Monday, July 30, 2012

WHAT YOU ARE DOING, he said, PUT YOU WHOLE MIND ON IT.



Vivekananda in America
After the people had stopped their cheering and clapping, Swamiji began his speech. The speech he made that day made him famous throughout the world.

He said that he was proud to belong to a religion which had taught people to accept all religions as true. His country, India, had given shelter to many people when they were not allowed to follow their own religions in their own countries.

He then told them about a hymn which was repeated every day by millions of people in India. The hymn said that just as dif­ferent rivers all meet in the sea, so the different religions all meet in the one Lord of the universe.

The next day, big pictures of Swamiji were put up in the streets of Chicago. People wrote about him in the newspapers.
After the Parliament was over Swamiji travelled all over America. Wherever he went, he gave lectures and talked to the people. He answered their questions and told them about India.

In those days, people in western countries did not know much about India, and they had many wrong ideas about her. It was through Swamiji that they came to know and respect India.

People said: ‘Swami Vivekananda is not only a great spiritual teacher. He is also a great patriot. When he says the words “my country”, we feel how much he loves India!’
It was not only the grown-ups in America who loved Swamiji, children loved him too. Once Swamiji was watching some boys. They were standing on a bridge trying to shoot at egg-shells that were floating on the river. The egg-shells bobbed up and down. The boys could not hit any of them. They fired the gun many times, but they always missed the target!

They noticed that Swamiji was watching them. So they called out to him: ‘Well, you are watching us. Do you think you can do better?’

Swamiji smiled and said: I will try.’ Then the boys said: ‘It’s not so easy as you think!’ Swamiji took the gun and aimed at the egg-shells. He stood very still for a few minutes. Then he fired the gun. He fired twelve times, and every time he hit an egg-shell! The boys were very sur­prised. How could any man shoot egg-shells like that? They thought. They said to Swamiji: ‘Well, Mister, how did you do it?’ Swamiji laughed. He liked the boys.

‘Whatever you are doing,’ he said, ‘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 my country boys are taught to do this.’
- Swami Vivekananda

Sunday, July 29, 2012

TREMENDOUS ENTHUSIASM. ONLY MAKE IT PERMANENT; KEEP IT UP...WE WANT TO WORK OUT GREAT THINGS IN INDIA


Swamiji in Madras

Long before Swamiji reached Madras, the people of that city were planning to welcome him. It was from Madras that Swamiji had left for the West, taking his ship at Bombay. The people of Madras felt that he was their Swamiji. And so he was!

Swamiji was coming by train from Kumbakonam. It was a through train, and it did not stop at small stations. But at every station there were large crowds of people waiting to get a glimpse of the great Swamiji! At one small station, near Madras, the people wanted very much to see Swamiji. ‘Please,’ they begged the Station-master, ‘flag Swamiji’s train and make it stop. We must see Swamiji!’ ‘I can understand your feelings,’ said the Station-master, ‘but I cannot stop the train. It is a through train, and it will not stop here.’

What could the people do? They saw the train in the distance. It was coming very fast. About a hundred people ran and lay down on the tracks, in front of the rushing train! The Station-master was frightened. He had to stop the train! Then the people ran to Swamiji’s compartment and garlanded him and asked for his blessings. Swamiji stood there, radiant with love for them. He blessed them, and the train moved on.

At last the train reached Madras. Again, there was a huge crowd to greet him. He was garlanded, and many people threw flower petals as he walked.

They cheered and shouted: ‘Welcome, Prince of Men’, and ‘Hail to Sri Ramakrishna’s worthy disciple’.

The streets were decorated with arches and flags and flowers. All the shops were closed. The people filled the streets. Swamiji was taken by carriage through the streets of Madras. Some young men took the horses away from Swamiji’s carriage and pulled it themselves through the streets. Never before in Madras had there been such a welcome for anyone!
Swamiji was taken to a large hall, and there addresses of wel­come were read to him. Wave after wave of people surrounded Swamiji. It became impossible for him to give a long speech. So he said: I am intensely pleased at the show of enthusiasm. That is what is required—tremendous enthusiasm. Only make it permanent; keep it up. … We want to work out great things in India. For that I require your help; such enthusiasm is necessary.’

