Is Vedanta the Future Religion?
- 40 pages Indian small paperback
A small booklet that contains a lecture given by the author, Swami Vivekananda, in San Francisco on April 8, 1900.
(excerpt from the talk)
... Vedanta is the most ancient religion of the world, but it can never be said to have become popular. Therefore the question "Is it going to be the religion of the future?" is very difficult to answer.
At the start, I may tell you that I do not know whether it will ever be the religion of the vast majority of men (and women). Will it ever be able to take hold of one nation such as the United States of America? Possibly it may. However, that is the question we want to discuss this afternoon.
I shall begin by telling you what Vedanta is not, and then I shall tell you what it is. But you must remember that, with all its emphasis on impersonal principles, Vedanta is not antagonistic to anything, though it does not compromise or give up the truths which it considers fundamental.
... First, (vedanta) does not believe in a book - that is the difficulty to start with. It denies the authority of any book over any other book. It denies emphatically that any one book can contain all the truths about God, soul, the ultimate reality... Second, it finds veneration for some particular person still more difficult to uphold...A still greater difficulty is about God. You want to be democratic in this country. It is the democratic God that Vedanta teaches...There are those who like their God (as) a God to be feared and propitiated...they want a king to rule them...This makes Vedanta very difficult. It does not teach the old idea of God at all... Vedanta teaches that God is in everyone, has become everyone and everything.
... There is a chance of Vedanta becoming the religion of your country because of democracy. But it can become so only if you can and do clearly understand it; if you become real men and women, not people with vague ideas and superstitions in your brain, and if you want to be truly spiritual since Vedanta is concerned only with spirituality.