Put down your books and open your (inner) ears

“Is the word of God a book? No. It is spoken, not written… God speaks to every one of us, and we hear his thrilling voice in the soul… [Scriptures] are only instructive narratives of what the Lord said and did in the lives of prophets and saints… To each man, saint or sinner, the Holy Spirit speaks directly as the In-dwelling Teacher.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

A good warning not to take our human written texts to seriously or to literally. Swami Vivekananda was a dynamic and brilliant Hindu reformer. Disciple of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna, he was the chosen as India’s delegate to the Parliament of Religions hosted in Chicago in 1893. The unknown monk from India soon became a focus of attention after his first address. He was a little neglected and near the end of the day, he was among the last to speak to a already exhausted audience. However, the crowd arrested his speech with cheers and applause after only hearing his inspiring greeting, “Sisters and Brothers of America!” He was the first example of an exported Indian holy man coming to the West as an ambassador of “the most ancient order of monks in the world;[…] of the mother of religions; […] of the millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.” Through his published works, notably his books Raja-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, Jnana-Yoga, and Karma-Yoga, he continues to exert a strong influence on Yoga philosophy. He pretty much set the standard dialogues on these subjects for the past 100 years. He also established the Ramakrishna Mission dedicated to public seva (service) and spreading the message of Sri Ramakrishna.




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