According to Swami Vivekananda, man is essentially enlightened and is by nature divine. All men are ‘heirs of immortal bliss’. But, because of wrong education and theories he forgets his divinity and essential goodness. He starts believing that he is a sinner. So he starts worshiping and pursuing external matter and forgets spirituality within.
Swami ji persuaded those who strayed from their true nature to come out of the delusion and understand that ‘they are not matter, they are not bodies’. They have to realize that ‘matter is their servant, not they the servant of matter’.For this purpose he set for himself the goal of making them aware of “their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life”. Right type of education has as its foundation the maxim: “There is no sin in thee, there is no misery in thee; thou art the reservoir of omnipotent power. Arise, awake and manifest the Divinity within.”
Swamiji’s teaching helps us realise that those who call us sinners are wrong. “It is foolishness, wickedness, downright rascality to say that you are sinners. You are all God.”
Such an education could result in enabling persons to respect others – their neighbours, fellow citizens, immediate surroundings and their overall environment. An enlightened person has 10 characteristics.
These are:

  • Contentment
  • Forbearance
  • Gentleness
  • Respect for others
  • Property
  • Purity
  • Self-control
  • Knowledge
  • Philosophic wisdom
  • Veracity
  • Patience

The aim of an enlightened being is to live according to his svadharma – his true nature – and learn to control his appetite. He take from society as little as is essential for his survival, and gives to it as much as he can. His actions are not motivated by any self-interest.
Tyaga, renunciation and seva, service his ideals. There is no selfishness in him. He synthesizes the opposites – materialism and idealism; the sensual and spiritual; abhyudaya and nihshreyas; preys and shreya. He does not live for the welfare of his fellow beings. In a letter to the Maharajah of Mysore, Vivekananda, explaining the notion of enlightened men, wrote, “My noble prince, this life is short, the vanities of the world are transient, but they live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive!”


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