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When More and more people start thinking for themselves, start placing reason over faith, science and logic over irrationality and blind belief and superstitions, that will be the day when Hinduism will succeed.

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Not exactly those words but he said pretty much the same thing about all religions in a speech delivered in England, 1896.

Complete-Works > Volume 1 > Lectures and Discourses

Reason and Religion

(Delivered in England)

...

The physical sciences are better equipped now than formerly, and religions have become less and less equipped. The foundations have been all undermined, and the modern man, whatever he may say in public, knows in the privacy of his heart that he can no more "believe". Believing certain things because an organised body of priests tells him to believe, believing because it is written in certain books, believing because his people like him to believe, the modern man knows to be impossible for him. There are, of course, a number of people who seem to acquiesce in the so-called popular faith, but we also know for certain that they do not think. Their idea of belief may be better translated as "not-thinking-carelessness". This fight cannot last much longer without breaking to pieces all the buildings of religion.

The question is: Is there a way out? To put it in a more concrete form: Is religion to justify itself by the discoveries of reason, through which every other science justifies itself? Are the same methods of investigation, which we apply to sciences and knowledge outside, to be applied to the science of Religion? In my opinion this must be so, and I am also of opinion that the sooner it is done the better. If a religion is destroyed by such investigations, it was then all the time useless, unworthy superstition; and the sooner it goes the better. I am thoroughly convinced that its destruction would be the best thing that could happen. All that is dross will be taken off, no doubt, but the essential parts of religion will emerge triumphant out of this investigation.

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  • Sir I have a doubt. Once Swamiji says Smritis and Puranas are products of limited intelligence. Somewhere he says I want to revive Manu and Yajnavalkya.But he knows they do have verses which are little too harsh. Now how to reconcile all his statements!?? Jan 17 at 4:45
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    Good question, you should gather all those contradictions (with references) and ask a separate question about it. Any followers of Vivekananda on this site should be able to answer... Jan 17 at 16:41
  • Ok sir. Could you please tell your views Jan 17 at 16:52
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    I've only read some of Vivekananda's lectures so not sure where he talks about 'reviving Manu and Yajnavalkya'. If you can point me to the specific speech I can take a look. Also, if you ask a separate question about it, others also can try to resolve any contradiction. I too find Vivekananda a bit confusing sometimes, in one speech he's defending Hinduism, other times he's very critical of it. Maybe his views have evolved over time and that is what is causing the confusion to a reader like you & me. Also, you don't need address anyone as 'sir' on this site. Everyone is equal here. Jan 17 at 19:12
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    I am deleting all my nonsence messages and apologizing from deep of my heart Please accept my sincere appolozizes. Feb 22 at 3:06

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