I am a big admirer of Swami Vivekanand and whatever I have read of his philosophy. I often believe that Hinduism has suffered a lot through its mis-portrayal by current politicians, so called saints, gurus and religious leaders. I despise what has become of a great philosophy (I say philosophy for thats how I prefer to understand religion) in the hands of these fake monks, babas, netas and swamis.
Hinduism is more than its millions of deities, mythology and chants. If one cares to look at the roots by understanding whats written in Vedas and Upanishads, one will be able to see beyond stories, temple worships and rituals. The ultimate objective is faith and to attain that one has to be ready to cross the chasm of logic for faith supersedes logic. This concept itself is hard to digest for many who look for an explanation behind everything and scrutinize everything within realm of reasoning.
When one starts to understand Krsna (or whoever your preferred God is) as an inner force that any of us can activate within ourselves and not just as a cow herder God, the process becomes spiritual and does not remain merely religious anymore. This thought is very liberating (or at least, it has been for me). Whether you are a follower of Krsna consciousness, Shiv, Ram, Islam, Buddhism or anything else, I find the thought to be equally applicable for it is not about the specifics of who you worship, it is more about believing it as a part of yourself.
I wish our religious leaders could understand and preach the true philosophies of Hinduism instead of promoting idol worship and andh-vishwas. Swami Vivekanand did a fantastic job at that in his short life, I wish there could be more like him. If he interests you, here are some links to his work that you can read online. Separately, here is the link to his famous addresses at The Parliament of Religions. And here’s an anecdote from his works-
A disciple went to his master and said to him, “Sir, I want religion.” The master looked at the young man, and did not speak, but only smiled. The young man came every day, and insisted that he wanted religion. But the old man knew better than the young man. One day, when it was very hot, he asked the young man to go to the river with him and take a plunge. The young man plunged in, and the old man followed him and held the young man down under the water by force. After the young man had struggled for a while, he let him go and asked him what he wanted most while he was under the water. “A breath of air”, the disciple answered. “Do you want God in that way? If you do, you will get Him in a moment,” said the master. Until you have that thirst, that desire, you cannot get religion, however you may struggle with your intellect, or your books, or your forms. Until that thirst is awakened in you, you are no better than any atheist; only the atheist is sincere, and you are not.