29 December 2013

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Brahman

This life in the five senses, life in the material world,
is not all; it is only a small portion, and merely superficial.
Behind and beyond is the Infinite in which there is no more evil.
Some people call It God, some Allah, some Jehovah, Jove,
and so on. The Vedantin calls It Brahman.
—Swami Vivekananda
Image source: Wikimedia Commons 
In this article we'll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on Brahman. Here "Brahman" means "unchanging reality" or "supreme reality". This article is a part of "Swami Vivekananda's quotes on God". We have separate articles on Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Absolute, Advaita etc (these articles are indexed in the "Contents" page).
  • According to the Advaita philosophy, there is only one thing real in the universe, which it calls Brahman; everything else is unreal, manifested and manufactured out of Brahman by the power of Mâyâ. To reach back to that Brahman is our goal. We are, each one of us, that Brahman, that Reality, plus this Maya. If we can get rid of this Maya or ignorance, then we become what we really are.[Source]
  • All that is real in nature is Brahman, only it appears to be this variety, or nature, through the superimposition of Maya.[Source]
  • All this universe was in Brahman, and it was, as it were, projected out of Him, and has been moving on to go back to the source from which it was projected, like the electricity which comes out of the dynamo, completes the circuit, and returns to it. The same is the case with the soul. Projected from Brahman, it passed through all sorts of vegetable and animal forms, and at last it is in man, and man is the nearest approach to Brahman. To go back to Brahman from which we have been projected is the great struggle of life.[Source]
  • As the "One only" Brahman, the Akhanda-Sachchidânanda, the undivided Existence-Knowledge-Bliss, can be conceived by imperfect human souls only from particular standpoints and associated with particular qualities, so this universe, His body, has also to be thought of along the line of the thinker's mind.[Source]
  • Both the Niagara Falls and the rainbow are eternally changeable. . . . Brahman seen through Maya. Persians and Christians split Maya into two and call the good half "God" and the bad half the "devil". Vedanta takes Maya as a whole and recognises a unity beyond it — Brahman. . . . [Source]
  • Brahman is Avângmanasogocharam, meaning that which is incapable of being grasped by word and mind. Whatever lies beyond the region of space, time and causation cannot be conceived by the human mind, and the function of logic and enquiry lies only within the region of space, time, and causation. While that is so, it is a vain attempt to question about what lies beyond the possibilities of human conception.[Source]
  • Brahman is omnipresent in the universe as is butter in milk, but friction makes It manifest in one place. As churning brings out the butter in the milk, so Dhyana brings the realisation of Brahman in the soul.[Source]
  • Brahman is neuter, unknown and unknowable, but to be objectified He covers Himself with a veil of Maya, becomes the Mother of the Universe, and so brings forth the creation.[Source]
  • Brahman is one, but is at the same time appearing to us as many, on the relative plane. Name and form are at the root of this relativity. For instance, what do you find when you abstract name and form from a jar? Only earth, which is its essence. Similarly, through delusion you are thinking of and seeing a jar, a cloth, a monastery, and so on. The phenomenal world depends on this nescience which obstructs knowledge and which has no real existence. One sees variety such as wife, children, body, mind -- only in the world created by nescience by means of name and form. As soon as this nescience is removed, the realisation of Brahman which eternally exists is the result.[Source]
  • "Brahman is that which we can never drive out by any power of mind or imagination." (Shankara).[Source]
  • Brahman is the last generalisation to which we can come. It has no attributes but is Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss — Absolute. Existence, we have seen, is the very ultimate generalisation which the human mind can come to. Knowledge does not mean the knowledge we have, but the essence of that, that which is expressing itself in the course of evolution in human beings or in other animals as knowledge. The essence of that knowledge is meant, the ultimate fact beyond, if I may be allowed to say so, even consciousness. That is what is meant by knowledge and what we see in the universe as the essential unity of things.[Source]
  • Brahman is the same in two forms — changeable and unchangeable, expressed and unexpressed. Know that the Knower and the known are one. The Trinity — the Knower, the known, and knowing — is manifesting as this universe. That God the Yogi sees in meditation, he sees through the power of his own Self.[Source]
  • Brahmavidyâ is the highest knowledge, knowing the Brahman; lower knowledge is science.[Source]
  • Does not the Vedanta say that Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ânanda— the absolute Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.[Source]
  • Divine wisdom is to be got by devotion, meditation, and chastity. "Truth alone triumphs, and not untruth. Through truth alone the way is spread to Brahman" — where alone love and truth are.[Source]
  • Everyone is Brahman. The distinction of higher and lower is only in the degree of manifestation of that Brahman. In time, everyone will have perfect manifestation. Hence the Shâstras say, "कालेनात्मनि विन्दति"—In time, That is realised in one's self."[Source]
  • If you [can realise Brahman] by standing on your head, or on one foot, or by worshipping five thousand gods with three heads each — welcome to it! ... Do it any way you can! Nobody has any right to say anything. Therefore, Krishna says, if your method is better and higher, you have no business to say that another man's method is bad, however wicked you may think it.[Source]
  • If you have once known Brahman, never after can you be melancholy.[Source]
  • If you say Brahman is, existence will be the result; if you say Brahman is not, non existent It shall verily become." He who always thinks of himself as weak wild never become strong, but he who knows himself to be a lion.[Source]
  • In this state of Samadhi all the difference between "I" and the "Brahman" goes away, everything is reduced into unity, like the waters of the Infinite Ocean -- water everywhere, nothing else exists -- language and thought, all fail there. Then only is the state "beyond mind and speech" realised in its actuality. Otherwise, so long as the religious aspirant thinks or says, "I am the Brahman"--"I" and "the Brahman", these two entities persist -- there is the involved semblance of duality.[Source]
  • Jiva is Brahman by his nature.[Source]
  • Out of Brahman comes the knowledge of desire and from that comes the manifestation of Creator, or the Golden Womb. From that comes intelligence, from that, matter and all these different worlds.[Source]
  • The Brahman, the God of the Vedanta, has nothing outside of Himself; nothing at all. All this indeed is He: He is in the universe: He is the universe Himself. "Thou art the man, Thou art the woman, Thou art the young man walking in the pride of youth, Thou art the old man tottering in his step." He is here. Him we see and feel: in Him we live, and move, and have our being.[Source]
  • The modern system of education gives no facility for the development of the knowledge of Brahman.[Source]
  • The sum and substance of it is -- you have only got to know that you are Eternal Brahman.[Source]
  • 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.[Source]
  • That Supreme Bliss fully exists in all, from Brahmâ down to the blade of grass. You are also that undivided Brahman. This very moment you can realise if you think yourself truly and absolutely to be so. It is all mere want of direct perception.[Source]
  • This life in the five senses, life in the material world, is not all; it is only a small portion, and merely superficial. Behind and beyond is the Infinite in which there is no more evil. Some people call It God, some Allah, some Jehovah, Jove, and so on. The Vedantin calls It Brahman.[Source]
  • We have to stand alone; we are Brahman, all other ideas must be merged in this one.[Source]
  • When I think "I am Brahman", then I alone exist. It is so also when you so think, and so on. Each one is the whole of that principle. . . .[Source]
  • Without having Sannyasa none can really be a knower of Brahman — this is what the Vedas and the Vedanta proclaim. Don't listen to the words of those who say, "We shall both live the worldly life and be knowers of Brahman." That is the flattering self-consolation of cryptopleasure-seekers.[Source]
  • You must get beyond personal God (Ishvara) and reach the Absolute Brahman.[Source]

This page was last updated on: 29 December 2013, 1:47 pm IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
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