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God assumes forms for the sake of His devotees. Through ecstatic love a devotee sees God with form.... One must accept everything: God with form and God without form.... A man reads a little of the Gita, the Bhagavata, or the Vedanta and thinks he has understood everything. Once an ant went to a hill of sugar. One grain of sugar filled its stomach, and it was returning home with another grain in its mouth. On the way it said to itself, 'Next time I go, I shall bring home the whole hill.

(p, 577, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on 1Oct,1884)

Some people do the beat work when led. Not everyone is born to lead. The best leader, however, is one who "leads like the baby". The baby, though apparently depending on everyone, is the king of the household. At least, to my thinking, that is the secret.. Many feel, but only a few can express. It is the power of expressing one's love and appreciation and sympathy for others, that enables one person to succeed better in spreading the idea than others.

(p.428-9, Vol.8, Swamiji's letter to Margo (Sister Nivedita) from Srinagar, Kashmir on 1 Oct,1897.)

2 Oct

Birth of Swami Abhedananda (1866)

As soon as Kali heard about the Baranagore Monastery he returned to Calcutta and joined the brotherhood. The southernmost room of the second floor was used for meditation and study, and was known as Kali Tapasvi's room, since Kali secluded himself there during most of the day. An ascetic by nature, he ate vegetarian food, wore no shoes, and shunned peoples' company. He spent his time in meditation, studying the scriptures, and composing some Sanskrit hymns on Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother. One day Kali visited Holy Mother at her residence at Nilambar Babu's house in Belur, and read a hymn that he had composed about her : Prakritim paramam abhayam varadam, etc. After listening to the hymn, Holy Mother blessed him saying, "May Saraswati, the Goddess of learning, sit on your tongue.

(p.458, God lived with them, Swami Abhedananda was born at 21 Nimu Goswami Lane , Ahiritola, North Calcutta.)

What need is there even to bother one's head about whether God is formless or has a form? It is enough for a man to pray to Him, alone in solitude, weeping, 'O God, reveal Yourself to me as You are.' God is both inside and outside. It is He who dwells inside us. Therefore the Vedas say, 'Tattvamasi - -That thou art.' God is also outside us. He appears manifold through maya; but in reality He alone exists. Therefore before describing the various names and forms of God, one should say, 'Om Tat Sat'. It is one thing to learn about God from the scriptures, and quite another to see Him. The scriptures only give hints. Therefore to read a great many scriptures is not necessary. It is much better to pray to God in solitude.

(p, 587, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on 2 Oct,1884 in His room in Dakshineswar.)

Keep doing your japam with all your heart. It is good idea to look upon Sri Ramakrishna as your real Mother. In reality, he and the Cosmic Mother Kali are one and the same. He himself is the Gayatri, the Saviour. Look upon him the way you like best. The purest and sweetest relationship is that of mother and child. This stimulates meditation and also helps you make quick progress.

(p.232. Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter from Bangalore Ashrama on 3 Oct, 1924.)

Keep calling on him. He will then grant you his grace. Prayer is essential. Earnestly beg for faith, love, and devotion. You will get love in your heart for this. If, by his grace, some love grows in your heart, the mind will then get attached to him. Love is like glue. You will have that love, I assure you. Don't lose heart. Sri Ramakrishna is a living God. He is always alert. He is like a blazing fire. He is am Incarnation of God, and is the inmost being of all. He is also your inmost being. He is the life of your life, the presiding deity of your consciousness. Try to repeat his name and pray to him regularly, as best you can. That will be enough for you to attract his grace. His grace is there already, only you are not aware of it.

(p.268, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter from Ootacamund on 3 Oct,1926.)

4 Oct

For those that belong to him, I have the utmost love, the utmost confidence. I have no alternative in the matter. Call me one-sided if you will, but there you have my bonafide avowal. If but a thorn pricks the foot of one who has surrendered himself to Shri Ramakrishna, it makes my bones ache. All others I love; you will find very few men so unsectarian as I am; but you must excuse me, I have that bit of bigotry. If I do not appeal to his name, whose else shall I? It will be time enough to seek for a big Guru in our next birth; but in this, it is that unlearned Brahmin who has bought this body of mine for ever.

(p.346, Vol.6, Swamiji's letter to Swami Brhamananda England on 4 Oct,1895.)

5 Oct

It is enough to know that everything depends on the grace of God. But one must pray to God; it will not do to remain inactive. The lawyer gives all the arguments and finishes his pleading by saying to the judge: 'I have said all I have to say. Now the decision rests with Your Honour.'

p, 599, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on 5Oct,1884 in His room in Dakshineswar.

We must remember ours is only to work - we never attain results. How can we? Good can never be done without doing evil. We cannot breathe a breath without killing thousands of poor little animals. National prosperity is another name for death and degradation to millions of other races. So is individual prosperity the beggaring of many. The world is evil - and will remain so. It is its nature, and cannot be

changed. Such is truth. The wisdom is therefore in renunciation, that is to make the Lord our all in all.

(p.121, Vol.9, Swamiji's letter to Mother Church (Mrs. G.W Hale) from Ridgely Manor on 5 Oct, 1899.)

6 Oct

No matter how you meditate, if your heart is filled with devotion, you will succeed. But you must make an effort. Thakur used to say, pointing to his heart, 'The heart is a very good place to meditate.' You should think that your guru or chosen deity is looking at you with a gracious gaze. Meditate in this manner.

(p.282, Mahapurush Maharaj as we saw Him, Mahapurush Maharaj's words to Swami Dharmeshananda at Madhupur on Vijaya Day, 6 Oct, 1927)

7 Oct

Inscrutable are the ways of providence. But He is good and kind to us and we have to admit that. May we not lose faith in His dispensation, no matter how we are situated. Let us not think selfishly, but be satisfied with His ordainings knowing full well that whatever He does, it is all for our good only. For in that thought we shall have peace of mind at least.

(p.252, Spiritual Treasures, Letter of Swami Turiyananda on 7 Oct, 1916 from Almora.)

8 Oct

Persevere on, my brave lads. We have only just begun. Never despond! Never say enough!

(p.119, C.W Vol.5, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga from London probably on Oct,1896)

9 Oct

One can know it (whether one is progressing towards God or not) oneself. Others also can know it. All his passions, lust, anger, and greed will wane, his attachment for the objects of the senses will diminish, and he will have peace at heart.

(p.129, Spiritual Talks, Swami Turiyananda's words to a devotee at Varanasi on 9 Oct,1919.)

10 Oct

The whole thing is to love God and taste His sweetness. He is sweetness and the devotee is its enjoyer. The devotee drinks the sweet Bliss of God. Further, God is the lotus and the devotee the bee. The devotee sips the honey of the lotus. As a devotee cannot live without God, so also God cannot live without His devotee. Then the devotee becomes the sweetness, and God its enjoyer. The devotee becomes the lotus, and God the bee.

This life has no other end. Preach His Name, let His teachings penetrate the world to the very bone. Never forget. Repeat this Mantra in your heart of hearts unceasingly, as you go the round of your daily duties.

(p.411, Vol.6, Swamiji's letter to Swami Akhandananda from Murree on 10 Oct, 1897.) 


What will you achieve by mere reasoning? Be restless for God and learn to love Him. Reason, mere intellectual knowledge, is like a man who can go only as far as the outer court of the house. But Bhakti is like a woman who goes into the inner court. One must take up a definite attitude toward God. Then alone can one realize Him. Rishis like Sanaka cherished the attitude of shanta; Hanuman the attitude of a servant; the cowherd boys of Vrindavan, like Sridama and Sudama, the attitude of a friend; Yasoda the attitude of a mother; and Radha the attitude of a sweetheart. O God, Thou art the Lord and I am Thy servant'- that is the servant's attitude, a very good one for aspirants.

(p, 610, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on 11Oct,1884 in His room in Dakshineswar.)

I have all along been like a hero -- I want my work to be quick like lightning, and firm as adamant. Likewise shall I die also. Therefore kindly do my work for me -- no question of success or defeat enters here at all. I have never retreated in a fight -shall I now...? There is success and failure in every work. But I am inclined to believe that one who is a coward will be born after death as an insect or a worm, that there is no salvation for a coward even after millions of years of penance. Well, shall I after all be born as a worm?... In my eyes this world is mere play - and it will always remain a such.. When I fight, I fight with girded loins - that much I fully understand; and I also understand that man, that hero, that god, who says, "Don't care, be fearless. O brave one, here I am by your side!" To such a man-god I offer a million salutations. Their presence purifies the world, they are the saviours of the world. And the others who always wail, "Oh, don't go forward, there is this danger, there is that danger" - those dyspeptics - they always tremble with fear. But through the grace of the Divine Mother my mind is so strong that even the most terrible dyspepsia shall not make me a coward. To cowards what advice shall I offer? - nothing whatsoever have I to say. But this I desire, that I should find shelter at the feet of those brave souls who dared to do great deeds even though failed to succeed, of those heroes who never quailed not shirked, of those fighters who never disobeyed orders through fear or pride. I am the child of the Divine Mother, the source of all power and strength. To me, cringing, fawning, whining, degrading inertia and hell are one and the same thing. O Mother of the Universe, O my Gurudeva, who would constantly say, "This is a hero!" - I pray that I may not have to die a coward. This is my prayer, O brother. Certainly there is, or there will be born one equal to me; some one or other will certainly arise from these thousands of devotees of Shri Ramakrishna who will be like me, and who will be able to understand me.

12 Oct

Who says that spiritual practice produces no effect? Surely it does. There is not a shade of doubt about it. People of the world give you wages, if you work for them. Is God so unkind that He will not requite the works done for Him? But you must work in the right spirit. Working haphazardly will not do.

