Vivekananda’s Ideal of Service: A New Path to Liberation

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Vivekananda’s Ideal of Service: A New Path to Liberation

INDIA IS THE LAND OF many religions and philosophies. Even within a single philosophy many divisions and sub-divisions have evolved. Remarkably, more than ten major schools of thought have branched out of Vedanta. The three popular ones are sharply distinguished from one another—dualism, qualified monism, and monism. Though these three schools have a long history, it is dualism and qualifi ed monism that are widely practised in India. People generally devote themselves to rituals, bhajans, recitations, discourses, visiting temples, and other religious activities, which are based on dualism or qualifi ed monism. People rarely worship God in the Advaitic method and bhava, attitude. To worship God as non-different from oneself needs a particular state of the mind and temperament. Many are not competent to face the challenges of practising the stern, austere, and apparently dry Advaita bhava.

 

Swami Vivekananda had experiential knowledge of the three schools of Vedanta and found in them no contradictions. He said: ‘One is simply the fulfilment of the other.’1 Sadhakas progressing in spiritual life find that dualism, qualified monism, and monism come one after another as stages. This concept of harmony among various schools of Vedanta is Sri Ramakrishna’s and Swamiji’s unique contribution to the religion and philosophy of India.

 

Karma Yoga and Emancipation

Karma yoga is India’s ancient discovery and philosophy. Its ideology was revolutionized by Swamiji, and it is now a new path suited to the age. It was perhaps Swamiji alone who said that karma yoga or selfless action is a direct path to moksha, liberation, and not dependent upon any other discipline. Teachers before him, including Acharya Shankara, considered selfless actions as means of the purification of the mind; they held that it can never lead the aspirant directly to freedom from the cycle of births and deaths. Selfless action leads the aspirant gradually through different stages of spiritual growth. These stages are ‘purification of the mind or moral excellence along with upāsanā (devotion to and meditation on qualified Brahman); acquisition of knowledge from a teacher and the scriptures, followed by renunciation of all rites and duties (monasticism), which makes one fit for steadfastness in that knowledge; steadfastness in that knowledge; removal of ignorance and self-revelation of the supreme Brahman, which is the same as Liberation.’2 Swamiji made a small change in this doctrine by holding that karma yoga leads to liberation independently of the other yogas—bhakti, raja, or jnana. Though we find Swamiji’s idea also in the Bhagavadgita, it was not popular among spiritual aspirants before Swamiji. The reason for this might be that no traditional commentator or annotator accepted this path; rather they gave cumbersome interpretations of karma yoga. Th rough his inspiring lectures and talks Swamiji re-invigorated people with the teachings of the Gita and unleashed the tremendous power of karma yoga.

 

Swamiji once elucidated karma yoga or ‘doing good to others’ to his disciple Sharatchandra Chakravarty, who was well versed in the scriptures: ‘Know this also to be one of the spiritual practices, a discipline for God-realisation. Its aim also is Self-realisation. Exactly as that aim is attained by Jnana (knowledge), Bhakti (devotion) and so on, also by work for the sake of others.’3 The disciple raised a cogent objection: ‘If I rest wholly occupied with something particular and relative, how can I realise the Atman which is Absolute?’ (Ibid.). Swamiji beautifully refuted it saying : ‘If you, by being devoted to the service of others and by getting your heart purified by such work, attain to the vision of all beings as the Self, what else remains to be attained in the way of Self-realisation?’ (Ibid.).

 

Swamiji, in his lecture ‘Non-attachment is Complete Self-abnegation’, said in conclusion that all yogas, including karma yoga, lead the individual to perfection. A true karma yogi is unselfish. Swamiji said: ‘This attainment does not depend on any dogma, or doctrine, or belief. Whether one is Christian, or Jew, or Gentile, it does not matter. … The Yogas of work, of wisdom, and of devotion are all capable of serving as direct and independent means for the attainment of Moksha’ (1.93). Only the learned know the secret of this truth present in the yogas. ‘Each one of our Yogas,’ Swamiji held, ‘is fitted to make man perfect even without the help of the others, because they have all the same goal in view’ (ibid.).

