskrit was no more the spoken language in India. It was then only in the books of the learned. Some of the Buddha's Brahmin disciples wanted to translate his teachings into Sanskrit, but he distinctly told them, "I am for the poor, for the people: let me speak in the tongue of the people." And so to this day the great bulk of his teachings are in the vernacular of that day in India. Whatever may be the position of philosophy, whatever may the position of metaphysics, so long as there is such a thing as death in the world, so long as there is such a thing as weakness in the human heart, so long as there is a cry going out of the heart of man in his very weakness, there shall be a faith in God. On the philosophic side, the disciples of the Great Master dashed themselves against the eternal rocks of the Vedas and could not crush them, and on the other side they took away from the nation that eternal God to which everyone, man or woman, clings so fondly. And the result was that Buddhism had to die a natural death in India. At the present day there is not one who calls himself a Buddhist in India, the land of its birth. But at the same time, Brahminism lost something - that reforming zeal, that wonderful sympathy and charity for everybody, that wonderful leaven which Buddhism had brought to the masses and which had rendered Indian society so great that a Greek historian who wrote about India of that time was led to say that no Hindu was known to tell untruth and no Hindu woman was known to be unchaste. Hinduism cannot live without Buddhism, nor Buddhism without Hinduism. Then realize what the separation has shown to us, that the Buddhists cannot stand without the brain and philosophy of the Brahmins, nor the Brahmin without the heart of the Buddhist. This separation between the Buddhists and the Brahmins is the cause of the downfall of India. That is why India is populated by three hundred millions of beg- gars, and that is why India has been the slave of conquerors for the last thousand years. Let us then join the wonderful intellect of the Brahmin with the heart, the noble soul, the wonderful humanizing power of the Great Master. The World's Parliament of Religions has become an accomplished fact, and the merciful Father has helped those who labored to bring it into existence, and crowned with success their most unselfish labor. My thanks to those noble souls whose large hearts and love of truth first dreamed this wonderful dream and then realized it. My thanks to the shower of liberal sentiments that has overflowed this platform. My thanks to this enlightened audience for their uniform kindness to me and for their appreciation of every thought that tends to smooth the friction of religions. A few jarring notes were heard from time to time in this harmony. My special thanks to them, for they have, by their striking contrast, made the general harmony the sweeter. Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if anyone here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, "Brother, yours is an impossible hope." Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid. The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant, it develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant. Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth. If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity, and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most extended character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: "Help and not fight", "Assimilation and not Destruction", "Harmony and peace and not Dissension". (Note: Photograph of a very memorable series of events was presented by Swami Adiswarananda in commemoration of the Centenary of the World's Parliament of Religions and Swami Vivekananda's coming to America ,events held on On November 5-7, 1993 )
  11. Sisters and Brothers of America, It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. l thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions; and I thank you in the name of the millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects. My thanks, also, to some of the speakers on this platform who, referring to the delegates from the Orient, have told you that these men from far-off nations may well claim the honor of bearing to different lands the idea of toleration. I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to the southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: "As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee." The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world, of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: "Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me." Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time has come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal. I will tell you a little story. You have heard the eloquent speaker who has just finished say, "Let us cease from abusing each other," and he was very sorry that there should be always so much variance. But I think I should tell you a story which would illustrate the cause of this variance. A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. It was born there and brought up there, and yet was a little, small frog. Of course, the evolutionists were not there then to tell us whether the frog lost its eyes or not, but, for our story's sake, we must take it for granted that it had its eyes, and that it every day cleansed the water of all the worms and bacilli that lived in it with an energy that would do credit to our modern bacteriologists. In this way it went on and became a little sleek and fat. Well, one day another frog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well. "Where are you form?" "I am from the sea." "The sea! How big is that? Is it as big as my well?" and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other. "My friend," said the frog of the sea, "how do you compare the sea with your little well?" Then the frog took another leap and asked, "Is your sea so