Vivekananda, fully Sri or Swami Vivekananda, born Narendra Nath Datta

Vivekananda, fully Sri or Swami Vivekananda, born Narendra Nath Datta

Indian Hindu Monk, Religious Leader and Philosopher credited with raising interfaith awareness

Author Quotes

The mountains of today were the oceans of yesterday and will be oceans tomorrow. Everything is in a state of flux; the whole universe is a mass of change. But there is One who never changes, and that is God.

The power of purity—it is a definite power.

The secret of religion lies not in theories but in practice. To be good and do good — that is the whole of religion. ‘Not he that crieth Lord, Lord, but he that doeth the will of the Father’.

The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.

The will is not free - it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect - but there is something behind the will which is free.

There is no help for you outside of yourself; you are the creator of the universe. Like the silkworm you have built a cocoon around yourself…. Burst your own cocoon and come out aw the beautiful butterfly, as the free soul. Then alone you will see Truth.

Think day and night, I am of the essence of that Supreme Existence, Knowledge, Bliss--what fear and anxiety have I? This body, mind, and intellect are all transient, and That which is beyond these is myself.

This is no world. It is God Himself. In delusion we call it world.

Those who give themselves up to the Lord do more for the world than all the so-called workers.

To believe blindly is to degenerate the human soul. Be an atheist if you want, but do not believe in anything unquestioningly.

True religion is not talk, or doctrines, or theories, nor is it sectarianism. It is the relation between soul and God. Religion does not consist in erecting temples, or building churches, or attending public worship. It is not to be found in books, or in words, or in lectures, or in organizations. Religion consists in realization. We must realize God, feel God, see God, talk to God. That is religion.

Vairagya or renunciation is the turning point in all the various Yogas. The Karmi (worker) renounces the fruits of his work. The Bhakta (devotee) renounces all little loves for the almighty and omnipresent love. The Yogi renounces his experiences, because his philosophy is that the whole Nature, although it is for the experience of the soul, at last brings him to know that he is not in Nature. The Jnani (philosopher) renounces everything, because his philosophy is that Nature never existed, neither in the past, nor present, nor will be in the future.

We are heirs to all the good thoughts of the universe, if we open ourselves to them.

We have been low animals once. We think they are something different from us. I hear, Western people say, The world was created for us. If tigers could write books, they would say, man was created for them and that man is a most sinful animal, because he does not allow him (the tiger) to catch him easily. The worm that crawls under your feet today is a God to be.

We must plunge heart and soul and body into the work. And until we are ready to sacrifice everything else to one Idea and to one alone, we never, never will see the Light.

What I want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made.

Whatever may be the position of Philosophy, whatever may be the position of Metaphysics, so long as there is such a thing as death in this world, so long as there is such a thing as weakness in the human heart, so long as there is a cry going out of the heart of man in his very weakness, there shall be a faith in God.

When there is conflict between the heart and the brain, let the heart be followed, because intellect has only one state, reason, and within that, intellect works, and cannot get beyond. It is the heart which takes one to the highest plane, which intellect can never reach; it goes beyond intellect, and reaches to what is called inspiration. … Men of heart get the ‘butter’, ad the ‘buttermilk’ is left for the intellectual.

Who will give the world light? Sacrifice in the past has been the Law, it will be, alas, for ages to come. The earth's bravest and best will have to sacrifice themselves for the good of many, for the welfare of all. Buddhas by the hundred are necessary with eternal love and pity.

Work on with the intrepidity of a lion but at the same time with the tenderness of a flower.

You must be all-forbearing, like Mother Earth.

The nature of the brute is to remain where he is, of a human being to seek good and to avoid evil, and of God to neither seek nor avoid but just to be eternally blissful. Let us be Gods, let us make our hearts like an ocean, to go beyond all the trifles of the world and see it only as a picture. We can then enjoy it without being in any way affected by it.

The powers of the mind are like the rays of the sun when they are concentrated they illumine.

The Self is the eternal subject, and we are struggling all the time to objectify that Self. And out of that struggle has come this phenomenal universe and what we call matter, and so on. But these are very weak attempts, and the highest objectification of the Self possible to us is the Personal God. This objectification is an attempt to reveal our own nature.

The Vedanta teaches men to have faith in themselves first. As certain religions of the world say that a man who does not believe in a Personal God outside of himself is an atheist, so the Vedanta says, a man who does not believe in himself is an atheist. Not believing in the glory of our own soul is what the Vedanta calls atheism.

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Vivekananda, fully Sri or Swami Vivekananda, born Narendra Nath Datta
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Indian Hindu Monk, Religious Leader and Philosopher credited with raising interfaith awareness