Showing posts from November, 2015

Jnana-Yoga : - 1-2.


Two theories have gained some acceptance amongst modern scholars.

One is the spirit theory of religion, the other the evolution of the idea of the Infinite.

One party maintains that ancestor worship is the beginning of religious ideas; the other, that religion originates in the personification of the powers of nature.

Man wants to keep up the memory of his dead relatives and thinks they are living even when the body is dissolved, and he wants to place food for them and, in a certain sense, to worship them.

Out of that came the growth we call religion.

Studying the ancient religions of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, and many other races in America and elsewhere, we find very clear traces of this ancestor worship being the beginning of religion.

With the ancient Egyptians, the first idea of the soul was that of a double.

 Every human body contained in it another being very similar to it; and when a man died, this double went out of the …

Jnana-Yoga : - 1-1.


Of all the forces that have worked and are still working to mould the destinies of the human race, none, certainly, is more potent than that, the manifestation of which we call religion.

All social organisations have as a background, somewhere, the workings of that peculiar force, and the greatest cohesive impulse ever brought into play amongst human units has beer derived from this power.

It is obvious to all of us that in very many cases the bonds of religion have proved stronger than the bonds of race, or climate, or even of descent.

It is a well-known fact that persons worshipping the same God, believing in the same religion, have stood by each other, with much greater strength and constancy, than people of merely the same descent, or even

Various attempts have been made to trace the beginnings of religion.

In all the ancient religions which have come down to us at the present day, we find one claim made — that they are all supernatural, …

Karma-Yoga : Ch-8. Part-21.





This great philosopher, preaching the highest philosophy, yet had the deepest sympathy for the lowest of animals, and never put forth any claims for himself.

He is the ideal Karma-Yogi, acting entirely without motive, and the history of humanity shows him to have been the greatest man ever born; beyond compare the greatest combination of heart and brain that ever existed, the greatest soul-power that has even been manifested.

He is the first great reformer the world has seen.

He was the first who dared to say, "Believe not because some old manuscripts are produced, believe not because it is your national belief, because you have been made to believe it from your childhood; but reason it all out, and after you have analysed it, then, if you find that it will do good to one and all, believe it, live up to it, and help others to live up to it."

He works best who works without any motive, neither for money, nor for fame, nor f…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-8. Part-20.





Let me tell you in conclusion a few words about one man who actually carried this teaching of Karma-Yoga into practice.

That man is Buddha.

He is the one man who ever carried this into perfect practice.

All the prophets of the world, except Buddha, had external motives to move them to unselfish action.

The prophets of the world, with this single exception, may be divided into two sets, one set holding that they are incarnations of God come down on earth, and the other holding that they are only messengers from God; and both draw their impetus for work from outside, expect reward from outside, however highly spiritual may be the language they use.

 But Buddha is the only prophet who said, "I do not care to know your various theories about God. What is the use of discussing all the subtle doctrines about the soul?

Do good and be good. And this will take you to freedom and to whatever truth there is."

He was, in the cond…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-8. Part-19.





So the only way is to give up all the fruits of work, to be unattached to them.

Know that this world is not we, nor are we this world; that we are really not the body; that we really do not work.

We are the Self, eternally at rest and at peace.

Why should we be bound by anything?

It is very good to say that we should be perfectly non-attached, but what is the way to do it?

Every good work we do without any ulterior motive, instead of forging a new chain, will break one of the links in the existing chains.

Every good thought that we send to the world without thinking of any return, will be stored up there and break one link in the chain, and make us purer and purer, until we become the purest of mortals.

Yet all this may seem to be rather quixotic and too philosophical, more theoretical than practical.

I have read many arguments against the Bhagavad-Gita, and many have said that without motives you cannot work.

They have never s…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-8. Part-18.





We have now seen what work is.

It is a part of natures foundation, and goes on always.

Those that believe in God understand this better, because they know that God is not such an incapable being as will need our help.

Although this universe will go on always, our goal is freedom, our goal is unselfishness; and according to Karma-Yoga, that goal is to be reached through work.

All ideas of making the world perfectly happy may be good as motive powers for fanatics; but we must know that fanaticism brings forth as much evil as good.

The Karma-Yogi asks why you require any motive to work other than the inborn love of freedom.

Be beyond the common worldly motives.

"To work you have the right, but not to the fruits thereof."

Man can train himself to know and to practice that, says the Karma-Yogi.

When the idea of doing good becomes a part of his very being, then he will not seek for any motive outside.

Let us do good because…

Karma-Yoga : Ch-8. Part-17.





This world's wheel within wheel is a terrible mechanism; if we put our hands in it, as soon as we are caught we are gone.

We all think that when we have done a certain duty, we shall be at rest; but before we have done a part of that duty, another is already in waiting.

We are all being dragged along by this mighty, complex world-machine.

There are only two ways out of it; one is to give up all concerns with the machine, to let it go and stand aside, to give up our desires.

That is very easy to say, but is almost impossible to do.

I do not know whether in twenty millions of men one can do that.

The other way is to plunge into the world and learn the secret of work, and that is the way of Karma-Yoga.

Do not fly away from the wheels of the world-machine, but stand inside it and learn the secret of work.

Through proper work done inside, it is also possible to come out.

Through this machinery itself is the way out.

Swami Viveka…