1000 Quotes of Swami Vivekananda

/1000 Quotes of Swami Vivekananda
1000 Quotes of Swami Vivekananda 2018-04-16T23:56:33+00:00

Quote 1

The soul is a circle whose circumference is nowhere (limitless), but whose centre is in some body. Death is but a change of centre. God is a circle whose circumference is nowhere, and whose centre is everywhere. When we can get out of the limited centre of body, we shall realise God, our true Self.

Quote 2

Knowledge will remove all misery. Knowledge will make us free. This is the idea of Jnana-Yoga: knowledge will make us free! What knowledge? Chemistry? Physics? Astronomy? Geology? They help us a little, just a little. But the chief knowledge is that of your own nature. 'Know thyself.' You must know what you are, what your real nature is. You must become conscious of that infinite nature within. Then your bondages will burst.

Quote 3

Don't look back--forward, infinite energy, infinite enthusiasm, infinite daring, and infinite patience--then alone can great deeds be accomplished.

Quote 4

A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men can do more in a year than a mob in a century. If there is heat in one body, then those others that come near it must catch it. This is the law. So success is ours, so long as we keep up the heat, the spirit of truth, sincerity, and love.

Quote 5

In the first place, we have been existing eternally; in the second place that we are the makers of our own lives. There is no such thing as fate. Our lives are the result of our previous actions, our Karma. And it naturally follows that having been ourselves the makers of our Karma, we must also be able to unmake it..

Quote 6

Why did God create me so miserable? He did not. He gave me the same powers as He did to every being. I brought myself to this pass.

Quote 7

Each one of us reaps what we ourselves have sown. These miseries under which we suffer, these bondages under which we struggle, have been caused by ourselves, and none else in the universe is to blame. God is the least to blame for it.

Quote 8

This world will always be a mixture of good and evil, of happiness and misery; this wheel will ever go up and come down; dissolution and resolution is the inevitable law. Blessed are those who struggle to go beyond..

Quote 9

Happiness is liked so much because it is so rare, is it not? Fifty percent of our life is mere lethargy, ennui; of the rest, forty percent is pain, only ten happiness and this for the exceptionally fortunate.

Quote 10

I would not worship even the Greek Gods, for they were separate from humanity! Only those should be worshipped who are like ourselves but greater. The difference between the gods and me must be a difference only of degree.

Quote 11

Above all 'obedience' and 'esprit de corps'. The work cannot succeed unless there is perfect obedience to the authority of the Order and sacrifice of individual views for the sake of the Order.

Quote 12

Traveling is the best thing in life. I am afraid I shall die if made to stick to one place for a long time. Nothing like a nomadic life!.

Quote 13

'Here' and 'here-after' are words to frighten children. It is all 'here'. To live and move in God - even here, even in this body! All self should go out; all superstition should be banished.

Quote 14

Neither numbers nor powers nor wealth nor learning nor eloquence nor anything else will prevail, but purity, living the life, in one word, anubhuti , realisation. Let there be a dozen such lion-souls in each country, lions who have broken their own bonds, who have touched the Infinite, whose whole soul is gone to Brahman, who care neither for wealth nor power nor fame, and these will be enough to shake the world.

Quote 15

Of one thing I am sure - that whoever wants to help his fellow beings through genuine love and unselfishness will work wonders.

Quote 16

Not disgust, nor joy for life, but a sort of indifference.

Quote 17

The upshot of the whole thing is--I want bold, daring, adventurous spirits to help me. Else I will work alone. I have a mission to fulfill. I will work it out alone. I do not care who comes or who goes.

Quote 18

There is but one basis of well-being, social, political or spiritual--to know that I and my brother are one . This is true for all countries and all people..

Quote 19

He who gives up the little self for the world will find the whole universe his.

Quote 20

It is the patient up building of character, the intense struggle to realize the truth, which alone will tell in the future of humanity.

Quote 21

The only way is love and sympathy. The only worship is love.

Quote 22

I do not care what they say. I love my God, my religion, my country, and above all, myself, a poor beggar. I love the poor, the ignorant, the downtrodden, I feel for them--the Lord knows how much. He will show me the way.

Quote 23

It is all right for those who have plenty of money and position to let the world roll on such, but I call him a traitor who, having been educated, nursed in luxury by the heart's blood of the downtrodden millions of toiling poor, never even takes a thought for them.

Quote 24

Why should a man be moral and pure? Because this strengthens his will. Everything that strengthens the will by revealing the real nature is moral. Everything that does the reverse is immoral.

Quote 25

I will tell you what is to my taste; I cannot write, and I cannot speak, but I can think deeply, and when I am heated, can speak fire. It should be, however, to a select, a very select--few. Let them, if they will, carry and scatter my ideas broadcast--not I. This is only a just division of labour. The same man never succeeded both in thinking and in scattering his thoughts. A man should be free to think, especially spiritual thoughts..

