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Golden Words of Swami Vivekananda

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Golden Words of

Swami Vivekananda


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Publisher's Note

The year 1963 witnessed a very unusual phenomenon the emtire country rising up as one to centenary of the illustrious patriot saint swami Vivekananda. The result was a new awakening which led to the erection of the magnificent Vivekananda Rock Memorial off Kanyakumari and the establishment of the unique service mission, Vivekananda kendra with the object of man-making and nation-building. There is an incessant flow of millions to see the monument and catch the resonance of the great saint’s life. Vivekananda Kendra’s activities have also been spreading all over the contry.

To celebrate the centenary of Swami Vivekananda’s meditation on the Sri Pada Parai at Kanyakumari, in December 1892, Vivekananda Bharat Parikrama-from Kolkata to Kanyakumari from 12th January to 24th December 1992. The Parikrama was an outstanding success. In connection with the Parilrama, a number of low priced publication containing Swamiji’s immortal sayings and teachings were brought out to inspire our youth. The book entitled “Golden Words of Swami Vivekananda’’ hed been printed nine times still there is great demand for it. In view of this, the tenth edition is now brought out. We are hopeful that the message contained in this will be our people in general and the youth in particular to set them on the path of self-discovery and to recognize the grate heritage of our country which is universal in its appeal. May Swamiji’s words inspire our people to become more enlightened citizens of our dear motherland.

-Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust

Golden Words of

Swami Vivekananda

I shall inspire men everywhere until the world shall know that it is one with God.

Man never progresses from error to truth, but from truth to truth, from lesser truth to higher truth.

Spiritual knowledge is the only thing that can destroy our miseries forever.

He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.

What seekest thou the pleasures of the world ! He is the fountain of all Bliss.

Sympathy for the poor, the downtrodden, even unto death-this is our motto.

Great convictions are the mothers of great deeds.

What India wants is a new electric fire to stir up a fresh vigour in the national veins.

The greatest truths are the simplest things in the world, simple as your own existence.

It is fear that is the great cause of our woes.

What I want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made.

Love is the gate of all the secreats of the universe.

Unselfishness is more playing, only people have not the patience to parctise.

Look not back, no, not even if you see the dearest and nearest cry. Look not back, but forward.

Let us all work hard, my brethren, this is no time for sleep, On our work depends the coming of the India of the future.

I do not care of liberation, I would rather go to a hundred thousand hells, “doing good to others (silently) like the spring” this my religion.

Shall India die ? Then from the world all spirituality will be extinct; all moral perfection will be extinct...such a thing can never be.

Faith, faith, faith in ourselves, faith, faith in God-this is the secret of greatness.

Doing good to others is virtue, injuring others is sin.

Strength and manliness are virtues; weakness and cowardice are sins.

Independence is virtue; hating others in sin.

Faith in God and in one’s own self is virtue; doubt is sin.

Knowledge of oneness is virtue; seeking diversity is sin.

Give me few men and women who are pure and selfless, and I shall shake the world.

He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore, love for love's sake.

Any expansion in life, all contraction is death.

He works best who works without any motive.

I consider that the great national sin is the neglect of the masses and that is one ofthe causes of our downfall.

The goal of mankind is knowledge.

If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.

They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.

Truth is purity, Truth is all knowledge. Truth must be strengthening, must be enlightening, must beinvigorating.

Save yourself by yourself ! There is none to help you-never was, to think that there is, is a sweet delusion.

Stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your shoulders.

All the strength and succour you want is within yourselves. Therefore make your own future.

Service to humanity is the highest form of worship.

It is better, far better to die on the field of duty, preach ing the Truth, than to die like a worldly worm.

The universe is objectified God.

If thereis sin, this is the only sin, to say that you are weak, of others are weak.

Work as if on each of you depended the whole work.

Duty is sweet only through love.

The Indian nation can not be killed, so long as her people do not give up their spirituality.

Space is in the soul and not the soul in space.

Do not look back upon what has been done. Go ahead !

Men, men, theseare wanted; everything else will be ready.

Go from village to village, do good to humanity and to the world at large.

Go to hell yourself to busy salvation for others.

