Suresh Limbachiya


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Swami Vivekananda : “Call to the Youth For Nation Building”

Posted by Suresh Limbachiya on 30/04/2011

 Swami Vivekananda 

 “Call to the Youth For Nation Building”


  •  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. 


  • The history of the world is the history of a few men who had faith in themselves. That faith calls 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 a nation loses faith, death comes.


  • 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.    


  • Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is greatest hearsay to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin – to say that you are weak, or others are weak.
  • Be free; hope for nothing from anyone. I am sure, if you look back upon your lives, you will find that you were always trying to get help from others, which never came. All the help that has come was from within yourselves.


  • 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.


  • 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 blest and eternal.


  • 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.


  • The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength. Teach men of strength that is already within them.


  • If there is one word you find coming like a bomb from the Upnishads, 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 Upnishads. And of the Upnishads, it is only that one idea, strength. The quintessence of the Vedas and Vedanta and all lies in that word.  


  • Be strong, my young friends, that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to heaven through football than through 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.


  • This is one question I put to every men…..Are you strong? Do you feel strength? – For I know it is the truth alone that gives strength…….Strength is the medicine for the world’s disease.


  • This is great fact; Strength is life; weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal; weakness is constant strain and misery, weakness is death.    


  • 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.


  • Men, men, these are wanted; everything else will be ready, but strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone, are wanted. A hundred such and the world become revolutionized.


  • Are not drums made in the country? Are not trumpets and kettle-drums available inIndia? Make the boys hear the deep-toned sound of these instruments. Hearing from boyhood the sound of these effeminate forms of music, …… the country is well-nigh converted into a country of women.


  • Death is better than a vegetating ignorant life; it is better to die on the battle-field 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? Is the saying untrue: ‘There are some saints who, full of holiness in thought, word, and deed, please the whole world by their numerous beneficent acts, and who develop their own hearts by magnifying an atom of virtue in others as if it were as great a mountain.’


  • Can anything be done unless everybody exerts himself to his 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.             


  • Be not in despair; the way is very difficult, like walking on the edge of a razor; yet despair not, arise, awake, and find the ideal, the goal.


  • Why weepest thou, brother? There is neither death, nor disease for thee. Why weepest thou, brother? There is neither misery, nor misfortune for thee. Why weepest thou, brother? Neither change nor death was predicted of thee. Thou art Existence Absolute. …… Be your own self.


  • 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 – all power is in you – be conscious and bring it out. Say, ‘I can do everything’. ‘Even the poison of snake is powerless, if you can firmly deny it.’


  • Once when I was in Varanasi, I was passing through a place where there was a large tank of water on one side and high wall on the other. It was in the grounds where there were many monkeys. The monkeys of Varanasi are huge brutes and sometimes surly. They now took it into their heads not to allow me to pass through their street, so they howled and shrieked and clutched at my feet as I passed. As they pressed closer, I began to run, but the faster I ran, the faster came the monkeys, and they began to bite at me. It seemed impossible to escape, but just then I met a stranger who called to me, ‘Face the brutes’. I turned and faced the monkeys, and they fell back and finally fled. That is the lesson for all life – face the terrible, face it boldly.


  • Stand up and fight! Not one step, back, that is the idea. Fight it out, whatever comes. Let the stars move from the spheres! 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 Gods in the world. Has miseries ceased? ….The Gods come to help you when you have succeeded. So what is the use? Die game. You are infinite, deathless, birth less. Because you are infinite spirit, it does not befit you to be a slave. Arise! Awake! Stand up and fight!


  • Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, and live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea alone. This is the way to success. ….. If we really want to be blessed, and make others blessed, we must go deeper.


  • All the great prophets, saints, and the 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 the 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.


  • 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 shoes better; the cook with concentration will cook a meal all the better. In making money, or in worshipping God, or in doing anything, the better 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, and lets out the floods of light.


  • How has all the knowledge in the world been gained but the concentration of the powers of mind? The world is ready to give 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 concentration it is, the more power is brought to bean on one point; that is the secret.


