THE COMPLETE WORKS | VOLUME 2 | SWAMI VIVEKANANDA
|| SECTION 2 | PRACTICAL VEDANTA & OTHER LECTURES ||
|| PRACTICAL VEDANTA | PART 4 OF 4 ||
We have been dealing more with the universal so far . This morning I shall try to place before you the Vedantic ideas of the relation of the particular to the universal .
As we have seen , in the dualistic form of Vedic doctrines , the earlier forms , there was a clearly defined particular and limited soul for every being . There have been a great many theories about this particular soul in each individual , but the main discussion was between the ancient Vedantists and the ancient Buddhists , the former believing in the individual soul as complete in itself , the latter denying in toto the existence of such an individual soul .
As I told you the other day , it is pretty much the same discussion you have in Europe as to substance and quality , one set holding that behind the qualities there is something as substance , in which the qualities inhere ; and the other denying the existence of such a substance as being unnecessary , for the qualities may live by themselves .
The most ancient theory of the soul , of course , is based upon the argument of self-identity — " I am I " — that the I of yesterday is the I of today , and the I of today will be the I of tomorrow ; that in spite of all the changes that are happening to the body , I yet believe that I am the same I . This seems to have been the central argument with those who believed in a limited , and yet perfectly complete , individual soul .
On the other hand , the ancient Buddhists denied the necessity of such an assumption . They brought forward the argument that all that we know , and all that we possibly can know , are simply these changes . The positing of an unchangeable and unchanging substance is simply superfluous , and even if there were any such unchangeable thing , we could never understand it , nor should we ever be able to cognise it in any sense of the word .
The same discussion you will find at the present time going on in Europe between the religionists and the idealists on the one side , and the modern positivists and agnostics on the other ; one set believing there is something which does not change ( of whom the latest representative is your Herbert Spencer ) , that we catch a glimpse of something which is unchangeable .
And the other is represented by the modern Comtists and modern Agnostics . Those of you who were interested a few years ago in the discussions between Herbert Spencer and Frederick Harrison might have noticed that it was the same old difficulty , the one party standing for a substance behind the changeful , and the other party denying the necessity for such an assumption .
One party says we cannot conceive of changes without conceiving of something which does not change ; the other party brings out the argument that this is superfluous ; we can only conceive of something which is changing , and as to the unchanging , we can neither know , feel , nor sense it .
In India this great question did not find its solution in very ancient times , because we have seen that the assumption of a substance which is behind the qualities , and which is not the qualities , can never be substantiated ; nay , even the argument from self-identity , from memory , — that I am the I of yesterday because I remember it , and therefore I have been a continuous something — cannot be substantiated .
The other quibble that is generally put forward is a mere delusion of words . For instance , one may take a long series of such sentences as " I do " , " I go " , " I dream " , " I sleep " , " I move " , and here you will find it claimed that the doing , going , dreaming etc , have been changing , but what remained constant was that " I " . As such they conclude that the " I " is something which is constant and an individual in itself , but all these changes belong to the body . This , though apparently very convincing and clear , is based upon the mere play on words . The " I " and the doing , going , and dreaming may be separate in black and white , but no one can separate them in the mind .
When I eat , I think of myself as eating — am identified with eating . When I run , I and the running are not two separate things . Thus the argument from personal identity does not seem to be very strong . The other argument from memory is also weak . If the identity of my being is represented by my memory , many things which I have forgotten are lost from that identity . And we know that people under certain conditions forget their whole past .
In many cases of lunacy , one will think of oneself as made of glass , or as being an animal . If one's existence of that person depends on memory , then person has become glass , which not being the case we cannot make the identity of the Self depend on such a flimsy substance as memory .
Thus we see that the soul as a limited yet complete and continuing identity cannot be established as separate from the qualities . We cannot establish a narrowed-down , limited existence to which is attached a bunch of qualities .
On the other hand , the argument of the ancient Buddhists seems to be stronger — that we do not know , and cannot know , anything that is beyond the bunch of qualities . According to them , the soul consists of a bundle of qualities called sensations and feelings . A mass of such is what is called the soul , and this mass is continually changing .
The Advaitist theory of the soul reconciles both these positions .
The position of the Advaitist is that it is true that we cannot think of the substance as separate from the qualities , we cannot think of change and not-change at the same time ; it would be impossible . But the very thing which is the substance is the quality ; substance and quality are not two things .
