A symbol represents or recalls a thing by possession of analogous qualities or by association in fact or thought. The original Greek word symbolon means a sign by which one knows or infers a thing. Symbols express the invisible by means of visible or sensory representations—the immaterial via the material.
Swami Vivekananda’s ideas have been seen through various eyes, and new light has been thrown upon these ideas. In one sense, Swamiji is inexhaustible. In another sense, it can be supported that Swamiji’s core message is that man is the Atman, Atman is perfection, and perfection defies all types of limitations.
Why Take a Mantra from a Guru?
If a mantra is taken from a book, the results will not be exactly the same as if received directly from a guru, nor will it be a waste of time either. God’s name has its own power. Illumined souls explain that if an aspirant learns from a guru who lives the life, who has progressed a little, the results will be greater. One becomes convinced it is possible to realize God after having seen such a soul before one’s own eyes. In the struggle Godward, every now and then aspirants become discouraged. Therefore, to keep up the struggle and sustain a certain zeal, one must associate with the holy. That is another benefit of the guru.
Prayer is generally the first natural and conscious response in a person who has had some kind of religious awakening. The awareness of our human limitations and mortality is generally enough to turn us in the direction of, and seek help from, a Power or a Person who is not bound by those limitations. As a form of “receiving,” prayer is a movement from God toward human beings. When a prayer is answered, the heart is filled with gratitude.