BLTC Press Titles

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Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting

Lectures on Jnâna yoga

by Vivekananda (Swami)



Ved^nta Philosophy regards the religious tendencies of mankind as being of four main divisions, the dividing lines not being necessarily sharply defined, for more than one of these tendencies may be found in one individual. Broadly speaking, there is a large class of men who seek to express their religious ideas through ethical work, through constant effort to help and uplift their fellow-men. Then there are others of a strongly devotional character, who find in love and worship the satisfaction of their religious needs. Others again, of more mystical nature, prefer to realize their ideals through concentration and meditation. Lastly, there is a class of men of strongly analytical natures who must have the sanction of logic and reason for every belief and who therefore take the path of philosophy and discrimination.

The books by Swami Vivekananda already published have been intended to meet the inquiries of the first three classes of men. The present work is adapted for the last class, the philosophers. Jnana Yoga is, as its name implies, the yoga, or method, of realizing our divine nature through wisdom (Jnana). Wis-


dom is not knowledge in its ordinary sense, although it includes it. It is that higher knowledge which is self-illumination. This is equally the goal of every yoga, or method, the difference lying only in the path chosen for reaching that goal.

The present volume consists chiefly of lectures which were delivered in London, England. Two were given in India, and are consequently new both in England and in this country. The lectures deal with the teachings of the Upanishads, which contain the essence of Vedanta. Some of these Upanishads are among the most ancient of the Hindu Scriptures, and show a wonderful insight into the great truths underlying all religious aspiration. It is because Vedanta is a religion of principles, not of external authority, that the late Professor Max Miiller said of it: "Vedanta has room for almost every religion; nay, it embraces them all."



Wake up the note! The song that had its birth
Far off, where worldly taint could never reach;
In mountain caves, and glades of forest deep,
Whose calm no sigh for lust or wealth or fame
Could ever dare to break; where rolled the stream
Of knowledge, truth, and bliss that follows both.
Sing high that note, Sannyasin bold! Say—

"Om tat sat, Om!"

Strike off thy fetters! Bonds that bind thee down,
Of shining gold, or darker, baser ore;
Love, hate—good, bad—and all the dual throng.
Know slave is slave, caressed or whipped, not free;
For fetters tho" of gold, are not less strong to bind.
Then off with them Sannyasin bold! Say—

"Om tat sat, Om!"

Let darkness go; the will-o'-the-wisp that leads
With blinking light to pile more gloom on gloom.
This thirst for life, for ever quench; it drags,
From birth to death and death to birth, the soul.
He conquers all who conquers self. Know this
And never yield, Sannyasin bold! Say—

"Om tat sat, Om!" 9

"Who sows must reap," they say, "and cause must bring
The sure effect; good, good; bad, bad; and none
Escape the law. But whoso wears a form
Must wear the chain." Too true, but far beyond
Both name and form is Atman, ever free.
Know thou art That, Sannyasin bold! Say—

"Om tat sat, Om!"

They know not truth, who dream such vacant dreams

As father, mother, children, wife and friend.

The sexless Self! Whose father He? Whose child?

Whose friend, whose foe is He who is but One?

The Self is all in all, naught else exists;

And thou art That, Sannyasin bold! Say—

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