big?" "What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your well!" "Well, then," said the frog of the well, "nothing can be bigger than my well; there can be nothing bigger than this; this fellow is a liar, so turn him out." That has been the difficulty all the while. I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Mohammedan sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world. l have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of ours, and hope that, in the future, the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose. Three religions now stand in the world which have come down to us from time prehistoric - Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Judaism. They have all received tremendous shocks, and all of them prove by their survival their internal strength. But while Judaism failed to absorb Christianity and was driven out of its place of birth by its all-conquering daughter, and a handful of Parsees is all that remains to tell the tale of their grand religion, sect after sect arose in India and seemed to shake the religion of the Vedas to its very foundations, but like the waters of the sea-shore in a tremendous earthquake it receded only for a while, only to return in an all-absorbing Hood, a thousand times more vigorous, and when the tumult of the rush was over, these sects were all sucked in, absorbed and assimilated into the immense body of the mother faith. From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu's religion. Where then, the question arises, where is the common center to which all these widely diverging radii converge? Where is the common basis upon which all these seemingly hopeless contradictions rest? And this is the question I shall attempt to answer. The Hindus have received their religion through revelation, the Vedas. They hold that the Vedas are without beginning and without end. It may sound ludicrous to this audience, how a book can be without beginning or end. But by the Vedas no books are meant. They mean the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times. Just as the law of gravitation existed before its discovery, and would exist if all humanity forgot it, so is it with the laws that govern the spiritual relations between soul and soul and between individual spirits and the Father of all spirits were there before their discovery, and would remain even if we forgot them. The discoverers of these laws are called Rishis, and we honor them as perfected beings. I am glad to tell this audience that some of the very greatest of them were women. Here it may be said that these laws as laws may be without end, but they must have had a beginning. The Vedas teach us that creation is without beginning or end. Science is said to have proved that the sum total of cosmic energy is always the same. Then, if there was a time when nothing existed, where was all this manifested energy? Some say it was in a potential form in God. In that case God is sometimes potential and sometimes kinetic, which would make Him mutable. Everything mutable is a compound and everything compound must undergo that change which is called destruction. So God would die, which is absurd. Therefore, there never was a time when there was no creation. If I may be allowed to use a simile, creation and creator are two lines, without beginning and without end, zoning parallel to each other. God is the ever-active providence, by whose power systems after systems are being evolved out of chaos, made to run for a time, and again destroyed. This is what the Brahmin boy repeats every day:"The sun and the moon, the Lord created like the suns and the moons of previous cycles."And this agrees with modern science. Here I Stand and if I shut my eyes, and try to conceive my existence, "I,I,I," what is the idea before me? The idea of a body. Am I, then, nothing but a combination of material substances? The Vedas declare, "No" I am a spirit living in a body: I am not the body. The body will die, but I shall not die. Here I am in this body; it will fall, bull shall go on living. I had also a past. The soul was not created, for creation means a combination, which means a certain future dissolution. If then the soul was created, it must die. Some are born happy, enjoy perfect health with beautiful body, mental vigor, and all wants supplied. Others are born miserable; some are without hands or feet; others again are idiots, and only drag on a wretched existence. Why, if they are all created, why does a just and merciful God create one happy and another unhappy, why is He so partial? Nor would it mend matters in the least to hold that those who are miserable in this life will be happy in a ôare one. Why should a man be miserable even here in the reign of a just and merciful God? In the second place, the idea of a creator God does not explain the anomaly, but simply expresses the cruel Rat of an all-powerful being. There must have been causes, then, before his birth, to make a man miserable or happy and those were his past actions. Are not all the tendencies of the mind and the body accounted for by inherited aptitude? Here are two parallel lines of existence - one of the mind, the other of matter. If matter and its transformations answer for all that we have, there is no necessity for supposing the existence of a soul. But it cannot be proved that thought has been evolved out of matter; and if a philosophical monism is inevitable, spiritual monism is certainly logical and no less desirable than a materialistic monism; but neither of these is necessary here. We cannot deny that bodies acquire certain tendencies from heredity, but those tendencies only mean the physical configuration through which a peculiar mind alone can act in a peculiar way. There are other tendencies peculiar to a soul caused by his past actions. And a soul with a certain tendency would, by the laws of affinity, take birth in a body which is the fittest instrument for the display of that tendency. This is in accord with science, for science