Friday, October 15, 2010

Everyone should have freedom to chose their own path of spirituality – Swami Vivekananda

What is the Indian idea of the Christian faith ?

That it is very good.  We have a peculiar idea in India. Suppose I had a child. I should not teach him any religion; I should teach him breathings – the practice of concentrating the mind, and just one line of prayer – not prayer in your sense, but simply something like this, “I meditate on Him who is the Creator of this universe: may He enlighten my mind!” That way he would be educated, and then go about hearing different philosophers and teachers. He would select one who, he thought, would suit him best; and this man would become his Guru, or teacher, and he would become a Shisya, or disciple. He would say to that man, “This form of philosophy which you preach is the best; so teach me.” Our fundamental idea is that your doctrine cannot be mine, or mine yours. Each one must have his own ways. My daughter may have one method, and my son another, and I, again another. So each one as an Ishta, or chosen way, and we keep it to ourselves. It is between me and my teacher, because we do not want to create fight. It will not help any one to tell it to others, because each one will have to find his own way. So only general philosophy and general methods can be taught universally. For instance, giving a ludicrous example, it may help me to stand on one leg. It would be ludicrous to you if I said every one must do that, but it may suit me. It is quite possible for me to be a dualist and for my wife to be a monist, and so on. One of my sons may worship Christ or Buddha or Mohammed, so long as he obeys the caste laws. That is his own ishta.

Questioner : Are these exercises in breathing and concentration universally practiced ?

Yes; only some practice only a little, just to satisfy the requirement of their religion. The temples in India are not like churches here. They may all vanish tomorrow, and will not be missed. A temple is built by a man who wants to goto heaven, or to get a son or something of that sort. So he builds a large temple and employs a few priests to hold services there. I need not go there at all, because all my worship is in the home. In every house is a special room set apart, which is called the chapel. The first duty of the child, after his initiation, is to take a bath, and then to worship; and his worship consists of this breathing and meditating and repeating of a certain name. And another thing is to hold the body straight. We believe that the mind has every power over the body to keep it healthy. After one has done this, then another comes and take his seat, and each one does it in silence. Sometimes there are three or four in the same room, but each one may have a different method. This worship is repeated at least twice a day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

design by Grumpy Cow Graphics | Distributed by Deluxe Templates | Blogger Styles