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About Swami Vivekananda



Swami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902), born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk. He was a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. Wikipedia

References:   Encyclopaedia Britannica

  

Quotes by Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda (quotes)

  • Only man makes Karma.
  • Charity never faileth.
  • Have faith. We will do
  • Everybody is changing.
  • Cowardice is no virtue.
  • Everything has a cause.
  • Charity opens the heart.
  • We are all born cowards.
  • Religion is not in fault.
  • We are the living devils.
  • Have faith in your destiny
  • Motion is the sign of life.
  • Bullies are always cowards.
  • The body cannot be the soul.
  • Renunciation is of the mind.
  • Man is not mind, he is soul.
  • All change is in the screen.
  • Change is always subjective.
  • Renunciation is in our blood.
  • Man is greater than the gods.
  • The sign of death is weakness.
  • The earth is enjoyed by heroes
  • The Yogi must always practice.
  • This world is not for cowards.
  • Holiness sincerity, and faith.
  • The ignorant man never enjoys.
  • Perfection is always infinite.
  • As thou thinkest, so art thou.
  • True progress is slow but sure.
  • All real progress must be slow.
  • Say it with pride we are Hindus
  • We must get out of materialism.
  • We shall progress inch by inch.
  • The Absolute cannot be divided.
  • Service to man is service to god
  • Each soul is potentially divine.
  • No freedom without renunciation.
  • There is no end to renunciation.
  • The body and mind are dependent.
  • The real work is in the practice.
  • Do not run away, it is cowardice.
  • A changeable God would be no God.
  • Change is inherent in every form.
  • No effect of work can be eternal.
  • God is pure, and the same to all.
  • He who conquers self conquers all.
  • Change can only be in the limited.
  • March on, the Lord is our General.
  • Practice makes us what we shall be.
  • Perfection can be had by everybody.
  • The best guide in life is strength.
  • The moment you fear, you are nobody.
  • Strength is life, Weakness is death.
  • This rascal ego must be obliterated.
  • Move onward and carry into practice.
  • All is bound by the law of causation
  • Out of Mahat comes universal egoism.
  • We must patiently practice every day.
  • We are what our thoughts have made us
  • The perfect man sees nothing but God.
  • Man is a degeneration of what he was.
  • They alone live, who live for others.
  • The coward is an object to be pitied.
  • You gain nothing by becoming cowards.
  • Whatever you think, that you will be.
  • Every change is being forced upon us.
  • Whatever is weak, avoid! It is death.
  • It is the want that creates the body.
  • All law has its essence in causation.
  • The Absolute can never be thought of.
  • There is salvation only for the brave.
  • Business is business, no child’s play.
  • Egotism, pride, etc. must be given up.
  • Ignorance is death, Knowledge is life.
  • Superhuman power is not strong enough.
  • A point of rest alone explains motion.
  • Infinite strength is religion and God.
  • We have to practice to become perfect.
  • Give everything and look for no return.
  • It is faith that makes a lion of a man.
  • Experience is the only teacher we have.
  • Man is the nearest approach to Brahman.
  • …oneness is the secret to everything.
  • Hinduism is the mother of all religions
  • You are the creator of your own destiny
  • As the cause is, so the effect will be.
  • The idol is the expression of religion.
  • The real man is the one Unit Existence.
  • They aimless halt, who halt for others.
  • Hindus believe Buddha to be an Avatara.
  • The road to salvation is through truth.
  • Neither seek nor avoid, take what comes.
  • Music alone can take you to the Highest!
  • What is this universe but name and form?
  • Spirituality is the science of the Soul.
  • Body is the name of a series of changes.
  • The sign of life is strength and growth.
  • Religion in India culminates in freedom.
  • All power is His and within His command.
  • All progression is in the relative world.
  • Perfection can never be attained by work.
  • Om is the greatest, meaning the Absolute.
  • This is the great fact: strength is life.
  • Differentiation is in name and form only.
  • The law of Karma is the law of causation.
  • All misery and pain come from attachment.
  • Above all, India is the land of religion.
  • The greatest sin is to think yourself weak
  • Meditate upon the Om that is in the heart.
  • If superstition enters, the brain is gone.
  • Poetry and philosophy will become friends.
  • Alcohol is not the answer to all questions
  • The whole point is to discipline the mind.
  • There is no virtue higher than non-injury.
  • The test of Ahimsa is absence of jealousy.
  • To weep is a sign of weakness, of bondage.
  • The power of purity-it is a definite power.
  • Be strong! Don’t talk of ghosts and devils.
  • Brave, bold people, these are what we want.
  • Man is the greatest being that ever can be.
  • Every step I take in light is mine forever.
  • The Absolute does not change, or re-evolve.
  • There is no other teacher but your own soul.
  • Make no conditions and none will be imposed.
  • Life in this world is an attempt to see God.
  • Is God to blame for what I myself have done?
  • There cannot be friendship without equality.
  • You yourselves are the Being you are seeking.
  • Unity in variety is the plan of the universe.
  • Thoughts are living things – they travel far.
  • Let the end and the means be joined into one.
  • The body is our enemy, and yet is our friend.
  • Change is the nature of all objective things.
  • Let us blame none, let us blame our own Karma.
  • Everything is ended if you forgive and forget.
  • Let us not depend upon the world for pleasure.
  • What power is higher than the power of purity?
  • There is no end to the power a man can obtain.
  • It is the Prana that is manifesting as motion.
  • This life is a tremendous assertion of freedom
  • Science and religion will meet and shake hands.
  • In one word, this ideal is that you are divine.
  • Man cannot live upon words, however he may try.
  • It is practice first, and knowledge afterwards.
  • Marriage is an institution very safely guarded.
  • Attachment comes only where we expect a return.
  • Siva, O Siva, carry my boat to the other shore!
  • All the powers in the universe are already ours.
  • We know there is no progress in a straight line.
  • You must all pay attention to your health first.
  • Not one is constant, but everything is changing.
  • Man will have to go beyond intellect in the end.
  • One link in a chain explains the infinite chain.
  • Matter is motion outside, mind is motion inside.
  • Dependence is misery. Independence is happiness.
  • Who shall make me perfect? I am perfect already.
  • The Absolute is the material of both God and man.
  • Not one atom can rest until it finds its freedom.
  • Man the infinite dreamer, dreaming finite dreams!
  • Bodies come and go, but the soul does not change.
  • The subtle are the causes, the gross the effects.
  • The Hindus progressed in the subjective sciences.
  • There is nothing so high as renunciation of self.
  • Salvation never will come through hope of reward.
  • Every time you meditate you will keep your growth.
  • Only those who want nothing are masters of Nature.
  • Where no bondage is, there is no cause and effect.
  • The happiest is the man who is not at all selfish.
  • My bones are destined to make corals in the Ganga.
  • Man in his true nature is substance, soul, spirit.
  • To see God is the one goal. Power is not the goal.
  • Out of purity and silence comes the word of power.
  • Marriage and sex and money the only living devils.
  • And what causes fear? Ignorance of our own nature.
  • The greatest help to spiritual life is meditation.
  • In everything we do, the serpent ego is rising up.
  • Never even attempt to disturb anyone’s tendencies.
  • No one is to blame for our miseries but ourselves.
  • It is a constant change. Not one body is constant.
  • Thirst after body is the great bane of human life.
  • Through the senses, anger comes, and sorrow comes.
  • The seeker’s silence is the loudest form of prayer.
  • Do not look back upon what has been done. Go Ahead.
  • Man is born to conquer nature and not to follow it.
  • What we want is progress, development, realisation.
  • Worship of society and popular opinion is idolatry.
  • External nature is only internal nature writ large.
  • Avoid all mystery. There is no mystery in religion.
  • In the world take always the position of the giver.
  • No two persons have the same mind or the same body.
  • Man is the apex of the only world we can ever know.
  • The world has not gone one step beyond idolatry yet.
  • Change of the unchangeable would be a contradiction.
  • Man is really free, the real man cannot but be free.
  • Remember the only sign of life is motion and growth.
  • Man dies but once. My disciples must not be cowards.
  • Self-love is the first teacher of self-renunciation.
  • Whom anger chains, can ever pass thro’ Maya’s gates.
  • Neither object nor time off, put up with what comes.
  • The world sympathizes only with strong and powerful.
  • Religion lies in being and becoming, in realization.
  • The infinite library of the Universe is in your mind.
  • He who struggles is better than he who never attempts
  • Losing faith in one’s self means losing faith in God.
  • It is the greatest manifestation of power to be calm.
  • Be strong, get beyond all superstitions, and be free.
  • Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached.
  • If one has got power, one must manifest it in action.
  • Despondency is not religion, whatever else it may be.
  • We never change, we never die, and we are never born.
  • Immediately you will be perfect, you will become God.
  • Two things control man’s character; Strength and Pity
  • The soul has neither sex, nor caste nor imperfection.
  • The idea of perfect womanhood is perfect independence
  • Everything is present in its cause, in its fine form.
  • Purity, perseverance, and energy- these three I want.
  • If I am immune against all anger, I never feel angry.
  • We do not depend upon any external help in meditation.
  • None deserves liberty who is not ready to give liberty
  • A form comes out of a combination of force and matter.
  • One who leans on others cannot serve the God of Truth.
  • Be strong, my young friends; that is my advice to you.
  • Believe in yourself and the world will be at your feet.
  • Devotion to duty is the highest form of worship of God.
  • See Christ, then you are a Christian; all else is talk.
  • The gift of knowledge is the highest gift in the world.
  • The apparent man is only a limitation of that Real Man.
  • Turn thy gaze inward, wherein resides the Supreme Self.
  • Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. .
  • You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.
  • Only by practice and non-attachment can we conquer mind.
  • The sky never changes: it is the cloud that is changing.
  • To be good and to do good-that is the whole of religion.
  • Cowards only sin, brave men never, no, not even in mind.
  • Renunciation is the very basis upon which ethics stands.
  • If it is strength, go down into hell and get hold of it!
  • Body is an unreal dream, and we think we are all bodies.
  • Superstition is great enemy of man but bigotry is worse.
  • In art, interest must be centred on the principal theme.
  • Holy meditation helps to burn out all mental impurities.
  • Please everyone without becoming a hypocrite or a coward.
  • The more power there is, the more bondage, the more fear.
  • Infinite perfection is in every man, though unmanifested.
  • Everything that has form must have a beginning and an end.
  • The Vedanta teaches men to have faith in themselves first.
  • The only test of goods things is that they make us strong.
  • Perfection is not to be attained, it is already within us.
  • Weakness is constant strain and misery: weakness is death.
  • The benefits of knowledge can only be realized in practice.
  • He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.
  • Know full well that patience is the best means of succeeds.
  • Love for yourselves means [in the end] love for everything.
  • One ounce of practice is worth a thousand pounds of theory.
  • You know the disease, you know the remedy, only have faith.
  • For one thing we may be grateful: this life is not eternal.
  • Let us give out of our own bounty, just as God gives to us.
  • Renunciation means that none can serve both God and Mammon.
  • The waters of the Ganga are roaring among his matted locks.
  • All want power, but few will wait to gain it for themselves.
  • The world cares little for principles. They care for persons.
  • Why should a Man be Moral? Because this strengthens his will.
  • Religion is the one and sole interest of the people of India.
  • Even the least work done for others awakens the power within.
  • Religion is the peculiarity of the growth of the Indian mind.
  • Language is the chief means and index of a nation’s progress.
  • It is fear that is the greatest cause of misery in the world.
  • Blame nobody else, do not commit the mistake of the ignorant.
  • Body is the name of a stream of matter continuously changing.
  • Man is the epitome of all things and all knowledge is in him.
  • The development of man is a return to an original perfection.
  • Work hard, be steady, and have faith in the Lord. Set to work.
  • Doing good to others is the #‚Äé one  great Universal Religion
  • When death is so certain, it is better to die for a good cause.
  • We do not progress from error to truth, but from truth to truth
  • Space-time-causation, or name-and-form, is what is called Maya.
  • The Impersonal God seen through the mists of sense is personal.
  • May the shadow of the Almighty ever rest on all those you love.
  • The idea of God grew side by side with the idea of materialism.
  • Never are we nearer the Light than when the darkness is deepest.
  • Accumulate power in silence and become a dynamo of spirituality.
  • Religion, in India, means realisation and nothing short of that.
  • Everything is fraught with fear: Renunciation alone is fearless.
  • He whose book of the heart has been opened needs no other books.
  • Build up your health. Do not dwell in silence upon your sorrows.
  • He who wants to become a Bhakta must be strong, must be healthy.
  • Highest love for God can never be achieved without renunciation.
  • Everything is the living God, the living Christ; see it as such.
  • In a conflict between the heart and the brain, follow your heart.
  • Om is the pointed piece and Dhy√¢na (meditation) is the friction.
  • I am indebted to my mother for the efflorescence of my knowledge.
  • Man cannot always think of matter, however pleasurable it may be.
  • Compared to the coward that never made the attempt, he is a hero.
  • The effect is delusion, and therefore the cause must be delusion.
  • External motion we call action; internal motion is human thought.
  • Never lose faith in yourself; you can do anything in the universe.
  • This is no world. It is God Himself. In delusion we call it world.
  • Strength and manliness are virtue; weakness and cowardice are sin.
  • Ch√¢rv√¢kas, a very ancient sect in India, were rank materialists.
  • In this body, He resides, the Lord of souls and the King of kings.
  • When the forces that hold it together go away, the body must fall.
  • No more materialism, no more this egoism, I must become spiritual.
  • As long as we require someone else to make us happy, we are slaves.
  • Desire, ignorance, and inequality‚Äîthis is the trinity of bondage.
  • Man never dies, nor is he ever born; bodies die, but he never dies.
  • . . . Wait, my child, wait and work on. Patience, patience. . . . .
  • There is no such thing as “righteous” anger or justifiable killing.
  • To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will.
  • All growth, progress, well – being, or degradation is but relative.
  • The Church tries to fit Christ into it, not the Church into Christ.
  • Live for an ideal and leave no place in the mind for anything else.
  • The progress of the world means more enjoyment and more misery too.
  • We have wept enough. No more weeping, but stand on feet and be men.
  • Nothing else is necessary but these – love, sincerity, and patience.
  • You must be fearless. It is the coward who fears and defends himself
  • May the Lord ordain that your son becomes a man, and never a coward!
  • Everything that you do under compulsion goes to build up attachment.
  • Man is the highest being in creation, because he attains to freedom.
  • This perfection must come through the practice of holiness and love.
  • Changes in the universe are not in the Absolute; they are in nature.
  • I am teaching you now about it, but how many of you will practice it?
  • We are ever free if we would only believe it, only have faith enough.
  • Blessed are they whose bodies get destroyed in the service of others.
  • No better commentary on the Vedas has been written or can be written.
  • Art is – representing the beautiful. There must be Art in everything.
  • It is only by doing good to others that one attains to one’s own good
  • If the poor boy cannot come to education, education must go to him
  • Education is the manifestation of perfection already existing in man.
  • While real perfection is only one, relative perfections must be many.
  • Whatever had form or shape must be limited, and could not be eternal.
  • If the mind is pleased with praise, it will be displeased with blame.
  • Man is the highest being that exists, and this is the greatest world.
  • The sea calm is the Absolute; the same sea in waves is Divine Mother.
  • First, believe in the world – that there is meaning behind everything.
  • First of all, our young must be strong. Religion will come afterwards.
  • That man has reached immortality who is disturbed by nothing material.
  • Each man is divine. Each man that you see is a God by his very nature.
  • Out of this idea of separation between atom and atom comes all misery.
  • Faith is not belief, it is the grasp on the Ultimate, an illumination.
  • The essence of our Faith consists simply in this freedom of the Ishta.
  • On this basic – being right and doing right the whole world can unite.
  • The mind has to be gradually and systematically brought under control.
  • To me the thought of oneself as low and humble is a sin and ignorance.
  • The Absolute cannot be worshipped, so we must worship a manifestation.
  • Expansion is life, contraction is death. Love is life, hatred is death.
  • When I asked God for strength, He gave me difficult situations to face.
  • That which is selfish is immoral, and that which is unselfish is moral.
  • They only live, who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.
  • Materialism and all its miseries can never be conquered by materialism.
  • It is nature that is changing, not the soul of man. This never changes.
  • External practices have value only as helps to develop internal purity.
  • Self-sacrifice, not self-assertion, is the law of the highest universe.
  • There is no salvation for man until he sees God, realises his own soul.
  • The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.
  • What is meant by cause? Cause is the fine state of the manifested state.
  • The happiest moments we ever know are when we entirely forget ourselves.
  • Principles must conquer in the long run, for that is the manhood of man.
  • I do not call it religion so long as it is confined to books and dogmas.
  • High achievements in art, music, etc., are the results of concentration.
  • BY the study of different RELIGIONS we find that in essence they are one.
  • The test of progress is the amount of renunciation that one has attained.
  • My children, the secret of religion lies not in theories but in practice.
  • Even our smallest attempts are not in vain. We know that nothing is lost.
  • Every artist paints his Madonna according to his own pre-conceived ideas.
  • Nobody has a right now to say that the Hindus are not liberal to a fault.
  • Take courage and work on. Patience and steady work- this is the only way.
  • To cowards what advice shall I offer? – nothing whatsoever have I to say.
  • I am neither the mind, nor the intellect, nor the ego, nor the mind-stuff
  • There is implanted in every man, naturally, a strong desire for progress.
  • Stand up and be strong! No fear. No superstition. Face the truth as it is!
  • Have faith in yourself, all power is in you, be conscious and bring it out
  • Be an atheist if you want, but do not believe in anything unquestioningly.
  • Have faith in yourselves, great convictions are the mother of great deeds.
  • Whenever we attain a higher vision, the lower vision disappears of itself.
  • Law is death. The more of the law in a country, the worse for the country.
  • Astrology and all these mystical things are generally signs of a weak mind
  • The Pariahs, our fellow beings, ought to be educated by the higher castes.
  • This universe is the wreckage of the infinite on the shores of the finite.
  • Our religion teaches that anger is a great sin, even if it is “righteous”.
  • The cause of today is the effect of the past and the cause for the future.
  • You will be nearer to Heaven through foot ball than through study of Gita.
  • Accumulation of power is as necessary as its diffusion, or rather more so.
  • The Absolute and the Infinite can become this universe only by limitation.
  • Take Risks in Your Life If you Win, U Can Lead! If You Lose, You can Guide!
  • Do not say, ‚ÄòYou are bad‚Äô; say only, ‚ÄòYou are good‚Äô, but be better!
  • Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.
  • Realize all this as illusion, realize that within the illusion is the Real.
  • Man’s experience in the world is to enable him to get out of its whirlpool.
  • Good and evil thoughts are each a potent power, and they fill the universe.
  • All motion, either in the body or anywhere else, is the work of this Prana.
  • The body is mortal and the mind is mortal; both, being compounds, must die.
  • The first sign of your becoming religious is that you are becoming cheerful
  • Meditation is the means of unification of the subject and object. Meditate.
  • When I asked God for Brains and Brawn, He gave me Puzzles in life to Solve.
  • Everything that occupies space has form. The formless can only be infinite.
  • All forms are transitory, that is why all religions say, “God has no form”.
  • Everything is easy when you are busy. But nothing is easy when you are lazy.
  • Until we realise ourselves as the Absolute, we cannot attain to deliverance.
  • Die in obeying commands like a soldier, and go to Nirvana, but no cowardice.
  • The fire that warms us can also consume us; it is not the fault of the fire.
  • Music is the highest art and to those who understand, is the highest worship
  • There is but one temple – the body. It is the only temple that ever existed.
  • Man is the product of two forces, action and reaction, which make him think.
  • The present is determined by our past actions, and the future by the present.
  • Not believing in the glory of our own soul is what the Vedanta calls atheism.
  • Man always is perfect, or he never could become so; but he had to realise it.
  • Religion in India must be made as free and as easy of access as is God’s air.
  • Expansion is life. Love is expansion. Love is therefore the only law of life.
  • May blessings and happiness attend every step of your progress in this world.
  • Your way is the best for you, but that is no sign it is the best for another.
  • The power of concentration is the only key to the treasure-house of knowledge.
  • A wave in the ocean is a wave, only in so far as it is bound by name and form.
  • You have no more anger when you are all love, bliss, infinite existence. . . .
  • If you are pure, if you are strong, you, one man are equal to the whole world.
  • When we suffer, it is because of our own acts; God is not to be blamed for it.
  • To believe that mind is all, that thought is all is only a higher materialism.
  • Philosophy insists that there is a joy which is absolute, which never changes.
  • The best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of its women.
  • It is the hero alone, not the coward, who has liberation within his easy reach.
  • It is not God’s fault. It is our fault that we suffer. Whatever we sow we reap.
  • I hate cowardice; I will have nothing to do with cowards or political nonsense.
  • If you can get absolutely still for just one moment, you have reached the goal.
  • Unselfishness is more paying, only people have not the patience to practice it.
  • The world has seen thousands of prophets, and the world has yet to see millions
  • No cowardice, no sin, no crime, no weakness – the rest will come of itself. . .
  • Through the grace of the Almighty Power, it is sure to manifest itself in time.
  • Everything, both mental and physical, is rigidly bound by the law of causation.
  • We must have life building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas.
  • To work with undaunted energy! What fear! Who is powerful enough to thwart you.
  • There is no help for you, outside yourself; You are the creator of the universe.
  • The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength.
  • Be a hero. Always say, ‘I have no fear.’ Tell this to everyone – ‘Have no fear.’
  • The history of the world is the history of a few men who had faith in themselves
  • Give me few men and women who are pure and selfless and I shall shake the world.
  • So long as we perceive this world in motion, we have to conceive will behind it.
  • All the superior religions had their growth between the Ganga and the Euphrates.
  • Paris is the fountain-head of European civilisation, as Gomukhi is of the Ganga.
  • The wave is the same thing as the water, the effect is the cause in another form
  • Real freedom is not merely doing what you like, but also NOT doing what you like.
  • You never hear of a mother cursing the child; she is forgiving, always forgiving.
  • He who has infinite patience and infinite energy at his back, will alone succeed.
  • Let there be as little materialism as possible, with the maximum of spirituality.
  • The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves.
  • Do you think there is any other means of achieving progress except through Rajas?
  • We first observe facts, then generalise, and then draw conclusions or principles.
  • Books cannot teach God, but they can destroy ignorance; their action is negative.
  • Each nation has a theme: everything else is secondary. India’s theme is religion.
  • Do not wait for anybody or anything. Do whatever you can. Build your hope on none.
  • There is no good in store so long as malice and jealousy and egotism will prevail.
  • Shri Krishna says: “Better die in your own path than attempt the path of another.”
  • So long as you have faith in your Guru, nothing will be able to obstruct your way.
  • Those who die, merely suffering the woes of life like cats and dogs, are they men?
  • All the work you do, is done for your own salvation, is done for your own benefit.
  • The Upanishads do not reveal the life of any teacher, but simply teach principles.
  • We have none of us seen a form which had not a beginning and will not have an end.
  • Everything must be sacrificed, if necessary, for that one sentiment: universality.
  • Love and charity for the whole human race, that is the test of true religiousness.
  • Put God behind everything-human beings, animals, food, and work. Make this a habit.
  • YOU know, I may have to be born again, you see, I have fallen in love with mankind.
  • Man is the best mirror, and the purer the man, the more clearly he can reflect God.
  • The Buddha is not a person but a (state of) realization to which anyone can attain.
  • How to transcend the senses without disturbing the health is what we want to learn.
  • Satisfied is no test of truth. Actuality is steadily far from idiosyncratic secure.
  • Man’s free agency is not of the mind, for that is bound. There is no freedom there.
  • Each man has a mission in life, which is the result of all his infinite past Karma.
  • According to the Hindu way of thinking, marriage is rather a duty than a privilege.
  • We are the sons of Light and children of God. Glory unto the Lord, we will succeed.
  • Are great things ever done smoothly? Time, patience, and indomitable will must show.
  • The less the thought of the body, the better. For it is the body that drags us down.
  • We can have no conception of God higher than man, so our God is man, and man is God.
  • Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.
  • The progress and civilisation of the human race simply mean controlling this nature.
  • Neither idealists nor materialists are right; we must take both idea and expression.
  • What makes a man stand up and work? Strength. Strength is goodness, weakness is sin.
  • When the body is still healthy and diseaseless, When old age has not yet attacked it
  • Nothing can be produced without a cause, and the effect is but the cause reproduced.
  • The highest manifestation of strength is to keep ourselves calm and on our own feet.
  • Man as Atman is really free; as man he is bound, changed by every physical condition.
  • Real love is love for love’s sake. I do not ask health or money or life or salvation.
  • First get rid of the delusion “I am the body,” then only will we want real knowledge.
  • Do not disturb the faith of any. . . Our duty is not to disturb the faith of others.
  • All motion in this universe is in the form of waves, successively rising and falling.
  • Praise and blame, good and bad, even heat and cold, must be equally acceptable to us.
  • Hindus believe in God positively. Buddhism does not try to know whether He is or not.
  • Whenever power is used for evil, it becomes diabolical; it must be used for good only.
  • It will be a great pity if any feeling of jealousy or egotism gain ground amongst you.
  • The Indian mind is first religious, then anything else. So this is to be strengthened.
  • The Bhakta (devotee) renounces all little loves for the almighty and omnipresent love.
  • It is the duty of every person to contribute in the development and progress of India.
  • Persevere on, my brave lads, We have only just begun. Never despond! Never say enough!
  • We have seen that our vigour, our strength, nay, our national life is in our religion.
  • The greatest truths are the simplest things in the world, simple as your own existence.
  • You must keep a strict eye on your health; let everything else be subordinated to that.
  • My countrymen should have nerves of steel, muscles of iron, and minds like thunderbolt.
  • The mistake is that we cling to the body when it is the spirit that is really immortal.
  • Ahimsa (non-killing), truthfulness, purity, mercy, and godliness are always to be kept.
  • These births and deaths are changes in nature which we are mistaking for changes in us.
  • Have faith in yourselves, be proud of your ancestors, instead of being ashamed of them.
  • I have long given up the idea of a little house on the Ganges, as I have not the money.
  • This earth is higher than all the heavens; this is the greatest school in the universe.
  • The body is subject to the law of growth and decay, what grows must of necessity decay.
  • Manifest the divinity within you and everything will be harmoniously arranged around it.
  • If Jesus Christ was not perfect, then the religion bearing his name falls to the ground.
  • Give up bondage; become a son, be free, and then you can “see the Father”, as did Jesus.
  • Prana is the driving power of the world, and can be seen in every manifestation of life.
  • Purity, patience and perseverance are the three essentials to success and above all love.
  • Have faith in yourselves, and stand up on that faith and be strong; that is what we need.
  • The guiding motive of mankind should be charity towards men, charity towards all animals.
  • Let him who has courage in his mind and love in his heart come with me. I want none else.
  • He who asserts he is free, shall be free. He who says he is bound, bound he shall remain.
  • An atheist can be charitable but not religious. But the religious man must be charitable.
  • Something cannot be made out of nothing. Nor can something be made to go back to nothing.
  • Whatever others think or do, lower not your standard of purity, morality and love of God.
  • National prosperity is another name for death and degradation to millions of other races.
  • The God which cannot give me food in this world, cannot give me Heaven in the other world
  • Excepting the infinite spirit, everything else is changing. There is the whirl of change.
  • If the Absolute becomes limited by the mind, It is no more Absolute; It has become finite.
  • Marriage is not for individual happiness, but for the welfare of the nation and the caste.
  • If you can get rid of your attachment to a single thing, you are on the way to liberation.
  • Each soul is a star and all stars are set in the infinite azure, the eternal sky-the Lord.
  • The Indian mythology has a theory of cycles, that all progression is in the form of waves.
  • The root of evil is in the illusion that we are bodies. This, if any, is the original sin.
  • Anything that makes weak – physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject it as poison.
  • Stand as a rock; you are indestructible. You are the Self (atman), the God of the universe.
  • Man makes the mistake of separating himself from God and identifying himself with the body.
  • Help and not fight. Assimilation and not destruction. Harmony and Peace and not dissension.
  • Work and worship are necessary to take away the veil, to lift off the bondage and illusion.
  • Give love, give help, give service, and give any little thing you can, but keep out barter.
  • The body must be properly taken care of. The people who torture their flesh are demoniacal.
  • In India, religious life forms the centre, the keynote of the whole music of national life.
  • Christ, Buddha, and Krishna are but waves in the Ocean of Infinite Consciousness that I am!
  • Knowledge can only be got in one way, the way of experience; there is no other way to know.
  • “Comfort” is no test of truth; on the contrary, truth is often far from being “comfortable”.
  • Work on with the intrepidity of a lion but at the same time with the tenderness of a flower.
  • The Older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my new gospel
  • God is to be worshiped as the one Beloved, dearer than everything in this and the next life.
  • Have faith in man, whether he appears to you to be a very learned one or a most ignorant one
  • The powers of the mind are like the rays of the sun when they are concentrated they illumine.
  • Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being.
  • There is no motion in a straight line. A straight line infinitely projected becomes a circle.
  • It is the calm, forgiving, equable, well-balanced mind that does the greatest amount of work.
  • The very reason for nature’s existence is the education of the soul; it has no other meaning.
  • Who makes us ignorant? We ourselves. We put our hands over our eyes and weep that it is dark.
  • If you have infinite patience and perseverance, success is bound to come. No mistake in that.
  • The best principles in our lives were those which we heard from our mothers through our ears.
  • Business is business, that is, you must do everything promptly; delay and shuffling won’t do.
  • The Indian idea is that the soul is formless. Whatever is form must break some time or other.
  • Religion is being and becoming. Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man.
  • The only saint is that soul that never weakens, faces everything, and determines to die game.
  • He who has conquered the internal nature controls the whole universe; it becomes his servant.
  • In a difficulty in the company of the central and the instigator, be successful your central.
  • Renunciation, and renunciation alone, is the real secret, the Mulamantra, of all Realisation.
  • Know that the mind which is born to succeed joins itself to a determined will and perseveres.
  • Gita and Ganga constitute the essence of Hinduism; one its theory and the other its practice.
  • Our best work is done, our greatest influence is exerted, when we are without thought of self.
  • The cheerful mind perseveres and the strong mind hews its way through a thousand difficulties.
  • Don’t you find that in a weak physique it is difficult to control the sex – appetite or anger?
  • When you feel gloomy, think what has been done within the last year. How, rising from nothing.
  • Even the minds of animals, such as dogs, lions, cats, and serpents, become charmed with music.
  • In every attempt there are many obstacles to cope with, but gradually the path becomes smooth.
  • All objective pleasure in the long run must bring pain, because of the fact of change or death.
  • Take up an idea, devote yourself to it, struggle on in patience, and the sun will rise for you.
  • None of us have yet seen an ideally perfect man, and yet without that ideal we cannot progress.
  • Slavery is slavery. The chain of gold is quite as bad as the chain of iron. Is there a way out?
  • Say, “I can do everything .” “Even if poison of a snake is powerless if you can firmly deny it.”
  • Do not figure out big plans at first, but, begin slowly, feel your ground and proceed up and up.
  • Change is always in regard to something which does not change, or which changes relatively less.
  • The world is a demon. It is a kingdom of which the puny ego is king. Put it away and stand firm.
  • The progress of the world through all its evils making it fit for the ideals, slowly but surely.
  • Woman has suffered for eons, and that has given her infinite patience and infinite perseverance.
  • The whole life is a succession of dreams. My ambition is to be a conscious dreamer, that is all.
