Karma of capitalist students and religious masses wavering in the contradictions of many scriptures
—- In firstname.lastname@example.org," jagbir singh"
The Sunday Times October 29, 2006
Students of karma capitalism
US business schools are lining up for courses that will help tomorrow's executives find their inner peace. Dean Nelson reports from New Delhi
THE young executives — among America's brightest and best — cast off their shoes and sat cross-legged at the feet of a tall 80-year-old man dressed in flowing white robes. Like disciples in the presence of a prophet, they hung on his every word. And they stared with concentration as their teacher wrote on a white flip-board the bywords to business success: concentration, consistency, co- operation.
For the members of the Young Presidents' Association, meeting in New Jersey, this was no ordinary leadership seminar. They were being imbued with the values of the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta, by its most venerable proponent, Swami Parthasarathy.
It was only one example of how America's business schools and corporations are turning to the teachings of Hindu gurus and the wisdom of Lord Krishna for guidance for their budding hedge-fund managers, investment bankers and venture capitalists.
Greed may have been good in the 1980s but karma capitalism is now being seen as illuminating the way to long-term business success. Companies are turning to gurus and swamis to transform stressed-out, one-dimensional executives into well-balanced bosses whose inner peace will keep them focused, productive and profitable.
On the syllabus at Harvard, Kellogg, Wharton and Ross business and management schools is the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism's most sacred texts. Also known as the Song of the Divine One, the work relates a conversation between the supreme deity Krishna and Arjuna, a warrior prince.
Its sentiments are being used to bring out the best in the next generation of business leaders. About one in 10 professors at these institutions are of Indian origin, and although opinion among them varies widely, some of their common themes are gaining a wider audience. The most influential is that business leaders should aim for a higher purpose rather than simply amassing a fortune.
Why is not clear, but political goals like social justice and corporate social responsibility seem to have become business aspirations for many companies and schools. And for many, the methodology of achieving them includes developing more rounded executives with a strong spiritual sense of who they are.
A number of leading Indian academics such as Ram Charan, CK Prahalad and Vijay Govindarajan have emerged as gurus who can bring about this change, while more populist teachers like Deepak Chopra have created global business brands advising top executives on how to change their lives.
Parthasarathy, who runs his own school of Vedanta Hindu philosophy in Mumbai and still bats regularly for his college cricket team, is the guru of gurus. Parthasarathy was the heir to his family's shipping business, but turned his back on the family firm after studying at London University.
He began studying the Bhagavad Gita, and has spent the past 50 years building a multimillion pound empire through explaining its practical benefits to wealthy corporations and executives.
He has recently returned to India from America where — in addition to the Young Presidents' Organisation — he lectured students at Wharton Business School and executives at Lehman Brothers in Manhattan. His tours are booked well beyond next year, and will include Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.
While traditional business teaching has used the language of war and conquest, Parthasarathy uses the Bhagavad Gita to urge his students to turn inwards, to develop what he calls the intellect, by which he means their own personal understanding of themselves and the world, and to develop their"concentration, consistency and co-operation.”
Parthasarathy, or Swamiji as he is known to many of his followers, uses the Bhagavad Gita and its"Vedic laws"to inspire his students to raise their aim from earning a crust to focusing on higher spiritual or business goals.
The Gita, as it is known, is the Hindu text in which Lord Krishna reveals himself as Supreme Being to Arjuna as he toils in moral confusion on the battlefield. In the script, Krishna explains to Arjuna that his soul will endure beyond his life, and that enlightenment comes through shedding the ego, and focusing on the"Immortal self.” He explains the importance of devotion, action, meditation and knowledge and teaches that real leaders cast aside emotions that interfere with sound judgment, and put their duty ahead of their personal fortunes.
Parthasarathy's long-term friend Gopichand Hinduja, who with his brothers owns Gulf Oil and Ashok Leyland Trucks and is listed as the seventh-richest man in Britain, said he is one of several gurus who have increased his knowledge of the Gita and in turn helped their family business.
