'Ye divinities on earth, it is a sin to call a man a sinner' thus spake Swami Vivekananda, in his lecture at the Chicago Parliament of Religions, which was, in a sense, his first public utterance before the world. This also contained the essence of his teachings. This statement contained two ideas one positive, the other negative. The positive idea is that man is essentially divine. No proof is necessary for that. Truth is its own proof; it does not require a prop to stand upon. If a person cannot see or perceive the truth, it is his own fault. If one cannot perceive the truth, that fact does not detract in any way from the value of the truth itself. So the great Swami said, in his usually strong, definite, unequivocal way, that man is divine. Many will find it difficult to believe; many will be scared by it; and others, brought up in an atmosphere of sin-complex, will call it blasphemous.
But on what basis did Swami Vivekananda make this bold and tremendous statement? It was his direct experience. There is no proof greater than direct experience. Swami Vivekananda personally realized the state of his own divinity, and just like a lion out of its cage, he roared before one and all that every one was divine. By knowing the One, you know the all. The Swami got the knowledge of the One behind all, and knew the nature of all. His realization was so complete and vivid that he could not stand the idea that any one, however low and degraded from the standpoint of social opinion or popular verdict, should think himself, or be considered separate from the Divinity within him. Once he said, 'Do not seek God, but see God.' Where should one seek God? God is all-pervading, God is the Eternal Presence. Just open your eyes and see Him.