Swami Vivekananda preached “practical religion”, “practical Vedanta”. He told—
Religion is not in doctrines, in dogmas, nor in intellectual argumentation; it is being and becoming, it is realisation.
In this article we’ll make a collection of quotations where Swami Vivekananda told that book-learning, intellectual arguments, mere talking etc are not directly related to religion. Religion is all about direct first-hand experience, realisation.
Swami Vivekananda told—
- Do not disturb the faith of any. For you must know that religion is not in doctrines. Religion lies in being and becoming, in realisation.[Source]
- Religion is a question of being and becoming, not of believing. This is religion, and when you have attained to that you have religion. Before that you are no better than the animals.[Source]
- Religion is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging. It is not an intellectual assent; but one’s whole nature becoming changed into it. Such is religion. By an intellectual assent we can come to a hundred sort of foolish things, and change the next day, but this being and becoming is what is religion.[Source]
- Religion is not in books, nor in theories, nor in dogmas, nor in talking, not even in reasoning. It is being and becoming. Ay, my friends, until each one of you has become a Rishi and come face to face with spiritual facts, religious life has not begun for you. Until the superconscious opens for you, religion is mere talk, it is nothing but preparation. You are talking second-hand, third-hand, and here applies that beautiful saying of Buddha when he had a discussion with some Brahmins. They came discussing about the nature of Brahman, and the great sage asked, “Have you seen Brahman?” “No, said the Brahmin; “Or your father?” “No, neither has he”; “Or your grandfather?” “I don’t think even he saw Him.” “My friend, how can you discuss about a person whom your father and grandfather never saw, and try to put each other down?” That is what the whole world is doing. Let us say in the language of the Vedanta, “This Atman is not to be reached by too much talk, no, not even by the highest intellect, no, not even by the study of the Vedas themselves.”[Source]
- Religion is not in doctrines, in dogmas, nor in intellectual argumentation; it is being and becoming, it is realisation. We hear so many talking about God and the soul, and all the mysteries of the universe, but if you take them one by one, and ask them, “Have you realised God? Have you seen your Soul?” — how many can say they have? And yet they are all fighting with one another![Source]
- Religion is realisation; not talk, nor doctrine, nor theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes. That is religion.[Source]
- Religion was a matter of the growth of the individual, “a question always of being and becoming”.[Source]
- The Hindu religion does not consist in struggles and attempts to believe a certain doctrine or dogma, but in realising — not in believing, but in being and becoming.[Source]
- There is neither existence nor non-existence, all is Atman. Shake off all ideas of relativity; shake off all superstitions; let caste and birth and Devas and all else vanish. Why talk of being and becoming? Give up talking of dualism and Advaitism! When were you two, that you talk of two or one? The universe is this Holy One and He alone. Talk not of Yoga to make you pure; you are pure by your very nature. None can teach you.[Source]