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PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.9.

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14/07/2018
PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.9
PART - I.9

For you must always remember that the one central ideal of Vedanta is this oneness. There are no two in anything, no two lives, nor even two different kinds of life for the two worlds. You will find the Vedas speaking of heavens and things like that at first; but later on, when they come to the highest ideals of their philosophy, they brush away all these things. There is but one life, one world, one existence. Everything is that One, the difference is in degree and not in kind. The difference between our lives is not in kind. The Vedanta entirely denies such ideas as that animals are separate from men, and that they were made and created by God to be used for our food.

Some people have been kind enough to start an antivivisection society. I asked a member, "Why do you think, my friend, that it is quite lawful to kill animals for food, and not to kill one or two for scientific experiments?" He replied, "Vivisection is most h…

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.8.

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21/06/2018
PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.8
PART - I.8

(Delivered in London, 10th November 1896)

The Vedanta also says that not only can this be realised in the depths of forests or caves, but by men in all possible conditions of life. We have seen that the people who discovered these truths were neither living in caves nor forests, nor following the ordinary vocations of life, but men who, we have every reason to believe, led the busiest of lives, men who had to command armies, to sit on thrones, and look to the welfare of millions — and all these, in the days of absolute monarchy, and not as in these days when a king is to a great extent a mere figurehead.

Yet they could find time to think out all these thoughts, to realise them, and to teach them to humanity. How much more then should it be practical for us whose lives, compared with theirs, are lives of leisure?

That we cannot realise them is a shame to us, seeing that we are comparatively free all the time, having very little to do. My re…

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.7.

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04/06/2018

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.7
PART - I.7

(Delivered in London, 10th November 1896)

All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark. Know that there is no darkness around us. Take the hands away and there is the light which was from the beginning. Darkness never existed, weakness never existed. We who are fools cry that we are weak; we who are fools cry that we are impure.

Thus Vedanta not only insists that the ideal is practical, but that it has been so all the time; and this Ideal, this Reality, is our own nature. Everything else that you see is false, untrue. As soon as you say, "I am a little mortal being," you are saying something which is not true, you are giving the lie to yourselves, you are hypnotising yourselves into something vile and weak and wretched.

The Vedanta recognises no sin, it only recognises error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta, is to say that you are weak, that you …

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.6.

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30/04/2018

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.6
PART - I.6

(Delivered in London, 10th November 1896)

The Vedanta preaches the ideal; and the ideal, as we know, is always far ahead of the real, of the practical, as we may call it. There are two tendencies in human nature: one to harmonise the ideal with the life, and the other to elevate the life to the ideal. It is a great thing to understand this, for the former tendency is the temptation of our lives. I think that I can only do a certain class of work. Most of it, perhaps, is bad; most of it, perhaps, has a motive power of passion behind it, anger, or greed, or selfishness.

Now if any man comes to preach to me a certain ideal, the first step towards which is to give up selfishness, to give up self-enjoyment, I think that is impractical. But when a man brings an ideal which can be reconciled with my selfishness, I am glad at once and jump at it. That is the ideal for me. As the word "orthodox" has been manipulated into various forms, so…

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.5

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11/04/2018

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.5
PART - I.5

(Delivered in London, 10th November 1896)


I have been asked many times how we can work if we do not have the passion which we generally feel for work. I also thought in that way years ago, but as I am growing older, getting more experience, I find it is not true.

The less passion there is, the better we work. The calmer we are, the better for us, and the more the amount of work we can do. When we let loose our feelings, we waste so much energy, shatter our nerves, disturb our minds, and accomplish very little work.

The energy which ought to have gone out as work is spent as mere feeling, which counts for nothing. It is only when the mind is very calm and collected that the whole of its energy is spent in doing good work.

And if you read the lives of the great workers which the world has produced, you will find that they were wonderfully calm men. Nothing, as it were, could throw them off their balance.

That is why the man who becomes angry…

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.4

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14/03/2018

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.4
PART - I.4

(Delivered in London, 10th November 1896)


Everything goes to show that this philosophy must be very practical; and later on, when we come to the Bhagavad-Gita — most of you, perhaps, have read it, it is the best commentary we have on the Vedanta philosophy — curiously enough the scene is laid on the battlefield, where Krishna teaches this philosophy to Arjuna; and the doctrine which stands out luminously in every page of the Gita is intense activity, but in the midst of it, eternal calmness.

This is the secret of work, to attain which is the goal of the Vedanta. Inactivity, as we understand it in the sense of passivity, certainly cannot be the goal. Were it so, then the walls around us would be the most intelligent; they are inactive. Clods of earth, stumps of trees, would be the greatest sages in the world; they are inactive.

Nor does inactivity become activity when it is combined with passion. Real activity, which is the goal of Vedanta,…

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.3

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14/03/2018

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.3
PART - I.3

(Delivered in London, 10th November 1896)


Shvetaketu was the son of Âruni, a sage, most probably a recluse. He was brought up in the forest, but he went to the city of the Panchâlas and appeared at the court of the king, Pravâhana Jaivali.

The king asked him, "Do you know how beings depart hence at death?"
"No, sir."
"Do you know how they return hither?"
"No, sir."
"Do you know the way of the fathers and the way of the gods?"
"No, sir."

Then the king asked other questions. Shvetaketu could not answer them.

So the king told him that he knew nothing.

The boy went back to his father, and the father admitted that he himself could not answer these questions.

It was not that he was unwilling to answer these questions. It was not that he was unwilling to teach the boy, but he did not know these things.

So he went to the king and asked to be taught these secrets. The king said that these …