(p.132, Spiritual Talks, Swami Turiyananda's words to a devotee at Varanasi on 12 Oct,1919.)

God is all-auspicious - this faith brings peace and happiness. If you try to explain the world through intellectual reasoning, you will be in trouble. That is why the Master advised us to realize God first and then try to understand the world. Hold onto the Lord, then all good will attend you.

(p.173, Spiritual Treasures, Letter of Swami Turiyananda on 12 Oct, 1916 from Almora.)

13 Oct

It is all Mother.... All men are good. Only we cannot reach all. I am never going to teach any more. Who am I that I should teach anyone?

(p.3-4, Vol.5, New Discoveries, Sister Nivedita describing Swamiji's spiritual mood in her letter from Kashmir to Mrs. Ashton Jonson dt.13 Oct, 1898.) (C.W, Vol.9, p.402)

It is very difficult to realize God. The slightest desire blocks the way.

(p.142, Spiritual Talks, Swami Turiyananda's words to a monk at Varanasi on 13 Oct, 1919.)

14 Oct

Work for work's sake. Your whole mind should be fixed upon the work. Let that be your ideal, the be-all and end-all of life. Never mind success or failure.

(p.144, Spiritual Talks, Swami Turiyananda's words to a monk at Varanasi on 14 Oct,1919.)

15 Oct

A few people in the world really try to do good. Others look on and applaud, and think that they themselves have done great good. Life is love, and when a man ceases to do good to others, he is dead spiritually.

(p.493, C.W. Vol.2, as reported in Baltimore American on 15 Oct,1894 on Swamiji's lecture .)

When you plunge in the water of the ocean, you may be attacked by alligators. But they won't touch you if your body is smeared with turmeric. There are no doubt six alligators - lust, anger, avarice, and so on - within you, in the 'heart's fathomless depths'. But protect yourself with the turmeric of discrimination and renunciation, and they won't touch you.

(p.125, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to Narendra and his friends in his room in Dakshineswar on 16 Oct, 1882.)

Human being - today he is, tomorrow he is not. No one will accompany a person after his death. Only his actions - good or bad - follow him, even after death.

(p.144, The Gospel of the Holy Mother, Mother’s words at Belur Math during Durga Puja on 16 Oct, 1912.)

17 Oct

As long as you do not feel that God is the Master, you must come back to the world, you must be born again and again. There will be no rebirth when you can truly say, 'O God, Thou art the Master.' As long as you cannot say, 'O Lord, Thou alone art real', you will not be released from the life of the world. This going and coming, this rebirth, is inevitable. There will be no liberation. Further, what can you achieve by saying, 'It is mine'? The manager of an estate may say, 'This is our garden; these are our couches and furniture.' But when he is dismissed by the master, he hasn't the right to take away even a chest of worthless mango-wood given to him for his use. The feeling of 'I and mine' has covered the Reality. Because of this we do not see Truth. Attainment of Chaitanya, Divine Consciousness, is not possible without the knowledge of Advaita, Non-duality. After realizing Chaitanya one enjoys Nityananda, Eternal Bliss.

(p.308 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to devotees on 16 Oct,1883.)

18 Oct

As you go nearer to God you see less and less of His upadhis, His attributes. A devotee at first may see the Deity as the tem armed Divine Mother; when he goes nearer he sees her possesses of six arms; still nearer, he sees the Deity as the twoarmed Gopala. The nearer he comes to the Deity, the fewer attributes he sees. At last, when he comes into the presence of the Deity, he sees only Light without any attributes.

(p, 853, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on 18Oct,1885 at Shyampukur.)

19 Oct

Be firm in one ideal - either in God with form or in the formless God. Then alone will you realize God; otherwise not. With firm and unwavering belief the followers of God with form will realize Him, as will those who speak of Him as formless. You may eat a cake with icing straight or sidewise; it will taste sweet either way.

20 Oct

Freedom is the first condition of growth. What you do not make free, will never grow. The idea that you can make others grow and help their growth, that you can direct and guide them, always retaining for yourself the freedom of the teacher, is nonsense, a dangerous lie which has retarded the growth of millions and millions of human beings in this world. Let men have the light of liberty. That is the only condition of growth.

(p.115, Vol.2, Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, Swami in his lecture 'Maya and the evolution of the conception of God, delivered in London, 20 Oct, 1896.)

I am Thakur's dog. Just as a dog will do much work for his master, even after eating but little, and will protect his valuable property from thieves and dacoits, so am I Thakur's dog, lying here at the Math. Lying at my Master's door, I safeguard his wealth (discrimination, renunciation, knowledge, and devotion) and his monastic Order. This Math belongs to Thakur, Swamiji, and Maharaj. I am their dog. He who can remain lying down like a dog of the Math will become blessed.

(p.291, Mahapurush Maharaj as we saw Him, Mahapurush Maharaj's words to Swami Dharmeshananda during Mahanavami in Belur Math on 20 Oct,1931.)

21 Oct

What I want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made. Strength, manhood, Kshatra-Virya + Brahma-Teja.

(p.117, Vol.5, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga Perumal from London , probably on Oct,1896.)

22 Oct

One realizes God even if one believes Him to be formless. One also realizes God if one believes that God has form. Two things are necessary for the realization Of God: faith and self- surrender. Man is ignorant by nature. Errors are natural to Him. Can a one-seer pot hold four seers of milk? Whatever path you may follow, you must pray to God with a restless heart. He is the Ruler of the soul within. He will surely listen to your prayer if it is sincere. Whether you follow the ideal of the Personal God or that of the Impersonal Truth, you will realize God alone, provided you are restless for Him. A cake with icing tastes sweet whether you eat it straight or sidewise.

(p, 867, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to Dr. Mahendralal Sarkar on 22 Oct,1885 at Shyampukur.)

That freedom was your nature, and this Maya never bound you. Nature never has power over you. Like a frightened child you were dreaming that it was throttling you, and the release from this fear is the goal: not only to see it intellectually, but to perceive it, actualize it, much more definitely than we perceive this world. Then we

shall know that we are free. Then, and then alone, will all difficulties vanish, then will all the perplexities of heart be smoothed away, all crookedness made straight, then will vanish the delusion of manifoldness and nature; and Maya, instead of being a horrible, hopeless dream, as it is now, will become beautiful, and this earth, instead of being a prison-house, will become our playground; and even dangers and difficulties, even all sufferings, will become deified and show us their real nature, will show us that behind everything, as the substance of everything, he is standing, and that He is the one real Self.

(p.129, Vol.2, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji in his lecture 'Maya and Freedom' delivered in London 22 Oct, 1896.)

Strike the iron while it is hot. Idleness won't do. Throw overboard all idea of jealousy and egotism, once for all. Come on to the practical field with tremendous energy; to work, in the fullness of strength! As to the rest, the Lord will point out the way. The whole world will be deluged by a tidal wave. Work, work, work - let this be your motto....Our object is to do good to the world, and not the trumpeting of our names...Those that have come under his protection, have virtue, wealth, desires, and freedom lying at their feet. Courage! Everything will come about by degrees. From all of you I want this that you must discard for ever self -aggrandizement, faction-mongering, and jealousy. You must be all-forbearing, like Mother Earth. If you can achieve this, the world will be at your feet.

(p.278, Vol.6, Swamiji's letter to Swami Ramakrishnananda from Baltimore, U.S.A dt.22 Oct, 1894.)

23 Oct

One cannot attain divine knowledge till one gets rid of pride. Water does not stay on the top of a mound; but into low land it flows in torrents from all sides.

(p. 874, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to Dr. Mahendrala Sarkar on 23 Oct, 1885.)

I propound a philosophy which can serve as a basis to every possible religious system in the world, and my attitude towards all of them is one of extreme sympathy - my teaching is antagonistic to none. I direct my attention to the individual to make him strong, to teach him that he himself is divine, and I call upon men to make themselves conscious of this divinity within, That is really the ideal -conscious or unconscious - of every religion.

(p.187-8, Vol.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji in an interview to The Westminister Gazette in London on 23 Oct, 1895.)

It is very good to have a high ideal, but don't make it too high. A high ideal raises mankind, but an impossible ideal lowers them from the very impossibility of the case.

p.385, Vol.4, New Discoveries, From Mr. J.J Goodwin's letter dt. 23 Oct, 1896 to Mrs. Ole Bull, quoting Swami Vivekananda's conversation at Greycoat Gardens in London. (C.W. Vol.9, p.401)

Japa means silently repeating God's name in solitude. When you chant His name with single-minded devotion you can see God's form and realize Him. Suppose there is a piece of timber sunk in the water of the Ganges and fastened with a chain to the bank. You precede link by link, holding to the chain, and you dive into the water and follow the chain. Finally you are able to reach the timber. In the same way, by repeating God's name you become absorbed in Him and finally realize Him.

(p. 878-9, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on 24 Oct, 1885.)

Take courage and work on. Patience and steady work - this is the only way. Go on; remember - patience and purity and courage and steady work... So long as you are pure, and true to you principles, you will never fail - Mother will never leave you, and all blessings will be yours.

p.96-7, Vol.5, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga Perumal from London on 24 Oct,1895.

25 Oct

God incarnates Himself on earth in a human body. He is, no doubt, present everywhere and in all beings, but man's longing is not satisfied unless he sees God in a human form. Man's need is not satisfied without the Divine Incarnation. Do you know what it is like? By touching any part of a cow you undoubtedly touch the cow herself. Even by touching her horns you touch the cow. But the milk comes through the cow's udder.