A day or two later, Swamiji was able to give a long speech to the people. He called it ‘My Plan of Campaign’, and in it he said: ‘Make your nerves strong. What we want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel. … Stand on your feet and be men.’ Today, if we want to serve India, we should first understand Swamiji’s ideas and then follow them in our lives. If you want to serve India, he said, three things are necessary. First, you must have great feeling. Love is the gate to all the secrets of the universe. If you want to help the people who are starving and living in ignorance, you must feel for them, you must love them. Secondly, you must find a practical way to help them. Mere talking will not do. Thirdly, you must have a strong will. Even if the whole world stands against you, you must still dare to do what you think is right. If you have these three things you will work wonders. You will be powerful. Even if you live in a cave your thought will go vibrating all over the world and help people. Such is the power of thought, of sincerity, and of purity of purpose.
- Swami Vivekananda

RELIGION IS BUT MOTHER OF US. WHEN SOMEONE ABUSES THE MOTHER, SHOULD A SON LISTEN TO IT QUIETLY ?


 PREACHING IN AMERICA

Swami Vivekananda became world famous with his maiden speech on the first day of the Parliament of Religions at Chic...ago.

The following day large facsimiles of a photograph of Swamiji were displayed on the streets of the city of Chicago. You now see the same photograph on this page. The media went crazy in praise of him.

This was a time when the people of the West usually looked down upon India. Having seen and heard Swamiji, a deep respect for the Indian religion and civilisation began to grow in their mind. Swamiji won a high place for his mother­land among the nations of the world.

When the Parliament was over, he travelled far and wide in the States to deliver lectures. Many became his disciples and a few, even monks.

Swamiji could never tolerate any unjust criticism or cal­umny about India. He used to retaliate like a lion. Once, dur­ing a sea voyage, some Christian missionary was abusing the Indians and the Hiduism. Initially Swamiji tried patiently to explain points. But the man did not relent. At last Swamiji caught the man by his neck and warned, “If you dare to utter a single word more, I shall throw you overboard.” The man had to beat a retreat. Later he observed on this incident as, “Religion is but mother of us. When someone abuses the mother, should a son listen to it quietly?”

- Swami Vivekananda

GITA - WORK INCESANTLY


" This is the one central idea in the Gita: work incessantly, but be not attached to it "

" That wonderful poem, without one note in it, of weakness or unmanliness "

- Swami Vivekananda
 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

MOUNTAINS CAN BE CRUMBLED INTO ATOMS


" If the mind is intensely eager, everything can be accomplished—mountains can be crumbled into atoms "

" Your Atman 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.

- Swami Vivekananda

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BE AN IDEAL MAN - STRENGTH IS LATENT WITHIN YOU

INVOKING STRENGHT: SERVICE OF PEOPLE

On his way to Calcutta, specially in Madras, Swamiji had come inspiring his fellow countrymen. He had appealed, “Be an ideal man. Serve your countrymen in the same way as you serve and worship God. Be mentally very strong. Never forget that you can accomplish whatever you wish. Strength is latent within you. It is man who has done everything towards human progress. Now, you shall have to do a lot for the sake of your country. You must not be scared of anything. Be fear­less”.

Swamiji had shown also the practical way to serve men as living God. At the Baranagar monastery, the young disciples of Sri Ramakrishna took to sanyasa. Swamiji started this mission with the help of them. At the call of Swamiji many had joined the Math by this time. He employed them in the service of men. He stressed, “Service of men as God brings the same result as obtained by the ritual worship of God”.

In Calcutta, scores were dying of plague at that time. The disease was of awful type and everybody was dead scared of it. Swamiji along with his brother monks started attending on the plague patients. He declared, “Carry on with your nursing. Do not worry about fund. We shall not fight shy of selling
the very estate of the monastery, if necessary”.

- Swami Vivekananda
http://belurmath.org/kids_section/2010/11/09/invoking-strength-service-of-people/

Saturday, July 21, 2012

THE GIFT OF INDIA

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

THINK THAT THE WHOLE WORK IS UPON YOUR SHOULDERS. THINK THAT YOU, YOUNG MEN OF OUR MOTHERLAND, ARE DESTINED TO DO THIS


Think of me as one who has done all his duty and is now dead and gone. Think that the whole work is upon your shoulders. Think that you, young men of our motherland, are destined to do this. Put yourselves to the task. Lord bless you. Leave me, throw me quite out of sight. Preach the new ideal, the new doctrine, the new life. Preach against nobody, against no custom. Preach neither for nor against caste or any other social evil. Preach to let "hands off", and everything will come right.

