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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?

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?

Ans:

Mental abilities can be strengthened by their repeated proper use. So, we must first know what the mind is, what its abilities are, what is proper use and why, and how to use the mind in the proper way. That is to say, we must know the science of mind and the practical methods to strengthen it. Then that knowledge is to be applied in daily life continuously.

            The mind is known through what is does. Perception, memory, thinking, analysing, feeling, and willing are among its functions and abilities. Success in life depends on how well we can use such abilities. But unfortunately the present education system does not help us in this matter. The result is that mostly we misuse and waste the powers of the mind. The scheme of life-building suggested by the Mahamandal takes the whole issue into account. Its prescription includes among other things mental concentration, prayer, and study for character-building which help greatly to enhance our mental abilities. The body is also to be strengthened to let the mind grow strong. The whole scheme cannot be explained in a few words. But none of the methods can be very fruitful when practised in isolation. So, instead of taking up any one method exclusively, the complete set of methods should be understood clearly and applied continuously with determination.

To help young men in this matter the Mahamandal organizes many training camps throughout the year, publishes books and booklets, and every unit of the Mahamandal runs weekly study circles. The guidelines are laid down in details in such a simple way that everybody can grasp them. By making good use of them, you can get the whole thing and apply them in your life. Thus you can surely help yourself to improve your mental faculties.

 

 

 

 

 
 

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