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UTSAV SUCHI 2017-2018

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 Vedanta and Indian Culture

    The Hindu religious tradition is a vast and complex confederation of religions which has no founder, no defining creed, no centralized authority. Nevertheless, it has maintained overall coherence, vitality and far-reaching influence for many centuries, mainly because it is based on a dynamic philosophy of life known as Vedanta. The Vedanta embodies the teachings of the Upanishads, which form the concluding message of the Vedas. The Vedas are the oldest scriptures of the world and of the Hindu Faith.

 

    The ramifications of VEDANTA, can be discovered in all the popular holy books of Hinduism and are declared to be the most potent antidote for the malady of modern life, which is gross materialism. The beginning of the 19th century saw the glorification of reason and science which led to the overwhelming growth of scientific technology as we know, see, and feel it today. As the Yuga-Avatara Sri Ramakrishna indicated: Abandoning hallowed spiritual values of the ancient Gurus has led modern man to lose faith in himself, and his power to manifest his nobler nature. Thinking of gross objects the human being tends to become inert and impotent spiritually. Vedanta aims to help modern man to recover his forgotten identity. He is a spark of the Divine Being. 

 

     The central message and prayer of Vedanta,... "the one prayer, to remember our true nature, the God who is always within us, thinking of it always as infinite, almighty, ever-good, ever-beneficent, selfless, bereft of all limitations. And because that nature is selfless, it is strong and fearless; for only to selfishness comes fear. He who has nothing to desire for himself, whom does he fear, and what can frighten him? What fear has death for him? What fear has evil for him?..."

 

 

    "Bring in the light and the evil goes in a moment. Build up your character, and manifest your real nature, the Effulgent, the Resplendent, the Ever-Pure, and call It up in everyone that you see. I wish that everyone of us had come to such a state that even in the vilest of human beings we could see the Real Self within, and instead of condemning them, say, "Rise thou effulgent one, rise thou who art always pure, rise thou birthless and deathless, rise almighty, and manifest thy true nature. These little manifestations do not befit thee.
                                                                              (From 'Practical Vedanta' by Swami Vivekananda)


    
"Remember that great saying of the Sankhya, "The whole of nature is for the soul, not the soul for nature." The very reason of nature's existence is for the education of the soul; it has no other meaning; it is there because the soul must have knowledge, and through knowledge free itself. If we remember this always, we shall never be attached to nature; we shall know that nature is a book in which we are to read, and that when we have gained the required knowledge, the book is of no more value to us. Instead of that, however, we are identifying ourselves with nature; we are thinking that the soul is for nature, that the spirit is for the flesh, and, as the common saying has it, we think that man "lives to eat" and not "eats to live". We are continually making this mistake; we are regarding nature as ourselves and are becoming attached to it; and as soon as this attachment comes, there is the deep impression on the soul, which binds us down and makes us work not from freedom but like slaves.
"The whole gist of this teaching is that you should work like a master and not as a slave; work incessantly, but do not do slave's work. Do you not see how everybody works? Nobody can be altogether at rest; ninety-nine per cent of mankind work like slaves, and the result is misery; it is all selfish work. Work through freedom! Work through love! The word "love" is very difficult to understand; love never comes until there is freedom. There is no true love possible in the slave. If you buy a slave and tie him down in chains and make him work for you, he will work like a drudge, but there will be no love in him. So when we ourselves work for the things of the world as slaves, there can be no love in us, and our work is not true work. This is true of work done for relatives and friends, and is true of work done for our own selves. Selfish work is slave's work; and here is a test. Every act of love brings happiness; there is no act of love which does not bring peace and blessedness as its reaction."

                                                                                          from "Karma Yoga" by Swami Vivekananda