  • Consciously or unconsciously, we are all striving for perfection. Every being must attain to it.
  • So long as even a single dog in my country is without food, my whole religion will be to feed it.
  • It is nature that is driving us towards perfection, and eventually she will bring everyone there.
  • Stand in that reverent attitude to the whole universe, and then will come perfect non attachment.
  • We want to know in order to make ourselves free. That is our life: one universal cry for freedom.
  • Charity is great, but the moment you say it is all, you run the risk of running into materialism.
  • The past was great no doubt, but I sincerely believe that the future will be more glorious still.
  • The more we grow in Love, Virtue and Holiness, the more we see Love, Virtue and Holiness outside.
  • Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads, and dare to carry that out in your life.
  • This ego – the less there is of it, the nearer I am to that which I really am: the universal body.
  • Each man must begin where he stands, must learn how to control the things that are nearest to him.
  • Until higher institutions have been evolved, any attempt to break the old ones will be disastrous.
  • Moths like me die by the thousands every minute. Her work goes on all the same. Glory unto Mother!
  • Learn to recognise the mother in Evil, Terror, Sorrow, Denial, as well as in Sweetness and in Joy.
  • In spirituality the Americans are very inferior to us. But their society is very superior to ours.
  • This caste system had grown by the practice of the son always following the business of the father.
  • Calm and silent and steady work, and no newspaper humbug, no name-making, you must always remember.
  • The mind is but the subtle part of the body. You must retain great strength in your mind and words.
  • Every individual has in himself perfection. It lies within the dark recesses of his physical being.
  • Man, therefore, according to the Vedanta philosophy, is the greatest being that is in the universe.
  • All the forces that are working in this body have been produced out of food; we see that every day.
  • As long as a man thinks, this struggle must go on, and so long man must have some form of religion.
  • Do one thing at a Time, and while doing it put your whole Soul into it to the exclusion of all else.
  • God is present in every Jiva; there is no other God besides that. Who serves Jiva serves God indeed.
  • Though an atom is invisible, unthinkable, yet in it are the whole power and potency of the universe.
  • Let new India arise out of peasants’ cottage, grasping the plough, out of huts, cobbler and sweeper.
  • To be more free is the goal of all our efforts, for only in perfect freedom can there be perfection.
  • We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none has the praise.
  • It’s the coward who says, ‘This is fate’…It’s the strong who stands up & says ‘I will make my fate’
  • Every idea that strengthens you must be taken up and every thought that weakens you must be rejected.
  • We, we, and none else, are responsible for what we suffer. We are the effects, and we are the causes.
  • Purity, patience and perseverance overcome all obstacles. All great things must of necessity be slow.
  • Cut the bondage of all worldly affections; go beyond laziness and all care as to what becomes of you.
  • Be grateful that the poor man is there, so that by making a gift to him you are able to help yourself
  • To give up the world is to forget the ego, to know it not at all – living in the body, but not of it.
  • There will never be a perfectly good or bad world, because the very idea is a contradiction in terms.
  • All these ideas such as astrology, although there may be a grain of truth in them, should be avoided.
  • The secret of image – worship is that you are trying to develop your vision of Divinity in one thing.
  • Anything that brings spiritual, mental, or physical weakness, touch it not with the toes of your feet.
  • If the mind is intensely eager, everything can be accomplished‚Äîmountains can be crumbled into atoms.
  • A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century.
  • The older I grow, the more I see behind the idea of the Hindus that man is the greatest of all beings.
  • Know for certain that there is no power in the universe to injure us unless we first injure ourselves.
  • When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state.
  • The natural state of this universe is attraction; and that is surely followed by an ultimate disunion.
  • Many of us do not believe in any form of idolatry; but they have no right to object when others do it.
  • Everything that has form, everything that is the result of combination, is evolved out of this Akasha.
  • Every soul is destined to be perfect, and every being, in the end, will attain the state of perfection.
  • We have to keep the body in good health; we have to take care of what we eat and drink, and what we do.
  • You may meditate on whatever you like, but I shall meditate on the heart of a lion. That gives strength
  • Truth does not pay homage to any society, ancient or modern. Society has to pay homage to Truth or die.
  • Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind…what we sow is what we reap.
  • How can there be any progress of the country without the spread of education, the dawning of knowledge?
  • Many a time comes when we want to interpret our weakness and cowardice as forgiveness and renunciation.
  • Each man is perfect by his nature; prophets have manifested this perfection, but it is potential in us.
  • With the attraction for lust and lucre working the other way, how many long for the realisation of God?
  • Perfection is one thing and enjoyment another; these two having different ends, engage men differently.
  • Some may be helped by images, some may not. Some require an image outside, others one inside the brain.
  • Bold has been my message to the people of the west, bolder is my message to you, my beloved countryman.
  • Whenever there is a conflict between the pure heart and the intellect, always side with the pure heart.
  • Everyone goes with the flow… but the one who goes against the flow becomes someone remarkable in life.
  • Infinite patience, infinite purity, and infinite perseverance are the secret of success in a good cause.
  • You must have an iron will, if you would cross the ocean. You must be strong enough to pierce mountains.
  • The finer the instrument, the greater the power. The mind is much finer and more powerful than the body.
  • The Soul is not composed of any materials. It is unity indivisible. Therefore it must be indestructible.
  • Here in this blessed land, the foundation, the backbone, the life-centre is religion and religion alone.
  • Any time you attempt to make a God beyond Christ, you murder the whole thing. God alone can worship God.
  • Religion is the life of India, religion is the language of this country, the symbol of all its movements.
  • The main feature should be the teaching of principles through stories. Don’t make it metaphysical at all.
  • As soon as extreme attachment comes, a man loses himself, he is no more master of himself, he is a slave.
  • The forms are evanescent; but the spirit, being in the Lord and of the Lord, is immortal and omnipresent.
  • There cannot be any form unless it is the result of force and matter; and all combinations must dissolve.
  • By doing well the duty which is nearest to us, the duty which is in our hands, we make ourselves stronger
  • To be unselfish, perfectly selfless, is salvation itself; for the man within dies, and God alone remains.
  • All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.
  • Through practice comes Yoga, through Yoga comes knowledge, through knowledge love, and through love bliss.
  • The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.
  • The earth is enjoyed by heroes‚Äù‚Äîthis is the unfailing truth. Be a hero. Always say, ‚ÄúI have no fear.
  • The law of attraction which holds good for the heavenly bodies also holds good for the smallest particles.
  • To the Indian mind there is nothing higher than religious ideals, that this is the keynote of Indian life.
  • Relationships are more important than life,but it is important for those relationships to have life in them
  • Our supreme duty is to advance toward freedom – physical, mental, and spiritual – and help others to do so.
  • In a day, when you don’t come across any problems – you can be sure that you are travelling in a wrong path
  • Through faithful practice, layer after layer of the mind opens before us, and each reveals new facts to us.
  • Everything is substance plus name and form. Name and form come and go, but substance remains ever the same.
  • No matter what that makes elastic – sharply, intellectually and sincerely, keep at bay it as noxious waste.
  • Man is man so long as he is struggling to rise above nature, and this nature is both internal and external.
  • Never say NO, Never say, ‘I cannot’, for you are INFINITE. All the power is WITHIN you. You can do anything.
  • Bless people when they revile you. Think how much good they are doing by helping to stamp out the false ego.
  • Spirituality as a science, as a study, is the greatest and healthiest exercise that the human mind can have.
  • According to the history of human progress, it is disobedience to nature that has constituted that progress.
  • There is no happiness higher than what a man obtains by this attitude of non-offensiveness, to all creation.
  • The awakening of the soul to its bondage and its effort to stand up and assert itself – this is called life.
  • [The seers call him wise] whose every attempt is free, without any desire for gain, without any selfishness.
  • Never producing pain by thought, word, and deed, in any living being, is what is called Ahims√¢, non-injury.
  • Internal and external nature, mind and matter, are in time and space, and are bound by the law of causation.
  • This is the one great idea to understand that our power is already ours, our salvation is already within us.
  • Never turn back to see the result of what you have done. Give all to the Lord and go on, and think not of it.
  • Each person tries to hold himself hss and lay the blame upon somebody or something else, or even on bad luck.
  • This craving for health, wealth, long life, and the like – the so – called good – is nothing but an illusion.
  • In one sense Brahman is known to every human being; he knows, “I am”; but man does not know himself as he is.
  • Test everything, try everything, and then believe it, and if you find it for the good of many, give it to all.
  • We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves.
  • Be not Afraid of anything. You will do Marvelous work. it is Fearlessness that brings Heaven even in a moment.
  • This is the principle of Universal Brotherhood of man with one another, with all life down to the little ants.
  • One thing I must tell you. Idolatry in India does not mean anything horrible. It is not the mother of harlots.
  • How absurd to take the credit of doing the good act on oneself and lay the blame for the evil act on the Lord!
  • The Gita is like a bouquet composed of the beautiful flowers of spiritual truths collected from the Upanishads.
  • Man cannot be satisfied by wealth. Man cannot go beyond his nature, no more than you can jump out of your body.
  • The Hindus have to learn a little bit of materialism from the West and teach them a little bit of spirituality.
  • The same power is in every man, the one manifesting more, the other less; the same potentiality is in everyone.
  • Do you have the belief in you to move on, even when the whole world is against you, with swords in their hands?
  • Any particle in this universe can change in relation to any other particle; but take the whole universe as one.
  • In Shankaracharya we saw tremendous intellectual power, throwing the scorching light of reason upon everything.
  • Forgive offences by the million. And if you love all unselfishly, all will by degrees come to love one another.
  • This body is a combination. It is only a fiction to say that I have one body, you another, and the sun another.
  • Good works are continually being undone by the tons of hatred and anger which are being poured out on the world.
  • Learn Everything that is Good from Others, but bring it in, and in your own way absorb it; do not become others.
  • Morality is the struggle of the bound will to get free and is the proof that we have come from perfection. . . .
  • He in whose mind is no anger, hatred, or envy, who never loses his balance, dies, or is born, who is he but God?
  • Talk to yourself atleast once in a Day.. Otherwise you may miss a meeting with an EXCELLENT person in this World.
  • There is one thing to be remembered: that the assertion ‘I am God’ cannot be made with regard to the sense-world.
  • The body is made by the thought that lies behind it. The body politic is thus the expression of national thought.
  • If you dare declare that you are free, free you are this moment. If you say you are bound, bound you will remain.
  • Excessive attention to the minutiae of astrology is one of the superstitions which has hurt the Hindus very much.
  • A man could be in a throne and have no attachment at all; another one could be in rags and have many attachments.
  • What is marriage but the renunciation of unchastity? The savage does not marry. Man marries because he renounces.
  • When you talk and think of the Absolute, you have to do it in the relative; so all these logical arguments apply.
  • Even the lowest of the Hindus, the Pariah, has less of the brute in him than a Briton in a similar social status.
  • The guide, the guru, the leader, the teacher, has passed away; the boy, the student, the servant, is left behind.
  • In nature alone are forms. That which is not of nature cannot have any forms, fine or gross. It must be formless.
  • My Master used to say, when a pitcher is being filled (by immersion), it gurgles, but when full, it is noiseless.
  • This attachment of Love to God is indeed one that does not bind the soul but effectively breaks all its bondages.
  • The attempt to remove evil from the world by killing a thousand evil – doers, only adds to the evil in the world.
  • The Absolute God of the universe, the creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe, is impersonal principle.
  • Do not lower your goals to the level of your abilities. Instead, raise your abilities to the height of your goals.
  • Things do not grow better; they remain as they are. It is we who grow better, by the changes we make in ourselves.
  • Cowards never win victories. We have to fight fear and troubles and ignorance if we expect them to flee before us.
  • Every action that helps us manifest our divine nature more and more is good; every action that retards it is evil.
  • Art must be in touch with nature – and wherever that touch is gone, Art degenerates – yet it must be above nature.
  • Marriage or non-marriage, good or evil, learning or ignorance, any of these is justified, if it leads to the goal.
  • The only way to study the mind is to get at facts, and then intellect will arrange them and deduce the principles.
  • Thinking of objects, attachment to them is formed in a man. From attachment longing, and from longing anger grows.
  • Our own selfishness makes us the most arrant cowards; our own selfishness is the great cause of fear and cowardice.
  • I, for one, thoroughly believe that no power in the universe can withhold from anyone anything they really deserve.
  • If there’s a God, we must see him and if there’s a soul we must perceive it. Otherwise, it’s better not to believe.
  • To make a great future India, the whole secret lies in organization, accumulation of power, co-ordination of wills.
  • The finer is always the cause, the grosser the effect. So the external world is the effect, the internal the cause.
  • Christians are always wanting God to give them something. They appear as beggars before the throne of the Almighty.
  • If you have knowledge and see a man weak, do not condemn him. Go to his level and help him if you can. He must grow.
  • The coward, afraid of the lash, with one hand wipes his eyes and gives with the other. Of what avail are such gifts?
  • Eka-Nishtha or devotion to one ideal is absolutely necessary for the beginner in the practice of religious devotion.
  • In the English character, the “give and take” policy, the business principle of the trader, is principally inherent.
  • I have come to this conclusion that there is only one country in the world which understands religion – it is India.
  • The very idea of an infinite in place would be a contradiction in terms, as a place must begin and continue in time.
  • When a man is perfect, he sees perfection in others. When he sees imperfection, it is his own mind projecting itself.
  • Learning and wisdom are superfluities, the surface glitter merely, but it is the heart that is the seat of all power.
  • The ideal of womanhood in India is motherhood – that marvellous, unselfish, all – suffering, ever – forgiving mother.
  • The glory of man is that he is a thinking being. It is the nature of man to think and therein he differs from animals
  • Whatsoever has form must be the result of combinations of particles and requires something else behind it to move it.
  • The truths of Upanishadas are before you. Take them up, live up to them, and the salvation of Bharat will be at hand.
  • Love conquers in the long run. It won’t do to become impatient – wait, wait – patience is bound to give success. . . .
  • The kingdom of heaven is already in existence if we will have it, that perfection is already in man if he will see it.
  • Where God is, there is no other. Where world is, there is no God. These two will never unite. Like light and darkness.
  • Neither seek nor avoid; take what comes. It is liberty to be affected by nothing. Do not merely endure; be unattached.
  • What we call powers, secrets of nature, and force, are all within. In the external world are only a series of changes.
  • It is the highest manifestation of the power of Vairagya when it takes away even our attraction towards the qualities.
  • Present-day Hinduism and Buddhism were growths from the same branch. Buddhism degenerated, and Shankara lopped it off!
  • The ego of man and woman is the soul. If the soul is independent, how then can it be isolated from the infinite whole?
  • Society does not go down because of the activities of criminals, But because of the inactivities of the good people.
  • Soft-brained people, weak-minded, chicken-hearted , cannot find the truth. One has to be free, and as broad as the sky.
  • Do not fret because the world looks with suspicion at every new attempt, even though it be in the path of spirituality.
  • Let the mind be cheerful but calm. Never let it run into excesses, because every excess will be followed by a reaction.
  • There is really no difference between matter, mind and Spirit. They are only different phases of experiencing the One.
  • Happiness presents itself to man, wearing the crown of sorrow on its head. He who welcomes it must also welcome sorrow.
  • This life is a hard fact; work your way through it boldly, though it may be adamantine; no matter, the soul is stronger.
  • Ask nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to you, but do not think of that now.
  • Go on saying, I am free. Never mind if the next moment delusion comes and says, I am bound. Dehypnotize the whole thing.
  • When the soul wants to depend upon nothing, not even upon life, that is the height of philosophy, the height of manhood.
  • Pay particular attention to your health, but too much coddling of the body will, on the contrary, also spoil the health.
  • Let me draw your attention to one thing which unfortunately we always forget: that is – “O man, have faith in yourself.”
  • Well has it been said that man is the only animal that naturally looks upwards; every other animal naturally looks down.
  • Bold words and bolder deeds are what we want. Awake, awake, great ones! The world is burning with misery. Can you sleep?
  • Come out into the Universe of Light. Everything in the Universe is Yours, stretch out your arms and Embrace it with Love
  • Each one has a special nature peculiar to himself which he must follow and through which he will find his way to freedom
  • 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.
  • To realize the spirit as spirit is practical religion. Everything else is good so far as it leads to this one grand idea.
  • Manushya (man) is a being with Manas (mind); and as soon as his thinking power goes, he becomes no better than an animal.
  • Oh, if only you knew yourselves! You are souls; you are Gods. If ever I feel like blaspheming, it is when I call you man.
  • We shall have to work like lions, keeping the ideal before us, without caring whether “the wise ones praise or blame us”.
  • The man who becomes angry never does a great amount of work, and the man whom nothing can make angry accomplishes so much.
  • This misery that I am suffering is of my own doing, and that very thing proves that it will have to be undone by me alone.
  • All power is within you. Believe in that,do not believe that you are weak… Stand up and express the Divinity within you.
  • 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 day, man will find that he never really dies; that his Soul persists beyond death; he will have no more fear of death.
  • According to us, there are three things in the makeup of man. There is the body, there is the mind, and there is the soul.
  • God is always God, but the views which people and nations may take of him vary. No higher view is known than that of love.
  • The will is not free – it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect – but there is something behind the will which is free.
  • If you intend to study the mind, you must have systematic training; you must practice to bring the mind under your control.
  • The Hindus have cultivated the power of analysis and abstraction. No nation has yet produced a grammar like that of Panini.
  • These tremendous contradictions in our intellect, in our knowledge, yea, in all the facts of our life face us on all sides.
  • From Him are all name and form; all the animals and men are from Him. He is the one Supreme. He who knows Him becomes free.
  • India is immortal if she persists in her search for God. But if she goes in for politics and social conflict, she will die.
  • It is a retarding element creating hatred and anger, and causing people to fight each other, and making them unsympathetic.
  • All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind.
  • Thank God for giving you this world as a moral gymnasium to help your development, but never imagine you can help the world.
  • Know this also to be one of the spiritual practices, a discipline for God – realisation. Its aim also is Self – realisation.
  • A brave, frank, clean-hearted, courageous and aspiring youth is the only foundation on which the future nation can be built.
  • Perfection is always infinite. We are the Infinite already. You and I, and all beings, are trying to manifest that infinity.
  • The three essentials of Hinduism are belief in God, in the Vedas as revelation, in the doctrine of Karma and transmigration.
  • Until we give up the world manufactured by the ego, never can we enter the kingdom of heaven. None ever did, none ever will.
  • We do not seek to thrust the principles of our religion upon anyone. The fundamental principles of our religion forbid that.
  • Man can think of divine things only in his own human way, to us the Absolute can be expressed only in our relative language.
  • The kingdom of heaven is within us. The Jewish idea was a kingdom of heaven upon this earth. That was not the idea of Jesus.
  • Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work.
  • There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point
  • The less passion there is, the better we work. The calmer we are the better for us and the more the amount of work we can do.
  • The way to God is the opposite to that of the world. And to few, very few, are given to have God and mammon at the same time.
  • What good being object of charity? Give away, ne’er turn to ask in return, Should there be the wealth treasured in thy heart.
  • The one who actually succeeds in making himself believe that he is having a good time is the man of splendid physical health.
  • Forget not that thy marriage, thy wealth, thy life are not for sense-pleasure, are not for thy individual personal happiness.
  • Take off the veil of hypnotism which you have cast upon the world, send not out thoughts and words of weakness unto humanity.
  • We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.
  • Neither money pays, nor name pays, nor fame, nor learning; it is CHARACTER that cleave through adamantine walls of difference.
  • Oh, to live even for a day in the full light of freedom, to breathe the free air of simplicity! Isn’t that the highest purity?
  • Renunciation is always the ideal of every race; only other races do not know what they are made to do by nature unconsciously.
  • Watch people do their most common actions; these are indeed the things that will tell you the real character of a great person.
  • It is only work that is done as freewill offering to humanity and to nature that does not bring with it any binding attachment.
  • If you really want to judge the character of a man, look not at his great performances. Watch a man do his most common actions.
  • If I, as an Oriental have to worship Jesus of Nazareth, there is only one way, that is, to worship him as God and nothing else.
  • We are for ever trying to make our weakness look like strength, our sentiment like love, our cowardice like courage, and so on.
  • 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.
  • Christ, being man, had to see impurity and denounced it; but God, infinitely higher, does not see iniquity and cannot be angry.
  • Blame neither man, nor God, nor anyone in the world. When you find yourselves suffering, blame yourselves, and try to do better.
  • We must approach religion with reverence and with love, and our heart will stand up and say, this is truth, and this is untruth.
  • In Buddha we had the great, universal heart and infinite patience, making religion practical and bringing it to everyone’s door.
  • When we let loose our feelings, we waste so much energy, shatter our nerves, disturb our minds, and accomplish very little work.
  • However we may receive blows, and however knocked about we may be, the Soul is there and is never injured. We are that Infinite.
  • We must always bear in mind that we are not going to be free, but are free already. Every idea that we are bound is a delusion.
  • Get away from all books and forms and let your soul see its Self. “We are deluded and maddened by books”, Shri Krishna declares.
  • Great work requires great and persistent effort for a long time. … Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles.
  • The brain and muscles must develop simultaneously. Iron nerves with an intelligent brain ‚Äî and the whole world is at your feet.
  • When once you consider an action, do not let anything dissuade you. Consult your heart, not others, and then follow its dictates.
  • Man can become like God and acquire control over the whole universe if he multiplies infinitely his centre of self-consciousness.
  • Let us worship the spirit in spirit, standing on spirit. Let the foundation be spirit, the middle spirit, the culmination spirit.
  • “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all good things will be added unto you.” Follow God and you shall have whatever you desire.
  • The secret of karma yoga which is to perform actions without any fruitive desires is taught by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita.
  • We are bound to earth by desire and also to God, heaven, and the angels. A slave is a slave whether to man, to God, or to angels.
  • 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.
  • Yes, the words of the Mother can be heard as clearly as we hear one another. But one requires a fine nerve to hear Mother’s words.
  • The Hindus have a peculiar slovenliness in business matters, not being sufficiently methodical and strict in keeping accounts etc.
  • There cannot be a cause without an effect, the present must have had its cause in the past and will have its effect in the future.
  • The soul … is nameless because it is formless. It will neither go to heaven nor [to hell] any more than it will enter this glass.
  • 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.
  • Every human being has the right to ask the reason, why, and to have his question answered by himself, if he only takes the trouble.
  • Every atom is working and resisting every thought in the mind. Everything we see and know is but the resultant of these two forces.
  • Even forgiveness, if weak and passive, is not true: fight is better. Forgive when you could bring legions of angels to the victory.
  • It is the patient building of character, the intense struggle to realize the truth, which alone will tell in the future of humanity.
  • This is the line of life, this is the line of growth, and this is the line of well-being in India – to follow the track of religion.
  • …Really, there is no greater sin than cowardice; cowards are never saved – that is sure. I can stand everything else but not that.
  • Christ’s public life extended only over eighteen months, and for this he had silently been preparing himself for thirty – two years.
  • As the cause is, so the effect will be Cause is never different from effect, the effect is but the cause reproduced in another form.
  • Materialism prevails in Europe today. You may pray for the salvation of the modern sceptics, but they do not yield, they want reason.
  • Even luxuries are arranged according to ideas and ideals, to make them reflect as much of thought-life as possible – and this is Art.
  • A Brahmin is not so much in need of education as a Chandala. If the son of a Brahmin needs one teacher, that of a Chandala needs ten.
  • 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.
  • No study has taken so much of human energy, whether in times past or present, as the study of the soul, of God, and of human destiny.
  • With eternal faith in Him, set fire to the mountain of misery that has been heaped upon India for ages – and it shall be burned down.
  • The power which works through the formative principles of every religion in every country is manifested in the forms of religion. . .
  • When we use our imagination properly it is our greatest friend; it goes belyond reason and is the only light that takes us everywhere.
  • No negative, all positive, affirmative. I am, God is, everything is in me. I will manifest health, purity, knowledge, whatever I want.
  • As body, mind, or soul, you are a dream; you really are Being, Consciousness, Bliss (satchidananda). You are the God of this universe.
  • Thought ceases in meditation; even the mind’s elements are quite quiet. Blood circulation stops. His breath stops, but he is not dead.
  • Each nation has a main current in life; in India it is religion. Make it strong and the waters on either side must move along with it.
  • 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!
  • I pity the Hindu who does not see the beauty in Jesus Christ’s character. I pity the Christian who does not reverence the Hindu Christ.
  • Ignorance is death, knowledge is life. Life is of very little value, if it is a life in the dark, groping through ignorance and misery.
  • Is there no room for art in the spoken language? What is the use of creating an unnatural language to the exclusion of the natural one?
  • Impurity is a mere superimposition under which your real nature has become hidden. But the real you is already perfect, already strong.
  • The Land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness – it is India.
  • Through the imparting of moral principles, good behaviour, and education we must make the Chandala come up to the level of the Brahmana.
  • Every work has got to pass through hundreds of difficulties before succeeding. Those that persevere will see the light, sooner or later.
  • Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.
  • Be Grateful to the Man you help, think of Him as God. Is it not a great privilege to be allowed to worship God by helping our fellow men?
  • 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.
  • What is salvation? To live with God. Where? Anywhere. Here this moment. One moment in infinite time is quite as good as any other moment.
  • If a man, day and night, thinks he is miserable, low and nothing, nothing he becomes. If you say yea, yea, “I am, I am”, so shall you be.
  • The book one must read to learn natural sciences is the book of nature. The book from which to learn religion is your own mind and heart.
  • This World will always continue to be a mixture of Good and Evil. Our duty is to sympathize with the weak and to Love even the wrongdoer.
  • Too much faith in personality has a tendency to produce weakness and idolatry, but intense love for the Guru makes rapid growth possible.
  • I stand for truth. Truth will never ally itself with falsehood. Even if all the world should be against me, Truth must prevail in the end.
  • We are suffering from our own Karma. It is not the fault of God. What we do is our own fault, nothing else. Why should God be blamed?. . .
  • 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.
  • It is a good discipline to be forced to work for work’s sake, even to the length of not being allowed to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour.
  • The best guide in life is strength. In religion, as in all other matters, discard everything that weakens you, have nothing to do with it.
  • 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 greatest sin is to think that you are weak. No one is greater: realize that you are Brahman. Nothing has power except what you give it.
  • The greatest help to spiritual life is meditation. In meditation we divest ourselves of all material condition and feel our divine nature.
  • Books are only made so that they may point the way to a higher life; but no good results unless the path is trodden with unflinching steps!
  • A man must not only have faith but intellectual faith too. To make a man take up everything and believe it, would be to make him a lunatic.
  • Blows are what awaken us & help to break the dream. They show us the insufficiency of this world & make us long to escape, to have freedom.
  • “The fool, dwelling on the bank of the Ganga, digs a well for water!” Such are we! Living in the midst of God – we must go and make images.
  • Renunciation is the very basis upon which ethics stands. There never was an ethical code preached which had not renunciation for its basis.
  • The Self when it appears behind the universe is called God. The same Self when it appears behind this little universe-the body-is the soul.
  • 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.
  • Both the forces of good and evil will keep the universe alive for us, until we awake from our dreams and give up this building of mud pies.
  • We must not forget that health is only a means to an end. If health were the end, we would be like animals; animals rarely become unhealthy.
  • Because the Soul is not made of matter, since it is spiritual, it cannot obey the laws of matter, it cannot be judged by the laws of matter.
  • Whatever you believe, that you will be. If you believe yourselves to be sages, sages you will be tomorrow. There is nothing to obstruct you.
  • The uplift of the women, the awakening of the masses must come first, and then only can any real good come about for the country, for India.
  • Free thyself from the mighty attraction- The maddening wine of love, the charm of sex. Break the harp! Forward, with the ocean’s cry!. . .
  • See how the Ganga flows by and what a nice building! I like this place. This is the ideal kind of place for a Math. (in Belur, West Bengal).
  • When we free ourselves from name and form, especially from a body – when we need no body, good or bad – then only do we escape from bondage.
  • Is it freedom to be a slave to the senses, to anger, to jealousies and a hundred other petty things that must occur every day in human life?
  • 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.
  • It is the duty of all to support and side with Dharma. All must fight and support Dharma regardless of their personality, background, status.
  • What do you gain in heaven? You become gods, drink nectar, and get rheumatism. There is less misery there than on earth, but also less truth.
  • The Tapas and the other hard Yogas that were practiced in other Yugas do not work now. What is needed in this Yuga is giving, helping others.
  • Purusha is the; great attraction of the universe; though untouched by and unconnected with the universe, yet it attracts the whole; universe.
  • See what an atmosphere of holiness is here the pure air of the Ganga  what an assemblage of Sadhus will you find anywhere a place like this!
  • Everything that we know is within our universe, and everything within our universe is moulded by the conditions of space, time, and causation.
  • The help which tends to make us spiritually strong is the highest help, next to it comes intellectual help and after that comes physical help.
  • 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.
  • All progress and power are already in every man; perfection is man’s nature, only it is barred in and prevented from taking its proper course.
  • I loved my motherland dearly before I went to America and England. After my return, every particle of dust of this land seems sacred to me.
  • In whatever name or form they are offered, all these flowers are laid at God’s feet, for He is the one Lord of all, the one Soul of all souls.
  • All truth is eternal. Truth is nobody‚Äôs property; no race, no individual can lay any exclusive claim to it. Truth is the nature of all souls.
  • One may gain political and social independence, but if one is a slave to his passions and desires, one cannot feel the pure joy of real freedom
