Swami Vivekananda                           

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QUOTES ARRANGED BY TOPIC

 

Quotes (A - F)

 
 

AHIMSA

There is no virtue higher than non-injury.

 

ASPIRANTS

Seek only after one thing, and that, God!
(Life of Swami Vivekananda by his Eastern and Western Disciples, First ed Vol 2 pg 374)

 

BHAKTI

  • To obtain Bhakti, seek the company of holy men who have Bhakti, and read books like the Gita and the Imitation of Christ; always think of the attributes of God.(Notes taken down in Madras 1892-1893)
  • Bhakti is a higher thing higher than even desiring heaven. The idea of heaven is of a place of intensified enjoyment. How can that be God?
    (Notes from a lecture On Bhakti Yoga)
  • Bhakti-Yoga is the path of systematised devotion for the attainment of union with the Absolute. It is the easiest and surest path to religion or realisation.
  • When love to God is revealed and is all, this world appears like a drop.

 

BOOK LEARNING

Even he who has seen only a spook is more spiritual than book-learned pundits.

 

BRAHMIN

The Brahmin has done great things for India ; he is doing great things for India , and he is destined to do still greater things for India in the future.
(Attributed to Swamiji,  (December,1892), K. Sundarama Iyer's Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda)

 

BUDDHA AND BUDDHISM

  • Surely he was the greatest man who ever lived. He never drew a breath for himself. Above all, he never claimed worship. He said, "Buddha is not a man, but a state. I have found the door. Enter, all of you!"
  • Go thou and follow Him, who was born and gave His life for others five hundred times before He attained the vision of the Buddha!
    (CWSN 1: 114)
  • Buddha's Sermon on the Mount was, "As thou thinkest, so art thou."
    (Notes from a Lecture On Bhakti Yoga)
  • A religion invented by the Kshattriyas as a crushing rejoinder to Brahminism!
    (Notes of some wanderings with the Swami Vivekananda by Sister Nivedita)
  • I am the servant of the servants of the servants of Buddha. Who was there ever like Him ?—the Lord—who never performed one action for Himself—with a heart that embraced the whole world ! So full of pity that He—prince and monk—would give his life to save a little goat ! So loving that He sacrificed himself to the hunger of a tigress !—to the hospitality of a pariah and blessed him.
    (Notes of some wanderings with the Swami Vivekananda by Sister Nivedita)

 

CHASTITY

  • Brahmacharya should burn like the fire of God within the veins.
  • No force can be created; it can only be directed. Therefore, we must learn to control the grand powers that are already in our hands, and by will power make them spiritual, instead of merely animal. Thus it is clearly seen that chastity is the cornerstone of all morality and of all religion.
    (C.W. 8.46)
  • Chastity is the basis of all religions.
    (CW 6: Notes of Class talks and lectures - Concentration)
  • Chastity is the life of a nation. Do you not find in history that the first death-sign of a nation has been unchastity? When that has entered, the end of the race is in sight.

 

COMPETITION

The day will come when men will study history from a different light and find that competition is neither the cause nor the effect, simply a thing on the way, not necessary to evolution at all.

 

CONCENTRATION

  • The mind has to be made malleable like clay. Just as clay sticks wherever you throw it, so the mind must be made to dwell upon whatever object you concentrate it.
  • Concentration is the essence of all knowledge, nothing can be done without it.

 

CONTENTMENT

From contentment comes superlative happiness.
(Raja Yoga: Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms. Chapter II - Concentration: Its practice)

 

COURAGE

The brave alone can afford to be sincere. Compare the lion and the fox. (Notes taken down in Madras 1892-93)

 

DARJEELING

It is the most picturesque city in the world.
(Letter to Mrs. Bull - April 4 1898)

 

DECISION-MAKING

When once you consider an action, do not let anything dissuade you. Consult your heart, not others, and then follow its dictates.
(Reminisence of Alice Hansbrough)

 

DEVOTION

The devotion to God as seen in every religion is divided into two parts: the devotion which works through forms and ceremonies and through words, and that which works through love.
(Notes from a lecture Lessons on Bhakti yoga)

 

EAST AND WEST

Social life in the West is like a peal of laughter; but underneath, it is a wail. It ends in a sob. The fun and frivolity are all on the surface: really it is full of tragic intensity. Now here, it is sad and gloomy on the outside, but underneath are carelessness and merriment.  
(CW8: Sayings and Utterances)

 

EDUCATION

  • The ideal of all education, all training, should be this man-making. But, instead of that, we are always trying to polish up the outside. What use in polishing up the outside when there is no inside? The end and aim of all training is to make the man grow. The man who influences, who throws his magic, as it were, upon his fellow-beings, is a dynamo of power, and when that man is ready, he can do anything and everything he likes; that personality put upon anything will make it work. 
  • We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one's own feet.
  • Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.
    (CV 4: Prose - What we believe in)

 

ETHICS

  • Renunciation is the very basis upon which ethics stands. There never was an ethical code preached which had not renunciation for its basis.

  • Ethics always says, "Not I, but thou." Its motto is, "Not self, but non-self." The vain ideas of individualism, to which man clings when he is trying to find that Infinite Power or that Infinite Pleasure through the senses, have to be given up--say the laws of ethics. You have to put yourself last, and others before you. The senses say, "Myself first." Ethics says, "I must hold myself last." Thus, all codes of ethics are based upon this renunciation; destruction, not construction, of the individual on the material plane.

 

FAITH IN ONESELF

The old religions said that he was an atheist who did not believe in God. The new religion says that he is the atheist who does not believe in himself.

 

FANATICS AND FANATICISM

In ninety cases out of a hundred, fanatics must have bad livers, or they are dyspeptics, or are in some way diseased. By degrees even physicians will find out that fanaticism is a kind of disease.
(Notes from a lecture On Fanaticism)

 

FLESH

The flesh and the devil are but degrees of difference from God Himself.

 

 

FREEDOM

  • All our struggle is for freedom. We seek neither misery nor happiness, but freedom, freedom alone.
    (From a lecture Nov 1895; as quoted by Sister Nivedita)
  • The constitutional belief in freedom is the basis of all reasoning.

 

 

FRIENDSHIP

Friendship with many is good at a distance.
(Letter to Sister Nivedita dated 29th July 1897)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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