Death being so certain, it is better to die for a good cause.

Cowards only sin, brave men never, no, not even in mind.

Each soul is potentially divine.

Man should be taught to be practical and physically strong. A dozen of such lions will conquer the world, and not millions of sheep can do so.

To be good and do good - that is the whole of religion.

It is a privilege to serve mankind, for this is the worship of God.

Pay as much attention to the means as to the end.

Every duty is holy and devotion to duty is the highest from of the worship of God.

The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength.

You can not believe in God until you believe in yourself.

The difference between God and devil is nothing except in unselfishness and selfishness.

He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva.

Religion is realization; not talk, no doctrine, nor theorise, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming.

The national ideals of India are RENUNCIATION ANDSERVICE. Intensify her in these channels, and the rest will take care of itself.

Guess against the guess makes fight.

So ling as millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor, who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.

Perfection comes through the disinterested performance of action.

That love which is perfectly unselfish, is the only love, and that is of God.

Let New India arise-out of the peasants’ cottage, grasping the plough; out of the huts of the fisherman, the cobbler, and the sweeper.

Death is better than a vegatatin ignorant life; it is better to die on the battelefield than to live a life of defeat.

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

Real education is that which enables one to stand on his own legs.

Utter no words of condemnation. Close your lips, andlet your hearts open.

He who adjusts himself best lives the longest.

That which is selfish is immoral, and that which is unself ish is moral.

It is better to wear out than to rust out-specially for the sake of doing good to others.

He is an atheist who does not believe in himself.

Knowledge is nothing but finding unity in the midst of diversity.

Purity, patience and perseverance are the three essentials of success and above all-Love.

Religion is the idea which is raising the brute unto man, and man unto God.

What the nation wants is pluck and scientific genius. We want great spirit, tremendous energy, and boundless enthusiasm.

The only service to be done for our lower es is to give them education, to develop their lost individuality.

Even thinking of the least good of others gradually instills into the heart, the strength of a lion.

Him I call a Mahatman whose heart bleeds for the poor; otherwise he is a Duratman.

India will be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with the power of the spirit.

What we want is vigour in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, not softening nambypamby words.

I bequeath to you, young men, this sympathy, this struggle for the poor, the ignorant, the oppressed.

Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison.

Off at once, to lay down your life for your own liberation and for the good of others.

India wants the sacrific of at least a thousand of her young men-men and not brutes.

Truth alone gives strength..... Strength is the medicine for the world’s disease.

To work without motive, to work unattached, brings the highest bliss and freedom.

The older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness.

Give up jealousy and conceit. Learn to work unitedly for others.

The only God to worship is the human soul in the human body.

It is struggle against nature and not confinity to nature that makes man what he is.

Whatever you think, that you become. If you have to think, think good thoughts, great thoughts.

Cleanse the mind, this is all of religion.

Even as an intellectual study, the study of Vedanta is the healthiest.

When a man has begun to be ashamed of his ancestors, the end has come.

The world is in need of thouse whose life is one of burning love, selfless.

Arise ! Awake ! And stop not till the goal is reached.

Men are more valuable than all the wealth of the world.

The concentrated mind is a lamp that shows us every corner of the soul.

Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.

Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man.

What is the watch-word of all ethical codes ? ‘Not I, but thou.’

That action si moral which frees us from the bondage of matter.

The happiest moments we ever know are when we entirely forget ourselves.

Read man, he is the living poem.

If your freedom hurts others, you are not free there.

He who struggles is better than he who never attempts.

Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles.

The history of civilization is the progressive reading of spirit into matter.

All knowledge depends upon calmness of mind.

The eternal law is self-sacrifice, not self-assertion.

Inspiration is much higher than reason but it must not contradict it.

Give as the rose gives perfume, because it is its own nature, utterly unconscious of giving.

Books are useless to us until our own book opens.

The world is a gymnasium in which we play; our life is an eternal holiday.

Choose the highest ideal and live your life upto that. Look at the ‘ocean’ and not at the ‘wave.’

All condemnation of others really condemns ourselves.

Experience is the only teacher.

This is the only world where man can work out his salvation.