It is the unchangeable that is appearing as the changeable . The unchangeable substance of the universe is not something separate from it . The noumenon is not something different from the phenomena , but it is the very noumenon which has become the phenomena . There is a soul which is unchanging , and what we call feelings and perceptions , nay , even the body , are the very soul , seen from another point of view . We have got into the habit of thinking that we have bodies and souls and so forth , but really speaking , there is only one .
When I think of myself as the body , I am only a body ; it is meaningless to say I am something else . And when I think of myself as the soul , the body vanishes , and the perception of the body does not remain . None can get the perception of the Self without one's perception of the body having vanished , none can get perception of the substance without one's perception of the qualities having vanished .
The ancient illustration of Advaita , of the rope being taken for a snake , may elucidate the point a little more . When one mistakes the rope for a snake , the rope has vanished , and when one takes it for a rope , the snake has vanished , and the rope only remains .
The ideas of dual or treble existence come from reasoning on insufficient data , and we read them in books or hear about them , until we come under the delusion that we really have a dual perception of the soul and the body ; but such a perception never really exists . The perception is either of the body or of the soul . It requires no arguments to prove it , you can verify it in your own minds .
Try to think of yourself as a soul , as a disembodied something . You will find it to be almost impossible , and those few who are able to do so will find that at the time when they realise themselves as a soul they have no idea of the body .
You have heard of , or perhaps have seen , persons who on particular occasions had been in peculiar states of mind , brought about by deep meditation , self-hypnotism , hysteria , or drugs . From their experience you may gather that when they were perceiving the internal something , the external had vanished for them .
This shows that whatever exists is one . That one is appearing in these various forms , and all these various forms give rise to the relation of cause and effect . The relation of cause and effect is one of evolution — the one becomes the other , and so on . Sometimes the cause vanishes , as it were , and in its place leaves the effect . If the soul is the cause of the body , the soul , as it were vanishes for the time being , and the body remains ; and when the body vanishes , the soul remains . This theory fits the arguments of the Buddhists that were levelled against the assumption of the dualism of body and soul , by denying the duality , and showing that the substance and the qualities are one and the same thing appearing in various forms .
We have seen also that this idea of the unchangeable can be established only as regards the whole , but never as regards the part .
The very idea of part comes from the idea of change or motion .
Everything that is limited we can understand and know , because it is changeable ; and the whole must be unchangeable , because there is no other thing besides it in relation to which change would be possible . Change is always in regard to something which does not change , or which changes relatively less .
According to Advaita , therefore , the idea of the soul as universal , unchangeable , and immortal can be demonstrated as far as possible . The difficulty would be as regards the particular . What shall we do with the old dualistic theories which have such a hold upon us , and which we have all to pass through — these beliefs in limited , little , individual souls ?
We have seen that we are immortal with regard to the whole ; but the difficulty is , we desire so much to be immortal as parts of the whole .
We have seen that we are Infinite , and that that is our real individuality . But we want so much to make these little souls individual .
What becomes of them when we find in our everyday experience that these little souls are individuals , with only this reservation that they are continuously growing individuals ? They are the same , yet not the same . The I of yesterday is the I of today , and yet not so , it is changed somewhat . Now , by getting rid of the dualistic conception , that in the midst of all these changes there is something that does not change , and taking the most modern of conceptions , that of evolution , we find that the " I " is a continuously changing , expanding entity .
If it be true that the human is the evolution of a mollusk , the mollusk individual is the same as the human , only it has to become expanded a great deal . From mollusk to human it has been a continuous expansion towards infinity .
Therefore the limited soul can be styled an individual which is continuously expanding towards the Infinite Individual . Perfect individuality will only be reached when it has reached the Infinite , but on this side of the Infinite it is a continuously changing , growing personality .
One of the remarkable features of the Advaitist system of Vedanta is to harmonize the preceding systems . In many cases it helped the philosophy very much ; in some cases it hurt it . Our ancient philosophers knew what you call the theory of evolution ; that growth is gradual , step by step , and the recognition of this led them to harmonize all the preceding systems . Thus not one of these preceding ideas was rejected . The fault of the Buddhistic faith was that it had neither the faculty nor the perception of this continual , expansive growth , and for this reason it never even made an attempt to harmonize itself with the preexisting steps towards the ideal . They were rejected as useless and harmful .
