Saturday 9 July 2016

A New Gospel of Swamiji

When talking of Bhakti, or Divine love, Swami Vivekananda would be in an ecstatic condition and the audience would be moved to tears, but he also said that religion was not weeping and wailing, religion was strength, that man was divine, and should always remember his divinity. This is a monistic idea. But Swami Vivekananda recommends this attitude to all - monists or dualists. The same idea he expresses in a dualistic way when he says that one should have faith in oneself first, and then in God. Is not faith in oneself the result of the power of God within one? Leaving aside philosophical subtleties, he would say that infinite power is within all; somehow that power must be called up and awakened. That is what Swami Vivekananda mainly wanted.

The Gita speaks of Karma Yoga as doing work without attachment to the fruits thereof. Such work, according to the commentaries of Sankaracharya, brings one purification of heart, which, in turn, leads to the realization of the Self. According to Swami Vivekananda purely unselfish work leads to the goal directly. If one is perfectly unselfish, one has become perfect, because with complete unselfishness the ego which divides us from the all-pervading Reality is completely gone. And if God is all-pervading, we can serve God directly through our service to one and all.

These are His manifold forms before thee,

Rejecting them, where seekest thou for God?

Who loves all beings, without distinction,

He indeed is worshipping best his God.

This is not a mere poetic fancy, or a stimulating advice for humanitarian work. This is the discovery of a new form of worship.  A direct and universal. Swami Vivekananda had no sympathy for so-called humanitarian work, for it denies the simple logical deduction from belief in God. If God exists, as He undoubtedly does, He can surely take care of His creation. He does not need the help of you or me for the protection and safety of His created beings. It is blasphemy to think that you can help anybody, or that anyone needs your help. It is a privilege for you to worship God in the poor, the sick, and the distressed through service to them. So serve all in all humility. Be grateful to those who offer you the opportunity to serve the Divine in them. By the same logic the oppressor is to be pitied more than the oppressed, however pitiful may be the lot of the oppressed. For the oppressor does not know that thereby he is oppressing himself. That is his irony of fate. The oppressor and the oppressed, the praiser and the praised, the blamer and the blamed are all one. This is altogether a new gospel of work preached by Swami Vivekananda.

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