Author Topic: Swami Vivekananda - Pithy utterances  (Read 4121 times)

silentgreen

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Swami Vivekananda - Pithy utterances
« on: August 26, 2010, 04:37:40 PM »
MARRIAGE
(New Discoveries, Vol. 5, p. 138.)

From Miss Josephine MacLeod’s February 1908 letter to Mary Hale, in which she described Swami Vivekananda’s response to Alberta Sturges’s question:

ALBERTA STURGES: Is there no happiness in marriage?

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Yes, Alberta, if marriage is entered into as a great austerity — and everything is given up — even principle!


LINE OF DEMARCATION
(New Discoveries, Vol. 5, p. 225.)

From Mrs. Alice Hansbrough’s reminiscences of a question-answer exchange following the class entitled "Hints on Practical Spirituality":

Q: Swami, if all things are one, what is the difference between a cabbage and a man?

A: Stick a knife into your leg, and you will see the line of demarcation.


GOD IS!
(New Discoveries, Vol. 5, p. 276.)

Alice Hansbrough’s record of a question-answer session after a class lecture:

Q: Then, Swami, what you claim is that all is good?

A: By no means. My claim is that all is not — only God is! That makes all the difference.


RENUNCIATION
(New Discoveries, Vol. 6, p. 11-12.)

From Alice Hansbrough's reminiscences of a question-answer session following one of Swami Vivekananda’s San Francisco classes pertaining to renunciation:

WOMAN STUDENT: Well, Swami, what would become of the world if everyone renounced?

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Madam, why do you come to me with that lie on your lips? You have never considered anything in this world but your own pleasure!


SHRI RAMAKRISHNA'S DISCIPLE
(New Discoveries, Vol. 6, p. 12.)

Mrs. Edith Allan described a teacher-student exchange in one of Swami Vivekananda’s San Francisco classes:

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: I am the disciple of a man who could not write his own name, and I am not worthy to undo his shoes. How often have I wished I could take my intellect and throw it into the Ganges!

STUDENT: But, Swami, that is the part of you I like best.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: That is because you are a fool, Madam — like I am.


THE MASTER'S DIVINE INCARNATION
(New Discoveries, Vol. 6, p. 17.)

From Mrs. Edith Allan’s reminiscences:

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: I have to come back once more. The Master said I am to come back once more with him.

MRS. ALLAN: You have to come back because Shri Ramakrishna says so?

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Souls like that have great power, Madam.


A PRIVATE ADMISSION
(New Discoveries, Vol. 6, p. 121.)

From Mrs. Edith Allan’s reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda's stay in northern California, 1900:

WOMAN STUDENT: Oh, if I had only lived earlier, I could have seen Shri Ramakrishna!

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA (turning quietly to her): You say that, and you have seen me?


A GREETING
(New Discoveries, Vol. 6, p. 136.)

From Mr. Thomas Allan’s reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda's visit to Alameda, California, 1900:

MR. ALLAN: Well, Swami, I see you are in Alameda!

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: No, Mr. Allan, I am not in Alameda; Alameda is in me.


"THIS WORLD IS A CIRCUS RING"
(New Discoveries, Vol. 6, p. 156.)

From Mrs. Alice Hansbrough’s reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda’s conversation with Miss Bell at Camp Taylor, California, in May 1900:

MISS BELL: This world is an old schoolhouse where we come to learn our lessons.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Who told you that? [Miss Bell could not remember.] Well, I don't think so. I think this world is a circus ring in which we are the clowns tumbling.

MISS BELL: Why do we tumble, Swami?

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Because we like to tumble. When we get tired, we will quit.


ON KALI
(The Complete Works of Sister Nivedita, Vol. I, p. 118.)

Sister Nivedita’s reminiscence of a conversation with Swami Vivekananda at the time she was learning the Kâli worship:

SISTER NIVEDITA: Perhaps, Swamiji, Kali is the vision of Shiva! Is She?

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Well! Well! Express it in your own way. Express it in your own way!


TRAINING UNDER SHRI RAMAKRISHNA
(The Complete Works of Sister Nivedita, Vol. I, pp. 159-60.)

