Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2016

Jnana-Yoga :3.5.

( Delivered in London )

If the theory of all-pervading life failed as a theory of this universe, it would not mean anything more if worked out in detail, for the details do not change the principle of the universe. What I mean is that in their inquiry into the principle, the Hindu thinkers were as bold, and in some cases, much bolder than the moderns. They made some of the grandest generalizations that have yet been reached, and some still remain as theories, which modern science has yet to get even as theories.

For instance, they not only arrived at the ether theory, but went beyond and classified mind also as a still more rarefied ether. Beyond that again, they found a still more rarefied ether. Yet that was no solution, it did not solve the problem. No amount of knowledge of the external world could solve the problem.
Swami Vivekananda
To be continued  ....

Jnana-Yoga :3.4.

( Delivered in London )

 The theory of the all-pervading life principle, of which all life in this universe is but a differing manifestation, was understood in Vedic times; it is found in the Brâhmanas. There is a long hymn in the Samhitâs in praise of Prâna of which all life is but a manifestation. By the by, it may interest some of you to know that there are theories in the Vedic philosophy about the origin of life on this earth very similar to those which have been advanced by some modern European scientists. You, of course, all know that there is a theory that life came from other planets. It is a settled doctrine with some Vedic philosophers that life comes in this way from the moon.

Coming to the principles, we find these Vedic thinkers very courageous and wonderfully bold in propounding large and generalised theories. Their solution of the mystery of the universe, from the external world, was as satisfactory as it could be. The detailed wor…

Jnana-Yoga :3.3.

( Delivered in London )

As I have told you before, the minds of the people from whom the Vedas came were intent upon following principles, discovering principles.

They had no time to work upon details or to wait for them; they wanted to go deep into the heart of things.

Something beyond was calling them, as it were, and they could not wait. Scattered through the Upanishads, we find that the details of subjects which we now call modern sciences are often very erroneous, but, at the same time, their principles are correct.

For instance, the idea of ether, which is one of the latest theories of modern science, is to be found in our ancient literature in forms much more developed than is the modern scientific theory of ether today, but it was in principle.

When they tried to demonstrate the workings of that principle, they made many mistakes.
Swami Vivekananda
To be continued  ....

Jnana-Yoga :3.2.

( Delivered in London )

Theories had been propounded and repeated, others had been taken up, until at last the idea of Maya became fixed.

We read in the Shvetâshvatara Upanishad, "Know nature to be Maya and the Ruler of this Maya is the Lord Himself."

Coming to our philosophers, we find that this word Maya has been manipulated in various fashions, until we come to the great Sankaracharya.

The theory of Maya was manipulated a little by the Buddhists too, but in the hands of the Buddhists it became very much like what is called Idealism, and that is the meaning that is now generally given to the word Maya.

When the Hindu says the world is Maya, at once people get the idea that the world is an illusion.

This interpretation has some basis, as coming through the Buddhistic philosophers, because there was one section of philosophers who did not believe in the external world at all.

But the Maya of the Vedanta, in its last developed form, is ne…

Jnana-Yoga :3.1

( Delivered in London )

Almost all of you have heard of the word Maya.
Generally it is used, though incorrectly, to denote illusion, or delusion, or some such thing.
But the theory of Maya forms one of the pillars upon which the Vedanta rests; it is, therefore, necessary that it should be properly understood.
I ask a little patience of you, for there is a great danger of its being misunderstood.
The oldest idea of Maya that we find in Vedic literature is the sense of delusion; but then the real theory had not been reached.
We find such passages as, "Indra through his Maya assumed various forms."
Here it is true the word Maya means something like magic, and we find various other passages, always taking the same meaning.
The word Maya then dropped out of sight altogether.

But in the meantime the idea was Later, the question was raised : - "Why can't we know this secret of the universe?"
And the answer given was very significa…

Jnana-Yoga :2-20.

 (Delivered in London)


We see the world as we are.
Suppose there is a baby in a room with a bag of gold on the table and a thief comes and steals the gold.
Would the baby know it was stolen? That which we have inside, we see outside.
The baby has no thief inside and sees no thief outside. So with all knowledge.
Do not talk of the wickedness of the world and all its sins. Weep that you are bound to see wickedness yet.
Weep that you are bound to see sin everywhere, and if you want to help the world, do not condemn it. Do not weaken it more.
For what is sin and what is misery, and what are all these, but the results of weakness? The world is made weaker and weaker every day by such teachings.

Men are taught from childhood that they are weak and sinners. Teach them that they are all glorious children of immortality, even those who are the weakest in manifestation.
Let positive, strong, helpful thought enter into their brains from very childho…

Jnana-Yoga :2-19.

 (Delivered in London)


However, he watched his opportunity and one day found the sheep-lion sleeping. He approached it and said, "You are a lion." "I am a sheep," cried the other lion and could not believe the contrary but bleated. The lion dragged him towards a lake and said, "Look here, here is my reflection and yours."

Then came the comparison. It looked at the lion and then at its own reflection, and in a moment came the idea that it was a lion. The lion roared, the bleating was gone. You are lions, you are souls, pure, infinite, and perfect. The might of the universe is within you.

"Why weepest thou, my friend? There is neither birth nor death for thee. Why weepest thou? There is no disease nor misery for thee, but thou art like the infinite sky; clouds of various colours come over it, play for a moment, then vanish. But the sky is ever the same eternal blue." Why do we see wick…

Jnana-Yoga :2-18.

 (Delivered in London)

There is a great tendency in modern times to talk too much of work and decry thought.
Doing is very good, but that comes from thinking. Little manifestations of energy through the muscles are called work.
But where there is no thought, there will be no work.
Fill the brain, therefore, with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work.
Talk not about impurity, but say that we are pure.
We have hypnotised ourselves into this thought that we are little, that we are born, and that we are going to die, and into a constant state of fear.

There is a story about a lioness, who was big with young, going about in search of prey; and seeing a flock of sheep, she jumped upon them.
She died in the effort; and a little baby lion was born, motherless.
It was taken care of by the sheep and the sheep brought it up, and it grew up with them, ate grass, and bleated like the she…