  • 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 animal. Thus it is clearly seen that chastity is the cornerstone of all morality and of all religions.


  • 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, down, forever – rend us, kill us; and the mind controlled and guided will save us, free us.


  • The main 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 the 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.


  • Ninety percent of thought-force is wasted by the ordinary human being, therefore he is constantly committing blunders; the trained man or mind never makes a mistake.


  • What work you do except from the 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.


  • 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 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.  


  • In the history of mankind, you will find that there come Messengers, and that from their very birth there mission is found and formed. The whole plan is there, laid down; and you see them swerving not one inch from that. Because they come with a mission, they come with a message… When they speak, each word is direct; it bursts like a bomb-shell. What is in the word, unless it has the Power behind? What matters is what language you speak, and how you arrange your language? What matters it whether you speak correct grammar or with fine rhetoric? What matters it whether your language is ornamental or not? The question is: Whether or not you have anything to give? It is a question of giving and taking, and not listening. Have you anything to give? – That is the first question. If you have, then, give.


  • Whatever you do, devote your whole mind, heart and soul to it. I once met a great sannyasi, who cleansed his brass cooking utensils, making them shine like gold, with as much care and attention as he bestowed on his worship and meditation.


  • How to attain purity living this life? Shall we all go to the forest caves? What good it would do? If the mind is not under control, it is no use living in a cave because the same mind will bring disturbances there. We will find twenty devils in the cave because all the devils are in mind. If the mind is under control, we can have the cave anywhere, wherever we are. It is our own mental attitude which 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 proper light.


  • What do I care if Mohammed was a good man, or Buddha! Does that alter my own goodness or evil? Let us be good for our own sake and our own responsibility! Not because somebody way back there was good!


  • We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.


  • This human body is the greatest body in the universe, and the human being the greatest being. Man is higher than all animals, than all angels; none is greater than man.


  • Man is man, so long as he is struggling to rise above nature, and his nature is both internal and external. ……. And if we read the history of nations between the lines, we shall always find that the rise of a nation comes with an increase in the number of such men; and the fall begins when the pursuit after the Infinite, however vain the Utilitarian may call it, has ceased. That is to say, the mainspring of the strength of every race lies in its spirituality, and the death of that race begins the day that spirituality wanes and materialism gains ground.


  • This world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.    


  • All healthy social changes are the manifestations of the spiritual forces working within, and if these are strong and well adjusted. Society will arrange itself accordingly. Each individual has to work out his own salvation; there is no other way, and so also with nations. ….. It is very easy to point out the defects of institutions, all being more or less imperfect, but he is the real benefactor of humanity who helps the individual to overcome his imperfections under whatever institutions he may live. The individuals being raised, the nation and its institutions are bound to rise.


  • You have to grow from inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul


  • Men in general lay all the blame of life on their fellowmen, or, failing that, on God, or they conjure up a ghost, and say it is fate. Where is fate, and who is fate? We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none has the praise. The wind is blowing; and those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not catch the wind. Is the fault of the wind?


  • Say, ‘This misery that I am suffering is of my own doing, and that very thing proves that it will have to be undone by me alone.’ That which I created, I can demolish; that which is created by someone else, I shall never be able to destroy. Therefore, stand up, be bold, and be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succor you want is within you.  


  • Make your own future. ‘Let the dead past bury its dead.’ The infinite future is before you, and you must always remember that each word, thought and deed lays up a store for you, and that as the bad thoughts and bad works are ready to spring upon like tigers, so also there is the inspiring hope that the good thoughts and good deeds are ready with the power of hundred thousand angels to defend you always and for ever.  


  • ‘Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die.’ Be of good cheer and believe that we are selected by the Lord to do great things, and we will do them.


  • Unfortunately, in this life, the vast majority of persons are groping through this dark life without any ideal at all. If a man with an ideal makes a thousand mistakes, I am sure that the man without an ideal makes fifty thousand.  Therefore, it is better to have an ideal.


