He belongs to the club of greats who transcend all kinds of quality criteria; he always stands beyond the limits of ideologies and political thought. Swami Vivekananda decorates a one-of-its-kind space in the history of modern India as a legendary saint, great social reformer, spiritual master of Indian revolution, and a fantastic raconteur who chilled the masses with his impeccable oratory skills.
He is the man extraordinaire who ruled the public platforms of India and the US in the 19th century. He was the one who first presented the idea of India to an international audience at the Parliament World’s Religions in 1893 through his historic speech which has been widely celebrated as the "Great Chicago Speech of the Hurricane Hindu" since then.
Substance must follow grandiloquent oratories, and it was a perfect fit in the case of Vivekananda as his well-crafted words were bold enough to revive the spirit of Vedic India in the minds of Indian youth.
For people of all time, his words offer an unending source of inspiration to move on in life. On the occasion of his 154th birth anniversary (January 12), here’s a collection of Swami Vivekananda’s inspiring quotes that will force you to look at life from an entirely different dimension. These quotes will make you cheerful and undefeated.
1) Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life.
2) What makes one man great and another weak and low is shraddha (concentration).
3) Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.
4) A nation is advanced in proportion to education and intelligence spread among the masses.
5) Blows are what awaken us and help to break the dream.
6) All that man has to do is to take care of three things; good thought, good word, good deed.
7) Slave wants power to make slaves.
8) If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.
9) Infinite patience, infinite purity and infinite perseverance are the secret of success in a good cause.
10) Instinct is like ice, reason is the water, and inspiration is the subtlest form of vapour.
11) He who can become mad with an idea, he alone sees light.
12) All the strength and succour you want is within yourself. Therefore make your own future.
13) Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison.
14) Blessed are they whose bodies get destroyed in the service of others.
15) Character is repeated habits, and repeated habits alone can reform character.
16) The greatest religion is to be true to your own future.
17) Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.
18) Self-sacrifice, indeed, is the basis of all civilisations.
19) If the poor cannot come to education, education must reach them, at the plough, in the bakery factory, elsewhere.
Also read: Why Swami Vivekananda still matters
|Go and preach to all, |
"Arise, awake, sleep no more;
within each of you there is the power
to remove all wants and all miseries.
—Swami VivekanandaImage source: Wikimedia Commons
The verse Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached has its origin in Katha Upanishad. In Katha Upanishad, chapter 1.3.14, we see Yama suggesting Nachiketa—
उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत,
क्षुरासन्न धारा निशिता दुरत्यद्दुर्गम पथ: तत् कवयो वदन्ति |
Arise! Awake! Approach the great and learn.
Like the sharp edge of a razor is that path,
so the wise say−hard to tread and difficult to cross.
We find this verse many times in the works and writings of Swami Vivekananda. Now, let's make a collection of Swami Vivekananda's direct quotes on Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.
Swami Vivekananda's quotes
- Advance like a hero. Don't be thwarted by anything. How many days will this body last, with its happiness and misery? When you have got the human body, then rouse the Atman within and say -- i have reached the state of fearlessness! Say -- i am the Atman in which my lower ego has become merged for ever. Be perfect in this idea; and then as long as the body endures, speak unto others this message of fearlessness: "Thou art That", "Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached!" If you can achieve this, then shall I know that you are really a tenacious East Bengal man.[Source]
- Arise and awake, for the time is passing and all our energies will be: frittered away in vain talking. Arise and awake, let minor things, and quarrels over little details and fights over little doctrines be thrown aside, for here is the greatest of all works, here are the sinking millions.[Source]
- Arise! Arise! A tidal wave is coming! Onward![Source]
- "Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached"[Source]
- Arise! Awake! and stop not till the goal is reached." 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.[Source]
- Arise! Awake! Stand up and fight! Die if you must. There is none to help you. You are all the world. Who can help you?[Source]
- Arise, awake; wake up yourselves, and awaken others. Achieve the consummation of human life before you pass off — "Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached."[Source]
- Awake, awake, great ones! The world is burning with misery. Can you sleep? Let us call and call till the sleeping gods awake, till the god within answers to the call. What more is in life? What greater work? The details come to me as I go. I never make plans. Plans grow and work themselves. I only say, awake, awake![Source]
- Children of the Aryans, do not sit idle; awake, arise, and stop not till the goal is reached.[Source]
- Go and preach to all, "Arise, awake, sleep no more; within each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries.[Source]
- Hate not the most abject sinner, fool; not to his exterior. Turn thy gaze inward, where resides the Paramâtman. Proclaim to the whole world with trumpet voice, "There is no sin in thee, there is no misery in thee; thou art the reservoir of omnipotent power. Arise, awake, and manifest the Divinity within!"[Source]