"The Bhagavad Gita can make people better decision-makers. If you just close your eyes and be silent, that gives you the inner strength to focus. It's nothing to do with religion but inner confidence. This has transpired from Vedic law and scripture," he said.
"We know him [Parthasarathy] very well. He uses meditation, yoga and relaxation to ease stress. The world is becoming faster, and people have hypertension. There's no swami or guru we haven't met or tried to understand. In general, each one has some benefit. Vedic law has helped us as businessmen. There are many examples. All of us follow the Bhagavad Gita. Every time you read it you understand more and get more depth.There is no problem in the world to which you do not find a solution there.”
Parthasarathy, however, is sceptical about his new role as guru-in- chief to America Inc.”The business community has appreciated my line of approach. But nobody knows what I'm talking about, just bits and pieces. I'm saying they need to develop their intellect, not simply their intelligence, which is just knowledge from external sources, to help earn a living.
"Your intellect is your capacity to deal with the world, which is dormant in you. I ask people to think. People are doing business, but they don't know why," he said.
"You've got to set targets for yourself. They could be material or spiritual. I'm not interested in business. I'm interested in teaching people what life is about. We have to add self-realisation as a target, to know yourself. We have a spiritual target and all these business jokers have a material target.”
He is sceptical of the prospects of many of his business students benefiting from his teaching.”Not a single soul has understood. At Kellogg, nobody understood. They said it was inspiring. They think I will help them make more money. It's hype," he said.
Gopichand Hinduja said his students could learn as much from their guru's business practices as their spiritual teaching.”Some of these swamijis are now richer than many of the businessmen," he noted.
Wisdom of Krishna
GREED IS BAD
"You should never engage in action only for the desire of rewards," Krishna says. Acting on worldly desires leads to failure. Do well, and good things will come.
Enlightened leaders are compassionate and selfless and they"treat everyone as their equals.” Followers will rally round them and follow their example.
ACT RATHER THAN REACT
Leaders accomplish"excellence by taking action", Krishna says. A leader's actions today can become the"karma"that influences his status tomorrow.
SEEK HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS
Leaders should view problems within their larger contexts. In other words, show sensitivity to shareholders, employees, partners and neighbours.
Students of karma capitalism http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8209-2426391,00.html
> >—- In email@example.com," v_koa"
> Is it just me, or does this seem a lil bit out of context to you?
> By out of context i mean using the gita's teachings as a way to
> make money or enhance performance for the purpose of making
> money. Sure Krishna's teachings are priceless and very deep and
> relevant for everyone, but i fail to see how they can be summed
> down to such a degree that the purpose of them (knowledge to grow
> spiritually which has nothing to do with money) can be easily
> assimilated by people as good business strategy instead of great
> spiritual wealth and information.
> However, maybe i'm cynical and maybe these people will take these
> teachings to heart and actually develop balanced business
> practices, which would be super good for everyone, and at the very
> least develop a different outlook on life, but i'm not sure that's
> what this is.
> Any comments?
Dear Kyyan and all readers,
"Students of karma capitalism"Is a very positive step in the right spiritual direction for those deeply immersed in this material world. Parthasarathy is trying to get the business elite to grasp the meaning of Self-realization and strive to attain it as their souls will endure beyond this life, and that enlightenment comes through shedding the ego, and focusing on the"Immortal self.”"This takes years of devotion, action, meditation and knowledge. And when you have all the protective and comforting wealth at your disposal then that material security should give you the peace of mind to seek the spiritual wealth to attain immortality as well. After acquiring an abundance of both material and spiritual prosperity these are the people whose economic clout, professionalism and self-enlightenment can make the most impact to slow down a rapidly accelerating material world. It is a win-win blessing of tan (physical effort), man (mental apparatus) and dhan (material wherewithal) for those with wisdom. But rare is the soul who, after attaining Self-realization, recognizes the bountiful fruits of past rebirths and uses tan, man and dhan to serve both humanity and the Divine. Most are deluded by maya as the addictive intoxication of money, power and status daily drives their consciousness to seek and accumulate ever more.
