Quotes 801 – 900
They talk of patriotism. I believe in patriotism, and I also have my own ideal of patriotism. Three things are necessary for great achievements. First, feel from the heart. What is in the intellect or reason? It goes a few steps and there it stops. But through the heart comes inspiration. Love opens the most impossible gates; love is the gate to all the secrets of the universe. Feel, therefore, my would - be - reformers, my would-be-patriots! Do you feel? Do you feel that millions and millions of the descendants of gods and of sages have become next door neighbours to brutes? Do you feel that millions are starving today, and millions have been starving for ages? Do you feel that ignorance has come over the land as a dark cloud? Does it make you restless? Does it make you sleepless? Has it gone into your blood, coursing through your veins, becoming consonant with your heartbeats? Has it made you almost mad? Are you seized with that one idea of the misery of ruin, and have you forgotten all about your name, your fame, your wives, your children, your property, even your own bodies? Have you done that? This is the first step to become a patriot, the very first step.
Let us never, never, forget our ideal!
I pray that he may never come back again to this dirty hole they call the Earth. Neither may he be born in heaven or any other horrid place. May he never again wear a body — good or bad, thick or thin. What a humbug and illusion this world is, Mother, what a mockery this life. I pray constantly that all mankind will come to know the reality, i.e. God, and this Shop here be closed for ever. (commenting on death of a friend).
The less you read, the better. Read the Gita and other good works on Vedanta. That is all you need.
The present system of education is all wrong. The mind is crammed with facts before it knows how to think. Control of the mind should be taught first. If I had my education to get over again and had any voice in the matter, I would learn to master my mind first, and then gather facts if I wanted them. It takes people a long time to learn things because they can't concentrate their minds at will.
If a bad time comes, what of that? The pendulum must swing back to the other side. But that is no better. The thing to do is to stop it
You people in this country are so afraid of losing your in-di-vid-u-al-i-ty! Why, you are not individuals yet. When you realise your whole nature, you will attain your true individuality, not before.
Don't you know that all the progress ever made in the world was made by conquering nature? We are to resist nature at every point if we are to make any progress.
Your own name is infinitely more perfect than the person you! The name of God is greater than God. Guard your speech!
Without self, there would have been no religious system. If man had not wanted anything for himself, do you think he would have had all this praying and worship? Why! he would never have thought of God at all, except perhaps for a little praise now and then, at the sight of a beautiful landscape or something. And that is the only attitude there ought to be. All praise and thanks. If only we were rid of self!
You may pray to everyone that was ever born, but who will come to help you?... Help thyself out by thyself. None else can help thee, friend... Get hold of the Self, then. Stand up. Don't be afraid. In the midst of all miseries and all weakness, let the Self come out, faint and imperceptible though it be at first.
It is a tremendous error to feel helpless. Do not seek help from anyone. We are our own help. If we cannot help ourselves, there is none to help us... this is the last and greatest lesson, and oh, what a time it takes to learn it!... Just think of that huge mass of misery, and all caused by this false idea of going to seek for help!
Good and evil thoughts are each a potent power, and they fill the universe. As vibration continues, so thought remains in the form of thought until translated into action. For example, force is latent in the man's arm until he strikes a blow, when he translates it into activity. We are the heirs of good and evil thought. If we make ourselves pure and the instruments of good thoughts, these will enter us. The good soul will not be receptive to evil thoughts.
What work do you expect from men of little hearts? Nothing in the world! You must have an iron will if you would cross the ocean. You must be strong enough to pierce mountains.
Ninety percent of thought-force is wasted by ordinary human being, and therefore he is constantly committing blunders; the trained man or mind never makes a mistake.
The difference between men and the animals is the difference in their power of concentration. All success in any line of work is the result of this...The difference in their power of concentration also constitutes the difference between man and man. Compare the lowest with the highest man. The difference is in the degree of concentration.
Free! We who cannot, for a moment, govern our own minds, nay, cannot hold our minds on a subject, focus it on a point to the exclusion of everything else for a moment! Yet we call ourselves free. Think of it!... The mind uncontrolled and unguided will drag us down, for ever-rend us, kill us; and the mind controlled and guided will save us, free us.
No force can be created; it can only be directed. Therefore we must learn to control the grand powers that are already in our hands and by will power make them spiritual instead of merely animal. Thus it is clearly seen that chastity is the cornerstone of all morality and of all religion.
