The Goal according to Swami Vivekananda
“The Self should be realized—should be heard of, reflected upon, and meditated upon. By the realization of the Self—through hearing, reflection, and meditation—all this is known.”
– Brihadāranyaka Upanishad
The truth is first to be listened to, then to be thought about. Reason, argue it out by all manner of means. The enlightened know no more than that. Know it for certain that you are in everything. That is why you should not hurt anybody, because in hurting them you hurt yourself. . . . This is to be meditated upon. Think upon it. Can you realize there will come a time when everything will crumble in the dust and you will stand alone? That moment of ecstatic joy will never leave you. You will actually find that you are without bodies. You never had bodies.
I am One, alone, through all eternity. Whom shall I fear? It is all my Self. This is to be continuously meditated upon. Through that comes realization. It is through realization that you become a [blessing] to others. . . .
“Thy face shines like that of one who has known God.” (Chhândogya Upanishad, IV, ix, 2) That is the goal. This is not to be preached as I am doing. “Under a tree I saw a teacher, a boy of sixteen; the disciple was an old man of eighty. The teacher was teaching in silence, and the doubts of the disciple vanished.” And who speaks? Who lights a candle to see the sun? When the truth dawns, no witness is necessary. . . . First think of it. Reason it out. Satisfy your curiosity. Then think of nothing else. . . .
If there is this truth, if there is God, it must be within us. . . . [I must be able to say,] “I have seen Him with my eyes.” Otherwise I have no religion. Beliefs, doctrines, sermons do not make religion. It is realization, perception of God which alone is religion. What is the glory of all these men whom the world worships? God was no more a doctrine for them. Did they believe because their grandfather believed it? No. It was the realization of the Infinite, higher than their own bodies, minds, and everything. This world is real inasmuch as it contains a little bit of the reflection of that God. We love the good man because in his face shines the reflection a little more. We must catch it ourselves. There is no other way. . . .
In the midst of the manifold, he who sees that One; in the midst of this infinite death, he who sees that one life; in the midst of the manifold, he who sees that which never changes in his own soul—unto him belongs eternal peace.