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Sri ‘M’ ( Mahendra Nath Gupta) took notes of the divine talks of Sree Ramkrishna. He named it ” Ramkrishna Kathamrita” when it was published later from Kathamrita Bhawan. Unlike him, Miss Waldo, a devotee of Swami Vivekananda took notes of his teachings. Fortunately, we get Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks.
When Swami taught them about ancient Hindu scriptures, Waldo took notes of it.
Swami Ji there discussed Indian philosophy and religion. Patanjali’s Yogasutra, the Srimad Bhagwat Gita, Vedanta Religion, the Avadhuta Gita – all these subjects he explained thoroughly. Not only that, but he also explains the Brihadaranyaka and Katha Upanishads, Bhakti yoga etc.
Luckily, Waldo took notes of all that discussion. So we, fortunately, can avail Swami Vivekananda’s “Inspired Talks”.
Furthermore, there Swami Ji taught and discussed Buddha, Christ. They are his favourite incarnations.
Then he discussed free will, the art of teaching, the need for chastity, the theory of Raja Yoga, the practice of Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga and so on.
On the morning of July 6, Vivekananda went through the entire text of Shankara’s introduction to his commentary. Mainly it is the subject of adhyasa.
On this same morning of July 6, he also narrated Shankara’s commentary. It was on the first and second aphorisms of Brahma Sutras.
Vivekananda tried to bring out the silent points from the midst of long and weighty arguments. Hence, It tends to confound the Western disciples.
Swamiji began a discussion of the Vedanta Sutras on July 6. On July 10, he took up the commentary on the third aphorisms. On July 12 and 16, he explained the fourth aphorisms.
Besides, on July 18, he discussed the fifth aphorisms of Brahma Sutras.
Swamiji seems to have begun his discussion of Ramanuja’s philosophy on July 7, Sunday morning.
He quoted from Ramanuja’s Shri Bhashya on that afternoon. As for the Bhashya of Madhvacharya, he didn’t linger with it.
“Madhava is a thoroughgoing dualist or Adventist” – he said. He hardly quoted from the Puranas. He said that Brahman means Vishnu, not Shiva at all.
” Because there is no salvation except through Vishnu…. There is no place for reasoning in Madhava’s explanation. It’s all taken from the revelation in the Vedas.” ( Complete Works, 7:37)
It was the Bhashyas of Shankara and Ramanuja. It made Swamiji’s attention from July 6 to July 19. Throughout these classes, he not only quoted from the commentaries but gave his harmonising views.
So he mainly emphasised Advaita. That is the dualistic religion. Therefore, It is from the crudest to the most rarefied.
Ultimately, it led to the highest realisations of all. – It is the identity of the unveiled soul with the Self or Brahman.
In Thousand Island Park, he was very regular to taking his classes in this subject. He explained, again and again, the place of dualistic religions. It’s Advaita Vedanta. ( Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired talks )
Mainly, it’s the meaning of the Personal God. In other words, it is about the Absolute Brahman.
He said on July 19, ” So long as I say ” you ” I have the right to speak of God protecting us.
Hence, I see another, I must take all the consequences and put in the third, the ideal. It stands between us. That is the apex of the triangle. – The idea of creation or change is inseparably connected with will.
So long as we perceive this world in motion, we have to conceive of it. …. From our present standpoint, this world appears to us as will and conscious use.
Personal God is as much an entity for Himself. We care for ourselves, and no more.” ( Waldo, loc. cit, P- 12).
Some days later he told:
” Separating ourselves from the Absolute and attributing certain qualities to It, gives us Ishwvara. It is the Reality of the Universe. We see it through our mind”. (CW -7:67)
A week later :
” Man does not manufacture God out of his own. But he can only see God in the light of his capacity. And he attributes to Him the best of all he knows.
Each attribute is the whole of God. This signifies the whole by one quality. It is the metaphysical explanation of the Personal God.
Though Ishwara is without form, Yet has all forms. It is without qualities, yet has all qualities. As human beings, we have to see the trinity of existence – God, man, nature. So we can not do otherwise. ( CW -7:82)
Swami Vivekananda’s “Inspired Talks” is a bunch of talks. These are the Gospel of Swami Vivekananda. It’s the divine utterances of the Hindu monk, Vivekananda.
The great World Teacher taught his 12(-1 may be less according to Marie Louise Burke) Western disciples or students by his spiritual advice at Miss Dutcher’s cottage in Thousand Island Park of America.
