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Swami Vivekananda and Others on Religious Philosophy

by Gopal Stavig


Dedicated to my guru Swami Prabhavananda (1893-1976). Without his sublime spiritual influence these books would never have been written.


I. Advaita Vedanta and Nirguna Brahman

1. Advaita Vedanta in General

2. The Unknowability of Nirguna Brahman, the Essence of God, and the Thing-in-Itself, by the Human Intellect and Senses

3. The Way of Negation (Neti Neti, Via Negativa) and the Way of  Affirmation (Anvaya, Via Positiva)

4. The Doctrine of Maya

5. Realizing Our Oneness With Nirguna Brahman (Atman) and the Godhead

II. The Atman

1. The Nature of the Atman, Subject-in-Itself, Noumenal Self, Thing-in-Itself, and the Transcendental Ego

2. The Atman Explained from a Personal Standpoint

3. The Impact of Nirguna Brahman-Atman on the Phenomenal World

4. Atma-Dharma the Highest of All Ethical Virtues

5. Western Insights on Swami Vivekanandaís Presentation of the Atman

6. The Atman and Western Personalism

III. The Nondualistic Intrinsic Nature of Brahman-God

1. Introduction

2. Simplicity (Undifferentiated, Partless, Undivided/Akhanda,

Niravayava, Nirvishesa, Niskala)

3. Self-Existence (Aseity, Causa Sui/Sat, Svasiddha)

4. Infinity (Ananta)

5. Eternity (Anadi, Avyaya, Nitya, Shasvata)

6. Immutability (Aksara, Avikari, Kutastha, Nirvikara)

7. Perfection (Siddha)

8. One in Number (Monotheism, Advayata)

9. Transcendence (Alaukika, Vishvatiga)

10. Immanence (Antaryamin)

IV. The Dualistic Extrinsic Nature of Brahman-God

1. Introduction

2. Omnipresence (Ubiquity/Sarvagata, Vibhu)

3. Omnipotence (Ananta-virya, Sarvakartriva, Sarvasakti)

4. Omniscience (Ananta-jnana, Kevala-jnana, Sarvajna, Sarvajnatva)

5. Omnibenevolence (Sarvashreyas)

6. Personal (Omnipersonal)

7. Luminosity (Paramjyoti, Prakasha)

8. Name (Nama)

V. Relation of Nirguna Brahman-Atman and the Essence (Divine Substance) of God with the Divine World and the Universe

1. It is the Immutable Background-Substratum-Ground (Foundational

Cause) of All Existence

2. Its Relationship with Saguna Brahman the Personal God, the Trinity,

and Divine World

3. The Divine World is a Representation of Nirguna Brahman and the


4. The Divine World and Heavenly Existence

5. Three Higher Worlds

6. Relationship of Brahman-Atman and the Absolute to the Universe

7. Categories of Existence and Understanding

8. The Most Universal Categories of Existence and Understanding

VI. Creation of the Phenomenal World

1. Creation from Divine Ideas

2. Creation from Divine Spoken Words

3. The Divinity of the World

4. A Cosmological Interpretation of the Biblical Genesis Creation and Flood Narratives

5. Eternity of the Universe and Cosmic Cycles

6. Devas and Angels

VII. Panentheism and Transformational Pantheism

1. The Universe as a Modification of Brahman-God

2. Panentheism: The World Within Brahman-God and Brahman-God Within the World

3. Cosmic Mind (Mahat) and the Creation of the Universe (Akasha-Prana)

4. The Interaction Between Mahat and the Phenomenal Universe in Relation to the Ideas of F. H. Bradley and A. E. Taylor

VIII. Swami Vivekanandaís Scientific Cosmology

1. Swami Vivekanandaís Scientific Cosmology and Albert Einsteinís Special Theory of Relativity (1905)

2. Einsteinís General Theory of Relativity (1915-16) and Its Implications

3. Vivekanandaís System of Physics

4. What Happened Before the Beginning of the Universe?

5. Vivekanandaís Mahat and David Bohmís Super-Implicate and Implicate Order

6. Vivekanandaís Scientific Cosmology and Quantum Physics

7. Mind and Subtle Matter (Tanmatras)

8. Vivekanandaís Akasha-Prana and Samuel Alexanderís Space-Time

9. Vivekananda and Alexander on Evolution

10. Heredity

IX. The Divinity of the Soul (Self)

1. Qualified Nondualism (Monism)

A. The Soul (Self) as a Part (Fragment) of Divinity

B. The Soul (Self) as a Projection and Emanation of Divinity

C. The Soul (Self) as a Reflection of Divinity

2. Theistic Dualism

A. The Divine Presence in the Soul (Self)

B. Divinity is Involved in the Soul (Self)

C. All People Exist Eternally in the Mind of God

D. Immortality of the Soul (Self)

X. Avatara-Divine Incarnation

1. Their Divine Nature

A. Polytarian and Trinitarian

B. Sat-chit-ananda and the Christian Trinity

2. Their Human Nature

A. Brahman-God Assumes a Human Form

B. Heavenly Assistants

C. Avataras

3. Their Mission

A. The Avatara and History

B. Giver of Knowledge

C. Establishes Righteousness and a New Religion

4. Their Legacy

A. Apostolic Succession

B. Future Revelations

C. Avatara and Human Evolution

XI. Religious Scripture and Revelation

1. The Origin of Religious Scripture: Transcendental and Revealed Vedas

2. Religious Scriptures are Eternal and Infallible Divinely Revealed Truths

3. Interpreting the Scriptures

4. Prophets and Revelation

XII. Liberation-Salvation and Samadhi

1. Liberation and Salvation

2. Jivanmukta: Reaching Partial or Full Perfection in this Life

3. Samadhi and Liberation-Salvation

4. Universal Liberation, Universal Salvation, and Restoration

5. Body and Soul Dichotomy

6. Body, Soul, and Spirit Trichotomy

XIII. Reincarnation, the Pre-existence of the Soul, and the Law of Karma

1. Theoretical Implications of the Doctrine of Reincarnation

2. Other Aspects of Reincarnation (Aka Rebirth, Transmigration of the Soul, Metempsychosis, Palingenesis)

3. The Pre-existence of the Soul (Self)

4. Brahman-God (Ishvara) and the Law of Karma and Samskaras

5. How Karma Operates

6. How to Produce Good Karma and Samskaras

XIV. Religious Pluralism in Indian and Western Thought

1. Brahman-Godís Plan of Divine Plenitude

2. The Common Core of Religious Beliefs

3. Religious Experience

4. The Value of Having Many Religions

5. The Need for Religious Pluralism

6. Additional Ideas Concerning Pluralism

Appendix: Additional Parallel Scriptural Quotations



 © 2020 Gopal Stavig