January 31, 2010

Swami Vivekananda 1.2.1

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  • Karma Yoga
    • The words karma means the effects of our actions and in metaphysics, it means the effects of which our past actions were causes.
    • The goal of mankind is knowledge and not pleasure as mankind learns from pain and pleasure that he is going for knowledge and learns good amount from both good and evil.
    • Character is the sum total of the bent of one's mind as it is composed of both happiness and evil. Mostly in the world, it is misery, poverty and blows that bought more knowledge than by happiness, wealth or praise.
    • Knowledge is inherited as it comes from inside and through outside circumstances, you just take off the cover. Our mind is eternal library and the outside is just suggestions. In many cases this knowledge stays covered, and we are unable to uncover it through Karma. Everything that we do, mental or physical is Karma. Karma is the power
    • Do not look into the performance of a man for his character but look at his common actions. The character is manifested by Karma. Many, such that of Jesus and Buddha could not be explained by heredity that they are in such character.
    • A fool may buy all the books in the world but he will be able to read only the ones he is deserved to by Karma. As the fool would claim that he is doing Karma, it is not obviously true because only those are righteous deeds that are committed to expand our knowledge or as the Bhagavad Geeta puts it, with science and consciousness.
    • Work for work's sake, not for any motive or any achievement. If he man works selflessly, he gains one of the highest ideal which also include: love, truth and unselfishness. One who works selflessly gains the highest strength. He questions, does a carriage with horse letting go or held back has greater manifested power? If energy is pushed off for greater use, that will return back to you as you have no intention to use it just as a cannonball hitting a wall comes back to your direction. It is not the fruits that you work for but just do the work as when you help someone without the thought of their attitude.
    • Even a foolish man can rule the world if he gets the idea of ruling out of the minds of citizens and takes control later. It is our mistake not to look outside our world as we become weak and powerless.
    • A man cannot live with only rest or only work just as a fish that has always been under the deep ocean will destroy itself after it climbs to the surface. As Swami has said: The ideal man is he who,
      in the midst of the greatest silence and solitude, finds the intensest activity, and in the midst of
      the intensest activity finds the silence and solitude of the desert.
  • Each Is Great In It's Own Place
    • In the Sânkhya philosophy, it is said that nature is composed of three forces: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. In English they would be equilibrium, activity and inertness. All over in the world and among societies, the idea of duty does vary.
    • Duty is one stage of morality only. Duty is taught by teachers who tell us non-resistance is the ultimate strength as if we used that all in the society, the society would break apart. But it is not to make man feel that they are always doing wrong, as when you start to hate yourself, you claim to start degenerate just like a nation.
    • We must have faith in ourselves, then the God. We have to recognize the circumstances at which the position changes for us to say if a deed is evil or virtue. There are always two extremes, either too low or too high and they are both the same. For example: we are not able to hear at either too low or too high sound. The one from weakness resists does not commit a sin and does not receive any benefit from it. The one who resists would commit the sin.
    • We must understand if we have the power to resist or not, then we can renounce it, we are doing an act of love.
    • A Karma-Yogi understands that the highest ideal is non-resistance. If the opposite has not resistance, then non-resistance would be useful but against the power of resistance, non-resistance would be a virtue.
    • Activity always means resistance and as resistance comes against evil of mental or physical, it is ordered to fight them always. Plunge into the world and be resistant against evil. Everyone is ought to be like themselves as they could understand their own ideals.
    • Unity in variety was the plan of creation and in the Hindu scriptures, this has been said. It is also easier to devote to the God all your life than to live in the world and to devote. The Maha-Nirvana Tantra says: The householder should be devoted to God; the knowledge of God should be his goal of life. Yet he must work constantly, perform all his duties; he must give up the fruits of his actions to God.
    • The three things one shall not talk of are his wealth, his own fame and his power for his name. But going after wealth for distribution among society is not a sin. As he does that, he is trying to achieve salvation through work. If one is feared, then he loses the value and loses everything of life. 
    • One who lives in the world and devotes his life to the God is as special as one who lives outside the world and devotes his life to the God. A story summarized would be, a king asked his noble the question, is a person who lives in the world a greater man or a man who becomes Sannyasin? A young man answered that they were equally great in each place. To prove this, he took the king to a different kingdom where the princess was going to pick her husband. After so many times, it was a Sannyasin who came and she threw the garland over him. She followed the Sannayasin through the path into a forest where she could not find the young Sannyasin any longer. The other two followed and told her that after darkness they would come out. Above them, in a tree, a couple of birds gave them wood for fire and the male bird burned himself for them to eat as the wife and the three children did the same. Then it was said by the king's Sannaysin that if you want to renounce the world, be like that young man to whom the most beautiful woman and a kingdom were as nothing. If you want to be a householder, hold your life a sacrifice for the welfare of others; and if you choose the life of renunciation, do not even look at beauty and money and power. Each is great in his own place, but the duty of the one is not the duty of the other.

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