Conversations of Swami Vivekananda with chosen disciples containing his most brilliant flashes of illumination. Includes his lecture on Sri Ramakrishna ("My Master"), other lectures, poems, and letters.
"We were alone with Nature, and it was a fitting scene in which to listen to the utterances of such a Teacher. The Swami did not appear to address us directly, but rather seemed to be speaking to himself in words of fire, as it were, so intense where they, so eloquent and convincing, burning into the very hearts of his listeners never to be forgotten. We listened in utter silence, almost holding our breath for fear of disturbing the current of his thoughts, or losing one of those inspired words." S.E. Waldo, a student of Swami Vivekananda who recorded his teachings at Thousand Island Park, later published as "Inspired Talks".
"Blessed is the country in which he was born, blessed are they who lived on this earth at the same time, and blessed, thrice blessed are the few who sat at his feet...Only if one's mind were lifted to that high state of consciousness in which we lived for the time, could we hope to recapture the experience. We were filled with joy. We did not know at that time that we were living in his radiance. On the wings of inspiration, he carried us to the height which was his natural abode. He himself, speaking of it later, said that he was at his best in Thousand Islands." Sister Christine, a student of Swami Vivekananda who was present during his stay at Thousand Island Park.
Excerpt continued. Sunday, June 23
Be brave and be sincere; then follow any path with devotion and you must reach the Lord. Lay hold of one link of the chain, and the whole chain must come by degrees. Water the roots of the tree - that is, reach the Lord - and the whole tree is watered. Getting the Lord, we get all.
One-sidedness is the bane of the world. The more sides you develop, the more varied will be your enjoyment of the universe. You will enjoy it as a jnani, a bhakta, and in all other ways. Determine your own nature and stick to it. Nishtha is the only method for the beginner; but with devotion and sincerity it will lead to all. Churches, doctrines, forms, are the hedges to protect the tender plant, but they must later be broken down that the plant may become a tree. So the various religions, Bibles, Vedas, dogmas, all are just pots for little plants; but they must get out of the pots. Nishtha is, in a manner of speaking, placing the plant in the pot, shielding the struggling soul on its chosen path. Look at the ocean and not at the wave; see no difference between ant and angel. Every worm is the brother of the Nazarene. How can you say one is greater and one less great. Each is great in his own place.
We are in the sun and in the stars as much as here. Spirit is beyond space and time, and is everywhere. Every mouth praising the Lord is my mouth; every eye seeing is my eye. We are confined nowhere. We are not the body; the universe is our body. We are magicians waving magic wands and creating scenes before us at will.
We are a spider in a huge web, who can go on the varied strands wheresoever he desires. The spider is now conscious only of the spot where he is; but he will in time become conscious of the whole web. We too are conscious of our existence only where our body is; we can use only one brain. But when we reach ultra-consciousness we know all, we can use all brains. Even now we can "give the push" to consciousness and it will go beyond and act in superconscious.
We are striving to "be" and nothing more; there will not even be "I" - just pure crystal, reflecting all, but itself ever the same. When that state is reached there is no more doing; the body becomes a mere mechanism, pure without our trying for purity; it cannot become impure.
Know you are the Infinite; then fear will die. Say ever, "I and my Father are one." In time to come Christs will be born in numbers like bunches of grapes on a vine; then the play will be over and all will pass out - as water in a kettle beginning to boil shows first one bubble, then another, then more and more, until all is in ebullition and passes out as steam. Buddha and Christ are the two biggest "bubbles" the world has yet produced. Moses was a tiny bubble; greater and greater ones came. Sometime, however, all will be bubbles and escape. But creation, ever new, will bring new water to go through the process all over again.