There are thus very few of the business elite who can understand Self-realization. Most probably do not believe in rebirth/afterlife, or are too busy making money to care, or do not have the time/technique to silence the materialistic thoughts that keep them trapped/deluded in that maya. Parthasarathy admits that all his efforts to enlighten have failed, perhaps implying that even a small measure of success would have brought substantial spiritual benefits to both the business elite in particular and humanity in general. In other words, the Self is realized after years of devotion, action, meditation and knowledge, not over a week crash course or two; that enlightenment comes through shedding the ego, and focusing on the"Immortal self"; that real seekers put their duty to the Divine and humanity ahead of their personal fortunes. They would have eventually realized that knowledge to grow spiritually has nothing to do with money, but that humanity can benefit both materially and spiritually from those business elite applying the lessons of Self- realization inthe corporate world. In other words, spreading the Cosmic Consciousness of Self-realization for the benefit of humanity.
> Parthasarathy, however, is sceptical about his new role as guru-in-
> chief to America Inc.”The business community has appreciated my
> line of approach. But nobody knows what I'm talking about, just
> bits and pieces. I'm saying they need to develop their intellect,
> not simply their intelligence, which is just knowledge from
> external sources, to help earn a living....
> He is sceptical of the prospects of many of his business students
> benefiting from his teaching.”Not a single soul has understood. At
> Kellogg, nobody understood. They said it was inspiring. They think
> I will help them make more money. It's hype," he said.
Does that mean the religious folks are better off spiritually? Do the religious institutions direct them to attain Self-realization? Have the religious masses been enlightened over the centuries? .... That is hardly the case. On the contrary, the emphasis seems to be prayer, rituals, bhajans and hearing stories. In other words, attention is always projected externally by the priests and the masses follow blindly.
i would want to quote from the Bhagavad-Gita about a topic that, as far as i know, is not discussed by the priests and pandits. Perhaps then we will be more forgiving of business students not understanding Parthasarathy's teaching:
When thy mind leaves behind its dark forest of delusion,
Thou shalt go beyond the scriptures of times past and still to come.
When thy mind, that may be wavering in the contradictions of many scriptures,
Shall rest unshaken in divine contemplation,
Then the goal of Yoga is thine.
Juan Mascaro, The Bhagavad Gita 2:52-53
Shri Krishna proclaimed this priceless prophecy of contradicting scriptures thousands of years ago because He foresaw that disagreements and controversies of future scriptures would confuse and delude humankind. When He spoke these words there was only the Sanatana Dharma. There was no Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity or Islam, and no Torah, Dhammapada, Bible or Qur'an. Yet He prophesied that the texts of religious organizations - the scriptures of times past and still to come - would contradict one another.
This is the exact situation today and only now we have the technological means and speed to confirm scriptural contradictions. In these modern times there are so many scriptural discrepancies that the minds of seekers are deluded and in doubt. Those genuinely looking for Truth in various scriptures and religions are confused and sometimes shocked by what they find.
Every religion is tainted with falsehood and discrepancies. Every house of worship is perverted and corrupted. Every guru is teaching his or her own version of Truth. Only fools and fundamentalists do not feel disturbed if the atruth' they are preached is contradicted by other messengers and scriptures. Their blind faith does not question glaring falsehood as the herd instinct gives them security in numbers.
A billion Catholics claim that the five billion pagans will be tormented in the Inferno. A billion Muslims swear that more than five billion infidels will burn in hell. The few million Jews affirm that the rest of humankind may jump in the lake as far as their jealous god is concerned.