wants to explain everything by habit, and habit is got through repetitions. So repetitions are necessary to explain the natural habits of a new born soul. And since they were not obtained in this present life, they must have come down from past lives. There is another suggestion. Taking all these for granted, how is it that I do not remember anything of my past life? This can be easily explained. I am now speaking English. It is not my mother tongue; in fact, no words of my mother tongue are now present in my consciousness; but let me try to bring them up, and they rush in. That shows that consciousness is only the surface of mental ocean, and within its depths are stored up all our experiences. Try and struggle, they would come up. and you would be conscious even of your past life. This is direct and demonstrative evidence. Verification is the perfect proof of a theory, and here is the challenge thrown to the world by the Rishis. We have discovered the secret by which the very depths of the ocean of memory can be stirred up - try it and you would get a complete reminiscence of your past life. So then the Hindu believes that he is a spirit. Him the sword cannot pierce - him the fire cannot burn - him the water cannot melt - him the air cannot dry. The Hindu believes that every soul is a circle whose circumference is nowhere but whose center is located in the body, and that death means the change of the center from body to body. Nor is the soul bound by the conditions of matter. In its very essence, it is free, unbounded, holy, pure, and perfect. But somehow or other it finds itself tied down to matter and thinks of itself as matter. Why should the free, perfect, and pure be thus under the thraldom of matter, is the next question. How can the perfect soul be deluded into the belief that it is imperfect? We have been told that the Hindus shirk the question and say that no such question can be there- Some thinkers want to answer it by positing one or more quasi-perfect beings, and use big scientific names to fill up the gap. But naming is not explaining. The question remains the same. How can the perfect become the quasi-perfect; how can the pure, the absolute change even a microscopic particle of its nature? But the Hindu is sincere. He does not want to take shelter under sophistry. He is brave enough to face the question in a manly fashion; and his answer is: "I do not know. I do not know how the perfect being, the soul, came to think of itself as imperfect, as Joined to and conditioned by matter." But the fact is a fact for all that. It is a fact in everybody's consciousness that one thinks of oneself as the body. The Hindu does not attempt to explain why one thinks one is the body. The answer that it is the will of God is no explanation. This is nothing more than what the Hindu says, "I do not know." Well, then, the human soul is eternal and immortal, perfect and infinite, and death means only a change of center from one body to another. The present is determined by our past actions, and the future by the present. The soul will go on evolving up or reverting back from birth to birth and death to death. But here is another question: Is man a tiny boat in a tempest, raised one moment on the foamy crest of a billow and dashed down into a yawning chasm the next, rolling to and from at the mercy of good and bad actions - a powerless, helpless wreck in an ever-raging, ever-rushing, uncompromising current of cause and effect - a little moth placed under the wheel of causation, which rolls on crushing everything in its way and waits not for the widow's tears or the orphan's cry? The heart sinks at the idea, yet this is the law of nature. Is there no hope? Is there no escape? - was the cry that went up from the bottom of the heart of despair. It reached the throne of mercy, and words of hope and consolation came down and inspired a Vedic sage, and he stood up before the world and in trumpet voice proclaimed the glad tidings: "Hear, ye children of immortal bliss! even ye that reside in higher spheres! I have found the Ancient One who is beyond all darkness, all delusion: knowing Him alone you shall be saved from death over again. "Children of immortal bliss" -what a sweet, what a hopeful name! Allow me to call you, brethren, by that sweet name -heirs of immortal bliss - yea, the Hindu refuses to call you sinners. We are the Children of God, the sharers of immortal bliss, holy and perfect beings. ye divinities on earth - sinners! It is a sin to call a man so; it is standing libel on human nature. Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; ye are not matter, ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter. Thus it is that the Vedas proclaim not a dreadful combination of unforgiving laws, not an endless prison of cause and effect, but that at the head of all these laws, in and through every particle of matter and force, stands One, "by whose command the wind blows, the fire burns, the clouds rain and death stalks upon the earth." And what is His nature? He is everywhere, the pure and formless One, the Almighty and the All-merciful. "Thou art our father, Thou art our mother, Thou art our beloved friend, Thou art the source of all strength; give us strength. Thou art He that beareth the burdens of the universe; help me bear the little burden of this life." Thus sang the Rishis of the Veda. And how to worship Him? Through love. "He is to be worshiped as the one beloved, dearer than everything in this and the next life." This is the doctrine of love declared in the Vedas, and let us see how it is fully developed and taught by Krishna whom the Hindus believe to have been God incarnate on earth. He taught that a man ought to live in this world like a lotus leaf, which grows in water but is never moistened by water; so a man ought to live in the world - his heart to God and his hands to work. (Cotinued....in the next post) (NOTE:Photographs of Swami Vivekananda At The World's Parliment Of Religions 1893,Attached with this Post.)