While on board a ship to England, Swami Vivekananda was touched by the childlike devotion of the ship’s servants:

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: You see, I love our Mohammedans!

SISTER NIVEDITA: Yes, but what I want to understand is this habit of seeing every people from their strongest aspect. Where did it come from? Do you recognize it in any historical character? Or is it in some way derived from Shri Ramakrishna?

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: It must have been the training under Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. We all went by his path to some extent. Of course it was not so difficult for us as he made it for himself. He would eat and dress like the people he wanted to understand, take their initiation, and use their language. "One must learn", he said, "to put oneself into another man's very soul". And this method was his own! No one ever before in India became Christian and Mohammedan and Vaishnava, by turn!
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silentgreen

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Swami Vivekananda - Some answers
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2010, 11:28:08 AM »
Q. How is it possible for God who is infinite to be limited in the form of a man (as an Avatara)?

Swami Vivekananda - It is true that God is infinite, but not in the sense in which you comprehend it. You have confounded your idea of infinity with the materialistic idea of vastness. When you say that God cannot take the form of a man, you understand that a very, very large substance or form (as if material in nature), cannot be compressed into a very, very small compass. God's infinitude refers to the unlimitedness of a purely spiritual entity, and as such, does not suffer in the least by expressing itself in a human form.


Q. Some say, "First of all become a Siddha (one who has realised the Truth), and then you have the right to Karma, or work for others", while others say that one should work for others even from the beginning. How can both these views be reconciled?

Swami Vivekananda - You are confusing one thing with the other. Karma means either service to humanity or preaching. To real preaching, no doubt, none has the right except the Siddha Purusha, i.e. one who has realised the Truth. But to service every one has the right, and not only so, but every one is under obligation to serve others, so long as he is accepting service from others.


Q. Who is a true Jnani, and who is a true Bhakta?

Swami Vivekananda - The true Jnani is he who has the deepest love within his heart and at the same time is a practical seer of Advaita in his outward relations. And the true Bhakta (lover) is he who, realising his own soul as identified with the universal Soul, and thus possessed of the true Jnana within, feels for and loves everyone. Of Jnana and Bhakti he who advocates one and denounces the other cannot be either a Jnani or a Bhakta, but he is a thief and a cheat.


Q. If unity is the only reality, how could duality which is perceived by all every moment have arisen?

Swami Vivekananda - Perception is never dual; it is only the representation of perception that involves duality. If perception were dual, the known could have existed independently of the knower, and vice versa.


Q. Can Jiva-seva (service to beings) alone give Mukti ?

Swami Vivekananda - Jiva-seva can give Mukti not directly but indirectly, through the purification of the mind. But if you wish to do a thing properly, you must, for the time being, think that that is all-sufficient. The danger in any sect is want of zeal. There must be constancy (Nishtha), or there will be no growth. At present it has become necessary to lay stress on Karma.


Q. Sometimes one gets tired of Japa (repetition of the Mantra). Should one continue it or read some good book instead?

Swami Vivekananda - One gets tired of Japa for two reasons. Sometimes one's brain is fatigued, sometimes it is the result of idleness. If the former, then one should give up Japa for the time being, for persistence in it at the time results in seeing hallucinations, or in lunacy etc. But if the latter, the mind should be forced to continue Japa.


Q. Is there no easy way to liberation?

Swami Vivekananda - "There is no royal road to Geometry" except for those who have been fortunate enough to come in contact with an Avatara. Paramahamsa Deva used to say, "One who is having his last birth shall somehow or other see me."


Q. Is not Yoga an easy path to that?

Swami Vivekananda - (Jokingly) You have said well, I see! Yoga an easy path! If your mind be not pure and you try to follow Yoga, you will perhaps attain some supernatural power, but that will be a hindrance. Therefore purity of mind is the first thing necessary.
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Jewell

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Re: Swami Vivekananda - Pithy utterances
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 07:31:11 PM »
This is wonderful topic. I found it accidently,and truly enjoyed reading it. Beautiful!

Thank You Sri Silentgreen!

With love and prayers,