February 07, 2010

Swami Vivekananda 1.2.2

  • The Secret of Work
    •  Helping others physically is indeed great and when you remove his wants, it is surely great. One who gives spiritual knowledge is the greatest benefactor as spiritual strength gives the ultimate strength.
    • Ignorance is death, knowledge is life. Hunger returns as misery as it will then make us strong spiritually. All work does good somewhere as it is also composed of evil. Both good and bad are bondage of the soul, as do not wait for the result of an action or Samskâra taught by the Bhagavad Geeta.
    • One who has control over the body and the soul in a good characteristic shall never good evil deeds. This is when we start to control the indriyas or the five senses and nerves.
    • Freedom of the soul is the goal of all Yogas. Detachment has to form from the brain, as you do not create any bondage to it. As the whole nature is for the soul and the soul is not for nature. We think as common saying has it, we think that man "lives to eat" and not "eats to live".
    • You should work like a master and not like a slave, selfish work is of slave's work. Real existence, real knowledge and real love are connected together. These three aspects also bring existence, knowledge and bliss with it.
    • Krishna says to Arjuna, he works because he loves the world. He is unattached, with the help of love. Just as there is physical tension between atoms when they are close together, it is the pain in love but if love does not produce any physical tension, then it is pure love. Whenever this detachment is found, it is that moment when we are free.
    • If you can be the giver, you will become detached from the work you do. Might and mercy guide the man through his life; if we look at worship then this can be put into work. 
    • The idea of self-sacrifice is put into this story: After the war in Kurushetra, the Pandavas made great sacrifice where a half-golden, half-brown mongoose came onto the sacrifice fire. He told everyone around "You are all liars; this is no sacrifice." To this everyone replied: "You say this is no sacrifice; do you not know how money and jewels were poured out to the poor and every one became rich and happy? This was the most wonderful sacrifice any man ever performed." To this the mongoose replied with another little story: "There was once a
      little village, and in it there dwelt a poor Brahmin with his wife, his son, and his son's wife.
      They were very poor and lived on small gifts made to them for preaching and teaching. There
      came in that land a three years' famine, and the poor Brahmin suffered more than ever. At last
      when the family had starved for days, the father brought home one morning a little barley
      flour, which he had been fortunate enough to obtain, and he divided it into four parts, one for
      each member of the family. They prepared it for their meal, and just as they were about to eat, there was a knock at the door. The father opened it, and there stood a guest. Now in India a guest is a sacred person; he is as a god for the time being, and must be treated as such. So the
      poor Brahmin said, 'Come in, sir; you are welcome,' He set before the guest his own portion of
      the food, which the guest quickly ate and said, 'Oh, sir, you have killed me; I have been
      starving for ten days, and this little bit has but increased my hunger.' Then the wife said to her
      husband, 'Give him my share,' but the husband said, 'Not so.' The wife however insisted, saying, 'Here is a poor man, and it is our duty as householders to see that he is fed, and it is my
      duty as a wife to give him my portion, seeing that you have no more to offer him.' Then she
      gave her share to the guest, which he ate, and said he was still burning with hunger. So the son
      said, 'Take my portion also; it is the duty of a son to help his father to fulfil his obligations.'
      The guest ate that, but remained still unsatisfied; so the son's wife gave him her portion also.
      That was sufficient, and the guest departed, blessing them. That night those four people died of starvation. A few granules of that flour had fallen on the floor; and when I rolled my body on them, half of it became golden, as you see. Since then I have been travelling all over the world, hoping to find another sacrifice like that, but nowhere have I found one; nowhere else has the other half of my body been turned into gold. That is why I say this is no sacrifice."
    • The idea of "every man for himself" shall never be an ideal of householder. Thus it is concluded that the ideal of a householder is harder than of a Sannyasin
  • What Is Duty?
    • The idea of "duty" is impossible to define as it differs from culture to culture. To kill a man or a dozen as a soldier is not considered a sin whereas if it was done by a regular person, it would be considered a sin and not his duty. So the philosophy is: Any action that makes us go
      Godward is a good action, and is our duty; any action that makes us go downward is evil, and
      is not our duty.
    • What is accept by all culture is this: “Do not injure any being; not injuring any being is virtue, injuring any being is sin.” Much of the surpassing prejudge is causing the distinction between nations and people. One danger in human nature is that a man examines himself. When there is no selfish motive behind work, thus it becomes worship.
    • Duty is only sweet through love, and it shines in freedom. Chastity is the first virtue found in man or woman. Just as a woman is mother to all except her husband, a man is brother to all woman except his own wife. 
    • The love of God is just below the love of mother's. The only way to rise is by doing the duty next to us, and thus gathering strength go on until we reach the highest state.
    • A Sannaysin meditated to achieve the power that if he looks into any animal, it shall burn. While he was begging, he came up to a woman who could read what he could do and he was surprised. He was instructed by her to go to the town and meet a Vyadha who knew that he would come. After taking the Sannayasin home, he performed what he was supposed to for his parents and the Sannaysin asked him about the soul and God from which formed the Vyddha Gita, part of Mahabharata. Thus the Sannyasin tells him to get rid of the duty that he performs to which the Vyadha replies: No duty is ugly, no duty is impure. My birth placed me in these circumstances and environments. In my boyhood I learnt the trade; I am unattached, and I try to do my duty well. I try to do my duty as a householder, and I try to do all I can to make my father and mother happy. I neither know your Yoga, nor have I become a Sannyasin, nor did I go out of the world into a forest; nevertheless, all that you have heard and seen has come to me through the unattached doing of the duty which belongs to my position.
    • As it is said by a sage, 'let the means be joined into one.' Do work as worship, as the highest worship. Let us work as it was a duty so that we could see the Light.

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