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Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda

 
 
The old religion said that he was an atheist who did not believe in God. The new religion says that he is an atheist who does not believe in himself.
Swami Vivekananda

 
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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Swami Vivekananda said, ‘You must remember that humanity travels not from error to truth, but from truth to truth; it may be, if you like it better, from lower truth to higher truth, but never from error to truth.’ What are the higher and lower truths?

What is the meaning of character-building without any concrete organized action? Is there any example of concrete action in the last forty years of the Mahamandal?

Instead of learning character-building, how can we inspire the student community to do something for the sake of their country and serve the poor? Please explain its method.

The contribution of Swami Vivekananda in Indian freedom struggle was immense. Yet, why did he not get an important place in the history of our freedom struggle?

Each man is the soul identified. Again, Shāstras say, Aham Brahmāsmi. What is the relation between the soul and Brahman?

In what way is this training camp of the Mahamandal specially useful to us? Of the daily practices advised by you, mental concentration seems to be very important. Will you kindly explain how to practise it and how is it going to increase my powers to serve the motherland?

Why is the mind attracted to any beautiful thing?

You have said that there are three things in the make up of man: the body, the mind, and the heart. What is the heart and how can we develop it?

What is the method of imparting true education?

What is mind?

What was Swamiji’s opinion on Hinduism and other religions of the world? Why did he give primacy to religion over everything else?

What is the aim of the Mahamandal?

Does the system of varnaand āshrama have any relevance today?

The Mahamandal is working for character-building of the youths with Swamiji’s message: ‘Be and make’. It was taught by Swami Vivekananda over a century back. It seems it was lying unused at some corner. Is there no other organization doing this type of work?

When does the soul enter our body?

Religion teaches that God is there in all, that the human body is the abode of God. Then why do we not see Him? Please tell me the way to see Him and be loved by the All-Love.

What is vairāgya?

Why are the youth of India moving towards degeneration? What is the solution of this problem?

Ans:

The solution is what the Mahamandal is attempting to do. Things have come to this horrible pass mainly due to politics. Only some cunning, self-centred people go into politics here. They form governments and become ministers. You know how elections are held. Is there any will for the good of the country, for the good of the younger generation? We just want to gratify our own cravings for enjoyment, power, and money by hook or by crook. There is hardly anybody, at least in politics, who really feels for our youths, for our toiling and suffering masses.
                  Before Independence we had many leaders in society and a few real leaders in politics also. Now there are none for the young to emulate. Nobody knows what change is required and where. The ministers, administrators, and the planners of our education are themselves not educated in the real sense. Nor do they have any touch with the harsh reality in which most of our young people have to struggle. So, there is no chance at all of any worthy idea coming out of their heads. If you don’t mind – the country is being governed by fools – neither by knowledge, nor by love. Everybody who is in a good position is interested in his own pay, prospect, and promotion. Swami Ranganathanandaji once spoke about the tyranny of these three P’s. Many of the MLAs and MPs are almost illiterate, some are criminals.
You are young. The future of our motherland completely depends on you. If you too do not try to be proper men, you will perhaps earn well and many of you may not, and the burden of family will fall on your shoulders, and you may not be fit for the struggle. We must be men, so that we shall not only boldly face our own troubles, but also work to rebuild our nation. So, an organization of bold and energetic young men is the need of the hour. What will be the source of their energy? The power of character, the power of love. We shall have to cultivate strength of the mind, of the body, and, above all, of the heart. We must have a rational and scientific approach. Stop all misuse of time. We are wasting so much time viewing TV, viewing games and entertaining programmes. Today babies on the lap of their mothers are watching TV! TV is run entirely on commercial – and not moral – principles. Hardly any good can come out of it. The government is happy as it earns a lot from it. But we must not be victims of such nation-wide character-assassination schemes.
Let us read good books conducive to life-building, join the training camps and other activities of the Mahamandal, make a strong determination, and work hard to build our life and character. That will solve the problem.

 

 

I understand that the world is like a series of pictures. But I cannot hold on to the idea all the time. The mind goes out of control. What do I do?

There was a historical background of the beginning of the Mahamandal. One immediate need was to show the right way to young people who were in disarray at a time of ideological confusion. Some others who were in a dilemma between religion and social work also needed it. Now times have changed, but the necessity of this work remains for all time. Young men in general are nowadays interested neither in politics, nor in social work, nor in poetry. For most of them the sole concern is career. Under the present circumstances, how should the ideas of the Mahamandal be placed before them?

How can we bring about national integration?

What is brahmacharya? Why should we practise it and how? What are the   means?

What is caste? What is its relation with religion?

Can science exist without religion?

Is there any difference between the ideas of Sri Ramakrishna and those of Swami Vivekananda?

Is absolute unselfishness possible under the present circumstances?

What should we do to strengthen our mental abilities?

 

 
 

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