Swami Vivekananda on organized religions

swamiji

“If you want to be religious, enter not the gate of any organised religions. They do a hundred times more evil than good, because they stop the growth of each one’s individual development. Study everything, but keep your own seat firm. If you take my advice, do not put your neck into the trap. The moment they try to put their noose on you, get your neck out and go somewhere else. As the bee culling honey from many flowers remains free, not bound by any flower, be not bound. Enter not the door of any organised religion. Religion is only between you and your God, and no third person must come between you. Think what these organised religions have done! What Napoleon was more terrible than those religious persecutions? If you and I organize, we begin to hate every person. It is better not to love, if loving only means hating others. That is no love. That is hell! If loving your own people means hating everybody else, it is the quintessence of selfishness and brutality, and the effect is that it will make you brutes. Therefore, better die working out your own natural religion than following another’s natural religion, however great it may appear to you.”

— Swami Vivekananda (excerpt from a speech delivered in San Francisco, on May 29, 1900)

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