  • Man begins to struggle and fight against nature. He makes many mistakes, he suffers. But eventually, he conquers nature and realizes his freedom. When he is free, nature becomes his slave.


  • I disagree with the idea that freedom is obedience to the law of nature. I do not understand what that means. According to history of human progress, it is disobedience to nature that has constituted that progress.


  • 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.


  • What is the use of fighting and complaining? That will not help us to better things. He who grumbles at the little thing that has fallen to his lot to do, will grumble at everything. Always grumbling, he will lead a miserable life, and everything will be a failure. But that man, who does his duty as he goes, putting his shoulder to the wheel, will see the light, and higher and higher duties will fall to his share.     


  • Do not fly away from the wheels of the world-machine, but stand aside it and learn the secret of work. Through proper work done inside, it is also possible to come out.


  • Every thought that we think, every deed we do, after a, certain becomes fine, goes into seed form, so to speak, and lives in the fine body in a potential form, and after a time, it emerges again and bears its results. These results condition the life of man. Thus he moulds his own life. Man is not bound by any laws excepting those which he makes for himself.


  • My ideal, indeed, can be put into a few words, and that is: to preach unto mankind their Divinity and how to make it manifest in every movement of life.


  • Purity, patience, and perseverance are the three essentials to success, and above all – love.


  • Life is ever expanding, contraction is death. The self-seeking man who is looking after his personal comforts and leading a lazy life – there is no room for him even in hell.  


  • I am sure God will pardon a man who will use his reason and cannot believe, rather than a man who believes blindly instead of using his faculties He has given him. ……. We must reason; and when reason proves to us the truth of these prophets and great men and about whom the ancient books speak in every country, we shall believe in them. We shall believe in them when we see such prophets among ourselves. We shall then find that they were not peculiar men, but only illustrations of certain principals.


  • Why should you not try to hit the mark? We become wiser through failures. Time is infinite. Look at the wall. Did the wall ever tell a lie? It is always the wall. Man tells a lie – and becomes a God, too. It is better to do something; never mind even if it proves to be wrong; it is better than doing nothing. The cow never tells a lie; but she remains a cow, all the time. Do something!


  • Go on doing good, thinking holy thoughts continuously that is the only way to suppress base impressions. Never say any man is hopeless, because he only represents a character, a bundle of habits, which can be checked by new and better ones. Character is repeated habits, and repeated habits alone can reform character. …. The chaste brain has tremendous energy and gigantic will power.


  • We can overcome the difficulty by constant practice. We must learn that nothing can happen to us, unless we make ourselves susceptible to it.


  • I was once travelling in the Himalayas and the long road stretched before us. We poor monks cannot get anybody to carry us, so we had to make all the way on foot. There was an old man with us. …… He said, ‘Oh, Sir, how to cross it; I cannot walk any more; my chest will break.’ I said to him, ‘Look down at your feet.’ He did so, and I said, ‘The road that is under your feet is that you have passed and is the same road that you see before you; it will be soon under your feet.’ The highest things are under your feet, because you are Divine Stars.


  • ‘It is the coward and the fool who says, “This is my fate”’ – so says the Sanskrit proverb. But it is the strong man who stands up and says, ‘I will make my own fate’. It is people who are getting old who talk of fate. Young men generally do not come to astrology.


  • If you really want to judge the character of a man, look not at his great performances. Every fool may become a hero at one time or another. Watch a man do his most common actions; those are indeed the things which will tell you the real character of a great man. Great occasions rouse even the lowest of human beings to some kind of greatness, but he alone is the really great man whose character is great always, the same wherever he be.


  • Every good thought that we send to the world, without thinking of any return, will be stored up there and break one link in the chain, and make us purer and purer, until we become the purest of mortals


  • If you project hatred and jealousy, they will rebound on you with compound interest. No power can avert them; when once you put them in motion, you will have to bear them. Remembering this will prevent you from doing wicked things.