If any historian ever carries out a research of the scriptural contradictions he or she will understand the meaning of blind faith, misrepresentation, forgery, falsehood, and fundamentalism. The Torah, Bible and the Qur'an have so many contradictions, some even defying history, that truth loses its meaning.
"But save for these laws regulating caste there is no other unifying element in all Hinduism. There are two major sects in the religion, and at least fifty-seven sub-sects, each seeking to attain salvation with the aid of its own gods and ceremonies. Christianity, which is even more intensively divided, is at least united by its unanimous recognition of the uniqueness of Jesus. Hinduism has no such common doctrine. It is true that about 300 A.D. an attempt was made to create such a doctrine by combining the three main Hindu gods into a universally acceptable trinity; but the attempt failed dismally. Brahma, the chief god in that trinity, never became popular save with the priests and philosophers. He was not nearly concrete enough a deity for the plain folk to grasp and believe in and now there are only a couple of temples in all of India that are devoted to his worship. And Vishnu and Shiva, the two other gods in the trinity, always remained distinct and separate, continuing to attract distinct and separate followings.” (www.easternreligions.com/)
"The Jesus Seminar attempts to change that through its conferences, press releases, books, webpage, etc. The goal is: "to bring the quest of the historical Jesus of Nazareth to the center of a global forum.”That is, to extract what the participants have concluded to be the actual words and actions of Jesus from ancient writings, and present these to the public.
Their conclusions differ greatly from what Christian denominations have historically taught. They are also in major conflict with the current beliefs of most present-day conservative Christians. Fellows of the Seminar do not regard Christian Scriptures as inerrant. They do not believe that the authors were uniquely inspired by God. Rather, they view the Bible as a very human document, composed by writers who actively promoted their own theological beliefs (or those of the group to which the writers belonged). The Seminar sees within early Christian writings the evolution of religious thought. The fellows study this over the approximately 18 decades from the time of the execution of Jesus (circa 30 CE) to about 310 CE. They see many passages in conflict with each other and with the historical record.” (www.religioustolerance.org/)
"For centuries Muslims have been taught to believe that the Qur'n has been preserved in its original Arabic form since the beginning of time itself, and preserved intact from the period of the"sending down"of the book to Muhammad, right on down till the present. They have been taught that the text which we read now was uniquely inspired, in that there were no intermediary agents who could possibly pollute the integrity of the script.
At the same time they have also been taught that this suggested textual perfection of the book proves that the Qur'n must be the Word of God, as no one but Allah could have created and preserved such a perfected text. This sentiment has become so strongly established in the Muslim world that one will rarely find a Muslim scholar willing to make any critical analysis of its content or of its structure, as to do so would usually be detrimental to his or her health. However, when an analysis is made by a Western scholar upon the Qur'n, that analysis is roundly castigated as being biased from the outset, and even"satanic," and therefore, unworthy of a reply.
But that does not stop the analysis from being undertaken, for the Qur'n when held up to scrutiny finds itself lacking in many areas.
As we have already discussed, we find problems with its sources, its collation, its literary makeup, its supposed uniqueness, and problems even with its content. It is not difficult to find numerous contradictions within the Qur'n, a problem which Muslims and the Qur'n has attempted to alleviate by conveniently allowing for the 'law of abrogation.' But even more devastating towards the integrity of this supposed perfect 'divine book,' are the numerous errors which are found in its pages. It is therefore to those errors which we will now turn in our continuing quest to ascertain whether, indeed, the Qur'n can claim to be the true, and"perfect"Word of God, as Muslims have so often maintained since the very inception of their faith.” (www.debate.org.uk/)
So how can we make the mind, that may be wavering in the contradictions of many scriptures, rest unshaken in divine contemplation? How do we attain Self-Realization that Shri Krishna talked about (and all scriptures and messengers are in agreement i.e., seek His Light/Presence/Self within)? Before doing so it is crucial that this deep and difficult subject be first understood properly.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE
AUTHOR: SHRIRAM SHARMA ACHARYA
Publisher: Yugantar Chetna Press,
Shantikunj, Haridwar, India(U.P), India, 24911
Translated by Shree Narayan Pandya
The WWW reprint is for free distribution
The Philosophy of self knowledge
Is it not anomalous that man collects more and more information about the outer world and matters relating to it, but remains ignorant about him-self? He ultimately goes astray and roams in vain for want of knowledge of the form and nature of self. The search of inanimate nature is necessary for getting material facilities but it is all the more necessary to know the power by which they are used.