- I am born to proclaim to them that fearless message --"Arise! Awake!" Be you my helpers in this work![Source]
- Let us proclaim to every soul: उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत — Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached. Arise, awake! Awake from this hypnotism of weakness.[Source]
- Listen to what Yama says in the Katha Upanisad: उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत । Arise! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached![Source]
- Proclaim the glory of the Atman with the roar of a lion, and impart fearlessness unto all beings by saying, "Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached."[Source]
- Sacrifice your life for the good of others and go round to the doors of people carrying this message of fearlessness "arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached."[Source]
- Sharp as the blade of a razor, long and difficult and hard to cross, is the way to freedom. The sages have declared this again and again. Yet do not let these weaknesses and failures bind you. The Upanishads have declared, "Arise ! Awake ! and stop not until the goal is reached." We will then certainly cross the path, sharp as it is like the razor, and long and distant and difficult though it be.[Source]
- Your duty at present is to go from one part of the country to another, from village to village, and make the people understand that mere sitting idly won't do any more. Make them understand their real condition and say, "O ye brothers, arise! Awake! How much longer would you remain asleep!"[Source]
To young men of CalcuttaIn 1897 after returning from the West, in the first lecture at Calcutta, Swamiji told—[Source]
उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत । — Arise, awake and stop not till the desired end is reached. Young men of Calcutta, arise, awake, for the time is propitious. Already everything is opening out before us. Be bold and fear not. It is only in our scriptures that this adjective is given unto the Lord — Abhih, Abhih. We have to become Abhih, fearless, and our task will be done. Arise, awake, for your country needs this tremendous sacrifice. It is the young men that will do it. "The young, the energetic, the strong, the well-built, the intellectual" — for them is the task. And we have hundreds and thousands of such young men in Calcutta. If, as you say, I have done something, remember that I was that good-for-nothing boy playing in the streets of Calcutta. If I have done so much, how much more will you do! Arise and awake, the world is calling upon you. In other parts of India, there is intellect, there is money, but enthusiasm is only in my motherland. That must come out; therefore arise, young men of Calcutta, with enthusiasm in your blood. This not that you are poor, that you have no friends. A who ever saw money make the man? It is man that always makes money. The whole world has been made by the energy of man, by the power of enthusiasm, by the power of faith.
. . . . . .
Therefore, let me conclude by reminding you once more, "Arise, awake and stop not till the desired end is reached." Be not afraid, for all great power, throughout the history of humanity, has been with he people. From out of their ranks have come all the greatest geniuses of the world, and history can only repeat itself. Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvellous work. The moment you fear, you are nobody. It is fear that is the great cause of misery in the world. It is fear that is the greatest of all superstitions. It is fear that is the cause of our woes, and it is fearlessness that brings heaven even in a moment. Therefore, "Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached."
To young men of LahoreFrom a lecture delivered at Lahore on 12 November 1897—[Source]
Young men of Lahore, raise once more that mighty banner of Advaita, for on no other ground can you have that wonderful love until you see that the same Lord is present everywhere. Unfurl that banner of love! "Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached." Arise, arise once more, for nothing can be done without renunciation. If you want to help others, your little self must go. In the words of the Christians — you cannot serve God and Mammon at the same time. Have Vairagya. Your ancestors gave up the world for doing great things. At the present time there are men who give up the world to help their own salvation. Throw away everything, even your own salvation, and go and help others. Ay you are always talking bold words, but here is practical Vedanta before you. Give up this little life of yours. What matters it if you die of starvation — you and I and thousands like us — so long as this nation lives? The nation is sinking, the curse of unnumbered millions is on our heads — those to whom we have been giving ditch-water to drink when they have been dying of thirst and while the perennial river of water was flowing past, the unnumbered millions whom we have allowed to starve in sight of plenty, the unnumbered millions to whom we have talked of Advaita and whom we have hated with all our strength, the unnumbered millions for whom we have invented the doctrine of Lokâchâra (usage), to whom we have talked theoretically that we are all the same and all are one with the same Lord, without even an ounce of practice. "Yet, my friends, it must be only in the mind and never in practice!" Wipe off this blot. "Arise and awake." What matters it if this little life goes? Everyone has to die, the saint or the sinner, the rich or the poor. The body never remains for anyone. Arise and awake and be perfectly sincere. Our insincerity in India is awful; what we want is character, that steadiness and character that make a man cling on to a thing like grim death.
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