This tendency in religion is most harmful . One gets a new and better idea , and then one looks back on those one has given up , and forthwith decides that they were mischievous and unnecessary . One never thinks that , however crude they may appear from one's present point of view , they were very useful to one , that they were necessary for one to reach one present state , and that everyone of us has to grow in a similar fashion , living first on crude ideas , taking benefit from them , and then arriving at a higher standard .
With the oldest theories , therefore , the Advaita is friendly .
Dualism and all systems that had preceded it are accepted by the Advaita not in a patronizing way , but with the conviction that they are true manifestations of the same truth , and that they all lead to the same conclusions as the Advaita has reached .
With blessing , and not with cursing , should be preserved all these various steps through which humanity has to pass . Therefore all these dualistic systems have never been rejected or thrown out , but have been kept intact in the Vedanta ; and the dualistic conception of an individual soul , limited yet complete in itself , finds its place in the Vedanta .
According to dualism , one dies and goes to other worlds , and so forth ; and these ideas are kept in the Vedanta in their entirety . For with the recognition of growth in the Advaitist system , these theories are given their proper place by admitting that they represent only a partial view of the Truth .
From the dualistic standpoint this universe can only be looked upon as a creation of matter or force , can only be looked upon as the play of a certain will , and that will again can only be looked upon as separate from the universe . Thus a person from such a standpoint has to see oneself as composed of a dual nature , body and soul , and this soul , though limited , is individually complete in itself . Such a person's ideas of immortality and of the future life would necessarily accord with one's idea of soul .
These phases have been kept in the Vedanta , and it is , therefore , necessary for me to present to you a few of the popular ideas of dualism . According to this theory , we have a body , of course , and behind the body there is what they call a fine body . This fine body is also made of matter , only very fine . It is the receptacle of all our Karma , of all our actions and impressions , which are ready to spring up into visible forms .
Every thought that we think , every deed that we do , after a certain time becomes fine , goes into seed form , so to speak , and lives in the fine body in a potential form , and after a time it emerges again and bears its results . These results condition the human life . Thus one moulds one's own life . One is not bound by any other laws excepting those which one makes for oneself .
Our thoughts , our words and deeds are the threads of the net which we throw round ourselves , for good or for evil . Once we set in motion a certain power , we have to take the full consequences of it . This is the law of Karma .
Behind the subtle body , lives Jiva or the individual soul . There are various discussions about the form and the size of this individual soul . According to some , it is very small like an atom ; according to others , it is not so small as that ; according to others , it is very big , and so on . This Jiva is a part of that universal substance , and it is also eternal ; without beginning it is existing , and without end it will exist .
It is passing through all these forms in order to manifest its real nature which is purity . Every action that retards this manifestation is called an evil action ; so with thoughts . And every action and every thought that helps the Jiva to expand , to manifest its real nature , is good . One theory that is held in common in India by the crudest dualists as well as by the most advanced non-dualists is that all the possibilities and powers of the soul are within it , and do not come from any external source . They are in the soul in potential form , and the whole work of life is simply directed towards manifesting those potentialities .
They have also the theory of reincarnation which says that after the dissolution of this body , the Jiva will have another , and after that has been dissolved , it will again have another , and so on , either here or in some other worlds ; but this world is given the preference , as it is considered the best of all worlds for our purpose . Other worlds are conceived of as worlds where there is very little misery , but for that very reason , they argue , there is less chance of thinking of higher things there . As this world contains some happiness and a good deal of misery , the Jiva some time or other gets awakened , as it were , and thinks of freeing itself .
But just as very rich persons in this world have the least chance of thinking of higher things , so the Jiva in heaven has little chance of progress , for its condition is the same as that of a rich person , only more intensified ; it has a very fine body which knows no disease , and is under no necessity of eating or drinking , and all its desires are fulfilled . The Jiva lives there , having enjoyment after enjoyment , and so forgets all about its real nature . Still there are some higher worlds , where in spite of all enjoyments , its further evolution is possible .
Some dualists conceive of the goal as the highest heaven , where souls will live with GOD for ever . They will have beautiful bodies and will know neither disease nor death , nor any other evil , and all their desires will be fulfilled .
From time to time some of them will come back to this earth and take another body to teach human beings the way to GOD ; and the great teachers of the world have been such . They were already free , and were living with GOD in the highest sphere ; but their love and sympathy for suffering humanity was so great that they came and incarnated again to teach humankind the way to heaven .