 

The conjunction of Jnana and Karma:

The conjunction of jnana and karma—jnana­ karma­samuchchaya—has been refuted by Shankara. He held that a person could never simultaneously practise Advaita jnana and Vedic ritualistic karma. Karma, being a combination of many accessories, is by nature dualistic and cannot be combined with Advaita jnana. Shankara says in his commentary on the Isha Upani­shad: ‘For when vidyā (knowledge) arises, avidyā (karma) vanishes, since in the person in whom there is knowledge, avidyā (karma) cannot remain. Indeed, it is a fact that when the knowledge, “Fire is hot and effulgent”, has arisen in a person, then in that very person, in whom that knowledge has dawned, cannot arise the ignorance or doubt or error (of the form), “Fire is cold or non-illuminating”. ’4

 

Swamiji clearly held that moksha can never be attained by mere karma, which is by nature dualistic. He said to his disciple: ‘Know that in the knowledge of Brahman there is no touch of any relation to work.’5 But Swamiji draws our attention to the good works done by people after having realized Brahman: ‘Well, the truth is this. The knowledge of Brahman is the ultimate goal—the highest destiny of man. But man cannot remain absorbed in Brahman all the time. When he comes out of it, he must have something to engage himself. At that time he should do such work as will contribute to the real well-being of people. Therefore do I urge you in the service of Jivas in a spirit of oneness’ (7.197). So, we do find the coexistence of Advaita jnana and unselfish work in the lives of jivanmuktas, the living free.Shankara knew very well that what is perceived can never be denied.6 He explained in his commentary that jivanmuktas like Janaka and Ashvapati ‘strove to attain liberation through action itself. ’7 In his commentary on the Gita, he said that their actions could not be technically called karma; hence the impossibility of the conjunction of jnana and karma in a person stands unshaken. 8 Janaka and Ashvapati’s actions were not karma because they were free from the sense of agentship and desire for results. Though Shankara did not admit the conjunction of jnana and karma philosophically, he accepted it in a practical way. At the same time, he found no contradiction between Advaita jnana and the actions of Vasudeva, Janaka, and other jivanmuktas. These actions are also Advaitic in nature because such actions are the manifestation of the knowledge of Brahman. Now it is clear that by prescribing unselfish actions for the good of the world with an Advaitic perspective, Swamiji does not go against the age-old doctrine of non- conjunction of jnana and karma. With due respect to the scriptures and holy traditions, Swamiji repeatedly proclaimed: ‘They [shastras] also say that work or service for the good of others leads to this state of Jivanmukti. Otherwise there would be no need on the part of the Shastras to teach a separate path of religious practice, called the Karma-Yoga.’ 9

 

Swamiji explained in detail to his disciple this new idea of karma yoga:
The various methods of spiritual practice that have been laid down in the scriptures are all for the attainment of the knowledge of the Atman. … But they also are a kind of work, and so long as there is work, the Atman is not discovered.
The obstacles to the manifestation of the Atman are overcome by practices as laid down in the scriptures; but work has no power of directly manifesting the Atman, it is only effective in removing some veils that cover knowledge. Then the Atman manifests by Its own effulgence. Do you see? Therefore does your commentator (Shankara) say, ‘In our knowledge of Brahman, there cannot be the least touch of work’ (7.178).
Traditional Advaitins practise jnana-nishtha, steadfastness in knowledge, or the practices called shravana, hearing; manana, cogitation; and nididhyasana, meditation, after having been duly qualified through the purification of the mind, renunciation, and the like under a guru. These practices are considered Advaitic and are not called karma by traditional gurus. From Swamiji’s statement it is clear that he considers these Advaitic practices also to be karma. Sri Ramakrishna also had the same view as Swamiji. 10 According to Swamiji, service with the Advaitic bhava is the same as the practice of jnana nishtha by traditional Advaitins. The only difference is this: in jnana nishtha one seeks the Reality in oneself; in seva, service, the aspirant seeks the Reality in the served. Swamiji’s ideal of seva is thus Advaitic in nature.

 

Seva Based on Advaita

The Vedic people extensively practised various karmas as religious disciplines. This can be gauged by the voluminous karma kanda, ritual section, of the Vedas. We find some means of spiritual illumination through karma for the first time in the Gita: doing good to all people; spiritual wellbeing through the performance of one’s own duties according to caste and ashrama of life; service to God in a ritualistic way with devotional offerings of fruits, flowers, leaves, water, and the like. Doing philanthropic work has become popular all over the world in the modern age. This practice of philanthropy has also been revolutionized by the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, particularly in India. He infused a new life into the system of karma yoga.

