Swami Vivekananda's Speeches

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 1895.
(This day marks the beginning of the regular teaching given daily by Swami
Vivekananda to his disciples at Thousand Island Park. We had not yet all assembled
there, but the Master's heart was always in his work, so he commenced at once to
teach the three or four who were with him. He came on this first morning with the
Bible in his hand and opened to the Book of John, saying that since we were all
Christians, it was proper that he should begin with the Christian scriptures.)
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God." The Hindu calls this Mâyâ, the manifestation of God, because it is the power
of God. The Absolute reflecting through the universe is what we call nature. The
Word has two manifestations â€" the general one of nature, and the special one of
the great Incarnations of God â€" Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Ramakrishna. Christ,
the special manifestation of the Absolute, is known and kno wable. The absolute
cannot be known: we cannot know the Father, only the Son. We can only see the
Absolute through the "tint of humanity", through Christ.
In the first five verses of John is the whole essence of Christianity: each verse is full
of the profoundest philosophy.
The Perfect never becomes imperfect. It is in the darkness, but is not affected by the
darkness. God's mercy goes to all, but is not affected by their wickedness. The sun
is not affected by any disease of our eyes which may make us see it distorted. In the
twenty-ninth verse, "taketh away the sin of the world" means that Christ would show
us the way to become perfect. God became Christ to show man his true nature, that
we too are God. We are human coverings over the Divine; but as the divine Man,
Christ and we are one.
The Trinitarian Christ is elevated above us; the Unitarian Christ is merely a moral
man; neither can help us. The Christ who is the Incarnation of God, who has
notforgotten His divinity, that Christ can help us, in Him there is no imperfection.
These Incarnations are always conscious of their own divinity; they know it from their