You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself, said Swami Vivekananda.
What did he mean by this? What God was he talking about? What belief was he talking about?
At the very onset let us be very clear of the context. A major reason why there is so much strife and conflict in our world is because people tend to take things out of context and react to such misunderstandings.
Let us take each point one by one and try to analyze what he could have meant when he said, “You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself“.
1. As a Practicing Hindu
Hindu Philosophy is quite different from Abrahamic theology.
- a monotheistic external (somewhat anthropomorphic human like) God.
- a founder prophet.
- one Holy Book.
- minimal tolerance for contrarian points of view.
God is therefore something external to Man as per Abrahamic theology and His views are propagated by One Prophet in One Book, and any opposition to this position is dealt with swiftly and often violently.
Hindu Philosophy on the other hand, espouses an All-Encompassing Truth (called “Brahman” or “Tat”) which some called God. All the philosophical schools (Vedanta or Samkhya etc) agree to this point, however their other details vary significantly, on how this One Truth becomes many in our world.
When Swami Vivekananda mentions God, he talks about this God. The Truth. The omnipresent. The One who is manifest and un-manifest at the same time. The One who is beyond our comprehension, yet from whom we spring forth.
He talks about this omnipresent Reality, both outside and within us.
2. As an Advaita Vedantin
Advaita Vedanta is a theory of absolute monism. It believes in One all-inclusive Reality from which the world appears to have sprung forth.
In other words, we are a PART of the SYSTEM. As per Advaita, we are therefore the SYSTEM. The SYSTEM is GOD. Ergo we are GOD.
“Aham Brahmasmi“, says the Vedic Rishi. I am Brahman. I am That Eternal Truth. I am non-different from the One Supreme Reality.
I have the Potential of the Infinite in me. I am infinitely capable.
Why should I care for inconsequential and limiting ideas like monotheism or polytheism?
The moment I realize who I really am, the moment I realize that I am the same Supreme Reality from which this vast and beautiful Universe has sprung forth, the movement I realize that hidden within the depths of my soul is the same Infinite Force, I start believing in myself.
I become CONFIDENT. I start believing in God.
You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.
Image Source : Top 10 Scientific Unsolved Mysteries
3. As a Nation Builder
After 800 years of terrifying Islamic rule and 200 years of horrific British rule, the Indian psyche was at the lowest. People had lost all confidence and had little or no self-respect. They had forgotten the old lofty ideals of One Reality and were instead trying to propitiate deities.
Swords and guns had replaced cultured debates.
At this juncture came Swami Vivekananda.
Just like fire burns everything in its path, so too the dynamic fire of Swami Vivekananda burnt and destroyed superstitions, weaknesses and fatigue, and instilled confidence, self-respect and self-knowledge.
He made people believe in themselves rather than believing deities or parroting what any book said.
Thus we see the greatness of Swami Vivekananda as he transformed and energized people wherever he went with his positive ideas and views, and helped ordinary people to at least strive to achieve excellence.
That’s it. Hope you enjoyed it.
You may also like
- Take up One Idea and Make that One Idea your Entire Life
- Arise Awake and Stop not till the Goal is Reached
- 7 Ways to Accomplish a Lot of Work
- 5 Steps to Keep Yourself Motivated
- 3 Lessons from Konigsberg Bridge Problem
Thank you for reading “You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself”. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave your comments in the comment box below and do share with your friends and family.