From Inspired Talks of Volume 7 of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda – Chapter I- Recorded by Miss S.E.Waldo, A Disciple

FRIDAY, July 12, 1895. (Shankara’s Commentary.)

Fourth Vyasa Sutra. “Âtman (is) the aim of all.”

Ishvara is to be known from the Vedanta; all Vedas point to Him (Who is the Cause; the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer). Ishvara is the unification of the Trinity, known as Brahmâ, Vishnu, and Shiva, which stand at the head of the Hindu Pantheon. “Thou art our Father who takest us to the other shore of the dark ocean” (Disciple’s words to the Master).

The Vedas cannot show you Brahman, you are That already; they can only help to take away the veil that hides the truth from our eyes. The first veil to vanish is ignorance; and when that is gone, sin goes; next desire ceases, selfishness ends, and all misery disappears. This cessation of ignorance can only come when I know that God and I are one; in other words, identify yourself with Atman, not with human limitations. Dis-identify yourself with the body, and all pain will cease. This is the secret of healing. The universe is a case of hypnotisation; de-hypnotise yourself and cease to suffer.

In order to be free we have to pass through vice to virtue, and then get rid of both. Tamas is to be conquered by Rajas, both are to be submerged in Sattva; then go beyond the three qualities. Reach a state where your very breathing is a prayer.

Whenever you learn (gain anything) from another man’s words, know that you had the experience in a previous existence, because experience is the only teacher.

With all powers comes further misery, so kill desire. Getting any desire is like putting a stick into a nest of hornets. Vairâgya is finding, out that desires are but gilded balls of poison.

“Mind is not God” (Shankara). “Tat tvam asi” “Aham Brahmâsmi” (“That thou art”, “I am Brahman”). When a man realises this, all the knots of his heart are cut asunder, all his doubts vanish”. Fearlessness is not possible as long as we have even God over us; we must be God. What is disjoined will be for ever disjoined; if you are separate from God, then you can never be one with Him, and vice versa. If by virtue you are joined to God, when that ceases, disjunction will come. The junction is eternal, and virtue only helps to remove the veil. We are âzâd (free), we must realise it. “Whom the Self chooses” means we are the Self and choose ourselves.

Does seeing depend upon our own efforts or does it depend upon something outside? It depends upon ourselves; our efforts take off the dust, the mirror does not change. There is neither knower, knowing, nor known. “He who knows that he does not know, knows It.” He who has a theory knows nothing.

The idea that we are bound is only an illusion.

Religion is not of this world; it is “heart-cleansing”, and its effect on this world is secondary. Freedom is inseparable from the nature of the Atman. This is ever pure, ever perfect, ever unchangeable. This Atman you can never know. We can say nothing about the Atman but “not this, not this”.

“Brahman is that which we can never drive out by any power of mind or imagination.” (Shankara).

* * *
The universe is thought, and the Vedas are the words of this thought. We can create and uncreate this whole universe. Repeating the words, the unseen thought is aroused, and as a result a seen effect is produced. This is the claim of a certain sect of Karmis. They think that each one of us is a creator. Pronounce the words, the thought which corresponds will arise, and the result will become visible. “Thought is the power of the word, the word is the expression of the thought,” say Mimâmsakas, a Hindu philosophical sect.