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

Vivekananda, fully Sri or Swami Vivekananda, born Narendra Nath Datta
1863
1902

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

Author Quotes

This universe is the wreckage of the infinite on the shores of the finite.

Three things are necessary to make every man great, every nation great: 1. Conviction of the powers of goodness. 2. Absence of jealousy and suspicion. 3. Helping all who are trying to be and do good.

To succeed you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. I will drink the ocean, says the persevering soul, at my will mountains will crumble. Have that sort of energy, that sort of will, work hard, and you will reach the goal.

Try to be pure and unselfish---that is the whole of religion.

We are all of us babies here; we may be old and have studied all the books in the universe, but we are all spiritual babies. We have learnt the doctrines and dogmas, but realized nothing in our lives.

We can overcome the difficulty by constant practice. We must learn that nothing can happen to us, unless we make ourselves susceptible to it.

We must also remember that in every little village-god and every little superstitious custom is that which we are accustomed to call our religious faith. But local customs are infinite and contradictory. Which are we to obey, and which not to obey? The Br?hmin of Southern India, for instance, would shrink in horror at the sight of another Brahmin eating meat; a Brahmin in the North thinks it a most glorious and holy thing to do—he kills goats by the hundred in sacrifice. If you put forward your custom, they are equally ready with theirs. Various are the customs all over India, but they are local. The greatest mistake made is that ignorant people always think that this local custom is the essence of our religion.

We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.

What is the world that is to be given up? It is here. I am carrying it all with me. My own body. It is all for this body that I put my hand voluntarily upon my fellow beings, just to keep it nice and give it a little pleasure; [all for this body] that I injure others and make mistakes.

When I was in India and saw these things from the outside, I was told it was all right, it was mere pleasantry and I believed it. But I have travelled since then, and I know it is not right. It is wrong, only you of the West shut your eyes and call it good. The trouble with the nations of the West is that they are young, foolish, fickle, and wealthy. What mischief can come of one of these qualities; but when all three, all four, are combined beware

Whenever we attain a higher vision, the lower vision disappears of itself.

Within there is the lion -- the eternally pure, illumined and ever-free Atman; and directly one realizes Him through meditation and concentration, this world of Maya vanishes.

You are the Pure One; awake and arise, O mighty one, this sleep does not become you. Awake and arise, it does not befit you. Think not that you are weak and miserable. Almighty, arise and awake, and manifest your own nature. It is not fitting that you think yourself a sinner. It is not fitting that you think yourself weak. Say that to the world, say it to yourselves, and see what a practical result comes, see how with an electric flash everything is manifested, how everything is changed. Tell that to mankind, and show them their power.

You, as body, mind, or soul, are a dream, but what you really are, is Being, Consciousness, Bliss. You are the God of this universe. You are creating the whole universe and drawing it in.

The only true duty is to be unattached and to work as free beings, to give up all work unto God.

The root of evil is in the illusion that we are bodies. This, if any, is the original sin.

The test of Ahimsa is absence of jealousy. Any man may do a good deed or make a good gift on the spur of the moment, or under the pressure of some superstition or priestcraft; but the real lover of mankind is he who is jealous of none.

The whole of Nature is worship of God. Wherever there is life, there is this search for freedom and that freedom is the same as God.

There cannot be friendship without equality.

Therefore, we should get rid of these childish notions. We should get beyond the prattle of men who think that religion is merely a mass of frothy words, that it is only a system of doctrines; to whom religion is only a little intellectual assent or dissent; to whom religion is believing in certain words which their own priests tell them; to whom religion is something which their forefathers believed; to whom religion is a certain form of ideas and superstitions to which they cling, because they are their national superstitions. We should get beyond all these, and look at humanity as one vast organizm, slowly coming towards light----a wonderful plant, slowly unfolding itself to that wonderful truth which is called God---and the first gyrations, the first motions, towards this are always through matter and ritual.

This I have seen in life — he who is overcautious about himself falls into dangers at every step; he who is afraid of losing honour and respect, gets only disgrace; he who is always afraid of loss always loses.

This world is nothing. It is at best only a hideous caricature, a shadow of the Real. We must go to the Real. Renunciation will take us to It. Renunciation is the very basis of our true life; every moment of goodness and real life that we enjoy is when we do not think of ourselves.

Through Bhoga (enjoyment) Yoga will come in time. But alas, such is the lot of my countrymen that, not to speak of possessing yoga, they cannot even have a little Bhoga! Suffering all sorts of indignities they can with the utmost difficulty only meet the barest needs of the body — and even that everyone cannot do! It is strange that such a state of affairs does not disturb our sleep and rouse us to our immediate duties.

To talk of evil and misery is nonsense, because they do not exist outside. If I am immune against all anger, I never feel angry. If I am proof against all hatred, I never feel hatred.

Two sorts of persons never require any image--the human animal who never thinks of any religion, and the perfected being who has passed through these stages. Between these two points all of us require some sort of ideal, outside and inside.

Author Picture
First Name
Vivekananda, fully Sri or Swami Vivekananda, born Narendra Nath Datta
Birth Date
1863
Death Date
1902
Bio

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