(p. 883, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on 25 Oct, 1885.)

Thakur's charanamrita is our most effective medicine.

(p.297, Mahapurush Maharaj as we saw Him, Mahapurush Maharaj's words on 25 Oct, 1932.)

26 Oct

When a man develops pure sattva, he thinks only of God. He does not enjoy anything else. Some are born with pure sattva as a result of their prarabdha karma. Through unselfish action one finally acquires pure sattva. Sattva mixed with rajas diverts the mind to various objects. From it springs the conceit of doing good to the world. To do good to the world is extremely difficult for such an insignificant creature as man. But there is no harm in doing good to others in an unselfish spirit. This is called unselfish action. It is highly beneficial for a person to try to perform such action. But by no means all succeed, for it is very difficult. Everyone must work. Only one or two can renounce action. Rarely do you find a man who has developed pure sattva. Through disinterested action sattva mixed with rajas gradually turns into pure sattva. No sooner does a man develop pure sattva than he realizes God, through His grace.

(p. 895, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on 26 Oct, 1885.)

The heart of the devotee is the abode of God. He dwells, no doubt, in all beings, but He especially manifests Himself in the heart of the devotee. A landlord may at one time or another visit all parts of his estate, but people say he is generally to be found in a particular drawing-room. The heart of the devotee is the drawing-room of the devotee.

(p.133, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on the day of Laxmi Puja, while on a boat-trip on the Ganges arranged by Keshab Chandra Sen on Friday, 27 Oct, 1882.)

You have been born in this world as a human being to worship God; therefore try to acquire love for His Lotus Feet. Why do you trouble yourself to know a hundred other things? What will you gain by discussing 'philosophy'? Look here, one ounce of liquor is enough to intoxicate you. What is the use of your trying to find out how many gallons of liquor there are in the tavern?

(p. 901, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees on 26 Oct 1885.)

Unfortunately in this life, the vast majority or persons are groping through this dark life without any ideal at all. If a man with an ideal makes a thousand mistakes, I am sure that the man without any ideal makes fifty thousand. Therefore, it is better to have an ideal. And this ideal we must hear about as much as we can, till it enters into our hearts, into our brains, into our very veins, until it tingles in every drop of our blood and permeates ever pore in our body. We must meditate upon it. "Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh," and out of the fullness of the heart the hand works too.

(p.152, Vol.2, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji in his lecture 'God in Everything' delivered in London, 27 Oct, 1896.)

Love never fails, my son; today or tomorrow or ages after, truth will conquer. Love shall win the victory. Do you love your fellow men? Where should you go to seek for God - are not all the poor, the miserable, the weak, Gods? Why not worship them first? Why go to dig a well on the shores of the Ganga? Believe in the omnipotent power of love. Have you love? - You are omnipotent. Are you perfectly unselfish? If so, you are irresistible. It is character that pays everywhere. It is the Lord who protects His children in the depths of the sea. Your country requires heroes; be heroes! God bless you!

(p.51, Vol.5, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga Perumal from Washingtom on 27 Oct,1894.)

Only an ignorant person keeps worrying whether he will have to come back to the world again or not. Good devotees are not bothered by such questions. Those who have surrendered to the Lord depend entirely upon him. He knows whether you will come back or not. If they go, they go to him. If they stay anywhere, they stay with him. If they come back, they come back with him. He is with them always, in life and in death.

(p.105-6, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter from Almora on 27 Oct,1915.)

In the body of the Order the spirit of the Master is manifestly present and will be so for many centuries for the good of the world. From now on he will do his work through the instrumentality of the Order. Constantly bear in mind that loyalty to the Order is loyalty to the Master. Swamiji founded this monastery in direct obedience to the wish of Sri Ramakrishna... Those who are in the Order are certainly making spiritual progress, and so are you. Be convinced that our master is gracious to those who take refuge in Him. He protects those in every way who are wholly resigned to Him with their body, mind and soul. You have given up worldly attachments in order to realize God and find peace. Look up to the Master for everything. He will certainly bless you and bring you peace.

(p.2-3, For Seekers of God, Mahapurush Maharaj's words to the gathered monks in his room at Belur on 28 Oct, 1920)

29 Oct

This world is a mixture of sand and sugar. Like the ant, one should discard the sand and eat the sugar. He who can eat the sugar is clever indeed. Build a quiet place for thinking of God - a place for you meditation.

(p.912, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to the devotees at Shyampukur on 29 Oct, 1885.)

If you pray to Him (Sri Ramakrishna) constantly before His picture, then he manifests himself through that picture. The place where the picture is kept becomes a shrine.

(p.100, The Gospel of the Holy Mother, Mother's words to Swami Arupananda at Udbodhan prayer-hall on 29 Oct, 1910)

This world is nothing. It is at best only a hideous caricature, a shadow of the Reality. We must go to the Reality. Renunciation will take us to It. Renunciation is the very basis of our true life; every moment of goodness and real life that we enjoy is when we do not think of ourselves. This little separate self must die. Then we shall find that we are in the Real, and that Reality is god, and He is our own true nature, and He is always in us and with us. Let us live in Him and stand in Him. It is the only joyful state of existence. Life on the plane of the Spirit is the only life, and let us all try to attain to this realization.

(p.174, Vol.2, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji in his lecture 'Realisation' delivered in London on 29 Oct, 1896.)

30 Oct

Birth of Swami Vijnanananda (1868)

In the last years of his life, Swamiji's mind was mostly absorbed in God-consciousness. One day Swamiji remarked: "I cannot say anything to Peshan because I see the Master in him." To this Vijnanananda responded: "The Master dwells in every being. It is no wonder that you see the Master in me through your (p.602, God lived with Them. Swami Vijnanananda was born on Friday, 30 Oct, 1868 in Etawah, Uttar Pradesh.)

What is the lesson of the Gita? It is what you get by repeating the word ten times. As you repeat 'Gita', 'Gita', the world becomes reversed into 'tagi', 'tagi' - which implies renunciation. He alone has understood the secret of the Gita who has renounced his attachment to 'woman and gold' and has directed his entire love to God.

p.917, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to Dr. Mahendralal Sarkar at Shyampukur on 30 Oct, 1885

Don't be impatient. Go slow. Live a pure life. This is very important. The world means gold and lust. There are temptations on all sides. Always pray to the Lord" 'Lord, please see that I do not succumb to the temptation of your power of maya, which bewitches the whole world. May I have faith and love for you, but I do not want anything in return!' Pray like this. The Lord will than direct you along the right path. Know this for certain.

(p.90, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter from Almora on 30 Oct, 1914.)

31 Oct

Rama is one, but He has a thousand names. He who is called 'God' by the Christians is addressed by the Hindus as Rama, Krishna, Isvara, and by other names. A lake has many ghats. The Hindus drink water at one ghat and call it 'jal'; the Christians at another, and call it 'water'; the Mussalmans at a third, and call it 'pani'. Likewise, He who is God to the Christians is Allah to the Mussalmans.

p.922, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur's words to devotees at Shyampukur on 31 Oct, 1885.


November 1 "In the realm of religion, shraddha, or faith, alone is the cause of well being. Remember that your faith is the cause of your spiritual growth. Try to practice constant recollectedness of God, and pray to him wholeheartedly so that your mind dwells on him - then he will bestow grace on you. Happiness and misery are inevitable in life. Human life will be fruitful if we have devotion to God; otherwise it is mere suffering."

(p. 68-9, Spiritual treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter dt. 1 November 1913)

"Life is not meant for the pleasure of the body. Realization of God alone is the goal of life. Now that you have attained this rare human birth, do not allow your life to be spent in vain. Realize the nature of the Self. The Master is your innermost Self; try to realize him. He is not just a man three and a half cubits in length; he is God himself; he is the very Self of all creatures. Once you realize him,. Your worldly bondage will be cut asunder for ever; you will not have to undergo the round of birth and death any more."

(p. 215, For Seekers of God, Swami Shivananda's instruction to a devotee on 1 November1929)

November 2 "Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die." Be of good cheer and believe that we are selected by the Lord to do great things, and we will do them. Hold yourself in readiness, i.e. be pure and holy, and love for love's sake. Love the poor, the miserable, the down - trodden, and the Lord will bless you...Be fearless, the Lord is with you, and He will yet raise the starving and ignorant millions of India...Think not that you are poor; money is not power, but goodness, holiness. Come and see how it is so all over the world."

(p. 23-4, V. 5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga dt 2nd November 1893)

November 3 "The important thing is: What is your attitude? If you put your mind one hundred percent on the work, success is bound to come. You need not see what others are doing; you watch yourself and see what you are doing. To the good, everything is good - this is so true!"

