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Home > Sayings / Quotes of Swami Vivekananda > Religion

What Religion is Not

Swami Vivekananda

• 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.

• Religion is its own end. That religion which is only a means to worldly well-being is not religion, whatever else it may be.

• You must bear in mind that religion does not consist in talk, or doctrines or books, but in realisation; it is not learning, but being.

• With most people religion is a sort of intellectual assent and goes no further than a document. I would not call it religion. It is better to be an atheist than to have that sort of religion.

• Therefore, we should get rid of these childish notions. We should get beyond the prattle of men who think that religion is merely a mass of frothy words, that it is only a system of doctrines; to whom religion is only a little intellectual assent or dissent; to whom religion is believing in certain words which their own priests tell them; to whom religion is something which their forefathers believed; to whom religion is a certain form of ideas and superstitions to which they cling, because they are their national superstitions. We should get beyond all these, and look at humanity as one vast organism, slowly coming towards light----a wonderful plant, slowly unfolding itself to that wonderful truth which is called God---and the first gyrations, the first motions, towards this are always through matter and ritual.

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Meditations on Earth, Life and Dharma: >>

Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
May there be Peace in the Sky,
May there be Peace in the Earth,

(Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)

Preserve Nature,
And Nature will preserve Us,
Simplify Life,
And help Nature thrive,
Plant Trees,
And make our planet Green.

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Last updated on Mar-2024

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