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PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.7.

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.

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

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

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

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 …

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.2

09/03/2018

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.2
PART I.2

(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 th…

PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.1

23/02/2018
PRACTICAL VEDANTAM-1.1
PART I.1
(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, …