My blessings on you all, my brave, steadfast, and loving souls.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/What we Believe in

OURS NOT TO QUESTION WHY, OURS BUT TO DO AND DIE


Yes, then it is — when the load would be sufficient to sink a lot of frail vessels — that the man of genius, of strength, the hero, sees that infinite, absolute, ever-blissful Existence per se, that infinite being who is called and worshipped under different names in different climes. Then it is, the shackles that bind the soul down to this hole of misery break, as it were, for a time, and unfettered it rises and rises until it reaches the throne of the Lord, "Where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest". Cease not, brother, to send up petitions day and night, cease not to say day and night — THY WILL BE DONE.

"Ours not to question why,
 Ours but to do and die."

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/A Message of Sympathy to a Friend

Sunday, July 15, 2012

LET US TAKE OUR STAND ON THE ONE CENTRAL TRUTH IN OUR RELIGION - THE COMMON HERITAGE OF THE HINDUS, THE BUDDHISTS, AND JAINS ALIKE - THE SPIRIT OF MAN,


Let us take our stand on the one central truth in our religion — the common heritage of the Hindus, the Buddhists, and Jains alike — the spirit of man, the Atman of man, the immortal, birthless, all-pervading, eternal soul of man whose glories the Vedas cannot themselves express, before whose majesty the universe with its galaxy upon galaxy of suns and stars and nebulae is as a drop. Every man or woman, nay, from the highest Devas to the worm that crawls under our feet, is such a spirit evoluted or involuted. The difference is not in kind, but in degree.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/Reply to the Madras address

Saturday, July 14, 2012

FIRST, LET US BE GODS, AND THEN HELP OTHERS TO BE GODS


This 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 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.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/Reply to the Madras address

Friday, July 13, 2012

BRING FORTH THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT, AND POUR IT OVER THE LENGTH AND BREADTH OF INDIA; AND ALL THAT IS NECESSARY WILL COME BY ITSELF


Let the lion of Vedanta roar; the foxes will fly to their holes. Throw the ideas broadcast, and let the result take care of itself. Let us put the chemicals together; the crystallization will take its own course. Bring forth the power of the spirit, and pour it over the length and breadth of India; and all that is necessary will come by itself.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/Reply to the Madras address

EDUCATION - WHICH DOES NOT BRING OUT STRENGTH OF CHARACTER, A SPIRIT OF PHILANTHROPY, AND THE COURAGE OF A LION - IS IT WORTH THE NAME?



 
Disciple: But, sir, all the educated men of the country have joined it.

Swamiji: Well, you consider a man as educated if only he can pass some examinations and deliver good lectures. The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion -- is it worth the name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on one's own legs. The education that you are receiving now in schools and colleges is only making you a race of dyspeptics. You are working like machines merely, and living a jelly - fish existe...nce.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 7/Conversations And Dialogues/VII

Thursday, July 12, 2012

MANIFEST THE DIVINITY WITHIN YOU, AND EVERYTHING WILL BE HARMONIOUSLY ARRANGED AROUND IT.


Manifest the divinity within you, and everything will be harmoniously arranged around it. Remember the illustration of Indra and Virochana in the Vedas; both were taught their divinity. But the Asura, Virochana, took his body for his God. Indra, being a Deva, understood that the Atman was meant. You are the children of India. You are the descendants of the Devas. Matter can never be your God; body can never be your God.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/Reply to the Madras address

IF ANY SOCIAL INSTITUTION STANDS IN YOUR WAY OF BECOMING GOD, IT WILL GIVE WAY BEFORE THE POWER OF SPIRIT


Do not care under what banner you march. Do not care what be your colour — green, blue, or red — but mix up all the colours and produce that intense glow of white, the colour of love. Ours is to work. The results will take care of themselves. If any social institution stands in your way of becoming God, it will give way before the power of Spirit. I do not see into the future; nor do I care to see. But one vision I see dear as life before me: that the ancient Mother has awakened once more, sitting on Her throne rejuvenated, more glorious than ever. Proclaim Her to all the world with the voice of peace and benediction.

