Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sayings of Swami Vivekananda

1. A leader must be impersonal.

2. Bring all the forces of good together. Do not care under what banner you march. Do not care what be your colour-------green, blue, or red----------------but mix up all the colours and produce that intense glow of white, the colour of love.

3. Believe in man first. Why start with the belief that man is degraded and degenerated?

4. Morality is the path towards freedom, and immortality leads to bondage.

5. Prayer

Pray for knowledge and light, every other prayer is selfish.

6. A man should be free to think, especially spiritual thoughts.

7. Perfect purity ensures the most lasting allegiance and confidence.

8. Learn good knowledge with all devotion from the lowest caste.

9. All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.

10. As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.

11. External nature is only internal nature writ large.

12. If money help a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.

13. That man has reached immortality who is disturbed by nothing material.

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

15. Perfect love, the heart never reacting, this is what builds character.

16. Your way is the best for you, but that is no sign that it is the best for others.

17. Civilisation is the manifestation of that divinity in man.

18. The will is not free - it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect - but there is something behind the will which is free.

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

20. Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.

21. What we are now is the result of our past practice.

22. He who will bow before him (Ramakrishna) will be converted into purest gold that very moment.

23. Never say any man is hopeless.

24. Difference

· It is impossible that all difference can cease; it must exist; without variation life must cease.

· Difference is the sauce of life, it is the beauty, it is the art of everything.

25. No man is to be judged by the mere nature of his duties, but all should be judged by the manner and the spirit in which they perform them.

26. Take the hands away and there is light; the light exists always for us, the self-effulgent nature of the human soul.

27. When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state.

28. “Comfort” is no test of truth; on the contrary, truth is often far from being “comfortable.”

29. A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century.

30. A tremendous stream is flowing toward the ocean, carrying us all along with it; and though like straws and scraps of paper we may at times float aimlessly about, in the long run we are sure to join the Ocean of Life and Bliss.

31. You must not mistake sattva for dullness or laziness.

32. The reformers must be able to unite in themselves the culture of both the East and the West.

33. What is good for you may not be good for others.

34. Civilisation, true civilisation, should mean the power of taking the animal-man out of his sense-life.

35. Man never dies, nor is he ever born; bodies die, but he never dies.

Man the infinite dreamer, dreaming finite dreams!

36. Let there be as little materialism as possible, with the maximum of spirituality.

37. As body, mind, or soul, you are a dream; you really are Being, Consciousness, Bliss (satchidananda). You are the God of this universe.

38. As soon as I think that I am a little body, I want to preserve it, to protect it, to keep it nice, at the expense of other bodies; then you and I become separate.

39. Raise once more that mighty banner of Advaita, for on no other ground can you have that wonderful love until you see that the same Lord is present everywhere.

40. The only remedy for bad habits is counter habits.

41. Avoid excessive merriment. A mind in that state never becomes calm; it becomes fickle. Excessive merriment will always be followed by sorrow. Tears and laughter are near kin. People so often run from one extreme to the other.

42. Difference makes all beautiful here.

43. As soon as you know the voice and understand what it is, the whole scene changes. The same world which was the ghastly battlefield of maya is now changed into something good and beautiful.

44. The first requisite is to be moral.

45. Prayer with the lips was not enough; people should pray with their hearts.

46. There is implanted in every man, naturally, a strong desire for progress.

47. All desire is contained in the Self.

48. Every man has to make his own choice; so has every nation.

49. He (man of freedom) does good, because it is his nature, not because any fancied duty commands it.

50. Fire and enthusiasm must be in our blood.

51. Denunciation is not at all the way to do good.

52. There is no difference between theories and atheism. In fact, the atheist is the truer man.

53. Before you were an animal, now you are a man, and will be a god or God Himself in future.

54. Open the windows of your hearts to the clean light of truth, and sit like children at the feet of those who knows what they are talking about-------------------the sages of India.

55. Idle gossip and barren ceremonials won’t do.

56. Out of the past is built the future.

57. In and through all the literature voicing man’s struggle towards freedom, towards universal freedom, again and again you find the Indian Vedantic ideals coming out prominently.

58. The more we know the better for us.

59. Prayer and praise are the first means of growth.

60. The enjoyment of advantage over another is privilege. The fight is to destroy that privilege.

61. While we hope for anything, desire still rules us.

62. Instinct develops into reason, and reason into the transcendental consciousness.

63. Uniformity is the rigorous law of nature; what once happened can happen always.

64. The real is one. It is the mind which makes it appear as many.

65. Principles are the manhood of man

Principles must conquer in the long run, for that is the manhood of man.

