Vivekananda's Teachings From Religions To Spirituality

Vivekananda considered religion and spirituality to be the inner sciences of consciousness to understand the universe as a whole

National Youth Day is celebrated on January 12 annually to honor, the great spiritual teacher Swami Vivekananda on his birthday for his great contributions to the Indian liberation movement. The commemoration started back since 1985.

PM Narendra Modi has paid tribule to Swami Vivekananda and tweeted in hindi, "Tributes to Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary. His life always inspires for patriotism, spirituality and hard work. His great thoughts and ideals will continue to guide the countrymen."

While we talk about spirituality, majority take it as in religion aspect, but Swami Vivekanada was the personality who taught the actual meaning of spirituality. He not only became a promoter of spiritual awareness through yoga and teachings of Vedanta, but also revealed India's spiritual greatness for the first time to a largely unaware audience in the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago on September 11, 1893.

Vivekananda's Definition Of Spirituality

Swami Vivekananda said, spirituality is the backbone of India. Therefore, he rejected colonial beliefs and instead taught an experiential spirituality. He proved that true spirituality is not a matter of faith or even charity and good conduct, but extends to individual yoga, introspection and meditation practices so that one can experience the Divinity directly within oneself - something unprecedented in the field of evangelism. He shared India's spiritual richness of yoga, pranayama, mantras, meditation and concentration methods, to a world hungry for deeper knowledge that it had been deprived of for many years.

According to him, unity of man is the primary aim of religions. He considered religion and spirituality to be the inner sciences of consciousness to understand the universe as a whole.

Vivekananda's spiritual thoughts are anchored in the philosophy of Vedanta, which is a systematic interpretation of the Upanishads. However, it offers a modern interpretation of ancient ideas to make them come true. Therefore, Vedanta, as a religion, has to be very practical.

Messages from Vedanta

Vedanta says, "Truth is one: sages call it in different names." The value of truth depends on the direct perception of reality. Religion is an expression of the divinity already present in man. There are various names and concepts of divinity but human efforts to name the nameless, give form to the invisible, and constrain the infinite.

The divinity of the soul is innate. Religious practices do not create gods, but help us regain our faith in Him.

All life is one, and the same. Individuals are like countless blood cells in the vast cosmic body including humans, superhumans, and sub-humans. Life is interdependent, not independent. This unity is the basis of all morality. Everything that separates us from the rest of the universe is sin, and everything that connects us to everything is virtue.

Different religions are just different paths walking towards the same goal, described by various names, such as communion, union, concentration, self-knowledge, realisation, eternal life in heaven, nirvana, etc. The harmony of religions is based on unity in diversity, not on identity. This harmony must be discovered and realised by deepening our individual sense of God.

Vedanta urges Christians to be truly Christians, Hindus to be truly Hindus, Muslims to be truly Muslims, Buddhists to be truly Buddhists, and Jews to be truly Jewish. Vedanta argues that all roads lead to same destination.


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