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Talks With Swami Vivekananda
Talks With Swami Vivekananda
Description
Preface

Great persons are usually known to us through their lectures, writings or public activities. But it is always a rare privilege to come into intimate contact with them and study their lives and thoughts at close quarters. This is all the more true of spiritual geniuses. Those who have attained to a great spiritual height live in a different plane, as it were, from that of ours, and in spite of their endeavour to do good to the world and their great sympathy for the suffering humanity, none except those who have been directly touched by them succeed in taking full advantage of their lives and teachings. Spiritual giants are worshipped from a distance but the influence of their examples enters into the lives of only a fortunate few. All are not destined to have direct contact with spiritual personalities, hence the next best thing for ordinary people is to know their teachings, in which is hidden the inspiration of their lives. It is therefore that the teachings or recorded savings of saints are so much in demand. A few savings of Christ found in the Bible and a few words of Buddha that have been left to the world as a great legacy are giving spiritual sustenance to millions of people for thousands of years. It is but natural.

The meteoric success of Swami Vivekananda as a religious teacher in two hemispheres dazzles us. We are struck with awe and reverence when we read his writings or go through his recorded speeches. We feel he is talking to us from a dizzy height. We are bewildered by the thought of the gulf between his greatness and our smallness. But when one would come into direct touch with him, one would feel that the distance had vanished, and find in Swami Vivekananda a close friend or an intimate relation, eager to do the highest good for all. It is only when such relationship is established that you can know the real man. The disciples who recorded their conversations with Swami Vivekananda in the following pages, had the privilege not only of finding the Swami as a Guru, but of being very free with him. So we find, they were discussing all kinds of subjects with him. And as Swami Vivekananda while giving out his views was not trammeled by formality as is the case when one stands on a public platform, his words as found here have got special value. Here Swami Vivekananda gives directions about spiritual practice and meditation, talks of high philosophy, and in the next breath discusses the problems of national regeneration, social reform, educational ideals, and what not. Now and then we find how the large heart of that great giant bled for the sufferings of the poor and the needy. People in almost all walks of life will find guidance from these conversations.

The conversations took place in Bengali and were originally published in the Udbodhan—a Bengali monthly of the Ramakrishna Order They were translated, at places abridged, and incorporated in The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. We bring them out in a handy book form, hoping they will be of immense help to a larger circle of the reading public. May our hopes be justified.

 

Contents

 