Of course we know that the Advaita holds that this cannot be the goal or the ideal ; bodilessness must be the ideal . The ideal cannot be finite . Anything short of the Infinite cannot be the ideal , and there cannot be an infinite body . That would be impossible , as body comes from limitation . There cannot be infinite thought , because thought comes from limitation . We have to go beyond the body , and beyond thought too , says the Advaita . And we have also seen that , according to Advaita , this freedom is not to be attained , it is already ours . We only forget it and deny it .
Perfection is not to be attained , it is already within us . Immortality and bliss are not to be acquired , we possess them already ; they have been ours all the time .
If you dare declare that you are free , free you are this moment . If you say you are bound , bound you will remain . This is what Advaita boldly declares . I have told you the ideas of the dualists . You can take whichever you like .
The highest ideal of the Vedanta is very difficult to understand , and people are always quarrelling about it , and the greatest difficulty is that when they get hold of certain ideas , they deny and fight other ideas . Take up what suits you , and let others take up what they need .
If you are desirous of clinging to this little individuality , to this limited humanhood , remain in it , have all these desires , and be content and pleased with them . If your experience of humanhood has been very good and nice , retain it as long as you like ; and you can do so , for you are the makers of your own fortunes ; none can compel you to give up your humanhood . You will be human as long as you like ; none can prevent you . If you want to be angels , you will be angels , that is the law . But there may be others who do not want to be angels even .
What right have you to think that theirs is a horrible notion ? You may be frightened to lose a hundred pounds , but there may be others who would not even wink if they lost all the money they had in the world . There have been such people and still there are .
Why do you dare to judge them according to your standard ?
You cling on to your limitations , and these little worldly ideas may be your highest ideal . You are welcome to them . It will be to you as you wish .
But there are others who have seen the truth and cannot rest in these limitations , who have done with these things and want to get beyond . The world with all its enjoyments is a mere mud-puddle for them . Why do you want to bind them down to your ideas ? You must get rid of this tendency once for all . Accord a place to everyone .
I once read a story about some ships that were caught in a cyclone in the South Sea Islands , and there was a picture of it in theIllustrated London News . All of them were wrecked except one English vessel , which weathered the storm . The picture showed the people who were going to be drowned , standing on the decks and cheering the people who were sailing through the storm .
Be brave and generous like that . Do not drag others down to where you are .
Another foolish notion is that if we lose our little individuality , there will be no morality , no hope for humanity . As if everybody had been dying for humanity all the time ! GOD bless you !
If in every country there were two hundred people really wanting to do good to humanity , the millennium would come in five days . We know how we are dying for humanity ! These are all tall talks , and nothing else .
The history of the world shows that those who never thought of their little individuality were the greatest benefactors of the human race , and that the more people think of themselves , the less are they able to do for others . One is unselfishness , and the other selfishness .
Clinging on to little enjoyments , and to desire the continuation and repetition of this state of things is utter selfishness . It arises not from any desire for truth , its genesis is not in kindness for other beings , but in the utter selfishness of the human heart , in the idea ,
" I will have everything , and do not care for anyone else " .
This is as it appears to me . I would like to see more moral people in the world like some of those grand old prophets and sages of ancient times who would have given up a hundred lives if they could by so doing benefit one little animal ! Talk of morality and doing good to others ! Silly talk of the present time !
I would like to see moral people like Gautama Buddha , who did not believe in a Personal GOD or a personal soul , never asked about them , but was a perfect agnostic , and yet was ready to lay down the life for anyone , and worked all the life for the good of all , and thought only of the good of all .
Well has it been said by Buddha's biographer , in describing Buddha's birth , that Buddha was born for the good of the many , as a blessing to the many . Buddha did not go to the forest to meditate for Buddha's own salvation , but felt that the world was burning , and that a way out must be found .
" Why is there so much misery in the world ? "
— was the one question that dominated the whole life . Do you think we are so moral as the Buddha ?
The more selfish one is , the more immoral one is . And so also with the race . That race which is bound down to itself has been the most cruel and the most wicked in the whole world . There has not been a religion that has clung to this dualism more than that founded by the Prophet of Arabia , and there has not been a religion which has shed so much blood and been so cruel to others .
