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The Science and Philosophy of Religion

The Science and Philosophy of Religion


Item Code: IDJ328

by Swami Vivekananda

Paperback (Edition: 2002)

Advaita Ashrama
ISBN 8175050535

Size: 7.0" X 4.8"
Pages: 126 (Black & White Illus: 2)
Price: $5.00
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Editor's Preface

'When any Science reaches unity, it cannot possibly go any further. You cannot go beyond this idea of the Absolute, the idea of the one, out of which everything in the universe has evolved.....The last word of Advaita is "Tattvamasi" -"That thou art." These are the words of the author of the present volume, at the end of the book. It is a clear and concise statement of the daring claim made by the sages of India, from very old times, that they have attainted to such unity in the religious field and succeeded in bringing religion to the rank of a perfect and complete science. The methods adopted by them to come to this result-were the same as followed by all the sciences of the present day, viz., observation and analysis of the facts of our experience, and a synthetical combination of the results obtained, to find out the same facts. The Kapila, Vyasa, Patanjali and indeed all the philosophers of India, including most of the Vedic seers, applied these methods in coming to their respective discoveries-has been fully discussed by the author in his books on the different Yogas.

Wonderful as the claim seems and improbable to the superficial eye, the world had not had the power and inclination to shift the grounds on which it was advanced. The difficulties of an obsolete language, expression and imagery, the too concise character of the aphorisms Sutras and leaden dross of time always overwhelmed or led astray the stray stragglers, who made an attempt along the line, while the Indian national mind was sleeping through centuries, perfectly exhausted with the superhuman exertions of the great discovery! No wonder, it needed the present period of re-awakening of 'the motherland of Dharma' and along with it the superhuman vision of Bhagvan Sri Ramakrishna and the gifted talent of Swami Vivekananda to do the works; as well as to teach humanity the way to apply the great Truth to its daily life, in India and abroad-for an Indian mind is always needed to interpret things purely Indian. To understand fully the greatness of the Swami, however, we must always bear in mind the fact that these were a series of seven lectures, delivered without notes, before a little class in New York, in the beginning of 1896. It is fortunate, indeed, that they were taken down at the time by shorthand, making it possible for us to get them printed in this present form, after the expiration of such a long time and the editor is thankful for being requested to do this work while he was in America, at the beginning of 1897.

Nothing of any importance has been changed in the body of the lectures themselves, excepting the substitution of the word Prakriti for Nature. In the editor's humble opinion there is no English equivalent for the Sanskrit word, and Nature can never be one. For the idea connoted by it is the finished result of what is connoted by the word Prakriti. Prakriti, therefore, can never mean Nature, but the primal elements and forces which form the materials for the creation of the universe. Prakriti is the cause, of which Nature is the effect, or our of which Nature is being produced. 'Primal matter and energy held in equilibrium' or 'the latent condition of primal matter and energy' expresses the idea aright. We would request the reader to keep this well-stamped in his mind to understand the words of the Swami in the following pages clearly.


Publisher's Note5
Editor's Preface7
The Samkhya Cosmology21
Prakriti and Purusha36
Samkhya and Advaita53
The Free Soul70
One Existence Appearing as Many88
Unity of the Self102
The Highest Ideal of Jnana Yoga112
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