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Showing posts from December, 2016

Jnana-Yoga : 4-15.


CHAPTER-4. Maya and the Evolution of the Conception of God-15.

(Delivered in London, 20th October 1896)

Now, it is a statement of fact that this world is a Tantalus's hell, that we do not know anything about this universe, yet at the same time we cannot say that we do not know. I cannot say that this chain exists, when I think that I do not know it. It may be an entire delusion of my brain.

I may be dreaming all the time. I am dreaming that I am talking to you, and that you are listening to me. No one can prove that it is not a dream. My brain itself may be a dream, and as to that no one has ever seen his own brain. We all take it for granted.

So it is with everything. My own body I take for granted. At the same time I cannot say, I do not know. This standing between knowledge and ignorance, this mystic twilight, the mingling of truth and falsehood — and where they meet — no one knows.

We are walking in the midst of a dream, half sleeping, half waking, passing all our…

Jnana-Yoga : 4-14.

CHAPTER-4. Maya and the Evolution of the Conception of God-14.
(Delivered in London, 20th October 1896)

Here we are with strong impulses and stronger cravings for sense-enjoyments, but cannot satisfy them. There rises a wave which impels us forward in spite of our own will, and as soon as we move one step, comes a blow. We are all doomed to live here like Tantalus.

Ideals come into our head far beyond the limit of our sense-ideals, but when we seek to express them, we cannot do so. On the other hand, we are crushed by the surging mass around us. Yet if I give up all ideality and merely struggle through this world, my existence is that of a brute, and I degenerate and degrade myself. Neither way is happiness. Unhappiness is the fate of those who are content to live in this world, born as they are.

A thousand times greater misery is the fate of those who dare to stand forth for truth and for higher things and who dare to ask for something higher than mere brute exi…

Jnana-Yoga : 4-13.

CHAPTER-4. Maya and the Evolution of the Conception of God-13.
(Delivered in London, 20th October 1896)
But all this patchwork would not do. As the explanation assumed greater proportions, the difficulty which it sought to solve did the same.

If the qualities of the god increased in arithmetical progression, the difficulty and doubt increased in geometrical progression.

The difficulty of Jehovah was very little beside the difficulty of the God of the universe, and this question remains to the present day.

Why under the reign of an almighty and all-loving God of the universe should diabolical things be allowed to remain?

Why so much more misery than happiness, and so much more wickedness than good?

We may shut our eyes to all these things, but the fact still remains that this world is a hideous world. At best, it is the hell of Tantalus.

Swami Vivekananda
To be continued ...

Jnana-Yoga : 4-12.

CHAPTER-4. Maya and the Evolution of the Conception of God-12.
(Delivered in London, 20th October 1896)

Now, when these ideas of religion came, a glimpse of something higher, more ethical, dawned upon the intellect of mankind. The old gods were found to be incongruous — these boisterous, fighting, drinking, beef-eating gods of the ancients — whose delight was in the smell of burning flesh and libations of strong liquor.

Sometimes Indra drank so much that he fell upon the ground and talked unintelligibly. These gods could no longer be tolerated. The notion had arisen of inquiring into motives, and the gods had to come in for their share of inquiry. Reason for such-and-such actions was demanded and the reason was wanting.

Therefore man gave up these gods, or rather they developed higher ideas concerning them. They took a survey, as it were, of all the actions and qualities of the gods and discarded those which they could not harmonise, and kept those which they could unde…