We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none has the praise.
You see, no one can teach anybody. The teacher spoils everything by thinking that he is teaching. Thus Vedanta says that within man is all knowledge-even in a boy it is so-and it requires only an awakening, and that much is the work of a teacher.
There is no help for you outside of yourself; you are the creator of the universe. Like the silkworm you have built a cocoon around yourself.... Burst your own cocoon and come out as the beautiful butterfly, as the free soul. Then alone you will see Truth.
The essence of Vedanta is that there is but one Being and that every soul is that Being in full, not a part of that Being.
The correct meaning of the statement The Vedas are beginningless and eternal is that the law or truth revealed by them is permanent and changeless.
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.
Say to your own minds, I am He, I am He. Let it ring day and night in your minds like a song, and at the point of death declare : I am He. That is truth; the infinite strength of the world is yours.
Let me die fighting. Two years of physical suffering have taken from me twenty years of life. But the soul changes not, does it? It is there, the same madcap -- Atman -- mad upon one idea, intent and intense.
Be strong , my young friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. I know where the shoe pinches.
Religion has become to many merely a means of doing a little charity work, just to amuse them after a hard day's labour -- they get five minutes religion to amuse them. This is the danger with the liberal thought.
We must plunge heart and soul and body into the work. And until we are ready to sacrifice everything else to one Idea and to one alone, we never, never will see the Light.
Those reformers who preach against image-worship, or what they denounce as idolatry -- to them I say Brothers, if you are fit to worship God-without-form discarding all external help, do so, but why do you condemn others who cannot do the same?
The test of having ceased to be an idolater is: When you say 'I', does the body come into your thought or not? If it does, then you are still a worshipper of idols.
Great work requires great and persistent effort for a long time. ... Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles.
The devil comes in many guises-anger in the form of justice-passion in the form of duty. When it first comes, the man knows and then he forgets. Just as your pleaders' conscience; at first they know it is all Badmashi (roguery), then it is duty to their clients; at last they get hardened.
Thank God for giving you this world as a moral gymnasium to help your development, but never imagine you can help the world.
The law of attraction which holds good for the heavenly bodies also holds good for the smallest particles.
A sapling must be hedged about for protection, but when it becomes a tree, a hedge would be a hindrance. So there is no need to criticise and condemn the old forms.
Everything progresses in waves. The march of civilization, the progression of worlds, is in waves. All human activities likewise progress in waves -- art, literature, science, religion.
A nation is not to be judged by its weaklings called the wicked, as they are only the weeds which lag behind, but by the good, the noble, and the pure, who indicate the national life current flowing clear and vigorous.
In the primal state before any manifestation, when there was no motion but perfect balance, this Prakriti was indestructible, because decomposition or death comes from instability or change.
Karma is the eternal assertion of human freedom... Our thoughts, our words, and deeds are the threads of the net which we throw around ourselves.
Even the least work done for others awakens the power within; even thinking the least good of others gradually instills into the heart the strength of a lion.
Even forgiveness, if weak and passive, is not true: fight is better. Forgive when you could bring legions of angels to the victory.
Form and formless are intertwined in this world. The formless can only be expressed in form and form can only be thought with the formless.
According to the history of human progress, it is disobedience to nature that has constituted that progress.
We cannot see outside what we are not inside. The universe is to us what the huge engine is to the miniature engine; and indication of any error in the tiny engine leads us to imagine trouble in the huge one.
Despite the many iniquities that have found entrance into the practices of image-worship as it is in vogue now, I do not condemn it. Ay, where would I have been if I had not been blessed with the dust of the holy feet of that orthodox, image-worshipping Brahmin!
The attempt to remove evil from the world by killing a thousand evil -- doers, only adds to the evil in the world.
Proclaim the glory of the Atman with the roar of a lion, and impart fearlessness unto all beings by saying, 'Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached'!
You have the right to work, but do not become so degenerate as to look for results. Work incessantly, but see something behind the work. Even good deeds can find a man in great bondage. Therefore be not bound by good deeds or by desires for name and fame.
Have fire and spread all over. Work, work. Be the servant while leading, be unselfish, and never listen to one friend in private accusing another. Have infinite patience, and success is yours.
To make a great future India, the whole secret lies in organization, accumulation of power, co-ordination of wills.