  • 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.
  • Onward, my brave boys – money or no money – men or no men! Have you love? Have you God? Onward and forward to the breach, you are irresistible.
  • My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation. Out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem like lions
  • One ounce of the practice of righteousness and of spiritual Self-realisation outweighs tons and tons of frothy talk and nonsensical sentiments.
  • The forms have value only so far as they are expressions of the life within. If they have ceased to express life, crush them out without mercy.
  • We must be bright and cheerful. Long faces do not make religion. Religion should be the most joyful thing in the world, because it is the best.
  • Be not in despair, the way is very difficult, like walking on the edge of a razor; yet despair not, arise, awake, and find the ideal, the goal.
  • Friends or foes, they are all instruments in Her hands to help us work out our own karma, through pleasure or pain. As such, ‘Mother’ bless all.
  • 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.
  • Religion for a long time has come to be static in India. What we want is to make it dynamic. I want it to be brought into the life of everybody.
  • 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.
  • Hold on to your own ideal. . . . Above all, never attempt to guide or rule others, or, as the Yankees say, “boss” others. Be the servant of all.
  • The atom cannot disobey the law. Whether it is the mental or the physical atom, it must obey the law. “What is the use of [external restraint]?”
  • Pay no attention whatsoever to newspaper nonsense or criticism. Be sincere and do your duty. Everything will come all right. Truth must triumph.
  • No great work can be achieved by humbug. It is through love, a passion for truth, and tremendous energy, that all undertakings are accomplished.
  • There is nothing beyond God, and the sense enjoyments are simply something through which we are passing now in the hope of getting better things.
  • Take any path you like; follow any prophet you like; but have only that method which suits your own nature, so that you will be sure to progress.
  • 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.
  • Only when a man sees this universe as God does the veil fall from his eyes; then that man, purified and cleansed, finds his whole vision changed.
  • As soon as we identify ourselves with the work we do, we feel miserable; but if we do not identify ourselves with it, we do not feel that misery.
  • Know that every time you feel weak, you not only hurt yourself but also the cause. Infinite faith and strength are the only conditions of success.
  • Some men, who begin by saying that the world is a hell, often end by saying that it is a heaven when they succeed in the practice of self-control.
  • Now is wanted intense Karma-Yoga with unbounded courage and indomitable strength in the heart. Then only will the people of the country be roused.
  • Every wave of passion restrained is a balance in your favor. It is therefore good policy not to return anger for anger, as with all true morality.
  • Anything that is western origin, first you verify it, then accept it. Anything that is Indian origin, first accept it, then verify it if necessary.
  • God is the ever active providence, by whose power systems after systems are being evolved out of chaos, made to run for a time and again destroyed.
  • 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.
  • Have charity towards all beings. Pity those who are in distress. Love all creatures. Do not be jealous of anyone. Look not to the faults of others.
  • This is the central idea of the Gita- to be calm and steadfast in all circumstances, with one’s body, mind, and soul centered at His hallowed feet!
  • Whose meditation is real and effective? Who can really surrender to the will of God? Only the person whose mind has been purified by selfless work.
  • There is only one Soul in the Universe. There is no ‘you’ or ‘me’; all variety is merged into the absolute unity, the one infinite existence – God.
  • Always keep the mind cheerful. Everyone will die once. Cowards suffer the pangs of death again and again, solely due to the fear in their own minds.
  • Never mind these failures, these little backslidings; hold the ideal a thousand times, and if you fail a thousand times, make the attempt once more.
  • 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.
  • Man is to become divine by realizing the divine. Idols or temples, or churches or books, are only the supports, the help of his spiritual childhood.
  • Strength, strength for us. What we need is strength, who will give us strength? There are thousands to weaken us, and of stories we have had enough.
  • My brother, do men grieve over the fight of cats and dogs? So the jealousy, envy, and elbowing of common men should make no impression on your mind.
  • Where you find the attraction for lust and wealth considerably diminished, to whatever creed he may belong, know that his inner spirit is awakening.
  • Without birth or death, eternal, ever-existing, free, unchangeable and beyond all conditions is this Soul of man – the real Self of Man – the Atman.
  • Don’t look back‚Äîforward, infinite energy, infinite enthusiasm, infinite daring, and infinite patience‚Äîthen alone can great deeds be accomplished.
  • We know how often in our lives through laziness and cowardice we give up the battle and try to hypnotise our minds into the belief that we are brave.
  • Pray all the time, read all the scriptures in the world, and worship all the gods there are …but unless you realize the Truth, there is no freedom.
  • 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.
  • We are what our considered opinion abide through us; so put up with assiduousness about what you storage. Natter are sub-. Line live; they travel far.
  • Come out into the broad light of day, come out from the little narrow paths, for how can the infinite soul rest content to live and die in small ruts?
  • Never can a reforming sect survive if it is only reforming; the formative elements alone – the real impulse, that is, the principles – live on and on.
  • My child, 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.
  • The sum total of all the cells in an organism is one person; so each soul is like one cell and the sum of them is God, and beyond that is the Absolute.
  • In everything, there are two kinds of development-analytical and synthetical. In the former the Hindus excel other nations. In the latter they are nil.
  • Only when creation stops can we find the Absolute. The Absolute is in the soul, not in creation. So by stopping creation, we come to know the Absolute.
  • I am a socialist not because I think it is a perfect system, but half a loaf is better than no bread. The other system has been tried and found wanting
  • It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is impossible for a bird to fly on only one wing.
  • 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.
  • Each work has to pass through these stages‚Äîridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood.
  • Education is not filling the mind with a lot of facts. Perfecting the instrument and getting complete mastery of my own mind [is the ideal of education].
  • The whole universe is composed of name and form. Whatever we see is either a compound of name and form, or simply name with form which is a mental image.
  • The Kingdom of Heaven is within us. God is within us. He is the Soul of our souls. See Him in your own soul. That is practical religion. That is freedom.
  • My ideal, indeed, can be put into a few words, and that is: to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life.
  • The same fire that cooks a meal for us may burn a child, and it is no fault of the fire if it does so; the difference lies in the way in which it is used.
  • Shri Ramakrishna use to say, “As Long as I Live, so long do I learn”. That man or that society which has nothing to learn is already in the jaws of death.
  • You yourself are to blame. This weeping and wailing and knocking your heads into corners [against brick walls, as it were] will not do you the least good.
  • As soon as we react, we become slaves. A man blames me, and I immediately react in the form of anger. A little vibration which he created made me a slave.
  • “You are pure and perfect, and what you call sin does not belong to you”. Sins are low degrees of Self-manifestation; manifest your Self in a high degree.
  • Experience is the only teacher we have. We may talk and reason all our lives, but we shall not understand a word of truth until we experience it ourselves.
  • . . . If you are really my children, you will fear nothing, stop at nothing. You will be like lions. We must rouse India and the whole world. No cowardice.
  • The ground under the Bilva tree is very holy. Meditating here quickly brings about an awakening of the religious instinct. Shri Ramakrishna used to say so.
  • We want the 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.
  • All practice or worship is only for taking off this veil. When that will go, you will find that the Sun of Absolute Knowledge is shining in Its own lustre.
  • We become forgetful of the ego when we think of the body as dedicated to the service of others – the body with which most complacently we identify the ego.
  • When you are doing any work, do not think of anything beyond. Do it as worship, as the highest worship, and devote your whole life to it for the time being.
  • Liberty in thought and action is the only condition of life, growth and well-being: Where it does not exist, the man, the race, and the nation must go down.
  • 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”.
  • Desire can be eradicated from the roots by firmly imbibing the four attributes of: Jnan, Atmanishtha, Vairagya, Dharma and the full fledged devotion to God.
  • Jnana teaches that the world should be given up, but not on that account to be abandoned. To be in the world but not of it-is the true test of the sannyasin.
  • So long as the 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.
  • We hear all around us about practical religion, and analysing all that, we find that it can be brought down to one conception – charity to our fellow beings.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mind you, there is no value in learning. You are all mistaken in learning. The only value of knowledge is in the strengthening, the disciplining, of the mind.
  • Do any deserve liberty who are not ready to give it to others? Let us calmly go to work, instead of dissipating our energy in unnecessary fretting and fuming.
  • God is not to be reached by the weak. Never be weak. You have infinite strength within you. How else will you conquer anything? How else will you come to God?
  • The bane of sects, especially in Bengal, is that if any one happens to have a different opinion, he immediately starts a new sect, he has no patience to wait.
  • Man is guided by the stomach. He walks and the stomach goes first and the head afterwards. Have you not seen that? It will take ages for the head to go first.
  • We have to cover everything with the Lord himself, not a false sort of optimism, not by blinding our eyes to the evil, but by really seeing God in everything.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We are slaves in the hands of nature – slaves to a bit of bread, slaves to praise, slaves to blame, slaves to wife, to husband, to child, slaves to everything.
  • Always remember that renunciation is the root idea. Unless one is initiated into this idea, not even Brahma and the World – gods have the power to attain Mukti
  • According to this philosophy, each man consists of three parts – the body, the internal organ or the mind, and behind that, what is called the Atman, the Self.
  • Hindu religion does not consist in struggles and attempts to believe a certain doctrine or dogma, but in realizing not in believing, but in being and becoming.
  • It is fear that is the cause of our woes, and it is fearlessness that brings heaven in a moment “The earth is enjoyed by heroes” – this is the unfailing truth.
  • Perfect sincerity, holiness, gigantic intellect, and all-conquering will. Let only a handful of men work with these, and the whole world will be revolutionized.
  • Let a man go down as low as possible; there must come a time when out of sheer desperation he will take an upward curve and will learn to have faith in himself.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • God is cruel and not cruel. He is all being and not being at the same time. Hence He is all contradictions. Nature also is nothing but a mass of contradictions.
  • All perfection is there already in the soul. But this perfection has been covered up by nature; layer after layer of nature is covering this purity of the soul.
  • Feel nothing, know nothing, do nothing, have nothing, give up all to God, and say utterly, ‘Thy will be done.’ We only dream this bondage. Wake up and let it go.
  • All the strength and succour you want is within yourselves. Therefore make your own future. “Let the dead past bury its dead.” The infinite future is before you.
  • 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.
  • Never allow weakness to overtake your mind. Remember Mahavira, remember the Divine Mother! And you will see that all weakness, all cowardice will vanish at once.
  • If you can think that infinite power, infinite knowledge and indomitable energy lie within you, and if you can bring out that power, you also can become like me.
  • If there is one word that you find coming out like a bomb from the Upanishads, bursting like a bombshell upon masses of ignorance, it is the word “fearlessness.”
  • Mankind ought to be taught that religions are but the varied expressions of THE RELIGION, which is Oneness, so that each may choose the path that suits him best.
  • Liberty is the first condition of growth. It is wrong, a thousand times wrong, if any of you dares to say, ‘I will work out the salvation of this woman or child.
  • As soon as I think that I am a little body, I want to preserve it, to protect it, to keep it nice, at the expense of other bodies; then you and I become separate.
  • 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’!
  • That is good. It is a law of nature. That is the way with all founders of religion. Without persecution superior ideas cannot penetrate into the heart of society.
  • When the last moment arrives, praise and blame will be the same to you, to me, and to others. We are here to work, and will have to leave all when the call comes.
  • Know it for certain that without steady devotion for the Guru and unflinching patience and perseverance, nothing is to be achieved. You must have strict morality.
  • Men may have given millions of dollars and fed rats and cats, as some do in India. They say that men can take care of themselves, but the poor animals cannot. . .
  • Let positive, strong, helpful thoughts enter into your brains from very childhood. Lay yourselves open to these thoughts, and not to weakening and paralysing ones.
  • There are hundreds of thousands of microbes surrounding us, but they cannot harm us unless we become weak, until the body is ready and predisposed to receive them.
  • Let us work without desire for name or fame or rule over others. Let us be free from the triple bonds of lust, greed of gain, and anger. And this truth is with us!
  • Just as the body has its progress and decadence, so also has the mind, and, therefore, the mind is not the soul, because the soul can neither decay nor degenerate.
  • If there is no strength in body and mind, the Atman cannot be realized. First you have to build the body by good nutritious food-then only will the mind be strong.
  • This is a great fact: strength is life; weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal; weakness is constant strain and misery, weakness is death.
  • Sincerity of conviction and purity of motive will surely gain the day; and even a small minority, armed with these, is surely destined to prevail against all odds.
  • It is the subjective world that rules the objective. Change the subject, and the object is bound to change; purify youreslf, and the world is bound to be purified.
  • 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.
  • In every attempt there will be one set of men who will applaud, and another who will pick holes. Go on doing your own work, what need have you to reply to any party?
  • There is no power on earth which can be kept long confined within a narrow limit. It cannot be kept compressed too long to allow of expansion at a subsequent period.
  • It is clear to us that, for good or for evil, our vitality is concentrated in our religion. You cannot change it. You cannot destroy it and put in its place another.
  • 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.
  • A monk is not forbidden to marry, but if he takes a wife she becomes a monk with the same powers and privileges and occupies the same social position as her husband.
  • The weak have no place here, in this life or any other life. Weakness leads to slavery. Weakness leads to all kinds of misery, physical and mental. Weakness is death.
  • Do not say we are weak; we can do anything and everything. What can we not do? Everything can be done by us; we all have the same glorious soul, let us believe in it.
  • Life without death and happiness without misery are contradiction and neither can be found alone, because each of them is a different manifestation of the same thing.
  • 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.”
  • Him I call a Mahatma (great soul) whose heart bleeds for the poor, otherwise he is a Duratma (wicked soul). Let us unite our wills in continued prayer for their good.
  • 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.
  • Perfection does not come from belief or faith. Talk does not count for anything. Parrots can do that. Perfection comes through the disinterested performance of action.
  • Just as man must have liberty to think and speak, so he must have liberty in food, dress, and marriage, and in every other thing, so long as he does not injure others.
  • Everything that has name and form must begin in time, exist in time, and end in time. These are settled doctrines of the Vedanta, and as such the heavens are given up.
  • There may be a million microbes of misery floating about us. Never mind! They dare not approach us, they have no power to get a hold on us, until the mind is weakened.
  • Everything will come right if you are pure and sincere. We want hundreds like you bursting upon society and bringing new life and vigor of the spirit wherever they go.
  • Brave, bold men, these are what we want. What we want is vigour in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, not softening namby-pamby ideas.
  • “Face the brutes.” That is a lesson for all life-face the terrible, face it boldly. Like the monkeys, the hardships of life fall back when we cease to flee before them.
  • 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.
  • Stand up, be bold, and take the blame on your own shoulders. Do not go about throwing mud at others; for all the faults you suffer from, you are the sole and only cause.
  • 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.
  • I am a slave of Ramakrishna, who left his work to be done by me and will not give me rest till I have finished it. And oh, how shall I speak of him? Oh, his love for me!
  • The sum total or Ishwara may be said to be All-good, Almighty, and Omniscient. These are obvious qualities, and need no argument to prove, from the very fact of totality.
  • From the highest god to the meanest grass, the same power is present in all – whether manifested or not. We shall have to call forth that power by going from door to door.
  • 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.
  • My hope of the future lies in the youths of character, intelligent, renouncing all for the service of others, and obedient – good to themselves and the country at large
  • The sculptor, the painter the musician the dancer, or any artist, if he can first obtain celebrate in Paris, acquires very easily the esteem and eulogy of other countries.
  • Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvelous work. The moment you fear, you are nobody. Be a hero. Always say, ‘I have no fear’. Tell this to everybody-‘Have no fear’.
  • Be free; hope for nothing from anyone. I am sure if you look back upon your lives you will find that you were always vainly trying to get help from others which never came.
  • The natural ambition of woman is through marriage to climb up, leaning upon a man; but those days are gone. You shall be great without the help of any man, just as you are.
  • The Heart and core of everything here is good, that whatever may be the surface waves, deep down and underlying everything, there is an infinite basis of Goodness and Love.
  • Religion has no business to formulate social laws and insist on the difference between beings, because its aim and end is to obliterate all such fictions and monstrosities.
  • There are the altars, but here is the greatest of altars, the living, conscious human body, and to worship at this altar is far higher than the worship of any dead symbols.
  • Is there any sex-distinction in the Atman (Self)? Out with the differentiation between man and woman‚Äîall is Atman! Give up the identification with the body, and stand up!
  • [Perfection] is only possible if the mind of man is changed, if he, of his own sweet will, changes his mind; and the great difficulty is, neither can he force his own mind.
  • Have faith in Guru, in his teachings, and in the surety that you can get free. Think day and night that this universe is zero, only God is. Have intense desire to get free.
  • 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.
  • Men are taught from childhood that they are weak and sinners. Teach them that they are all glorious children of immortality, even those who are the weakest in manifestation.
  • What can be my highest idea of forgiveness? Nothing beyond myself. Which of you can jump out of your own bodies? Which of you can jump out of your own minds? Not one of you.
  • Modern Hinduism, modern Jainism, and Buddhism branched off at the same time. For some period, each seemed to have wanted to outdo the others in grotesqueness and humbuggism.
  • The body is only a tool of the mind. What the mind dictates the body will have to obey. Now I do not even think of water. I do not miss it at all…. I see I can do anything.
  • All these practices and struggles to become religious are only negative work, to take off the bars, and open the doors to that perfection which is our birthright, our nature.
  • As long as we believe ourselves to be even the least different from God, fear remains with us; but when we know ourselves to be the One, fear goes; of what can we be afraid.?
  • 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.
  • The following story is one which he related recently regarding the practice of fault – finding among creeds: A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. . . .
  • Tell the truth boldly, whether it hurts or not. Never pander to weakness. If truth is too much for intelligent people and sweeps them away, let them go; the sooner the better.
  • Do not hate anybody, because that hatred which comes out from you must, in the long run, come back to you. If you love, that love will come back to you, completing the circle.
  • We have either to progress or to degenerate. Our ancestors did great things in the past, but we have to grow into a fuller life and march beyond even their great achievements.
  • Great occasions rouse even the lowest of human beings to some kind of greatness, but he alone is the really great man whose character is great always, the same wherever he be.
  • Have faith that you are all, my brave lads, born to do great things! Let not the barks of puppies frighten you, no, not even the thunderbolts of heaven, but stand up and work!
  • Look upon every man, woman, and everyone as God. You cannot help anyone, you can only serve: serve the children of the Lord, serve the Lord Himself, if you have the privilege.
  • Throw aside your scriptures in the Ganga and teach the people first the means of procuring their food and clothing, and then you will find time to read to them the scriptures.
  • Books never make religions, but religions make books. We must not forget that. No book ever created God, but God inspired all the great books. And no book ever created a soul.
  • All is the Self or Brahman. The saint, the sinner, the lamb, the tiger, even the murderer, as far as they have any reality, can be nothing else, because there is nothing else.
  • All that is real in me is God; all that is real in God is I. The gulf between God and me is thus bridged. Thus by knowing God, we find that the kingdom of heaven is within us.
  • The more you think of yourself as shining immortal spirit, the more eager you will be to be absolutely free of matter, body, and senses. This is the intense desire to be free.
  • Even the lowest of the low have the Atman (Soul) inside, which never dies and never is born, immortal, without beginning or end, the all pure, omnipotent and omnipresent Atman!
  • …never try to follow another’s path for that is his way, not yours. When that path is found, you have nothing to do but fold your arms and the tide will carry you to freedom.
  • One point of difference between Hinduism and other religions is that in Hinduism we pass from truth to truth-from a lower truth to a higher truth-and never from error to truth.
  • 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.
  • Stamping down the weakness of mind and heart, stand up, saying, “I am possessed of heroism, I am possessed of a steady intellect…” Never allow weakness to overtake your mind.
  • Go and preach to all, ‘Arise, awake, sleep no more: within each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe this, and that power will be manifested.
  • Women will work out their destinies ‚Äî much better, too, than men can ever do for them. All the mischief to women has come because men undertook to shape the destiny of women.
  • We want to lead mankind to the place where there is neither the Vedas, nor the Bible, nor the Koran; yet this has to be done by harmonizing the Vedas, the Bible, and the Koran.
  • I am no metaphysician, no philosopher, nay, no saint. But I am poor and I love the poor. I see what they call the poor of this country and how many there are who feel for them!
  • The power is with the silent ones, who only live and love and then withdraw their personality. They never say ‚Äúme‚Äù and ‚Äúmine‚Äù; they are only blessed in being instruments
  • We want today that bright sun of intellectuality joined with the heart of Buddha, the wonderful infinite heart of love and mercy. This union will give us the highest philosophy.
  • 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.
  • Every attempt to solve the laws of causation, time, and space would be futile, because the very attempt would have to be made by taking for granted the existence of these three.
  • 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.
  • He whom the sages have been seeking in all these places is in our own hearts; the voice that you heard was right, says Vedanta, but the direction you gave to the voice was wrong.
  • Anything that is in space has form. Space itself has form. Either you are in space, or space is in you. The soul is beyond all space. Space is in the soul, not the soul in space.
  • Bear in mind, my children, that only cowards and those who are weak commit sin and tell lies. The brave are always moral. Try to be moral, try to be brave, try to be sympathising.
  • I am inclined to believe that one who is a coward will be born after death as an insect or a worm, that there is no salvation for a coward even after millions of years of penance.
  • Fool indeed is he, who, living on the banks of the Ganga, digs a little well for water. Fool indeed is the man who, coming to a mine of diamonds, begins to search for glass beads.
  • Live for an ideal, and that one ideal alone. Let it be so great, so strong, that there may be nothing else left in the mind; no place for anything else, no time for anything else.
  • The moment you think creed and form and ceremony the “be-all” and “end-all”, then you are in bondage. Take part in them to help others, but take care they do not become a bondage.
  • 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.
  • Practice is absolutely necessary. You may sit down and listen to me by the hour every day, but if you do not practice, you will not get one step further. It all depends on practice.
  • The nearer we are to God, the less we will have occasions to cry or weep. The further we are from God, the more will long faces come. The more we know God, the more misery vanishes.
  • Our first duty is not to hate ourselves, because to advance we must have faith in ourselves first and then in God. Those who have no faith in themselves can never have faith in God.
  • We never want Him. We say, “Lord, give me a fine house.” We want the house, not Him. “Give me health! Save me from this difficulty!” When a man wants nothing but Him, [he gets Him].
  • Do not blame any supernatural being, neither be hopeless and despondent, nor think we are in a place from which we can never escape unless someone comes and lends us a helping hand.
  • “I do not want to get material life, do not want the sense-life, but something higher.” That is renunciation. Then, by the power of meditation, undo the mischief that has been done.
  • 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.
  • We are ever free if we would only believe it, only have faith enough. You are the soul, free and eternal, ever free, ever blessed. Have faith enough and you will be free in a minute.
  • Whether you bathe in the Ganga for a thousand years or live on vegetable food for a like period, unless it helps towards the manifestation of the Self, know that it is all of no use.
  • This external worship of images has, however, been described in all our Shastras as the lowest of all the low forms of worship. But that does not mean that it is a wrong thing to do.
  • God is very merciful to those whom He sees struggling heart and soul for spiritual realization. But remain idle, without any struggle, and you will see that His grace will never come.
  • All great undertakings are achieved through mighty obstacles. Keep up the deepest mental poise. Take not even the slightest notice of what puerile creatures may be saying against you.
  • Let us make our hearts as big as an ocean, to go beyond all the trifles of the world and see it only as a picture. We can then enjoy the world without being in any way affected by it.
  • You of the West are practical in business, practical in great inventions, but we of the East are practical in religion. You make commerce your business; we make religion our business.
  • We may convert every house in the country into a charity asylum, we may fill the land with hospitals, but the misery of man will still continue to exist until man’s character changes.
  • Never say, ‚ÄòNo‚Äô, never say, ‚ÄòI cannot‚Äô, for you are infinite. Even time and space are as nothing compared with your nature. You can do anything and everything, you are almighty
  • By practice men can bring even the heart under control, until it will just beat at will, slowly, or quickly, or almost stop. Nearly every part of the body can be brought under control.
  • A man ought to live in this world like a lotus leaf, which grows in water but is never moistened by water; so a man ought to live in the world – his heart to God and his hands to work.
  • In real meditation you forget the body. You may be cut to pieces and not feel it at all. You feel such pleasure in it. You become so light. This perfect rest we will get in meditation.
  • 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.
  • I must remark that what I mean by our religion working upon the nations outside of India comprises only the principles, the background, the foundation upon which that religion is built.
  • Do you recall the story of the young Yogi in the Mah√¢bh√¢rata who prided himself on his psychic powers by burning the bodies of a crow and crane by his intense will, produced by anger?
  • Be moral. Be brave. Be a heart-whole man, strictly moral, brave unto desperation. Don’t bother your head with religious theories. Cowards only sin, brave men never, no, not even in mind.
  • You have heard that Christ said, ‘My words are spirit and they are life’. So are my words spirit and life; they will burn their way into your brain and you will never get away from them!
  • This idea of body is a simple superstition. It is superstition that makes us happy or unhappy. It is superstition caused by ignorance that makes us feel heat and cold, pain and pleasure.
  • If I am a Pariah, I will be all the more glad, for I am the disciple of a man, who – the Brahmin of Brahmins – wanted to cleanse the house of a Pariah. (here “the man” means Ramakrishna)
  • Thought is like a bubble rising to the surface. When thought is joined to will, we call it power. That which strikes the sick person whom you are trying to help is not thought, but power.
  • We came to enjoy; we are being enjoyed. We came to rule; we are being ruled. We came to work; we are being worked. All the time, we find that. And this comes into every detail of our life.
  • As soon as you know the voice and understand what it is, the whole scene changes. The same world which was the ghastly battlefield of maya is now changed into something good and beautiful.
  • The attempt is to kill the false “I”, so that the real “I”, the Lord, will reign. “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” say the Hebrew scriptures.
  • Your success is not measured in terms of what all you obtained but in term of what you become, how you live and what actions you do. Upon this point reflect well and attain great happiness
  • In all our Yogas this renunciation is necessary. This is the stepping-stone and the real centre and the real heart of all spiritual culture – renunciation. This is religion – renunciation.
  • It is contrary to our principles to multiply organizations, since, in all conscience, there are enough of them. And when organizations are created they need individuals to look after them.
  • Ishvara is the highest manifestation of the Absolute Reality, or in other words, the highest possible reading of the Absolute by the human mind. Creation is eternal, and so also is Ishvara.
  • This is the great lesson that we are here to learn through myriads of births and heavens and hells – that there is nothing to be asked for, desired for, beyond one’s spiritual Self (atman).
  • 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.
  • A man may be the greatest philosopher in the world but a child in RELIGION. When a man has developed a high state of spirituality he can understand that the kingdom of heaven is within him.
  • Realize your true nature. That is all there is to do. Know yourself as you are – infinite Spirit. That is practical religion. Everything else is impractical, for everything else will perish.
  • It is the witness alone that can work without any desire, without any idea of going to heaven, without any idea of blame, without any idea of praise. The witness alone enjoys, and none else.
  • Those giants of old, the ancient Rishis, who never walked but strode, of whom if you were to think but for a moment you would shrivel up into a moth, they sir, had time-and you have no time!
  • The mind generally takes up various objects, runs into all sorts of things. That is the lower state. There is a higher state of the mind, when it takes up one object and excludes all others.
  • How do you know what possibilities lie behind that degradation on the surface? You know but little of that which is within you. For behind you is the ocean of infinite power and blessedness.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Delusion will vanish as the light becomes more and more effulgent, load after load of ignorance will vanish, and then will come a time when all else has disappeared and the sun alone shines.
  • 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!
  • You and I and everything in the universe are that Absolute, not parts, but the whole. You are the whole of that Absolute, and so are all others, because the idea of part cannot come into it.
  • Meditation means the mind is turned back upon itself. The mind stops all the thought-waves and the world stops. Your consciousness expands. Every time you meditate you will keep your growth.
  • 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.
  • Three things are necessary to make every man great,every nation great1.Conviction of the powers of goodness.2.Absence of jealousy and suspicion.3.Helping all who are trying to be and do good.
  • 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.
  • Society is an organism which obeys the immutable law of progress; and change, judicious and cautious change, is necessary for the well being, and indeed the preservation of the social system.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Man has wanted to look beyond, wanted to expand himself; and all that we call progress, evolution, has been always measured by that one search, the search for human destiny, the search for God.
  • Superstitions are all materialism, because they are all based on the consciousness of body, body, body. No spirit there. Spirit has no superstitions – it is beyond the vain desires of the body.
  • Each nation has its own peculiar method of work. Some work through politics, some through social reforms, some through other lines. With us, religion is the only ground along which we can move.
  • What do we call the river? Every moment the water is changing, the shore is changing, every moment the environment is changing, what is the river then? It is the name of this series of changes.
  • 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.
