Saturday, March 21, 2009

Swami Vivekananda: the 'Parivrâjaka' - the Wandering Monk from India - Quotes.

In this blog, I will share with you some sayings or quotations of Swami Vivekananda. They are profound words of wisdom, indeed.

Please visit my earlier blogs: "Swami Vivekananda - The Orange-Monk from India." and "Swami Vivekananda's Speech - The World Parliament of Religions, Chicago, 1893" to read more about this Orange-Monk from India. Here is the link leading to a website that contains several photographs of this 'Parivrâjaka' - the Wandering Monk from India. Please click on the photographs in order to get an insight/read the background of each one of them:

Here is the link (to a website) that leads to the 'Complete Works of Vivekananda':

To read some articles on this great Swamiji, please visit:

Following are some of the Swamiji's sayings:

1) “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced.”

2) “We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.”

3) “Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin to say that you are weak, or others are weak.”

4) “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.”

5) “The goal of mankind is knowledge ... Now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we say a man 'knows', should, in strict psychological language, be what he 'discovers' or 'unveils'; what man 'learns' is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge.”

6) “We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.”

7) “Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being.”

8) “You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.”

9) “The first sign of your becoming religious is that you are becoming cheerful.”

10) “The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.”

11) “In one word, this ideal is that you are divine.”

12) “The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.”

13) “The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.”

14) “All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.”

15) “God of truth, be Thou alone my guide.......”

16) “If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.”

17) “The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!”

18) “You know, I may have to be born again, you see, I have fallen in love with mankind.”

19) “By the study of different RELIGIONS we find that in essence they are one.”

20) “Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.”

21) “If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practiced, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we have would have vanished.”

22) “My nature is love Him. And therefore I love. I do not pray for any-thing. I do not ask for anything. Let Him place me wherever He likes. I must love Him for love’s sake. I can not trade in love.”

23) “To devote your life to the good of all and to the happiness of all is religion. Whatever you do for your own sake is not religion.”

24) “Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.”

25) “The will is not free - it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect - but there is something behind the will which is free.”

26) “As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.”

27) “When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state.”

28) “All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.”

29) “Infinite power of the spirit, brought to bear upon matter evolves material development, made to act upon thought evolves intellectuality, and made to act upon itself makes of man a God. First, let us be Gods, and then help other to be Gods. 'Be and Make.' Let this be our motto.”

30) “Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man.”

31) “It is good to love God for hope of reward, but it is better to love God for love’s sake; and the prayer goes: O Lord, I do not want wealth nor children nor learning. If it be Thy will, I shall go from birth to birth. But grant me this, that I may love thee without the hope of reward - 'love' unselfishly for love’s sake.”

32) “To worship God even for the sake of salvation or any other reward is equally degenerate. Love knows no reward. Give your love unto to God, but do not ask anything in return even from Him through pray.”

33) “That man has reached immortality who is disturbed by nothing material.”

34) “External nature is only internal nature writ large.”

35) “Do not stand on a high pedestal and take 5 cents in your hand and say, "here, my poor man", but be grateful that the poor man is there, so by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself.It is not the reciever that is blessed, but it is the giver.Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in the world, and thus become pure and perfect.”

36) “God is to be worshipped as the one beloved, dearer than everything in this and next life.”

37) “If money help a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.”

38) “Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.”

39) “It is our own mental attitude which makes the world what it is for us. Our thought make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light. First, believe in this world, that.”

40) “The moment I have realized that God is sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.”

(More later)

Photograph: Swami Vivekananda.


  1. Thanks for the compilation. As much as I enjoyed reading it, I am amazed by the simple yet powerful thoughts presented by Swami Vivekananda.

  2. @ Pravinism: Thanks and welcome to my blog! I totally agree with your observation on Swami Vivekananda's words and thoughts. He was way ahead of his time...

  3. Thanks for this site. It's really wonderful to read such a real and original thoughts of wandering Swamiji.M really inspired.

  4. @Moni: Welcome to my blog and glad you liked the post. Yes, Swamiji was and remains a great teacher. His thoughts and philosophy is evergreen...