  12. If we go back to the History,we will find that all the mystics and sages have been pointing to this very same philosophy from time immemorial. In its most explicit form, this philosophy is found in the form of the Hindu Vedantic doctrine of Advaita. In this philosophy, there is no separate, autonomous, individual soul. There is only an illusion of a separate soul. As there is no separate soul, there can be no question of either free will or of rebirth; free will and rebirth for whom? The reality of God according to this theory is that he is the Universal Consciousness, the Source or Ground of all being, and not a personal, anthropomorphic, all-powerful entity. And finally, these things are definitely not asked to be accepted on trust. The individual is encouraged to find out for himself and confirm and corroborate these findings on his own. Nor does this really contradict conventional religion, even religions other than Hinduism. The apparent contradictions are because the religions or the various sages talk at different levels of reality, in consideration of the pre-existing beliefs of the listener. But when speaking at the highest level of reality, most religions as also the sages and mystics affirm this same monistic truth. Several of Jesus' sayings, for example, "I and my father are one", and the teachings of Christian mystics like Meister Eckhart and St. Augustine can be clearly seen to have monistic meanings. The Buddha appears to have restricted himself to the practical aspect of this same teaching, not wanting his disciples to merely speculate on its theoretical considerations and end up in sterile intellectual debates. He taught that there is no separate soul or atman, the doctrine of anatta or anatma. While refusing to speculate on the Universal Consciousness Paramatman, he asked his followers to experience it for themselves - indeed a highly scientific approach. Zen and Taoism too taught much the same principles. And so did Sufism. In fact, Islam is the one religion which simply refuses to speak of an anthropomorphic God, and insists that He is formless. In Judaism God is called Jehovah, Yhwh or Yahweh which means 'I am that I am', clearly indicating the primary Consciousness which enables anyone to know that one exists. Books to Reffer: (1) The Spectrum of Consciousness, Ken Wilber, The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois, USA; 1977, reprint 1985. (2) The Atman Project, Ken Wilber, The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, U.S.A., 1989. (3) The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra (4) My View of the World, Erwin Schroedinger, London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1964). (5) What is Life? and Mind and Matter, Erwin Schroedinger, London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1969). (6) Phantoms in the Brain, V. S. Ramachandran (neurologist, director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, USA). (7) Brilliant Disguise; Light, Matter and the Zero-Point Field by Bernard Haisch, Science & Spirit, Vol.10/Issue 3, Sep-Oct '99 (8) The Self-Aware Universe, Amit Goswami, 1993, G. P. Putnam's sons, New York. (9) The Network of Thought, p. 70; Krishnamurti, J., KFI, 2nd Edn., © J. Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, London, 1982. (10) The Perennial Philosophy, p.36, Aldous Huxley, Harper & Row, New York, 1970. (11) Gospel of St. John, 17:21. (12) Quoted in The Perennial Philosophy, p.206, Aldous Huxley, Harper & Row, New York, 1970 As Advaita can be shown to be quite scientific in temper, modern science, on its part, is closing in on this philosophy. Modern science, especially quantum mechanics, gives us a completely different world view of reality from that so far given to us by classical 'Newtonian' physics. In fact, it shows that classical physics, or the world as we know it, is merely a special case scenario of the more comprehensive new physics. The world-view of modern science comes remarkably close to that of Advaita, and several books have been published correlating the theory of Advaita with modern science, see (1) to (5). Some recent scientific discoveries also correlate very well with this theory, for example, discoveries of the way the brain functions (6) and the discovery of the so-called Zero-Point Field (7). The only point on which there is still confusion between science and this comprehensive, monistic spirituality, is the final question of whether there is 'something' behind all this, or whether there is 'nothing'. Religions unanimously uphold the former view - even Buddhism which some believe to be nihilistic. The Buddha said: "There is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there were not this Unborn, this Unoriginated, this Uncreated, this Unformed, release from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed would not be possible." Science, however, has so far tilted towards the latter, nihilistic opinion only because of its old, classical moorings. Science has so far presupposed that materialism is the primary reality and Consciousness is an Epiphenomenon of this reality. However, this fails to explain many aspects of the modern physics, and glaring holes are now visible in this classical