Every one wants to command, and no one wants to obey; and this is owing to the absence of that wonderful brahmacharya system of yore. First, learn to obey. The command will come by itself. Always first learn to be a servant, and then you will be fit to be a master.
He who always thinks himself as weak will never become strong, but he who knows himself to be a lion, rushes out from the worlds meshes, as a lion from its cage.
If a person who lives in God becomes miserable, what is the use of living in God? What is the use of such a God? Throw such a God overboard into the Pacific Ocean. We do not want such a God!
Excessive attention to the minutiae of astrology is one of the superstitions which has hurt the Hindus very much.
Perfect life is a contradiction in terms. Therefore we must always expect to find things not up to our highest ideal. Knowing this, we are bound to make the best of everything.
Stand upon the Atman, then only can we truly love the world. Take a very, very high stand; knowing our universal nature, we must look with perfect calmness upon all the panorama of the world.
The human will stands beyond all circumstances. Everything must go down before the will, for that comes from God Himself; a pure and a strong will is omnipotent. Before it all the powers, even of nature, must bow down, succumb, and become its servants -- the strong gigantic, infinite will in man.
The will is stronger than anything else. Everything must go down before the will, for it comes from God. A pure and strong will is omnipotent.
God is self-evident, impersonal, omniscient, the Knower and the Master of nature, the Lord of all. He is behind all worship and it is being done according to Him, whether we know it or not.
If you want to live, go back to Christ. You are not Christians. Go back to Christ. Go back to him who had nowhere to lay his head. Better be ready to live in rags with Christ than to live in palaces without him.
The Atman alone is eternal. Hospitals will tumble down. Railroad givers will all die. This earth will be blown to pieces, suns wiped out. The Atman endures for ever.
If you have not even a little imagination, you are simply a brute. So you must not lower your ideal, neither are you to lose sight of practicality. We must avoid the two extremes.... You must try to combine in your life immense idealism with immense practicality.
Every idea that strengthens you must be taken up and every thought that weakens you must be rejected.
I am in every religion as the thread through a string of pearls. Wherever thou seest extraordinary holiness and extraordinary power raising and purifying humanity, know thou that I am there.
Bless people when they revile you. Think how much good they are doing by helping to stamp out the false ego. 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.
Love is always mutual and reflective. You may hate me, and if I want to love you, you repulse me. But if I persist, in a month or a year you are bound to love me. It is a well-known psychological phenomenon.
Too much faith in personality has a tendency to produce weakness and idolatry, but intense love for the Guru makes rapid growth possible.
The Jivanmukta ('the living free' or one who knows) alone is able to give real love, real charity, real truth, and it is truth alone that makes us free.
A Sannyasin cannot belong to any religion, for his is a life of independent thought, which draws from all religions; his is a life of realisation, not merely of theory or belief, much less of dogma.
The ego like its correlative non-ego, is the product of the body, mind etc. The only proof of the existence of the real Self is realisation.
Each one of you has a glorious future if you dare believe me. Have a tremendous faith in yourselves, like the faith I had when I was I was young... Have that faith, each one of you, in yourself -- that eternal power is lodged in every soul -- and you will revive the whole of India.
Man has infinite power within himself, and he can realise it -- he can realise himself as the one infinite Self. It can be done; but you do not believe it. You pray to God and keep your powder dry all the time.
All who have actually attained any real religious experience never wrangle over the form in which the different religions are expressed. They know that the soul of all religions is the same and so they have no quarrel with anybody just because he or she does not speak in the same tongue.
The varieties of religious belief are an advantage, since all faiths are good, so far as they encourage us to lead a religious life. The more sects there are, the more opportunities there are for making a successful appeal to the divine instinct in all of us.
Hindu Dharma is the quintessence of our national life, hold fast to it if you want your country to survive, or else you would be wiped out in three generations.
The banyan tree does not mean awakening, nor does the hill, nor the saint, nor the European couple. The lotus is a symbol of regeneration.
There have been two lines of progress in this world-political and religious. In the former the Greeks are everything, the modern political institutions being only the development of the Grecian; in the latter the Hindus are everything.
Though an atom is invisible, unthinkable, yet in it are the whole power and potency of the universe.
Every one is as much bound in thought, word, deed, and mind, as a piece of stone or this table. That I talk to you now is as rigorous in causation as that you listen to me. There is no freedom until you go beyond Maya. That is the real freedom of the soul.