The greatest sin is to think yourself weak.

Instinct is like ice, reason is the water, and inspiration is the subtlest from of vapour.

Do not spend your energy in talking, but meditae in silence.

The whole ocean is present at the back of each wave.

Melancholy is an almost insurmountable barrier.

Seek the science of the maker, and not that of the made.

Do not be mere white mice in a treadmill, working always and never accomplishing anything.

Only those who want nothing are the masters of nature.

Put God behind everything-man, animal, food, work; make this a habit.

A perfect man’s body mechanically does right.

Bear every misery without even knowing that your are miserable.

The tyrannical idea of duty is a terrible poison and is destroying the world.

Come to God any way you can; only come. But in comingdo not push any one down.

The sum total of all ideas of help is God.

He alone, who is always awake to the idea of freedom, becomes free.

In eating, dressing or lying, in singing or playing, in enjoyment or disease, always manifest the highest moral courage.

Truth does not pay homage to society, society has to pay homage to Truth or die.

Art, Science, and Religion are but three different ways of expressing a single truth.

There is nothing holier in the world than to keep good company.

Every being is the temple of the Most High.

Be brave and be sincere; then follow the path with devotion and you must reach the Lord.

Religion begins where philosophy ends.

Every great achievement is done slowly.

Art is-representing the beautiful. There must be Art in everything.

Our misery comes, not from work, but by our getting attached to something.

One atom has the power of the whole universe at its back.

The thirst after body is the great bane of human life.

A golden chain is as much a chain as an iron one.

Desire, ignorance and inequality-this is the trinity of bondage.

The cause of today is the effect of the past and the cause for the future.

Character is repeated habits, and repeated habits alone can reform character.

It is character that cleaves its way through adamantine walls of difficulties.

My method of work is to construct and not pull down.

Chastity is the corner-stone of all morality and of all religion. No civilization can grow unless fanaticism, bloodshed, and brutality stop.

True civilization should mean the power of taking the animal-man out of his sense-life.

There is no greater sin than cowardice; cowards are never saved-that is sure.

It is spiritual culture and ethical culture alone that can change wrong racial tandencies for the better.

It is the duty of every aristocracy to dig its own grave; and the sooner it does so, the better for all.

Unto him comes everything who does not care for anything.

Before reaching the highest ideal, man’s duty is to resist evil; let him work, let him fight, let him strike straight from the shoulder.

Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest ideal, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the truth.

Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life.

It is man-making education all round that we want.

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.

That action is moral which frees us from the bondage of matter.

Chastity isthe first virtue in man of woman.

If the poor cannot come to education, education must reach them, at the plough, in the factory, everywhere.

One particle of matter has all the energy of the universe at its back.

Enjoyment lies not in physical development, but in the culture of the mind and the intellect.

This is the way to perfection, to strive to be perfect, and to strive to make perfect a few men and women.

We need to have three things; the heart to feel, the brain to cinceive, the hand to work.

What we want now is an immense awakening of Rajasika energy, for the whole country is wrapped in the shroud of Tamas.

We want infinite energy, infinite zeal, infinite courage, and infinite patience, then only will great things be achieved.

Infinite patience, infinite purity and infinite perseverance are the secret of suceess in a good cause.

The cause of evil is our desire to be superior to others and our selfishness.

This disease of fanaticism is one of the most dangerous of all diseases.

The only religion that ought to be taught is the religion of fearlessness.

When the heart has been purified, into that heart will come the love of God.

It is preferable to live on grass for the sake of doing good to others.

The power of love is infinitely of greater potency than the power of hatred.

It is hatred that spearates man from man, therefore it is wrong and false.

If we cannot help purselves, there is none to help us.

In helping the world we really help ourselves.

If a Hindu is not spiritual, I do not call him a Hindu.

The Hindu must not give up his religion, but must keep religion within its proper limits and give freedom to society to grow.

Sanskrit and prestige go together in India.

The Hindu religion does not consist in struggles and attempts to believe a certain doctrine of dogma, but in realizing-not in believing, but in being and becoming.

Hindus are head and shoulders abouve alll other nations in morality and spirituality.