  • Everything is conscious which rebels against nature: there, consciousness is manifested. Just try to kill a little ant, even it will once resist to save its life. Where there is struggle, where there is rebellion, there is the sign of life, their consciousness is manifested.


  • Isn’t it man that makes money? Where did you ever hear of money making man? If you can make your thoughts and words perfectly at one, if you can, I say, make yourself one in speech and action, money will pour in at your feet of itself, like water


  • The road to the Good is the roughest and steepest in the universe. It is a wonder that so many succeed no wonder so many falls. Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles.


  • Each work has to pass through these stages – ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Each man who thinks ahead of his time is sure to be misunderstood. So the opposition and persecution are welcome, only I have to be steady and pure and must have immense faith in God, and all these will vanish.


  • 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.


  • Each one thinks his method is best. Very good! But remember, it may be good for you. One food which is very indigestible to one is very digestible to another. Because it is very good for you, do not jump to the conclusion that your method is everybody’s method, that Jack’s coat fits John and Mary. All the uneducated, uncultured, unthinking men and women have been put into that sort of strait jacket! Think for yourselves. Become atheists! Become materialists! That would be better. Exercise the mind! What right, have you to say that this man’s method is wrong? It may be wrong for you. That is to say, if you undertake the method, you will be degraded; but that does not mean that he will be degraded. Therefore, if you have knowledge and see a man weak, do not condemn him. Go to his level and help him if you can. He must grow. I can put five bucket-fuls of knowledge into his head in five hours. But what good will it do? He will be a little worse than before.


  • Go and preach to all: ‘Arise, awake, sleep no more; within each of you, there is power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe this, and that power will be manifested.’ …… If you can think that infinite power, infinite knowledge, and indomitable energy lie within you, and if you can bring out that power, you also can become like me.


  • Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.


  • What is education? Is it book-learning? No. Is it diverse knowledge? Not even that. The training by which the current and expression of will are brought under control and become fruitful is called education.


  • To me the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collecting facts. If I had to do my education over again, and had any voice in the matter, I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration and detachment, and then with a perfect instrument I could collect facts at will.    


  • 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 his, own legs.


  • Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested all your life. We must have life-building, man-making, character-making, assimilation of ideas. If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library.


  • Knowledge is inherent in man; no knowledge comes from outside; it is all inside. …. We sayNewtondiscovered gravitation. Was it sitting anywhere in a corner waiting for him? It was in his mind; the time came and he found it out. All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind, the infinite library of the universe is in your own mind. The external world is simply the suggestion, the occasion, which sets you to study your own mind.


  • Every one wants to command, and no one wants to obey; and this is owing to the absence of that wonderful brahmacharya system of yore. First, learn to obey. The command will come by itself. Always first learn to be a servant and then you will be fit to be a master.


  • Education, education, education, education alone! Travelling through many cities of Europeand observing in them the comforts and education of even the poor people, there was brought to my mind the state of our own poor people, and I used to shed tears. What made the difference? Education was the answer I got
  • What we want is the shraddha. Unfortunately, it has nearly vanished from India, and this is why we are in our present state. What makes the difference between man and man is the difference in this shraddha and nothing else. What makes one man great and another weak and low is this shraddha.


  • Give up the awful disease that is creeping into our national blood, that idea of ridiculing everything, that loss of seriousness. Give that up. Be strong and have this shraddha, and everything else is bound to follow.


