Tuesday, June 24, 2008

#190 Thou alone art thy greatest friend

Swamiji lectured at Los Angeles, California, on the Jan. 5, 1900:

"...Many times I have been in the jaws of death, starving, footsore, and weary; for days and days I had had no food, and often could walk no farther; I would sink down under a tree, and life would seem ebbing away. I could not speak, I could scarcely think, but at last the mind reverted to the idea: "I have no fear nor death; I never hunger nor thirst. I am It! I am It! The whole of nature cannot crush me; it is my servant. Assert thy strength, thou Lord of lords and God of gods! Regain thy lost empire! Arise and walk and stop not!" And I would rise up, reinvigorated, and here am I, living, today. Thus, whenever darkness comes, assert the reality and everything adverse must vanish. For, after all, it is but a dream. Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ. Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies. Be not afraid. Think not how many times you fail. Never mind. Time is infinite. Go forward: assert yourself again and again, and light must come. You may pray to everyone that was ever born, but who will come to help you? And what of the way of death from which none knows escape? Help thyself out by thyself. None else can help thee, friend. For thou alone art thy greatest enemy, thou alone art thy greatest friend. Get hold of the Self, then. Stand up. Don't be afraid. In the midst of all miseries and all weakness, let the Self come out, faint and imperceptible though it be at first. You will gain courage, and at last like a lion you will roar out, "I am It! I am It!" "I am neither a man, nor a woman, nor a god, nor a demon; no, nor any of the animals, plants, or trees. I am neither poor nor rich, neither learned nor ignorant. All these things are very little compared with what I am: for I am It! I am It! Behold the sun and the moon and the stars: I am the light that is shining in them! I am the beauty of the fire! I am the power in the universe! For, I am It! I am It!..."

*Then why beg Harriet for Dollars? See Post No. 160. On June 6 1900, he was asking Miss Mary Hale to persuade Harriet to give him (Swamiji) a few dollars a month, adding that he would have other friends to do the same.

*With so much self-confidence, why sacrifice a goat to Mother Kali at Belur Math on 12th Sept. 1901?

*Why beg the Raja of Mysore for cigars?

*Why shiver, when some red patches are found on the chest after scratching and blame the magnetic healer?

*Why beg a disciple who cooked meat, for more mutton, in spite of doctor's advice?

*If Swamiji really believed in 'I am it! I am it!', then why should he distinguish between American turtles and Indian turtles by color, size and taste? Any turtle would have tasted the same!

*If Swamiji truly believed in 'I am it' 'I am it', then why bother about how much of fat a girl (Christina) accumulated in one year?

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