To the Youth – Arise, Awake, …
153.First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards. Be strong, my young friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. I know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a little experience. You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger. You will understand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of Krishna better with a little of strong blood in you. You will understand the Upanishads better and the glory of the Atman when your body stands firm upon your feet, and you feel yourselves as men
154.It may be that I shall find it good to get outside of my body – to cast it off like a worn-out garment. But I shall not cease to work! I shall inspire men everywhere, until the world shall know that it is one with God.
155.My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like lions. Your nation wants the sacrifice of at least a thousand of her young men.
156.So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them!
157. Brave, bold men, these are what we want. What we want is vigour in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, not softening namby-pamby ideas. Avoid all mystery. There is no mystery in religion. Mystery mongering and superstition are always signs of weakness.
158. Do not be frightened. Awake, be up and doing. Do not stop till you have reached the goal.
159. Arise, awake, for your country needs this tremendous sacrifice. It is the young men that will do it. ‘The young, the energetic, the strong, the well-built, the intellectual’- for them is the task.
160. Lay down your comforts, your pleasures, your names, fame or position, nay, even your lives, and make a bridge of human chains over which millions will cross this ocean of life.
161.I would rather see every one of you rank atheists than superstitious fools, for the atheist is alive and you can make something out of him. But if superstition enters, the brain is gone, the brain is softening, degradation has seized upon the life.
162. My children must be ready to jump into fire, if needed, to accomplish their work. Have patience, perseverance, and purity. A hundred thousand men and women, fired with the zeal of holiness, fortified with eternal faith in the Lord, and nerved to lion’s courage by their sympathy for the poor and the fallen and the downtrodden, will go over the length and breadth of the land, preaching the gospel of salvation, the gospel of help, the gospel of social raising-up- the gospel of equality.
163. Work unto death – I am with you, and when I am gone, my spirit will work with you. This life comes and goes – wealth, fame, enjoyments are only of a few days. It is better, far better to die on the field of duty, preaching the truth, than to die like a worldly worm.
164.The highest evolution of man is effected through sacrifice alone. A man is great among his fellows in proportion as he can sacrifice for the sake of others, while in the lower strata of the animal kingdom, that animal is the strongest which can kill the greatest number of animals. Hence the struggle theory is not equally applicable to both kingdoms. Man’s struggle is in the mental sphere. A man is greater in proportion as he can control his mind. When the mind’s activities are perfectly at rest, the Atman manifests
Itself. The struggle which we observe in the animal kingdom for the preservation of the gross body obtains in the human plane of existence for gaining mastery over the mind or for attaining the state of balance.
165.Man is man so long as he is struggling to rise above nature, and this nature is both internal and external. Not only does it comprise the laws that govern the particles of matter outside us and in our bodies, but also the more subtle nature within, which is, in fact, the motive power governing the external. It is good and very grand to conquer external nature, but grander still to conquer our internal nature. It is grand and good to know the laws that govern the stars and planets; it is infinitely grander and better to know the laws that govern the passions, the feelings, the will, of mankind. This conquering of the inner man, understanding the secrets of the subtle workings that are within the human mind, and knowing its wonderful secrets, belong entirely to religion.
166. “Hard as steel and soft as a flower” is the motto.
167. What we want are Western science coupled with Vedanta, Brahmacharya as the guiding motto, and also Shraddha and faith in one’s own Self.
168.The personality of the man is two-thirds and his
intellect, his words are but one-third. It is the real man, the personality of the man that runs through us. Our actions are but effects. Actions must come when the man is there; the effect is bound to follow the cause. The ideal of all education, all training, should be this man-making. But, instead of that, we are always trying to polish up the outside. What use in polishing up the outside when there is no inside? The end and aim of all training is to make the man grow. The man who influences, who throws his magic, as it were, upon his fellow-beings, is a dynamo of power, and when that man is ready, he can do anything and everything he likes; that personality put upon anything will make it work.
India has to learn from Europe the conquest of external nature, and Europe has to learn from India the conquest of internal nature. Then there will be neither Hindus nor Europeans–there will be the ideal humanity which has conquered both the natures, the external and the internal. We have developed one phase of humanity, and they another. It is the union of the two that is wanted. The word freedom which is the watchword of our religion really means freedom physically, mentally, and spiritually.”
Truth Alone Triumphs
169. ‘Truth alone triumphs, not untruth’. Stand upon Truth and you have got God. Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.
170. Truth does not pay homage to any society, ancient or modern. Society has to pay homage to Truth or die. Societies should be moulded upon truth, and truth has not to adjust itself to society.
