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

The very reason for nature's existence is for the education of the soul.

The world is ready to give up its secrets if we only know how to knock, how to give it the necessary blow. The strength and force of the blow come through concentration.

There is only one sin and it is: weakness. When I was a boy, I read Milton’s Paradise Lost. The only good man I had any respect for was Satan. The only saint is that person who never weakens, faces everything, and determines die game.

This determination must be the first impulse towards becoming religious. I will hew out a way for myself. I will know the truth, or give up my life in the attempt. For on this side it is nothing, it is gone, it is vanishing every day.....on the other, there are the great charms of conquest, victories over all the ills of life, victory over life itself, the conquest of the universe. On that side men can stand.

This is the secret of spiritual life: to think that I am the Atman and not the body, and that the whole of this universe with all its relations, with all its good and all its evil, is but as a series of paintings—scenes on a canvas—of which I am the witness.

Those who work at a thing heart and soul not only achieve success in it but through their absorption in that they also realize the supreme truth—Brahman. Those who work at a thing with their whole heart receive help from God.

To give an objective definition of duty is.....entirely impossible. Yet there is duty from the subjective side. Any action that makes us go Godward is a good action, and is our duty; any action that makes us go downward is evil, and is not our duty.

Truth has to be made practical, to be made simple (for the highest truths are always simple), so that it may penetrate every pore of human society, and become the property of the highest intellects and the commonest minds, of the man, woman, and child at the same time. All these ratiocinations of logic, all these bundles of metaphysics, all these theologies and ceremonies may have been good in their own time, but let us try to make things simpler and bring about the golden days when every man will be a worshipper, and the Reality in every man will be the object of worship.

Was it ever in the history of the world that any great work was done by the rich? It is the heart and the brain that do it ever and ever and not the purse.

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care of what you think.

We have to go back to philosophy to treat things as they are. We are suffering from our own karma. It is not the fault of God. What we do is our own fault, nothing else. Why should God be blamed?

We say that if a temple, or a symbol, or an image helps you to realize the Divine within, you are welcome to it. Have two hundred images if you like. If certain forms and formulas help you to realize the Divine, God speed you; have, by all means, whatever forms, temples, whatever ceremonies you want to bring you nearer to God. But do not quarrel about them; the moment you quarrel, you are not going Godward, you are going backward towards the brutes.

What is now wanted is a combination of the greatest heart with the highest intellectuality, of infinite love with infinite knowledge.

When a big wave of anger has come into the mind, how are we to control that? Just by raising an opposite wave. Think of love. Sometimes a mother is very angry with her husband, and while in that state the baby comes in, and she kisses the baby; the old wave dies out and a new wave arises, love for the child. That suppresses the other one. Love is opposite to anger. Similarly when the idea of stealing comes, non-stealing should be thought of; when the idea of receiving gifts comes, replace it by a contrary thought.

When we let loose our feelings, we waste so much energy, shatter our nerves, disturb our minds, and accomplish very little work. The energy which ought to have gone out as work is spent as mere feeling, which counts for nothing. It is only when the mind is very calm and collected that the whole of its energy is spent in doing good work. And if you read the lives of the great workers which the world has produced, you will find that they were wonderfully calm men. Nothing, as it were, could throw them off their balance. That is why the man who becomes angry never does a great amount of work, and the man whom nothing can make angry accomplishes so much. The man who gives way to anger, or hatred, or any other passion, cannot work; he only breaks himself to pieces, and does nothing practical. It is the calm, forgiving, equable, well-balanced mind that does the greatest amount of work.

Why should a man be miserable even here in the reign of a just and merciful God?

Ye are the Children of God, the sharers of immortal bliss, holy and perfect beings. Ye divinities on earth---sinners! It is a sin to call a man so; it is a standing libel on human nature.

You must practice at least twice every day, and the best times are towards the morning and the evening. When night passes into day, and day into night, a state of relative calmness ensues. The early morning and the early evening are the two periods of calmness. Your body will have a like tendency to become calm at those times. We should take advantage of that natural condition and begin then to practise.

The one eternal religion is applied to the opinions of various minds and various races. There never was my religion or yours, my national religion or your national religion; there never existed many religions, there is only the one. One infinite religion existed all through eternity and will ever exist, and this religion is expressing itself in various countries in various ways.

The purer the mind, the easier it is to control. Purity of the mind must be insisted upon if you would control it.....Perfect morality is the all in all of the complete control over mind. The man who is perfectly moral has nothing more to do; he is free.

The sum total of this whole universe is God Himself. Is God then matter? No, certainly not, for matter is that God perceived by the five senses; that God as perceived by the intellect is mind; and when the spirit sees, He is seen as spirit. He is not matter, but whatever is real in matter is He.

The watchword of all well-being, of all moral good is not ‘I’ but ‘Thou’. Who cares whether there is a heaven or a hell, who cares if there is a soul or not, who cares if there is an unchangeable or not? Here is the world, and it is full of misery. Go out into it as Buddha did, and struggle to lessen it or die in the attempt. Forget yourselves; this is the first lesson to be learnt, whether you are a theist or an atheist, whether you are an agnostic or a Vedantist, a Christian or a Mohammedan.

The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.

There is really but one Self in the universe, all else is but Its manifestations.

This earth is higher than all the heavens; this is the greatest school in the universe.

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