Swamiji’s Vision of Vedanta

Compiled by Bhaveshananda

“There is a chance of Vedanta becoming the religion of your country (the United States) because of democracy. But it can become so only if you can and do clearly understand it, if you become real men and women, not people with vague ideas and superstitions in your brains, and if you want to be truly spiritual, since Vedanta is concerned only with spirituality. . . . The Vedantic idea is the infinite principle of God embodied in every one of us.” Is Vedanta the Future Religion CW Vol. 8 p. 126

“Therefore Vedanta formulates, not universal brotherhood, but universal oneness. I am the same as any other man, as any animal — good, bad, anything. It is one body, one mind, one soul throughout. Spirit never dies.” CW Vol. 8 p. 129

Regarding Method, Swamiji wrote in letters: “The only thing I see is that in every country we have to follow its own method. As such, if I were you, I would convene a meeting of all the members and sympathizers and ask them what they want to do. Whether they want to organize or not, what sort of organization they want if any, etc.
PS. If the workers are all averse to organizing, do you think there is any benefit in it? You know best. Do what you think best.” CW Vol. 8 Letter CLXXIV p. 516

“As to the teaching part, my friends will go over this country (the U.S.) from place to place, each one independent, and let them form independent circles. That is the easiest way to spread. Then, when there will be sufficient strength, we shall have yearly gatherings to concentrate our energies.” CW Vol. 8 Letter LXVIII p. 370

Regarding Leadership, Swamiji wrote to Sister Nivedita: “The best leader, however, is one who “leads like a baby”. Though apparently depending on everyone, it is the king of the household. At least to my mind this 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…” CW Vol. 8 Letter CX p. 428

In 1900 Swamiji spoke of his Vision of Vedanta in Is Vedanta the Future Religion: “If Vedanta — this conscious knowledge that all is one spirit — spreads, the whole of humanity will become spiritual. But is it possible? I do not know. Not within thousands of years. The old superstitions must run out. You are all interested in how to perpetuate all your superstitions. . . . Religion has been religion to very few.” CW Vol. 8 p. 139

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