A goodie from our esteemed Brother, Frater Orpheus
In celebration of the 4th of July and in memory of Swami Vivekânanda (1863-1902) a Hindu monk, philosopher and writer, who died on this day in 1902. His now classic Raja Yoga, which Crowley described as an excellent study of Hindu mysticism, remains required reading in the A.’.A.’. His birth name was Narendranath Datta and his life’s work was instrumental in bringing much of the teachings of Yoga and Vedanta to the west.
Crowley studied Vivekânanda’s collective writings and clearly enjoyed them, describing them as “intelligible and instructive”, praising him as the best of the modern Indian writers on Yoga, and for the most part, this remains true. Crowley wrote, “Swami Vivekânanda summarized Yoga under four headings, and I do not think that one can improve on that classification. His four are: Gnana, Raja, Bhakti and Hatha, and comprise all divisions that it is desirable to make.” To this I might add Vivekânanda’s writings regarding Karma Yoga.
When discussing Yoga in his seminal work, The Equinox, Crowley quotes Swami Vivekânanda extensively, which clearly signifies the value he saw in his writings. My personal favorite is, “Those who really want to be Yogis must give up, once for all, this nibbling at things. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”
Vivekânanda had a certain level of admiration for America, (where he traveled and lectured extensively), and what we as a nation stood for in the world at that time. And so, on July 4th 1898, in commemoration of our independence he penned the following poem, extoling the principles of liberty and freedom.
America – wake up!!! – We need this spirit to rise again!!!
To the Fourth of July
Behold, the dark clouds melt away,
That gathered thick at night, and hung
So like a gloomy pall above the earth!
Before thy magic touch, the world
Awakes. The birds in chorus sing.
The flowers raise their star-like crowns—
Dew-set, and wave thee welcome fair.
The lakes are opening wide in love
Their hundred thousand lotus-eyes
To welcome thee, with all their depth.
All hail to thee, thou Lord of Light!
A welcome new to thee, today,
O Sun! Today thou sheddest Liberty!
Bethink thee how the world did wait,
And search for thee, through time and clime.
Some gave up home and love of friends,
And went in quest of thee, self-banished,
Through dreary oceans, through primeval forests,
Each step a struggle for their life or death;
Then came the day when work bore fruit,
And worship, love, and sacrifice,
Fulfilled, accepted, and complete.
Then thou, propitious, rose to shed
The light of Freedom on mankind.