  • The only service to be done for our lower classes is to give them education, to develop their lost individuality. ……. Give them ideas – that is the only help they require, and then the rest must follow as the effect. Ours is to put the chemicals together, the crystallization comes in the law of nature. ….. Now if the mountain does not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to mountain. If the poor boy cannot come to education, education must go to him
  • We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.  
  • Is that education, as a result of which the well being continuously choked by force through generations, is now well-nigh killed out; under whose sway, why mention new ideas, even the old ones are disappearing one by one; is that education which is slowly making man a machine? It is more blessed, in my opinion, even to go wrong, impelled by one’s free will and intelligence, than to be good as automation.
  • What we want are western science coupled with Vedanta, brahmacharya as the guiding motto, and also shraddha and faith in one’s own self. ….. Vedanta says that within man is all knowledge – even in a boy it is so – and it requires only awakening, and that much is the work of a teacher. …… But the root is religion. Religion is as rice, and everything else, like the curries. Taking only curries causes indigestion, and so is the case with taking rice alone.
  • Do you see, simply by observance of strict brahmacharya (continence), all learning can be mastered in a very short time – one has an unfailing memory of what one hears or knows but once. It is owing to this want of continence that everything is on the brink of ruin in our country.
  • My idea of education is personal contact with the teacher – gurugraha – vasa. Without the personal life of a teacher, there should be no education. Take your universities, what have they done during the fifty years (this was said in 1897) of their existence? They have not produced one original man. They are merely examining body. The idea of the sacrifice for the common weal is not yet developed in our nation.
  • Truth does not pay homage to any society, ancient and modern. Society has to pay homage to Truth or die. Societies should be molded upon the truth, and truth has not to adjust itself to the society. …. That society is the greatest, where the highest truths become practical. That is my opinion; and society is not fit for the highest truths, make it so; and the sooner, the better.


  • I say, liberate, undo the shackles of people as much as you can. ….. When you would be able to sacrifice all desire for happiness for the sake of society, then you would be the Buddha, then you would be free.
  •  Three things are necessary to make ever man great, every nation great.    1. Conviction of the powers of goodness. 2. Absence of jealousy and suspicion.  3. Helping all who are trying to be and do well.
  •   If your ideal is matter, matter shalt thou be. Behold! Our ideal is the Spirit. That alone exists. Nothing else exists, and like Him, we live fore ever
  • The Hindu man drinks religiously, sleeps religiously, walks religiously, marries religiously, robs religiously. …… Each nation has a mission for the world. So long as that mission is not hurt, that nation lives, despite every difficulty. But as soon as its mission is destroyed, the nation collapses.


  • Do you not find in history, that the first death sign of a nation has been ? When that has entered, the end of the race is in sight.
  • Now we are not much more moral than the animals. We are only held down by the whips of society. If society said today. ‘I will not punish you if you steal’, we should just make a rush for each other’s property. It is the policeman that makes us moral. It is social opinion that makes us moral, and really, we are little better than animals.
  • The majority of sects will be transient, and last only as bubbles, because the leaders are not usually men of character. Perfect love, the heart never reacting, this is what builds character. There is no allegiance possible where there is no character in the leader, and perfect purity ensures the most lasting allegiance and confidence. Take up an idea, devote yourself to it, struggle on in patience, and the sun will rise for you.
  • We are asked: What good is your religion to society? Society is made a test of truth. Now this is very illogical. Society is only a stage of growth through which we are passing. ….. If the social state were permanent, it would be the same as if the baby remained a baby. There can be no perfect man-baby; the words are a contradiction in terms, so there can be no perfect society. Man must and will grow out of such early stages. …… My Master used to say, ‘Why don’t you help your own lotus flower to bloom? The bees will then come of themselves.’
  • Do not recognize wickedness in others. Wickedness is ignorance, weakness. What is the good of telling people they are weak? Criticism and destruction are of no avail. We must give them something higher; tell them of their own glorious nature, their birthright.
  • What I say is not ‘Reform’, but ‘Move on’. Nothing is too bad to reform. Adaptability is the whole mystery of life – the principle underneath, which serves to unfold it. Adjustment or adaptation is the outcome of the self-pitted against external forces tending to suppress it. He who adjusts himself best lives the longest. Even if I do not preach this, society is changing, it must change.
  • Nothing else is necessary but these – love, sincerity, and patience. What is life, but growth, i.e. expansion, i.e. loves. Therefore, all love is life, it is the only law of life, all selfishness is death, and this is true here and hereafter. It is life to do well, and it is death not do good to others. Ninety percent of human brutes you see are dead are ghosts – for none lives, my boys, but he who loves.
  • On one side, new India is saying, ‘If we only adopt western ideas, western language, western food, western dress, and western manners, we shall be as strong and powerful as the western nations’; on the other, old India is saying, ‘Fools! By imitation, others’ ideas never become one’s own; nothing, unless earned, is your own. Does the ass in the lion’s skin become the lion? On one side, newIndiais saying, ‘What the western nations do is surely good, otherwise, how did they become so great? On the other side, oldIndiais saying, ‘The flash of lightning is intensely bright, but only for a moment; look out boys, it is dazzling your eyes. Beware!
  • Social life in the West is like a peal of laughter; but underneath, it is a wail. It ends in a sob. The fun and frivolity are all on the surface: really it is full of tragic intensity. Now here, it is sad and gloomy on the outside, but underneath are carelessness and merriment.
  • As far back as the days of the Upnishads, we have thrown the challenge to the world: ‘Not by progeny, not by wealth, but by renunciation alone immortality is reached.’ Race after race has taken the challenge up and tried their utmost to solve the world-riddle on the plane of desires. They have all failed in the past – the old ones have become extinct under the weight of wickedness and misery, which lust for power and gold brings in its train, and the new ones are tottering to their fall. The question has yet to be decided whether peace will survive or war; whether patience will survive or non-forbearance; whether goodness will survive or wickedness; whether muscle will survive or brain; whether worldliness will survive or spirituality. We have solved our problem ages ago. …. Our solution is unworldliness – renunciation.


