expecting only a small gathering , Swami Gokulananda had arranged for an informal talk by me in the basement of the temple; but about 600 people is not a small gathering. So the venue had to be shifted to this Vivekananda Lecture Hall. Still, I shall give only an informal talk today on the announced subject Householders and Their Spiritual Life and not a public lecture.
In the Gospel of Sri
Ramakrishna, there are several chapters entitiled Advice to Householders etc. Sri Ramakrishna's advice to householders is a great subject. When we say householder, it means that it concerns 99.9 % of the Population. That means the people at large. How shall they live their life is a very great question. There is one sentence in Swami Vivekanand's lecture where he says, I don't call anyone a Hindu who is not spiritual. What a beautiful idea it is! They must be religious is very easy; put on a sandal mark or ashes on your forehead, you become a Hindu; put on a cross, you become a Christian; and put on a moon crescent on the cap, you become a Muslim. Thus it is easy to become religious. But what is wanted is that we should be spiritual, and not merely being religious. And this concept of spirituality comes to us from the Upanisads, because the Upanisads describe that the human nature is essentially spiritual. Behind the body-mind-complex is the Atman, of the nature of cit and sat- consciousness and reality. Infinity is our true nature. This is the discovery; we call it a scientific truth about the human being. By examining the human being in depth, our sages of the Upanisads discovered this great truth. In the Kathopanisad, we read this beautiful sentence. During the course of his teaching, Yama said to Naciketa (3.12):
Esa sarvesu bhutesu gudho atman na prakasate;
Drsyate tvagryaya buddhya suksmaya suksma darsibhih.
This Atman is present in all beings, but hidden and so not manifest; but it can be realized by a sharply one-pointed subtle mind, by those who are trained in dealing with subtle and still mire subtle realities.
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