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Swami Vivekananda on Himself
I did not believe in anything…At first I did not accept most of what the Master (Sri Ramakrishna) said. One day he asked me, ‘Then why do you come here?” I replied, ‘I come here to see you, not to listen to you’….He was very much pleased.
All philosophy and scriptures have come from the plane of relative knowledge of subject and object. But no though or language of the human mind can fully express the Reality which lies beyond the plane of relative knowledge! Science, philosophy, etc. are only partial truths. So they can never be adequate channels of expression for the transcendent Reality. Hence viewed from the transcendent standpoint, everything appears to be unreal—religious creeds, and works, I and thou, and the universe—everything is unreal! Then only it is perceived: ‘I am the only reality; I am the all-pervading Atman, and I am the proof of my own existence.’ Where is the room for a separate proof to establish the reality of my existence? I am, as the scriptures say, ‘Nityam asmat pasiddham—always known to myself as the eternal subject.’ I have seen that state, realized it.
He may have books, forms, doctrines, words, reasons, etc. etc., but not religion; for that begins when the soul feels the necessity, the want, the yearning after the ‘Beloved,’ and never before.
If the Lord wills, we shall make this Math a great centre of harmony. Our Lord (Sri Ramakrishna) is the visible embodiment of all ideals. He will be established on earth if we keep alive that spirit of harmony here. We must see to it that people of all creeds and sects, from the Brahmana down to the Chandala, may come here and find their respective ideals manifested. The other day when I installed Sri Ramakrishna on the Math grounds, I felt as if his ideas shot forth from this place and flooded the whole universe, sentient and insentient. I, for one, am doing my best, and shall continue to d so—we must explain to people the liberal ideas of Sri Ramakrishna; what is the use of merely reading the Vedanta? We must prove the truth of pure Advaitism in practical life. Shankara left this Advaita philosophy in the hills and forests, while I have come to bring it out of those places and scatter it broadcast before the workaday world and society. The lion-roar of Advaita must resound in every hearth and home, in the meadows and groves, over hills and plains.