  • Every idea has to become broad till it covers the whole of this world, every aspiration must go on increasing till it has engulfed the whole of humanity, nay, the whole of life, within its scope.
  • Even if our every attempt is a failure, and we bleed and are torn asunder, yet, through all this, we have to preserve our heart – we must assert our Godhead in the midst of all these difficulties.
  • The disciple must have great power of endurance. Bear all evil and misery without one thought of unhappiness, resistance, remedy, or retaliation. That is true endurance, and that you must acquire.
  • Every individual is a center for the manifestation of a certain force. This force has been stored up as the resultant of our previous works, and each one of us is born with this force at our back.
  • Our Soul is a spark of the Divine. It is pure and perfect. Evil deeds merely obstruct our vision of the true nature of our Soul. Through good deeds we can become conscious of this perfection again.
  • Man stands in materialism; you and I are materialists. Our talking about God and Spirit is good; but it is simply the vogue in our society to talk thus: we have learnt it parrot-like and repeat it.
  • The ideal person is he who, in the midst of the greatest silence and solitude, finds the intensest activity, and in the midst of the intensest activity finds the silence and solitude of the desert.
  • The book is all in us. Fool, hearest not thou? In thine own heart day and night is singing that Eternal Music – Sachchid√¢nanda, soham, soham – Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, I am He, I am He.
  • Religion is realization; not talk, nor doctrine, nor theories however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing, or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming what it believes.
  • I am a Hindu, I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true.
  • 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.
  • Never talk about the faults of others, no matter how bad they may be. Nothing is ever gained by that. You never help one by talking about his fault; you do him an injury, and injure yourself as well.
  • 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.
  • He is an atheist who does not believe in himself. The old religions said that he was an atheist who did not believe in God. The new religion says that he is an atheist who does not believe in himself.
  • No doubt it is an evil to be bound by laws, but it is necessary at the immature stage to be guided by rules; in other words, as the Master used to say that the sapling must be hedged round, and so on.
  • Nothing is gained except by sacrifice…. Do not degrade it to the level of the brutes…. Make yourselves decent men! … Be chaste and pure! … There is no other way. Did Christ find any other way?
  • Strength, strength it is that we want so much in this life, for what we call sin and sorrow have all one cause, and that is our weakness. With weakness comes ignorance, and with ignorance comes misery.
  • If a piece of burning charcoal be placed on a man‚Äôs head, see how he struggles to throw it off. Similar will be the struggle for freedom of those who really understand that they are slaves of nature.
  • 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.
  • Seeing a cat loving her kittens stand and pray. God has become manifest there; literally believe this. Repeat “I am Thine, I am Thine”, for we can see God everywhere. Do not seek for Him, just see Him.
  • If you really want the good of others, the whole universe may stand against you and cannot hurt you. It must crumble before your power of the Lord Himself in you if you are sincere and really unselfish.
  • 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.
  • You are the makers of your own fortunes. You make yourselves suffer, you make good and evil, and it is you who put your hands before your eyes and say it is dark. Take your hands away and see the light.
  • To get any reason out of the mass of incongruity we call human life, we have to transcend our reason, but we must do it scientifically, slowly, by regular practice, and we must cast off all superstition.
  • The animal man lives in the senses. If he does not get enough to eat, he is miserable; or if something happens to his body, he is miserable. In the senses both his misery and his happiness begin and end.
  • 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.
  • Man only remains hypnotised with the false idea of an ego. When this ghost is off from us, all dreams vanish, and then it is found that the one Self only exists from the highest Being to a blade of grass.
  • Always discriminate-your body, your house, the people and the world are all absolutely unreal like a dream. Always think that the body is only an inert instrument. And the Atman within is your real nature.
  • Not only we can, but some have reached perfection; so no matter what finer bodies come, they could only be on the relative plane and could do no more than we, for to attain freedom is all that can be done.
  • Throw overboard all idea of jealousy and egotism, once for all. Come on to the practical field with tremendous energy; to work, in the fullness of strength! As to the rest, the Lord will point out the way.
  • You know your real nature [to be divine]. You are the king and play you are a beggar. . . . It is all fun. Know it and play. That is all there is to it. Then practice it. The whole universe is a vast play.
  • What makes you weep, my friend? In you is all power. Summon up your all-powerful nature, O mighty one, and this whole universe will lie at your feet. It is the Self alone that predominates, and not matter.
  • Change is always subjective. To talk of evil and misery is nonsense, because they do not exist outside. If I am immune from all anger, I never feel angry. If am immune from all hatred, I never feel hatred.
  • Think day and night, I am of the essence of that Supreme Existence, Knowledge, Bliss-what fear and anxiety have I? This body, mind, and intellect are all transient, and That which is beyond these is myself.
  • Jnana, bhakti, yoga and karma – these are the four paths which lead to spiritual freedom. One must follow the path for which one is best suited. But in this age, special stress should be laid on karma yoga.
  • Wait with patience and love and strength. If helpers are not ready now, they will come in time. Why should we be in a hurry? The real working force of all great work is in its almost unperceived beginnings.
  • When we come to nonattachment, then we can understand the marvelous mystery of the universe: how it is intense activity and at the same time intense peace, how it is work every moment and rest every moment.
  • 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.
  • Never forget that a man is made great and perfect as much by his faults as by his virtues. So we must not seek to rob a nation of its character, even if it could be proved that the character was all faults.
  • Just as I sit down to meditate, all the vilest subjects in the world come up. The whole thing is nauseating. Why should the mind think thoughts I do not want it to think? I am as it were a slave to the mind.
  • We believe that every being is divine, is God. Every soul is a sun covered over with clouds of ignorance; the difference between soul and soul is owing to the difference in density of these layers of clouds.
  • 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.
  • The human soul has sojourned in lower and higher forms, migrating from one to another according to the samskaras or impressions, but it is only in the highest form as a human being that it attains to freedom.
  • See here, how fresh is the air, there is the Ganga, and the Sadhus (holy men) are practising meditation, and holding lofty talks! While the moment you will go to Calcutta, you will be thinking of nasty stuff.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I could not for my soul distinguish ever the distinction between “religious anger” and “commonplace anger”, “religious killing” and “commonplace killing”, “religious slandering and irreligious”, and so forth.
  • Feel like Christ and you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.
  • Work done for the Self gives no bondage. Neither desire pleasure nor fear pain from work. It is the mind and body that work, not I. Tell yourself this unceasingly and realise it. Try not to know that you work.
  • The principles of the Vedanta not only should be preached everywhere in India, but also outside. Our thought must enter into the make-up of the minds of every nation, not through writings, but through persons.
  • 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.
  • Everything which has name and form must die. If there are heavens with forms, these heavens must vanish in course of time; they may last millions of years, but there must come a time when they will have to go.
  • 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.
  • Give up all desire for enjoyment in earth or heaven. Control the organs of the senses and control the mind. Bear every misery without even knowing that you are miserable. Think of nothing but spiritual freedom.
  • All these disciplines are for the purification of the heart. And as soon as it is pure, all truths flash upon it in a minute; all truth in the universe will manifest in your heart, if you are sufficiently pure.
  • If you think that you are bound, you remain bound; you make your own bondage. If you know that you are free, you are free this moment. This is knowledge, knowledge of freedom. Freedom is the goal of all nature.
  • 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.
  • Evil company is always to be shunned; because it leads to lust and anger, illusion, forgetfulness of the goal, destruction of the will (lack of perseverance), and destruction of everything. (Narada Bhakti Sutra)
  • 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.
  • I ask you all so earnestly to open girl’s schools in every village and try to uplift them. If the Conditions of women are raised, then their children will, by their noble actions, glorify the name of the Country.
  • “Why should I become angry just because another man has made a fool of himself. Do thou resist not evil!” That is what the lovers of God say. Whatever the world does, wherever it goes, has no influence [on them].
  • 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.
  • When I see an object there is no will; when its sensations are carried to the brain, there comes the reaction, which says “Do this”, or “Do not do this”, and this state of the ego-substance is what is called will
  • Religion and religion alone is the life of India, and when that goes India will die, in spite of politics, in spite of social reforms, in spite of Kubera’s wealth poured upon the head of every one of her children.
  • Never say any man is hopeless, because he only represents a character, a bundle of habits, which can be checked by new and better ones. Character is repeated habits, and repeated habits alone can reform character.
  • Who will bring light to the poor? Who will travel from door to door bringing education to them? Let these people be your God-think of them, work for them, pray for them incessantly. The Lord will show you the way.
  • 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.
  • What is material and what is not? When the world is the end and God is the means to attain that end, that is material. When God is the end and the world is only the means to attain that end, spirituality has begun.
  • If in this hell of a world one can bring a little joy and peace even for a day into the heart of a single person, that much alone is true; this I have learnt after suffering all my life; all else is mere moonshine.
  • It is the nature of the brute to remain where he is (not to progress); it is the nature of man to seek good and avoid evil; it is the nature of God to seek neither, but just to be eternally blissful. Let us be God!
  • Be proud that thou art an Indian, and proudly proclaim, “I am an Indian, every Indian is my brother.” Say, “The ignorant Indian, the poor and destitute Indian, the Brahmin Indian, the Pariah Indian, is my brother.”
  • If you are angry, and then happy, the next moment the anger passes away. Out of that anger you manufactured the next state. These states are always interchangeable. Eternal happiness and misery are a child’s dream.
  • Ordinary love is mere animal attraction. Otherwise why is the distinction between the sexes? If one kneels before an image, it is dreadful idolatry; but if one kneels before husband or wife, it is quite permissible!
  • This intelligence itself is modified into what we call egoism, and this intelligence is the cause of all the powers in the body. It covers the whole ground, sub-consciousness, consciousness, and super-consciousness.
  • Wherever there has been expansion in love or progress in well-being, of individuals or numbers, it has been through the perception, realisation, and the practicalisation of the Eternal Truth-the oneness of all beings
  • Give up the awful disease that is creeping into our national blood, that idea of ridiculing everything, that loss of seriousness. Give that up. Be strong and have this Shraddha, and everything else is bound to follow.
  • It may be that I shall find it good to get outside of my body – to cast it off like a disused garment. But I shall not cease to work! I shall inspire men everywhere, until the world shall know that it is one with God.
  • What is the use of talking of one’s mistakes to the world? They cannot thereby be undone. For what one has done one must suffer; one must try and do better. The world sympathizes only with the strong and the powerful.
  • We must have friendship for all; we must be merciful toward those that are in misery; when people are happy, we ought to be happy; and to the wicked we must be indifferent. These attitudes will make the mind peaceful.
  • The body is the external coating and the mind is the internal coating of the Atman who is the real perceiver, the real enjoyer, the being in the body who is working the body by means of the internal organ or the mind.
  • Understanding human nature is the highest knowledge, and only by knowing it can we know God. It is also a fact that the knowledge of God is the highest knowledge, and only by knowing God can we understand human nature.
  • No one should be judged by their defects. The great virtues a person has are his or her especially. But their errors are the common weakness of humanity and should never be counted in estimating a person‚Äôs character.
  • Christ said, “I and my father are one”, and you repeat it. Yet it has not helped mankind. For nineteen hundred years men have not understood that saying. They make Christ the saviour of men. He is God and we are worms!
  • 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.
  • This is the first lesson to learn: be determined not to curse anything outside, not to lay the blame upon anyone outside, but stand up, lay the blame on yourself. You will find that is always true. Get hold of yourself.
  • If a thing happens once, it can happen again. If any human being has ever realised perfection, we too can do so. If we cannot become perfect here and now, we never can in any state or heaven or condition we may imagine.
  • The meditative state is the highest state of existence. So long as there is desire, no real happiness can come. It is only the contemplative, witness-like study of objects that brings to us real enjoyment and happiness.
  • Truth, purity, and unselfishness wherever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof. Equipped with these, one individual is able to face the whole universe in opposition.
  • Was there ever a more horrible blasphemy than the statement that all the knowledge of God is confined to this or that book? How dare men call God infinite, and yet try to compress Him within the covers of a little book!
  • 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.
  • You are incarnations of God, all of you. You are incarnations of the Almighty, Omnipresent, Divine Principle. You may laugh at me now, but the time will come when you will understand. You must. Nobody will be left behind.
  • You cannot teach a child any more than you can grow a plant. All you can do is on the negative side – you can only help. It is a manifestation from within; it develops its own nature – you can only take away obstructions.
  • May He who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura-Mazda of the Zoroastrians, the Buddha of the Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heaven of the Christians give strength to you to carry out your noble idea.
  • The hard discipline, with the exception of one great good point, is fraught with evil. The good point is that men can do one or two things well with very little effort, having practiced them every day through generations.
  • Proselytism is tolerated by Hinduism. Any man, whether he be a Shudra or Chandala, can expound philosophy even to a Brahmin. The truth can be learnt from the lowest individual, no matter to what caste or creed he belongs.
  • Let each one of us pray day and night for the downtrodden millions who are held fast by poverty, priestcraft, and tyranny. Pray day and night for them. I care more to preach religion to them than to the high and the rich.
  • What we want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel. We have wept long enough. No more weeping, but stand on your feet and be men. It is man-making theories that we want. It is man-making education all round that we want.
  • Take courage and work on. Patience and steady work – this is the only way. Go on; remember – patience and purity and courage and steady work. . . . So long as you are pure, and true to your principles, you will never fail.
  • The Buddhist tenet, “Non-killing is supreme virtue”, is very good, but in trying to enforce it upon all by legislation without paying any heed to the capacities of the people at large, Buddhism has brought ruin upon India.
  • Look not back. No, not even if you see the dearest and nearest cry. Look not back, but forward. We cannot stop. If we stop we die. We have either to go forward or to go backward. We have either to progress or to degenerate.
  • This is the work of N√¢ma-Rupa – name and form. Everything that has form, everything that calls up an idea in your mind, is within Maya; for everything that is bound by the laws of time, space, and causation is within Maya.
  • 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.
  • We must not forget that what I mean by the conquest of the world by spiritual thought is the sending out of the life-giving principles, not the hundreds of superstitions that we have been hugging to our breasts for centuries.
  • Avoid excessive merriment. A mind in that state never becomes calm; it becomes fickle. Excessive merriment will always be followed by sorrow. Tears and laughter are near kin. People so often run from one extreme to the other.
  • Those who work at a thing heart and soul not only achieve success in it but through their absorption in that they also realize the supreme truth-Brahman. Those who work at a thing with their whole heart receive help from God.
  • After so much austerity I have known that the highest truth is this: He is present in every being! These are all in manifold forms of him. There is no other God to seek for! He alone is worshipping God, who serves all beings!
  • The fruit falls from the tree when it gets ripe. So wait for the time to come. Do not hurry. Moreover, no one has the right to make others miserable by his foolish acts. Wait, have patience, everything will come right in time.
  • A tremendous stream is flowing toward the ocean, carrying us all along with it; and though like straws and scraps of paper we may at times float aimlessly about, in the long run we are sure to join the Ocean of Life and Bliss.
  • Advaita is the only system that gives us complete control over ourselves, takes off all dependence and its associated superstitions, thus making us brave to suffer, brave to do, and in the long run, attain to absolute freedom.
  • My son, hold fast! Do not care for anybody to help you. Is not the Lord infinitely greater than all human help? Be holy–trust in the Lord, depend on him always, and you are on the right track. Nothing can prevail against you.
  • This, I have seen in life – those who are overcautious about themselves fall into dangers at every step. Those who are afraid of losing honor and respect, get only disgrace; and those who are always afraid of loss, always lose.
  • From attachment comes longing, and longing breeds anger. From anger comes delusion, and from delusion, confused memory. From confused memory comes the ruin of discrimination; and from the ruin of discrimination, a man perishes.
  • He who knows even how to prepare a smoke properly, knows also how to meditate. And he who cannot cook well cannot be a perfect sannyasin. Unless cooking is performed with a pure mind and concentration, the food is not palatable.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The cause being finite, the effect must be finite. If the cause is eternal the effect can be eternal, but all these causes, doing good work, and all other things, are only finite causes, and as such cannot produce infinite result.
  • No authority can save us, no beliefs. If there is a God, all can find Him. No one needs to be told it is warm; all can discover it for themselves. So it should be with God. He should be a fact in the consciousness of every person.
  • The chief helps in this liberation are Abhyasa and Vairagya. Vairagya is non – attachment to life, because it is the will to enjoy that brings all this bondage in its train; and Abhyasa is constant practice of any one of the Yogas.
  • Suppose cats became philosophers, they would see a cat universe and have a cat solution of the problem of the universe, and a cat ruling it. So we see from this that our explanation of the universe is not the whole of the solution.
  • The animal has its happiness in the senses, the human beings in their intellect, and the gods in spiritual contemplation. It is only to the soul that has attained to this contemplative state that the world really becomes beautiful.
  • We do not look at our own faults; the eyes do not see themselves, they see the eyes of everybody else. We human beings are very slow to recognise our own weakness, our own faults, so long as we can lay the blame upon somebody else.
  • The difference between architecture and building is that the former expresses an idea, while the latter is merely a structure built on economical principles. The value of matter depends solely on its capacities of expressing ideas.
  • All work is simply to bring out the power of the mind which is already there, to wake up the soul. The power is inside every man, so is knowing; the different works are like blows to bring them out, to cause these giants to wake up.
  • Why are people so afraid? The answer is that they have made themselves helpless and dependent on others. We are so lazy, we do not want to do anything ourselves. We want a Personal God, a Savior or a Prophet to do everything for us.
  • There is to be found in every religion the manifestation of the struggle toward freedom. It is the groundwork of all morality, of unselfishness, which means getting rid of the idea that human beings are the same as this little body.
  • I fervently wish no misery ever came near anyone; yet it is that alone that gives us an insight into the depths of our lives, does it not? In our moments of anguish, gates barred forever seem to open and let in many a flood of light.
  • A certain motion becomes understood when it is referred to a force; certain sensations, to matter; certain changes outside, to law; certain changes in thought, to mind; certain order singly, to causation – and joined to time, to law.
  • . . . Have patience and be faithful unto death. Do not fight among yourselves. Be perfectly pure in money dealings. . . . We will do great things yet. . . . So long as you have faith and honesty and devotion, everything will prosper.
  • The man who gives way to anger, or hatred, or any other passion, cannot work; he only breaks himself to pieces, and does nothing practical. It is the calm, forgiving, equable, well-balanced mind that does the greatest amount of work.
  • The powers of the mind should be concentrated and the mind turned back upon itself; as the darkest places reveal their secrets before the penetrating rays of the sun, so will the concentrated mind penetrate its own innermost secrets.
  • The moment I have realized God 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.
  • There is only one sin and it is: weakness. When I was a boy, I read Milton’s Paradise Lost. The only good man I had any respect for was Satan. The only saint is that person who never weakens, faces everything, and determines die game.
  • The calm man is not the man who is dull. You must not mistake Sattva for dullness or laziness. The calm man is the one who has control over the mind waves. Activity is the manifestation of inferior strength, calmness, of the superior.
  • If there be no eternal life, still the enjoyment of spiritual thoughts as ideals is keener and makes a man happier, whilst the foolery of materialism leads to competition and undue ambition and ultimate death, individual and national.
  • Each one of us reaps what we ourselves have sown. These miseries under which we suffer, these bondages under which we struggle, have been caused by ourselves, and none else in the universe is to blame. God is the least to blame for it.
  • 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.
  • To me an Indian is one who has got a Vedantic brain which probes deep and soars high; an Islamic body that is vibrant and valiant; a Buddhistic heart overflowing with compassion and kindness and Christian limbs of service and sacrifice.
  • Do you think these sannyasi children of Sri Ramakrishna are born to simply to sit under trees lighting dhuni-fires? Whenever any of them will take up some work, people will be astonished to see their energy. Learn from them how to work.
  • We read many books, but that does not bring us knowledge. We may read all the Bibles in the world, but that will not give us religion. Theoretical religion is easy enough to get, any one may get that. What we want is practical religion.
  • Meditation, you know, comes by a process imagination. You go through all these processes purification of the elements – making the one melt the other, that into the next higher, that into mind, that into spirit, and then you are spirit.
  • The householder must always please his wife with money, clothes, love and faith and never do anything to disturb her. That man who has succeeded in getting the love of a chaste wife has succeeded in his religion and has all the virtues.
  • “If you die, you get to heaven; and if you win, you enjoy the earth” (Gita). Even if you die in this attempt, well and good, many will take up the work, following your example. And if you succeed, you will live a life of great opulence.
  • Buddha and Christ were second-rate heroes. The greatest men that ever live pass away unknown. They put forth no claims for themselves, establish no schools or systems in their name. They never create any stir but just melt down in love.
  • He who is the servant of all is their true master. He never becomes a leader in whose love there is a consideration of high or low. He whose love knows no end and never stops to consider high or low has the whole world lying at his feet.
  • First, let us be Gods, and then help others to be Gods. “Be and make.” Let this be our motto. Say not man is a sinner. Tell him that he is a God. Even if there were a devil, it would be our duty to remember God always, and not the devil.
  • I want each one of my children to be a hundred times greater than I could ever be. Everyone of you must be a giant- must, that is my word. Obedience, readiness, and love for the cause- if you have these three, nothing can hold you back.
  • The sign of vigour, the sign of life, the sign of hope, the sign of health, the sign of everything that is good, is strength. As long as the body lives, there must be strength in the body, strength in the mind, [and strength] in the hand.
  • Truth will never come into our minds so long as there will remain the faintest shadow of Ahamk√¢ra (egotism). All of you should try to root out this devil from your heart. Complete self-surrender is the only way to spiritual illumination.
  • We must travel; we must go to foreign parts. We must see how the engine of society works in other countries, and keep free and open communication with what is going on in the minds of other nations, if we really want to be a nation again.
  • When we have become free, we need not go mad and throw up society and rush off to die in the forest or the cave; we shall remain where we were but we shall understand the whole thing. The same phenomena will remain but with a new meaning.
  • 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.
  • First, meditation should be of a negative nature. Think away everything. Analyse everything that comes in the mind by the sheer action of the will. Next, assert what we really are-existence, knowledge, and bliss-being, knowing, and loving.
  • 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 the only law of life, just as you breathe to live.
  • We are the makers of our own lives. There is no such thing as fate. Our lives are the result of our previous actions, our karma, and it naturally flows that, having been ourselves the makers of our karma, we must also be able to unmake it.
  • Do not go for glass beads leaving the mine of diamonds. This life is a great chance. What, seekest thou the pleasures of the world? He is the fountain of all bliss. See for the highest, aim at that highest, and you shall reach the highest.
  • Above all, beware of compromises. I do not mean that you are to get into antagonism with anybody, but you have to hold on to your own principles in weal or woe and never adjust them to others “fads” thought the greed of getting supporters.
  • Give up all self, all egotisms get out of anger, lust, give all to God. “I am not, but Thou art; the old man is all gone, only Thou remainest.” “I am Thou.” Blame none; if evil comes, know the Lord is playing with you and be exceeding glad.
  • Mark, therefore, the ordinary theory of practical religion, what it leads to. Charity is great, but the moment you say it is all, you run the risk of running into materialism. It is not religion. It is no better than atheism – a little less.
  • Since everything emanates from God, he is the embodied principle in every being. Each one of us is made from God. Tat twam asi – “You are That One” who is eternally blissful, that one principle manifesting itself as this variety of Creation.
  • I am the thread that runs through all these pearls, and each pearl is a religion or even a sect thereof. Such are the different pearls, and God is the thread that runs through all of them; most people, however, are entirely unconscious of it.
  • Children of those ancient Aryans, through the grace of the Lord may you have the same pride, may that faith in your ancestors come into your blood, may it become a part and parcel of your lives, may it work towards the salvation of the world!
  • My son, there is no rest for me. That which Sri Ramakrishna called “Kali” took possession of my body and soul three or four days before his passing away. That makes me work and work and never lets me keep still or look to my personal comfort.
  • The test of ahimsa is the absence of jealousy. The man whose heart never cherishes even the thought of injury to anyone, who rejoices at the prosperity of even his greatest enemy, that man is the bhakta, he is the yogi, he is the guru of all.
  • Wherever in any society there are too many laws, it is a sure sign that that society will soon die. If you study the characteristics of India, you will find that no nation possesses so many laws as the Hindus, and national death is the result.
  • I have a message for the world, which I will deliver without fear and care for the future. To the reformers I will point out that I am a greater reformer than any one of them. They want to reform only little bits. I want root-and-branch reform.
  • Whatever you are doing, put your whole mind on it. If you are shooting, your mind should be only on the target. Then you will never miss. If you are learning your lessons, think only of the lesson. In India boys and girls are taught to do this.
  • To succeed, you must have tremendous perserverance… tremendous will. “I will drink the ocean”, says the perservering soul; at my will mountains will crumble. Have that sort of energy, that sort of will; work hard, and you will reach the goal.
  • How often does a man ruin his disciples by remaining always with them! When men are once trained, it is essential that their leader leave them, for without his absence they cannot develop themselves. Plants always remain small under a big tree.
  • Go on bravely. Do not expect success in a day or a year. Always hold on to the highest. Be steady. Avoid jealousy and selfishness. Be obedient and eternally faithful to the cause of truth, humanity, and your country, and you will move the world.
  • 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?”
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Why is it that we three hundred and thirty millions of people have been ruled for the last one thousand years by any and every handful of foreigners who chose to walk over our prostrate bodies? Because they had faith in themselves and we had not.
  • 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.
  • If you want to have life, you have to die every moment for it. Life and death are only different expressions of the same thing looked at from different standpoints; they are the falling and the rising of the same wave, and the two form one whole.
  • Infinite perfection is in every man, though unmanifested. Every man has in him the potentiality of attaining to perfect saintliness, Rishihood, or to the most exalted position of an Avat√¢ra, or to the greatness of a hero in material discoveries.
  • Get up, and set your shoulder to the wheel – How long is this life for? As you have come into this world, leave some mark behind. Otherwise, where is the difference between you and the trees and stones? They too come into existence, decay and die.
  • I direct my attention to the individual, to make him strong, to teach him that he himself is divine, and I call upon men to make themselves conscious of this divinity within. That is really the ideal –conscious or unconscious –of every religion.
  • You cannot take away one atom of matter or one foot-pound of force. You cannot add to the universe one atom of matter or one foot-pound of force. As such, evolution does not come out of zero; then, where does it come from? From previous involution.
  • Renunciation is the background of all religious thought wherever it be, and you will always find that as this idea of renunciation lessens, the more will the senses creep into the field of religion, and spirituality will decrease in the same ratio.
  • We must become free. We are free; the work is to know it. We must give up all slavery, all bondage of whatever kind. We must not only give up our bondage to earth and everything and everybody on earth, but also to all ideas of heaven and happiness.
  • That is the great fact which you ought to remember. We are the children of the Almighty, we are sparks of the infinite, divine fire. How can we be nothings? We are everything, ready to do everything, we can do everything, and man must do everything.
  • 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.
  • It is not that Christ is superior to Allah, not that Allah is everything and Brahma is nothing, but it is the same one whom you call either Brahma or Allah, or Almighty, or by a hundred other names. The names are different but God is one and the same.
  • The greatest force is derived from the power of thought. The finer the element, the more powerful it is. The silent power of thought influences people even at a distance, because mind is one as well as many. The universe is a cobweb; minds are spiders.
  • There is this difference between the love taught by Christianity and that taught by Hinduism: Christianity teaches us to love our neighbours as we should wish them to love us; Hinduism asks us to love them as ourselves, in fact to see ourselves in them.
  • Say – i am the Atman in which my lower ego has become merged for ever. Be perfect in this idea; and then as long as the body endures, speak unto others this message of fearlessness: “Thou art That”, “Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached!”
  • Two attempts have been made in the world to found social life: the one was upon religion, and the other was upon social necessity. The one was founded upon spirituality, the other upon materialism; the one upon transcendentalism, the other upon realism.
  • Feel, my children, feel; feel for the poor, the ignorant, the downtrodden; feel till the heart stops and the brain reels and you think you will go mad; then pour the soul out at the feet of the Lord, and then will come power, help and indomitable energy.
  • Think always: I am ever-pure, ever-knowing, and ever-free. How can I do anything evil? Can I ever be befooled like ordinary people with the insignificant charms of lust and wealth? Strengthen the mind with such thoughts. This will surely bring real good.
  • Buddha taught kindness towards lower beings; and since then there has not been a sect in India that has not taught charity to all beings, even to animals. This kindness, this mercy, this charity – greater than any doctrine – are what Buddhism left to us.
  • “Some would call you a saint, some a chandala; some a lunatic, others a demon. Go on then straight to thy work without heeding either” – thus saith one of our great Sannyasins, an old emperor of India, King Bhartrihari, who joined the order in old times.
  • God is one the paths to reach him (religions) are many – just as different rivers, originating in different mountains, traverse different paths, flowing straight or crooked, and at last join the ocean. He is the one Lord of all, the one Soul of all souls.

