Saturday, 20 April 2013

VEDANTISM

वीरेश्वराय विद्महे विवेकानन्दाय धीमहि । तन्नो वीर: प्रचोदयात् ।  

Salient points of our religion –

Word Hindu, who lived on other side of the river Indus (in Sanskrit, Sindhu). All the people who lived on this side of the Indus in modern times do not follow the same religion as they did in ancient times.
The other words which alone we can use are either the vaidikas, the followers of the Vedas or still, the Vedantists, followers of the Vedant.

Vedas is not the utterance of persons, Vedas are eternal. Vedas do not owe their authority to anybody, they are themselves the authority, being eternal the knowledge of GOD. They are never written, never created. The mass of knowledge called the Vedanta was discovered by personages called Rishis, and the Rishi is defined as a Mantra-drashtâ, a seer of thought.

The Vedanta  comprises the Upanishads.  All sects of India Dualists, Qualified-Monists, Monists or the Shaivites, Vaishnavites, Shaktas, Sauras….each one within the fold of Hinduism are to obey the authority of Vedanta.

The Smritis are books written by sages, but the authority of smritis is subordinate to that of the Vedanta.

The  Purânas are history, cosmology, various symbological illustration of philosophical principles etc. These were written to popularise the religion of the Vedas.

The Tantras  are very much like Puranas in some respects, and in some of them there is an attempt to revive the old sacrificial ideas of the Karma Kanda.

All these books constitute the scriptures of the Hindus. When there is such amass of sacred books in a nation and a race which has devoted the greatest part of its energies to the thought of philosophy and spirituality, it is quite natural that there should be so many sects.

The first is the question of creation. Sanskrit word for creation should be projection. Therefore wherever in our scriptures the words beginning and end are used, it means the beginning and the end of one particular cycle.

The Brahmane is eternal, eternally pure, eternally awake, the almighty, the all-knowing, the all-merciful, the omnipresent, the formless, the partless. He creates this universe. If he is always creating and holding up this universe .The mercy of God is eternal and unchangeable.

We all agree that life is eternal. It is not that it has sprung out of nothing, for that cannot be. Each one of us is the effect of the infinite past. Each one of us is the maker of our own fate. We, we, and none else, are responsible for what we suffer. We are the effects, and we are the causes. We are free therefore. The human will stands beyond all circumstance. Before it — the strong, gigantic, infinite will and freedom in man — all the powers, even of nature, must bow down, succumb, and become its servants. This is the result of the law of Karma.

The soul is without beginning and without end, and immortal by their very nature; also that all powers, blessing, purity, omnipresence, omniscience are buried in each soul. That is a grand idea we ought to remember. In every man and in every animal, however weak or wicked, great or small, resides the same omnipresent, omniscient soul. The difference is not in the soul, but in the manifestation.

The goal of the soul is freedom. The human body is the highest of all. This earth is the Karma Bhumi; it is this earth from which we attain to liberation. Mukti, freedom - The idea is to be free of external and internal nature. No more is there life; no more death. No more enjoyment; no more misery. It is bliss unspeakable, indestructible, beyond everything. Eternal Bliss is our goal.Through love, Bhakti; by the worship of God, by loving all beings as the temples of God knowledge comes, the bonds breaks, and the soul gets free.

What a mine of strength is in this Impersonal God, when all superstitions have been thrown overboard, and man stands on his feet with the knowledge — I am the Impersonal Being of the world! What can make me afraid? I care not even for nature's laws. Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be; if you think yourselves impure, impure you will be; if you think yourselves pure, pure you will be. This teaches us not to think ourselves as weak, but as strong, omnipotent, and omniscient. No matter that I have not expressed it yet, it is in me. All knowledge is in me, all power, all purity, and all freedom. Why cannot I express this knowledge? Because I do not believe in it. Let me believe in it, and it must and will come out.

Make your children strong from their very childhood; teach them not weakness, nor forms, but make them strong; let them stand on their feet — bold, all-conquering, all-suffering; and first of all, let them learn of the glory of the soul.

Variety is the very soul of life. We have each our Ishta. The idea of our religion is one of inclusion of every one, exclusion of none.

In this Kali Yuga there is one great work. What is needed in this Yuga is giving, helping others. What is meant by Dana? The highest of gifts is the giving of spiritual knowledge, the next is the giving of secular knowledge, and the next is the saving of life, the last is giving food and drink. He who gives spiritual knowledge, saves the soul from the birth. He who gives secular knowledge opens the eyes of human beings towards spiritual knowledge, and far below these rank all other gifts, even the saving of life. .. The highest and greatest help is that given in the dissemination of spiritual knowledge. There is an eternal fountain of spirituality in our scriptures, and nowhere on earth, except in this land of renunciation, do we find such noble examples of practical spirituality.

This is one of our greatest duties, and you will find that the more you work to help others, the more you help yourselves. The one vital duty incumbent on you, if you really love your religion, if you really love your country, is that you must struggle hard to be up and doing, with this one great idea of bringing out the treasures from your closed books and delivering them over to their rightful heirs.

First, learn to obey. The command will come by itself. Always first learn to be a servant, and then you will be fit to be a master. Avoid this jealousy and you will do great works that have yet to be done. Our ancestors did most wonderful works, and we look back upon their work with veneration and pride. But we also are going to do great deeds, and let others look back with blessings and pride upon us as their ancestors.

(The following address of welcome from the Hindus of Jaffna was presented to Swami Vivekananda: on 24 Jan 1897) Full lecture 

With Love and Prayers,
-Rashmitadidi



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