 

Quote 26

Three things are necessary to make every man great, every nation great: 1. Conviction of the powers of goodness. 2. Absence of jealousy and suspicion. 3. Helping all who are trying to be and do good.

 

Quote 27

I am born to organise these young men; nay, hundreds more in every city are ready to join me; and I want to send them rolling like irresistible waves over India, bringing comfort, morality, religion, education to the doors of the meanest and the most downtrodden. And this I will do or die.

 

Quote 28

When you can give up money, friends, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, all that is in the world and only pray to God that He grant you something of His love, then you have found salvation.

 

Quote 29

The salvation of man lies in the great love with which he loves his God.

 

Quote 30

God is the only one who is free. God and freedom are one and the same.

 

Quote 31

Where is the solution of this world? Those who look outside will never find it; they must turn their eyes inward and find truth. Religion lives inside.

 

Quote 32

Life in this world is an attempt to see God. Make your life a manifestation of will strengthened by renunciation.

 

Quote 33

Remember! the message of India is always, Not the soul for nature, but nature for the soul.

 

Quote 34

The greatest force is derived from the power of thought.

 

Quote 35

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 !

 

Quote 36

In a conflict between the heart and the brain follow your heart.

 

Quote 37

Oh, how calm would be the work of one who really understood the divinity of man! For such, there is nothing to do, save to open men's eyes. All the rest does itself.

 

Quote 38

Believe first in yourself, then in God. A handful of strong men will move the world. We need a heart to feel, a brain to conceive, and a strong arm to do the work.

 

Quote 39

He (Shri Ramakrishna) was contented simply to live that great life and to leave it to others to find the explanation!

 

Quote 40

Better be ready to live in rags with Christ than to live in palaces without him.

 

Quote 41

I am persuaded that a leader is not made in one life. He has to be born for it. For the difficulty is not in organisation and making plans; the test, the real test, of the leader, lies in holding widely different people together along the line of their common sympathies. And this can only be done unconsciously, never by trying.

 

Quote 42

The more I live, the more I become convinced every day that every human being is divine. In no man or woman, however vile, does that divinity die. Only he or she does not know how to reach it and is waiting for the Truth.

 

Quote 43

The older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my new gospel.

 

Quote 44

The only test of good things is that they make us strong.

 

Quote 45

It is selfishness that we must seek to eliminate. I find that whenever I have made a mistake in my life, it has always been because self entered into the calculation. Where self has not been involved, my judgment has gone straight to the mark.

 

Quote 46

This I lay down as the first essential in all I teach: anything that brings spiritual, mental, or physical weakness, touch it not with the toes of your feet.

 

Quote 47

All fear and all desire to enjoy here or hereafter must be banished for ever by the Karma-Yogi. Moreover, this Karma without desire of return will destroy the selfishness, which is the root of all bondage.

 

Quote 48

Worship the Terrible! Worship Death! All else is vain. All struggle is vain. That is the last lesson. Yet this is not the coward's love of death, not the love of the weak or the suicide. It is the welcome of the strong man who has sounded everything to its depths and knows that there is no alternative.

 

Quote 49

With God every knowledge is sacred. Knowledge is God. Infinite knowledge abides within every one in the fullest measure. You are not really ignorant, though you may appear to be so. You are incarnations of God, all of you. You are incarnations of the Almighty, Omnipresent, Divine Principle. You may laugh at me now, but the time will come when you will understand. You must. Nobody will be left behind.

 

Quote 50

God is the infinite, impersonal being--ever existent, unchanging, immortal, fearless; and you are all His incarnations, His embodiments. This is the God of Vedanta, and His heaven is everywhere. In this heaven dwell all the Personal Gods there are--you yourselves. Exit praying and laying flowers in the temples!

 

Quote 51

The Lord is all blissfulness. He is the reality behind all that exists, He is the goodness, the truth in everything. You are His incarnations. That is what is glorious. The nearer you are to Him, the less you will have occasions to cry or weep. The further we are from Him, the more will long faces come. The more we know of Him, the more misery vanishes.

 

Quote 52

There is no help for man. None ever was, none is, and none will be. Why should there be? Are you not men and women? Are the lords of the earth to be helped by others? Are you not ashamed? You will be helped when you are reduced to dust. But you are spirit. Pull yourself out of difficulties by yourself! Save yourself by yourself! There is none to help you--never was. To think that there is, is sweet delusion. It comes to no good.

 

Quote 53

Even misery can be enjoyed when there is no selfishness, when we have become the witness of our own lives.