  • One of the greatest lessons I have learned in my life is to pay as much attention to the means of work as to its end. ….. I have always been learning great lessons from that one principle, and it appears to me that all the secret of success is there: to pay as much attention to the means as to the end.
  • Our duty to others means helping others; doing good to the world. Why should we do good to the world? Apparently to help the world, but really to help ourselves. ….. Do not stand on a high pedestal and take five cents in your hand and say, ‘Here, my poor man,’ but be grateful that the poor man is there, so that by making a gift to him, you are able to help yourself. It is not the receiver that is blessed, but it is the giver. Be thankful that you are allowed to exercise your power of benevolence and mercy in the world, and thus become pure and perfect.
  • It is the level headed man, the calm man, of good judgment and cool nerves, of great sympathy and love, and who does good work and so does good to himself. 
  • Great work requires great and persistent effort for a long time. Neither need we trouble ourselves, if a few fail. It is in the nature of things that many should fall, that troubles should come, that tremendous difficulties should arise, that selfishness and all the other devils in the human heart should struggle hard, when they are about to be driven out by the fire of spirituality.


  • In doing evil, we injure ourselves and others also. In doing good, we do good to ourselves and to others as well. ….. According to Karmayoga, the action one has done cannot be destroyed until it has borne its fruit; no power in nature can stop it from yielding its results. If I do an evil action, I must suffer for it; there is no power in this universe to stop or to stay it. Similarly, if I do a good action, there is no power in the universe which can stop its bearing good results.  
  • The watchword of all well-being, of all moral good, is not ‘I’ but ‘Thou’. Who cares whether there is heaven or a hell, which cares if there is a soul or not, who cares if there is an unchangeable or not? Here is the world, and it is full of misery. Go out into it as Buddha did, and struggle to lessen it or die in the attempt. Forget yourselves; this is the first lesson to be learnt, whether you are a theist or an atheist, whether you are an agnostic or a Vedantist, a Christian or a Mohammedan. 
  • Buddha is the only prophet who said, ‘I do not care to know your various theories about God. What is the use of discussing all the subtle doctrines about the soul? Do well and be good. And this will take you to the freedom and to whatever truth there is.’ …… He works best who works without any motive, neither for money, nor for fame, nor for anything else; and when a man can do that, he will be a Buddha, and out of him will come the power to work in such a manner as will transform the world.
  • Selfishness is the chief sin, thinking of ourselves first. He who thinks, ‘I will eat first, I will have more money than others, and I will possess everything,’ he who thinks, ‘I will go to heaven before others, I will get to heaven before others, I will get mukti before others’, is the selfish man. The unselfish man says, ‘I will be last, I do not care to go to heaven, I will even go to hell, if by doings so I can help my brothers.’ This unselfishness is the test of religion. He who has more of this unselfishness is more spiritual and nearer to Siva.
  • You cannot help anyone, you can only serve; serve the children of the Lord, serve the Lord Himself, if you have the privilege. If the Lord grants that you can help any one of His children, blessed you are; do not think too much of yourselves. Blessed you are that, that privilege was given to you when others had it not. Do it only as a worship. CW III 246
