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Aphorisms & Maxims

Swami Vivekananda

 

Presented below are a number of short philosophic and moral precepts culled from Swami Vivekananda's works and utterances. Some will also be found in the section on quotations as part of a particular quotation and again in his teachings. In this section, we have attempted to choose statements of force and brevity - which stand alone as, perhaps, a complete lesson in and of themselves.

  • The giver of the head is alone the leader.
    (meaning only he who will sacrifice his life for the cause is fit to be the leader of a cause)
  • Strength is the medicine for the world's disease.
  • The weak have no place here, in this life or in any other life.
  • Truth, purity and unselfishness -- wherever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof.
  • To work, with undaunted energy! What fear! Who is powerful enough to thwart you!
  • Strength is the property of everyone in spite of all apparent weakness.
  • As soon as a man or a nation loses faith in himself, death comes.
  • For ascetics, mortification is all right, for workers, well-developed bodies, muscles of iron and nerves of steel.
  • You are also as much a man as the greatest of men - even an Incarnation.
    (spoken June 19, 1899)
  • Please everyone without becoming a hypocrite or a coward
  • Time, patience, and indomitable will must show.
  • Time and opportunity must come if it is to be done you know, otherwise we vainly strive.

  • In everyone is God, the Atman; all else is but dream, an illusion.
    (notes of Frank Rhodehamel) 

  • Let your life in the world be nothing but a thinking to yourself.

  • Awake! Awake! all ye who would drink of the divine nectar!
    (attributed to SV by Swami Sadananda)

  • Whatever exists has a reason; find that reason.

  • The constitutional belief in freedom is the basis of all reasoning.
  • The highest truth is always the simplest. (CWSN 1: 226)

  • This world is neither good nor evil; each man manufactures a world for himself.

  • Infinite faith and strength are the only conditions of success.

  • The best work is only done by alternate repose and work.
    (Letter to sashi march 1898)
  • Women deserve and are fit for everything.
  • The glory of life is chastity.
  • Love is always the highest ideal.
  • The greatest name man ever gave to God is Truth.
  • No one can get anything unless he earns it. This is an eternal law.
  • The brave alone can afford to be sincere. Compare the lion and the fox.
  • There is no other teacher but your own soul.
  • The totality of all souls, not the human alone, is the Personal God.
  • That which is bound is nature, not the soul.
  • Life is but a dream of death.
  • If we can find in ourself something that is not acted on by any cause, then we have known the Self.
  • Concentration is the essence of all knowledge, nothing can be done without it.
  • Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.
  • Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man.
  • As soon as you make a sect, you protest against universal brotherhood.
  • The more you fly from nature, the more she follows you; and if you do not care for her at all, she becomes your slave.
  • He who has conquered the internal nature controls the whole universe; it becomes his servant.
  • There is no virtue higher than non-injury.
  • Chastity is the basis of all religions.
  • Mercy shall not be for men alone, but shall go beyond, and embrace the whole world.
  • There never was a friendship, especially of women, which was not exacting.
  • Renunciation is the very basis upon which ethics stands.
  • Everything is fraught with fear: Renunciation alone is fearless.
  • Truth does not pay homage to any society, modern or ancient. Society has to pay homage to truth, or die.
  • The Mohammedans think much of the new moon. Let us also, with the new moon, begin a new life!
  • No man is born to any religion; he has a religion in his own soul.
  • The real individuality is that which never changes and will never change; and that is the God within us.
  • The flesh and the devil are but degrees of difference from God Himself.
  • Pure love has no motive. It has nothing to gain.
  • When love to God is revealed and is all, this world appears like a drop.
  • When a man has reached that perfect state, he is of the same nature as the Personal God. "I and my Father are one."
  • Sipâhis (sepoys) die soon — nature is full of defect — the athletes die soon.
  • Purity, patience, and perseverance are the three essentials to success, and above all, love.
  • The only worship is love.
  • Truth never dreams.

  • By truth we attain fruits of work.

  • Through truth everything is attained. In truth everything is established.

  • The worm that crawls under your feet today is a God to be.

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

  • Each individual has to work out his own salvation; there is no other way, and so also with nations.

  • The strong, the well-knit, the young, the healthy, the daring alone are fit to be Yogis.

  • To the Yogi everything is bliss.

  • Misery is caused by sin, and by no other cause.

  • From contentment comes superlative happiness.

  • Friendship with many is good at a distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- www.vivekananda.net edited by Frank Parlato Jr.

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