Swami Vivekananda's Mahasamadhi-July 4, 1902


Swami Vivekananda traveled world wide spreading the essence of Vedanta. His works and lectures can never be forgotten, he was the one who made the western civilization to understand that Hinduism teaches Self Realization and accept any form as God.




Swami Vivekananda's tours, hectic lecturing engagements, private discussions and correspondence had taken their toll on his health. He was suffering from asthma, diabetesand other physical ailments. A few days prior to his demise, he was seen intently studying the almanac. Three days before his death he pointed out the spot for this cremation—the one at which a temple in his memory stands today. He had remarked to several persons that he would not live to be forty.




On the day of his death, he taught Shukla-Yajur-Veda to some pupils in the morning at Belur Math.He had a walk with Swami Premananda, a brother-disciple, and gave him instructions concerning the future of the Ramakrishna Math.


Vivekananda died at ten minutes past nine P.M. on July 4, 1902 while he was meditating. According to his disciples, this was Mahasamadhi. Afterward, his disciples recorded that they had noticed “a little blood” in the Swami’s nostrils, about his mouth and in his eyes. The doctors remarked that it was due to the rupture of a blood-vessel in the brain, but they could not find the real cause of the death. According to his disciples, Brahmarandhra — the aperture in the crown of the head — must have been pierced when he attained Mahasamadhi. Vivekananda had fulfilled his own prophecy of not living to be forty years old.


Remembering a song written by Swami Vivekananda on this day,


"And tell the world —
Awake, arise, and dream no more!
This is the land of dreams, where Karma
Weaves unthreaded garlands with our thoughts
Of flowers sweet or noxious, and none
Has root or stem, being born in naught, which
The softest breath of Truth drives back to
Primal nothingness. Be bold, and face
The Truth! Be one with it! Let visions cease,
Or, if you cannot, dream but truer dreams,
Which are Eternal Love and Service Free."






Swamiji on Bhakti Yoga


We all have to begin as dualists in the religion of love. God is to
us a separate Being, and we feel ourselves to be separate beings
also. Love then comes in the middle, and man begins to approach God,
and God also comes nearer and nearer to man. Man takes up all the
various relationships of life, as father, as mother, as son, as
friend, as master, as lover, and projects them on his ideal of love,
on his God. To him God exists as all these, and the last point of his
progress is reached when he feels that he has become absolutely
merged in the object of his worship. We all begin with love for
ourselves, and the unfair claims of the little self make even love
selfish. At last, however, comes the full blaze of light, in which
this little self is seen to have become one with the Infinite. Man
himself is transfigured in the presence of this Light of Love, and he
realises at last the beautiful and inspiring truth that Love, the
Lover, and the Beloved are One.




Swamiji on Karma yoga


Karma-Yoga, therefore, is a system of ethics and religion intended to
attain freedom through unselfishness and by good works. The Karma-
yogi need not believe in any doctrine whatever. He may not believe
even in God, may not ask what his soul is, nor think of any
metaphysical speculation. He has got his own special aim of realizing
selflessness; and he has to work it out himself. Every moment of his
life must be realization, because he has to solve by mere work,
without the help of doctrine or theory, the very same problem to
which the Jnâni applies his reason and inspiration and the Bhakta his
love.
He works best who works without any motive, neither for money, nor
for fame, nor for anything else; and when a man can do that, he will
be a Buddha, and out of him will come the power to work in such a
manner as will transform the world This man represents the very
highest ideal of Karma-Yoga. "




Swamiji on Jnana Yoga


"The essence of Vedanta is that we are divine. The soul was never
born and will never die. There may be weakness, but never mind. We
want to grow. We all know our weaknesses, says Vedanta, but being
reminded of weakness doesn't help much.


Instead of telling us that we are sinners, Vedanta takes the opposite
position and says, 'You are pure and perfect. What you call sin does
not belong to you.'"




Swamiji on 'Dharana' in Raja Yoga


"What is meant "by holding the mind to certain points"?(Dharana) It
means forcing the mind to feel certain parts of the body to the
exclusion of others. For instance, try to feel only the hand, to the
exclusion of other parts of the body. When the Chitta, or mind-stuff,
is confined and limited to a certain place it is Dharana. This
Dharana is of various sorts, and along with it, it is better to have
a little play of the imagination. For instance, the mind should be
made to think of one point in the heart. That is very difficult; an
easier way is to imagine a lotus there. That lotus is full of light,
effulgent light. Put the mind there. Or think of the lotus in the
brain as full of light, or of the different centers in the Sushumna
mentioned before."




Swami Vivekananda sums up his comments on all yogas,


'The wavy waters in the picture are symbolic of karma, the lotus, of
bhakti, and the rising sun, of Jnana. The encircling serpent is
indicative of yoga and awakened kundalini 'Sakti, while the swan in
the picture stands for the paramatman. Therefore, the idea of the
picture is that by the union of karma, Jnana, bhakti, and yoga, the
vision of the paramatman is obtained.'


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