(p. 124, Spiritual treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to Priyanath dt. 3rd November 1915)

"Mother will not put you to such violent methods in order to gain mastery over carnal desires. They will go away of themselves when your desire for realizing the Mother would increase, as a man would not care to have treacle after he has tasted candy. So when you get real taste for divine pleasure all craving for sense pleasure will cease to trouble you anymore. One thing is needful for you just now is to think of Mother and Mother alone and to look to nothing else for help or guidance. Have absolute faith in the Mother that she will protect you and lead you aright, and you

(p.255, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter dt 3rd November 1916)

November 4

"You are blessed if you are able to spend your life thinking of God and serving human beings. On the other hand, suppose you get caught in the trap of the Lord's bewitching power, maya, and then become immersed in the sense pleasures of this ephemeral and treacherous world, forgetting God altogether. Wouldn't that be a nightmare? But by good luck you have found refuge in God. What is there to fear now? Rest assured, you have nothing to worry about. "

(p.213-4, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter dt 4th November 1922)

November 5

It is weakness, says the Vedanta, which is the cause of all misery in this world. Weakness is the one cause of suffering. We become miserable because we are weak. We lie, steal, kill, and commit other crimes, because we are weak. We suffer because we are weak. We die because we are weak. Where there is nothing to weaken us, there is no death nor sorrow. We are miserable through delusion. Give up the delusion, and the whole thing vanishes. It is plain and simple indeed. This, says the Vedanta, is the only prayer that we should have. This is the only way to reach the goal, to tell ourselves, and to tell everybody else, that we are divine. And as we go on repeating this, strength comes. He who falters at first will get stronger and stronger, and the voice will increase in volume until the truth takes possession of our hearts, and courses through our veins, and permeates our bodies. Delusion will vanish as the light becomes more and more effulgent, load after load of ignorance will vanish, and then will come a time when all else has disappeared and the Sun alone shines."

(p.198-200, V.2, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's lecture on "The Freedom of The Soul" on 5th November 1896 at London)

November 6

"Happiness and misery alternate in this world. Have you ever seen anyone completely free from them? It is impossible: this world is made up of the pairs of opposites. By meditating on the Atman one can get rid of them. This does not mean that there will be no happiness or misery, but by God's grace they won't be able to perturb one. There is glory in forbearance. Pain and suffering are inevitable in life, so what good will it do to lament over them? Rather, if one can endure them, one can avoid fruitless moaning."

(p.81-2, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter dt 6 November 1914)

November 7

"Bhakti is the only essential thing. One obtains love of God by constantly chanting His name and singing His glories. It is necessary to seek the company of the holy men, practice prayer, and listen to the instruction of the guru. These purify the mind. Then one sees God. After purification of the heart one obtains divine love. Then one

sees God, through His grace. One can teach others if one receives that command from God after seeing Him."

(p.158, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice in November 1882)

November 8

Swami Subodhananda was born on 8 November 1867.

"One can see God as one sees two persons talking together or walking. But one should call on God from the bottom of one's heart. Pray and cry for Him. Demand His vision from Him as children demand toys from their parents with loud cries. Remove all worldly desires from the mind. Always remember: I have a Mother and I am Her son...Those who shall attain spiritual experience will feel comfortable with my ideas and teachings...He who has faith in me, has faith in God; and, again, he who does not have faith in me, does not have faith in God either."

(Sri Ramakrishna to Swami Subodhananda, p. 537, The God Lived With Them)

One night at Belur Math, Vivekananda was meditating in his room; Brahmananda and Subodhananda were sleeping in the next room. When Swamiji finished his meditation, he woke up Subodhananda and asked if he would mind bringing him a pipe to smoke. Subodhananda did so, and Vivekananda was so pleased that he exclaimed impulsively, "Any boon you ask for shall be granted!" "What could I possibly ask for?" said Subodhananda. "The Master gave us everything." But Brahmananda said, "No, khoka, ask for something." So Subodhananda considered carefully and then said, "Grant me this - that I may never, for the rest of my life, miss my daily cup of tea."

(p.546-7, The God Lived with Them)

November 9

I do not care what they say. I love my God, my religion, my country, and above all, myself, a poor beggar. I love the poor, the ignorant, the downtrodden, I feel for them -- the Lord knows how much. He will show me the way. I do not care a fig for human approbation or criticism. I think of most of them as ignorant, noisy children -they have not penetrated into the inner nature of sympathy, into the spirit which is all love.'

I have that insight through the blessing of Ramakrishna. I am trying to work with my little band, all of these poor beggars like me, you have seen them. But the Lord's works have been always done by the lowly, by the poor. You bless me that I may have faith in my Guru, in my God, and in myself. The only way is love and sympathy. The only worship is love.

(p.328, V.8, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Haridas Viharidas Desai in November 1894)

November 10

"This Atman is first to be heard of." Hear day and night that you are that Soul. Repeat it to yourselves day and night till it enters into your very veins, till it tingles in every drop of blood, till it is in your flesh and bone. Let the whole body be full of that one ideal, "I am the birthless, the deathless, the blissful, the omniscient, the omnipotent, ever - glorious Soul." Think on it day and night; think on it till it becomes part and parcel of your life. Meditate upon it, and out of that will come work. "Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh," and out of the fullness of the heart the hand worketh also. Action will come. Fill yourselves with the idea; whatever you do, think well on it. All your actions will be magnified, transformed, deified, by the very power of the thought. If matter is powerful, thought is omnipotent. Bring this thought to bear upon your life, fill yourselves with the thought of your almightiness, your majesty, and your glory. Would to God no superstitions had been put into your head! Would to God we had not been surrounded from our birth by all these superstitious influences and paralysing ideas of our weakness and vileness! Would to God that mankind had had an easier path through which to attain to the noblest and highest truths! But man had to pass through all this; do not make the path more diffcult for those who are coming after you."

(p. 302, V.2. Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's lecture on "Practical Vedanta-I delivered on 10th November 1896)

November 11

You have your minds pitched high and steady, it will do you no harm. May you have exceeding love for one another among yourselves, and it would be enough to have an attitude of indifference towards public criticisms. Kalikrishna Babu has deep love for the cause and is a great man. Please convey my special love to him. So long as there is no feeling of disunion amongst you, through the grace of the Lord, I assure you, there is no danger for you, "[(Sanskrit)]-- be it in battle, in the forest, or on the top of mountains". "[(Sanskrit)]-- all noble undertakings are fraught with obstacles". It is quite in the nature of things. Keep up the deepest mental poise. Take not even the slightest notice of what puerile creatures may be saying against you. Indifference, indifference, indifference!

(p.478, V.7, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Swami Abhedananda in Nov.1894)

November 12

Be free; hope for nothing from anyone. I am sure if you look back upon your lives you will find that you were always vainly trying to get help from others which never came. All the help that has come was from within yourselves. You only had the fruits of what you yourselves worked for, and yet you were strangely hoping all the time for help. A rich man's parlour is always full; but if you notice, you do not find the same people there. The visitors are always hoping that they will get something from those wealthy men, but they never do. So are our lives spent in hoping, hoping, hoping, which never comes to an end. Give up hope, says the Vedanta. Why should you hope? You have everything, nay, you are everything. What are you hoping for? If a king goes mad, and runs about trying to find the king of his country, he will never find him, because he is the king himself. He may go through every village and city in his own country, seeking in every house, weeping and wailing, but he will never find him, because he is the king himself. It is better that we know we are God and give up this fool's search after Him; and knowing that we are God we become happy and contented. Give up all these mad pursuits, and then play your part in the universe, as an actor on the stage.

(p.324, V.2, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's lecture on Practical Vedanta -II, delivered at London on 12th Nov. 1896)

It is not at all in our nature to do a work conjointly. It is to this that our miserable condition is due. He who knows how to obey knows how to command. Learn obedience first. Among these Western nations, with such a high spirit of independence, the spirit of obedience is equally strong. We are all of us self -important -- which never produces any work. Great enterprise, boundless courage, tremendous energy, and, above all, perfect obedience -- these are the only traits that lead to individual and national regeneration. These traits are altogether lacking in us.

(p.349, V.6, Complete Works of swami Vivekannda, Swamiji's letter to Swami Akhandananda dt. 13th November 1895)

November 14

Always be vigilant in spiritual life. Don't be over-daring in any matter. Overconfidence leads to disaster. Vain is your studying the scriptures and futile your association with the holy, if you cannot absorb the teachings and apply them in your life. Reflect on why I am saying all these things to you, and then never hesitate to do what you think to be right.

(p.32, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to Harimohan dt 14th November 1898)

November 15

I find the attention of the people fixed on earthly things. They are all rushing about for the sake of their stomachs. No one is thinking of God...Many people entering the world, become more and more involved in it; they drown in worldliness and suffer the agonies of death. A few only, like Janaka, have succeeded, through the power of their austerity, in leading the spiritual life as householders. Therefore spiritual practice is extremely necessary; otherwise one cannot rightly live in the world. (p.154, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice to the devotees on 15th November 1882)

November 16

Swami Shivananda was born on 16th November 1854

"In those days when we used to visit the Master I frequently had to go to home, because I was married. It was distasteful to me. Somehow or other I would spend the night at home repeating the name of the Lord.I spoke about it to the Master and prayed that my worldly bondage be destroyed. After hearing my story the Master asked me to perform a certain ritual and said in a tone of assurance: "Have no fear. I am here to protect you. Think of me and perform this ritual. Nothing adverse will happen to you. I am telling you that even if you sleep in the same room with your wife, you will be free from danger. You will see it will rather intensify your spirit of renunciation. I went through the ritual as instructed and didn't have any trouble. In the course of conversation I mentioned this incident to Swamiji. He was very much surprised and remarked: "What do you say! It is the characteristic of a Mahapurush. You are certainly one." Since then he started calling me by this name, and others did the same.

(p.131, God lived With Them)

So is infinite power in the soul of man, whether he knows it or not. Its manifestation is only a question of being conscious of it. Slowly this infinite giant is, as it were, waking up, becoming conscious of his power, and arousing himself; and with his growing consciousness, more and more of his bonds are breaking, chains are bursting asunder, and the day is sure to come when, with the full consciousness of his infinite power and wisdom, the giant will rise to his feet and stand erect. Let us all help to hasten that glorious consummation.

(p.340, V.2, Complete Works of swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's lecture on "Practical Vedanta - III at London on 17th November 1896)

November 18

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.

