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

You must have strict morality. Deviate an inch from this and you are gone forever.

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 has such a face that anyone who sees that face becomes convinced. The sun does not require any torch to show it; the sun is self-effulgent. If truth requires evidence, what will evidence that evidence?

Want of sympathy and lack of energy are at the root of all misery, and you must therefore give these two up.

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.

We have seen that it is the subjective world that rules the objective. Change the subject and the object is bound to change; purify yourself, and the world is bound to be purified. This one thing requires to be taught now more than ever before. We are becoming more and more busy about our neighbours, and less and less about ourselves. The world will change if we change; if we are pure, the world will become pure. The question is why I should see evil in others. I cannot see evil unless I be evil. I cannot be miserable unless I am weak. Things that used to make me miserable when I was a child, do not do so now. The subject changed, so the object was bound to change; so says the Vedanta.

We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none has the praise.

What is material and what is not material? When the world is the end and God the means to attain that end, then that is material. When God is the end and the world is only the means to attain that end, spirituality has begun.

Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be. If you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.

When we have become free, we need not go mad and throw up society and rush off to die in the forest or the cave; we shall remain where we were but we shall understand the whole thing. The same phenomena will remain but with a new meaning.

Why religions should claim that they are not bound to abide by the standpoint of reason, no one knows. If one does not take the standard of reason there cannot be any true judgement, even in the case of religions. One religion may ordain something very hideous. For instance, the Mohammedan religion allows Mohammedans to kill all who are not of their religion. It is clearly stated in the Koran, Kill the infidels if they do not become Mohammedans. They must be put to fire and sword. Now if we tell a Mohammedan that this is wrong, he will naturally ask: How do you know that? How do you know it is not good? My book says it is. If you say your book is older, there will come the Buddhist, and say, his book is much older still. Then will come the Hindu, and say, his books are the oldest of all. Therefore referring to books will not do. Where is the standard by which you can compare? You will say, look at the Sermon on the Mount, and the Mohammedan will reply, look at the Ethics of the Koran. The Mohammedan will say, who is the arbiter as to which is the better of the two? Neither the New Testament nor the Koran can be the arbiter in a quarrel between them. There must be some independent authority, and that cannot be any book, but something which is universal; and what is more universal than reason? It has been said that reason is not strong enough; it does not always help us to get the Truth; many times it makes mistakes, and therefore the conclusion is that we must believe the authority of a church! That was said to me by a Roman Catholic, but I could not see the logic of it. On the other hand I should say, if reason be so weak, a body of priests would be weaker, and I am not going to accept their verdict but I will abide by my reason, because with all its weakness there is some chance of my getting at truth through it; while by the other means there is no hope at all.

Worship of society and popular opinion is idolatry. The soul has no sex, no country, no place, no time.

You must keep the mind fixed on one object, like an unbroken stream of oil. The ordinary man's mind is scattered on different objects, and at the time of meditation, too, the mind is at first apt to wander. But let any desire whatever arise in the mind, you must sit calmly and watch what sort of ideas are coming. By continuing to watch in that way, the mind becomes calm, and there are no thought waves in it. These waves represent the thought-activity of the mind. Those things that you have thought too deeply, have transformed themselves into a subconscious current, and therefore these come up in the mind in meditation. The rise of these waves, or thoughts, during meditation is an evidence that your mind is tending towards concentration. Sometimes the mind is concentrated on a set of ideas -- this is called meditation with Vikalpa or oscillation. But when the mind becomes almost free from all activities, it melts in the inner Self, which is the essence of infinite Knowledge, One and Itself Its own support.

The observer in the psychic world needs to be very strong and scientifically trained.

The present system of education is all wrong. The mind is crammed with facts before it knows how to think. Control of the mind should be taught first.

The Soul is not composed of any materials. It is unity indivisible. Therefore it must be indestructible.

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