 

  • I love my nation, I cannot see you degraded, weakened any more than you are now. Therefore I am bound for your sake and for truth’s to cry, “Hold!” and to raise my voice against this degradation of my race. Give up these weakening mysticism and be strong.

 

  • 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.

 

  • I am neither man nor angel. I have no sex nor limit. I am knowledge itself. I am He. I have neither anger nor hatred. I have neither pain nor pleasure. Death or birth I never had. For I am Knowledge Absolute, and Bliss Absolute. I am He, my soul, I am He!

 

  • Science, art, learning and metaphysical research all have their proper functions in life, but if you seek to blend them, you destroy their individual characteristics until, in time, you eliminate the spiritual, for instance, from the religious altogether.

 

  • We may worship a picture as God, but not God as the picture. God in the picture is right, but the picture as God is wrong. God in the image is perfectly right. There is no danger there. This is the real worship of God. But the image-God is a mere Pratika.

 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • What the world wants today is twenty men and women who can dare to stand in the street yonder and say that they possess nothing but God. Who will go? Why should one fear? If this is true, what else could matter? If it is not true, what do our lives matter?
  • Even now, when you get love, you see Radha. Become Radha and be saved. There is no other way, Christians do not understand Solomon’s song. They call it prophecy symbolising Christ’s love for the Church. They think it nonsense and father some story upon it.
  • The one theme of the Vedanta philosophy is the search after unity. The Hindu mind does not care for the particular; it is always after the general, nay, the universal. “what is it that by knowing which everything else is to be known.” That is the one search.
  • An allopath comes and treats cholera patients and gives them his medicines. The Homeopath comes and gives his medicines and cures perhaps more than the allopath does because the Homoeopath does not disturb the patients but allows the nature to deal with them.
  • 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.
  • All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do anything and everything without even the guidance of any one.
  • He who is alone is happy. Do good to all, like everyone, but do not love anyone. It is a bondage, and bondage brings only misery. Live alone in your mind – that is happiness. To have nobody to care for and never minding who cares for one is the way to be free.
  • If I ask you to plunge into the Ganga or to jump from the roof of a house, meaning it all for your good, could you do even that without any hesitations Just think of it even now; otherwise don’t rush forward on the spur of the moment to accept me as your Guru.
  • Jesus Christ was willing to admit every good man to the family of God. It is not the man who believes a certain something, but the man who does the will of the Father in heaven, who is right. On this basis-being right and doing right-the whole world can unite.
  • We must recognise that duty and morality vary under different circumstances; not that the man who resists evil is doing what is always and in itself wrong, but that in the different circumstances in which he is placed it may become even his duty to resist evil.
  • Do not believe a thing because you have read about it in a book. Do not believe a thing because another man has said it was true. Do not believe in words because they are hallowed by tradition. Find out the truth for yourself. Reason it out. That is realization.
  • This is the secret of spiritual life: to think that I am the Atman and not the body, and that the whole of this universe with all its relations, with all its good and all its evil, is but as a series of paintings…scenes on a canvas…of which I am the witness.
  • Be not afraid , for all great power throughout the history of humanity has been with the people. From out of their ranks have come all the greatest geniuses of the world, and history can only repeat itself. Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvellous work.
  • 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.
  • Father is the existence out of which everything comes; Son is that knowledge. It is in Christ that God will be manifest. God was everywhere, in all beings, before Christ; but in Christ we became conscious of Him. This is God. The third is bliss, the Holy Spirit.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • To his enemies the householder must be a hero. Them he must resist. That is the duty of the householder. He must not sit down in a corner and weep, and talk nonsense about non-resistance. If he does not show himself a hero to his enemies he has not done his duty.
  • Life is short, and therefore, one thing being certain, death, let us take up a great ideal, and give up the whole life to it. For what is the value of life, this vegetating little low life of man? Subordinating it to one high ideal is the only value that life has.
  • Everything that we perceive around us is struggling towards freedom, from the atom to the man, from the insentient, lifeless particle of matter to the highest existence on earth, the human soul. The whole universe is in fact the result of this struggle for freedom.
  • 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.
  • Have faith in yourself. You people were once the Vedic Rishis. Only, you have come in different forms, that’s all. I see it clear as daylight that you all have infinite power in you. Rouse that up; arise, arise – apply yourselves heart and soul, gird up your loins.
  • I want to start two institutions, one in Madras and one in Calcutta, to carry out my plan; and that plan briefly is to bring the Vedantic ideals into the everyday practical life of the saint or the sinner, of the sage or the ignoramus, of the Brahmin or the Pariah.
  • 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?
  • I hate this world, this dream, this horrible nightmare, with its churches and chicaneries, its books and blackguardisms, its fair faces and false hearts, its howling righteousness on the surface and utter hollowness beneath and, above all, its sanctified shopkeeping!
  • Do not desire, for what you desire you get, and with it comes terrible bondage. It is nothing but bringing “noses on us,” as in the case of the man who had three boons to ask. We never get freedom until we are self-contained. “Self is the Saviour of self, none else.”
  • Do you believe in that Infinite, good Providence working in and through you? If you believe that this Omnipresent One is present in every atom, is through and through, Ota-Prota, as the Sanskrit word goes, penetrating your body, mind and soul, how can you lose heart?
  • Nature grinds all of us. Keep count of the ounce of pleasure you get. In the long run, nature did her work through you, and when you die your body will make other plants grow. Yet we think all the time that we are getting pleasure ourselves. Thus the wheel goes round.
  • No one step back, that is the idea…. Fight it out, whatever comes. Let the stars move from the sphere! Let the whole world stand against us!…. What of it? Thus fight! You gain nothing by becoming cowards…. Taking a step backward, you do not avoid any misfortune.
  • Seek no praise, no reward, for anything you do. No sooner do we perform a good action than we begin to desire credit for it. No sooner do we give money to some charity than we want to see our names blazoned in the papers. Misery must come as the result of such desires.
  • Those that only take a nibble here and a nibble there will never attain anything … Those who really want to be yogis must give up, once and for all, this nibbling at things. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea.
  • Chemistry ceases to improve when one element is found from which all others are deductible. Physics ceases to progress when one force is found of which all others are manifestations. So religion ceases to progress when unity is reached, which is the case with Hinduism.
  • Marriage is the truest goal for ninety-nine per cent of the human race, and they will live the happiest life as soon as they have learnt and are ready to abide by the eternal lesson – that we are bound to bear and forbear and that life to every one must be a compromise.
  • It is always for greater joy that you give up the lesser. This is practical religion-the attainment of freedom, renunciation. Renounce the lower so that you may get the higher. Renounce! Renounce! Sacrifice! Give up! Not for zero. Not for nothing. But to get the higher.
  • The Christians believe that Jesus Christ died to save man. With you it is belief in a doctrine, and this belief constitutes your salvation. With us doctrine has nothing whatever to do with salvation. Each one may believe in whatever doctrine he likes; or in no doctrine.
  • The person is only a phenomenon, the principle is behind it. Thus from both sides, simultaneously, we find the breaking down of personalities and the approach towards principles, the Personal God approaching the Impersonal, the personal man approaching the Impersonal Man.
  • Work unto death! I am with you, and when I am gone, my spirit will work with you. This life comes and goes; wealth, fame, enjoyments are only of a few days. It is better, far better to die on the field of duty, preaching the truth, than to die like a worldly worm. Advance!
  • Knowledge of the Absolute depends upon no book, nor upon anything; it is absolute in itself. No amount of study will give this knowledge; is not theory, it is realization. Cleanse the dust from the mirror, purify your own mind, and in a flash you know that you are Brahman.
  • Learn to feel yourself in other bodies, to know that we are all one. Throw all other nonsense to the winds. Spit out your actions, good or bad, and never think of them again. What is done is done. Throw off superstition. Have no weakness even in the face of death. Be free.
  • I do not care what philosophy you take up; only I am ready to prove here that throughout the whole of India, there runs a mutual and cordial string of eternal faith in the perfection of humanity, and I believe in it myself. And let that faith be spread over the whole land.
  • Even the lowest of the Hindus, the Pariah, has less of the brute in him than a Briton in a similar social status. This is the result of an old and excellent religious civilization. This evolution to a higher spiritual state is possible only through discipline and education.
  • 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.”
  • Whenever two particles come together, they are held by a certain attraction; and there will come a time when those particles will separate. This is the eternal law. So, wherever there is a body – either grosser or finer, either in heaven or on earth – death will overcome it.
  • Even books are nurses, medicines are nurses. But we must work to bring about the time when man shall recognise his mastery over his own body. Herbs and medicines have power over us as long as we allow them; when we become strong, these external methods are no more necessary.
  • We have all been hearing from childhood of such things as love, peace, charity, equality, and universal brotherhood; but they have become to us mere words without meaning, words which we repeat like parrots, and it has become quite natural for us to do so. We cannot help it.
  • Every little bit, every atom inside the universe, is in a constant state of change and motion, but the universe as a whole is unchangeable, because motion or change is a relative thing; we can only think of something in motion in comparison with something which is not moving.
  • 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.
  • Too early religious advancement of the Hindus and that superfineness in everything which made them cling to higher alternatives, have reduced them to what they are. The Hindus have to learn a little bit of materialism from the West and teach them a little bit of spirituality.
  • The history of the world is the history of a few men who had faith in themselves. That faith calls out the divinity within. You can do anything. You fail only when you do not strive sufficiently to manifest infinite power. As soon as a man or a nation loses faith, death comes.
  • 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.
  • Freedom can never be true of name and form; it is the clay out of which we (the pots) are made; then it is limited and not free, so that freedom can never be true of the related. One pot can never say “I am free” as a pot; only as it loses all ideas of form does it become free.
  • To realize the spirit as spirit is practical religion. Everything else is good so far as it leads to this one grand idea. That realization is to be attained by renunciation, by meditation-renunciation of all the senses, cutting the knots, the chains that bind us down to matter.
  • I have seen some astrologers who predicted wonderful things; but I have no reason to believe they predicted them only from the stars, or anything of the sort. In many cases it is simply mind-reading. Sometimes wonderful predictions are made, but in many cases it is arrant trash.
  • 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.
  • In countries where there is no marriage, there is no duty between husband and wife; when marriage comes, husband and wife live together on account of attachment; and that kind of living together becomes settled after generations; and when it becomes so settled, it becomes a duty.
  • 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.
  • We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. The wind is blowing; those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not catch the wind. Is that the fault of the wind?……. We make our own destiny.
  • Christ said, “Resist not evil”, and we do not understand it until we discover that it is not only moral but actually the best policy, for anger is loss of energy to the man who displays it. You should not allow your minds to come into those brain-combinations of anger and hatred.
  • The essential thing in religion is making the heart pure; the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, but only the pure in heart can see the King. While we think of the world, it is only the world for us; but let us come to it with the feeling that the world is God, and we shall have God.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • We want to worship a living God. I have not seen anything but God all my life, nor have you… He is everywhere, saying, “I am.” The moment you feel “I am,” you are conscious of Existence. Where shall we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being?
  • This doctrine of prenatal influence is now slowly being recognized, and science as well as religion calls out: ‘Keep yourself holy, and pure.’ So deeply has this been recognized in India, that there we even speak of adultery in marriage, except when marriage is consummated in prayer.
  • It is good and very grand to conquer external nature, but grander still to conquer our internal nature…. This conquering of the inner man, understanding the secrets of the subtle workings that are within the human mind, and knowing its wonderful secrets, belong entirely to religion.
  • Think of a space in your heart, and in the midst of that space think that a flame is burning. Think of that a flame is burning. Think of that flame as your own soul and inside the flame is another effulgent light, and that is the Soul of your soul, God. Meditate upon that in the heart.
  • Many of us get many messages in our lives, or think we get them. As long as the message is regarding our own selves, go on doing what you please. But when it is in regard to our contact with and behavior to others, think a hundred times before you act upon it-and then you will be safe.
  • 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.
  • I reached Ghazipur three days ago. Here I am putting up in the house of Babu Satish Chandra Mukherji, a friend of my early age. The place is very pleasant. Close by flows the Ganga, but bathing there is troublesome, for there is no regular path, and it is hard work wading through sands.
  • 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.
  • You are strong, omnipotent, and omniscient. No matter that you have not expressed it yet, it is in you. All knowledge is in you, all power, all purity, and all freedom-why cannot you express this knowledge? Because you do not believe in it… Believe in it, and it must and will come out.
  • All action of Sattva, a modification of Prakriti characterised by light and happiness, is for the soul. When Sattva is free from egoism and illuminated with the pure intelligence of Purusha, it is called the self-centred one, because in that state it becomes independent of all relations.
  • 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.
  • By doing well the duty which is nearest to us, the duty which is in our hands now, we make ourselves stronger; and improving our strength in this manner step by step, we may reach a state in which it shall be our privilege to do the most coveted and honored duties in life and in society.
  • 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.
  • Was there ever a sillier thing before in the world than what I saw in Malabar country? The poor Pariah is not allowed to pass through the same street as the high-caste man, but if he changes his name to a hodge-podge English name, it is all right; or to a Mohammedan name, it is all right.
  • The vapour becomes snow, then water, then Ganga; but when it is vapour, there is no Ganga, and when it is water, we think of no vapour in it. The idea of creation or change is inseparably connected with will. So long as we perceive this world in motion, we have to conceive will behind it.
  • Hold to the idea, “I am not the mind, I see that I am thinking, I am watching my mind act,” and each day the identification of yourself with thoughts and feelings will grow less, until at last you can entirely separate yourself from the mind and actually know it to be apart from yourself.
  • 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.
  • The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God; but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man. They have not seen the Father, but they have seen the Son. And he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also.
  • Today the West is awakening to its wants; and the “true self of man and spirit” is the watchword of the advanced school of Western theologians. The student of Sanskrit philosophy knows where the wind is blowing from, but it matters not whence the power comes so longs as it brings new life.
  • In the world take always the position of the giver. Give everything and look for no return. Give love, give help, give service, give any little thing you can, but keep out barter. Make no conditions and none will be imposed on you. Let us give out of our own bounty, just as God gives to us.
  • We should cultivate the optimistic temperament, and endeavour to see the good that dwells in everything. If we sit down and lament over the imperfection of our bodies and our minds, we profit nothing; it is the heroic endeavour to subdue adverse circumstances that carries our spirit upward.
  • The weak, the fearful, the ignorant will never reach the Atman. You cannot undo what you have done; the effect must come. Face it, but be careful never to do the same thing again. Give up the burden of all deeds to God. Give all, both good and bad. God helps those who do not help themselves.
  • Say So’ham, So’ham whatever comes. Tell yourself this even in eating, walking, suffering. Tell the mind this incessantly-that what we see never existed, that there is only I. Flash-the dream will break! Think day and night, this universe is zero, only God is. Have intense desire to get free.
  • In this world we find that all happiness is followed by misery as its shadow. Life has its shadow, death. They must go together, because they are not contradictory, not two separate existences, but different manifestations of the same unit, life and death, sorrow and happiness, good and evil.
  • One way for attaining Bhakti is by repeating the name of God a number of times. Mantras have effect: the mere repetition of words…. 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.
  • One atom in this universe cannot move without dragging the whole world along with it. There cannot be any progress without the whole world following in the wake, and it is becoming every day dearer that the solution of any problem can never be attained on racial, or national, or narrow grounds.
  • Those who are acquainted with the literature of India will remember a beautiful old story about this extreme charity, how a whole family, as related in the Mah√¢bh√¢rata, starved themselves to death and gave their last meal to a beggar. This is not an exaggeration, for such things still happen.
  • There is but one soul throughout the universe, all is but one existence – “Thou art in the woman, thou in the man, thou in the young man walking in the pride of youth, thou in the old man tottering on his stick – thou art All – in all, in everything, and I am thee, because I am made from thee.”
  • We have lost faith in ourselves. Therefore to preach the Advaita aspect of the Vedanta is necessary to rouse up the hearts of men, to show them the glory of their souls. It is therefore that I preach this Advaita, and I do so not as a sectarian, but upon universal and widely acceptable grounds.
  • What is the world that is to be given up? It is here. I am carrying it all with me. My own body. It is all for this body that I put my hand voluntarily upon my fellow human beings, just to keep it nice and give it a little pleasure. It is all for the body that I injure others and make mistakes.
  • Let the churches preach doctrines, theories, philosophies to their hearts’ content, but when it comes to worship, the real practical part of religion, it should be as Jesus says, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret”.
  • 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.
  • From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hinduism religion.
  • In these days of intellectual awakening and steadily asserting public opinion, the holy places of the Hindus, their condition, and method of work have not escaped tile keen eye of criticism; and this city, being the holy of holies to all Hindus, has not failed to attract its full share of censure.
  • You know it already that each one of us is the effect of the infinite past; the child is ushered into the world not as something flashing from the hands of nature, as poets delight so much to depict, but he has the burden of an infinite past; for good or evil he comes to work out his own past deeds
  • I do not believe in eternal progress, that we are growing on ever and ever in a straight line. It is too nonsensical to believe. There is no motion in a straight line. A straight line infinitely projected becomes a circle. The force sent out will complete the circle and return to its starting place.
  • Where will you go to seek Brahman? He is immanent in all beings. Here, here is the visible Brahman! Shame on those who, neglecting the visible Brahman, set their minds on other things! Here is the visible Brahman before you as tangible as a fruit in one’s hand! Can’t you see? Here – here – is Brahman!
  • Work, my children, work with your whole heart and soul! That is the thing. Mind not the fruit of work. What if you go to hell working for others? That is worth more than to gain heaven by seeking your own salvation… Sri Ramakrishna came and gave his life for the world. I will also sacrifice my life.
  • Here in India, it is religion that forms the very core of the national heart. It is the backbone, the bed-rock, the foundation upon which the national edifice has been built. Politics, power, and even intellect form a secondary consideration here. Religion, therefore, is the one consideration in India.
  • May I be born again and again, and suffer thousands of miseries so that I may worship the only God that exists, the only God I believe in, the sum total of all souls-and, above all, my God the wicked, my God the miserable, my God the poor of all races, of all species, is the special object of my worship.
  • Faith, sympathy – fiery faith and fiery sympathy! Life is nothing, death is nothing, hunger nothing, cold nothing. Glory unto the Lord – march on, the Lord is our General. Do not look back to see who falls – forward – onward! Thus and thus we shall go on, brethren. One falls, and another takes up the work
  • There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of woman is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing. There is no hope for that family or country where there is no estimation of women, where they live in sadness. For this reason, they have to be raised first.
  • Try a little harder, and meditation comes. You do not feel the body or anything else. When you come out of it after the hour, you have had the most beautiful rest you ever had in your life. That is the only way you ever give rest to your system. Not even the deepest sleep will give you such a rest as that.
  • All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do any thing and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.
  • 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 the future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.
  • To injure another creates bondage and hides the truth. Negative virtues are not enough; we have to conquer Maya, and then she will follow us. We only deserve things when they cease to bind us. When the bondage ceases, really and truly, all things come to us. Only those who want nothing are masters of nature.
  • Every Hindu knows that astrologers try to fix the caste of every boy or girl as soon as he or she is born. That is the real caste – the individuality, and Jyotisha (astrology) recognises that. And we can only rise by giving it full sway again. This variety does not mean inequality, nor any special privilege.
  • This Maya is everywhere. It is terrible. Yet we have to work through it. The man who says that he will work when the world has become all good and then he will enjoy bliss is as likely to succeed as the man who sits beside the Ganga and says, “I will ford the river when all the water has run into the ocean.”
  • My boat is nearing the calm harbour from which it is never more to be driven out. Glory, glory unto Mother! (Referring to the Divine Mother of the Universe.) I have no wish, no ambition now. Blessed be Mother! I am the servant of Ramakrishna. I am merely a machine. I know nothing else. Nor do I want to know.
  • Wherever there is evil and wherever there is ignorance and want of knowledge, I have found out by experience that all evil comes, as our scriptures say, relying upon differences, and that all good comes from faith in equality, in the underlying sameness and oneness of things. This is the great Vedantic ideal.
  • Doing is very good, but that comes from thinking. Little manifestations of energy through the muscles are called work. But where there is no thought, there will be no work. Fill the brain, therefore, with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work.
  • They alone live whose lives are in the whole universe, and the more we concentrate our lives on limited things, the faster we go towards death. Those moments alone we live when our lives are in the universe, in others; and living this little life is death, simply death, and that is why the fear of death comes.
  • Not even the deepest sleep will give you such a rest as meditation can. The mind goes on jumping even in deepest sleep. Just those few moments in meditation your brain has almost stopped. … You forget the body. … You feel such pleasure in it. You become so light. This perfect rest we will get in meditation.
  • The Vedas give information on various subjects. They have come together and form one book. And in later times, when other subjects were separated from religion – when astronomy and astrology were taken out of religion – these subjects, being connected with the Vedas and being ancient, were considered very holy.
  • Every atom is trying to go and join itself to the next atom. Atoms after atoms combine, making huge balls, the earths, the suns, the moons, the stars, the planets. They in their turn, are trying to rush towards each other, and at last, we know that the whole universe, mental and material, will be fused into one.
  • The difference between God and the devil is in nothing except in unselfishness and selfishness. The devil knows as much as God, is as powerful as God; only he has no holiness that makes him a devil. Apply the same idea to the modern world: excess of knowledge and power, without holiness, makes human beings devils.
  • Every act of charity, every thought of sympathy, every action of help, every good deed, is taking so much of self-importance away from our little selves and making us think of ourselves as the lowest and the least, and, therefore, it is all good. Here we find that Jn√¢na, Bhakti, and Karma – all come to one point.
  • The only religion that ought to be taught is the religion of fearlessness. Either in this world or in the world of religion, it is true that fear is the sure cause of degradation and sin. It is fear that brings misery, fear that brings death, fear that breeds evil. And what causes fear? Ignorance of our own nature.
  • You must also remember that the world has God to govern it, and He has not left it to our charity. The Lord God is its Governor and Maintainer, and in spite of these wine fanatics and cigar fanatics, and all sorts of marriage fanatics, it would go on. If all these persons were to die, it would go on none the worse.
  • Be strong! Don’t talk of ghosts and devils. We are the living devils. The sign of life is strength and growth. The sign of death is weakness. Whatever is weak, avoid! It is death. If it is strength, go down into hell and get hold of it! There is salvation only for the brave. Everyone must work out his own salvation.
  • Every time you think of doing some charity, you think there is some beggar to take your charity. If you say, “O Lord, let the world be full of charitable people!” – you mean, let the world be full of beggars also. Let the world be full of good works – let the world be full of misery. This is out-and-out slavishness!