In the Koran there is the doctrine that one who does not believe these teachings should be killed ; it is a mercy to kill one ! And the surest way to get to heaven , where there are beautiful houris and all sorts of sense-enjoyments , is by killing these unbelievers . Think of the bloodshed there has been in consequence of such beliefs !
In the religion of Christ there was little of crudeness ; there is very little difference between the pure religion of Christ and that of the Vedanta . You find there the idea of oneness ; but Christ also preached dualistic ideas to the people in order to give them something tangible to take hold of , to lead them up to the highest ideal .
The same Prophet who preached , " Our Sovereign which art in heaven " , also preached , " I and my Sovereign are one " , and the same Prophet knew that through the " Sovereign in heaven " lies the way to the " I and my Sovereign are one " .
There was only blessing and love in the religion of Christ ; but as soon as crudeness crept in , it was degraded into something not much better than the religion of the Prophet of Arabia . It was crudeness indeed — this fight for the little self , this clinging on to the " I " , not only in this life , but also in the desire for its continuance even after death .
This they declare to be unselfishness ; this the foundation of morality ! Lord help us , if this be the foundation of morality ! And strangely enough , people who ought to know better think all morality will be destroyed if these little selves go and stand aghast at the idea that morality can only stand upon their destruction .
The watchword of all well-being , of all moral good is not " I " but " thou " . Who cares whether there is a heaven or a hell , who cares if there is a soul or not , who cares if there is an unchangeable or not ? Here is the world , and it is full of misery . Go out into it as Buddha did , and struggle to lessen it or die in the attempt . Forget yourselves ; this is the first lesson to be learnt , whether you are a theist or an atheist , whether you are an agnostic or a Vedantist , a Christian or a Mohammedan .
The one lesson obvious to all is the destruction of the little self and the building up of the Real Self .
Two forces have been working side by side in parallel lines . The one says " I " , the other says " not I " . Their manifestation is not only in the human but in animals , not only in animals but in the smallest worms . The tiger that plunges the fangs into the warm blood of a human being would give up life to protect the young . The most depraved person who thinks nothing of taking the lives of one's kindred humans will , perhaps , sacrifice oneself without any hesitation to save one's starving spouse and children .
Thus throughout creation these two forces are working side by side ; where you find the one , you find the other too . The one is selfishness , the other is unselfishness . The one is acquisition , the other is renunciation . The one takes , the other gives . From the lowest to the highest , the whole universe is the playground of these two forces . It does not require any demonstration ; it is obvious to all .
What right has any section of the community to base the whole work and evolution of the universe upon one of these two factors alone , upon competition and struggle ? What right has it to base the whole working of the universe upon passion and fight , upon competition and struggle ? That these exist we do not deny ; but what right has anyone to deny the working of the other force ?
Can anyone deny that love , this " not I " , this renunciation is the only positive power in the universe ? That other is only the misguided employment of the power of love ; the power of love brings competition , the real genesis of competition is in love . The real genesis of evil is in unselfishness . The creator of evil is good , and the end is also good . It is only misdirection of the power of good . One who murders another is , perhaps , moved to do so by the love of one's own child . One's love has become limited to that one little baby , to the exclusion of the millions of other human beings in the universe . Yet , limited or unlimited , it is the same love .
Thus the motive power of the whole universe , in what ever way it manifests itself , is that one wonderful thing , unselfishness , renunciation , love , the real , the only living force in existence .
Therefore the Vedantist insists upon that oneness . We insist upon this explanation because we cannot admit two causes of the universe . If we simply hold that by limitation the same beautiful , wonderful love appears to be evil or vile , we find the whole universe explained by the one force of love . If not , two causes of the universe have to be taken for granted , one good and the other evil , one love and the other hatred . Which is more logical ? Certainly the one-force theory .
Let us now pass on to things which do not possibly belong to dualism . I cannot stay longer with the dualists . I am afraid .
My idea is to show that the highest ideal of morality and unselfishness goes hand in hand with the highest metaphysical conception , and that you need not lower your conception to get ethics and morality , but , on the other hand , to reach a real basis of morality and ethics you must have the highest philosophical and scientific conceptions .
Human knowledge is not antagonistic to human well-being . On the contrary , it is knowledge alone that will save us in every department of life — in knowledge is worship . The more we know the better for us .