  • Blessed are we that we are given the privilege of working for Him, not of helping Him. Cut out this word help from your mind. You cannot help; it is blaspheming. You are here yourself at His pleasure. Do you mean to say, you help Him? You worship. When you give a morsel of food to the dog, you worship the dog as God. God is in that dog. He is all and in all.
  • After so much austerity, I have understood this as the real truth – God is present in every jiva; there is no other God beside that. ‘Who serves jiva, serves God indeed.’
  • If in this hell of a world, one can bring a little joy and peace even for a day into the heart of single person, that much alone is true; this I have learnt after suffering all my life; all else is mere moonshine.
  • One idea that I see clear as daylight is that misery is caused by ignorance and nothing else. Who will give the world light? Sacrifice in the past has been the Law; it will be, alas, for the ages to come. The earth’s bravest and best will have to sacrifice themselves for the good of many, for the welfare of all. Buddhas by the hundred are necessary with eternal love and pity.


  • Let us calmly and in manly fashion go to work, instead of dissipating our energy in unnecessary fretting and fuming. I, for one, thoroughly believe that no power in the universe can withhold from anyone anything he really deserves. The past was great no doubt, but I sincerely believe that the future will be more glorious still.
  • Behold how men are already in the jaws of the shark of infatuation! Oh, listen to their piteous heart-rending wails. Advance! Forward! O ye brave souls, to set free those that are in fetters, to lessen the burden of woe of the miserable, and to illumine the abysmal darkness of ignorant hearts. Look, how the Vedanta proclaims by beat of drums, ‘Be fearless!’
  • The only way of getting our divine nature manifested is by helping others to do the same. If there is inequality in nature, still there must be equal chance for all – or if greater for some and for some less – the weaker should be given more chance than the strong. In other words, a Brahmana is not much in need of education as a Chandala. If the son of a Brahmana needs one teacher, that of a Chandala needs ten. For greater help must be given to him whom nature has not endowed with an acute intellect from birth. It is a madman who carries coals to Newcastle. The poor, the downtrodden, the ignorant – let these be your God.   
  • This is the gist of all worship – to be pure and to do well to others. He who sees Siva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Siva; and if he sees Siva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary.


  • The life of Buddha shows that even a man who does not believe in God, has no metaphysics, belongs to no sect, and does not go to any church, or temple, and is a confused materialist, even he can attain to the highest. …. He was the only man who was ever ready to give up his life for animals, to stop a sacrifice. He once said to a king: ‘If the sacrifice of lamb helps you to go to heaven, sacrificing a man will help you better; so sacrifice me.’ The king was astonished.
  • ‘The good live for others alone. The wise man should sacrifice him for others.’ I can secure my own good only by doing your good. There is no other way, none whatsoever.
  • Go from village to village, do good to humanity and to the world at large. Go to hell yourself to buy salvation for others. …… ‘When death is certain, it is better to die for a good cause.’
  • Throughout the history of the world, you find great men make great sacrifices and the mass of mankind enjoy the benefit. If you want to give up everything for your own salvation, it is nothing. Do you want to forgo even your own salvation for the good of the world? You are God, think of that.