 

Quote 54

This vastness of his desire is really the sign of man's own infinitude. It is because he is infinite, that he can only be satisfied when his desire is infinite and its fulfillment infinite. What then can satisfy man? Not gold. Not enjoyment. Not beauty. One Infinite alone can satisfy him, and that Infinite is Himself. When he realises this, then alone comes freedom.

 

Quote 55

Eternal, unquestioning self-surrender to Mother alone can give us peace. Love Her for Herself, without fear or favour. Love Her because you are Her child. See Her in all, good and bad alike. Then alone will come Sameness and Bliss Eternal that is Mother Herself when we realise Her thus. Until then, misery will pursue us. Only resting in Mother are we safe.

 

Quote 56

The real study is that by which we realise the Unchangeable, and that is neither by reading, nor believing, nor reasoning, but by superconscious perception and Samadhi.

 

Quote 57

The less you read, the better. Read the Gita and other good works on Vedanta. That is all you need.

 

Quote 58

None is desiring anything beyond this body. Oh, the terrible degradation, the terrible misery of it! What little flesh, the five senses, the stomach! What is the world but a combination of stomach and sex? Look at millions of men and women--that is what they are living for. Take these away from them and they will find their life empty, meaningless, and intolerable. Such are we. And such is our mind; it is continually hankering for ways and means to satisfy the hunger of the stomach and sex. All the time this is going on. There is also endless suffering; these desires of the body bring only momentary satisfaction and endless suffering. It is like drinking a cup of which the surface layer is nectar, while underneath all is poison. But we still hanker for all these things. What can be done? Renunciation of the senses and desires is the only way out of this miser.

 

Quote 59

When the breath is flowing through the left nostril, it is the time for rest; when through the right, for work; and when through both, the time to meditate. When we are calm and breathing equally through both nostrils, we are in the right condition for quiet meditation

 

Quote 60

Inspiration is from within and we have to inspire ourselves by our own higher faculties.

 

Quote 61

Identify yourself with God, never with matter or with the mind.

 

Quote 62

Of hundreds of thousands only one soul will say, I will go beyond, and I will penetrate to God.

 

Quote 63

For millions of years we have worked so hard to manufacture these bodies that in the struggle we have forgotten our real purpose in getting them, which was to become perfect. We have grown to think that body-making is the end of our efforts. This is Maya. We must break this delusion and return to our original aim and realise we are not the body, it is our servant.

 

Quote 64

The ears are the best educators. The best principles in our lives were those which we heard from our mothers through our ears. Books came much later. Book-learning is nothing. Through the ears we get the best formative principles.

 

Quote 65

You cannot be a Yogi if you talk much.

 

Quote 66

All can find the reality beyond. If God is true, we must feel him as a fact, and if there is a soul, we ought to be able to see it and feel it.

 

Quote 67

Holy meditation helps to burn out all mental impurities. All who are not Yogis are slaves; bond after bond must be broken to make us free.

 

Quote 68

The best time for practice is the junction of day and night, the calmest time in the tides of our bodies, the zero point between two states. If this cannot be done, practise upon rising and going to bed. Great personal cleanliness is necessary--a daily bath.

 

Quote 69

Persevere through thick and thin, through health and sickness, never miss a day in practice.

 

Quote 70

The first condition is that the student who wants to know the truth must give up all desires for gain in this world or in the life to come.

 

Quote 71

Intense desire to know Truth and God. Be eager for them, long for them, as a drowning man longs for breath. Want only God, take nothing else, let not seeming cheat you any longer. Turn from all and seek only God.

 

Quote 72

Give up all ideas of enjoyment in this world and the next, care only for God and Truth. We are here to know truth, not for enjoyment. Leave that to brutes who enjoy as we never can. Man is a thinking being and must struggle on until he conquers death, until he sees the light. He must not spend himself in vain talking that bears no fruit.

 

Quote 73

Why should the mind think thoughts I do not want it to think? I am as it were a slave to the mind. No spiritual knowledge is possible so long as the mind is restless and out of control. The disciple has to learn to control the mind. Yes, it is the function of the mind to think. But it must not think if the disciple does not want it to; it must stop thinking when he commands it to.

 

Quote 74

Man is the highest being that exists and this is the greatest world, for here can man realise freedom.

 

Quote 75

Hold fast to the real Self, think only pure thoughts, and you will accomplish more than a regiment of mere preachers. Out of purity and silence comes the word of power.

 

Quote 76

We should never try to be guardians of mankind, or to stand on a pedestal as saints reforming sinners. Let us rather purify ourselves, and the result must be that in so doing we shall help others.

