Excerpt from Swami Saradananda’s Q & A Session

The Green Acre Voice of September 12, 1896, published the following questions, answered by Swami Saradananda, in a front page column:

What is the proof that we are the Absolute Existence?  

The only proof in nature of the case is that of personal experience. The sages describe various ways in which the super-conscious state may be attained. The fact that holy men have attained it and testified to its reality is also an evidence which encourages us to preserve in our search.

How can we know that man can think without a brain or any material organ?

The Vedanta philosophy carefully distinguishes the super-conscious state from that of conscious thought. It recognizes three conditions: the sub-conscious, the conscious, and the super-conscious. The experiences of the latter cannot be described in terms of consciousness, yet it must be regarded as superior and not inferior to the conscious state. It it not a lapse into unconsciousness, but an evolution into what we may regard as a higher consciousness. The final evidence here can only be that of individual experience.

What is the message of the Vedanta to a wicked man?

It says to him: Believe that you are God; act as if you were the Divine Being; no higher attainment, no escape from miseries of a relative existence is possible except by purity of life as a primary condition; he who expects to find this higher realization while indulging his selfish propensities will be disappointed—such a result is impossible…

Also reported was this quotation from the Swami: “The ultimate evidence of any system of thought must be the effect on (one’s) life.”

From A Bird’s Eye View: Vivekananda and His Swamis in Boston and Vicinity  by Elva Nelson, Ramakrishna Vedanta Society, 1992, pages 93-94.


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