- Yours ever in love and labour, Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/Reply to the Madras address

LAY DOWN YOUR COMFORTS, YOUR PLEASURES, YOUR NAMES, FAME OR POSITION, NAY EVEN YOUR LIVES


The Purusha Himself sacrificed Himself to create this world. Lay down your comforts, your pleasures, your names, fame or position, nay even your lives, and make a bridge of human chains over which millions will cross this ocean of life. Bring all the forces of good together.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/Reply to the Madras address
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

YOU MUST GIVE UP. BE GREAT. NO GREAT WORK CAN BE DONE WITHOUT SACRIFICE.


Call up the divinity within you, which will enable you to bear hunger and thirst, heat and cold. Sitting in luxurious homes, surrounded with all the comforts of life, and doling out a little amateur religion may be good for other lands, but India has a truer instinct. It intuitively detects the mask. You must give up. Be great. No great work can be done without sacrifice.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/Reply to the Madras address

Sunday, July 8, 2012

ETERNAL SOUL OF MAN WHOSE GLORIES THE VEDAS CANNOT THEMSELVES EXPRESS, BEFORE WHOSE MAJESTY THE UNIVERSE WITH ITS GALAXY UPON GALAXY OF SUNS AND STARTS AND NEBULAE IS AS A DROP.


Let us take our stand on the one central truth in our religion — the common heritage of the Hindus, the Buddhists, and Jains alike — the spirit of man, the Atman of man, the immortal, birthless, all-pervading, eternal soul of man whose glories the Vedas cannot themselves express, before whose majesty the universe with its galaxy upon galaxy of suns and stars and nebulae is as a drop. Every man or woman, nay, from the highest Devas to the worm that crawls under our feet, is such a spirit evoluted or involuted. The difference is not in kind, but in degree.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/Reply to the Madras address

INDIA WILL BE RAISED, NOT WITH THE POWER OF THE FLESH, BUT WITH THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT;


India will be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with the power of the spirit; not with the flag of destruction, but with the flag of peace and love, the garb of the Sannyâsin; not by the power of wealth, but by the power of the begging bowl. Say not that you are weak. The spirit is omnipotent. Look at that handful of young men called into existence by the divine touch of Ramakrishna's feet.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 4/Writings: Prose/Reply to the Madras address

Saturday, July 7, 2012

LET NOT YOUR FAITH BE SHAKEN ....HAS DANGER ANY POWER OVER ONE WHOM THE LORD HAS TAKEN INTO HIS FOLD ?


You remember, I suppose, how after Shri Ramakrishna's passing away, all forsook us as so many worthless, ragged boys. Only people like Balaram, Suresh, Master, and Chuni Babu were our friends at that hour of need. And we shall never be able to repay our debts to them. ... Tell Chuni Babu in private that he has nothing to fear, that those who are protected by the Lord must be above fear. I am a puny man, but the glories of the Lord are infinite. — Discard fear. Let not your faith be shaken. ...Has danger any power over one whom the Lord has taken into His fold?

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 6/Epistles - Second Series/LXXVIII Rakhal

MAN, THEREFORE, ACCORDING TO THE VEDANTA PHILOSOPHY, IS THE GREATEST BEING THAT IS IN THE UNIVERSE



Man, therefore, according to the Vedanta philosophy, is the greatest being that is in the universe, and this world of work the best place in it, because only herein is the greatest and the best chance for him to become perfect. Angels or gods, whatever you may call them, have all to become men, if they want to become perfect. This is the great centre, the wonderful poise, and the wonderful opportunity — this human life.

- Swami Vivekananda
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 2/Jnana-Yoga/The Real and the Apparent Man

Friday, July 6, 2012

THE MORE THIS POWER OF CONCENTRATION, THE MORE KNOWLEDGE IS ACQUIRED, BECAUSE THIS IS THE ONE AND ONLY METHOD OF ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE


The more this power of concentration, the more knowledge is acquired, because this is the one and only method of acquiring knowledge. Even the lowest shoeblack, if he gives more concentration, will black the shoes better; the cook with concentration will cook a meal all the better. In making money, or in worshiping God, or in doing anything, the stronger the power of concentration, the better will that thing be done. This is the one call, the one knock, which opens the gates of nature.