The question often arises is- who is man? What is the form or shape and aim of life? What is proper utilization of the world connected with one's life and its achievements? If answers to these questions are over-looked a kind of self-forgetfulness prevails. There can be no serious assessment of the system of life when the inner-self assumes a state of illusion or a state of unconsciousness. The incitement of passions then takes the form of motivation. Just as living beings other than men indulge in different activities initiated by their sense organs to satisfy their hunger and sexual lust, the daily routine of human being also becomes the same. It becomes a part of one's nature to follow general routine. A kite disengaged from its thread, and leaves fallen from the tree fly aimlessly here and there. In the same way life is lived just for passing time. There being no higher ideal to be followed, a man cannot get real pleasure of life and he is unable to take any important initiative. In his craze for material happiness man's inner-self keeps on burning in the fire of unrest and dissatisfaction. The fatigued frustrated life is spent in weeping and lamenting. This is because on account of man's ignorance of his own potentials, he is unable to determine the goal of his life. The coordination of matter and life, of inanimate and animate is responsible for the existence of body. Though separate, they are so closely interlinked that one does not exist without the other. Body without life becomes not only inert but starts rotting. It ultimately culminates in extinction by its funeral ceremony.
This is about the terrible plight of body without life. The other side is also similar. Life-force may overcast in the sky like air but it is not possible for it to display its identity in the material world or to fulfill any desired purpose. There is no direct utility of body without life and of life without body. This fact explains how they are inter-linked with each other.
Coordination between physical and subtle, inanimate and animate prevails extensively in this universe. The smallest unit of matter is in the form of wave. The existence and control of consciousness has been found out in between these atomic vibrations. Its skillful activities can be seen working at every step in the form of universal harmony on the basis of science of ecology. There are other innumerable evidences in which a most powerful, mysterious world of consciousness can be seen inter-woven with the material world. Just as there is existence of energy and motion in matter so also in life, feeling and thinking are seen acting and reacting in different forms.
Man fulfills his various purposes in material world by understanding the nature and use of matter. But it is surprising that the soul, although intrinsically interlinked with the original power of the world of consciousness, remains totally ignorant of the very fact which is responsible for its rise and fall. Body is matter and so its convenience can be considered to depend on matter. The physical power needs physical knowledge for all its achievements. Without it, it cannot pull on and maintenance is difficult. As such, it is reasonable to realize the importance of physical science and make use of it. But it should also be realized that all the needs of life cannot be fulfilled merely by physical science making available all the requisite materials. Consciousness has its own form, purpose, program, strength and grandeur If one remains ignorant about it, he lives only physical life. Is it not a misfortune that the individual power of entire consciousness remains dormant with only a portion of it, hardly one per cent, in use and the rest lying idle, inactive and neglected?
In spiritual scriptures indications, directions have been given at every step 'know thyself, awaken!'. The entrant of a spiritual field has to think and meditate with concentration on formulae like"Atmanam Vidhdhi-Atma-wareygyatavya.” So much has been propounded about the importance, reaction and attainment of atma- gyan' that nothing else has been regarded to have excelled this achievement. The utility of knowledge of the self is far more important than that of the outer world. Material achievements will be misused and create several complications unless the persons who avail them have keen prudence and farsighted vision. It is not enough to have a good car. If the driver is unskillful, several troubles may have to be faced. Even without resources a man can always be happy and contented if the aim of life is before him. But in the absence of prudence and inner power of discrimination, his condition even with plenty of resources will be that of a monkey with a sword in hand who beheaded his master for a fly which was sitting on his nose.
