[Advaita-l] Physical Fitness

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Mar 5 11:12:02 CST 2011

This might be of interest in the current discussion:


When Swami Vivekananda returned to India in 1897 after his historic trip to
America where he addressed the Parliament of the World’s Religions in
Chicago in 1893, he delivered a series of lectures  In one of them he linked
the attainment of spirituality to football He said to the youth: “You will
be nearer to.Heaven through football than through the study of the Bhagavad

Good health is the first step to strive for perfection It involves
overcoming weakness and acquiring confidence and spiritual dignity It means
cultivating self-esteem Scripture-reading is not sufficient if we are driven
by frailties and
temptations Exercise is the key to achieve higher and finer objectives
Vivekananda was giving precedence to the individual’s right to quality
health which can provide access to many other wonderful realms He said that
Indians remained lazy because they.were deprived of strength and energy.

He explained our inability to work in terms of our physical weakness He even
painfully noted that the root cause of selfishness and disunity among
was our weakness manifested in fragile body and spirit He earnestly pleaded
for measures to strengthen our physical and mental health A scholar
saint of worldwide fame, he advocated that health considerations must
the quest for religion “Our young men must be strong, religion will come
afterwards “You will understand the.Upanishads better and the glory of
the Atman when your body stands firm upon your feet, and you feel yourselves
as men,” he said.

Passion for football must promote good health and purity of mind The pursuit
of sports and games will truly help us realise the essence of life which
often gets overwhelmed by existential compulsions and loses its meaning and
significance Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, a close associate of M K Gandhi had
said that mere excellence in the field of football and cricket will not make
a nation He meant that nation-building involves building of character and
cultivation of values When Swami Vivekananda.linked spirituality
with football he was stressing as much on the ability to play that game as
capacity to realise divinity, a far more exalted goal than that of mere

2011/3/5 D.V.N.Sarma డి.వి.ఎన్.శర్మ <dvnsarma at gmail.com>

> This in contrast to Swami Vivekanada's exhortation to youth to
> get physical fitness also by quoting the same passage.
> regards,
> Sarma.
> 2011/3/5 Sriram Krishnamurthy <asksriramjobs at gmail.com>
> > Venkatesh Ji,
> > Shankara's commentary is as follows:
> > This atma is not attainable by one who does not have strength,strength
> > meaning the spiritual strength(viryahinena) born out of abidance in the
> > atma(atma nistha).
> >
> > Om Tat Sat,
> > Sriram
> >

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