  Preface iii
  Chapter I 1-409
Sec.I The first meeting with Swami Vivekananda Mr. Narendranath Sen, Editor of the Mirror Comparison between the English and the American 1
Sec.II Rebellion against nature, the sign of consciousness 13
Sec.III Talking with some Pandits in Sanskrit 25
Sec.IV The Birthday anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar 33
Sec.V Initiating the disciple . Origin of the sacred thread. 41
Sec.VI Starting the Ramakrishna Mission. 49
Sec.VII Solar Eclipse. Nature of meditation 62
Sec.VIII Female education. Mahakali Pathashala 68
Sec.IX Rig-Veda - Max Muller- The theory of creation 78
Sec.X The Ideals of Sannyasa 91
Sec.XI Consecration of the temple of sri Ramakrishna 105
Sec.XII Guru Govind Singh - Psychic powers. 108
Sec.XIII Tithipuja of Shri Ramakrisna. Investing some Non-Brahmin devotees with holy thread 117
Sec.XIV Installation of Shri Ramkrishna at Belur Math 127
Sec.XV In a reminiscent mood 140
Sec.XVI Swami Vivekananda's experiences at Amarnath and Kshir Bhavani 150
Sec.XVII Composing a Sanskrit hymn 156
Sec.XVIII Swami Vivekananda's experience of Nirvikalpa Samadhi 166
Sec.XIX Need for faith in oneself 174
Sec.XX At the Zoological Garden at Alipur 185
Sec.XXI Swami Vivekananda's future plan about Math 195
Sec.XXII The Bengali monthly 'Udbodhan'. Its future policy 210
Sec.XXIII India wants not lecturing but work. 217
Sec.XXIV Reconciliation of Jnana and Bhakti 225
Sec.XXV Brahman and differentatio. Personal realization of oneness 235
Sec.XXVI Renunciation of Kamakanchana 244
Sec.XXVII The doctrine of Ahimsa and meat-eating 250
Sec.XXVIII Cause of India's degradation 259
Sec.XXIX Auspiciousness of yime and place 267
Sec.XXX Laws of Brahmacharya 277
Sec.XXXI Meeting with Nag mahashaya 280
Sec.XXXII Brahman, Ishvara, Jiva and Avidya 287
Sec.XXXIII On art-Difference between Indian and Western arts 303
Sec.XXXIV A power working through Swami Vivekananda 312
Sec.XXXV Plan of the future Math for women 323
Sec.XXXVI Swami Vivekananda's wonderful memory 337
Sec.XXXVII Why Atman is not perceived through so very near 343
Sec.XXXVIII Wanted a sturdy band of young men ready to sacrifice all for others 349
Sec.XXXIX Swami Vivekananda's plan to celebrate Durga puja at Belur Math 360
Sec.XL The last Birthday anniversary of Shri Ramakrishna that Swami Vivekananda saw 363
Sec.XLI Swami Vivekananda's love and sympathy for the poor 371
Sec.XLII Life at the Belur Math in early days 376
Sec.XLIII On meditation - How to awaken the Kundalini 384
Sec.XLIV About disciples grades of Sri Ramakrishna 390
Sec.XLV Different grades of devotees of Sri Ramakrishna 395
Sec.XLVI Denationalisation and national degradation 403
  Chapter II 410-469
Sec.I Educative value of royal Durbars 410
Sec.II The pictutre of Sri Krishna, the preacher of the Gita 414
Sec.III Reminiscence - The problem of famines in India and self sarrificing workers 424
Sec.IV Reminiscences - Pranayama 440
Sec.V The art and science of music, Eastern and Western 443
Sec.VI The old institution of living with the Guru 447
Sec.VII The discrimination of the four casta according to jati and Guna 465
  Chapter III 470-495
Sec.I The loss of Shraddha in India and need of its revival 470
Sec.II Reconciliation of Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga 474
Sec.III Intermarriage among subdivisions of a Varna 481
Sec.IV Madhura - bhava - Prema - Namakirtana 488
  Chapter IV 496-500
  Think of death always and new life will come within 496
Sample Pages



















Talks With Swami Vivekananda

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Preface

Great persons are usually known to us through their lectures, writings or public activities. But it is always a rare privilege to come into intimate contact with them and study their lives and thoughts at close quarters. This is all the more true of spiritual geniuses. Those who have attained to a great spiritual height live in a different plane, as it were, from that of ours, and in spite of their endeavour to do good to the world and their great sympathy for the suffering humanity, none except those who have been directly touched by them succeed in taking full advantage of their lives and teachings. Spiritual giants are worshipped from a distance but the influence of their examples enters into the lives of only a fortunate few. All are not destined to have direct contact with spiritual personalities, hence the next best thing for ordinary people is to know their teachings, in which is hidden the inspiration of their lives. It is therefore that the teachings or recorded savings of saints are so much in demand. A few savings of Christ found in the Bible and a few words of Buddha that have been left to the world as a great legacy are giving spiritual sustenance to millions of people for thousands of years. It is but natural.

The meteoric success of Swami Vivekananda as a religious teacher in two hemispheres dazzles us. We are struck with awe and reverence when we read his writings or go through his recorded speeches. We feel he is talking to us from a dizzy height. We are bewildered by the thought of the gulf between his greatness and our smallness. But when one would come into direct touch with him, one would feel that the distance had vanished, and find in Swami Vivekananda a close friend or an intimate relation, eager to do the highest good for all. It is only when such relationship is established that you can know the real man. The disciples who recorded their conversations with Swami Vivekananda in the following pages, had the privilege not only of finding the Swami as a Guru, but of being very free with him. So we find, they were discussing all kinds of subjects with him. And as Swami Vivekananda while giving out his views was not trammeled by formality as is the case when one stands on a public platform, his words as found here have got special value. Here Swami Vivekananda gives directions about spiritual practice and meditation, talks of high philosophy, and in the next breath discusses the problems of national regeneration, social reform, educational ideals, and what not. Now and then we find how the large heart of that great giant bled for the sufferings of the poor and the needy. People in almost all walks of life will find guidance from these conversations.