 

Quote 77

This life is our teacher, and dying only makes room to begin over again. Body is our schoolmaster, but to commit suicide is folly, it is only killing the schoolmaster. Another will take his place. So until we have learnt to transcend the body, we must have it, and losing one, will get another. Still we must not identify ourselves with the body, but look upon it only as an instrument to be used in reaching perfection.

 

Quote 78

Do not pity anyone. Look upon all as your equal, cleanse yourself of the primal sin of inequality. We are all equal and must not think, I am good and you are bad, and I am trying to reclaim you. Equality is the sign of the free.

 

Quote 79

The first step upwards is when we recognise ourselves as the children of God; the last step is when we realise ourselves as the One, the Atman.

 

Quote 80

This craving for health, wealth, long life, and the like--the so-called good--is nothing but an illusion. To devote the mind to them in order to secure them only strengthens the delusion.

 

Quote 81

To become pure is the shortest path to freedom.

 

Quote 82

Comfort is no test of truth; on the contrary, truth is often far from being comfortable. If one intends to really find truth, one must not cling to comfort. It is hard to let all go, but the Jnani must do it.

 

Quote 83

Resist not evil. Face it! You are higher than evil.

 

Quote 84

What can the universe give us more than our own soul? Possessing that, we possess all.

 

Quote 85

When I say I, I mean this spirit. Close your eyes and see what picture appears when you think of your I. Is it the picture of your body that comes, or of your mental nature? If so, you have not realised your true I yet. The time will come, however, when as soon as you say I you will see the universe, the Infinite Being. Then you will have realised your true Self and found that you are infinite. That is the truth: you are the spirit, you are not matter.

 

Quote 86

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? By sheer force of will the Jnani rises beyond body, beyond mind, making this universe zero. Thus he destroys Avidya and knows his true Self, the Atman. Happiness and misery are only in the senses, they cannot touch our real Self. The soul is beyond time, space, and causality--therefore unlimited, omnipresent.

 

Quote 87

Help whenever you can, but mind what your motive is. If it is selfish, it will neither benefit those you help, nor yourself. If it is unselfish, it will bring blessings upon them to whom it is given, and infinite blessings upon you, sure as you are living. The Lord can never be hoodwinked. The law of Karma can never be hoodwinked.

 

Quote 88

While we think of the world, it is only the world for us; but let us come to it with the feeling that the world is God, and we shall have God. This should be our thought towards everyone and everything--parents, children, husbands, wives, friends, and enemies. Think how it would change the whole universe for us if we could consciously fill it with God! See nothing but God! All sorrow, all struggle, all pain would be for ever lost to us!

 

Quote 89

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.

 

Quote 90

The mind brings before us all our delusions--body, sex, creed, caste, bondage; so we have to tell the truth to the mind incessantly, until it is made to realise it. Our real nature is all bliss, and all the pleasure we know is but a reflection, an atom, of that bliss we get from touching our real nature. That is beyond both pleasure and pain. It is the witness of the universe, the unchanging reader before whom turn the leaves of the book of life.

 

Quote 91

Desire makes slaves of us, it is an insatiable tyrant and gives its victims no rest; but the Jivanmukta has conquered all desire by rising to the knowledge that he is the One and there is nothing left to wish for.

 

Quote 92

Only knowledge can free and save us, but with knowledge must go virtue.

 

Quote 93

That man and God are one is the constant teaching of the Vedas, but only few are able to penetrate behind the veil and reach the realisation of this truth.

 

Quote 94

This world is a relative world, a shadow of the real; still, being the plane of equipoise where happiness and misery are about evenly balanced, it is the only plane where man can realise his true Self and know that he is Brahman.

 

Quote 95

I expect more from my children than from my brethren. I want each one of my children to be a hundred times greater than I could ever be. Everyone of you must be a giant--must, that is my word. Obedience, readiness, and love for the cause--if you have these three, nothing can hold you back.

 

Quote 96

Even the greatest fool can accomplish a task if it be after his heart. But the intelligent man is he who can convert every work into one that suits his taste. No work is petty. Everything in this world is like a banyan-seed, which, though appearing tiny as a mustard-seed, has yet the gigantic banyan tree latent within it. He indeed is intelligent who notices this and succeeds in making all work truly great.

 

Quote 97

All the wealth of the world cannot help one little Indian village if the people are not taught to help themselves. Our work should be mainly educational, both moral and intellectual.

 

Quote 98

My ideal indeed can be put into a few words and that is: to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life.

 

Quote 99

Neither money pays, nor name, nor fame, nor learning; it is character that can cleave through adamantine walls of difficulties . Bear this in mind.

 

Quote 100

Know it for certain that without steady devotion for the Guru and unflinching patience and perseverance, nothing is to be achieved. You must have strict morality. Deviate an inch from this, and you are gone forever.