The 'Rishi' of"Shweta-shwetaro-pnishada"describing what can be the most important question of pursuit for man clarifies-"Kim karanam brahma kutah smajata; jeewam kena kwacha samratis thada...”; meaning," O Learned Maharshis! Who is 'Brahma', the main cause of this universe? By whom we are born and living and in whom are we established? Under whom do we live and feel happy and afflicted with sorrow?”
If this question is sought to be answered and the need of self- knowledge is felt, one will have to ponder first as to"Who am I and why am I living"? The 'Rishis' who had realized the self had deeply pondered and meditated on this question and the conclusion to which they had arrived are extremely important and capable of guiding those aspirants who are eager to attain self-knowledge. The scientists who analyze and describe the power of atom regard it as a small indivisible unit of matter. What is soul? It is a small unit or fraction of the supreme power. It does appear that atom has its own independent power but it is not different from that all- pervading extensive energy to which it owes its existence. Infinite rays of one sun pervade the entire atmosphere. There are infinite waves in the ocean. It does appear that rays and waves have their independent existence and are different from each other, but if one probes deeper into the truth it will be known that unity in them is real and the apparent difference is artificial. Independent images of sky appear in different pots but in fact all these images owe their existence to the vast celestial sphere of the sky as a whole. Bubbles are seen spouting and disappearing in water. Several whirl- pools are seen in the running currents of water. These bubbles and whirl-pools are in fact merely momentary movements of flowing currents in water though they appear to have their independent existence. The soul appears to have independent existence but it is in fact, by its nature, a part and parcel of omni-present consciousness.
The spiritualists have, on the basis of this conclusion, declared that we are mere fraction of universal consciousness. The whole, or the entirety is the basic power and we are just a spark of it. The individual and the whole are integral and indivisible. One should see, understand and regard himself in all and all in him-self. Ones own good should be considered to lie in the good of all. The happiness and sorrow of one another should be considered one's own happiness and sorrow. A man travels beyond the limits of his narrow self and gets inspiration for self-enlargement by regarding rise and fall of others as his own. Selfishness dependent on individualism decreases as soon as a person crosses the limits of narrow- mindedness. He then starts feeling himself as an integral part of the universe as a whole and thinks in terms of collective good. He takes pleasure in following the activities of common good.
Everyone loves himself. When this affinity gets linked with any living being or material object, he starts loving it too. If our feeling of one-ness with others is more limited, we will be regarded as backward to that extent from a spiritual point of view. One who limits himself to his body and family alone, cannot enjoy the pleasure of self-enlargement He limits himself in a narrow field. With widening of this field the narrow limits of affinity will also widen. The entire humanity will be its own, and his family will become a very large one indeed. The spiritual progress of a man can be judged by the extent to which he has expanded his self.
The result of unity of soul and God, of 'jeev' and 'Brahma', of the individual and the whole is that all the qualities of the latter are found in minute form in the former- the 'jeevatma'. All the characteristics and qualities of God which are available in 'jeevatma' can be awakened and developed by sticking to spiritual disciplines. There are thus full prospects of the soul reaching the level of God. A spark has the potentiality to become a fire in the forest. A seed incorporates in itself the structure of a huge tree. A tiny sperm, which is not perceptible by naked eyes, contains the absolute form and nature of a human being. A small atom incorporates in it the entire solar system. It is, therefore, clear from this fact that the original power of 'jeev' is equivalent to that of God. It is possible for everyone to materialize this possibility in his life time. The greatest reward and fulfillment of human life lies in realizing the self and achieving perfection.