  • “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” Where goest thou to seek for the Kingdom of God, asks Jesus of Nazareth, when it is there, within you? Cleanse the spirit, and it is there. It is already yours. How can you get what is not yours? It is yours by right. You are the heirs of immortality, sons of the Eternal Father.
  • The mind in its foolishness thinks that it is working in this body. Why should I be bound by one system of nerves, and put the Ego only in one body, if the mind is omnipresent? There is no reason why I should.[Source] The root of that degeneration is egotism – to think that one is just as great as any other, indeed!
  • “Learn good knowledge with all devotion from the lowest caste. Learn the way to freedom, even if it comes from a Pariah, by serving him. If a woman is a jewel, take her in marriage even if she comes from a low family of the lowest caste.” Such is the law laid down by our great and peerless legislator, the divine Manu.
  • 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.
  • If you are a strong man, very good! But do not curse others who are not strong enough for you. …Everyone says, “Woe unto you people!!” Who says, “Woe unto me that I cannot help you?” The people are doing all right to the best of their ability and means and knowledge. Woe unto me that I cannot lift them to where I am!
  • Well has it been said that man is the only animal that naturally looks upwards; every other animal naturally looks down. That looking upward and going upward and seeking perfection are what is called salvation; and the sooner a man begins to go higher, the sooner he raises himself towards this idea of truth as salvation.
  • Preaching has always been the business of the Asiatics. The Western people are grand in organisation, social institutions, armies, governments, etc.; but when it comes to preaching religion, they cannot come near the Asiatic, whose business it has been all the time, and he knows it, and he does not use too much machinery.
  • Look here ‚Äî we shall all die! Bear this in mind always, and then the spirit within will wake up. Then only, meanness will vanish from you, practicality in work will come, you will get new vigour in mind and body, and those who come in contact with you will also feel that they have really got something uplifting from you.
  • The power of meditation gets us everything. If you want to get power over nature, [you can have it through meditation]. It is through the power of meditation all scientific facts are discovered today. They study the subject and forget everything, their own identity and everything, and then the great fact comes like a flash.
  • You are the Children of God, the sharers of immortal bliss, holy and perfect beings. You divinities on earth. Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; you are not matter, you are not bodies; matter is your servant,not you the servant of matter.
  • You nourish your minds by reading books. There is no good in doing that unless you hold it also as a sacrifice to the whole world. For the whole world is one; you are rated a very insignificant part of it, and therefore it is right for you that you should serve your millions of brothers rather than aggrandise this little self
  • I have come to deal with principles. I have only to preach that God comes again and again, and that He came in India as Krishna, Rama, and Buddha, and that He will come again. It can almost be demonstrated that after each 500 years the world sinks, and a tremendous spiritual wave comes, and on the top of the wave is a Christ.
  • There is another way in which this idea of mercy and selfless charity can be put into practice; that is, by looking upon work as “worship” in case we believe in a Personal God. Here we give up all the fruits our work unto the Lord, and worshipping Him thus, we have no right to expect anything from man kind for the work we do.
  • If you want to be a yogi, you must be free, and place yourself in circumstances where you are alone and free from all anxiety. One who desires a comfortable and nice life and at the same time wants to realize the Self is like the fool who, wanting to cross the river, caught hold of a crocodile, mistaking it for a log of wood.
  • Religion is not an imitation of Jesus or Mohammed. Even if an imitation is good, it is never genuine. Be not an imitation of Jesus, but be Jesus, You are quite as great as Jesus, Buddha, or anybody else. If we are not … we must struggle and be. I would not be exactly like Jesus. It is unnecessary that I should be born a Jew.
  • Each atom is trying to fly off from its centre. In the internal world, each thought is trying to go beyond control. Again each particle in the external world is checked by another force, the centripetal, and drawn towards the centre. Similarly in the thought – world the controlling power is checking all these outgoing desires.
  • I am persuaded that a leader is not made in one life. He has to be born for it. For the difficulty is not in organisation and making plans; the test, the real test, of the leader, lies in holding widely different people together along the line of their common sympathies. And this can only be done unconsciously, never by trying.
  • Those who grumble at the little thing that has fallen to their lot to do will grumble at everything. Always grumbling, they will lead a miserable life, and everything will be a failure. But those who do their duties as they go, putting their shoulders to the wheel, will see the light, and higher duties will fall to their share.
  • Let people say whatever they like, stick to your own convictions, and rest assured, the world will be at your feet. They say, “Have faith in this fellow or that fellow”, but I say, “Have faith in yourself first”, that’s the way. Have faith in yourself-all power is in you-be conscious and bring it out. Say, “I can do everything.”
  • Faith, faith, faith in ourselves, faith, faith in God, this is the secret of greatness.If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty millions of your mythological Gods, and in all the Gods which foreigners have now and again introduced into your midst, and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you.
  • I am proud to call myself a Hindu, I am proud that I am one of your unworthy servants. I am proud that I am a countryman of yours, you the descendants of the sages, you the descendants of the most glorious Rishis the world ever saw. Therefore have faith in yourselves, be proud of your ancestors, instead of being ashamed of them.
  • Change is always subjective. All through evolution you find that the conquest of nature comes by change in the subject. Apply this to religion and morality, and you will find that the conquest of evil comes by the change in the subjective alone. That is how the Advaitic system gets its whole force, on the subjective side of man.
  • The Vedanta teaches men to have faith in themselves first. As certain religions of the world say that a man who does not believe in a Personal God outside of himself is an atheist, so the Vedanta says, a man who does not believe in himself is an atheist. Not believing in the glory of our own soul is what the Vedanta calls atheism.
  • Prana, according to the Vedanta, is the principle of life. It is like ether, an omnipresent principle; and all motion, either in the body or anywhere else, is the work of this Prana. It is greater than Akasha, and through it everything lives. Prana is in the mother, in the father, in the sister, in the teacher, Prana is the knower.
  • Let us calmly and in a manly fashion go to work, instead of dissipating our energy in unnecessary frettings and fumings. I, for one, thoroughly believe that no power in the universe can withhold from anyone anything he really deserves. The past was great no doubt, but I sincerely believe that the future will be more glorious still.
  • The more we grow in love and virtue and holiness, the more we see love and virtue and holiness outside. All condemnation of others really condemns ourselves. Adjust the microcosm (which is in your power to do) and the macrocosm will adjust itself for you. It is like the hydrostatic paradox, one drop of water can balance the universe.
  • Motion is always a relative thing. I move in relation to something else. Any particle in this universe can change in relation to any other particle; but take the whole universe as one, and in relation to what can it move? There is nothing besides it. So this infinite Unit is unchangeable, immovable, absolute, and this is the Real Man.
  • I am not talking about what every one of us means by love. Little namby-pamby love is lovely. Man rails in love with woman, and woman goes to die for man. The chances are that in five minutes John kicks Jane, and Jane kicks John. This is a materialism and no love at all. If John could really love Jane, he would be perfect that moment.
  • The Imitation of Christ is a cherished treasure of the Christian world. This great book was written by a Roman Catholic monk. “Written”, perhaps, is not the proper word. It would be more appropriate to say that each letter of the book is marked deep with the heart’s blood of the great soul who had renounced all for his love of Christ.
  • What good is this body? Let it go in helping others. Did not the Master preach until the very end? And shall I not do the same? I do not care a straw if the body goes. You cannot imagine how happy I am when I find earnest seekers after truth to talk to. In the work of waking up Atman in my fellow men I shall gladly die again and again!
  • Truth alone triumphs, not untruth. Through truth alone lies the way to Devayana (the way to the gods). Those who think that a little sugar – coating of untruth helps the spread of truth are mistaken and will find in the long run that a single drop of poison poisons the whole mass … The man who is pure, and who dares, does all things.
  • Behind my work was ambition, behind my love was personality, behind my purity was fear, behind my guidance the thirst for power. Now they are vanishing and I drift. I come, Mother, I come, in Thy warm bosom, floating wheresoever Thou takest me, in the voiceless, in the strange, in the wonderland, I come – a spectator, no more an actor.
  • We want Shraddh√¢, we want faith in our own selves. Strength is life, weakness is death. ‘We are the √Çtman, deathless and free; pure, pure by nature. Can we ever commit any sin? Impossible!’ – such a faith is needed. Such a faith makes men of us, makes gods of us. It is by losing this idea of Shraddha that the country has gone to ruin.
  • All manifest life seems to require a period of sleep, of calm, in which to gain added strength, renewed vigour, for the next manifestation, or awakening to activity. Thus is the march of all progress, of all manifest life – in waves, successive waves, [of] activity and repose. Waves succeed each other in an endless chain of progression.
  • What we want now is an immense awakening of R√¢jasika energy, for the whole country is wrapped in the shroud of Tamas. The people of this land must be fed and clothed-must be awakened -must be made more fully active. Otherwise they will become inert, as inert as trees and stones. So, I say, eat large quantities of fish and meat, my boy!
  • All sectarian religions take for granted that all men are equal. This is not warranted by science. There is more difference between minds than between bodies. One fundamental doctrine of Hinduism is that all men are different, there being unity in variety. Even for a drunkard, there are some Mantras-even for a man going to a prostitute!
  • Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvellous work. It is fear that is the great cause of misery in the world. It is fear that is the greatest of all superstitions. It is fear that is the cause of all our woes, and it is fearlessness that brings heaven even in a moment. Therefore, “arise, awake and stop not until the goal is reached.
  • My name should not be made prominent. It is my ideas that I want to see realized. The disciples of all the prophets have always inextricably mixed up the ideas of the Master with person, and at last killed the ideas for the person. The disciples of Sri Ramakrishna must guard against doing the same thing. Work for the idea, not the person.
  • The first angle is, love questions not. It is not a beggar. … When love asks nothing, [when it] gives everything. This is the real spiritual worship, the worship through love. Whether God is merciful is no longer questioned. He is God; He is my love. Whether God is omnipotent and almighty, limited or unlimited , is no longer questioned.
  • Here lies the secret. Says Patanjali, the father of Yoga, “When a man rejects all the superhuman powers, then he attains to the cloud of virtue.” He sees God. He becomes God and helps others to become the same. This is all I have to preach. Doctrines have been expounded enough. There are books by the million. Oh, for an ounce of practice!
  • Anything that is secret and mysterious in this system of Yoga should be at once rejected. The best guide in life is strength. In spirituality, as in all other matters, discard everything that weakens you. Have nothing to do with it. Mystery-mongering weakens the human brain. It has well-nigh destroyed Yoga, one of the grandest of sciences
  • That which is nearest is least observed. The Atman is the nearest of the near, therefore the careless and the unsteady mind gets no clue to it. But the person who is alert, calm, self-restrained, and discriminating ignores the external world and, diving more and more into the inner world, realizes the glory of the Atman and becomes great.
  • We see many persons talking the most wonderfully fine things about charity and about equality and the rights of other people and all that, but it is only in theory. I was so fortunate as to find one who was able to carry theory into practice. He had the most wonderful faculty of carrying everything into practice which he thought was right.
  • In this external world, which is full of finite things, it is impossible to see and find the Infinite. The Infinite must be sought in that alone which is infinite, and the only thing infinite about us is that which is within us, our own soul. Neither the body, nor the mind, nor even our thoughts, nor the world we see around us, is infinite.
  • According to the law of nature, wherever there is an awakening of a new and stronger life, there it tries to conquer and take the place of the old and the decaying. Nature favours the dying out of the unfit and the survival of the fittest. The final result of such conflict between the priestly and the other classes has been mentioned already.
  • Get rid of the bondage of body; we have become slaves to it and learnt to hug our chains and love our slavery; so much so that we long to perpetuate it, and go on with “body” “body” for ever. Do not cling to the idea of “body”, do not look for a future existence in any way like this one; do not love or want the body, even of those dear to us.
  • We get caught. How? Not by what we give but by what we expect. We get misery in return for our love: not from the fact that we love but from the fact that we want love in return. There is no misery where there is no want. Desire, want, is the father of all misery. Desires are bound by the laws of success and failure. Desires must bring misery.
  • This faith in themselves was in the hearts of our ancestors, this faith in themselves was the motive power that pushed them forward and forward in the march of civilisation, and if there has been degeneration, if there has been defect, mark my words, you will find that degeneration to have started on the day our people lost faith in themselves.
  • This little separate self must die. Then we shall find that we are in the Real, and that Real is God, and He is our own true nature, and He is always in us and with us. Let us live in Him and stand in Him. It is the only joyful state of existence. Life on the plane of the Spirit is the only life, and let us all try to attain to this realization.
  • I am what I am, and what I am is always due to him; whatever in me or in my words is good and true and eternal came to me from his mouth, his heart, his soul. Sri Ramakrishna is the spring of this phase of the earth’s religious life, of its impulses and activities. If I can show the world one glimpse of my Master, I shall not have lived in vain.
  • Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested all your life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-makin g, assimilation of ideas. If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library.
  • With the Holy Mother as the centre of inspiration, a Math is to be established on the eastern bank of the Ganga. . . . On the other side of the Ganga a big plot of land will be acquired, where unmarried girls or Brahmacharini widows will live; devout married women will also be allowed to stay now and then. Men will have no concern with this Math.
  • Who cares for your bhakti and mukti? Who cares what your scriptures say? I will go into a thousand hells cheerfully if I can rouse my countrymen, immersed in tamas, to stand on their own feet and be men inspired with the spirit of karma-yoga. I am a follower only of he or she who serves and helps others without caring for his own bhakti and mukti!
  • At the head of all these laws, in and through every particle of matter and force, stands One through whose command the wind blows, the fire burns, the clouds rain, and death stalks upon the earth. And what is His nature? He is everywhere the pure and formless One, the Almighty and the All Merciful. Thou art our Father. Thou art our beloved Friend.
  • Action will come. Fill yourselves with the ideal; whatever you do, think well on it. All your actions will be magnified, transformed, deified, by the very power of the thought. If matter is powerful, thought is omnipotent. Bring this thought to bear upon your life, fill yourselves with the thought of your almightiness, your majesty, and your glory.
  • A golden chain is as much a chain as an iron one. Shri Ramakrishna used to say that, to pick out one thorn which has stuck into the foot, another thorn is requisitioned, and when the thorn is taken out, both are thrown away. So the bad tendencies are to be counteracted by the good ones, but after that, the good tendencies have also to be conquered.
  • Every one is struggling for freedom-from the atom to the star. The ignorant man is satisfied if he can get freedom within a certain limit-if he can get rid of the bondage of hunger or of being thirsty. But that sage feels that there is a stronger bondage which has to be thrown off. He would not consider the freedom of the Red Indian as freedom at all.
  • This is the only way to reach the goal, to tell ourselves, and to tell everybody else, that we are divine. And as we go on repeating this, strength comes. He who falters at first will get stronger and stronger, and the voice will increase in volume until the truth takes possession of our hearts, and courses through our veins, and permeates our bodies.
  • Those who die, merely suffering the woes of life like cats and dogs, are they human beings? The worthy are those who, even when agitated by the sharp interaction of pleasure and pain, are discriminating and, knowing them to be of an evanescent nature, become passionately devoted to the Atman. This is all the difference between human beings and animals.
  • 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.
  • We are all born idolaters, and idolatry is good, because it is in the nature of man. Who can get beyond it? Only the perfect man, the God-man. The rest are all idolaters. So long as we see this universe before us, with its forms and shapes, we are all idolaters. This is a gigantic symbol we are worshipping. He who says he is the body is a born idolater.
  • Liberty is the first condition of growth. Your ancestors gave every liberty to the soul, and religion grew. They put the body under every bondage, and society did not grow. The opposite is the case in the West – every liberty to society, none to religion. Now are falling off the shackles from the feet of Eastern society as from those of Western religion.
  • Struggle hard and then if you do not succeed, you are not to blame. Let the world praise or blame you. Let all the wealth of the earth come to your feet, or let you be made the poorest on earth. Let death come this moment or hundreds of years hence. Swerve not from the path you have taken. All good thoughts are immortal and go to make Buddhas and Christs.
  • Sri Ramakrishna is far greater than the disciples understand him to be. He is the embodiment of infinite spiritual ideas capable of development in infinite ways….One glance of his gracious eyes can create a hundred thousand Vivekanandas at this instant. If he chooses now, instead, to work through me, making me his instrument, I can only bow to his will.
  • Stick to God! Who cares what comes to the body or to anything else! Through the terrors of evil, say-my God, my love! Through the pangs of death, say-my God, my love! Through all the evils under the sun, say-my God, my love! Thou art here, I see Thee. Thou art with me, I feel Thee. I am Thine, take me. I am not of the world’s but Thine, leave not then me.
  • Our minds are forced to become fixed upon different things by an attraction in them which we cannot resist. To control the mind, to place it just where we want it, requires special training. It cannot be done in any other way. In the study of religion the control of the mind is absolutely necessary. We have to turn the mind back upon itself in this study.
  • I remember that grand word of the Katha Upanishad – Shraddh√¢ or marvellous faith. An instance of Shraddha can be found in the life of Nachiket√¢. To preach the doctrine of Shraddha or genuine faith is the mission of my life. Let me repeat to you that this faith is one of the potent factors of humanity and of all religions. First, have faith in yourselves.
  • I believe that the Hindu faith has developed the spiritual in its devotees at the expense of the material, and I think that in the Western world the contrary is true. By uniting the materialism of the West with the spiritualism of the East I believe much can be accomplished. It may be that in the attempt the Hindu faith will lose much of its individuality.
  • Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy – by one, or more, or all of these – and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.
  • Just as the law of gravitation existed before its discovery and would exist if all humanity forgets it, so it is with the laws that govern the spiritual world. The moral, ethical and spiritual relations between soul and soul and between individual spirits and the Father of all spirits were there before their discovery and would remain even if we forget them.
  • The body and mind are continually changing, and are, in fact, only names of series of changeful phenomena, like rivers whose waters are in a constant state of flux, yet presenting the appearance of unbroken streams. Every particle in this body is continually changing; no one has the same body for many minutes together, and yet we think of it as the same body.
  • By work alone, men may get to where Buddha got largely by meditation or Christ by prayer. Buddha was a working Jnani, Christ was a Bhakta, but the same goal was reached by both of them. Good motives, sincerity, and infinite love can conquer the world. One single soul possessed of these virtues can destroy the dark designs of millions of hypocrites and brutes.
  • It is too often believed that a person in his progress towards perfection passes from error to truth; that when he passes on from one thought to another, he must necessarily reject the first. But no error can lead to truth. The soul passing through its different stages goes from truth to truth, and each stage is true; it goes from lower truth to higher truth.
  • When we free ourselves from name and form, especially from a body – when we need no body, good or bad – then only do we escape from bondage. Eternal progression is eternal bondage; annihilation of form is to be preferred. We must get free from any body, even a “god-body”. God is the only real existence, there cannot be two. There is but One Soul, and I am That.
  • Crossing over mountains, rivers, arid oceans, setting at naught, as it were, the obstacles of the distance of space and time, the blood of Indian thought has flowed, and is still flowing into the veins of other nations of the globe, whether in a distinct or in some subtle unknown way. Perhaps to us belongs the major portion of the universal ancient inheritance.
  • It will not do merely to listen to great principles. You must apply them in the practical field, turn them into constant practice. What will be the good of cramming the high – sounding dicta of the scriptures? You have first to grasp the teachings of the Shastras, and then to work them out in practical life. Do you understand? This is called practical religion.
  • I am really not “cyclonic” at all. Far from it. What I want is not here, nor can I longer bear this “cyclonic” atmosphere. This is the way to perfection, to strive to be perfect, and to strive to make perfect a few men and women. My idea of doing good is this: to evolve out a few giants, and not to strew pearls before swine, and so lose time, health, and energy.
  • Mark you, if you give up spirituality, leaving it aside to go after the materializing civilization of the West, the result will be that in three generations you will be an extinct race; because the backbone of the nation will be broken, the foundation upon which the national edifice has been built will be undermined, and the result will be annihilation all round.
  • Faith in ourselves will do everything. I have experienced it in my own life, and am still doing so; and as I grow older that faith is becoming stronger and stronger. He is an atheist who does not believe in himself. 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
  • If the Lord wills, we shall make this Math a great centre of harmony. Our Lord is the visible embodiment of the harmony of all ideals. He will be established on earth if we keep alive that spirit of harmony here. We must see to it that people of all creeds and sects, from the Brahmana down to the Chandala, may come here and find their respective ideals manifested.
  • We can never lose what is really ours. Who can lose his being? Who can lose his very existence? If I am good, it is the existence first, and then that becomes colored with the quality of goodness. If I am evil, it is the existence first, and that becomes colored with the quality of badness. That existence is first, last, and always; it is never lost but ever present.
  • Those who have succeeded in attaching or detaching their minds at will have succeeded in Pratyahara, which means gathering towards, checking the outgoing powers of the mind, freeing it from the thralldom of the senses. When we can do this, we shall really possess character; then alone we shall have taken a long step towards freedom. Before that, we are mere machines.
  • Did Buddha teach that the many was real and the ego unreal, while orthodox Hinduism regards the One as the real, and the many as unreal?” the Swami was asked. “Yes”, answered the Swami. “And what Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and I have added to this is, that the Many and the One are the same Reality, perceived by the same mind at different times and in different attitudes.
  • This world, this universe which our senses feel, or our mind thinks, is but one atom, so to say, of the Infinite, projected on to the plane of consciousness; and within that narrow limit, defined by the network of consciousness, works our reason, and not beyond. Therefore, there must be some other instrument to take us beyond, and that instrument is called inspiration.
  • The fact is that we have many superstitions, many bad spots and sores on our body – these have to be excised, cut off, and destroyed – but these do not destroy our religion, our national life, our spirituality. Every principle of religion is safe, and the sooner these black spots are purged away, the better the principles will shine, the more gloriously. Stick to them.
  • Each one of us pray, day and night, for the downtrodden millions in India, who are held fast by poverty, priest craft, and tyranny – pray day and night for them. I am no meta physician, no philosopher, nay, no saint. But I am poor, I love the poor…. Let these people be your God – think of them, work for them, pray for them incessantly – the Lord will show you the way.
  • Hinduism threw away Buddhism after taking its sap. The attempt of all the Southern Acharyas was to effect a reconciliation between the two. Shankaracharya’s teaching shows the influence of Buddhism. His disciples perverted his teaching and carried it to such an extreme point that some of the later reformers were right in calling the Acharya’s followers “crypto-buddhists”.
  • There must be no fear, no begging, but demanding – demanding the Highest. The true devotees of the Mother are as hard, as adamant and as fearless as lions. They are not in the least upset if the whole universe suddenly crumbles into dust at their feet. Make Her listen to you. None of that cringing to Mother! Remember, She is all-powerful; She can make heroes out of stones.
  • Rama, the ancient idol of the heroic ages, the embodiment of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king, this Rama has been presented before us by the great sage Valmiki. No language can be purer, none chaster, none more beautiful, and at the same time simpler, than the language in which the great poet has depicted the life of Rama.
  • If the whole responsibility is thrown upon our own shoulders, we shall be at our highest and best; when we have nobody to grope towards, no devil to lay our blame upon, no Personal God to carry our burdens, when we are alone responsible, then we shall rise to our highest and best. I am responsible for my fate, I am the bringer of good unto myself, I am the bringer of evil.
  • Whether on the ground of materialism, or of intellect, or of spirituality, the compensation that is given by the Lord to every one impartially is exactly the same. Therefore we must not think that we are the saviours of the world. We can teach the world, a good many things, and we can learn a good many things from it too. We can teach the world only what it is waiting for.
