Showing posts from June, 2015

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



Part : 6.

Life itself is a state of continuous struggle between ourselves and everything outside.

Every moment we are fighting actually with external nature, and if we are defeated, our life has to go.

It is, for instance, a continuous struggle for food and air.

If food or air fails, we die. Life is not a simple and smoothly flowing thing, but it is a compound effect.

This complex struggle between something inside and the external world is what we call life.

So it is clear that when this struggle ceases, there will be an end of life.

What is meant by ideal happiness is the cessation of this struggle.

But then life will cease, for the struggle can only cease when life itself has ceased.

We have seen already that in helping the world we help ourselves.

"The main effect of work done for others is to purify ourselves."

Swami Vivekananda

To be continued   ....

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



Part : 5.

The second point to consider is, what is the end of work?

We find the vast majority of people in every country believing that there will be a time when this world  will become perfect, when there will be no disease, nor death, nor unhappiness, nor wickedness.

That is a very good idea, a very good motive power to inspire and uplift the ignorant; but if we think for a moment, we shall find on the very face of it that it cannot be so.

How can it be, seeing that good and evil are the obverse and reverse of the same coin?

How can you have good without evil at the same time?

What is meant by perfection?

A perfect life is a contradiction in terms.

Swami Vivekananda

To be continued   ....

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-4.



Part : 4.

But what follows from it?

That, howsoever we may try, there cannot be any action which is perfectly pure, or any which is perfectly impure, taking purity and impurity in the sense of injury and non-injury.

We cannot breathe or live without injuring others, and every bit of the food we eat is taken away from another’s mouth.

Our very lives are crowding out other lives.

It may be men, or animals, or small microbes, but some one or other of these we have to crowd out.

That being the case, it naturally follows that perfection can never be attained by work.

We may work through all eternity, but there will be no way out of this intricate maze.

You may work on, and on, and on; there will be no end to this inevitable association of good and evil in the results of work.

Swami Vivekananda

To be continued   ....

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-4.



Part : 4.

The cause must have its effect; nothing can prevent or restrain this.

Now comes a very fine and serious question about Karma-Yoga — namely, that these actions of ours, both good and evil, are intimately connected with each other.

We cannot put a line of  demarcation and say, this action is entirely good and this entirely evil.

There is no action which does not bear good and evil fruits at the same time.

To take the nearest example: I am talking to you, and some of you, perhaps, think I am doing good; and at the same time I am, perhaps, killing thousands of microbes in the atmosphere; I am thus doing evil to something else.

When it is very near to us and affects those we know, we say that it is very good action if it affects them in a good manner.

For instance, you may call my speaking to you very good, but the microbes will not; the microbes you do not see, but yourselves you do see.

The way in which my talk …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-3.



Part : 3.

Such, also will be the case with the doer of good; he will open himself to all the good waves that are in the atmosphere, and his good actions also will become intensified.

We run, therefore, a twofold danger in doing evil: first, we open ourselves to all the evil influences surrounding us; secondly, we create evil which affects others, may be hundreds of years hence.

In doing evil we injure ourselves and others also.

In doing good we do good to ourselves and to others as well; and, like all other forces in man, these forces of good and evil also gather strength from outside.

According to Karma-Yoga, the action one has done cannot be destroyed until it has borne its fruit; no power in nature can stop it from yielding its results.

If I do an evil action, I must suffer for it; there is no power in this universe to stop or stay it.

Similarly, if I do a good action, there is no power in the universe which can sto…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-2.



Part : 2.

Suppose I am doing an evil act, my mind is in a certain state of vibration, and all minds in the universe, which are in a similar state, have the possibility of being affected by the vibration of my mind.

So, when I am doing a good action, my mind is in another state of vibration; and all minds similarly strung have the possibility of being affected by my mind; and this power of mind upon mind is more or less according as the force of the tension is greater or less.

Following this simile further, it is quite possible that, just as light waves may travel for millions of years before  they reach any object, so thought waves may also travel hundreds of years before they meet an object with which they vibrate in unison.

It is quite possible, therefore, that this atmosphere of ours is full of such thought pulsations, both good and evil. Every thought projected from every brain goes on pulsating, as it were, until …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-6. Part-1.



Part : 1.