The whole world is going towards death; everything dies. All our progress, our vanities, our reforms, our luxuries, our wealth, our knowledge, have that one end — death. That is all that is certain. Cities come and go, empires rise and fall, planets break into pieces and crumble into dust, to be blown about by the atmospheres of other planets. Thus it has been going on from time without beginning. Death is the end of everything. Death is the end of life, of beauty, of wealth, of power, of virtue too. Saints die and sinners die, kings die and beggars die. They are all going to death, and yet this tremendous clinging on to life exists. Somehow, we do not know why, we cling to life; we cannot give it up. And this is Maya.
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.
All the great prophets, saints and seers of the world-what did they do? In one span of life they lived the whole life of humanity, traversed the whole length of time that it takes ordinary humanity to come to perfection. In one life they perfect themselves; they have no thought for anything else, never live a moment for any other idea, and thus the way is shortened for them. This is what is meant by concentration, intensifying the power of assimilation, thus shortening the time.
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 leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.... If we really want to be blessed, and make others blessed, we must go deeper.
Stand up and fight! Not 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! Death means only a change of garment. What of it? Thus fight! You gain nothing by becoming cowards. Taking a step backward, you do not avoid any misfortune. You have cried to all the Gods of the world. Has misery ceased?.. The Gods come to help you when you have succeeded. So what is the use? Die game.... You are infinite, deathless, birthless. Because you are infinite spirit, it does not befit you to be a slave. Arise! Awake! Stand up and fight!
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.' Even the poison of a snake is powerless if you can firmly deny it.'
Can anything be done unless everybody exerts himself to the utmost? It is the man of action, the lion-heart, that the Goddess of Wealth resorts to. No need of looking behind. Forward! We want infinite energy, infinite zeal, infinite courage, and infinite patience, then only will great things be achieved.
Death is better than a vegetating ignorant life; it is better to die on the battlefield than to live a life of defeat... Come, do something heroic! Brother, what if you do not attain mukti, what if you suffer damnation a few times?
To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. 'I will drink the ocean,' says the persevering soul, 'at my will mountains will crumble up.' Have that sort of energy, that sort of will, work hard, and you will reach the goal.
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.
This is the one question I put to every man....Are you strong? Do you feel strength? - for I know it is truth alone that gives strength... Strength is the medicine for the world's disease.fade
If there is one word that you find coming out like a bomb from the Upanishads, bursting like a bomb-shell upon masses of ignorance, it is the word FEARLESSNESS. If you look, you will find that I have never quoted anything but the Upanishads. And of the Upanishads, it is only that one idea STRENGTH. The quintessence of the Vedas and the Vedanta all lies in that one word.
The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength. Teach men of the strength that is already within them.
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.
Ye are the Children of God, the sharers of immortal bliss, holy and perfect beings. Ye divinities on earth-sinners! It is a sin to call a man so; it is a standing libel on human nature. Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blessed and eternal.
Never say, 'No', never say, 'I cannot', for you are infinite. Even time and space are as nothing compared with your nature. You can do anything and everything, you are almighty.
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. All the help that has come was from within yourselves.
Why does man look for a God? Why does man, in every nation, in every state of society, want a perfect ideal somewhere, either in man, in God, or elsewhere? Because that idea is within you. It was your own heart beating and you did not know; you were mistaking it for something external. It is the God within your own self that is propelling you to seek for Him, to realise Him. After long searches here and there, in temples and in churches, in earths and in heavens, at last you come back, completing the circle from where you started, to your own soul and find that He for whom you have been seeking all over the world, for whom you have been weeping and praying in churches and temples, on whom you were looking as the mystery of all mysteries shrouded in the clouds, is nearest of the near, is your own Self, the reality of your life, body, and soul. That is your own nature. Assert it, manifest it.
We are to take care of ourselves - that much we can do - and give up attending to others for a time. Let us perfect the means; the end will take care of itself. For the world can be good and pure, only if our lives are good and pure. It is an effect, and we are the means. Therefore, let us purify ourselves. Let us make ourselves perfect.
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.
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.
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.
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 nation loses faith, death comes.
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.
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.
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.
If the Parliament of Religions has shown anything to the world it is this: It has proved to the world that holiness, purity and charity are not the exclusive possessions of any church in the world, and that every system has produced men and women of the most exalted character. In the face of this evidence, if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of the others, I pity him from the bottom of my heart, and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance: 'Help and not Fight,' 'Assimilation and not Destruction,' 'Harmony and Peace and not Dissension.'