(p.350, V.2, Complete Works of swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's lecture on "Practical Vedanta - IV at London on 18th November 1896)

Please everybody without becoming a hypocrite and without being a coward. Hold on to your own ideas with strength and purity, and whatever obstructions may now be in your way, the world is bound to listen to you in the long run. . . .

(p.97, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga dt 18th November 1895)

November 19

Always be prayerful. Work with your hands and pray to the Lord with your mind that he always remain in your heart and guide you. This will make you free from fear and anxiety. He is omniscient and all-auspicious. He will do what is good for you. So without holding any doubt in the mind, work for the Lord.

(p.83, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to swami Nirupamananda on 19 November 1914)

Push on with the organisation. Nothing else is necessary but these -- love, sincerity, and patience. What is life but growth, i.e. expansion, i.e. love? Therefore all love is life, it is the only law of life; all selfishness is death, and this is true here or hereafter. It is life to do good, it is death not to do good to others. Ninety per cent of human brutes you see are dead, are ghosts -- for none lives, my boys, but he who loves. Feel, my children, feel; feel for the poor, the ignorant, the downtrodden; feel till the heart stops and the brain reels and you think you will go mad -- then pour the soul out at the feet of the Lord, and then will come power, help, and indomitable energy. Struggle, struggle, was my motto for the last ten years. Struggle, still say I. When it was all dark, I used to say, struggle; when light is breaking in, I still say, struggle. Be not afraid, my children. Look not up in that attitude of fear towards that infinite starry vault as if it would crush you. Wait! In a few hours more, the whole of it will be under your feet. Wait, money does not pay, nor name; fame does not pay,

nor learning. It is love that pays; it is character that cleaves its way through adamantine walls of difficulties...Have fire and spread all over. Work, work. Be the servant while leading. Be unselfish, and never listen to one friend in private accusing another. Have infinite patience, and success is yours. Take care! Beware of everything that is untrue; stick to truth and we shall succeed, maybe slowly, but surely. Work on as if I never existed. Work as if on each of you depended the whole work. Fifty centuries are looking on you, the future of India depends on you. Work on.

(p. 367-370, V.4, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga on 19th November 1894)

November 20

Really, there is no greater sin than cowardice; cowards are never saved -- that is sure. I can stand everything else but not that. Can I have any dealings with one who will not give that up? . . . If one gets one blow, on must return ten with redoubled fury. . . . Then only one is a man. . . . The coward is an object to be pitied...I am the servant of the Mother, you are all servants of the Mother -- what destruction, what fear is there for us? Don't allow egoism to enter your minds, and let love never depart from your hearts. What destruction can touch you? Fear not. Victory to Kali! Victory to Kali!

(p.481, V.8, Complete Works of swami Vivekananda, Swamiji’s letter to Swami Brahmananda on 20th November 1899)

November 21

Never mind what I have said in previous harsh letters. They would do you good. Firstly, they will make you business - like in the future to keep regular and clear accounts and get the brethren into it. Secondly, if these scolding don't make you brave, I shall have no more hopes of you. I want to see you die even, but you must make a fight. Die in obeying commands like a soldier, and go to Nirvana, but no cowardice.

(p.482, V.8, Complete Works of swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter Swami Brahmananda dt 21st November 1899)

November 22

You have not yet understood the wonderful significance of Mother's life -- none of you. But gradually you will know. Without Shakti (Power) there is no regeneration for the world. Why is it that our country is the weakest and the most backward of all countries?-- because Shakti is held in dishonor there. Mother has been born to revive that wonderful Shakti in India; and making her the nucleus, once more will Gargis and Maitreyis be born into the world. Dear brother, you understand little now, but by degrees you will come to know it all. Hence it is her Math that I want first. . . . Without the grace of Shakti nothing is to be accomplished. What do I find in America and Europe?-- the worship of Shakti, the worship of Power. Yet they worship Her ignorantly through sense - gratification. Imagine, then, what a lot of good they will achieve who will worship Her with all purity, in a Sattvika spirit, looking upon Her as their mother! I am coming to understand things clearer every day, my insight is opening out more and more. Hence we must first build a Math for Mother. First Mother and Mother's daughters, then Father and Father's sons -- can you understand this? . . . To me, Mother's grace is a hundred thousand times more valuable than

Father's. Mother's grace, Mother's blessings are all paramount to me. . . . Please pardon me. I am a little bigoted there, as regards Mother. If but Mother orders, her demons can work anything. Brother, before proceeding to America I wrote to Mother to bless me. Her blessings came, and at one bound I cleared the ocean. There, you see.

(p. 484-5, V.7, complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Swami Shivananda in 1894)

November 23

Even forgiveness, if weak and passive, is not true: fight is better. Forgive when you could bring legions of angels to the victory. Krishna, the charioteer of Arjuna, hears him say, "Let us forgive our enemies", and answers, "You speak the words of wise men, but you are not a wise man, but a coward". As a lotus - leaf, living in the water yet untouched by it, so should the soul be in the world. This is a battlefield, fight your way out. Life in this world is an attempt to see God. Make your life a manifestation of will strengthened by renunciation. We must learn to control all our brain - centres consciously. The first step is the joy of living. Asceticism is fiendish. To laugh is better than to pray. Sing. Get rid of misery. Do not for heaven's sake infect others with it. Never think God sells a little happiness and a little unhappiness. (p.227, V.8, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamii's lecture on "Jnana and Karma" delivered on 23rd November in London)

November 24

Many many thanks for your second leaflet (leaves from the Gospel). It is indeed wonderful. The move is quite original, and never was the life of a great Teacher brought before the public untarnished by the writer's mind, as you are presenting this one. The language also is beyond all praise, so fresh, so pointed, and withal so plain and easy.

I cannot express in adequate terms how I have enjoyed the leaflets. I am really in a transport when I read them. Strange, isn't it? Our Teacher and Lord was so original, and each one of us will have to be original or nothing. I now understand why none of us attempted his life before. It has been reserved for you, this great work. He is with you evidently.

(p.140, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to "M" on 24th November 1897 about the latter's "Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna")

November 25

You are right when you say that without the grace of the Lord spiritual practice is of no avail. But if someone sincerely practices sadhana, God's grace dawns on him. The Lord is omniscient. If one prays to God wholeheartedly, he fulfills every desire. As longing for him increases, his grace is felt more and more. May you have intense yearning for God, that is my prayer to him.

(p.129, Spiritual Treasures, swami Turiyananda's letter to Bihari Babu dt 25th November 1915)

November 26

But work without any selfish motive is good. It does not create any worry. But it is very difficult to be totally unselfish. We may think that our work is selfless, but selfishness comes, unknown to us, from no one knows where. But if a man has already undergone great spiritual discipline, then as a result of it he may be able to do work without any selfish motive. After the vision of God a man can easily do unselfish work. In most cases action drops away after the attainment of God.

(p.314, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice to Vijay Krishna Goswami on 26th November 1883)

November 27

You said a lot about ancient India. That India still lives, Sturdy, is not dead, and that living India dares even today to deliver her message without fear or favour of the rich, without fear of anybody's opinion, either in the land where her feet are in chains or in the very face of those who hold the end of the chain, her rulers. That India still lives, Sturdy, India of undying love, of everlasting faithfulness, the unchangeable, not only in manners and customs, but also in love, in faith, in friendship. And I, the least of that India's children, love you, Sturdy, with Indian love, and would any day give up a thousand bodies to help you out of this delusion. (p.519, V.7. Complete Works of Swami vivekananda, Swamiji'e letter to E T Sturdy dt November 1899)

November 28

He who has surrendered his body, mind, and innermost self to God is surely a holy man. He who has renounced 'woman and gold' is surely a holy man. He is a holy man who does not regard woman with the eyes of a worldly person. He never forgets to look upon a woman as his mother, and to offer his worship if he happens to be near her. The holy man constantly thinks of God and does not indulge in any talk except about spiritual things. Furthermore, he serves all beings, knowing that God resides in everybody's heart. These, in general, are the signs of a holy man.

(p.327, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice on 28th November 1883)

November 29

By the grace of the Lord, you are under his care. Always think of him-think of him in any way you like. Cry, cry like a child. Whatever you want you will get: love, faith, devotion, purity, everything. He assumed a body because he wanted to give people love, faith, and knowledge. He is the incarnation of the age. Believe this and pray to him. Pray for faith and devotion. This will give you peace and hope. ..Remember him always and love him. These are things closest to your heart. Once you surrender to Sri Ramakrishna you are safe. He will protect you. Be sure of this.

(p.109, Letters For Spiritual seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter dt. 29 November 1915)

November 30

The life of Shri Ramakrishna was an extraordinary searchlight under whose illumination one is able to really understand the whole scope of Hindu religion. He was the object - lesson of all the theoretical knowledge given in the Shastras (scriptures). He showed by his life what the Rishis and Avataras really wanted to teach. The books were theories, he was the realisation. This man had in fifty - one years lived the five thousand years of national spiritual life and so raised himself to be an object - lesson for future generations. The Vedas can only be explained and the Shastras reconciled by his theory of Avastha or stages -- that we must not only tolerate others, but positively embrace them, and that truth is the basis of all religions. Now on these lines a most impressive and beautiful life can be written. Well, everything in good time.

(p. 52, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga dt. 30th November 1894)


December 1

What you now need is to concentrate on your spiritual practices. Do as much as you can. I sincerely pray that the Master may grant you all possible strength to call on him. Surrender to him completely. If you do so, he will certainly take pity on you...You are lying at his door step. What is there for you to worry about? Rest assured that he is looking after you.