The one who actually succeeds in making himself believe that he is having a good time is the man of splendid physical health.
The sages are often ignorant of physical science, because they read the wrong book-the book within; and the scientists are too often ignorant of religion, because they too read the wrong book-the book outside.
One possessing Vairagya does not understand by Atman the individual ego but the All-pervading Lord, residing as the Self and Internal Ruler in all. He is perceivable by all as the sum total.
Jiva (individual soul) is the conscious ruler of this body, in whom the five life principles come into unity, and yet that very Jiva is the Atman, because all is Atman.
In Shankaracharya we saw tremendous intellectual power, throwing the scorching light of reason upon everything.
Things do not grow better; they remain as they are. It is we who grow better, by the changes we make in ourselves.
The great Vaishnava religion of India has also sprung from a Tamil Pariah -- Shathakopa -- who was a dealer in winnowing-fans but was a Yogin all the while.
As the different streams, having their sources in different places, all mingle their water in the sea; O Lord, so the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.
The wind of divine grace is always blowing. You just need to spread your sail. Whenever you do anything, do it with your whole heart concentrated on it. Think day and night, I am of the essence of that Supreme Being-Consciousness-Bliss. What fear and anxiety have I?
Consciously or unconsciously, health can be transmitted. A very strong man, living with a weak man, will make him a little stronger, whether he knows it or not.
No one is ever really taught by another; each of us has to teach himself. The external teacher offers only the suggestion, which arouses the internal teacher, who helps us to understand things.
To the person who desires nothing and does not get entangled in desires, the manifold changes of nature are one panorama of beauty and sublimity.
None will be able to resist truth and love and sincerity. Are you sincere? Unselfish even unto death, and loving? Then fear not, not even death.
Do not be afraid of a small beginning. great things come afterwards. Be courageous. Do not try to lead your brethren, but serve them. The brutal mania for leading has sunk many a great ships in the waters of life. Take care especially of that, i.e. be unselfish even unto death, and work.
This world is not for cowards. Do not try to fly. Look not for success or failure. Join yourself to the perfectly unselfish will and work on.
Unselfishness is God. One may live on a throne, in a golden palace, and be perfectly unselfish; and then he is in God. Another may live in a hut and wear rags, and have nothing in the world; yet, if he is selfish, he is intensely merged in the world.
This world is nothing. It is at best only a hideous caricature, a shadow of the Real. We must go to the Real. Renunciation will take us to It. Renunciation is the very basis of our true life; every moment of goodness and real life that we enjoy is when we do not think of ourselves.
True religion comes not front the teaching of men or the reading of books; it is the awakening of the spirit within us, consequent upon pure and heroic action.
It is a retarding element creating hatred and anger, and causing people to fight each other, and making them unsympathetic.
These practices -- non-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing, chastity, and non-receiving -- are to be practised by every man, woman, and child; by every soul, irrespective of nation, country, or position.
The Trinitarian Christ is elevated above us; the Unitarian Christ is merely a moral man; neither can help us. The Christ who is the Incarnation of God, who has not forgotten His divinity, that Christ can help us, in Him there is no imperfection.
It is the free alone which never changes, and the unchangeable alone which is free; for change is produced by something exterior to a thing, or within itself, which is more powerful than the surroundings.
The more opposition there is, the better. Does a river acquire velocity unless there is resistance? The newer and better a thing is, the more opposition I will meet with at the outset. It is opposition which foretells success. Where there is no opposition there is no success either.
Be perfectly resigned, perfectly unconcerned; then alone can you do any true work. No eyes can see the real forces; we can only see the results. Put out self, forget it; just let God work, it is HIS business.
Astrology and all these mystical things are generally signs of a weak mind; therefore as soon as they are becoming prominent in our minds, we should see a physician, take good food, and rest.
For a warrior, nothing is higher than a war against evil. The warrior confronted with such a war should be pleased, Arjuna, for it comes as an open gate to heaven. But if you do not participate in this battle against evil, you will incur sin, violating your dharma and your honor.
Every action that helps us manifest our divine nature more and more is good; every action that retards it is evil.
The spirit is the cause of all our thoughts and body-action, and everything, but it is untouched by good or evil, pleasure or pain, heat of cold, and all the dualism of nature, although it lends its light to everything.