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.
This life is short, the vanities of the world are transient;they alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.
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.
Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within, 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.
What is the proof of God? Direct perception, Pratyaksha. The proof of this wall is that I perceive it. God has been perceived that way by thousands before, and will be perceived by all who want to perceive Him.
No Life will be a failure; there is no such thing as failure in the universe. A hundred times man will hurt himself, a thousand times he will tumble, but in the End he will realize that he is God
Humanity travels from Lower Truth to higher truth but never from error to truth.
Of one thing I am sure - that whoever wants to help his fellow beings through genuine love and unselfishness will work wonders.
As for you, my dear, noble, kind friend, I only would say this - we Indians lack in many things, but there is none on earth to beat us in gratefulness
I believe with you that the world is evil - made more hideous with a few dashes of good. All our works have only this value, that they awaken some to the reality of this horror-and those flee for refuge to some place beyond, which is called God, or Christ, or Brahma, or Buddha, etc. Names do not make much difference.
Happiness is liked so much because it is so rare, is it not? Fifty percent of our life is mere lethargy, ennui; of the rest, forty percent is pain, only ten happiness and this for the exceptionally fortunate.
Don't be afraid of expenses. Mother has amply provided that and will provide, so long I am unselfish.
The one great lesson I was taught is that life is misery, nothing but misery. Mother knows what is best. Each one of us is in the hands of Karma-it works out itself, and no nay. There is only one element in life which is worth having at any cost-and it is love. Love immense and infinite, broad as the sky and deep as the ocean. This is the one great gain in life. Blessed is he who gets it.
No foreign language can be learnt properly unless you talk in it from childhood.
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.
'Why did God create me so miserable?' He did not. He gave me the same powers as (He did) to every being. I brought myself to this pass.
We learn that, in the first place, we have been existing eternally; in the second place that 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 follows that having been ourselves the makers of our Karma, we must also be able to unmake it.
Knowledge will remove all misery. Knowledge will make us free. This is the idea of Jnana-Yoga: knowledge will make us free! What knowledge? Chemistry? Physics? Astronomy? Geology? They help us a little, just a little. But the chief knowledge is that of your own nature. 'Know thyself.' You must know what you are, what your real nature is. You must become conscious of that infinite nature within. Then your bondages will burst.
Studying the external alone, man begins to feel himself to be nothing. These vast powers of nature, these tremendous changes occurring-whole communities wiped off the face of the earth in a twinkling of time, one volcanic eruption shattering to pieces whole continents-perceiving and studying these things, man begins to feel himself weak. Therefore, it is not the study of external nature that makes (one) strong. But there is the internal nature of man-a million times more powerful than any volcanic eruption or any law of nature-which conquers nature, triumphs over all its laws. And that alone teaches man what he is.
'Knowledge is power', says the proverb, does it not? It is through knowledge that power comes. Man has got to know. Here is a man of infinite power and strength. He himself is by his own nature potent and omniscient. And this he must know. And the more he becomes conscious of his own Self, the more he manifests this power, and his bonds break and at last he becomes free.
Which is the goal of man? Enjoyment or knowledge? Certainly not enjoyment. Man is not born to have pleasure or to suffer pain. Knowledge is the goal. Knowledge is the only pleasure we can have.
The Bhakti-Yogi must hold himself as a dead man. A dead man never takes an insult, never retaliates; he is dead to everyone. The Bhakti-Yogi must reverence all good people, all saintly people, for the glory of the Lord shines always through His children.
It makes me rather patriotic to think I am born a Hindu, a descendant of the only race that never went out to hurt anyone, and whose only action upon humanity has been giving and enlightening and purifying and teaching, but never robbing.
Everything that makes for unity is moral, everything that makes for diversity is immoral.
He is the learned man who sees that every man's property is nothing. Every woman his Mother.
Each one has a special nature peculiar to himself which he must follow and through which he will find his way to freedom. Your teacher should be able to tell you what your particular path in nature is and to put you in it. He should know by your face where you belong and should be able to indicate it to you. We should 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. Therefore when you find it, never swerve from it. Your way is the best for you, but that is no sign it is the best for another.
Though I often say strange things and angry things, yet remember that in my heart I never seriously mean to preach anything but love! All these things will come right only when we realize that we love each other.
