Sunday, December 30, 2018


The solution of the caste problem in India, therefore, assumes this form, not to degrade the higher castes, not to crush out the Brahmin. 
The Brahminhood is the ideal of humanity in India, as wonderfully put forward by Shankaracharya at the beginning of his commentary on the Gita, where he speaks about the reason for Krishna's coming as a preacher for the preservation of Brahminhood, of Brahminness. 

That was the great end. 

This Brahmin, the man of God, he who has known Brahman, the ideal man, the perfect man, must remain; 
he must not go …

… The solution is not by bringing down the higher, but by raising the lower up to the level of the higher. 
And that is the line of work that is found in all our books, in spite of what you may hear from some people whose knowledge of their own scriptures and whose capacity to understand the mighty plans of the ancients are only zero. 

                 - Swami Vivekananda, 
                   Address at Madras, 
                  Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Stepping-Stone to Advaita

I, through the grace of God, had the great good fortune to sit at the feet of one whose whole life was such an interpretation, whose life, a thousandfold more than whose teaching, was a living commentary on the texts of the Upanishads, was in fact the spirit of the Upanishads living in a human form. 

Perhaps I have got a little of that harmony; I do not know whether I shall be able to express it or not. 
But this is my attempt, my mission in life, to show that the Vedantic schools are not contradictory, that they all necessitate each other, all fulfill each other, 
and one, as it were, is the stepping-stone to the other, 
until the goal, the Advaita, the Tat Tvam Asi, is reached. 

              - Swami Vivekananda, 
                 Address at Calcutta, 
                 Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Monday, December 24, 2018

"I and my Father are one"

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. It will make us strong. Then miseries will be laughed at, then the violence of the vile will be smiled at, and the ferocious tiger will reveal, behind its tiger's nature, my own Self. That will be the result. 

That soul is strong that has become one with the Lord; none else is strong. In your own Bible, what do you think was the cause of that strength of Jesus of Nazareth, that immense, infinite strength which laughed at traitors, and blessed those that were willing to murder him? 
It was that, "I and my Father are one"; 
it was that prayer, 
"Father, just as I am one with you, so make them all one with me. "That is the worship of the Impersonal God. Be one with the universe, be one with Him. 

And this Impersonal God requires no demonstrations, no proofs. He is nearer to us than even our senses, nearer to us than our own thoughts; it is in and through Him that we see and think.

                 - Swami Vivekananda, 
                  'Reason and Religion' - Talk in England

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Have Faith as Nachiketa

Centuries and centuries, a thousand years of crushing tyranny of castes and kings and foreigners and your own people have taken out all your strength, my brethren. 
Your backbone is broken, you are like downtrodden worms. 

Who will give you strength? Let me tell you, strength, strength is what we want. And the first step in getting strength is to uphold the Upanishads, and believe --
"I am the Soul", "Me the sword cannot cut; nor weapons pierce; me the fire cannot burn; me the air cannot dry; I am the Omnipotent, I am the Omniscient." 

So repeat these blessed, saving words. 
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. 
Have faith, as Nachiketa. 

                     - Swami Vivekananda, 
                       Address at Madras, 
                      Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Renunciation - The Very Beginning of Religion

Ay, you the mighty cause of this universe, trying to reflect yourself in little mud puddles! 
But after making the attempt for a time you find out it was all in vain and beat a retreat to the place from whence you came. 

This is Vairagya, or renunciation, and the very beginning of religion. 

How can religion or morality begin without renunciation itself? The Alpha and Omega is renunciation. 
"Give up," says the Veda, "give up." That is the one way, "Give up". 
न प्रजया धनेन त्यागेनैकेSमृतत्वमानशु: --"Neither through wealth, nor through progeny, but by giving up alone that immortality is to be reached." 
That is the dictate of the Indian books.

  Swami Vivekananda, 
     Address at Calcutta,
     Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Gita Jayanti

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

The same Impersonal is conceived by the mind as the Creator, the Ruler, and the Dissolver of this universe, 
its material as well as its efficient cause, 
the Supreme Ruler -- the Living, the Loving, the Beautiful, in the highest sense.

(a) The Absolute Being is manifested in Its highest in Ishvara, or the Supreme Ruler, as the highest and omnipotent Life or Energy.

(b) The Absolute Knowledge is manifesting Itself in Its highest as Infinite Love, in the Supreme Lord.

(c) The Absolute Bliss is manifested as the Infinite Beautiful, in the Supreme Lord. He is the greatest attraction of the soul.

                     - Swami Vivekananda, Writings

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Indian Degradation

What can you expect of a race which for hundreds of years has been busy in discussing such momentous problems as whether we should drink a glass of water with the right hand or the left? 
What more degradation can there be than that the greatest minds of a country have been discussing about the kitchen for several hundreds of years, discussing whether I may touch you or you touch me, and what is the penance for this touching! 

The themes of the Vedanta, the sublimest and the most glorious conceptions of God and soul ever preached on earth, were half-lost, buried in the forests, preserved by a few Sannyasins, while the rest of the nation discussed the momentous questions of touching each other, and dress, and food. 

