Skip to main content

Posts

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.1

23/02/2018
PRACTICAL VEDANTAM
PART I.
(Delivered in London, 10th November 1896)

1.
I have been asked to say something about the practical position of the Vedanta philosophy.

As I have told you, theory is very good indeed, but how are we to carry it into practice?

If it be absolutely impracticable, no theory is of any value whatever, except as intellectual gymnastics.

The Vedanta, therefore, as a religion must be intensely practical.

We must be able to carry it out in every part of our lives.

And not only this, the fictitious differentiation between religion and the life of the world must vanish, for the Vedanta teaches oneness — one life throughout.

The ideals of religion must cover the whole field of life, they must enter into all our thoughts, and more and more into practice.

I will enter gradually on the practical side as we proceed.

But this series of lectures is intended to be a basis, and so we must first apply ourselves to theories and understand how they are worked out, proce…

JNANA YOGAM - 6.11.

13/02/2018
CHAPTER- VI
6 -THE ABSOLUTE AND MANIFESTATION-10
(Delivered in London, 1896)

It was the great Buddha, who never cared for the dualist gods, and who has been called an atheist and materialist, who yet was ready to give up his body for a poor goat.

That Man set in motion the highest moral ideas any nation can have. Whenever there is a moral code, it is ray of light from that Man.

We cannot force the great hearts of the world into narrow limits, and keep them there, especially at this time in the history of humanity when there is a degree of intellectual development such as was never dreamed of even a hundred years ago, when a wave of scientific knowledge has arisen which nobody, even fifty years ago, would have dreamed of.

By trying to force people into narrow limits you degrade them into animals and unthinking masses. You kill their moral life.

What is now wanted is a combination of the greatest heart with the highest intellectuality, of infinite love with infinite knowledg…

JNANA YOGAM - 6.10.

03/02/2018
CHAPTER- VI
6 -THE ABSOLUTE AND MANIFESTATION-10
(Delivered in London, 1896)

Another peculiarity of the Advaita system is that from its very start it is non-destructive. This is another glory, the boldness to preach, "Do not disturb the faith of any, even of those who through ignorance have attached themselves to lower forms of worship." That is what it says, do not disturb, but help everyone to get higher and higher; include all humanity. This philosophy preaches a God who is a sum total. If you seek a universal religion which can apply to everyone, that religion must not be composed of only the parts, but it must always be their sum total and include all degrees of religious development.

This idea is not clearly found in any other religious system. They are all parts equally struggling to attain to the whole. The existence of the part is only for this. So, from the very first, Advaita had no antagonism with the various sects existing in India. There are dualist…

JNANA YOGAM - 6.9.

28/01/2018
CHAPTER- VI
6 -THE ABSOLUTE AND MANIFESTATION-9
(Delivered in London, 1896)


Materialism prevails in Europe today. You may pray for the salvation of the modern sceptics, but they do not yield, they want reason. The salvation of Europe depends on a rationalistic religion, and Advaita — the non-duality, the Oneness, the idea of the Impersonal God — is the only religion that can have any hold on any intellectual people. It comes whenever religion seems to disappear and irreligion seems to prevail, and that is why it has taken ground in Europe and America.

I would say one thing more in connection with this philosophy. In the old Upanishads we find sublime poetry; their authors were poets. Plato says, inspiration comes to people through poetry, and it seems as if these ancient Rishis, seers of Truth, were raised above humanity to show these truths through poetry.

They never preached, nor philosophised, nor wrote. Music came out of their hearts. In Buddha we had the great, univer…

JNANA YOGAM - 6.8.

21/01/2018
CHAPTER- VI
6 -THE ABSOLUTE AND MANIFESTATION-8
(Delivered in London, 1896)


Thus has Advaita twice saved India from materialism Before the Buddha came, materialism had spread to a fearful extent, and it was of a most hideous kind, not like that of the present day, but of a far worse nature.

I am a materialist in a certain sense, because I believe that there is only One. That is what the materialist wants you to believe; only he calls it matter and I call it God.

The materialists admit that out of this matter all hope, and religion, and everything have come. I say, all these have come out of Brahman. But the materialism that prevailed before Buddha was that crude sort of materialism which taught, "Eat, drink, and be merry; there is no God, soul or heaven; religion is a concoction of wicked priests." It taught the morality that so long as you live, you must try to live happily; eat, though you have to borrow money for the food, and never mind about repaying it.

Tha…

JNANA YOGAM - 6.7.

14/01/2018
CHAPTER- VI
6 -THE ABSOLUTE AND MANIFESTATION-7
(Delivered in London, 1896)

Here is another thing to learn. How do you know that nature is finite? You can only know this through metaphysics. Nature is that Infinite under limitations. Therefore it is finite. So, there must come a time when we shall have conquered all environments. And how are we to conquer them? We cannot possibly conquer all the objective environments. We cannot.

The little fish wants to fly from its enemies in the water. How does it do so? By evolving wings and becoming a bird. The fish did not change the water or the air; the change was in itself. Change is always subjective. All through evolution you find that the conquest of nature comes by change in the subject.

Apply this to religion and morality, and you will find that the conquest of evil comes by the change in the subjective alone. That is how the Advaita system gets its whole force, on the subjective side of man. To talk of evil and misery is non…

JNANA YOGAM - 6.6.

05/01/2018
CHAPTER- VI
6 -THE ABSOLUTE AND MANIFESTATION-6
(Delivered in London, 1896)

The whole of this universe, therefore, is, as it were, a peculiar form; the Absolute is that ocean while you and I, and suns and stars, and everything else are various waves of that ocean. And what makes the waves different? Only the form, and that form is time, space, and causation, all entirely dependent on the wave.

As soon as the wave goes, they vanish. As soon as the individual gives up this Maya, it vanishes for him and he becomes free. The whole struggle is to get rid of this clinging on to time, space, and causation, which are always obstacles in our way.

What is the theory of evolution? What are the two factors? A tremendous potential power which is trying to express itself, and circumstances which are holding it down, the environments not allowing it to express itself. So, in order to fight with these environments, the power is taking new bodies again and again.

An amoeba, in the struggle…