None can teach you, none can make you spiritual.
There is no other teacher but your own soul.

Vivekananda was born in 1863 and was the favorite disciple of spiritual master, Ramakrishna. He became popular in America when he attended the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. He wrote extensively on Vedanta philosophy including the four classical Hindu ways of approaching God:  Jnana-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, Karma-Yoga, and Raja-Yoga.  Considered by many to have a direct intuitive experience of God, he composed a number of soul-stirring poems. He left this life and body in 1902 at the relatively young age of thirty-nine.

poems by Vivekananda

Ever rising, ever falling with the waves of time, still rolling on I go From fleeting scene to scene ephemeral, with life's currents' ebb and flow. Oh! I am sick of this unending force; these shows they please no more, This ever running, never reaching, nor e'en a distant glimpse of shore! From life to life I'm waiting at the gates, alas, they open not. Dim are my eyes with vain attempt to catch one ray long sought. On little life's high, narrow bridge I stand and see below The struggling, crying, laughing throng. For what? No one can know. In front yon gates stand frowning dark, and say: `No farther away, This is the limit; tempt not Fate, bear it as best you may; Go, mix with them and drink this cup and be as mad as they. Who dares to know but comes to grief; stop then, and with them stay.' Alas for me, I cannot rest. This floating bubble, earth-- Its hollow form, its hollow name, its hollow death and birth-- For me is nothing. How i long to get beyond the crust Of name and form! Ah, open the gates; to me they open must. Open the gates of light, O Mother, to me Thy tired son. I long, oh, long to return home! Mother, my play is done. You sent me out in the dark to play and wore a frightful mask; Then hope departed, terror came, and play became a task. Tossed to and fro, from wave to wave in this seething, surging sea Of passions strong and sorrows deep, grief is, and joy to be. Where life is living death, alas! and death-- who knows but `tis Another start, another round of this old wheel of grief and bliss? Where children dream bright, golden dreams, too soon to find them dust, And aye look back to hope long lost and life a mass of rust! Too late, the knowledge age doth gain; scare from the wheel we're gone. When fresh, young lives put their strength to the wheel, which thus goes on From day to day and year to year. 'Tis but delusion's toy, False hope its motor; desire,nave;its spokes are grief and joy. I go adrift and know not whither. Save from this fire! Rescue me, merciful Mother, from floating with desire! Turn not to me Thy awful face, 'tis more than I can bear, Be merciful and kind to me, to chide my faults forbear. Take me, O Mother, to those shores where strifes for ever cease; Beyond all sorrows, beyond tears, beyond e'en earthly bliss; Whose glory neither sun, nor moon, nor stars that twinkle bright, Nor flash of lightning can express. They but reflect its light. Let never more delusive dreams veil off Thy face from me. My play is done; O Mother, break my chains and make me free! He who is in you and outside you, Who works through all hands, Who walks on all feet, Whose body are all ye, Him worship, and break all other idols! He who is at once the high and low, The sinner and the saint, Both God and worm, Him worship visible, knowable, real, omnipresent, Break all other idols! In whom is neither past life Nor future birth nor death, In whom we always have been And always shall be one, Him worship. Break all other idols! Ye fools! who neglect the living God, And His infinite reflections with which the world is full. While ye run after imaginary shadows, That lead alone to fights and quarrels, Him worship, the only visible! Break all other idols! O'ver hill and dale and mountain range, In temple, church, and mosque, In Vedas, Bible, Al Koran I had searched for Thee in vain. Like a child in the wildest forest lost I have cried and cried alone, "Where art Thou gone, my God, my love? The echo answered, "gone." And days and nights and years then passed A fire was in the brain, I knew not when day changed in night The heart seemed rent in twain. I laid me down on Ganges's shore, Exposed to sun and rain; With burning tears I laid the dust And wailed with waters' roar. I called on all the holy names Of every clime and creed. "Show me the way, in mercy, ye Great ones who have reached the goal." Years then passed in bitter cry, Eacch moment seemed an age, Till one day midst my cries and groans Some one seemed calling me. A gentle soft and soothing voice That said 'my son' 'my son', That seemed to thrill in unison With all the chords of my soul. I stood on my feet and tried to find The place the voice came from; I searched and searched and turned to see Round me, before, behind, Again, again it seemed to speak The voice divine to me. In rapture all my soul was hushed, Entranced, enthralled in bliss. A flash illumined all my soul; The heart of my heart opened wide. O joy, O bliss, what do I find! My love, my love you are here And you are here, my love, my all! And I was searching thee - From all eternity you were there Enthroned in majesty! From that day forth, wherever I roam, I feel Him standing by O'ver hill and dale, high mount and vale, Far far away and high. The moon's soft light, the stars so bright, The glorious orb of day, He shines in them; His beauty - might - Reflected lights are they. The majestic morn, the melting eve, Teh boundless billowing sea, In nature's beauty, songs of birds, I see through them - it is He. When dire calamity seizes me, The heart seems weak and faint, All natures seems to crush me down, With laws that enver bend. Meseems I hear Thee whispering sweet My love, "I am near", "I am near". My heart gets strong. With thee, my love, A thousand deaths no fear. Thou speakest in the mother's lay Thous shuts the babies eye, When innocent children laugh and play, I see Thee standing by. When holy friendship shakes the hand, He stands between them too; He pours the nectar in mother's kiss And the baby's sweet "mama". Thou wert my God with prophets old, All creeds do come from Thee, The Vedas, Bible, and Koran bold Sing Thee in Harmony. "Thou art," Thou art" the Soul of souls In the rushing stream of life. "Om tat sat om." Thou art my God, My love, I am thine, I am thine.

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