Showing posts from May, 2015

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-12.




"If you fail to give him work, he will take your life."

The man replied, "That is easy; I can give him work for all his life."

Then he went to a forest, and after long repetition of the magic word, a huge ghost appeared before him, and said, "I am a ghost.

I have been conquered by your magic; but you must keep me constantly employed.

The moment you fail to give me work I will kill you."

The man said, "Build me a palace," and the ghost said, "It is done; the palace is built."

"Bring me money," said the man.

"Here is your money," said the ghost. "

Cut this forest down, and build a city in its place."

"That is done," said the ghost, "anything more?"

Now the man began to be frightened and thought he could give him nothing more to do; he did everything in a trice.

The ghost said, "Give me something to do or I will eat you up."

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-11.




There was a poor man who wanted some money; and somehow he had heard that if he could get hold of a ghost, he might command him to bring money or anything else he liked; so he was very anxious to get hold of a ghost.

He went about searching for a man who would give him a ghost, and at last he found a sage with great powers, and besought his help.

The sage asked him what he would do with a ghost.

I want a ghost to work for me; teach me how to get hold of one, sir; I desire it very much," replied the man.

But the sage said, "Don't disturb yourself, go home."

The next day the man went again to the sage and began to weep and pray, "Give me a ghost; I must have a ghost, sir, to help me."

At last the sage was disgusted, and said, "Take this charm, repeat this magic word, and a ghost will come, and whatever you say to him he will do. But beware; they are terrible beings, and must be kept continually bus…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-10.




No beggar whom we have helped has ever owed a single cent to us; we owe everything to him, because he has allowed us to exercise our charity on him.

It is entirely wrong to think that we have done, or can do, good to the world, or to think that we have helped such and such people.

It is a foolish thought, and all foolish thoughts bring misery.

We think that we have helped some man and expect him to thank us, and because he does not, unhappiness comes to us. Why should we expect anything in return for what we do?

Be grateful to the man you help, think of him as God.

Is it not a great privilege to be allowed to worship God by helping our fellow men?

If we were really unattached, we should escape all this pain of vain expectation, and could cheerfully do good work in the world.

Never will unhappiness or misery come through work done without attachment.

The world will go on with its happiness and misery through eternity.

Swami Viveka…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-9.




All good acts tend to make us pure and perfect.

What can we do at best?

Build a hospital, make roads, or erect charity asylums.

We may organise a charity and collect two or three millions of dollars, build a hospital with one million, with the second give balls and drink champagne, and of the third let the officers steal half, and leave the rest finally to reach the poor; but what are all these?

One mighty wind in five minutes can break all your buildings up.

What shall we do then?

One volcanic eruption may sweep away all our roads and hospitals and cities and buildings.

Let us give up all this foolish talk of doing good to the world.

It is not waiting for your or my help; yet we must work and constantly do good, because it is a blessing to ourselves.

That is the only way we can become perfect.

Swami Vivekananda

To be continued   .....

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-8.




Both are foolish nevertheless.

Life is good or evil according to the state of mind in which we look at it, it is neither by itself.

Fire, by itself, is neither good nor evil.

When it keeps us warm we say, "How beautiful is fire!"

When it burns our fingers, we blame it.

Still, in itself it is neither good nor bad.

According as we use it, it produces in us the feeling of good or bad; so also is this world.

It is perfect.

By perfection is meant that it is perfectly fitted to meet its ends.

We may all be perfectly sure that it will go on beautifully well without us, and we need not bother our heads wishing to help it.

Yet we must do good; the desire to do good is the highest motive power we have, if we know all the time that it is a privilege to help others.

Do not stand on a high pedestal and take five cents in your hand and say, "Here, my poor man," but be grateful that the poor man is there, so that by making a …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-7.




As a boy I had some white mice.

They were kept in a little box in which there were little wheels, and when the mice tried to cross the wheels, the wheels turned and turned, and the mice never got anywhere.

So it is with the world and our helping it.

The only help is that we get moral exercise.

This world is neither good nor evil; each man manufactures a world for himself.

If a blind man begins to think of the world, it is either as soft or hard, or as cold or hot.

We are a mass of happiness or misery; we have seen that hundreds of times in our lives.

As a rule, the young are optimistic and the old pessimistic.

The young have life before them; the old complain their day is gone; hundreds of desires, which they cannot fulfil struggle in their hearts.

Swami Vivekananda

To be continued   ......

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-6.




Our duty to others means helping others; doing good to the world.

Why should we do good to the world?

Apparently to help the world, but really to help ourselves.

We should always try to help the world, that should be the highest motive in us; but if we consider well, we find that the world does not require our help at all.

This world was not made that you or I should come and help it. I once read a sermon in which it was said, "All this beautiful world is very good, because it gives us time and opportunity to help others."

Apparently, this is a very beautiful sentiment, but is it not a blasphemy to say that the world needs our help?

We cannot deny that there is much misery in it; to go out and help others is, therefore, the best thing we can do, although in the long run, we shall find that helping others is only helping ourselves.

Swami Vivekananda

To be continued  ....

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-5.




