Thursday, 7 July 2016

Know thy Divine Nature

'Ye the Divinities on earth' is what Swamiji called all human beings. If that be true, which it undoubtedly is, it is a wrong idea to call anyone vile or wicked. What one sees, good or bad, in a person is only the outer covering of the Reality within him. That is the garment of the person. That garment changes, but not the man, the Reality. In that sense, to call a man vile or wicked is wrong, is a sin, for it is an untruth, a lie. Thereby you do harm to the person who is struggling with his own ignorance. You do harm not only to that particular individual, you do harm also to the society to which one belongs, you rivet one more chain on the whole world. If one millionth fraction of the whole population of the world would sit down for a while and say, 'Ye who suffer, ye who cry, ye all are divine, ye all are divine,' the face of the world would change in a moment that was the conviction of Swami Vivekananda, uttered in one of his lectures. That was not only an utterance, not a fruitless conviction either. It was his burning rea1ization which, with his anguished heart, he wanted to pass on to all others.


Is there not wickedness in the world? Do we not meet with plenty of vile and wicked people in life ? Yes, there are wicked persons those who commit horrible deeds. But emphasizing the idea that this person is wicked, that person is wrong, will not help matters. By the repetition of the word darkness, darkness will not go away. Rather, by such repetitions, the terrors of darkness will increase. The remedy against darkness is to bring light. Bring light, and darkness will go away. Darkness, however deep, from how ever remote a time it may have existed, will instantaneously vanish if light is brought in. The Light of Knowledge is burning within each individual. That Light is veiled in ignorance, is covered up by layers of darkness. In a good person the layers are thin; in a so-called evil person, the layers are thick. That is the difference between persons considered good and bad in society. With the coming of knowledge, both sets of persons will be transformed in a trice. Darkness does not go step by step. When Light is brought, it goes away at once. Swami Vivekananda understood it, knew it, had realized it! Therefore he was desperately eager to remove the conception of sin and wickedness from the minds of men. If all could think in terms of what they really are, in no time they were sure to be transformed. So he emphasized the positive view. It was not an easy optimism of a type cultivated by people who are frightened by the thought of the existence of evil in life and who try to escape by ignoring it. This kind of optimism does not last long because it is only lip-deep. It is only words. Swami Vivekananda's optimism was the out- come of the direct experience of what man is, of the sure knowledge of what life and death are. From the transcendental height he spoke to the people below, to raise them to his own level. Therefore his words are so powerful, have timeless strength.