world-view. To give just two examples, the 'quantum' jump made by an electron from one orbit to another without passing through the intervening space; and the Aspect experiment which showed that two electrons can instantaneously affect one another however far apart they are in space - a phenomenon called non-locality. On the other hand, if Consciousness is taken as the primary reality, almost all the contradictions immediately resolve themselves. This is also exactly what mystics over the ages have been saying. And really, to presuppose that materialism is the primary reality, indeed, to presuppose anything and to stick to it in spite of the many contradictions that become apparent based on this presupposition, is in itself highly unscientific. So the least we could do is to examine the alternative paradigm with an open mind - the alternative paradigm being identical with the main Advaitic teaching, that Consciousness, and not matter, is the primary reality and the ground of all being (8). But apart from the scientific angle, our theory must also be able to satisfactorily explain the oft mentioned spiritual phenomena of Enlightenment and Liberation, and also the mystery of God. Let us see if our theory can do so. If Consciousness is taken as the One Reality, then all the teachings of the sages immediately become relevant. The core of the teaching of the sages has been that Consciousness is one and that we are not separate psychological entities. The sages have always maintained that our sense of separateness is an illusion. It is only man that suffers from this unique delusion of being a separate entity, of having a soul. Occasionally, a rare human being sees through this illusion, and such a person is then said to be illumined or Enlightened. What exactly is this phenomenon called Enlightenment? Let us first understand it in simple terms, and then try to explain it in the scientific, medical and psychological context. To understand what is Enlightenment, we must first understand the basic premise or contention that the sages have taught. This is that Consciousness is one, and our sense of being separate psychological entities with separate individual consciousnesses is an illusion. Philosopher J. Krishnamurti said, " It is not a fact that one's consciousness is totally separate from that of everybody else - that separateness is an illusion. One is the whole of mankind - not an individual consciousness. One's consciousness is the consciousness of mankind." (9). This means that the separate 'we's' and 'you's' that we imagine as distinct psychological entities or as separate bits of consciousness, do not really exist as such. True, there are discrete body-mind units. But the idea of separate individual consciousnesses or individual souls inhabiting those body-mind units is a myth. The Upanishads say 'Ayam aatmaa Brahman' meaning that this apparently discrete individual soul is the same as Brahman or the Universal Consciousness. Here Brahman should be understood as the one (universal) Consciousness, as the Upanishads clearly state that Consciousness is Brahman, 'Prajnanam Brahma'. These two statements taken together clearly mean that Brahman is the Universal Consciousness, and the apparent individualised consciousness is really Brahman, with a superimposed illusion of separateness. Thus the separate me's and you's which we expect will survive our mortal bodies as separate entities, do not exist. The separate body-minds are animated by the one Universal Consciousness just as the consciousness of a novelist animates all the characters in his novel. Jalal-ud-din Rumi, the Turkish Sufi mystic of the middle ages, sang: Who are we, O Thou soul of our souls, that we should remain in being beside thee? We and our existences are really non-existence; thou art the absolute Being which manifests the perishable. We all are lions, but lions on a banner: because of the wind they are rushing onward from moment to moment... ...Our wind whereby we are moved and our being are of thy gift; our whole existence is from thy bringing into being. Mesnavi Book I, 599-607 Advaita is often misunderstood to mean that everything is an illusion. Let us be clear about this - Consciousness is not an illusion - but the psychological separateness is! Consciousness includes the sense of being alive, being aware, being able to touch, taste, see, hear, feel, sense, act. That does exist. What is illusory is our idea of a 'who' that is doing all of these things - a 'who' that is expected to survive the death of the body. Touching, tasting, sensing does occur, but there is no entity, no one who touches, tastes, senses, there is no subject, there is only Subjectivity. And Absolute Subjectivity is the Universal Consciousness which is not a 'who' at all - it is impersonal. ". . . man's obsessive consciousness of, and insistence on being a separate self is the final and most formidable obstacle to the unitive knowledge of God. To be a self is . . . the original sin, and to die to self . . . is the final virtue." Aldous Huxley (10) Now perhaps we could try to understand what the phenomenon of Enlightenment is all about. Enlightenment is the actual realisation, intuitive perception of this truth, not just belief or