No religion on earth preaches the dignity of humanity in such a lifty strain as Hinduism.

Humanity travels not from error to truth, but frm truth to truth.

The real evil is idleness, which is the principal cause of our poverty.

There is only one country in the world which understands religion. It is India.

Religion is the backbone, the bed-rock, the foundation upon which the national edifice has been built.

Here in India, religion is the one and the only occupation of life.

Religion and religion alone is the life of India, and when that goes India will die.

Religion, in India, means realization and nothing short of that.

National union in India must be a gathering up of all scattered spiritual forces.

He gift of India is the gift of religion and philosophy, and wisdom and spirituality.

Renunciation and spirituality are the two great ideas of India.

India’s contribution to the sum total of human knowledge has been spirituality and philosophy.

Whether you believe in spirituality of not, for the sake of the national life, you have to get hold on spirituality and keep to it.

A nation in India must be a union of those whose hearts beat fo the same spiritual tune.

No amount of politics would be of any avail until the masses in India are once more well-educated, well-fed and well-cared for.

India must conquer the world, and nothing less than, that is my ideal.

The ideal woman in India is the mother, the mother first, and the mother last.

The world has yet to learn from India the idea not only of toleration, but of sympathy.

He who can become mad with an idea, he alone sees light.

The leaders of our societies have never been either generals or kings but Rishis.

When you give life, you will have life.

Multitude counts for nothing, A few hearts-whole, sincere, and energetic men can do more in a year, than a mob in a century.

All misery of the world is caused by the salvery to the senses.

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

We can’t be twisted and tortured into the shape of other nations.

A nation is advanced in proportion to education and intelligence spread among the masses.

In the well-being of one’s own nation is one’s own wellbeing.

He who is overcautions about himself falls into dangers at every step.

The first of everything should go to the poor; we have only a right to what remains.

Even the least work done for others awakens the power within.

One ounce of practice is worth a thoudsand pounds of theory.

The test of progress is the amount of renunciation that one has attained.

Purity in thought, speech and act is absolutely necessary for any one to be religious.

Work-this is the time; for the freshest, the untouched, and unsmelled flowers alone are to be laid at the feet of the Lord.

It is reason that develops into inspiration and therefore inspiration does not contradict reason but fulfils it.

Meddle not with so-valled social reform for there cannot be any reform without spiritual reform first.

It is life to do good; it is death not to do good to others.

Science and religion will meet and shake hands.

Is is an insult to a starving people to offer them religion.

If a religion cannot help man wherever he may be, wherever he stands, it is not of much use.

The goal of all religions is the same but the language of the teachers differs.

Religion is realization; not talk, nor doctrine, nor theorise, however beautiful they may be.

All that man has to do is to take care of three things; good thought, good work, good deed.

The Lord has hidden Himself best and his work is best; he who hides himself best, accomplishes most.

Self-sacrifice, indeed, is the basis of all civilization.

Blessed are they whose bodies get destroyed in the service of others.

What makes one man great and another weak and low is Sraddha.

Spirit speaks unto spirit in silence and yet in most unmis takable language.

He alone is a sinner who sees a sinner in another man.

Slave of the body, slave of the mind. slave of the world, slave of the good work, slave of a bad word, slave of passion, slave of happiness, slave of life, slave of death, slave of everything, this slavery has to be broken.

Slave wants power to make slaves.

That society is the greatest where the highest truths become practical.

Being of one mind is the secret of society.

Our solution is renunciation, giving up, fearlessness, and love, these are the fittest to survive.

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

We must keep a firm hold on spirituality, that inestimable gift handed down to us by our ancient forefathers.

The best guide in life is strength.

What this world wants todya, more than it ever did before, is strength.

The degree of unselfishness marks the degree of success everywhere.

The great task is to revive the whole man, as it were, in order to make him the complete master of himself.

Whatever we shall be in the future will be the result of what we think and do now.

The world is waiting for this grand idea of universal toleration.

The whole idea of human life can be put into that one work, unselfishness.

The perfectly unselfish man in the most successful.

Whatever retards the onward progress of helps the downward fall is vice; whichever helps in coming up and becoming harmonized is virtue.