- Swami Vivekananda

Thursday, July 5, 2012

THEY ASK TO BE UP AND DOING. A HUNDRED YEARS LATER WE CLING TO THE MESSAGE AND GO TO SLEEP


 These [great souls] are signposts on the way. That is all they are. They say, \"Onward, brothers!\" We cling to them; we never want to move. We do not want to think; we want others to think for us. The messengers fulfil their mission. They ask to be up and doing. A hundred years later we cling to the message and go to sleep.

- Swami Vivekananda

YOU ARE QUITE AS GREAT AS JESUS, BUDDHA, OR ANYBODY ELSE. IF WE ARE NOT WE MUST STRUGGLE AND BE


These old people were all messengers of God. I fall down and worship them; I take the dust of their feet. But they are dead! ... And we are alive. We must go ahead! ... 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.

- Swami Vivekananda

YOU ARE QUITE AS GREAT AS JESUS, BUDDHA, OR ANYBODY ELSE. IF WE ARE NOT WE MUST STRUGGLE AND BE


These old people were all messengers of God. I fall down and worship them; I take the dust of their feet. But they are dead! ... And we are alive. We must go ahead! ... 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.

- Swami Vivekananda

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

FACE THE TRUTH AS IT IS!


All weakness, all bondage is imagination. Speak one word to it, it must vanish. Do not weaken! There is no other way out.... Stand up and be strong! No fear. No superstition. Face the truth as it is! If death comes — that is the worst of our miseries — let it come! We are determined to die game. That is all the religion I know. I have not attained to it, but I am struggling to do it. I may not, but you may. Go on!

- Swami Vivekananda

WHEN THE SOUL WANTS TO DEPEND UPON NOTHING, NOT EVEN UPON LIFE, THAT IS THE HEIGHT OF PHILOSOPHY, THE HEIGHT OF MANHOOD.


 Independent, Krishna stands out. The very boldness of it frightens us. We depend upon everything — ... upon a few good words, upon circumstances. When the soul wants to depend upon nothing, not even upon life, that is the height of philosophy, the height of manhood. Worship leads to the same goal. Krishna lays great stress upon worship. Worship God!

- Swami Vivekananda

Sunday, July 1, 2012

NEITHER BY PROGENY NOR BY WEALTH, BUT BY RENUNCIATION ALONE SOME (RARE ONES) ATTAINED IMMORTALITY


Disciple: If it is so, Swamiji, how is it then that the texts on Bhakti say that too much of renunciation kills the feelings that make for tenderness?

Swamiji: Throw away, I say, texts which teach things like that! Without renunciation, without burning dispassion for sense-objects, without turning away from wealth and lust as from filthy abomination, " never can one attain salvation even in hundreds of Brahma's cycles". Repeating the names of the Lord, meditation, worship, offering libations in sacred fire, penance — all these are for bringing forth renunciation. One who has not gained renunciation, know his efforts to be like unto those of the man who is pulling at the oars all the while that the boat is at anchor. " — Neither by progeny nor by wealth, but by renunciation alone some (rare ones) attained immortality"

(Kaivalya Upanishad, 3).

- Swami Vivekananda
DISCRIMINATION AND RENUNCIATION ARE THE MEANS — BE FEARLESS

KNOW THIS FOR CERTAIN THAT HE WHO WILL WORK WILL BE THE CROWN ON MY HEAD.


Wordy warfares, texts and scriptures, doctrines and dogmas - all these I am coming to loathe as poison in this my advanced age. Know this for certain that he who will work will be the crown on my head. Useless bandying of words and making noise is taking away our time, is consuming our life - energy, without pushing the cause of humanitarianism a step further.

- Swami Vivekananda
California, 12 February 1900

ABOVE ALL, OF AN INDOMITABLE IRON WILL WHICH QUAKES NOT EVEN IF THE UNIVERSE BE PULVERISED AT OUR FEET.


I am called by the Lord for this. I have been dragged through a whole life full of crosses and tortures, I have seen the nearest and dearest die, almost of starvation; I have been ridiculed, distrusted, and have suffered for my sympathy for the very men who scoff and scorn. Well, my boy, this is the school of misery, which is also the school for great souls and prophets for the cultivation of sympathy, of patience, and, above all, of an indomitable iron will which quakes not even if the universe be pulverised at our feet.

- Swami Vivekananda
[ From the book: Swami Vivekananda - On Himself ]