Swami Vivekananda was one of the tall figures in the arena of Indian spirituality who was nurtured by the light and wisdom of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. Swami Vivekananda was the key person behind the founding of the Ramakrishna Mission that has to its credit a large number of social and religious reforms, social service projects and educational and spiritual establishments.
Swami Vivekananda died very young in his early thirties, but the phenomenal achievements he is credited with are for generations to remember. The charismatic personality of Swami-ji inspired the masses all over the world and his stunningly inspiring thoughts breathe wisdom and hopes in the hearts of humans. Here are a few of his thoughts that are timeless and eternal.
1) Love is the Law of Life:
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 law of life, just as you breathe to live.
2) It is Your Outlook that Matters:
It is our own mental attitude that makes the world what it is for us. Our thoughts make things beautiful; our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light.
Our mind has been conditioned to think, feel and act in a particular way due to the impressions that it has gathered in the past, in this life as well as innumerable previous lives. We need to de-condition our minds to prevent it from being affected negatively by the happenings around us.
3) Life is Beautiful:
First, believe in this world – that there is meaning behind everything. Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful. If you see something evil, interpret it to mean that you do not yet understand it in the right light. Throw the burden on yourselves!
4) It is the Way You Feel:
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.
5) Set Yourself Free:
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.
6) Don’t Play the Blame Game – 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.
When the cause of one’s suffering is diagnosed to be a person, it leaves one with a sense of victim-hood. All violence, racial discord and inter-personal strife are just manifestations of this perceived ‘victimization’ that is derived from our obsession to somehow fix the blame. Remember everybody’s life is shaped by his / her destiny, which has now become his / her, reality. We have only ourselves to blame for all the joys and sorrows that come in our lives which is the result of our own past karma-s (actions).
Neither seek nor avoid, take what comes. 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.
7) Be Selfless:
If money helps 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.
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.
8) Uphold Your Ideals:
Our duty is to encourage everyone in his struggle to live up to his own highest ideal and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.
9) Listen to Your Soul:
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.
10) Be Yourself:
Learn everything that is good from others, but bring it in and in your own way absorb it; do not become others. The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature.
If you compare yourself with anyone in this world, you are insulting yourself. Be yourself. Don’t imitate others. Instead of being a poor imitation be hundred per cent original.
You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself. Have faith in yourself!
11) Nothing is Impossible:
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. 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 lunatic, as most of us do nowadays. You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.
12) You have the Power:
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.
13) Learn Every Day:
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.
14) Be Truthful:
Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.
15) Be Careful:
The fire that warms us can also consume us; it is not the fault of the fire.
Therefore, be careful and aware at all times.
16) Think Oneness:
All differences in this world are of degree and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.