Swami Vivekananda :- The masses in India cry to sixty million gods, and still die like dogs. Where are these gods?
Knowing this, stand up and fight! Not one step back that is the idea. ... Fight it out, whatever comes. Let the stars move from the sphere! Let the whole world stand against us! Death means only a change of garment. What of it? Thus fight! You gain nothing by becoming cowards. ... Taking a step backward, you do not avoid any misfortune. You have cried to all the gods in the world. Has misery ceased? The masses in India cry to sixty million gods, and still die like dogs. Where are these gods? ... The gods come to help you when you have succeeded. So what is the use? Die game. ... This bending the knee to superstitions, this selling yourself to your own mind does not befit you, my soul. You are infinite, deathless, birthless. Because you are infinite spirit, it does not befit you to be a slave. ... Arise! Awake! Stand up and fight! Die if you must. There is none to help you. You are the entire world. Who can help you? - Swami Vivekananda
(Delivered In San Francisco, on May 28, 1900) -The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 1/Lectures And Discourses/The Gita I
The PURANAS, including Vishnu Purana and Siva Purana, are based on false idea of personal God, because the writers have thought of Him as glorified man and woman.
The translations made till now of Indian philosophical works have represented religion and mythology, not philosophy. The greatest pundits do not understand it, for they do not understand science. What has this mythological teaching done for India? Look at its state today. Look at the conversions. Imagining that God has ashes on his forehead or blazing like the sun-- that is all poetry and depends only on faith.
The Saiva Siddanta sect is dualistic, unphilosophical religion like Ramanuja's sect.
Why did not Ramanuja and Madhva write commentaries on the Upanishads (as Sage Sri, Sankara did to establish Brahman) but stop, content with writing commentary on Vysa Sutras, and culling some paras only from the Upanishads with convenient vagueness to establish their God and Theology?
Indians are more religious than other people. The six systems of Indian Philosophy are really six systems of Indian speculation. For there is only one Truth.
The ancient Hindu tenet borrowed by theosophists of universe appearing and dissolving, days and nights of Brahma, entering into pralaya etc. is intended for mediocre intellects who cannot rise to truth. It is a convenient fable representing the philosophic truth that the whole universe dissolves in your mind in deep sleep, thus entering pralaya, and rises again next morning, i.e. it is all imagination, idea. The Brahma-God has nothing to do with it.
Sage Sri, Sankara was criticised for his views on Maya [illusion] without understanding him. He said that (1) Brahman (Atman) is real (2) the universe is unreal, and (3) Brahman is the universe. He did not stop at the second because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the ‘Self’ and unreal if perceived as apart from the Self. Hence Maya or illusion and reality are one and the same.
The realists criticise the concept of illusion without understanding it. He said that:-
(1) Consciousness (Atman) is real
(2) The universe or mind is unreal, and
(3) Consciousness is the mind or universe, because universe or mind is mere illusion created out of consciousness.
One need not stop at the second because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the Self (Atman or consciousness) and unreal if perceived as apart from the Self (consciousness). Hence illusion and reality are one and the same because both are one in essence. Realizing the essence, which is consciousness as the innermost Self, is Self-Realization or Truth- Realization of GOD- Realization. Thus Sri, Sankara‘s declaration is rational truth, scientific truth and also ultimate truth.
The moon reflecting on water and appearing as many, the self is just like the reflection of the moon on water which increases with the volume of water and decreases with its reduction, which moves when the water moves, and which differs as the water differs. The moon seems to conform to the characteristics of water, but in reality the moon never has these increasing or decreasing qualities. So also, from the highest point of view, consciousness always retains its sameness; it seems to conform to such characteristics as increase and decrease of the limiting adjunct, owing to its entry into such an adjunct as a universe.
Thread is drawn from cotton and is woven into cloth. But the reality of cotton is in both of these forms, viz., thread and cloth. Similarly, the projections of names and forms of this material universe on consciousness do not alter the nature of consciousness. It remains as it is without any change.
One can also illustrate the uniqueness of consciousness by analyzing the phenomenon of dreams. Dream is parallel waking experience. And waking experience is parallel dream . The three states are an object to the subject, which is formless consciousness. The consciousness is the formless substance and witness of the three states. One is unaware of the subject because he considers the waking entity as self and views and judges the three states, which is erroneous. The waking entity is limited to the waking experience, and the dream entity is limited to the dream experience. In deep sleep the waking or dream experiences are absent, thus the witness remains in its formless non-dual true nature, but due to ignorance of the true self, which is the formless substance and witness of the three states, one experiences the three states as reality. When one becomes aware of the formless witness of the three states then one becomes aware of the fact that, the three states are mere mirage on the standpoint of the true self, which is consciousness.
Thus whatever seen, known, believed and experienced within the waking experience is falsehood. Thus the experience of universe and birth, life and death are myth. Thus the belief of god, heaven, hell, paradise, sin, karma, rebirth, reincarnation is myth.
Thus by worshiping individualized god and following religion studying scriptures are for those who are incapable of realizing the truth of their true existence. .