Buddha! Buddha! Surely he was the greatest man who ever lived. He never drew a breath for himself. Above all, he never claimed worship. He said, 'Buddha is not a man, but a state. I have found the door. Enter, all of you!' He went to the feast of Ambâpâli, 'the sinner'. He dined with the pariah, though he knew it would kill him, and sent a message to his host on his death-bed, thanking him for the great deliverance. Full of love and pity for a little goat, even before he had attained the truth! You remember how he offered his own head, that of prince and monk, if only the king would spare the kid that he was about to sacrifice, and how the king was so struck by his compassion that he saved its life? Such a mixture of rationalism and feeling was never seen! Surely, surely, there was none like him!
The national life in India has renunciation as its source. Its highest ideals are service and Mukti.
In one's greatest hour of need one stands alone.
Do not show me sights. I have seen the Himalayas! I would not go ten steps to see sights; but I would go a thousand miles to see a great human being!
When once you consider an action, do not let anything dissuade you. Consult your heart, not others, and then follow its dictates.
In my first speech in this country, in Chicago, I addressed that audience as 'Sisters and Brothers of America', and you know that they all rose to their feet. You may wonder what made them do this, you may wonder if I had some strange power. Let me tell you that I did have a power and this is it never once in my life did I allow myself to have even one sexual thought. I trained my mind, my thinking, and the powers that man usually uses along that line I put into a higher channel, and it developed a force so strong that nothing could resist it.
You see, there is one thing called love, and there is another thing called union. And union is greater than love.
For patriotism, the Japanese! For purity, the Hindu! And for manliness, the European! There is no other in the world who understands, as does the Englishman, what should be the glory of a man!
The story given in the Mahâbhârata of the young saint who was made to seek enlightenment, first from a married woman and then from a butcher, is sufficient to show this. 'By doing my duty', said each one of these when asked, 'by doing my duty in my own station, have I attained this knowledge'. There is no career then which might not be the path to God. The question of attainment depends only, in the last resort, on the thirst of the soul.
How often does a man ruin his disciples by remaining always with them! When men are once trained, it is essential that their leader leaves them; for without his absence they cannot develop themselves!
I condemn nothing that I find in nation, state or religion, finding God in all. Our growth is not from evil to good, but from good to better, and so on and on. I learn from all that is called evil or good. The nation and all such nonsense may go. It is love, love, love God and my brother.
The main criticism I have to pass on America is that you have too little religion here. In India they have too much. I think the world would be better if some of India's surplus of religion could be sent over here, while it would be to India's profit if its people could have some of America's industrial advancement and civilization.
The great need of the world is less law, and more godly men and women.
You want breath, without it you cannot live; you want bread, without it you cannot live; you want a house, without it you cannot live. When you want God as you want these things, He manifests himself to you. It is a great thing to want God.
Religion is not an outgrowth of fear; religion is joyous. It is the spontaneous outburst of the songs of birds and the beautiful sight of the morning. It is an expression of the spirit. It is from within an expression of the free and noble spirit.
If misery is religion, what is hell? No man has a right to make himself miserable. To do so is a mistake; it is a sin. Every peal of laughter is a prayer sent to God.
Religion is not in books, not in forms, not in sects, not in nations; religion is in the human heart. It is engraved there. The proof of it is in ourselves.
It is love alone that can conquer hatred. If there is power in hate there is infinitely more power in love.
Let me help my fellowman; that is all I seek,
We must learn to love those who think exactly opposite to us. We must learn to love the man who differs from us in opinion
We must not seek that all of us should think alike, like Egyptian mummies in a museum, looking at each other without thought to think. It is this difference of thought, this differentiation, losing of the balance of thought, which is the very soul of our progress, the soul of thought.
A handful of strong men, knowing that Self, and living in its light, would revolutionize the world, even today, as has been the case of single strong men before, each in his day.
The world, the family and social life, are all training grounds, that is all.
Too many people bring down their ideals. They want a comfortable religion, but there is none such. It is all self-surrender and upward striving.
He who dares to seek the truth for truth's sake is greatest among men.
When Herbert Spencer's voice says that the same life welling up in the plant is the life welling up in the individual, the Indian religion has found a voice in the nineteenth century.
Individual development is impossible with ignorance and slavery.
The Hindus of modern times are generally hypocrites. They must rise, and combine the faith in the true Vedic religion, with a knowledge of the political and scientific truths of the Europeans.
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