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Sayings of Swami Vivekananda-2

Sayings of Swami Vivekananda-2



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Published by: Rasmiranjan Rautaray on Oct 16, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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"To work you have the right, but not to the fruits thereof" (Gita, 2.47). We can train ourselves to know and to practice that, says the Karma Yogi. When the idea of doing good becomes a part of our very being, then we will not seek for any motive outside.

Class on Karma Yoga. New York, 1896. Complete Works, 1:116.

We have wept long enough; no more weeping,
but stand on your feet and be men. It is a man-
making religion that we want. It is man-making
theories that we want. It is man-making
education all around that we want. And here is

the test of truth-anything that makes you weak
physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as
poison; there is no life in it, it cannot be true.
Truth is strengthening. Truth is purity, Truth is
all knowledge. Truth must be strengthening,
must be enlightening, must be invigorating.

All morality can be divided into the positive and the negative
elements. It says either "Do this" or "Do not do this." When it
says, "Do not," it is evident that it is a check to a certain desire
which would make us slaves. When it says, "Do," its scope is to
show the way to freedom and to the breaking down of a certain
degradation which has already seized the human heart.


We cannot add happiness to the world. Similarly, we cannot add
pain to it either. The sum total of the energies of pleasure and
pain displayed here on earth will be the same throughout. We
just push it from this side to the other side, and from that side to
this, but it will remain the same, because to remain so is its very
nature. This ebb and flow, this rising and falling, is in the world's
very nature; it would be as logical to hold otherwise as to say
that we may have life without death.


You have not caught my fire yet--you do not understand me! You
run in the old ruts of sloth and enjoyments. Down with all sloth,
down with all enjoyments here or hereafter. Plunge into the fire
and bring the people towards the Lord. That you may catch my
fire, that you may be intensely sincere, that you may die the
heroes' death on the field of battle--is the constant prayer of

\u2022The Highest Form of the Worship of God
Every duty is holy, and devotion to duty is the highest form
of the worship of God.
\u2022From all of you I want this that you must discard for

ever self-aggrandisement, faction-mongering, and
jealousy. You must be all-forbearing like Mother
Earth. If you can achieve this, the world will be at
your feet.

This universe is simply a gymnasium in which the soul is taking
exercise; and after these exercise we become GODS. So the value
of everything is to be decided by how far it is a
manifestation of God. Civilisation is the manifestation of that
divinity in Man.
\u2022What we want is to see the man who is harmoniously

developed.....................great in heart, great in mind,(great in
deed)......................We want the man whose heart feels intensely
the miseries and sorrows of the world..........................And(we
want)the man who not only can feel but can find the meaning of
things, who delves deeply into the heart of nature and
understanding.(We want)the man who will not even stop
there,(but)who wants to work out(the feeling and meaning by
actual deeds).Such a combination of head, heart, and hand is what
we want.

\u2022Now, a good deal of our physical evil we can get rid of, if we have

control over the fine parts; a good many worries we can throw off,
if we have control over the fine movements; a good many failures
can be averted, if we have control over these fine powers.

\u2022Now freedom is only possible when no external power can exert

any influence, produce any change. Freedom is only possible to
the being who is beyond all conditions, all laws, all bondages of
cause and effect. In other words, the unchangeable alone can be
free and therefore, immortal. This Being, this Atman, this real Self
of man, the free, the unchangeable is beyond all conditions, and as
such, it has neither birth nor death.

Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge. Pleasure and
happiness come 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, and
that he learns as much from evil as from
good.......................Good and evil have an equal share in

moulding character, and in some instances misery is a greater
teacher than happiness. In studying the great characters the world

has produced, I dare say, in the vast majority of cases, it would be
found that it was misery that taught more than happiness, it was
poverty that taught more than wealth, it was blows that brought
out their inner fire more than praise.

\u2022Because your thirst for spirituality has not come, therefore
you are sitting idle.

The very idea of life implies death and the very idea of pleasure
implies pain. The lamp is constantly burning out, and that is its
life. If you want to have life, you have to die for it every moment.
Life and death are only different expressions of the same thing
looked at from different standpoints. They are the falling and
rising of the same wave, and the two form one whole. One looks
at the "fall" side and becomes a pessimist, another looks at the
"rise" side and becomes an optimist.


When a boy is going to school and his father and mother are
taking care of him, everything seems blessed to him; his wants
are simple, he is a great optimist. But the old man, with his
varied experience, becomes calmer, and is sure to have his
warmth considerably cooled down. So, old nations, with signs of
decay all around them, are apt to be less hopeful than new
nations. There is a proverb in India: "A thousand years a city, and
a thousand years a forest." This change of city into forest and
visa versa is going on everywhere, and it makes people optimists
or pessimists according to the side they see of it.


How can we all be equal here on earth? This impossible kind of
equality implies total death. What makes the world what it is?
Lost balance. In the primal state, which is called chaos, there is
perfect balance. How do all the formative forces of the universe
come by then? By struggling, competition, conflict. ... Inequality
is the very basis of creation. At the same time, the forces
struggling to obtain equality are as much a necessity of creation
as those which destroy it.

Karma Yoga. New York, 1896. Complete Works, 1: 113-14
Absolute equality, that which means a perfect balance of all the
struggling forces in all the planes, can never be in this world.

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