171. The search for truth is the expression of strength–not the groping of a weak, blind man.
172. Truth is to be judged by truth and by nothing else. Doing good is not the test of truth; the Sun needs no torch by which to see it. Even if truth destroys the whole universe, still it is truth; stand by it.
173. You must remember that humanity travels not from error to truth, but from truth to truth; it may be, if you like it better, from lower truth to higher truth, but never from error to truth.
174. Truth, purity, and unselfishness-wherever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof. Equipped with these, one individual is able to face the whole universe in opposition.
175. You must have strict morality. Deviate an inch from this, and you are gone forever.
176. Practise truthfulness. Twelve years of absolute truthfulness in thought, word, and deed gives a man what he wills.
177.One cannot serve the God of Truth who leans upon somebody. Be still, my soul! Be alone! and the Lord is with you. Life is nothing! Death is a delusion! All this is not, God alone is!
Spirituality: the Highest Science
178.If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite. Man wants truth, wants to experience truth for himself; when he has grasped it, realised it, felt it within his heart of hearts, then alone, declare the Vedas, would all doubts vanish, all darkness be scattered, and all crookedness be made straight. “Ye children of immortality, even those who live in the highest sphere, the way is found; there is a way out of all this darkness, and that is by perceiving Him who is beyond all darkness; there is no other way.”
179.We want to lead mankind to the place where there is neither the Vedas, nor the Bible, nor the Koran; yet this has to be done by harmonising the Vedas, the Bible and the Koran. Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of THE RELIGION, which is Oneness, so that each may choose that path that suits him best.
180.It is the nature of the brute to remain where he is (not to progress); it is the nature of man to seek good and avoid evil; it is the nature of God to seek neither, but just to be eternally blissful. Let us be God! Religion is the idea which is raising the brute unto man, and man unto God.
181.Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man. Religion is the manifestation of the natural strength that is in man.
182.Stand upon the Self, then only can we truly love the world. Take a very, very high stand; knowing our universal nature, we must look with perfect calmness upon all the panorama of the world. It is but baby’s play and we know that, so cannot be disturbed by it. If the mind is pleased with praise it will be displeased with blame. All pleasures of the senses or even of the mind are evanescent; but within ourselves is the one true unrelated pleasure, dependent upon nothing. It is perfectly free, it is bliss. The more our bliss is within, the more spiritual we are. The pleasure of the Self is what the world calls religion.
183. Religion is not in books, not in theories, nor in dogmas, nor in talking, not even in reasoning. It is being and becoming.
184. The prophets were not unique; they were men as you or I. They were great Yogis. They had gained this superconsciousness and you and I can get the same. They were not peculiar people. The very fact that one man ever reached that state, proves that it is possible for every man to do so. Not only is it possible, but every man must, eventually, get to that state, and that is religion. Experience is the only teacher we have.
We may talk and reason all our lives, but we shall not understand a word of truth, until we experience it ourselves. You cannot hope to make a man a surgeon by simply giving him a few books. You cannot satisfy my curiosity to see a country by showing me a map; I must have actual experience. Maps can only create curiosity in us to get more perfect knowledge. Beyond that, they have no value whatever. Clinging to books only degenerates the human mind.
185.Remember the words of Christ: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” These words are literally true, not figures or fiction.
186. The more we grow in love and virtue and holiness, the more we see love and virtue and holiness outside. All condemnation of others really condemns ourselves. Adjust the microcosm (which is in your power to do) and the macrocosm will adjust itself for you. It is like the hydrostatic paradox, one drop of water can balance the universe. We cannot see outside what we are not inside. The universe is to us what the huge engine is to the miniature engine; and indication of any error in the tiny engine leads us to imagine trouble in the huge one.
187. My children, the secret of religion lies not in theories but in practice. To be good and to do good
– that is the whole of religion. Religions of the world have become lifeless mockeries. What the world wants is character.
188.I do not believe in a God or religion which cannot wipe the widow’s tears or bring a piece of bread to the orphan’s mouth.
189.It is very good to be born in a church, but it is very bad to die in a church. It is very good to be born within the limits of certain forms that help the little plant of spirituality, but if a man dies within the bounds of these forms, it shows that he has not grown, that there has been no development of the soul.
190.Holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. If anybody dreams of the exclusive survivals of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: ‘Help and not Fight’,
‘Assimilation and not Destruction’, ‘Harmony and Peace and not Dissension.’
191.Science and religion are both attempts to help us out of the bondage; only religion is the more ancient and more holy, because it makes morality a vital point, and science does not.
192.This is the first lesson to learn: be determined not to curse anything outside, not to lay the blame upon any one outside, but be a man, stand up, lay the blame on yourself. You will find, that is always true. Get hold of yourself.