intellectual understanding, namely, the oneness of Consciousness and the absence of separateness. The mystic sees that he is not a separate individualised consciousness or soul, but that he is the one singular Consciousness which is also called by some God, seeing this directly for oneself is Enlightenment. Jesus said, "That they all may be One; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they too may be One in us". (11) We must understand that Enlightenment is not some esoteric or magical process, Enlightenment does not give a man magical powers, nor make him a superman. Enlightenment is simply the disappearance of an illusion which made him see everything from the point of view of a 'me', Enlightenment does not make a person all-knowing. When the scriptures talk of spiritual knowledge that occurs upon Enlightenment, we must realise that they are not referring to any form of verbal, temporal knowledge which can be learnt or developed in time. The word knowledge here refers to the true insight, the intuitive perception which is Enlightenment. Enlightenment is thus a change in perspective, a change of focus, a paradigm shift. It is a shift from the constricting, individual focus of a 'me' to a view of life in its totality, a shift from being a circle with the illusory 'me' as centre, to a circle whose circumference is everywhere and whose centre is nowhere. Thus the knowledge that comes with Enlightenment is not a temporal knowledge but is rather an intuitive insight into the way things are in their totality. Love Ranjan Bhandari
  13. This is for anticheaters,First learn about advaita,and then comment on it. Advaita is the Hindu or Vedantic name for the doctrine of monism. Advaita can be literally translated as adualism or non-dualism, but is generally referred to as monism. It is not the same as monotheism, which is the belief that there is only one God, as contrasted with polytheism which believes in many gods. Advaita is not even the same as pan-theism, 'all things are God'. The basic principle of Advaita is that there ARE no 'things' - there is only God. In other words, all that exists, is God - 'things' are mere appearances. The basic tenets of Advaita could be stated very briefly as follows : 1. There is One basic underlying Reality or Source of the entire manifestation, which is variously called Brahman, Nirguna (attributeless) Brahman, Consciousness (Prajna) or just 'THAT' (Tat). 2. Unlike the common perception of God, in reality God is not a person - 'God' in Advaita refers to this same impersonal, indefinable force. This force cannot be accurately described in words, and so any description must be accepted with that caveat. 3. The Nirguna Brahman has not CREATED the manifestation of this phenomenal universe, it has BECOME the manifestation, and that too, ONLY IN APPEARANCE. In this becoming, the essential nature of Brahman remains unchanged, as Brahman is, by its very nature, changeless, this becoming is only an APPARENT becoming. The example given is that of a screen - Brahman - and the pictures projected on it - the manifestation. 4. 'We', as the separate individual entities that we unquestioningly take ourselves to be, are also not different from Brahman or the Source. Our sense of being separate psychological entities each with our own separate individual consciousness, IS AN ILLUSION caused by our defective way of thinking. This delusory power of our thinking is termed maya. We are not even a part of Brahman in the sense of being a small part of a bigger whole. We ARE Brahman by another name. Love Ranjan Bhandari
  14. Dear anticheater, Advaita may seem like a philosophy on the outside (it is practiced as a religious stream by many Hindus), but this may very well be the place where Scientific world intersects with the Spiritual world. Many of us are aware of the Plancks equation E = hv , where E = Energy of a wave, and h = Plancks constant and v = frequency of the wavelength. With the arrival of Einstein it was also established that E = mc^2 where E = energy and m = mass of a particle and c = speed of light. When we combine the two equations, we get mc^2 = hv which gives us a very interesting relation which directly relates the mass of a particle to frequency, which means anything material has an associated wavelength namely, DeBroglie waves . To sum up, matter is another form of waves which in turn is another form of energy and so on.In fact it so appears that the whole mesh of this Universe is in fact blending into that One which exhibits itself as many (namely, mass, energy, wave etc). This is where Advaita takes over to explain that everything is but the manifestation of that "One" which is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Even the concept of these fundamental waves is seen in Hindu (and consequently Advaita) belief as Aum. Love Ranjan Bhandari
  15. Dear antivirus,please stop abusing someothers belief or spiritual organisation.it is not neccsary to find others fault to prove that we are right. If you are true,right&pure there is nothing can stop you from proving truth.Sooner or later Truth wins. Jai sri ramakrishna jai swami vivekananda. Love, Ranjan Bhandari.
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