  • Give up, renounce the world. Now we are like dogs strayed into a kitchen and eating a piece of meat, looking round in fear lest at any moment some one may come and drive them out. Instead of that, be a king and know you own the world. This never comes until you give it up and it ceases to bind. Give up mentally, if you do not physically. Give up from the heart of your hearts
  • Give up the idea that by ruling over others you can do any good to them. But you can do just as much as you can in the case of the plant: you can supply the growing seed with the materials for the making up of its body, bringing to it the earth, the water, the air, that it wants. It will take all that it wants by its own nature, it will assimilate and grow by its own nature.
  • 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.
  • A man, and a cat, and a dog, are all animals. These particular examples, as man, or dog, or cat, are parts of a bigger and more general concept, animal. The man, and the cat, and the dog, and the plant, and the tree, all come under the still more general concept, life. Again, all these, all beings and all materials, come under the one concept of existence, for we all are in it.
  • . . . it is difficult for Europeans to appreciate the sentiment. Other nations kill animals by wholesale and kill one another; they exist in a sea of blood. A European said that the reason why in India animals were not killed was because it was supposed that they contained the spirits of ancestors. This reason was worthy of a savage nation who are not many steps from the brute.
  • The one eternal religion is applied to the opinions of various minds and various races. There never was my religion or yours, my national religion or your national religion; there never existed many religions, there is only the one. One infinite religion existed all through eternity and will ever exist, and this religion is expressing itself in various countries in various ways.
  • He who was Shri Rama, whose stream of love flowed with resistless might even to the Chandala (the outcaste); Oh, who ever was engaged in doing good to the world though superhuman by nature, whose renown there is none to equal in the three worlds, Sita’s beloved, whose body of Knowledge Supreme was covered by devotion sweet in the form of Sita. (part of A Hymn To Shri Ramakrishna)
  • There are men who practice Titiksha, and succeed in it. There are men who sleep on the banks of the Ganga in the midsummer sun of India, and in winter float in the waters of the Ganga for a whole day; they do not care. Men sit in the snow of the Himalayas, and do not care to wear any garment. What is heat? What is cold? Let things come and go, what is that to me, I am not the body.
  • Advance like a hero. Do not be thwarted by anything. How many days will this body last, with its happiness and misery? When you have the human body, then rouse the Atman within and say-I have reached the state of fearlessness!…and then as long as the body endures, speak unto others this message of fearlessness: ‘Thou art That’, ‘Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached’
  • Renunciation – non-resistance – non-destructiveness – are the ideals to be attained through less and less worldliness, less and less resistance, less and less destructiveness. Keep the ideal in view and work towards it. None can live in the world without resistance, without destruction, without desire. The world has not come to that state yet when the ideal can be realised in society.
  • Where is fate and who is fate? We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none else has the praise. We make our own destiny. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. Each must assimilate the spirit of other religion and yet preserve his individuality and follow his own law of growth.
  • The ideal of faith in ourselves is of the greatest help to us. 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. Throughout the history of mankind, if any motive power has been more potent than another in the lives of all great men and women, it is that of faith in themselves.
  • Non-injuring has to be attained by him who would be free. No one is more powerful than he who has attained perfect non-injuring. No one could fight, no one could quarrel, in his presence. Yes, his very presence, and nothing else, means peace, means love wherever he may be. Nobody could be angry or fight in his presence. Even the animals, ferocious animals, would be peaceful before him.
  • What is meant by charity? Charity is not fundamental. It is really helping on the misery of the world, not eradicating it. One looks for name and fame and covers his efforts to obtain them with the enamel of charity and good works. He is working for himself under the pretext of working for others. Every so-called charity is an encouragement of the very evil it claims to operate against.
  • If you intend to study the mind, you must have systematic training; you must practice to bring the mind under your control, to attain to that consciousness from which you will be able to study the mind and remain unmoved by any of its wild gyrations. Otherwise the facts observed will not be reliable; they will not apply to all people and therefore will not be truly facts or data at all.
  • Arise! Arise! A tidal wave is coming! Onward! Men and women, down to the Chandala (Pariah) – all are pure in his eyes. Onward! Onward! There is no time to care for name, or fame, or Mukti, or Bhakti! We shall look to these some other time. Now in this life let us infinitely spread his lofty character, his sublime life, his infinite soul. This is the only work – there is nothing else to do.
  • It is the same India which has withstood the shocks of centuries, of hundreds of foreign invasions of hundreds of upheavals of manners and customs. It is the same land which stands firmer than any rock in the world, with its undying vigour, indestructible life. Its life is of the same nature as the soul, without beginning and without end, immortal; and we are the children of such a country.
  • We must always remember that God is Love. “A fool indeed is he who, living on the banks of the Ganga, seeks to dig a little well for water. A fool indeed is the man who, living near a mine of diamonds, spends his life in searching for beads of glass.” God is that mine of diamonds. We are fools indeed to give up God for legends of ghosts or flying hobgoblins. It is a disease, a morbid desire.
  • The greatest help to spiritual life is meditation. In meditation we divest ourselves of all material conditions and feel our divine nature. We do not depend upon any external help in meditation. The touch of the soul can paint the brightest color even in the dingiest places; it can cast a fragrance over the vilest thing; it can make the wicked divine-and all enmity, all selfishness is effaced.
  • I think the Greeks first took astrology to India and took from the Hindus the science of astronomy and carried it back with them from Europe. Because in India you will find old altars made according to a certain geometrical plan, and certain things had to be done when the stars were in certain positions, therefore I think the Greeks gave the Hindus astrology, and the Hindus gave them astronomy.
  • Books suggest the inner light and the method of bringing that out, but we can only understand them when we have earned the knowledge ourselves. When the inner light has flashed for you, let the books go, and look only within. You have in you all and a thousand times more than is in all the books. Never lose faith in yourself, you can do anything in this universe. Never weaken, all power is yours.
  • Ay! says the Vedanta, it is not the fault of God that this partiality exists, that this competition exists. Who makes it? We ourselves. There is a cloud shedding its rain on all fields alike. But it is only the field that is well cultivated, which gets the advantage of the shower; another field, which has not been tilled or taken care of cannot get that advantage. It is not the fault of the cloud.
  • This is the ancient land, where wisdom made its home before it went into any other country… Here is the same India whose soil has been trodden by the feet of the greatest sages that ever lived… Look back, therefore, as far as you can, drink deep of the eternal fountains that are behind, and after that look forward, march forward, and make India brighter, greater, much higher, than she ever was.
  • Then from the world all spirituality will be extinct, all moral perfection will be extinct, all sweet-souled sympathy for religion will be extinct, all ideality will be extinct; and in its place will reign the duality of lust and luxury as the male and female deities, with money as its priest, fraud, force, and competition its ceremonies, and the human soul its sacrifice. Such a thing can never be.
  • D√¢na, charity. There is no higher virtue than charity. The lowest man is he whose hand draws in, in receiving; and he is the highest man whose hand goes out in giving. The hand was made to give always. Give the last bit of bread you have even if you are starving. You will be free in a moment if you starve yourself to death by giving to another. Immediately you will be perfect, you will become God.
  • The first sign that you are becoming religious is that you are becoming cheerful. When a man is gloomy, that may be dyspepsia, but it is not religion. Misery is caused by sin, and by no other cause. What business have you with clouded faces? It is terrible. If you have a clouded face, do not go out that day, shut yourself up in your room. What right have you to carry this disease out into the world?
  • True religion is not talk, or doctrines, or theories, nor is it sectarianism. It is the relation between soul and God. Religion does not consist in erecting temples, or building churches, or attending public worship. It is not to be found in books, or in words, or in lectures, or in organizations. Religion consists in realization. We must realize God, feel God, see God, talk to God. That is religion.
  • “None is good, save One, that is, God”, as the Lord Jesus bath said. The rest are only tools in His hands. “Gloria in Excelsis”, “Glory unto God in the highest”, and unto men that deserve, but not to such an undeserving one like me. Here “the servant is not worthy of the hire”; and a Fakir, especially, has no right to any praise whatsoever, for would you praise your servant for simply doing his duty?
  • Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge. Pleasure and happiness comes to an end. It is a mistake to suppose that pleasure is the goal. The cause of all the miseries we have in the world is that men foolishly think pleasure to be the ideal to strive for. After a time man finds that it is not happiness, but knowledge, towards which he is going, and that both pleasure and pain are great teachers.
  • Every successful man must have behind him somewhere tremendous integrity, tremendous sincerity, and that is the cause of his signal success in life. He may not have been perfectly unselfish; yet he was tending towards it. If he had been perfectly unselfish, his would have been as great a success as that of the Buddha or of the Christ. The degree of unselfishness marks the degree of success everywhere.
  • We have seemingly been divided, limited, because of our ignorance; and we have become as it were the little Mrs. so – and – so and Mr. so – and – so. But all nature is giving this delusion the lie every moment. I am not that little man or little woman cut off from all else; I am the one universal existence. The soul in its own majesty is rising up every moment and declaring its own intrinsic Divinity.
  • As soon as a man stands up and says he is right or his church is right, and all others are wrong, he is himself all wrong. He does not know that upon the proof of all the others depends the proof of his own. Love and charity for the whole human race, that is the test of true religiousness. I do not mean the sentimental statement that all men are brothers, but that one must feel the oneness of human life.
  • In every man and in every animal, however weak or wicked, great or small, resides the same omnipresent, omniscient soul. The difference is not in the soul, but in the manifestation. Between me and the smallest animal, the difference is only in manifestation, but as a principle he is the same as I am, he is my brother, he has the same soul as I have. This is the greatest principle that India has preached.
  • Even the greatest fool can accomplish a task if it be after his heart. But the intelligent man is he who can convert every work into one that suits his taste. No work is petty. Everything in this world is like a banyan seed, which, though appearing tiny as a mustard seed, has yet the gigantic banyan tree latent with it. He indeed is intelligent who notices this and succeeds in making all work truly great.
  • I am one of the proudest men ever born, but let me tell you frankly, it is not for myself, but on account of my ancestry. The more I have studied the past, the more I have looked back, more and more has this pride come to me, and it has given me the strength and courage of conviction, raised me up from the dust of the earth, and set me working out that great plan laid out by those great ancestors of ours.
  • It is weakness, says the Vedanta, which is the cause of all misery in this world. Weakness is the one cause of suffering. We become miserable because we are weak. We lie, steal, kill and commit other crimes, because we are weak. We die because we are weak. Where there is nothing to weaken us, there is no death nor sorrow. We are miserable through delusion. Give up the delusion and the whole thing vanishes.
  • The present Hindu society is organised only for spiritual men, and hopelessly crushes out everybody else. Why? Where shall they go who want to enjoy the world a little with its frivolities? Just as our religion takes in all, so should our society. This is to be worked out by first understanding the true principles of our religion and then applying them to society. This is the slow but sure work to be done.
  • Drama is the most difficult of all arts. In it two things are to be satisfied – first, the ears, and second, the eyes. To paint a scene, if one thing be painted, it is easy enough; but to paint different things and yet to keep up the central interest is very difficult. Another difficult thing is stage – management, that is, combining different things in such a manner as to keep the central interest intact.
  • Learn obedience first. Among these Western nations, with such a high spirit of independence, the spirit of obedience is equally strong. We are all of us self-important, which never produces any work. Great enterprise, boundless courage, tremendous energy, and, above all, perfect obedience; these are the only traits that lead to individual and national regeneration. These traits are altogether lacking in us.
  • Books are good but they are only maps. Reading a book by direction of a man I read that so many inches of rain fell during the year. Then he told me to take the book and squeeze it between my hands. I did so and not a drop of water came from it. It was the idea only that the book conveyed. So we can get good from books, from the temple, from the church, from anything, so long as it leads us onward and upward.
  • All the forces that we see in nature, such as gravitation, attraction, and repulsion, or as thought, feeling, and nervous motion – all these various forces resolve into that Prana, and the vibration of the Prana ceases. In that state it remains until the beginning of the next cycle. Prana then begins to vibrate, and that vibration acts upon the Akasha, and all these forms are thrown out in regular succession.
  • Our misery comes, not from work, but by our getting attached to something. Take for instance, money: money is a great thing to have, earn it, says Krishna; struggle hard to get money, but don’t get attached to it. So with children, with wife, husband, relatives, fame, everything; you have no need to shun them, only don’t get attached. There is only one attachment and that belongs to the Lord, and to none other.
  • Neither numbers nor powers nor wealth nor learning nor eloquence nor anything else will prevail, but purity, living the life, in one word, anubhuti, realisation. Let there be a dozen such lion-souls in each country, lions who have broken their own bonds, who have touched the Infinite, whose whole soul is gone to Brahman, who care neither for wealth nor power nor fame, and these will be enough to shake the world.
  • With everything we do in life we identify ourselves. Here is a man who says harsh words to me. I feel anger coming on me. In a few seconds anger and I are one, and then comes misery. Attach yourselves to the Lord and to nothing else, because everything else is unreal. Attachment to the unreal will bring misery. There is only one Existence that is real, only one Life in which there is neither object nor [subject].
  • Is enjoyment the goal of life? Were it so, it would be a tremendous mistake to become a man at all. What man can enjoy a meal with more gusto than the dog or the cat ? Go to a menagerie and see the [wild animals] tearing the flesh from the bone. Go back and become a bird! . . . What a mistake then to become a man! Vain have been my years – hundreds of years – of struggle only to become the man of sense-enjoyments.
  • How has all the knowledge in the world been gained but by the concentration of the powers of the mind? 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. There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point; that is the secret.
  • Salvation means knowing the truth. We do not become anything; we are what we are. Salvation [comes] by faith and not by work. It is a question of knowledge! You must know what you are, and it is done. The dream vanishes. This you [and others] are dreaming here. When they die, they go to [the] heaven [of their dream]. They live in that dream, and [when it ends], they take a nice body [here], and they are good people.
  • Renounce and give up. What did Christ say? “He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Again and again did he preach renunciation as the only way to perfection. There comes a time when the mind awakes from this long and dreary dream-the child gives up its play and wants to go back to its mother. Renunciation is not asceticism. Are all beggars Christ? Poverty is not a synonym for holiness; often the reverse.
  • As to the so-called Hindu idolatry – first go and learn the forms they are going through, and where it is that the worshippers are really worshipping, whether in the temple, in the image, or in the temple of their own bodies. First know for certain what they are doing – which more than ninety per cent of the revilers are thoroughly ignorant of – and then it will explain itself in the light of the Vedantic philosophy.
  • For a time it seemed inevitable that the surging tide of agnosticism and materialism would sweep all before it. There were those who did not dare utter what they thought. Many thought the case hopeless and the cause of religion lost once and for ever. But the tide has turned and to the rescue has come – what? The study of comparative religions. By the study of different religions we find that in essence they are one.
  • Who shall blame whom, who praise whom? Whom to seek, whom to avoid? I seek none, nor avoid any, for I am all the universe. I praise myself, I blame myself, I suffer for myself, I am happy at my own will, I am free. This is the Jn√¢ni, the brave and daring. Let the whole universe tumble down; he smiles and says it never existed, it was all a hallucination. He sees the universe tumble down. Where was it! Where has it gone!
  • So we find that in almost every religion these are the three primary things which we have in the worship of God – forms or symbols, names, God-men. All religions have these, but you find that they want to fight with each other…These are the external forms of devotion, through which man has to pass; but if he is sincere, if he really wants to reach the truth, he goes higher than these, to a plane where forms are as nothing.
  • We have not faith, we have not patience to see this. We trust the man in the street; but there is one being in the universe we never trust and that is God. We trust Him when He works just our way. But the time will come when, getting blow after blow, the self – sufficient mind will die. In everything we do, the serpent ego is rising up. We are glad that there are so many thorns on the path. They strike the hood of the cobra.
  • This is the gist of all worship: to be pure and to do good to others. He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva. And if he sees Shiva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary. He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Shiva in him, without thinking of his caste or creed or race or anything, with him Shiva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples
  • Tremendous purity, tremendous renunciation, is the one secret of spirituality. ‚ÄúNeither through wealth, nor through progeny, but through renunciation alone is immortality to be reached,‚Äù say the Vedas. ‚ÄúSell all that thou hast and give to poor, and follow me,‚Äù says the Christ. So all great saints and prophets have expressed it, and have carried it out in their lives. How can great spirituality come without renunciation?
  • The secret of Greek Art is its imitation of nature even to the minutest details; whereas the secret of Indian Art is to represent the ideal. The energy of the Greek painter is spent in perhaps painting a piece of flesh, and he is so successful that a dog is deluded into taking it to be a real bit of meat and so goes to bite it. Now, what glory is there in merely imitating nature? Why not place an actual bit of flesh before the dog?
  • Let us realise [that] we are the infinite power. Who put a limit to the power of mind? Let us realise we are all mind. Every drop has the whole of the ocean in it. That is the mind of man. The Indian mind reflects upon these [powers and potentialities] and wants to bring [them] all out. For himself he doesn’t care what happens. It will take a great length of time [to reach perfection]. If it takes fifty thousand years, what of that!
  • Do you know this Sanskrit Shloka: “Let those who are versed in the ethical codes praise or blame, let Lakshmi, the goddess of Fortune, come or go wherever she wisheth, let death overtake him today or after a century, the wise man never swerves from the path of rectitude.” Let people praise you or blame you, let fortune smile or frown upon you, let your body fall today or after a Yuga, see that you do not deviate from the path of Truth.
  • You must try to combine in your life immense idealism with immense practicality. You must be prepared to go into deep meditation now, and the next moment you must be ready to go and cultivate the fields. You must be prepared to explain the intricacies of the scriptures now, and the next moment to go and sell the produce of the fields in the market….The true man is he who is strong as strength itself and yet possesses a woman’s heart.
  • Have faith in man, whether he appears to you to be a very learned one or a most ignorant one. Have faith in man, whether he appears to be an angel or the very devil himself. Have faith in man first, and then having faith in him, believe that if there are defects in him, if he makes mistakes, if he embraces the crudest and the vilest doctrines, believe that it is not from his real nature that they come, but from the want of higher ideals.
  • Knowledge is inherent in man; no knowledge comes from outside; it is all inside. We say Newton discovered gravitation. Was it sitting anywhere waiting for him? It was in his own mind; the time came and he found it out. All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind. The external world is simply the suggestion, the occasion, which sets you to study your own mind.
  • Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and everything shall be added unto you. This is the one great duty, this is renunciation. Live for an ideal, and leave no place in the mind for anything else. Let us put forth all our energies to acquire that which never fails-our spiritual perfection. If we have true yearning for realization, we must struggle, and through struggle growth will come. We shall make mistakes, but they may be angels unawares.
  • [Not parroting.] My old Master used to say, “It is all very good to teach the parrot to say, ‘Lord, Lord, Lord’ all the time; but let the cat come and take hold of its neck, it forgets all about it” [You may] pray all the time, read all the scriptures in the world, and worship all the gods there are, [but] unless you realise the soul there is no freedom. Not talking, theorising, argumentation, but realisation. That I call practical religion.
  • But on the heights of the Himalayas I have a place where I am determined nothing shall enter except pure truth. There I want to work out this idea about which I have spoken to you today. There are an Englishman and an Englishwoman in charge of the place. The purpose is to train seekers of truth and to bring up children without fear and without superstition. They shall not hear about Christs and Buddhas and Shivas and Vishnus – none of these.
  • It is an irrational claim to believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and at the same time to hold that the greater part of his teachings have no application at the present time. If you say that the reason why the powers do not follow them that believe (as Christ said they would) is because you have not faith enough and are not pure enough-that will be all right. But to say that they have no application at the present time is to be ridiculous.
  • When I Asked God for Strength He Gave Me Difficult Situations to Face When I Asked God for Brain & Brawn He Gave Me Puzzles in Life to Solve When I Asked God for Happiness He Showed Me Some Unhappy People When I Asked God for Wealth He Showed Me How to Work Hard When I Asked God for Favors He Showed Me Opportunities to Work Hard When I Asked God for Peace He Showed Me How to Help Others God Gave Me Nothing I Wanted He Gave Me Everything I Needed.
  • No civilisation can grow unless fanatics, bloodshed, and brutality stop. No civilisation can begin to lift up its head until we look charitably upon one another; and the first step towards that much-needed charity is to look charitably and kindly upon the religious convictions of others. Nay more, to understand that not only should we be charitable, but positively helpful to each other, however different our religious ideas and convictions may be.
  • Some imaginations help to break the bondage of the rest. The whole universe is imagination, but one set of imaginations will cure another set. Those that tell us that there is sin and sorrow and death in the world are terrible. But the other set – thou art holy, there is God, there is no pain – these are good, and help to break the bondage of the others. The highest imagination that can break all the links of the chain is that of the Personal God.
  • We say that if a temple, or a symbol, or an image helps you to realize the Divine within, you are welcome to it. Have two hundred images if you like. If certain forms and formulas help you to realize the Divine, God speed you; have, by all means, whatever forms, temples, whatever ceremonies you want to bring you nearer to God. But do not quarrel about them; the moment you quarrel, you are not going Godward, you are going backward towards the brutes.
  • Each nation has a main current in life; in India it is religion. Make it strong and the waters on either side must move along with it. This is one phase of my line of thought. In time, I hope to bring them all out, but at present I find I have a mission in this country also. Moreover, I expect help in this country and from here alone. But up to date I could not do anything except spreading my ideas. Now I want that a similar attempt be made in India.
  • Everything that can weaken us as a race we have had for the last thousand years. It seems as if during that period the national life had this one end in view, viz how to make us weaker and weaker, till we have become real earthworms, crawling at the feet of every one who dares to put his foot on us. Therefore my friends, as one of your blood, as one that lives and dies with you, let me tell you that we want strength, strength, and every time strength.
  • Jesus Christ was God – the Personal God become man. He has manifested Himself many times in different forms and these alone are what you can worship. God in His absolute nature is not to be worshipped. Worshipping such God would be nonsense. We have to worship Jesus Christ, the human manifestation, as God. You cannot worship anything higher than the manifestation of God. The sooner you give up the worship of God separate from Christ, the better for you.
  • In India the mother is the center of the family and our highest ideal. She is to us the representative of God, as God is the mother of the universe. It was a female sage who first found the unity of God, and laid down this doctrine in one of the first hy mns of the Vedas. Our God is both personal and absolute, the absolute is male, the personal, female. And thus it comes that we now say: ‘The first manifestation of God is the hand that rocks the cradle’.
  • Patanjali, declares that the true secret of evolution is the manifestation of the perfection which is already in every being; that this perfection has been barred and the infinite tide behind is struggling to express itself. These struggles and competitions are but the results of our ignorance, because we do not know the proper way to unlock the gate and let the water in. This infinite tide behind must express itself; it is the cause of all manifestation.
  • How long do you remember that it is the Lord who is making you work? But then, by repeatedly analysing like that, you will come to a state when the ego will vanish and in its place the Lord will come in. Then you will be able to say with justice “Thou, Lord, art guarding all my actions from within.” But, my friend, if the ego occupies all the space within your heart, where forsooth will there be room enough for the Lord to come in? The Lord is verily absent!
  • That intense faith in another world, that intense hatred for this world, that intense power of renunciation, that intense faith in God, that intense faith in the immortal soul, is in you. I challenge anyone to give it up. You cannot. You may try to impose upon me by becoming materialists, by talking materialism for a few months, but I know what you are; if I take you by the hand, back you come as good theists as ever were born. How can you change your nature?