The best utilization of this rare, God-gifted human life is to proceed ahead in the direction of this great goal, lead an ideal, pious, saintly life and to utilize one's physical, mental and material achievements more for benevolent purposes of doing good to others, and minimum for one's own self. God has given additional intellectual wealth to man in comparison with other living beings. Why has he been so partial? Answer to this question becomes clear if one understands the ultimate goal of human life. It will be considered to be a misuse if men were to spend their additional wealth in fulfilling their personal selfish ends.
Mind and body are two wheels, or two horses of the chariot of life. Both of them remain active like faithful servants according to the inner faith and desire. Body is inert. It has no independent power or desire of its own. The senses have also been constituted by the five elements. Mind also does not think on its own will. It weaves thoughts according to inner inspirations and merely fulfills its directions. Prudent persons think and act uniformly but vicious persons do not do so. The mind and body remains quite detached in both these circumstances. It is the inner-self which is at fault because the underlying 'sanskars' bring out good and bad motivations. The meaning of' 'Atma-gyan' is to touch the depth of the inner soul, to reform ones own habitual evil tendencies, and to create such faith and experience as to feel that he is 'sat-chit- anand', an integral part of God- the omni-potent. Perfection is our goal. An awakened soul, having realized his own self, crosses all the narrow barriers of selfishness and visualizes himself in all and all in himself. He acts and thinks keeping in view the public good and welfare of mankind as a whole. Righteousness and idealism are reflected in all of his activities. Such self-realized persons feel immense, infinite pleasure and satisfaction though materially they may be hand to mouth. This is such a state about which the 'rishi' of Brihada-ranyak Upnishad says"Atmano va are darshnena shra wanena matya vigyane-nedam sarva viditam.” (It is such a perfectly conscious blissful power which, if realized, everything is realized and nothing remains to be realized.)"Ya evam vedaham brahma smiti sa idam sarva bhavati" (One who has realized the self becomes omni-present, because his experience is co-existent with the entire universe). No sooner a man awakes from sleep, the state of dreaming comes to an end. In the light of the knowledge of the self, one feels that the world does not exist beyond the soul. Bhagwan Buddha became a divine man as soon as he realized the self. It was the result of self-awakening on account of which he saw the light of himself in everyone.
The Philosophy of self knowledge
Shriram Sharma Acharya
In conclusion I will quote Swami Vivekananda.
"Religions of the world have become lifeless mockeries ...
If there is ever to be a universal religion, it must be one which will have no location in place or time, which will be infinite like the God it will preach, and whose sun will shine upon the followers of Krishna and Christ, on saints and sinners alike; which will not be Brahmanic or Buddhist, Christian or Mohammedan, but the sum total of all these, and still have infinite pace for development; which in its catholicity will embrace in its finite arms, and find a place for every human being, from the lowest groveling savage not far removed from the brute, to the highest man towering by the virtues of his head and heart above humanity, making society stand in awe of him and doubt his human nature.
It will be a religion which will have no place for persecution or intolerance in its polity, which will recognize divinity in every man and woman, and whose whole scope, whose whole force, will be centred on aiding humanity to realise its own true, divine nature.”
i think Swami Vivekananda is also telling us that we can only understand our own divine nature by Self-realization. For millennia religious institutions and sects have never been able to give Self- realization, and never will. The day you realize your Self you will never step into any temple, gurdwara, church, synagogue or mosque to seek the Divine. If you still need to do so then be assured you still have not realized your Self yet ................ just like the countless millions of religious masses over the ages.
But when your mind leaves behind its dark forest of religious delusion,
You shall go beyond the scriptures of times past and at present none to come.
When your mind, that may be wavering in the contradictions of many scriptures,
Shall rest unshaken in divine contemplation and Silence,
Then the goal of Self-realization and assured liberation is yours.
In the Age of Kali Yuga there seems little difference in the future karma of capitalist students and religious masses wavering in the contradictions of many scriptures.
Jai Shri Ganapathi,
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