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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?

Ans:

In the training camps of the Mahamandal you get something extra that you don’t get in your school or college education and in many cases not even from your home. Many such things, useful and necessary things, are in plenty here. So, if you can take a little and make use of it, your knowledge will grow, your heart will expand, your physical power will increase, you will be able to do something for the people. The qualities of your character will improve. So, here you get the methods of becoming a real man, a genuine man, a full man. That is the training you are getting here. We can say that you will find it nowhere else. And the material that you will get in the books published by the Mahamandal is not available from any other source. Here in our camps you get the practical demonstration of how to gain these things – how to gain the power. Now, of course, it is up to you to make use of these ideas.
Now, let us come to your second question briefly. Practise mental concentration twice daily, and gradually you will see how you can catch the idea and make use of that. For that, you have heard, we shall try to fix the mind on something good and precious, something you love most, something that you have the greatest respect for. We can say, without any fear of being contradicted by anybody, that to us, at least, Swamiji is the inspiration. So we may fix our mind on Swami Vivekananda. You may just place a photo or a small idol or anything good in front of you, or within your mind also you can do that. But if you keep something outside and then try to fix your mind on that, you will gradually see that, after some time, something outside will not be necessary. Whenever you think of Sri Ramakrishna, the Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi or Swami Vivekananda, the figure will be before your eyes, not outside, but somewhere inside. We have a pair of eyes of see things outside, and we have at least one third eye, as it were, to see things inside of our mind. It is not very difficult. Any time you can see things you love, admire, and respect. Any vision you can bring to your mind. But don’t be in a hurry. Slowly, gradually, go on practising, and then, when you find that you can fix your mind on a small picture or idol of Swami Vivekananda or something else outside, you can try it inside.
Some of you, at least, must have gone through the life of Sri Ramakrishna. There was a house beside the Dakshineshwar temple, where there was a picture of Mother Mary with Child Jesus in her lap. When Sri Ramakrishna went there and saw it, he had a vision that Child Jesus came down to him. It was not a miracle, it happened. Whether the child came down from the picture is not important. It is your mind which sees things. So, if you go on putting your mind on the portrait of Swami Vivekananda or someone else or something else of your choice daily in the morning and evening, do it very sincerely every day, without fail, at least twice daily. Gradually you will see that it will become so easy. As soon as you think of Swami Vivekananda, you will see his face, his postures, his manliness. All these things will be before your eyes. If you go on doing it again and again, power will grow in you. With that power you will be able to do the most impossible things, you will be able serve the Motherland in a great way. What is impossible for you today will become very much possible, even easy to accomplish, tomorrow. So, this is the way to manifest your power.

 

 

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?

 

 
 

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