Just as every action that emanates from us comes back to us as reaction, even so our actions may act on other people and theirs on us.
Perhaps all of you have observed it as a fact that when persons do evil actions, they become more and more evil, and when they begin to do good, they become stronger and stronger and learn to do good at all times.

This intensification of the influence of action cannot be explained on any other ground than that we can act and react upon each other.
To take an illustration from physical science, when I am doing a certain action, my mind may be said to be in a certain state of vibration; all minds which are in similar circumstances will have the tendency to be affected by my mind.

If there are different musical instruments tuned alike in one room, all of you may have noticed that when one is struck, the others have the tendency to vibrate so as to give the same note.

So all minds…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-17.




Our duty is to sympathise with the weak and to love even the wrongdoer.

The world is a grand moral gymnasium wherein we have all to take exercise so as to become stronger and stronger spiritually.
Fourthly, we ought not to be fanatics of any kind, because fanaticism is opposed to love.

You hear fanatics glibly saying, "I do not hate the sinner.

I hate the sin," but I am prepared to go any distance to see the face of that man who can really make a distinction between the sin and the sinner.

It is easy to say so.

If we can distinguish well between quality and substance, we may become perfect men.

It is not easy to do this.

And further, the calmer we are and the less disturbed our nerves, the more shall we love and the better will our work be.



Swami Vivekananda

To be continued  ....

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-16.




To recapitulate the chief points in today's lecture: First, we have to bear in mind that we are all debtors to the world and the world does not owe us anything.

It is a great privilege for all of us to be allowed to do anything for the world.

In helping the world we really help ourselves.

The second point is that there is a God in this universe.

It is not true that this universe is drifting and stands in need of help from you and me.

God is ever present therein, He is undying and eternally active and infinitely watchful.

When the whole universe sleeps, He sleeps not; He is working incessantly; all the changes and manifestations of the world are His.
Thirdly, we ought not to hate anyone.

This world will always continue to be a mixture of good and evil.

Swami Vivekananda

To be continued  ....

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-15.




If there were no fanaticism in the world, it would make much more progress than it does now.

It is a mistake to think that fanaticism can make for the progress of mankind.

On the contrary, it is a retarding element creating hatred and anger, and causing people to fight each other, and making them unsympathetic.

We think that whatever we do or possess is the best in the world, and what we do not do or possess is of no value.

So, always remember the instance of the curly tail of the dog whenever you have a tendency to become a fanatic.

You need not worry or make yourself sleepless about the world; it will go on without you.

When you have avoided fanaticism, then alone will you work well.

It is the level-headed man, the calm man, of good judgment and cool nerves, of great sympathy and love, who does good work and so does good to himself.

The fanatic is foolish and has no sympathy; he can never straighten the world, nor himself becom…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-14.




Again he patiently straightened it out, but as soon as he let it go, it curled up again.

So he went on for days and days, until he was exhausted and said, "I was never in such trouble before in my life. I am an old veteran ghost, but never before was I in such trouble."

"I will make a compromise with you ;" he said to the man, "you let me off and I will let you keep all I have given you and will promise not to harm you."

The man was much pleased, and accepted the offer gladly.

This world is like a dog's curly tail, and people have been striving to straighten it out for hundreds of years; but when they let it go, it has curled up again.

How could it be otherwise?

One must first know how to work without attachment, then one will not be a fanatic.

When we know that this world is like a dog's curly tail and will never get straightened, we shall not become fanatics.

Swami Vivekananda

To be continu…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-5. Part-13.




So he ran and ran and at last reached the sage, and said,

"Oh, sir, protect my life!"

The sage asked him what the matter was, and the man replied,

"I have nothing to give the ghost to do. Everything I tell him to do he does in a moment, and he threatens to eat me up if I do not give him work."

Just then the ghost arrived, saying, "I'll eat you up," and he would have swallowed the man.

The man began to shake, and begged the sage to save his life.

The sage said, "I will find you a way out. Look at that dog with a curly tail. Draw your sword quickly and cut the tail off and give it to the ghost to straighten out."

The man cut off the dog's tail and gave it to the ghost, saying, "Straighten that out for me."

The ghost took it and slowly and carefully straightened it out, but as soon as he let it go, it instantly curled up again.

Once more he laboriously straightened it out, on…