The conversations took place in Bengali and were originally published in the Udbodhan—a Bengali monthly of the Ramakrishna Order They were translated, at places abridged, and incorporated in The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. We bring them out in a handy book form, hoping they will be of immense help to a larger circle of the reading public. May our hopes be justified.

 

Contents

 

  Preface iii
  Chapter I 1-409
Sec.I The first meeting with Swami Vivekananda Mr. Narendranath Sen, Editor of the Mirror Comparison between the English and the American 1
Sec.II Rebellion against nature, the sign of consciousness 13
Sec.III Talking with some Pandits in Sanskrit 25
Sec.IV The Birthday anniversary of Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar 33
Sec.V Initiating the disciple . Origin of the sacred thread. 41
Sec.VI Starting the Ramakrishna Mission. 49
Sec.VII Solar Eclipse. Nature of meditation 62
Sec.VIII Female education. Mahakali Pathashala 68
Sec.IX Rig-Veda - Max Muller- The theory of creation 78
Sec.X The Ideals of Sannyasa 91
Sec.XI Consecration of the temple of sri Ramakrishna 105
Sec.XII Guru Govind Singh - Psychic powers. 108
Sec.XIII Tithipuja of Shri Ramakrisna. Investing some Non-Brahmin devotees with holy thread 117
Sec.XIV Installation of Shri Ramkrishna at Belur Math 127
Sec.XV In a reminiscent mood 140
Sec.XVI Swami Vivekananda's experiences at Amarnath and Kshir Bhavani 150
Sec.XVII Composing a Sanskrit hymn 156
Sec.XVIII Swami Vivekananda's experience of Nirvikalpa Samadhi 166
Sec.XIX Need for faith in oneself 174
Sec.XX At the Zoological Garden at Alipur 185
Sec.XXI Swami Vivekananda's future plan about Math 195
Sec.XXII The Bengali monthly 'Udbodhan'. Its future policy 210
Sec.XXIII India wants not lecturing but work. 217
Sec.XXIV Reconciliation of Jnana and Bhakti 225
Sec.XXV Brahman and differentatio. Personal realization of oneness 235
Sec.XXVI Renunciation of Kamakanchana 244
Sec.XXVII The doctrine of Ahimsa and meat-eating 250
Sec.XXVIII Cause of India's degradation 259
Sec.XXIX Auspiciousness of yime and place 267
Sec.XXX Laws of Brahmacharya 277
Sec.XXXI Meeting with Nag mahashaya 280
Sec.XXXII Brahman, Ishvara, Jiva and Avidya 287
Sec.XXXIII On art-Difference between Indian and Western arts 303
Sec.XXXIV A power working through Swami Vivekananda 312
Sec.XXXV Plan of the future Math for women 323
Sec.XXXVI Swami Vivekananda's wonderful memory 337
Sec.XXXVII Why Atman is not perceived through so very near 343
Sec.XXXVIII Wanted a sturdy band of young men ready to sacrifice all for others 349
Sec.XXXIX Swami Vivekananda's plan to celebrate Durga puja at Belur Math 360
Sec.XL The last Birthday anniversary of Shri Ramakrishna that Swami Vivekananda saw 363
Sec.XLI Swami Vivekananda's love and sympathy for the poor 371
Sec.XLII Life at the Belur Math in early days 376
Sec.XLIII On meditation - How to awaken the Kundalini 384
Sec.XLIV About disciples grades of Sri Ramakrishna 390
Sec.XLV Different grades of devotees of Sri Ramakrishna 395
Sec.XLVI Denationalisation and national degradation 403
  Chapter II 410-469
Sec.I Educative value of royal Durbars 410
Sec.II The pictutre of Sri Krishna, the preacher of the Gita 414
Sec.III Reminiscence - The problem of famines in India and self sarrificing workers 424
Sec.IV Reminiscences - Pranayama 440
Sec.V The art and science of music, Eastern and Western 443
Sec.VI The old institution of living with the Guru 447
Sec.VII The discrimination of the four casta according to jati and Guna 465
  Chapter III 470-495
Sec.I The loss of Shraddha in India and need of its revival 470
Sec.II Reconciliation of Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga 474
Sec.III Intermarriage among subdivisions of a Varna 481
Sec.IV Madhura - bhava - Prema - Namakirtana 488
  Chapter IV 496-500
  Think of death always and new life will come within 496
Sample Pages



















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