A Concordance to Swami Vivekananda is not
simply a collection of quotations culled from the vast Vivekananda corpus. It is
an effective guide that presents to scholars and general readers what Swamiji
has to say on a particular subject and where that original statement can be
found. Often we need this sort of ready reference, both for locating a saying
and for the purpose of in-depth study and research. By serving this twin purpose
this Concordance will save much time and labour of those who are eager to
know Swami Vivekananda and penetrate the cosmic range of his profound thoughts
and eternal message.
The distinctive feature of this Concordance is thus its marked
emphasis on projecting the ideas rather than the words of Swamiji. Hence the
text of each entry has been so chosen that the reader can have a fairly clear
idea of what Swamiji wanted to convey. Where the idea is not clear enough,
the reader will have to consult the source.
"For the next fifty years this alone shall be our keynote - this our great
Mother India. Let all other vain gods disappear for the time from our minds.
This is the only god that is awake, our own race - 'everywhere his hands,
everywhere his feet, everywhere his ears, he covers everything'. All other gods
are sleeping. What vain gods shall we go after and yet cannot worship the god
that we see all round us, the Virat?.... The first of all worship is the
worship of the Virat - men and animals; and the first gods we have to
worship are our countrymen."
- Swami Vivekananda.
This message of energy had a double meaning: a national and a universal.
Although, for the great monk of the Advaita, it was the universal meaning that
predominated, it was the other that revived the sinews of India.
His words are great music, phrases in the styles of Beethoven, stirring
rhythms like the march of Handel choruses. I cannot touch these sayings of his,
scattered as they are through the pages of books at thirty years' distance,
without receiving a thrill through my body like an electric shock. And what
shocks, what transports must have been produced when in burning words they
issued from the lips of the hero!
India was hauled out of the shifting sands of barren speculation wherein she
had been engulfed for centuries, by the hand of one of her own Sannyasins;
and the result was that the whole reservoir of mysticism, sleeping beneath,
broke its bounds and spread by a series of great ripples into action.
- Romain Rolland.
You must always remember that the one central ideal of Vedanta is this
oneness. There are no two in anything, no two lives, nor even two different
kinds of life for the two worlds. You will find the Vedas speaking of heavens
and things like that at firs; but later on, when they come to the highest ideals
of their philosophy, they brush away all these things. There is but one life,
one world, one existence. Everything is that One, the different is in degree and
not in kind. The difference between our lives is not in kind. The Vedanta
entirely denies such ideas as that animals are separate from men, and that they
were made and created by God to be used for our food.
The Vedanta teaches men to have faith in themselves first. As certain
religions of the world say that a man who does not believe in a Personal God
outside of himself is an atheist, so the Vedanta says, a man who does not
believe in himself is an atheist. Not believing in the glory of our own soul is
what the Vedanta calls atheism. To many this is, no doubt, a terrible idea; and
most of us think that this ideal can never be reached; but the Vedanta insists
that it can be realized by every one. There is neither man nor woman or child,
nor difference of race of sex, nor anything that stands as a bar to the
realization of the ideal, because Vedanta shows that it is realized already, it
is already there.
The Vedanta recognizes no sin, it only recognizes error. And the greatest
error, says the Vedanta, is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a
miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.
Every time you think in that way, you, as it were, rivet one more link in the
chain that binds you down, you add one more layer of hypnotism on to your own
soul. Therefore, whosoever thinks he s weak is wrong, whosoever thinks he is
impure is wrong, and is throwing a bad thought into the world. This we must
always bear in mind that in the Vedanta there is no attempt at reconciling the
present life - the hypnotized life, this false life which we have assumed - with
the ideal; but this false life must go, and the real life which is always
existing must manifest itself, must shine out.
- Swami Vivekananda
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