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

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.

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

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.

The Vedas teach that the soul is divine, only held in the bondage of matter; perfection will be reached when this bond will burst, and the word they use for it is, therefore, Mukti - freedom, freedom from the bonds of imperfection, freedom from death and misery.

The world is a grand moral gymnasium wherein we have all to take exercise so as to become stronger and stronger spiritually.

There is one thing to be remembered: that the assertion—I am God—cannot be made with regard to the sense-world.

This competition, cruelty, horror and sighs rending hearts day and night, is the state of things in this world of ours. If this be the creation of a God, that God is worse than cruel, worse than any devil that man ever imagined. Aye, says the Vedanta, it is not the fault of God that this partiality exists, that this competition exists. Who makes it? We ourselves. There is a cloud shedding its rain on all fields alike. But it is only the field that is well cultivated, which gets the advantages of the shower; another field which has not been tilled or taken care of, cannot get that advantage. It is not the fault of the cloud. The mercy of God is eternal and unchangeable; it is we that make the differentiation.

This is the only way to reach the goal, to tell ourselves, and to tell everybody else, that we are divine. And as we go on repeating this, strength comes. He who falters at first will get stronger and stronger, and the voice will increase in volume until the truth takes possession of our hearts, and courses through our veins, and permeates our bodies.

Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood.

To get any reason out of the mass of incongruity we call human life, we have to transcend our reason, but we must do it scientifically, slowly, by regular practice, and we must cast off all superstition. We must take up the study of the superconscious state just as any other science. On reason we must have to lay our foundation, we must follow reason as far as it leads, and when reason fails, reason itself will show us the way to the highest plane.

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.

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