66. Flying from work is never the way to find peace.

67. Do not look upon humanity as the centre of all your human and higher interests.

68. Hold your money merely as custodian for what is God’s.

69. What is moral

Everything that strengthens the will by revealing the real nature is moral.

70. There is no power on earth which can be kept long confined within a narrow limit.

71. Love matter and you become matter.

72. Mystery-mongering weakens the human brain.

73. Never say any man is hopeless.

74. The position of the mother is the highest in the world.

75. Devils are machines of darkness, angels are machines of light; but both are machines. Man alone is alive. Break the machine, strike the balance, and then man can become free. This is the only world where man can work out his salvation.

76. He who knows that he does not know, knows It.

77. There is too much talk, talk, talk!

78. Man comes from God in the beginning, in the middle he becomes man, and in the end he goes back to God.

79. All superstition should be banished.

80. From our childhood upwards we have been taught only to pay attention to things external, but never to things internal, hence most of us have nearly lost the faculty of observing the internal mechanism.

81. Seeing God is the aim and goal of all human life.

82. You know I am not much of a writer. I am not in the habit of going from door to door begging. I sit quiet and let things come to me.

Letter to Alasinga Perumal. From
USA: May 6, 1895. Complete Works, 5.82.

83. We have indeed many things to learn from others; yea, that man who refuses to learn is already dead.

84. The true man is he who is strong as strength itself and yet possesses a woman’s heart.

85. In our families there are the heads; some of them are successful, others are not. Why? We complain of others in our failures. The moment I am unsuccessful, I say, so-and-so is the cause of the failure. In failure, one does not like to confess one’s own faults and weaknesses. Each person tries to hold himself faultless and lay the blame upon somebody or something else, or even on bad luck. When heads of families fail, they should ask themselves, why it is that some persons manage a family so well and others do not. Then you will find that the difference is owing to the man — his presence, his personality.

Coming to great leaders of mankind, we always find that it was the personality of the man that counted. Now, take all the great authors of the past, the great thinkers. Really speaking, how many thoughts have they thought? Take all the writings that have been left to us by the past leaders of mankind; take each one of their books and appraise them. The real thoughts, new and genuine, that have been thought in this world up to this time, amount to only a handful. Read in their books the thoughts they have left to us. The authors do not appear to be giants to us, and yet we know that they were great giants in their days. What made them so? Not simply the thoughts they thought, neither the books they wrote, nor the speeches they made, it was something else that is now gone, that is their personality. As I have already remarked, the personality of the man is two-thirds, and his intellect, his words, are but one-third. It is the real man, the personality of the man, that runs through us. Our actions are but effects. Actions must come when the man is there; the effect is bound to follow the cause.

86. The more must be your share of misery.

87. Hold to the idea, “I am not the mind, I see that I am thinking, I am watching my mind act,” and each day the identification of yourself with thoughts and feelings will grow less, until at last you can entirely separate yourself from the mind and actually know it to be apart from yourself.

88. If you think that you are bound, you remain bound; you make your own bondage. If you know that you are free, you are free this moment. This is knowledge, knowledge of freedom. Freedom is the goal of all nature.

89. As long as we believe ourselves to be even the least different from God, fear remains with us; but when we know ourselves to be the One, fear goes; of what can we be afraid?

90. 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.

91. Learning and wisdom are superfluities, the surface glitter merely, but it is the heart that is the seat of all power. It is not in the brain but in the heart that the Atman, possessed of knowledge, power, and activity, has its seat.

92. Understanding human nature is the highest knowledge, and only by knowing it can we know God? It is also a fact that the knowledge of God is the highest knowledge, and only by knowing God can we understand human nature.

93. Shri Krishna is the God of the poor, the beggar, the the sinner, the son, the father, the wife, and of everyone. He enters intimately into all our human relations and makes everything holy and in the end brings us to salvation. He is the God who hides himself from the philosopher and the learned and reveals himself to the ignorant and the children. He is the God of faith and love and not of learning. With the Gopis, love and God were the same thing — they knew Him to be love incarnate.

94. My life is more precious than spending it in getting the admiration of the world. I have no time for such foolery.

95. We have to bear in mind that we are all debtors to the world and the world does not owe us anything. It is a great privilege for all of us to be allowed to do anything for the world. In helping the world we really help ourselves.

96. The calm man is not the man who is dull.

97. Loving others is virtue, hating others is sin.

98. No other ideal can put into us the same mass of energy as the spiritual.

99. We want spiritual ideals before us, we want enthusiastically to gather round grand spiritual names.

100. There is a difference between an objective and actions. Unless you understand your objective, you will be wasting your time in actions. Know your objective first.

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