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

Whatever you are doing, put your whole mind on it. If you are shooting, your mind should be only on the target. Then you will never miss. If you are learning your lessons, think only of the lesson. In India boys and girls are taught to do this.

When we can attach the mind to—or detach it from—the sense at our will, we shall really possess character. Then alone we shall have taken a long step towards freedom; before that, we are mere machines.

Whose meditation is real and effective? Who can really surrender to the will of God? Only the person whose mind has been purified by selfless work.

Work unto death—I am with you, and when I am gone, my spirit will work with you. This life comes and goes—wealth, fame, enjoyments are only of a few days. It is better, far better, to die on the field of duty, preaching the truth, than to die like a worldly worm. Advance!

You must bear in mind that religion does not consist in talk, or doctrines or books, but in realization; it is not learning, but being.

The next great upheaval which is to bring about a new epoch will come from Russia or China.

The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: 'Whosoever comes to me, though whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me.'

The so-called great men of the world may all be seen to become jealous of each other for a small name, for a little fame, and for a few bits of gold. So long as this jealousy exists in a heart, it is far away from the perfection of Ahimsa.

The Vedas say the whole world is a mixture of independence and dependence, of freedom and slavery, but through it all shines the soul independent, immortal, pure, perfect, holy. For if it is independent, it cannot perish, as death is but a change, and depend upon conditions; if independent, it must be perfect, for imperfection is again a condition, and therefore dependent. And this immortal and perfect soul must be the same in the highest God as well as in the humblest man, the difference between them being only in the degree in which this soul manifests itself.

The work of the ethics has been, and will be in the future, not the destruction of variation and the establishment of sameness in the external world, which is impossible, for it would mean death and annihilation---but to recognize the unity in spite of all these variations, to recognize the God within, in spite of everything that frightens us, to recognize that infinite strength as the property of everyone in spite of all apparent weakness, and to recognize the eternal, infinite, essential purity of the soul in spite of everything to the contrary which appears on the surface.

There is nothing beyond God, and the sense enjoyments are simply something through which we are passing now in the hope of getting better things.

This body is opaque, God is the lamp. Whatever is going out of the body is God's. You don't feel it. You feel I. This is delusion. You must learn calm submission to the will of God. Duty is the best school for it.

This is the great lesson that we are here to learn through myriads of births and heavens and hells—that there is nothing to be asked for, desired for, beyond one’s spiritual Self (atman).

Those who really want to be yogis must give up, once and for all, this nibbling at things. Take up one idea; make that one idea your life. Think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave other ideas alone.

To devote your life to the good of all and to the happiness of all is religion. Whatever you do for your own sake is not religion

Truth does not pay homage to any society, ancient or modern. Society has to pay homage to Truth or die.

Wait with patience and love and strength. If helpers are not ready now, they will come in time. Why should we be in a hurry? The real working force of all great work is in its almost unperceived beginnings.

We are the children of the Almighty, we are the sparks of the infinite, divine fire. How can you be nothings? We are everything, ready to do everything, we can do everything, and man must do everything.

We have seen how happiness is either in the body or in the mind, or in the Atman. With animals, and in the lowest of human beings, who are very much like animals, happiness is all in the body. No man can eat with the same pleasure as a famished dog, or a wolf; so, in the dog and the wolf the happiness is entirely in the body. In men we find a higher plane of happiness, that of thought, and in the Jnani there is the highest plane of happiness in the Self, the Atman. So to the philosopher this knowledge of the Self is of the highest utility, because it gives him the highest happiness possible. Sense gratification or physical things cannot be of the highest utility to him, because he does not find in them the same pleasure that he finds in knowledge itself; and after all, knowledge is the one goal, and is really the highest happiness we know.

We must travel, we must go to foreign parts. We must see how the engine of society works in other countries, and keep free and open communication with what is going on in the minds of other nations, if we really want to be a nation again.

What is education? Is it book-learning? No. Is it diverse knowledge? Not even that. The training by which the current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called education.

Whatever you believe, that you will be. If you believe yourselves to be sages, sages you will be tomorrow. There is nothing to obstruct you.

When we come to nonattachment, then we can understand the marvelous mystery of the universe: how it is intense activity and at the same time intense peace, how it is work every moment and rest every moment.

Why are people so afraid? The answer is that they have made themselves helpless and dependent on others. We are so lazy, we do not want to do anything ourselves. We want a Personal God, a Savior or a Prophet to do everything for us.

Worship of God, worship of the holy ones, concentration and meditation and unselfish work, these are the ways of breaking away from Maya's net; but we must first have the strong desire to get free. The flash of light that will illumine the darkness for us is in us; it is the knowledge that is our nature (there is no birth-right, we were never born). All that we have to do is to drive away the clouds that cover it.

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