Karma Yoga: Swami Vivekananda
Author: Swami Vivekananda
Print length: 92 pages
Publisher: Namaskar Books
Language – English
Swami Vivekananda: 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902, born Narendranath Datta was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world are credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century.
He was a significant force in the revival of Hinduism in India and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his speech which began with the words, “Sisters and brothers of America…,” in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893
Karma Yoga (The Yoga of action) is a book of lectures by Swami Vivekananda, as transcribed by Joseph Josiah Goodwin. Swami Vivekananda delivered a number of lectures in his rented rooms at 228 W 39th Street in New York City from December 1895 to January 1896. In 1895 friends and supporters of Swami Vivekananda hired Goodwin, a professional stenographer, who transcribed some of the lectures later published as this book. Goodwin later became a follower of Vivekananda. The main topic of the book was Karma (work) and Karma Yoga. Swami Vivekananda discussed the concept of Karma in the Bhagavad Gita. Swami Vivekananda described Karma Yoga as a mental discipline that allows a person to carry out his/her duties as a service to the entire world, as a path to enlightenment.
One of the greatest monks ever produced in “Sanathana Bharatha” is His Holiness Swami Vivekananda, today we all celebrate his birthday as “National Youth Day”: January 12th, coincidentally I am drafting my thoughts about my satisfactory purchase of the book “Karma Yoga” drafted by Goodwin, a professional stenographer of Swamiji. Firstly my special thanks to Rachnaye app and “Namaskar Books” for this 90+ pages of absolute knowledge treasure.
This book aligns well with the knowledge transfer done by the divine god Bhagawan Shri Krisha to Arjuna during the Kurukshetra Warfield in the form of “Bhagavath Geetha”, where Krishna deeply explains the Karma Yoga & Siddhanta. Swami Vivekananda in his lectures and his writings propagated the same lines that Krishna taught to the world through Arjuna. The lectures dealt with in the book depict “Four Paths of Yoga”, These seven chapters serve as a thought-provoking manual of questionnaires for every individual human has to seek.
In the chapter “Karma in its Effect on Character”, Swamiji talks about the effects of actions (karma) and their impact on the character. Clear learning advancements and self-discovery. In his lectures, Swami Vivekananda makes us understand with relatable illustrations and examples that the readers can understand and adapt to their life journey. Undoubtedly the definition and explanations have been given for simple yet complex jargon like “Duty, Rituals, liberation, philosophies”.
In his karma Siddhanta, Swamiji also explains clearly non-attachment and interestingly he also brings in the concepts of Physics and spiritual reference. “Karma Yoga” by Swami Vivekananda is a clear beginner guide who wishes to bring in inspiration and embrace wisdom and knowledge through his teaching and lectures. On account of “National Youth Day (Jan 12th): Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda” we Indians should inculcate the Bhakti, Gnana, and Vedantha towards a futuristic India in both advancements and reforms. Not to miss mentioning “Lord Krisha” who is Viswa Guru who established the karma Siddthanta and paved a clear path through his first and favorite disciple Arjuna”
To make readers clear, this is not a “Hindu” book, this is a book that Swami Vivekananda explains Karma Yoga, the way of life through our actions. This book gives so much to learn and adapt. Special mention to Goodwin, a professional stenographer, who transcribed some of the lectures which were later published as this book
Favorite Quote (s):
1. Every man should take up his own ideal and endeavor to accomplish it.
2. He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.
3. Everything that you do under compulsion goes to build up attachment.
Kiran K Adharapuram