  • The world is not for cowards. Do not try to fly. Look not for success or failure. Join yourself to the perfectly unselfish will and work on. Know that mind which is born to succeed join itself to a determined will and perseveres. ….. Live in the midst of the battle of life. Anyone can keep calm in a cave or when asleep. Stand in the whirl and madness of action and reach the center. If you have found the center, you cannot be moved.
  • A hundred thousand men and women, fired with the zeal of holiness, fortified with eternal faith in Lord, and nerved to lion’s courage by their sympathy for the poor and the fallen and the downtrodden, will go over the length and breadth of the land, preaching the gospel of salvation, the gospel of help, the gospel of social raising-up – the gospel of equality.
  • My boy, if you have any respect for my words, the first thing I will advice you to do is to throw open all the doors and windows of your room. In your quarter there are lots of poor people sunk in degradation and misery. You will have to go to them and serve them with your zeal and enthusiasm. Arrange to distribute medicines to those who are sick, and nurse them with all care, supply food to him who is starving, teach with as much as lies in you to the ignorant; and if you begin to serve your brethren in this wise, I tell you, my child, you will surely get peace and consolation


  • Where is that martial spirit which, at the very outset, requires one to know how to serve and obey, and not to practice self-restraint? The martial spirit is not self-assertion, but self-sacrifice. One must be ready to advance and lay down one’s life at the word of command, before he can command the hearts and lives of others. One must sacrifice himself first.
  • It is fear alone that is death. You have to go beyond all fear. So from this day, be fearless. Off at once, to lay down your life for your own liberation and for the good of others. What good it is carrying along a load of bones and flesh!      


  • Trust not the so-called rich; they are more dead than alive. The hope lies in you – in the meek, the lowly, but the faithful. Have faith in the Lord; no policy, it is nothing. Feel for the miserable and look up for help – it shall come. ….. I may perish of cold or hunger in this land, but I bequeath to you, young men, and this sympathy, this struggle for the poor, the ignorant, and the oppressed. ….. Vow, then to devote your whole lives to the cause of redemption of these three hundred millions, going down and down every day.
  • The history of world is of six men of faith, six men of deep pure character. We need to have three things: the heart to feel, the brain to conceive, the hand to work. Make yourself a dynamo. Feel, first for the world. …… Ask yourself, does your mind react in hatred or jealousy? Good works are continually are being undone by the tons of hatred and anger which are being poured out on the world. If you are pure, if you are strong, you, one man, are equal to the whole world.
  • Will such a day come when this life will go for the sake of others’ good? The world is not a child’s play – and great men are those who build highways for others with their heart’s blood. This has been taking place through eternity, that one builds a bridge by laying down his own body, and thousands of others cross the river through its help. Be it so! Be it so!
  • Religion is the idea which is raising a brute unto man and a man unto God.       
  • The definition of God and man: Man is an infinite circle whose circumference is no where, but the center is located in one spot; and God is an infinite circle whose circumference is nowhere but center is everywhere.


  • The difference between God and the devil is in nothing except in unselfishness and selfishness. The devil knows as much as God, is as powerful as God; only he has no holiness – that makes him a devil. Apply the same idea to the modern world: excess of knowledge and power, without holiness, makes human beings devil.
  • Virtue is that which tends to our improvement, and vice is to our degeneration. Man is made of three qualities – brutal, human and godly. That which tends to increase the divinity in you is virtue, and that which tends to increase brutality in you is vice. You must kill the brutal nature and become human, that is, loving and charitable. You must transcend that too and become pure bliss, Sachchidanananda, fire without burning, wonderfully loving, but without the weakness of human love, without the feeling of misery.
  • Unselfishness is God. One may live on a throne, in a golden palace, and be perfectly unselfish; and then he is in God.      


Suresh Limbachiya




4 Responses to “Swami Vivekananda : “Call to the Youth For Nation Building””

  1. Jaimini said

    It’s very inspiring article…and I inspired a lot after reading it,
    Thank u so much swamiji….

  2. Manju Rawat said

    Wow! This article is really amazing! I just wish if I could get the same content in Hindi also.

  3. Marla said

    Amazing! Its genuinely remarkable article, I have got much clear idea regarding from this paragraph.

  4. very nice word ,thanks swami ji/

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