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Swami Vivekananda

Vivekananda was born on 12th January 1863.

In 1881 meet Swami Ramakrishna. Accepted him as his
friend, philosopher and guide
His philosophy arises from the awareness of the social,
religious and economic conditions of Indian masses
The main body of his thought is derived form the Upanishads
and Vedanta
His basic belief in the essential unity of everything
That is completely monistic nature of reality
He emphasizes the need of re-interpreting Vedanta in
accordance with the demands and needs of the time
Swami Vivekananda
He was influenced by Buddhist Philosophy also
Mass liberation (Buddhistic idea of Bodhisattva)
Struggle against suffering
From Christianity
Takes up the idea of service and love
For him man contains within him the spark of Divinity
The profound influence was from his master Swami
Ramakrishna Pramahamsa
Ramakrishna Pramahamsabrought about a spiritual
transformation in the personality and the mental make-us of
Reality & God
Traditional philosophy treats reality as a metaphysical
concept and God as a religious concept
For Vivekananda such distinctions are irrelevant
He combines Abstract Monism and Theism
God according to him is personal
We find two currents flowing side by side in his philosophy
That resembles Advaita Vednta and the other reminds of Bhakti-
For him they are just two ways of looking at Reality
Reality is one absolute Brahman
He emphasizes the monistic character of reality: Reality is
one but not a whole
whole implies that there must be parts
According to him Absolute is perfect unity
Hence the distinction between whole and parts vanishes
Reality & God
Brahma is beyond space, time, causation
As such changeless
Being changeless does not mean that it remains the same in all points of time.
It means that the question of time is irrelevant
God is neither outside nature nor inside nature
But God and nature and soul and universe are all convertible terms
Absolute is indeterminate
Absolute has been described as indeterminate
You cannot properly attribute qualities to Absolute
Absolute can be described as Sat-Chit-nanda
Sat (existence) Chit (consciousness) (similar to Advaita Vedanta)
nanda (bliss) : love the essential core of bliss
The absolute the impersonal Brahman is looked upon by
mind as the Creator, ruler and the Destroyer of the world
Thus along with this impersonal nature of the Absolute, a
belief in Personal God also emerges
In Advaita Vedanta God has been conceived as a product of
ignorance and My
Metaphysically speaking reality is absolute Brahman
Reality & God
Vivekananda believes the Absolute and God are not two
That God is not a creation of My
Reality is absolute Brahman
Same reality is viewed from the religious point of view is
He who is supremely real
God is present everywhere and in everything
As he says: through his control the sky expands, and
through his control all live. He is the reality in nature. He
is the soul of your soul
Reality & God
He is the Reality in nature. He is the soul of your soul
According to him:
the Absolute is the ocean, while you and I , and sun and stars,
and everything else are various waves of the ocean. And what
makes the waves different? Only the form, and that form is time,
space and causation all entirely dependent on the wave.
(Complete Works, 136)
Reality & God
'Shiva Jnane Jiva Seva'
God in poor later formed the backbone for his universal
message of 'Atmano Mokshartham Jagadhitayacha'
for the liberation of the self, and welfare of the world
It requires very high level of spiritual growth-to actually
see 'God' in the poor
It is a rare development of soul (consciousness)
Which can be achieved sadhana (spiritual practice)
'compassion for all beings'
No, no; it is not compassion to Jivas but service to them
as Siva."
Reality & God
'Every soul is potentially divine
we ourselves, and everyone around us are potentially
Religion is to manifest this divinity within us first
which would automatically make our vision clear
enough to see the same divinity in others as well.
Then the poor would not remain poor; he would become
divine in our eyes - as he really is.
For Vivekananda, the attitude of worship of 'God in poor'
was in fact the highest spiritual experience itself.
To quote some of his teachings, events and incidents
in this regard:
"Look upon every man, woman, and everyone as God.
You cannot help anyone, you can only serve: Serve the
children of the Lord; serve the Lord Himself, if you
have the privilege.
If the Lord grants that you can help any one of His
children, blessed you are; do not think too much of
Blessed you are that that privilege was given to you
when others had it not. Do it only as worship.
I should see God in the poor, and it is for my salvation
that I go and worship them.
The poor and the miserable are for our salvation, so
that we may serve the Lord, coming in the shape of the
diseased, coming in the shape of lunatic, the leper, and
Proofs for Gods Existence
'my God the poor' was the intuitive realization of God in
Its manifestation as poor-as one aspect of Reality.
God has to be presupposed as the necessary support and
ground of both the world and the soul.
If so, then is it that people of all religions and sects always try to
prove Gods existence?
It is possible to have a direct realization of God
His existence can be felt and realized
it is not possible for everybody to have the realization
any day he likes
Years of rigorous discipline and meditation
It is the proofs that creates initial interest and even faith
Teleological Proof
He says:
The whole of nature at best could teach them only of a Being who
is the ruler of the Universe; it could teach nothing further. In short
out of the external world we can only get idea of an architect that
which is called design theory
There must be an architect, an intelligent designer of the Universe
Though it is not a very logical argument, but we can know about
God from the external world, that this world required a builder
He is not a God outside, but He is inside
He is the heart of man, the Soul if our souls, the Reality in us
Causal Proof
We come across many things whose origin and movements
cannot be account for in any naturalistic term
We are not their authors, there must be Divine author
Everything in the universe is by turn a cause and an effect
This is called the law of causation and is a necessary
condition of all our thinking
This causal series itself leads to a finial and ultimate cause
to a cause which, although is the cause of everything , is
itself not caused
This is the Absolute or God
Oneness of everything
Unity of Everything
The universe expresses an essential unity of everything
He says:
If you go below the surface, you find that unity between man
and man, between races and races, high and low, rich and
If you go deep enough all will be seen as only vibrations of the
This fact of unity itself is an argument in favour of the One
There cannot be any other explanation of this unity except
that the reality is one
Fact of Love
What is the nature of love? What de we really love?
He says, we do not really love any other, but we love ourselves
Love consisting in discovering oneself in the object of love
He says:
None, o beloved, loves the husband fro the husbands sake, but it
is for the sake of the self who is in the husband, that the husband is
love; none, O beloved, loves the wife for the wifes sake, but it is
for the sake of the self who is in the wife that the wife is loved.
If love is of this type, then in the act of love and distinction
between me and thou would vanish
This carried to its ultimate conclusion, will show that there is no
other, that reality behind everything is just one supreme principle
of love
Analogical Proof
For example: a beautiful picture
Who enjoys the picture, the seller or the seer?...
The seller is busy with his accounts, computing what his will
be , how much profit he will realize on the picture
That man is enjoying the picture who has gone there
without any intention of buying and selling
So this whole Universe is a picture, and when these
desires have vanished, men will enjoy the world.
He conceives God in the analogy of a painter or a poet or
an artist
He is the Great Poet , the ancient Poet, the whole
universe is His poem, coming in verses and rhymes and
rhythms, written in infinite bliss
Necessity of gods notion
Gods idea is shown to be necessary
It is necessary because it is Truth and Truth is necessary
It is necessary also because it is freedom
Human freedom presupposes the ideal of absolute freedom
which is nothing but Divine freedom
It is inherently present in man.
He hays
It is the God within your own self that is propelling you to seek
for Him, to realize Him. After a long research here and there, in
temples and in churches, earth and in heavens, at last you came
back . To your own soul and find that H for whom you have
been weeping and praying in churches and temples, is nearer of
the near, is your own self, the reality of your life, body and soul.
God is necessary, because the very condition of existence