(p.193, Letters For Spiritual seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter dt 1 December 1921)

December 2

Swami Subodhananda left his body on the 2nd December 1932.

Subodhananda was fully conscious and cheerful until the last. When his attendants asked, "Swami, do you remember the Master, Holy Mother, and Swamiji?" Subodhananda replied, "Yes, I remember them all distinctly." The night before he passed away, Swami Subodhananda said, "My last prayer is that the blessings of the Master be always on the Order."

(p. 555, God Lived With Them)

December 3

Let me remind you again, "Thou hast the right to work but not to the fruits thereof." Stand firm like a rock. Truth always triumphs. Let the children of Shri Ramakrishna be true to themselves and everything will be all right. We may not live to see the outcome, but as sure as we live, it will come sooner or later. What India wants is a new electric fire to stir up a fresh vigour in the national veins. This was ever, and always will be, slow work. Be content to work, and, above all, be true to yourself. Be pure, staunch, and sincere to the very backbone, and everything will be all right. If you have marked anything in the disciples of Shri Ramakrishna, it is this -- they are sincere to the backbone. My task will be done, and I shall be quite content to die, if I can bring up and launch one hundred such men over India. He, the Lord, knows best. Let ignorant men talk nonsense. We neither seek aid nor avoid it -- we are the servants of the Most High. The petty attempts of small men should be beneath our notice. Onward! Upon ages of struggle a character is built. Be not discouraged. One word of truth can never be lost; for ages it may be hidden under rubbish, but it will show itself sooner or later. Truth is indestructible, virtue is indestructible, purity is indestructible. Give me a genuine man; I do not want masses of converts. My son, hold fast! Do not care for anybody to help you. Is not the Lord infinitely greater than

all human help? Be holy -- trust in the Lord, depend on Him always, and you are on the right track; nothing can prevail against you.

(p.56, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga in 1894)

December 4

It is very rare and unlikely that a man will not make any mistake; but by realizing one's fault and desisting from repeating it, one manifests one's manliness. Without brooding over past deeds, if one is cautious about the present and the future, one derives immense benefit. It is very important that one should try to keep the body and mind strong, healthy, and pure; otherwise one is not fit for any noble work. Fix your mind on God and move towards him; then you will not have to be afraid of worldly maya. God will protect you and make you his own. If there is no theft in the chamber of your heart and if your mind and speech are united, then the omniscient Lord will grant what is right for you. Know this to be the undisputed teaching of all scriptures and great souls. Stay away from evil company and be always prayerful. If you can do that, the Lord will guide you while sitting in your heart.

(p.190-1, Spiritual treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to Ramesh dt. 4 December 1918)

December 5

As for you, my dear, noble, kind friend, I only would say this--we Indians lack in many things, but there is none on earth to beat us in gratefulness.

(p.91, V.9, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Margaret Nobel dt 5 December 1896)

December 6

If you are really ready to take the world's burden, take it by all means. But do not let us hear your groans and curses. Do not frighten us with your sufferings, so that we came to feel we were better off with our own burdens. The man who really takes the burden blesses the world and goes his own way. He has not a word of condemnation, a word of criticism, not because there was no evil but that he has taken it on his own shoulders willingly, voluntarily. It is the Saviour who should "go his way rejoicing, and not the saved". This is the only light I have caught this morning. This is enough if it has come to live with me and permeate my life. Come ye that are heavy laden and lay all your burden on me, and then do whatever you like and be happy and forget that I ever existed.

(p.521, V.7, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Sister Nivedita dt 6 December 1899)

'Woman and gold alone is the world; that alone is maya. Because of it you cannot see or think of God. None can taste the divine bliss without giving up his animal feeling. A devotee should pray to God to help him get rid of this feeling. It must be a sincere prayer. God is our inner controller; He will certainly listen to our prayer. (p.670, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice to Bankim on 6 December 1884)

This spiritual path is not like a path to Kashmir or Kedar- Badri that I can tell you how much remains. If a spiritual aspirant progresses a little and asks how much further he must go, then that shows the egotism and bad temper of the questioner. Well, today or tomorrow or someday he will surely attain the goal.

(p.141, Swami Akhandananda As We Saw Him, Swami Akhandananda's words on 7 December 1928)

At the end of the day, even if for a short while, lay aside everything and commune with God. In the beginning you may have some difficulty in practicing meditation in this way, but there is no reason to stop trying. Pray to Him, and He will give you peace. Out of His compassion He will strengthen your heart and make you one with Him. With the practice of meditation peace of mind will grow, and then alone will you be in a position to undertake humanitarian activities in the right spirit. Know for certain that this world and all living beings are His. He is the creator, you are His servants. You are blessed to the extent that He, in His grace, allows you to serve His creatures. Meditation on God will obliterate the ego, and He will then be all in all. Only when your mind reaches this state, will you be able to do genuine philanthropic work.

(p.55, For Seekers of God, Swami Shivananda's advice on December 7 1928 at Belur Math)

December 8

Self-control will come as a matter of course if one repeats God's name constantly, and is earnest in spiritual endeavors. The name of God has such intrinsic power that all the internal and external organs become naturally subdued by it. But then, one has to call on Him with sincere love. If one can somehow acquire love for God, one has nothing more to worry about; one can then advance towards Him very quickly. If one somehow acquires the feeling that God is one's own, one can set one's mind completely at rest. One cannot, however, have real love for God so long as one's mind is preoccupied with sensuous things. How can anyone have love for God, pure and untouched by sin as he is, unless one's own mind becomes purified? For that, one needs intense spiritual practice and sincere yearning for God. The purer the receptacle the quicker is His manifestation. Just try a little with determination, and see whether it happens or not. You have to consider spiritual practice the chief aim of your lives; as for the other work and activities, lectures, discourses, and so on -they are but secondary.

(p.219-20, For Seekers of God, Swami Shivananda's advice on 8 December 1929)

December 9

Swamiji consecrated the Belur Math on 9 December 1898 by worshipping the relics of Sri Ramakrishna. During the auspicious occasion, Swamiji had said to a disciple: "The master once told me, 'I will go and live wherever it will be your pleasure to take me, carrying me on your shoulders - be it under a tree or in the humblest cottage." (p.612, God Lived With Them)

Swamiji reached Belur Math after his second visit to the West

Late in the evening of December 9, 1900, the Swami arrived at the Belur Monastery. His brother-monks and the brahmacharis were taking their meal when the gardener, out of breath, came running in to tell them, "A sahib has come!" Immediately there was much excitement and speculation as to who the sahib might be, who had come at that late hour and what his business with them could be. Then to their great surprise the sahib rushed into their midst, and, when they saw who he was they all cried out excitedly, "Oh, Swamiji has come! Swamiji has come!" They could not believe their eyes. At once an Asana (seat) was spread for him and he was served with a large helping of the Khichuri which was the food prepared for that night. He partook of it with great zest, as it was many months since he had tasted it. Later, the monks enjoyed several delightful hours while the Swami chatted to them about his varied experiences in the West. There was no sleeping that night. They were happy beyond measure; he had come back to them, altogether unexpectedly. No words can describe their feeling. And now, though they knew it not, he was to be with them till the end.

(p.558-9, V-2, Life of Swami Vivekananda)

It is the nature of the mind, unless it be purged of its bad habits by constant prayer and meditation, to drag man down to lower pleasures. You and everybody shall have to infuse in it good ideas and good habits by present acts. Then it will not trouble you. This is the reason when a man wants to be spiritual, he has to remain always on the guard so that the mind goes not back again to its unnatural habits. During this period constant struggle takes place. You are passing through that. If you have faith in yourself and in the grace of Sri Ramakrishna you are sure to come out victorious. He helps him who struggles - that is His nature. Know it always that His helping hand is always guiding you. Otherwise, you would have been vanquished long ago and would have become an ordinary man. Through His blessings, the character of the mind will change and it will be a helping maid by your side. But you shall have to keep a constant watch on the mind till He comes and resides permanently within it. You shall feel it yourself.

(p.170, Mahapurush Maharaj As We Saw Him, Swami Shivananda's letter to Swami Ranganathananda dt 9 December 1927)

December 10

Swami Premananda was born on 10 December 1861 at Antpur Thakur about Baburam

"Baburam has a feminine nature. In a vision I saw Baburam as a goddess with a necklace around her neck and with women companions about her. He has received something in a dream. His body is pure. Only a very little effort will awaken his spiritual consciousness. Boys like Baburam are pure in heart. They have not yet fallen into the clutches of 'woman and gold.' I need Baburam here. I pass through certain spiritual states when I need someone like him. He is pure, pure to the very marrow of his bones."

(p.184-5, God Lived With Them)

December 11

On 11 December Vijnanananda went to see the famous reclining image of Buddha at Pegu, forty-five miles from Rangoon. He stood motionless in front of the image for a long time. His companions did not dare disturb him. After a while Vijnanananda regained a normal state of consciousness and they returned to the car. He remained silent and serious all the way back to Rangoon. Later, when repeatedly asked by the monks about his spiritual mood, the Swami said: "Today Lord Buddha has graciously vouchsafed me his vision. I clearly saw that the reclining image of Buddha was

living, as it were. How magnificent was the beauty of his luminous form!" After saying this, he again became silent.

(p.611, God Lived With Them)

December 12

Love is a great power - there is no doubt about it. To pray for the welfare of others, to wish that they may have peace, that they may reach the source of joy - if these desires are a cause of bondage then that bondage is of divine love. It will break the bondage of the world, lead one to immortality and make one blessed.