            - Swami Vivekananda, 
               Address at Madras, 
               Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Friday, December 14, 2018

Lack of Faith

We have lost faith. Would you believe me, we have less faith than the Englishman and woman -- a thousand times less faith! 
These are plain words; but I say these, I cannot help it. 
Don't you see how Englishmen and women, when they catch our ideals, become mad as it were; and although they are the ruling class, they come to India to preach our own religion notwithstanding the jeers and ridicule of their own countrymen? 

How many of you could do that? And why cannot you do that? 
Do you not know it? You know more than they do; you are more wise than is good for you, that is your difficulty! 
Simply because your blood is only like water, your brain is sloughing, your body is weak! You must change the body. Physical weakness is the cause and nothing else. 

                 - Swami Vivekananda, 
                   Address at Madras, 
                   Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sin for Householders

Heroes only enjoy the world. 
Show your heroism; apply, according to circumstances, the fourfold political maxims of conciliation, bribery, sowing dissensions, and open war, to win over your adversary and enjoy the world -- then you will be Dharmika (righteous). 
Otherwise, you live a disgraceful life if you pocket your insults when you are kicked and trodden down by anyone who takes it into his head to do so; 
your life is a veritable hell here, and so is the life hereafter. 

This is what the Shastras say. 
Do your Svadharma -- this is truth, the truth of truths. 
This is my advice to you, my beloved co-religionists. 
Of course, do not do any wrong, do not injure or tyrannise over anyone, but try to do good to others as much as you can. 
But passively to submit to wrong done by others is a sin -- with the householder. 

                    - Swami Vivekananda, 
                        The East and The West 

Monday, December 10, 2018

National Ship for Souls!

Why should you feel ashamed to take the name of Hindu, which is your greatest and most glorious possession? 

This national ship of ours, ye children of the Immortals, my countrymen, has been plying for ages, carrying civilisation and enriching the whole world with its inestimable treasures. 
For scores of shining centuries this national ship of ours has been ferrying across the ocean of life, and has taken millions of souls to the other shore, beyond all misery. 
But today it may have sprung a leak and got damaged, through your own fault or whatever cause it matters not. 

What would you, who have placed yourselves in it, do now? Would you go about cursing it and quarrelling among yourselves! Would you not all unite together and put your best efforts to stop the holes? 
Let us all gladly give our hearts' blood to do this; and if we fail in the attempt, let us all sink and die together, with blessings and not curses on our lips.  

             - Swami Vivekananda, 
                At Dacca, Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Friday, December 7, 2018

Riddle of Virtue and Vice

The scriptures of different religions point out different means to attain the ideals of universal love, freedom, manliness, and selfless benevolence. 
Every religious sect is generally at variance as to its idea of what is virtue and what is vice, and fights with others over the means of attaining virtue and eschewing vice, instead of aiming at realizing the end. 

Every means is helpful more or less, and the Gita (XVIII. 48) says, "Every undertaking is attended with defects as fire with smoke"; so the means will no doubt appear more or less defective. 
But as we are to attain the highest virtue through the means laid down in our respective scriptures, we should try our best to follow them. Moreover, they should be tempered with reason and discrimination. 
Thus, as we progress, the riddle of virtue and vice will be solved by itself. 

              - Swami Vivekananda, 
                 Sayings and Utterances

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Effect of Bauddhas on India

The aims of the Buddhistic and the Vedic religions are the same, but the means adopted by the Buddhistic are not right. 
If the Buddhistic means were correct, then why have we been thus hopelessly lost and ruined? It will not do to say that the efflux of time has naturally wrought this. Can time work, transgressing the laws of cause and effect?

Therefore, though the aims are the same, the Bauddhas for want of right means have degraded India. 

Perhaps my Bauddha brothers will be offended at this remark, and fret and fume; but there's no help for it; the truth ought to be told, and I do not care for the result. 

            - Swami Vivekananda, 
              The East and The West 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Universe - A False Attempt!

Can you thus limit Him who is the substance of all knowledge, Him who is the Sakshi, the witness, without whom you cannot have any knowledge, Him who has no qualities, who is the Witness of the whole universe, the Witness in our own souls? 
How can you know Him? 
By what means can you bind Him up? 

Everything, the whole universe, is such a false attempt. 
This infinite Atman is, as it were, trying to see His own face, and all, from the lowest animals to the highest of gods, are like so many mirrors to reflect Himself in, and He is taking up still others, finding them insufficient, until in the human body He comes to know that it is the finite of the finite, 
all is finite, there cannot be any expression of the Infinite in the finite. 
Then comes the retrograde march, and this is what is called renunciation, Vairagya. Back from the senses, back! 

                  - Swami Vivekananda, 
                    Address at Lahore, 
                    Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Nearer to Heaven Through Football!

First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards. 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. 

I have gained a little experience. You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger. 
You will understand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of Krishna better with a little of strong blood in you. You will understand the Upanishads better and the glory of the Atman when your body stands firm upon your feet, and you feel yourselves as men. 
Thus we have to apply these to our needs. 

                     - Swami Vivekananda, 
                       Address at Madras, 
                      Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Only Moksha - Problem with Buddha and Christ!

