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

Your Atman is the support of the universe—whose support do you stand in need of? 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.

The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.

The past was great no doubt, but I sincerely believe that the future will be more glorious still.

The salvation of India, therefore, depends on the strength of the individual, and the realization by each man of the divinity within.

The ultimate goal of all mankind, the aim and end of all religions, is but one---re-union with God, or, what amounts to the same, with the divinity which is every man's true nature. But while the aim is one, the method of attaining it may vary with the different temperaments of men. Both the goal and the methods employed for reaching it are called Yoga, a word derived from the same Sanskrit root as the English yoke, meaning to join, to join us to our reality, God.

The whole universe is one in the Atman. That Atman when it appears behind the universe is called God. The same Atman when it appears behind this little universe, the body, is the soul. This very soul, therefore, is the Atman in us.

There is but One Existence and that One Existence seen through different constitutions appears either as the earth, or heaven, or hell, or gods, or ghosts, or men, or demons, or world, or all these things. But among these many, He who sees that One in this ocean of death, he who sees that One Life in this floating universe, who realizes that One who never changes, unto him belongs eternal peace; unto none else, unto none else.

They alone live, who live for others.

This is a great fact: strength is life; weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal; weakness is constant strain and misery : weakness is death.

This World will always continue to be a mixture of Good and Evil. Our duty is to sympathize with the weak and to Love even the wrongdoer.

To acquire freedom we have to go beyond the limitations of this universe; it cannot be found here. Perfect equilibrium, or what the Christians call the peace that passeth understanding, cannot be had in this universe, nor in heaven, nor in any place where our mind, and thoughts can go, where the senses can feel, or which the imagination can conceive. No such place can give us the freedom, because all such places would be within our universe, and it is limited by space, time and causation.

To worship God even for the sake of salvation or any other reward is equally degenerate. Love knows no reward. Give your love unto to God, but do not ask anything in return even from Him through pray.

Unity in variety is the plan of nature, and the Hindu has recognized it. Every other religion lays down certain fixed dogmas, and tries to force society to adopt them. It places before society only one coat which must fit Jack and John and Henry, all alike. If it does not fit John or Henry, he must go without a coat to cover his body. The Hindus have discovered that the absolute can only be realized, or thought of, or stated, through the relative, and the images, crosses and crescents are simply so many symbols---so many pegs to hang the spiritual ideas on. It is not that this help is necessary for every one, but those that do not need it have no right to say that it is wrong. Nor is it compulsory in Hinduism.

We are asked: What good is your religion to society? Society is made a test of truth. Now this is very illogical. Society is only a stage of growth through which we are passing....If the social state were permanent, it would be the same as if the baby remained a baby. There can be no perfect man-baby; the words are a contradiction in terms, so there can be no perfect society. Man must and will grow out of such early stages....My Master used to say, Why don't you help your own lotus flower to bloom? The bees will then come of themselves.

We find ourselves in the position for which we are fit, each ball finds its own hole; and if one has some capacity above another, the world will find that out too, in this universal adjusting that goes on. So it is no use to grumble.....what is the use of fighting and complaining? That will not help us to better things. He who grumbles at the little thing that has fallen to his lot to do, will grumble at everything. Always grumbling he will lead a miserable life, and everything will be a failure. But that man who does his duty as he goes, putting his shoulder to the wheel, will see the light, and higher and higher duties will fall to his share.

We must be bright and cheerful. Long faces do not make religion. Religion should be the most joyful thing in the world, because it is the best.

Well, you consider a man as educated if only he can pass some examinations and deliver good lectures...

What the world wants today is twenty men and women who can dare to stand in the street yonder and say that they possess nothing but God. Who will go? Why should one fear? If this is true, what else could matter? If it is not true, what do our lives matter?

When once you consider an action, do not let anything dissuade you. Consult your heart, not others, and then follow its dictates.

Where God is, there is no other. Where the world is, there is no God. These two will never unite. Like light and darkness. That is what I have understood from Christianity and the life of Jesus. Isn’t that also Buddhism? Isn’t that Hinduism? Isn’t that Islam? Isn’t that the teaching of all the great sages and teachers?

Women will work out their destinies — much better, too, than men can ever do for them. All the mischief to women has come because men undertook to shape the destiny of women.

You cannot help anyone, you can only serve

Your godhead is the proof of God Himself. If you are not a prophet, there never has been anything true of God. If you are not God, there never was any God, and never will be. This, says Vedanta, is the ideal to follow. Every one of us will have to become a prophet, and you are that already. Only know it. Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is a sin, this is the only sin — to say that you are weak, or others are weak.

The more we grow in love and virtue and holiness, the more we see love and virtue and holiness outside. All condemnation of others really condemns ourselves. Adjust the microcosm (which is in your power to do) and the macrocosm will adjust itself for you. It is like the hydrostatic paradox, one drop of water can balance the universe. We cannot see outside what we are not inside. The universe is to us what the huge engine is to the miniature engine; and indication of any error in the tiny engine leads us to imagine trouble in the huge one.

The path of devotion is natural and pleasant. Philosophy is taking the mountain stream back to its source by force. It is a quicker method but very hard. Philosophy says, Check everything. Devotion says, Give up all to the stream, have eternal self-surrender. It is a longer way, but easier and happier.

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