And ultimately, Swami ji’s disciple, Miss. Dutcher published these lectures. It is famous as Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks.
It was in 1895. Swamiji got an invitation from Miss Dutcher to visit there for some time for a summer retreat.
So he had accepted her invitation to get little rest from the busiest schedule of lectures in America. In this connection, Swami Vivekananda wrote a letter to Mrs Ole Bull:( Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks )
…” I cannot go to Green acre now. I have arranged to go to the Thousand Island, wherever that may be. There is a cottage belonging to Miss Dutcher, one of my students, and a few of us will be there in rest and peace and seclusion.
I want to manufacture a few “Yogis” out of the materials of the classes ( Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks ). And a busy farm [fair] like Green acre. It is the last place for that, while the other is quite out of the way, and none of the curiosity – seekers will dare go there “.(April 25, 1895, Letters of Swami Vivekananda )
Ready to Welcome Swami Vivekananda
On June 18, 1895.
Vivekananda left the White Mountains of New Hampshire by train for Thousand Island Park. It is about 200 miles to the west, where some of his students awaited him.
From Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks : ” Everything at the Park had, it would seem, been ready for his coming. – wrote Marie Louise Burke in his book ” New Discoveries”.
Finally, everything was refurbished from Dock to electric lights of the park to Tabernacle. Even the steamer St. Lawrence.
It had been newly cleaned, painted, brightly lighted. It’s a refurbished community to which Swami Vivekananda reached at.
Miss Dutcher ( Mary Elizabeth Dutcher) along with 2/3 other disciples already reached at the Dock to greet him and to escort him.
Miss Dutcher had a little three stories building. So She thought that it was not sufficient for her Master. That’s why for Swamiji’s comfort and privacy she made arrangements to add a wing to the cottage.
The house was a three-storied building. In addition, there was a guest room on the lowest floor, a classroom on the first floor, and Swamiji’s room on the top floor.
Besides, there was an open terrace with a magnificent view of the river. Naturally, Swamiji used to spend some time here and observe the beautiful nature.
“Welcome Vivekananda” read the banner that greeted SWAMI as he entered the Cottage for the beginning of a remarkable seven weeks.
• THOUSAND ISLAND PARK: Swami Vivekananda’s INSPIRED TALKS
In brief, Thousand Island Park is a small village. It’s located on Wellesley Island. It’s in a remote area about 360 miles from New York City. This village is on the St. Lawrence River, near the Canadian border. So it was a very serene and attractive place.
Although the Park was only 20 years old in 1895, yet its attraction was enough. So there formed a community of 600 cottages. In addition, several thousand summer residents supported a program of recreation for both mind and body.
Moreover, it attracted celebraty preachers and speakers . Amongst the prominent speakers were Susan B. Anthony and Federick Douglas and so on .
Through the eyes of Swamiji, the natural beauty of the place was charming.
In short, by 1890s, Thousand Island Park was a summer resort par excellence. But there was massive change or transformation from a remote wilderness to a popular resort.
Eventually, It is a land where people of various tastes used to visit for some days.
Hence, they used to enjoy themselves with their relatives and friends. They used to spend their time playing, dancing. Some went boating and so on and otherwise enjoyed themselves.
By 1895, this Island as a whole drew thousands of excursionists every day. The island was quiet and It’s 800 acres in area. It was then hilly jungle. Therefore, very very isolated and serene place.
However, there were lots of cottages out of 100 acres. So There are small and large cottages about 600 and over and in addition to the hotel, there are at least a dozen rooming houses.
Swamiji wrote in early July : ( Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks )
” It is a very beautiful spot, but I am afraid it becomes too crowded during the season.”( Complete Works, 5:89). (Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks )
However, this isolated and serene environment was suitable for expressing the divine thought of Swami ji. And ultimately we have got Swami Vivekananda’s “Inspired Talks”.
Swami Vivekananda’s Inspired Talks is undoubtedly our treasure. Swami Vivekananda’s utterances came to light by one of his devotees.
The golden words of Sree Ramkrishna are Kathamrita. One of his close devotee, Master Mahashai or Mahendranath Gupta memorized and wrote it. Kathamitra is parallel to Gita.
Just as Inspired Talks are divine talks
and published them as Inspired Talks.
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA’S “KALI THE MOTHER”January 14, 2021In “Book Review”
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