18 June 2011

Complete Works: Vol - II

Second volume contains 535 pages, with sections on Janana Yoga, Vedanta, Universal relgion, and many reports published in American newspapers. The very first sentence in Volume 2 begins this way: 

“One of the greatest lessons I have learnt in my life is to pay
as much attention to the means of work as to its end”
(page 1)
Some interesting sayings from this volume are ………….
  • The beautiful, hopeful and young person of today is the veteran of tomorrow.
  • Hopes, joys and pleasures will die like blossoms with tomorrow’s frost. (p 124)
  • Sometimes it is better to dream a dream, than die on hard facts. Great truths, even in a dream are good, better than bad facts. So let us dream a dream.  (p 373)
  • In failure, one does not like to confess one’s own faults and weaknesses. Each person tries to hold himself faultless and lay blame upon somebody or something else, or even his bad luck. ( p 14)
  • As such evolution does not come out of zero; then, where does it come from? From previous involution. The child is the man involved, and the man is the child evolved. The seed is the tree involved, and the tree is the seed evolved. ( p 228)
  • The heart is great indeed; it is through the heart that come the great inspiration of life. I would a hundred times rather have a little heart and no brain, than be all brains and no heart.  (p 145)
Scottish writer and professor Ninian Smart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninian_Smart.html) writes in his book “Dimensions of the Sacred”(1996. Harper Collins) that every religion has seven dimensions.  

1.      Ritual or practical dimension
2.      Mythic or narrative dimension
3.      Doctrinal or philosophical dimension
4.      Experimental or emotional dimension
5.      Ethical or legal dimension
6.      Organizational or social component
7.      Material or artistic dimension

The first three are perhaps the most important, as Swami Vivekananda says: “In every religion, there are three parts: philosophy, mythology and ritual”. (Vol.1, Chapter V). Let us now see what Vivekananda had to say about the last two, as we see in Volume 2. 

1. Images, scriptures, temples and churches

முதலாவதாக, Ritual dimension. அதாவது சமய சடங்குகள் எனத் தமிழில் கூறுவோம். பூசைகள், தொழுகைகள், நோன்பு முதலியவை இதிலடங்கும். இவையெல்லாம் என்னென்ன, எப்படியெப்படி மற்றும் எங்கெங்கு எவ்வாறு செய்யவேண்டும் என்பதைத் தீர்மானிப்பது சமய நூல்கள்தான். இவற்றைப் பற்றி விவேகானந்தர் Volume 2-ல் என்ன சொல்கிறார்?

It is very good to be born in a church, but it is very bad to die in a church.
It is very good to be born within the limits of certain forms that help the little plant of spirituality, but if a man dies within the bounds of these forms,
it shows that he has not grown, that there has been no development of the soul.
(p 39-40)
The turmoil and fight and difference in religions will cease only when we understand that religion is not in books and temples.
(p 163)

If the claim of a religion that it has all the truth
and God has given it all this truth in a certain book were true,
why are there so many sects?...........
If God has put all the truths in certain books,
He does not give us those books in order that we may quarrel over texts. 
(p. 363)

2. History and Mythology

Coming to the mythical element of religions, there are many ancient legends and stories which are narrated to explain doctrinal or philosophical elements which otherwise miss a common man. ஒவ்வொரு சமய வரலாற்றிலும் இப்படிப்பட்ட புராணக் கதைகளைக் காணமுடியும். இவற்றப் பற்றி விவேகானந்தர் Volume 2–ல் என்ன சொல்கிறார் என்பதைப் பார்ப்போம்:

All religions have their own mythology, only each of them says,
“My stories are not mere myths”. ……
the Christian believes that God took the shape of a dove and came down to earth;
to him this is history, and not mythology.
The Hindu believes that God is manifested in the cow. Christians say that to believe so is mere mythology, and not history, that it is superstition.
(p 378)

To the Christian the phallus is horrible,
and to the Hindus the Christian sacrament is horrible.
(p 379)

அதாவது நம்மில் பலர் தன்னுடைய சமய சடங்குகள்தான் சரியானவை என்றும், தன்னுடைய புராணக் கதைகள்தான் உண்மையானவை என்றும் வாதிக்கக் கேட்டிருக்கிறோம். அவர்களையெல்லோரையும் சுட்டிக்காட்டித்தான் விவேகானந்தர் இவ்வாறு கூறியுள்ளார்.


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