The great lesson is, that unity is behind all. Call it God, Love, Spirit. Allah, Jehovah -- it is the same unity that animates all life from the lowest animal to the noblest man.
Had I lived in Palestine, in the days of Jesus of Nazareth, I would have washed his feet, not with my tears, but with my heart's blood!
So long as there is desire or want, it is a sure sign that there is imperfection. A perfect, free being cannot have any desire.
All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore love for love's sake, because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.
I, for one, thoroughly believe that no power in the universe can withhold from anyone anything they really deserve.
Bless people when they revile you. Think how much good they are doing by helping to stamp out the false ego.
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.
Are you unselfish? That is the question. If you are, you will be perfect without reading a single religious book, without going into a single church or temple.
Each work has to pass through these stages: ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood.
All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind.
Books are infinite in number and time is short. The secret of knowledge is to take what is essential. Take that and try to live up to it.
Do one thing at a time, and while doing it put your whole soul into it to the exclusion of all else.
Man has infinite power within himself, and he can realise it -- he can realise himself as the one infinite Self. It can be done; but you do not believe it. You pray to God and keep your powder dry all the time.
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, p.3573, Manonmani Publishers.
I hear, Western people say, The world was created for us. If tigers could write books, they would say, man was created for them and that man is a most sinful animal, because he does not allow him (the tiger) to catch him easily. The worm that crawls under your feet today is a God to be.
Nature, body, mind go to death, not we. We neither go nor come. The man Vivekananda is in nature, is born and dies. But the Self we see as Vivekananda is never born and never dies. It is the eternal and unchangeable Reality.
Know that all sins and all evils can be summed up in that one word, weakness. It is weakness that is the motive power in all evil doing; it is weakness that makes men injure others; it is weakness that makes them manifest what they are not in reality. Let them know what they really are.
Stand up, be bold, be strong.
Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders,
and know that you are the creator of your own destiny.
The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful.
Society does not go down because of the activities of criminals,
But because of the inactivities of the good people.
Even the greatest fool can accomplish a task if it were after his or her heart. But the intelligent ones are those who can convert every work into one that suits their taste.
Meditation is a sort of prayer and prayer is meditation. The highest meditation is to think of nothing. If you can remain one moment without thought, great power will come.
I am responsible for my fate, I am the bringer of good unto myself, I am the bringer of evil. I am the Pure and Blessed One. We must reject all thoughts that assert to the contrary.
The organs are the horses, the mind is the rein, the intellect is the charioteer, the soul is the rider, and the body is the chariot.
Be brave! Be strong! Be fearless! Once you have taken up the spiritual fife, fight! Fight as long as there is any life in you! Even though you know that you are going to be killed, fight till you are killed! Don't die of fright! Die fighting! Don't go down till you are knocked down.
All these ideas such as astrology, although there may be a grain of truth in them, should be avoided.
When a man is perfect, he sees perfection in others. When he sees imperfection, it is his own mind projecting itself.
Let new India arise out of peasants' cottage, grasping the plough, out of huts, cobbler and sweeper.
Don't look back--forward, infinite energy, infinite enthusiasm, infinite daring, and infinite patience--then alone can great deeds be accomplished.
An intellectual, heartless man never becomes an inspired man. It is always the heart that speaks in the man of love; it discovers a greater instrument than intellect can give you, the instrument of inspiration.
There is, however, only one idea of duty which has been universally accepted by all mankind, of all ages and sects and countries, and that has been summed up in a Sanskrit aphorism thus: Do not injure any being; not injuring any being is virtue, injuring any being is sin.
You must have an iron will, if you would cross the ocean. You must be strong enough to pierce mountains.
Freedom can never be reached by the weak. Throw away all weakness. Tell your body that it is strong, tell your mind that it is strong, and have unbounded faith and hope in yourself.
You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you,
none can make you spiritual.
There is no other teacher but your own soul.
The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them. -- Swami Vivekananda.
I know that truth alone gives life, and nothing but going towards reality will make us strong, and none will reach truth until he is strong.
Fear is death, fear is sin, fear is hell, fear is unrighteousness, and fear is wrong life. All the negative thoughts and ideas that are in the world have proceeded from this evil spirit of fear.