(p.131, Spiritual treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to Swami Premananda dt 12 December 1915)

I don't grudge my fate. But oh! now I want a man, one of my boys, to stand by me and fight against all odds! Don't you vex yourself; if anything is to be done in India, my presence is necessary; and I am much better in health; possibly the sea will make me better. My mistakes have been great; but everyone of them was from too much love. How I hate love! Would I never had any Bhakti! Indeed, I wish I could be an Advaitist, calm and heartless. Well, this life is done. I will try in the next. I am sorry, especially now, that I have done more injury to my friends than there have been blessings on them. The peace, the quiet I am seeking, I never found. I went years ago to the Himalayas, never to come back; and my sister committed suicide, the news reached me there, and that weak heart flung me off from that prospect of peace! It is the weak heart that has driven me out of India to seek some help for those I love, and here I am! Peace have I sought, but the heart, that seat of Bhakti, would not allow me to find it. Struggle and torture, torture and struggle. Well, be it then, since it is my fate, and the quicker it is over, the better. Lord bless you; if the Lord has made me His hack to work and die on the streets, let Him have it. I am more cheerful just now after your letter than I was for years -- wah Guru ki Fateh! Victory unto the Guru!! Yes, let the world come, the hells come, the gods come, let Mother come, I fight and do not give in. Ravana got his release in three births by fighting the Lord Himself! It is glorious to fight Mother.

(p.420-1, V.6, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Mrs Bull dt 12 December 1899)

December 13

Renunciation -- non - resistance -- non - destructiveness -- are the ideals to be attained through less and less worldliness, less and less resistance, less and less destructiveness. Keep the ideal in view and work towards it. None can live in the world without resistance, without destruction, without desire. The world has not come to that state yet when the ideal can be realised in society. The progress of the world through all its evils is making it fit for the ideals, slowly but surely. The majority will have to go on with this slow growth -- the exceptional ones will have to get out to realise the idea in the present state of things. Doing the duty of the time is the best way, and if it is done only as a duty, it does not make us attached. Music is the highest art and, to those who understand, is the highest worship. We must try our best to destroy ignorance and evil. Only we have to learn that evil is destroyed by the growth of good.

(p.125, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter dt 13 December 1896)

Never cease thinking of God. Whether you get joy or not, continue your meditation daily on a regular basis. If you can practise steadfastly, you will again experience bliss. One does not taste the joy of spiritual disciplines due to avidya or ignorance. But if one keeps on doing japam and meditation daily with love and zeal, his gloom due to ignorance goes away and the love of God emerges. Therefore, never give up spiritual practices, rather do them wholeheartedly. Eventually you will derive joy from them. Why do you pay so much attention to the fruits of action? Go on doing your work. In this world an employer pays his employees. Will not God give you anything if you work for him?

(p. 59, Spiritual treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to Swami Nirupamananda dt 14 December 1912)

December 15

The Mother is our guide and whatever happens or will happen is under Her ordination. . . .

(p.417, V.6, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter dt 15 December 1898)

A man who has tasted even a drop of God's ecstatic love looks on 'woman and gold' as most insignificant. One gradually obtains that love for God if one but prays to Him with a yearning heart and always chants His name and glories.

(p. 341, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice to M on 15 December 1883)

December 16

The knowledge of Brahman cannot be realized if the aspirant is worldly-minded even in the slightest degree. He succeeds in acquiring this knowledge only when his mind is totally free from 'woman and gold'. Weep for God with a longing heart. Tears shed for Him will wash away the clay. When you have thus freed yourself from impurity, you will be attracted by the magnet. Only then will you attain yoga.

(p.343-4, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice to Mukherjee on 16 December 1883)

To cast the image means to meditate and contemplate on the Master, to think of the various incidents of his life. By meditating on him, one gets all the spiritual moods. He used to say, "One who remembers me never suffers from want of food or from other physical privations." These are the very words from his mouth. By remembering him one gets rid of all sufferings.

(p.154, The Gospel of Holy Mother, Mother's words on 16 December 1912)

December 17

Don't avoid any work. There is nothing that is unknowable, difficult to understand, or puzzling. Through the intellect, human beings have solved the mystery of deep truths such as: what is God, what is life after death like, is there rebirth, what is the Atman, etc. But if that intellect becomes overwhelmed and confused even when doing small things, then how can one realize God?

(p.142, Swami Akhandananda As We Saw Him, Swami Akhandananda's words on 17 December 1928)

One must call on God with a longing heart. One must learn from the Guru how God can be realized. Only if the Guru himself has attained Perfect Knowledge can he show the way. A man gets rid of all desires when he has Perfect Knowledge. Mad! That's the word. One must become mad with love in order to realize God. But that love is not possible if the mind dwells on 'woman and gold'

(p.346, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice to M on 17 December 1883)

December 18

Who is able to renounce all for His sake? Even the injunctions of Destiny are cancelled if one takes refuge in God. Destiny strikes off with her own hand what she has written about such a person. What does a man become by realizing God? Does he get two horns? No. What happens is, he develops discrimination between the real and the unreal, gets spiritual illumination and goes beyond life and death. God is realized in spirit. What else is spiritual life besides praying to the Master, repeating his Name, and contemplating on Him?

(p.85-6, The Gospel of Holy Mother, Holy Mother's advice to a disciple on 18 December 1909)

December 19

Through these spiritual disciplines the ties of the past karma are cut asunder. But realization of the God cannot be achieved without ecstatic love (Prema Bhakti) for Him. Do you know the significance of japa and other spiritual practices? By these, the dominance of the sense organs is subdued.

(p.87, The Gospel of the Holy Mother, Holy Mother's advice on 19 December 1909)

An aspirant cannot succeed in this form of spiritual discipline if his mind is stained with worldliness even in the slightest degree. The mind must withdraw totally from all objects of form, taste, smell, touch, and sound. Only thus does it become pure. The Pure Mind is the same as the Pure Atman. But such a mind must be altogether free from 'woman and gold'. When it becomes pure, one has another experience. One does not feel oneself to be absolutely necessary to others either in their misery or in their happiness.

(p.350, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, The Master's advice to M on 19 December 1883)

December 20

...Have patience and be faithful unto death. Do not fight among yourselves. Be perfectly pure in money dealings. . . . We will do great things yet. . . . So long as you have faith and honesty and devotion, everything will prosper. Be bold and fearless, and the road will be clear. . . . If you all stand by me and do not lose patience, I assure you, we shall do great work yet. Mind you, the Guru - bhakta will conquer the world -- this is the one evidence of history. . . . It is faith that makes a lion of a man. You must always remember how much work I have to do. Sometimes I have to deliver two or three lectures a day -- and thus I make my way against all odds -hard work; any weaker man would die.

. . . Hold on with faith and strength; be true, be honest, be pure, and don't quarrel among yourselves. Jealousy is the bane of our race.

(p.98-9, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga dt. 20 December 1895)

December 21

You are Mother's child just the same and are no less dear to her. You only look up to her for everything and love her with all your heart and soul. She knows better where to keep you and in what manner than you can possibly do yourself. Only stick to Mother and never forget that you belong to her. Do your duty manfully in whatever station of life you may be put and prove yourself a Mother's child by bringing all sorts of circumstances under your feet, having full consciousness that you are above them all, and they have no power to frighten you, far less to gain ascendancy over you in any way. May Mother give you strength and vigor to accomplish this.

(p.35, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter dt 21 December 1919)

All that I know is that a man will become free if he but takes the name of Sri Ramakrishna, the incarnation for this age. Anyone who takes shelter with him, will surely be saved by him. This is what is ordained for this age. The name of Sri Ramakrishna is the mantra for this age. Develop a love for God in your heart, be earnest, and call on Him. Then you will find that everything will be fulfilled in time. Make your mind ready.

(p.248-9, For Seekers of God, Swami Shivananda's advice on December 21 1930)

December 22

Holy Mother took birth on 22 December 1853

Once when Shyamasundari Devi was living with her father, she had occasion to sit in the dark beside a potter's oven under a bel tree. There suddenly issued a jingling sound from the direction of the oven, and a little girl came down from the branches of the tree. She laid her soft hands round Shyamasundari's neck, whereupon she fell unconscious. She had no idea how long she lay there thus. On regaining consciousness she felt as though the little girl had entered her womb.

Ramachandra was then in Calcutta. One day, before he had decided to start for the city, he was engrossed in that thought. Then he fell asleep and dreamt that a little girl of golden complexion embraced him from behind by throwing her delicate arms round his neck. Ramachandra was greatly surprised and asked, "Who are you, my child?" The girl replied in the softest and sweetest of voices, "Here am I come to you."

(p.16-7, Holy mother Sri Sarada Devi)

December 23

Swami Saradananda was born on 23 December 1865

One day Sri Ramakrishna became a kalpataru and fulfilled the wishes of his disciples. Some asked for devotion, some knowledge, and some liberation. Seeing Sharat silent, the Master asked him: "How would you like to realize God? What divine vision do you prefer to see in meditation?" Sharat replied: "I do not want to see any particular form of God in meditation. I want to see Him in all beings. I do not like visions." The Master said with a smile: "That is the last word in spiritual attainment. You cannot have it all at once." "But I won't be satisfied with anything short of that," replied Sharat. "I shall strive my best until I am able to attain it." At last the Master blessed him, saying, "Yes, you will attain it."

(p.314-5, God Lived With Them)

December 24

A man is able to see God as soon as he gets rid of ego and other limitations. He sees God as soon as he is free from such feelings as 'I am a scholar', 'I am the son of such and such a person', 'I am wealthy', 'I am honorable', and so forth. 'God alone is real and all else unreal; the world is illusory' - that is discrimination. One cannot assimilate spiritual instruction without discrimination. Through the practice of spiritual discipline one attains perfection, by the grace of God. But one must labor a little. Then one sees God and enjoys bliss.