 

Devotees worship God in images or pictures by maintaining a devotional mood or by cultivating a definite relationship with God. Such moods or relationships are usually based on dualism or qualified monism, and people are comfortable worshipping God in this manner. Many worship God in humans and other living beings instead of an image. Sri Ramakrishna accepted and undertook many spiritual disciplines and then declared the doctrine of harmony: ‘As many faiths, so many paths.’ But a question that looms large is whether the lofty Advaita ideal can be practical. Swamiji was the first to apply this sublime philosophy to day-to-day activities—small or big—of the common people. This was Swamiji’s great contribution.

 

The teaching of Advaita Vedanta is traditionally summed up as: ‘Brahma satyam jaganmithya, jivo brahmaiva naparah; Brahman is real and the world is unreal, the jiva is none other than Brahman.’ Shankara established the superiority of Advaita Vedanta over other philosophical schools through his sharp intellect and marvellous interpretation of the Upanishads. The great Acharya, compassion incarnate, wanted to lead humanity to freedom by destroying ignorance through jnana, obtained through vichara, discernment. A few centuries after his passing, some post-Shankara scholars laid more stress on the establishment of the falsity of the world and on the absolute reality of Brahman in its transcendental or non-relational aspect. Indeed, they would be overjoyed if any brilliant scholar could establish that the world had not been created at all! For all these philosophical views they depended entirely on their sharp intellectual speculations, cut off from practical life. To them the human world was a part of maya and they took revolutionized by the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, particularly in India. He infused a new life into the system of karma yoga.

 

Devotees worship God in images or pictures by maintaining a devotional mood or by cultivating a definite relationship with God. Such moods or relationships are usually based on dualism or qualified monism, and people are comfortable worshipping God in this manner. Many worship God in humans and other living beings instead of an image. Sri Ramakrishna accepted and undertook many spiritual disciplines and then declared the doctrine of harmony: ‘As many faiths, so many paths.’

 

But a question that looms large is whether the lofty Advaita ideal can be practical. Swamiji was the first to apply this sublime philosophy to day-to-day activities—small or big—of the common people. This was Swamiji’s great contribution.

 

The teaching of Advaita Vedanta is traditionally summed up as: ‘Brahma satyam jaganmithya, jivo brahmaiva naparah; Brahman is real and the world is unreal, the jiva is none other than Brahman.’ Shankara established the superiority of Advaita Vedanta over other philosophical schools through his sharp intellect and marvellous interpretation of the Upanishads. The great Acharya, compassion incarnate, wanted to lead humanity to freedom by destroying ignorance through jnana, obtained through vichara, discernment. A few centuries after his passing, some post-Shankara scholars laid more stress on the establishment of the falsity of the world and on the absolute reality of Brahman in its transcendental or non-relational aspect. Indeed, they would be overjoyed if any brilliant scholar could establish that the world had not been created at all! For all these philosophical views they depended entirely on their sharp intellectual speculations, cut off from practical life. To them the human world was a part of maya and they took shelter in monasteries, caves, or forests to avoid human contact. As a result, Advaita was reduced to a subject of study by scholars, students, and teachers. The common masses lost all contact with the Advaita ideal.

 

Swamiji, however, found Advaita Vedanta to be the greatest source of all arts, literature, science, technology, religion, and philosophy. Advaita, when applied in daily life, can give rise to knowledge, strength, and love. His mission was to help humanity build a glorious unparalleled civilization through the practice of Advaita. He was convinced of the practicality of Advaita and expressed it once to Mohammed Sarfaraz Husain of Nainital in a letter: ‘Whether we call it Vedantism or any ism, the truth is that Advaitism is the last word of religion and thought and the only position from which one can look upon all religions and sects with love. I believe it is the religion of the future enlightened humanity.’11 Swamiji was attracted towards the immanent aspect of Brahman, which is a positive way of looking upon every being as Brahman. When established in this state one sees one’s own self present everywhere in the world. He once explained this wonderful state to a disciple: ‘You will feel the whole sentient and insentient world as your own self. Then you can’t help treating all with the same kindness as you show towards yourself. This is indeed practical Vedanta’ (7.163). On another occasion, while talking with Sharatchandra Chakravarty, Swamiji urged: ‘We must prove the truth of pure Advaitism in practical life. Shankara left this Advaita philosophy in the hills and forests, while I have come to bring it out of those places and scatter it broadcast before the workaday world and society. The lion-roar of Advaita must resound in every hearth and home, in meadows and groves, over hills and plains. Come all of you to my assistance and set yourselves to work’ (7.162).