The older we grow, the longer we are knocked about in the world, the more callous we become; and we are apt to neglect things that even happen persistently and prominently around us.

Human nature, however, asserts itself sometimes, and we are led to inquire into and wonder at some of these common occurrences; wondering thus is the first step in the acquisition of light.

Apart from the higher philosophic and religious value of the Word, we may see that sound symbols play a prominent part in the drama of human life.

I am talking to you.

I am not touching you; the pulsations of the air caused by my speaking go into your ear, they touch your nerves and produce effects in your minds.

You cannot resist this.

What can be more wonderful than this?

One man calls another a fool, and at this the other stands up and clenches his fist and lands a blow on his nose.

Look at the power of the word!

There is a woman weeping and miserable; another w…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-4.




But it must be easy for all to see that those who worship inside a temple are in many respects different from those who will not worship there.

Therefore the association of particular temples, rituals, and other concrete forms with particular religions has a tendency to bring into the minds of the followers of those religions the thoughts for which those concrete things stand as symbols; and it is not wise to ignore rituals and symbology altogether.

The study and practice of these things form naturally a part of Karma-Yoga.

There are many other aspects of this science of work.

One among them is to know the relation between thought and word and what can be achieved by the power of the word.

In every religion the power of the word is recognised, so much so that in some of them creation itself is said to have come out of the word.

The external aspect of the thought of God is the Word, and as God thought and willed before He created, …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-3.




At one time it was thought that the Buddhists carried it all over the world with them, but it has been found out that ages before Buddhism it was used among nations.

In Old Babylon and in Egypt it was to be found.

What does this show?

All these symbols could not have been purely conventional.

There must be some reason for them; some natural association between them and the human mind.

Language is not the result of convention; it is not that people ever agreed to represent certain ideas by certain words; there never was an idea without a corresponding word or a word without a corresponding idea; ideas and words are in their nature inseparable.

The symbols to represent ideas may be sound symbols or colour symbols.

Deaf and dumb people have to think with other than sound symbols.

Every thought in the mind has a form as its counterpart.

This is called in Sanskrit philosophy Nama-Rupa — name and form.

It is as impossible to create by c…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-2.




In one sense we cannot think but in symbols; words themselves are symbols of thought.

In another sense everything in the universe may be looked upon as a symbol.

The whole universe is a symbol, and God is the essence behind.

This kind of symbology is not simply the creation of man; it is not that certain people belonging to a religion sit down together and think out certain symbols, and bring them into existence out of their own minds.

The symbols of religion have a natural growth.

Otherwise, why is it that certain symbols are associated with certain ideas in the mind of almost every one?

Certain symbols are universally prevalent.

Many of you may think that the cross first came into existence as a symbol in connection with the Christian religion, but as a matter of fact it existed before Christianity was, before Moses was born, before the Vedas were given out, before there was any human record of human things.

The cross may be fou…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-1.




Before considering further how devotion to duty helps us in our spiritual progress, let me place before you in a brief compass another aspect of what we in India mean by Karma.

In every religion there are three parts: philosophy, mythology, and ritual.

Philosophy of course is the essence of every religion; mythology explains and illustrates it by means of the more or less legendary lives of great men, stories and fables of wonderful things, and so on; ritual gives to that philosophy a still more concrete form, so that every one may grasp it — ritual is in fact concreted philosophy.

This ritual is Karma; it is necessary in every religion, because most of us cannot understand abstract spiritual things until we grow much spiritually.

It is easy for men to think that they can understand anything; but when it comes to practical experience, they find that abstract ideas are often very hard to comprehend.

Therefore symbols are of great h…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-4. Part-17.


What is Duty?


It is the worker who is attached to results that grumbles about the nature of the duty which has fallen to his lot; to the unattached worker all duties are equally good, and form efficient instruments with which selfishness and sensuality may be killed, and the freedom of the soul secured.

We are all apt to think too highly of ourselves.

Our duties are determined by our deserts to a much larger extent than we are willing to grant.

Competition rouses envy, and it kills the kindliness of the heart.

To the grumbler all duties are distasteful; nothing will ever satisfy him, and his whole life is doomed to prove a failure.

Let us work on, doing as we go whatever happens to be our duty, and being ever ready to put our shoulders to the wheel.

Then surely shall we see the Light!

Karma-Yoga : Chapter-4. What is Duty? -ENDS.

To be continued   ...

Karma-Yoga : Ch-4. Part-16.


What is Duty?


There is a sage in India, a great Yogi, one of the most wonderful men I have ever seen in my life.

He is a peculiar man, he will not teach any one; if you ask him a question he will not answer.

It is too much for him to take up the position of a teacher, he will not do it.

If you ask a question, and wait for some days, in the course of conversation he will bring up the subject, and wonderful light will he throw on it.

He told me once the secret of work, "Let the end and the means be joined into one."

When you are doing any work, do not think of anything beyond.

Do it as worship, as the highest worship, and devote your whole life to it for the time being.

Thus, in the story, the Vyadha and the woman did their duty with cheerfulness and whole-heartedness; and the result was that they became illuminated, clearly showing that the right performance of the duties of any station in life, without attachment to results, leads us to the highest reali…