What does Buddha or Christ prescribe for the man who neither wants Moksha nor is fit to receive it?-- nothing!
Either you must have Moksha or you are doomed to destruction -- these are the only two ways held forth by them, and there is no middle course. You are tied hand and foot in the matter of trying for anything other than Moksha. There is no way shown how you may enjoy the world a little for a time; not only all openings to that are hermetically sealed to you, but, in addition, there are obstructions put at every step.

It is only the Vedic religion which considers ways and means and lays down rules for the fourfold attainment of man, comprising Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. 
Buddha ruined us, and so did Christ ruin Greece and Rome

Then, in due course of time, fortunately, the Europeans became Protestants, shook off the teachings of Christ as represented by Papal authority, and heaved a sigh of relief. 
In India, Kumarila again brought into currency the 
Karma-marga, the way of Karma only, and 
Shankara and Ramanuja firmly re-established the Eternal Vedic religion, harmonising and balancing in due proportions Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha.

 - Swami Vivekananda, 
   The East and The West

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Renunciation - The Banner of India

Renunciation, that is the flag, the banner of India, floating over the world, the one undying thought which India sends again and again as a warning to dying races, as a warning to all tyranny, as a warning to wickedness in the world. 

Ay, Hindus, let not your hold of that banner go. Hold it aloft. Even if you are weak and cannot renounce, do not lower the ideal. 
Say, "I am weak and cannot renounce the world", but do not try to be hypocrites, torturing texts, and making specious arguments, and trying to throw dust in the eyes of people who are ignorant. 
Do not do that, but own you are weak. For the idea is great, that of renunciation. 

                     - Swami Vivekananda, 
                       Address at Calcutta, 
                      Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Friday, November 16, 2018

Hinduism - The Universal Religion

[The ancient Indian] sages left it open to all Indian people to worship such great personages, such Incarnations.
 Nay, the greatest of these Incarnations goes further: 
"Wherever an extraordinary spiritual power is manifested by external man, know that I am there; it is from Me that that manifestation comes." 

That leaves the door open for the Hindu to worship the Incarnations of all the countries in the world. The Hindu can worship any sage and any saint from any country whatsoever, and as a fact we know that we go and worship many times in the churches of the Christians, and many, many times in the Mohammedan mosques, and that is good.

 Why not? Ours, as I have said, is the universal religion. 

           - Swami Vivekananda, 
             Address at Madras, 
           Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Strength - Message of the Upanishads

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. 
Ay, it is the only literature in the world where you find the word "Abhih", "fearless", used again and again; in no other scripture in the world is this adjective applied either to God or to man. Abhih, fearless! 
      - Swami Vivekananda, 
         Address at Madras, 
         Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Conquer the World with Spirituality

Everything looks propitious, and Indian thought, philosophical and spiritual, must once more go over and conquer the world. 
The problem before us, therefore, is assuming larger proportions every day. It is not only that we must revive our own country -- that is a small matter; I am an imaginative man -- and my idea is the conquest of the whole world by the Hindu race. … …

Up, India, and conquer the world with your spirituality! 
Ay, as has been declared on this soil first, love must conquer hatred, hatred cannot conquer itself. 
Materialism and all its miseries can never be conquered by materialism. Armies when they attempt to conquer armies only multiply and make brutes of humanity. 
Spirituality must conquer the West. 

            - Swami Vivekananda, 
               Address at Madras, 
               Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Upanishads - The Authority

Truly has it been said of the Upanishads by Ramanuja that they form the head, the shoulders, the crest of the Vedas, and surely enough the Upanishads have become the Bible of modern India
The Hindus have the greatest respect for the Karma Kanda of the Vedas, but, for all practical purposes, we know that for ages by Shruti has been meant the Upanishads, and the Upanishads alone. 

We know that all our great philosophers, whether Vyasa, Patanjali, or Gautama, and even the father of all philosophy, the great Kapila himself, whenever they wanted an authority for what they wrote, every one of them found it in the Upanishads, and nowhere else, for therein are the truths that remain for ever.

- Swami Vivekananda, 
Address at Lahore,
Lectures From Colombo to Almora

Saturday, November 10, 2018

If You Are a Hindu

Mark me, then and then alone you are a Hindu when the very name sends through you a galvanic shock of strength. 
Then and then alone you are a Hindu when every man who bears the name, from any country, speaking our language or any other language, becomes at once the nearest and the dearest to you. 
Then and then alone you are a Hindu when the distress of anyone bearing that name comes to your heart and makes you feel as if your own son were in distress. 
Then and then alone you are a Hindu when you will be ready to bear everything for them, like the great example I have quoted at the beginning of this lecture, of your great Guru Govind Singh. … … 

Mark me, every one of you will have to be a Govind Singh, if you want to do good to your country. You may see thousands of defects in your countrymen, but mark their Hindu blood. They are the first Gods you will have to worship even if they do everything to hurt you, even if everyone of them send out a curse to you, you send out to them words of love. 

                  - Swami Vivekananda, 
                    Address at Lahore, 
                    Lectures From Colombo to Almora