 

In a Sanskrit letter to a disciple Swamiji clearly stated that his ideal of service is based on Advaita: ‘This being so, as Jiva and Ishvara are in essence the same, serving the Jivas and loving God must mean one and the same thing. Here is a peculiarity: when you serve a Jiva with the idea that he is a Jiva, it is Daya (compassion) and not Prema (love); but when you serve him with the idea that he is the Self, that is Prema. That the Atman is the one objective of love is known from Shruti, Smriti, and direct perception’ (5.133). Swami Gambhirananda used to quote this Gita verse: ‘The ladle is Brahman, the oblation is Brahman, the offering is poured in by Brahman in the fire of Brahman.’12 He used to explain the verse saying that all the accessories needed to perform an action are only various manifestations of one Reality—Brahman. Moreover, the concept ‘jiva is Shiva’ is upheld by Advaita alone.

 

The Advaitic method of seva is ‘worship of the spirit by the spirit’. In 1900 in San Francisco Swamiji explained the purest form of Advaita Vedanta and announced that he had already started applying this Advaita Vedanta:
The whole universe is one existence. There cannot be anything else. Out of diversities we are all going towards this universal existence. … on the heights of the Himalayas I have a place where I am determined nothing shall enter except pure truth. Th ere I want to work out this idea about which I have spoken to you today. … The hour comes when great men shall arise and cast off these kindergartens of religion and shall make vivid and powerful the true religion, the worship of the spirit by the spirit’ (8.138, 140–1).

 

Swamiji would oft en quote two verses from the Gita: ‘That (knowable), which has hands and feet everywhere, which has eyes, heads, and mouths everywhere, which has ears everywhere, exists in creatures by pervading them all’ (13.13).

 

‘Since by seeing equally God who is present alike everywhere he does not injure the Self by the Self, therefore, he attains the supreme Goal’ (13.28). Swamiji would inspire people to do good to others while remembering this idea of unity.

 

Faith in God Is not Absolutely Necessary

Swamiji, ‘a man without frontiers’, boldly and rationally removed all kinds of narrow ideas that stood in the way of karma yoga becoming effective. Swamiji would also not miss any opportunity to pay homage to Buddha. We do not definitely know whether Buddha was a believer or not. But it is evident that he rejected the prevailing religious traditions, scriptures, Vedic rituals, and sacrifi ces. Buddha’s boundless love and compassion embraced everyone, even animals. He once begged a king for the life of a lamb in exchange of his own. ‘He never drew a breath for himself. ’13 In a talk delivered in Detroit Swamiji said: ‘Th is man [Buddha] was without any motive power. He stands as the perfection of the active type, and the very height to which he attained shows that through the power of work we can also attain to the highest spirituality’ (4.136). That is why in Karma Yoga Swamiji described him as ‘the ideal Karma-Yogi’ and ‘a working Jnani’. ‘Buddha may or may not have believed in God; that does not matter to me. He reached the same state of perfection to which others come by Bhakti—love of God—Yoga, or Jnana’ (ibid.). For Swamiji, the secret of success in karma yoga lies in the perfection of the service to humanity without any motive, and not through faith in God. He was bold enough to declare: ‘Perfection does not come from belief or faith. … Perfection comes through the disinterested performance of action’ (4.136–7).

 

A question may arise: What will be the nature of realization attained through karma yoga by an aspirant who is a non-believer? For a non-believer perfection itself will be God, not a personal God but the impersonal like selflessness, consciousness, or absolute bliss. Swamiji says: ‘Unselfishness is God’ (1.87).

 

Gambhirananda pointed out another difference between Swamiji’s ideal of service and the traditionally accepted karma yoga. He said that from the very beginning, work according to Swamiji’s karma yoga is meant entirely for the sake of others; the sense of personal agentship is absent. So the question of offering the results of such work to God does not arise, as this person has no claim regarding the results. The worker gets no time to think that he is the doer and is going to attain the results of the work he is doing. Th is idea is also supported by Sri Krishna in the Gita: ‘You have the right only for actions, never for the results.’14

 