The Vedantist says , the cause of all that is apparently evil is the limitation of the unlimited . The love which gets limited into little channels and seems to be evil eventually comes out at the other end and manifests itself as GOD . The Vedanta also says that the cause of all this apparent evil is in ourselves . Do not blame any supernatural being , neither be hopeless and despondent , nor think we are in a place from which we can never escape unless someone comes and lends us a helping hand . That cannot be , says the Vedanta .
We are like silkworms ; we make the thread out of our own substance and spin the cocoon , and in course of time are imprisoned inside . But this is not for ever . In that cocoon we shall develop spiritual realisation , and like the butterfly come out free . This network of Karma we have woven around ourselves ; and in our ignorance we feel as if we are bound , and weep and wail for help . But help does not come from without ; it comes from within ourselves . Cry to all the gods in the universe . I cried for years , and in the end I found that I was helped . But help came from within . And I had to undo what I had done by mistake . That is the only way . I had to cut the net which I had thrown round myself , and the power to do this is within .
Of this I am certain that not one aspiration , well-guided or ill-guided in my life , has been in vain , but that I am the resultant of all my past , both good and evil . I have committed many mistakes in my life ; but mark you , I am sure of this that without every one of those mistakes I should not be what I am today , and so am quite satisfied to have made them .
I do not mean that you are to go home and willfully commit mistakes ; do not misunderstand me in that way . But do not mope because of the mistakes you have committed , but know that in the end all will come out straight . It cannot be otherwise , because goodness is our nature , purity is our nature , and that nature can never be destroyed . Our essential nature always remains the same .
What we are to understand is this , that what we call mistakes or evil , we commit because we are weak , and we are weak because we are ignorant . I prefer to call them mistakes . The word sin , although originally a very good word , has got a certain flavour about it that frightens me .
Who makes us ignorant ? We ourselves . We put our hands over our eyes and weep that it is dark . Take the hands away and there is light ; the light exists always for us , the self-effulgent nature of the human soul . Do you not hear what your modern scientists say ? What is the cause of evolution ? Desire .
The animal wants to do something , but does not find the environment favourable , and therefore develops a new body . Who develops it ? The animal itself , its will . You have developed from the lowest amoeba . Continue to exercise your will and it will take you higher still .
The will is almighty . If it is almighty , you may say , why cannot I do everything ? But you are thinking only of your little self . Look back on yourselves from the state of the amoeba to the human being ; who made all that ? Your own will . Can you deny then that it is almighty ? That which has made you come up so high can make you go higher still . What you want is character , strengthening of the will .
If I teach you , therefore , that your nature is evil , that you should go home and sit in sackcloth and ashes and weep your lives out because you took certain false steps , it will not help you , but will weaken you all the more , and I shall be showing you the road to more evil than good .
If this room is full of darkness for thousands of years and you come in and begin to weep and wail , " Oh the darkness " , will the darkness vanish ? Strike a match and light comes in a moment .
What good will it do you to think all your lives , " Oh , I have done evil , I have made many mistakes " ? It requires no ghost to tell us that . 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 " .
This is the highest prayer that the Advaita teaches . This is 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 .
One who has nothing to desire for oneself , whom does one fear , and what can frighten one ? What fear has death for one ? What fear has evil for one ? So if we are Advaitists , we must think from this moment that our old self is dead and gone . The old person So-and-So is gone , they were mere superstitions , and what remains is the ever-pure , the ever-strong , the almighty , the all-knowing — that alone remains for us , and then all fear vanishes from us . Who can injure us , the omnipresent ?
All weakness has vanished from us , and our only work is to arouse this knowledge in our fellowbeings . We see that they too are the same pure self , only they do not know it ; we must teach them , we must help them to rouse up their infinite nature .
This is what I feel to be absolutely necessary all over the world . These doctrines are old , older than many mountains possibly .
All truth is eternal . Truth is nobody's property ; no race , no individual can lay any exclusive claim to it . Truth is the nature of all souls . Who can lay an , special claim to it ?
But it has to be made practical , to be made simple ( for the highest truths are always simple ) , so that it may penetrate every pore of human society , and become the property of the highest intellects and the commonest minds , of the adult and child at the same time .
All these ratiocinations of logic , all these bundles of metaphysics , all these theologies and ceremonies may have been good in their own time , but let us try to make things simpler and bring about the golden days when everyone will be a worshipper , and the Reality in everyone will be the object of worship .
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