(p.363, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Reamakrishna's advice to M on 24 December 1883)

In the middle of December, Baburam's mother, Matangini Devi, invited the young monks to visit her native village, Antpur, during the Christmas vacation. Narendra, Baburam, Sharat, Shashi, Tarak, Kali, Niranjan, Gangadhar and Sarada boarded the Tarakeswar train at Howrah Station. They had taken musical instruments with them; so as soon as the train moved off, Narendra started singing, and the others joined in. They got down at Haripal station, and went to Antpur in a carriage. In the calm and quiet of the village, the spiritual fire in the young monks blazed up into a conflagration. Narendra's enthusiasm fanned the flames. The spirit of the Master as it were spoke and worked through him. He was intensely possessed by the vision of the sannyasi's life and would cry out, "Let man - making be the goal of our lives! Let us make this our only spiritual discipline! Away with vain learning! Let not the glamour of the world captivate our minds even for a moment! Realization of God is the one and only thing in life! That is what Shri Ramakrishna's life represented! We must realize God!" Inspired by these thoughts and fired by a oneness of purpose, the young men became aware of a sense of unity--a feeling that they were all linked by some wonderful spiritual power. During their stay at Antpur they seemed to grow into one body, one mind and one soul. The days passed in sadhana. Ramakrishna was in their minds; his name on their lips. Upon all alike there seemed to descend a spirit of renunciation, a desire to take the sannyasi's vow, each in the presence of the others. The monastic spirit seemed to be intensified in their hearts, both for their own liberation and for the good of the world. Each disciple saw in his brother -disciples a world of spiritual force; and that vision intensified the love among them. This was as it should have been, for the Master's spirit was destined to be perpetuated, not through one or several individual disciples having disciples of their own, which is what happens usually, but in a definite organized form.

Thus at Antpur, in still hours, subtle things were happening, knitting the brothers together. It all found expression one night before a huge Dhuni (sacred fire) in the compound. Overhead was the clear night sky, and all around was quiet. Meditation lasted a long time. When a break was made Narendra began to tell the story of Jesus, beginning with the mystery of his birth, through to his death and resurrection. Through his eloquence, the brother - disciples could catch something of the apostolic fervour that had impelled Paul to spread the Christian gospel far and wide in the face of adversities. Narendra charged them to become Christs themselves, and so aid in the redemption of the world; to realize God and to deny themselves as Jesus had done. Standing there before the sacred fire, their faces lit up by the flames, the crackling of the wood the sole disturbing sound, they took the vows of renunciation before God and one another. The very air was vibrant with their ecstatic fervour. Strangely, the monks discovered afterwards that all this had happened on Christmas - eve!

(p.195-6, V.1, Life of Swami Vivekananda)

December 25

Night is the ideal time for spiritual practice. Meditation and japa should be performed regularly with great devotion. They purify the mind. Continued for some time, regular practice of this kind is conducive to the establishment of a constant spiritual mood, giving one a taste of inner joy. A person should not leave his seat immediately after meditation, but should sit for a while thinking about the object of his meditation. Then he may recite prayers and hymns along similar lines to intensify and stabilize the meditative mood and inner joy. Even after leaving his seat he should not talk with anyone, but should rather be contemplative and remain by himself for some time. Practice like this fosters a continuous undercurrent of meditation, helping to keep the mind on a high level and bringing to the heart great joy.

(p.5, For Seekers of God, Swami Shivananda's advice on 25 December 1920)

December 26

Every nation must save itself; we must not depend upon funds from America for the revival of Hinduism, for that is a delusion. To have a centre is a great thing; try to secure such a place in a large town like Madras, and go on radiating a living force in all directions. Begin slowly. Start with a few lay missionaries; gradually others will come who will devote their whole lives to the work. Do not try to be a ruler. He is the best ruler who can serve well. Be true unto death. The work we want -- we do not seek wealth, name or fame. . . . Be brave. . . . Endeavour to interest the people of Madras in collecting funds for the purpose, and then make a beginning. . . . Be perfectly unselfish, and you will be sure to succeed. . . . Without losing the independence in work, show all regards to your superiors. Work in harmony. . . . My children must be ready to jump into fire, if needed, to accomplish their work. Now work, work, work! We will stop and compare notes later on. Have patience, perseverance, and purity. If you are really my children, you will fear nothing, stop at nothing. You will be like lions. We must rouse India and the whole world. No cowardice. I will take no nay. Do you understand? Be true unto death! . . . The secret of this is Guru - bhakti -- faith in the Guru unto death! Have you that? I believe with all my heart that you have, and you know that I have confidence in you -- so go to work. You must succeed. My prayers and benedictions follow every step you take. Work in harmony. Be patient with everybody. Every one has my love. I am watching you. Onward! Onward! This is just the beginning.

(p.60-2, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga in 1894)

December 27

Swami Trigunatita visited the Master for the first time on 27 December 1884.

He who seeks God plunges headlong; he doesn't calculate about how much or how little he needs fore the protection of his body. It is the pure mind that perceives God,

You should undoubtedly bow before all views. But there is a thing called unswerving devotion to one ideal. True, you should salute everyone. But you must love one ideal with your whole soul. That is unswerving devotion.

(p.371, The Gospel Of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice on 27 December 1883)

December 28

Swami Advaitananda left his body on 28 December 1909

One day Swami Advaitananda stood in front of Sri Ramakrishna's picture and prayed, "Master, please release me from this pain." The Master soon answered the prayer of his disciple. Swami Premananda later said: "Before his death Gopal-da saw the Master carrying the mace on his shoulder. He then asked, 'Master, why are you carrying the mace on your shoulder?' The Master replied: 'I am Gadadhar. In this age I shall rebuild after destroying everything.'

(p.526-7, God Lived With Them)

Human character is formed through true sympathy and love, and not through erudition or intellectualism. If you have real feeling for others, and if your life is pure, stainless, and unselfish, then the Divine Mother will make the impossible possible through you. Merely scholarly lecturing does not bear any result. This is the secret.

(p.34, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to Harimohan dt 28 December 1902)

December 29

What Swami Vivekananda said is true: "Devotion to God is dormant in everyone. It manifests itself when the veil of lust and gold is removed." The attempt to remove that veil is called sadhana, or spiritual disciplines; and when this veil disappears, the kundalini awakens. Nothing will be achieved if you scatter your mind in all sorts of things. Hold on firmly to your chosen path and resolve that you will attain liberation and devotion through it; then only you will succeed.

(p.60-1, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to Swami Nirupamananda dt 29 December 1912)

In this universe where nothing is lost, where we live in the midst of death in life , every thought that is thought, in public or in private, in crowded thoroughfares or in the deep recesses of primeval forests, lives. They are continuously trying to become self - embodied, and until they have embodied themselves, they will struggle for expression, and any amount of repression cannot kill them. Nothing can be destroyed -- those thoughts that caused evil in the past are also seeking embodiment, to be filtered through repeated expression and, at last, transfigured into perfect good. As such, there is a mass of thought which is at the present time struggling to get expression. This new thought is telling us to give up our dreams of dualism, of good and evil in essence, and the still wilder dream of suppression. It teaches us that higher direction and not destruction is the law. It teaches us that it is not a world of bad and good, but good and better -- and still better. It stops short of

nothing but acceptance. It teaches that no situation is hopeless, and as such accepts every form of mental, moral, or spiritual thought where it already stands, and without a world of condemnation tells it that so far it has done good, now is the time to do better. What in old times was thought of as the elimination of bad, it teaches as the transfiguration of evil and the doing of better. It, above all, teaches that the kingdom of heaven is already in existence if we will have it, that perfection is already in man if he will see it.

(p. 354, V.6, Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Miss S Farmer dt 29 December 1895)

December 30

On 30 December 1894, at the Brooklyn Ethical society, Swamiji declared: "I have a message to the West, as Buddha had a message to the East."

(p. 45, God Lived With Them)

If I am God, then my soul is a temple of the Highest, and my every motion should be a worship -- love for love's sake, duty for duty's sake, without hope of reward or fear of punishment. Thus my religion means expansion, and expansion means realisation and perception in the highest sense -- no mumbling words or genuflections. Man is to become divine, realising the divine more and more from day to day in an endless progress.

(p.332, V.1, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's lecture on 'Hindu Religion' delivered at Ethical Society, Brooklyn on 30 December 1894)

December 31

What we want is strength. We Indians, more than any other race, want strong and vigorous thought. We have enough of the superfine in all concerns. For centuries we have been stuffed with the mysterious; the result is that our intellectual and spiritual digestion is almost hopelessly impaired, and the race has been dragged down to the depths of hopeless imbecility--never before or since experienced by any other civilised community. There must be freshness and vigour of thought behind to make a virile race. More. The Advaita is the eternal mine of strength. But it requires to be applied. It must first be cleared of the incrustation of scholasticism, and then in all its simplicity, beauty and sublimity be taught over the length and breadth of the land, as applied even to the minutest detail of daily life. "This is a very large order"; but we must work towards it, nevertheless, as if it would be accomplished to morrow. Of one thing I am sure that whoever wants to help his fellow beings through genuine love and unselfishness will work wonders.

(p.77, V.9, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to the editor of The Light of The East in 1896)

Have no fear. All depends upon the will of the Master.

(p.88, The Gospel of Holy Mother, Holy Mother's advice on 31 December 1909)