Special Characteristics

Traditionally, ‘karma’ means Vedic rituals prescribed by Vedic injunctions. Karma done with motives leads to various results, as declared by the scriptures; karma done without any motive purifi es the mind. Swamiji, liberal and rational as he was, gave a broad definition of ‘karma’: ‘Th e word Karma is derived from the Sanskrit Kri, to do; all action is Karma. … But in Karma-Yoga we have simply to do with the word Karma as meaning work.’15 Sri Krishna’s meaning of ‘karma’ is also close to ‘work’ or ‘action’: ‘O son of Kunti, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer as a sacrifice, whatever you give and whatever austerities you undertake, that you offer to Me.’16 Swamiji wanted people to do actions that will provide spiritual and secular development. His definition of ‘karma’ included all kinds of good and righteous actions. Traditionally, karma yoga has been considered to lead to Self-knowledge through the purification of the mind. However, Swamiji held that karma yoga takes an aspirant even beyond the purifi cation of the mind.

 

The ancient teachers taught the four yogas in successive stages. According to some Vedanta scholars, one’s spiritual life begins with karma yoga and ends with jnana yoga. Through viveka, discernment, and vairagya, renunciation, an aspirant fi nally realizes the Atman. The other two yogas, raja and bhakti, are optional for the aspirants. Orthodox Vedanta teachers are very particular about jnana yoga because they believe that the practice of jnana alone can lead to Self-realization. Swamiji did not contradict this tradition but viewed it from a different perspective. The mind is naturally constituted by four major faculties—work, meditation, love, and cogitation—the essential elements of the four yogas. Swamiji wanted people to practise an integrated spirituality that includes all the faculties of the mind. Th is spiritual path would be more natural and practical and hence suitable for many. The monks of the Ramakrishna Order strive to follow a spiritual path that combines all the four yogas.

 

Swamiji laid emphasis on theistic karma yoga. Though karma yoga may be practised without a belief in God, he was inclined to serve or worship God in living beings through karma yoga. Th at is why he preferred the terms ‘worship’ and ‘seva’ to karma yoga. This astounding practicality of Advaita opened the eyes of many, who later dedicated their lives to this ideal. Gambhirananda found Swamiji’s ideal of service to be entirely different from the interpretations and meanings of karma yoga given by traditional teachers and called this new path of service ‘seva yoga’.

 

Swamiji’s heart wept for the poor. He urged his brother-disciple Swami Akhandananda, through several letters from the US, to serve the underprivileged: ‘It is preferable to live on grass for the sake of doing good to others. The Gerua robe is not for enjoyment. It is the banner of heroic work. You must give your body, mind, and speech to “the welfare of the world”. You have read … “Look upon your mother as God, look upon your father as God”—but I say … “the poor, the illiterate, the ignorant, the afflicted— let these be your God.” Know that service to these alone is the highest religion.’17

 

Swamiji’s Inspiration

One day at Belur Math Swamiji had a wonderful conversation with a disciple who enquired about the reality of the world. Swamiji said: ‘The world has no absolute reality which only belongs to Brahman, which is beyond the reach of mind and speech’ (7.228–9). Then the discussion turned to other topics. The disciple reminded Swamiji that it was the auspicious day of the worship of Mother Kali. Swamiji entered into a profoundly abstracted mood and began to sing songs on the Divine Mother. After he finished singing, he suddenly cried out: ‘This Kali is Brahman in manifestation. Haven’t you heard Shri Ramakrishna’s illustration of the “snake moving and the snake at rest” (representing the dynamic and static aspects of the same thing )?’ (7.229–30).

 

It was 18 October 1885. Sri Ramakrishna said to Dr Mahendralal Sarkar in the presence of Narendranath, Swamiji’s pre-monastic name: ‘God has become all that you see. It is like a belfruit, which consists of three parts: seeds, shell, and flesh. That which is the Absolute has also its relative aspect, and that which is the Relative has also its absolute aspect. You cannot set aside the Absolute and understand just the Relative. And it is only because there is the Relative that you can transcend it step by step and reach the Absolute .’18 And then he gave the example of the sage Kacha, who, while his mind was coming down from nirvikalpa samadhi to the relative plane, said: ‘It is God alone who has become all that I see. I do not know what to accept and what to reject’ (ibid.). Sri Ramakrishna oft en used to listen to the song : ‘I have joined the heart to Thee: all that exists art Th ou; Th ee only have I found, for Th ou art all that exists’ (794).