  • The West regards marriage as consisting in all that lies beyond the legal tie, while in India it is thought of as a bond thrown by society round two people to unite them together for all eternity. Those two must wed each other, whether they will or not, in life after life. Each acquires half of the merit of the other. And if one seems in this life to have fallen hopelessly behind, it is for the other only to wait and beat time, till he or she catches up again!
  • Realisation of love can never come so long as there is the least desire in the heart, or what Shri Ramakrishna used to say, attachment for K√¢ma-K√¢nchana (sense-pleasure and wealth). In the perfect realisation of love, even the consciousness of one’s own body does not exist. Also, the supreme Jnana is to realise the oneness everywhere, to see one’s own self as the Self in everything. That too cannot come so long as there is the least consciousness of the ego (Aham).
  • Love makes no distinction between man and man, between an Aryan and a Mlechchha, between a Br√¢hmana and a Pariah, nor even between a man and a woman. Love makes the whole universe as one’s own home. True progress is slow but sure. Work among those young men who can devote heart and soul to this one duty – the duty of raising the masses of India. Awake them, unite them, and inspire them with this spirit of renunciation; it depends wholly on the young people of India.
  • Ours is the only religion that does not depend on a person or persons; it is based upon principles. At the same time there is room for millions of persons. There is ample ground for introducing persons, but each one of them must be an illustration of the principles. We must not forget that. These principles of our religion are all safe, and it should be the life-work of everyone of us to keep then safe, and to keep them free from the accumulating dirt and dust of ages.
  • Never mind failures; they are quite natural, they are the beauty of life, these failures. What would life be without them? It would not be worth having if it were not for struggles. Where would be the poetry of life? Never mind the struggles, the mistakes. I never heard a cow tell a lie, but it is only a cow-never a man. So never mind these failures, these little backslidings; hold the ideal a thousand times, and if you fail a thousand times, make the attempt once more.
  • He is everywhere, the pure and formless One, the Almighty and the All-merciful. “Thou art our father, Thou art our mother, Thou art our beloved friend, Thou art the source of all strength; give us strength. Thou art He that beareth the burdens of the universe; help me bear the little burden of this life.” Thus sang the Rishis of the Vedas. And how to worship Him? Through love. “He is to be worshipped as the one beloved, dearer than everything in this and the next life.”
  • Materialism has come to the rescue of India in a certain sense by throwing open the doors of life to everyone, by destroying the exclusive privileges of caste, by opening up to discussion the inestimable treasures which were hidden away in the hands of a very few who have even lost the use of them. Half has been stolen and lost; and the other half which remains is in the hands of men who, like dogs in the manger, do not eat themselves and will not allow others to do so.
  • The fault with all religions like Christianity is that they have one set of rules for all. But Hindu religion is suited to all grades of religious aspiration and progress. It contains all the ideals in their perfect form. For example, the ideal of Shanta or blessedness is to be found in Vasishtha; that of love in Krishna; that of duty in Rama and Sita; and that of intellect in Shukadeva. Study the characters of these and of other ideal men. Adopt one which suits you best.
  • Individuality in universality is the plan of creation. Each cell has its part in bringing about consciousness. Man is individual and at the same time universal. It is while realising our individual nature that we realise even our national and universal nature. Each is an infinite circle whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere. By practice one can feel universal Selfhood which is the essence of Hinduism. He who sees in every being his own Self is a Pandita (sage).
  • There cannot be two almighty beings in this world. [Imagine having] two or three Gods; one will create the world, another says, “I will destroy the world.” It [can] never happen. There must be one God. The soul attains to perfection; [it becomes] almost omnipotent [and] omniscient. This is the worshipper. Who is the worshipped? He, the Lord God Himself, the Omnipresent, the Omniscient, and so on. And above all, He is Love. How is [the soul] to attain this perfection? By worship.
  • The whole universe is one. There is only one Self in the universe, only One Existence, and that One Existence, when it passes through the forms of time, space, causation, is called by different names, buddhi, fine matter, gross matter, all mental and physical forms. Everything in the universe is that One, appearing in various forms. When a little part of it comes, as it were, into this network of time, space and causation, it takes forms. Take off the network, and it is all one.
  • Strength, strength is what the Upanishads speak to me from every page. This is the one great thing to remember, it has been the one great lesson I have been taught in my life; strength, it says, strength, O man, be not weak. Are there no human weaknesses? – says man. There are, say the Upanishads, but will more weakness heal them, would you try to wash dirt with dirt? Will sin cure sin, weakness cure weakness? Strength, O man, strength, say the Upanishads, stand up and be strong.
  • Life is called Samsara – it is the result of the conflicting forces acting upon us. Materialism says, “The voice of freedom is a delusion.” Idealism says, “The voice that tells of bondage is but a dream.” Vedanta says, “We are free and not free at the same time.” That means that we are never free on the earthly plane, but ever free on the spiritual side. The Self is beyond both freedom and bondage. We are Brahman, we are immortal knowledge beyond the senses, we are Bliss Absolute.
  • There is no God separate from you, no God higher than you, the real “you.” All the gods are little beings to you, all the ideas of God and Father in heaven are but your own reflection. God Himself is your image. ‚ÄúGod created man after His own image.” That is wrong. Man creates God after his own image. That is right. Throughout the universe we are creating gods after our own image. We create the god and fall down at his feet and worship him; and when this dream comes, we love it !
  • Only love for the Supreme Lord is true Bhakti. Love for any other being, however great, is not Bhakti. The “Supreme Lord” here means Ishvara, the concept of which transcends what you in the West mean by the personal God. “He from whom this universe proceeds, in whom it rests, and to whom it returns, He is Ishvara, the Eternal, the Pure, the All-Merciful, the Almighty, the Ever-Free, the All-Knowing, the Teacher of all teachers, the Lord who of His own nature is inexpressible Love.”
  • Our allegiance is to the principles always, and not to the persons. Persons are but the embodiments, the illustrations of the principles. If the principles are there, the persons will come by the thousands and millions. If the principle is safe, persons like Buddha will be born by the hundreds and thousands. But if the principle is lost and forgotten and the whole of national life tries to cling round a so-called historical person, woe unto that religion, danger unto that religion!
  • I have been asked many times, Why do you laugh so much and make so many jokes? I become serious sometimes-when I have a stomachache! The Lord is all blissfulness. He is the reality behind all that exists. He is the goodness, the truth in everything. You are His incarnations. That is what is glorious. The nearer you are to Him, the less you will have occasions to cry or weep. The further we are from Him, the more will long faces come. The more we know of Him, the more misery vanishes.
  • There is the mind itself. It is like a smooth lake which when struck, say by a stone, vibrates. The vibrations gather together and react on the stone, and all through the lake they will spread and be felt. The mind is like the lake; it is constantly being set in vibrations, which leave an impression on the mind; and the idea of the Ego, or personal self, the “I”, is the result of these impressions. This “I” therefore is only the very rapid transmission of force and is in itself no reality.
  • For the next fifty years this alone shall be our keynote – this, our great Mother India. Let all other vain gods disappear for the time from our minds. This is the only god that is awake, our own race – “everywhere his hands, everywhere his feet, everywhere his ears, he covers everything.” All other gods are sleeping. What vain gods shall we go after and yet cannot worship the god that we see all round us, the Vir√¢t? When we have worshiped this, we shall be able to worship all other gods.
  • Plunge into the world, and then, after a time, when you have suffered and enjoyed all that is in it, will renunciation come; then will calmness come. So fulfill your desire for power and everything else, and after you have fulfilled the desire, will come the time when you will know that they are all very little things; but until you have fulfilled this desire, until you have passed through that activity, it is impossible for you to come to the state of calmness, serenity, and self-surrender.
  • There are hundreds of thousands of microbes surrounding us, but they cannot harm us unless we become weak, until the body is ready and predisposed to receive them. There may be a million microbes of misery floating about us. Never mind! They dare not approach us, they have no power to get a hold on us, until the mind is weakened. This is the great fact: strength is life. Weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal. Weakness is constant strain and misery: weakness is death
  • Last of all will come self-surrender. Then we shall be able to give ourselves up to the Mother. If misery comes, welcome; if happiness comes, welcome. Then, when we come up to this love, all crooked things shall be straight. There will be the same sight for the Brahmin, the Pariah, and the dog. Until we love the universe with samesightedness, with impartial, undying love, we are missing again and again. But then all will have vanished, and we shall see in all the same infinite eternal Mother.
  • After every happiness comes misery; they may be far apart or near. The more advanced the soul, the more quickly does one follow the other. What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both make us forget our true nature; both are chains-one iron, one gold; behind both is the Atman, who knows neither happiness nor misery. These are states, and states must ever change; but the nature of the Atman is bliss, peace, unchanging. We have not to get it, we have it; only wash away the dross and see it.
  • Shivaji was the greatest Hindu king that India had produced within the last thousand years; one who was the very incarnation of lord Siva, about whom prophecies were given out long before he was born; and his advent was eagerly expected by all the great souls and saints of Maharashtra as the deliverer of the Hindus from the hands of the Mlecchas, and as one who succeeded in the reestablishment of Dharma which had been trampled underfoot by the depredations of the devastating hordes of the Moghals
  • Some people are so afraid of losing their individuality. Wouldn’t it be better for the pig to lose his pig-individuality if he can become God? Yes. But the poor pig does not think so at the time. Which state is my individuality? When I was a baby sprawling on the floor trying to swallow my thumb? Was that the individuality I should be sorry to lose? Fifty years hence I shall look upon this present state and laugh, just as I now look upon the baby state. Which of these individualities shall I keep?
  • Chastity, non-injury, forgiving even the greatest enemy, truth, faith in the Lord, these are all different Vrittis. Be not afraid if you are not perfect in all of these; work, they will come. He who has given up all attachment, all fear, and all anger, he whose whole soul has gone unto the Lord, he who has taken refuge in the Lord, whose heart has become purified, with whatsoever desire he comes to the Lord, He will grant that to him. Therefore worship Him through knowledge, love, or renunciation.
  • “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Can we see God? Of course not. Can we know God? Of course not. If God can be known, He will be God no longer. Knowledge is limitation. But I and my Father are one: I find the reality in my soul. These ideas are expressed in some religions, and in others only hinted. In some they were expatriated. Christ’s teachings are now very little understood in this country. If you will excuse me, I will say that they have never been very well understood.
  • If the suns come down, and the moons crumble into dust, and systems after systems are hurled into annihilation, what is that to you? Stand as a rock; you are indestructible. You are the Self, the God of the universe. Say – “I am Existence Absolute, Bliss Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, I am He,” and like a lion breaking its cage, break your chain and be free forever. What frightens you, what holds you down? Only ignorance and delusion; nothing else can bind you. You are the Pure One, the Ever-blessed.
  • Remember the words of Christ: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” These words are literally true, not figures or fiction. They were the outflow of the heart’s blood of one of the greatest sons of God who have ever come to this world of ours; words which came as the fruit of realisation, from a man who had felt and realised God himself; who had spoken with God, lived with God, a hundred times more intensely than you or I see this building.
  • Man stands in materialism; you and I are materialists. Our talking about God and Spirit is good; but it is simply the vogue in our society to talk thus: we have learnt it parrot-like and repeat it. So we have to take ourselves where we are as materialists, and must take the help of matter and go on slowly until we become real spiritualists, and feel ourselves spirits, understand the spirit, and find that this world which we call the infinite is but a gross external form of that world which is behind.
  • It is entirely wrong to think that we have done, or can do, good to the world, or to think that we have helped such and such people. It is a foolish thought, and all foolish thoughts bring misery. We think that we have helped some man and expect him to thank us, and because he does not, unhappiness comes to us. Why should we expect anything in return for what we do? Be grateful to the man you help, think of him as God. Is it not a great privilege to be allowed to worship God by helping our fellow men?
  • That truth which you swallow from others will not be yours…you have to realize truth and work it our for yourself according to your own nature…All must struggle to be individuals-strong, standing on your own feet, thinking your own thoughts, realizing you own Self. No use swallowing doctrines others pass on-standing up together like soldiers in jail, sitting down together, all eating the same food, all nodding their heads at the same time. Variation is the sign of life. Sameness is the sign of death.
  • ‚ÄúBlessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.‚Äù This sentence alone would save mankind, if all books and prophets were lost. This purity of heart will bring the vision of God. It is the theme of the whole music of this universe. In purity is no bondage. Remove the veils of ignorance by purity; then we manifest ourselves as we really are and know that we were never in bondage. The seeing of ‘many’ is the great sin of all the world. See all as Self and love all; let all idea of separateness go.
  • What is the idea of God in heaven? Materialism. The Vedantic idea is the infinite principle of God embodied in every one of us. God sitting up on a cloud! Think of the utter blasphemy of it! It is materialism – downright materialism. When babies think this way, it may be all right, but when grown – up men try to teach such things, it is downright disgusting – that is what it is. It is all matter, all body idea, the gross idea, the sense idea. Every bit of it is clay and nothing but clay. Is that religion?
  • Do you know how much energy, how many powers, how many forces, are still lurking behind that frame of yours? What scientist has known all that is in man? Millions of years have passed since man came here, and yet but one infinitesimal part of his powers has been manifested. Therefore, you must not say that you are weak. How do you know what possibilities lie behind that degradation on the surface? You know but little of that which is within you. For behind you is the ocean of infinite power and blessedness.
  • That the Hindus, absorbed in the ideal, lacked in realistic observation is evident from this. Take painting and sculpture. What do you see in the Hindu paintings? All sorts of grotesque and unnatural figures. What do you see in a Hindu temple? A Chaturbhanga Narayana or some such thing. But take into consideration any Italian picture or Grecian statue-what a study of nature you find in them! A gentleman for twenty years sat burning a candle in his hand, in order to paint a lady carrying a candle in her hand.
  • Brave, bold men, these are what we want. What we want is vigor in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, not softening namby-pamby ideas. Avoid all these. Avoid all mystery. There is no mystery in religion. Is there any mystery in the Vedanta, or in the Vedas, or in the Samhit√¢s, or in the Puranas? What secret societies did the sages of yore establish to preach their religion? What sleight-of-hand tricks are there recorded as used by them to bring their grand truths to humanity?
  • We find the vast majority of people in every country believing that there will be a time when this world will become perfect, when there will be no disease, nor death, nor unhappiness, nor wickedness. That is a very good idea, a very good motive power to inspire and uplift the ignorant. But if we think for a moment, we shall find on the very face of it that it cannot be so. How can it be, seeing that good and evil are the obverse and reverse of the same coin? How can you have good without evil at the same time?
  • Beware of compromises. I do not mean that you are to get into antagonism with anybody, but you have to hold on to your own principles in weal or woe and never adjust them to others’ “fads” through the greed of getting supporters. Your √Çtman is the support of the universe – whose support do you stand in need of? Wait with patience and love and strength; if helpers are not ready now, they will come in time. Why should we be in a hurry? The real working force of all great work is in its almost unperceived beginnings.
  • Spirituality brings a class of men who lay exclusive claim to the special powers of the world. The immediate effect of this is a reaction towards materialism, which opens the door to scores of exclusive claims, until the time comes when not only all the spiritual powers of the race, but all its material powers and privileges are centred in the hands of a very few; and these few, standing on the necks of the masses of the people, want to rule them. Then society has to help itself, and materialism comes to the rescue.
  • There can be no love so long as there is lust- even a speck of it, as it were, in the heart. None but men of great renunciation, none but mighty giants among men, have a right to that Love Divine. If that highest ideal of love is held out to the masses, it will indirectly tend to stimulate its worldly which dominates the heart of man- for, meditating on love to God by thinking of oneself as His wife or beloved, one would very likely be thinking most of the time of one’s own wife- the result is too obvious to point out.
  • To the other nations of the world, religion is one among the many occupations of life. There is politics, there are the enjoyments of social life, there is all that wealth can buy or power can bring, there is all that the senses can enjoy; and among all these various occupations of life and all this searching after something which can give yet a little more whetting to the cloyed senses – among all these, there is perhaps a little bit of religion. But here, in India, religion is the one and the only occupation of life.
  • Whether dualistic, qualified monistic, or monistic, they all firmly believe that everything is in the soul itself; it has only to come out and manifest itself. Therefore, this shraddha is what I want, and what all of us here want, this faith in ourselves, and before you is the great task to get that faith. Give up the awful disease that is creeping, into our national blood, that idea of ridiculing everything, that loss of seriousness. Give that up. Be strong and have this shraddha, and everything else is bound to follow.
  • It is very difficult to understand why in this country [India] so much difference is made between men and women, whereas the Vedanta declares that one and the same conscious Self is present in all beings. You always criticize the women, but say what have you done for their uplift? Writing down Smritis etc., and binding them by hard rules, the men have turned the women into manufacturing machines! If you do not raise the women, who are living embodiment of the Divine Mother, don‚Äôt think that you have any other way to rise.
  • Who can break the law? If I break this glass, it will fall down. If anyone succeeds in throwing one atom out of place, every other atom will go out of balance. . . . The law can never be broken. Each atom is kept in its place. Each is weighed and measured and fulfils its [purpose] and place. Through His command the winds blow, the sun shines. Through His rule the worlds are kept in place. Through His orders death is sporting upon the earth. Just think of two or three Gods having a wrestling match in this world! It cannot be.
  • God is the one goal of all our passions and emotions. If you want to be angry, be angry with Him. Chide your Beloved, chide your Friend. Whom else can you safely chide? Mortal man will not patiently put up with your anger; there will be a reaction. If you are angry with me I am sure quickly to react, because I cannot patiently put up with your anger. Say unto the Beloved, “Why do You not come to me; why do You leave me thus alone?” Where is there any enjoyment but in Him? What enjoyment can there be in little clods of earth?
  • If there is inequality in nature, still there must be equal chance for all – or if greater for some and for some less – the weaker should be given more chance than the strong. In other words, a Brahmin is not so much in need of education as a Chandala. If the son of a Brahmin needs one teacher, that of a Chandala needs ten. For greater help must be given to him whom nature has not endowed with an acute intellect from birth. It is a madman who carries coals to Newcastle. The poor, the downtrodden, the ignorant, let these be your God.
  • If religion and life depend upon books or upon the existence of any prophet whatsoever, then perish all religion and books! Religion is in us. No books or teachers can do more than help us to find it, and even without them we can get all truth within. You have gratitude for books and teachers without bondage to them; and worship your Guru as God, but do not obey him blindly; love him all you will, but think for yourself. No blind belief can save you, work out your own salvation. Have only one idea of God – that He is an eternal help.
  • To many, Indian thought, Indian manners; Indian customs, Indian philosophy, Indian literature are repulsive at the first sight; but let them persevere, let them read, let them become familiar with the great principles underlying these ideas, and it is ninety-nine to one that the charm will come over them, and fascination will be the result. Slow and silent, as the gentle dew that falls in the morning, unseen and unheard yet producing a most tremendous result, has been the work of the calm, patient, all-suffering spiritual race upon the world of thought.
  • You all know that certain things are necessary to make a religion. First of all, there is the book. The power of the book is simply marvellous! Whatever it be, the book is the centre round which human allegiance gathers. Not one religion is living today but has a book. With all its rationalism and tall talk, humanity still clings to the books. In your country every attempt to start a religion without a book has failed. In India sects rise with great success, but within a few years they die down, because there is no book behind them. So in every other country.
  • This is a world of good and evil. Wherever there is good, evil follows, but beyond and behind all these manifestations, all these contradictions, the Vedanta finds out that Unity. It says, “Give up what is evil and give up what is good.” What remains then? Behind good and evil stands something which is yours, the real you, beyond every evil, and beyond every good too, and it is that which is manifesting itself as good and bad. Know that first, and then and then alone you will be a true optimist, and not before; for then you will be able to control everything.
  • We are all the time, from our childhood, trying to lay the blame upon something outside ourselves. We are always standing up to set right other people, and not ourselves. If we are miserable, we say, “Oh, the world is a devil’s world.” We curse others and say, “What infatuated fools!” But why should we be in such a world, if we really are so good? If this is a devil’s world, we must be devils also; why else should we be here? “Oh, the people of the world are so selfish!” True enough; but why should we be found in that company, if we be better? Just think of that.
  • We can form no idea of the millions of pounds that are spent every year in the making of dress in the West. The dress-making business has become a regular science. What colour of dress will suit with the complexion of the girl and the colour of her hair, what special feature of her body should be disguised, and what displayed to the best advantage-these and many other like important points, the dressmakers have seriously to consider. Again, the dress that ladies of very high position wear, others have to wear also, otherwise they lose their caste! This is FASHION.
  • A perfect life is a contradiction in terms. Life itself is a state of continuous struggle between ourselves and everything outside. Every moment we are fighting actually with external nature, and if we are defeated, our life has to go. It is, for instance, a continuous struggle for food and air. If food or air fails, we die. Life is not a simple and smoothly flowing thing, but it is a compound effect. This complex struggle between something inside and the external world is what we call life. So it is clear that when this struggle ceases, there will be an end of life.
  • The wind is blowing; those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not catch the wind. Is that the fault of the wind? Is it the fault of the merciful Father, whose wind of mercy is blowing without ceasing, day and night, whose mercy knows no decay, is it His fault that some of us are happy and some unhappy? We make our own destiny. His sun shines for the weak as well as for the strong. His wind blows for saint and sinner alike. He is the Lord of all, the Father of all, merciful, and impartial.
  • Meditative state is the highest state of existence. So long as there is desire, no real happiness can come. It is only the contemplative, witness-like study of objects that brings to us real enjoyment and happiness. The animal has its happiness in the senses, the man in his intellect, and the god in spiritual contemplation. It is only to the soul that has attained to this contemplative state that the world really becomes beautiful. To him who desires nothing, and does not mix himself up with them, the manifold changes of nature are one panorama of beauty and sublimity.
  • 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. Know that the mind which is born to succeed joins itself to a determined will and perseveres. 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 desire for name and fame. Those who know this secret pass beyond this round of birth and death and become immortal.
  • God is true. The universe is a dream. Blessed am I that I know this moment that I have been and shall be free all eternity; … that I know that I am worshiping only myself; that no nature, no delusion, had any hold on me. Vanish nature from me, vanish these gods; vanish worship; … vanish superstitions, for I know myself. I am the Infinite. All these – Mrs. So-and-so, Mr. So-and-so, responsibility, happiness, misery – have vanished. I am the Infinite. How can there be death for me, or birth? Whom shall I fear? I am the One. Shall I be afraid of myself? Who is to be afraid of whom?
  • I am thoroughly convinced that no individual or nation can live by holding itself apart from the community of others. Give and take is the law; and if India wants to raise herself once more, it is absolutely necessary that she brings out her treasures and throws them broadcast among the nations of the earth, and in return be ready to receive what others have to give her. Expansion is life, contraction is death. Love is life, and hatred is death. We commenced to die the day we began to hate other races; and nothing can prevent our death unless we come back to expansion, which is life.
  • In Tibet there is no marriage, and there is no jealousy, yet we know that marriage is a much higher state. The Tibetans have not known the wonderful enjoyment, the blessing of chastity, the happiness of having a chaste, virtuous wife, or a chaste, virtuous husband. These people cannot feel that. And similarly they do not feel the intense jealousy of the chaste wife or husband, or the misery caused by unfaithfulness on either side, with all the heart-burnings and sorrows which believers in chastity experience. On one side, the latter gain happiness, but on the other, they suffer misery too.