 

Long before this Narendranath had had the direct experience of Brahman. One day at Dakshineswar Sri Ramakrishna tried to make Narendranath understand the conclusions of Advaita Vedanta without success. Narendranath left the room, and said to Pratapchandra Hazra:
‘How can this be? This jug is God, this cup is God and we too are God: nothing can be more preposterous!’ On hearing Naren’s laughter, Shri Ramakrishna, who was in his room in a state of semi-consciousness, came out … ‘Hullo! What are you talking about?’ he said smiling. He touched Narendra and plunged into Samadhi. The effect of the touch Naren described as follows: ‘The magic touch of the Master that day immediately brought a wonderful change over my mind. I was astounded to find that really there was nothing in the universe but God! … This state of things continued for some days. When I became normal again, I realized that I must have had a glimpse of the Advaita state. Then it struck me that the words of the scriptures were not false. Thenceforth I could not deny the conclusions of the Advaita philosophy.’19

 

Swamiji’s life is the crux of his philosophy. He was aware of his uniqueness. Once he was asked: ‘“Did Buddha teach that the many was real and the ego unreal, while orthodox Hinduism regards the One as the real, and the many as unreal?” … “Yes,” answered the Swami. “And what Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and I have added to this is, that the Many and the One are the same Reality, perceived by the same mind at different times and in different attitudes.” ’ 20

 

Sister Nivedita, explaining the profundity of the Advaita philosophy and its practicality, said in her unique introduction to the Com­plete Works of Swami Vivekananda : ‘The many and the One are the same Reality, perceived by the mind at different times and in different attitudes; or as Sri Ramakrishna expressed the same thing, “God is both with form and without form. And He is that which includes both form and formlessness”’ (1.xv).

 

Swamiji knew well the objections against implementing Advaita in daily life.21 He brushed aside all these objections only because he followed the path shown by his Master. He communicated some of his ideas to his followers in Madras through a letter on 20 August 1893: ‘Th e Lord has shown me that religion is not in fault, but it is the Pharisees and Sadducees in Hinduism, hypocrites, who invent all sorts of engines of tyranny in the shape of doctrines of Paramarthika [absolute] and Vyavaharika [relative].’22

 

Swamiji established a new path, seva yoga, as a valid path to liberation. But he was not satisfied with the liberation of individuals alone; he wanted to liberate all humanity. He founded Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 and urged all admirers and devotees, lay and monastic, to dedicate themselves for the good of all. He coined the twofold motto of the Order: ‘Atmano moksha­rtham jagaddhitaya cha; for one’s own liberation and for the good of the world.’

 

(Source: Prabuddha Bharatha January 2013)

 

Notes and References

1.The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 9 vols (Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, I–8,1989;
9, 1997), 2.253.
2. Bhagavad Gītā with the Commentary of Śaṅkarācārya, trans. Swami Gambhirananda (Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama, 2012), xx–xxi.
3. Complete Works, 7.112.
4. Īśā Upaniṣad with the Commentary of Śaṅkarācārya, trans. Swami Gambhirananda (Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama, 2008), 32 .
5.Complete Works, 7.I98.
6. See Acharya Shankara’s commentary on the Brahma Sutra 4.I.2: ‘Na hi dṛṣṭe anupapannaṁ nāma; nothing is illogical about facts directly perceived .’
7.Bhagavad Gītā with the Commentary of Śaṅkarācārya, I53.
8. See Acharya Shankara’s commentary on the Bhagavadgita, 2.II: ‘Na tat karma yena buddheh samuccayah syāt; that is no action in which case it could have stood combined with Knowledge.’
9. Complete Works, 7.II3.
10. See M, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, trans.
Swami Nikhilananda (Chennai: Ramakrishna Math, 2002), II3–I4.
11. Complete Works, 6.4I5.
12. Bhagavadgita 4.24.
13. Complete Works, 9.379.
14. Bhagavadgita 2.47.
15. Complete Works, I.27.
16. Bhagavadgita 9.27.
17. Complete Works, 6.288.
18.Gospel, 85I.
 19. His Eastern and Western Disciples, The Life of Swami Vivekananda,  vols (Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama, 20II), I.96–7.
 20. Complete Works, 8.26I.
21. There is a popular Advaita adage: ‘Bhavadvaitam sada kuryat, kriyadvaitam na karhicit; practise Advaita always mentally, never practise Advaita in actions.’ is is the attitude of the traditional Advaitins.
22. Complete Works, 5.I5.
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