150+ Swami Vivekananda Quotes that gives Life Meaning

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Swami Vivekananda famous quotes

Swami Vivekananda Quotes that gives life meaning. There are so many Swami Vivekananda quotes that can help you when you are tired of being in the same old rut, and all you need is a little push, a little inspiration, a smile on the face, change of mood, bring you out of the banality of life, make you laugh a little, or may even make you cry a bit, and these Swami Vivekananda quotes exists just do that.

Born on 12 January 1863 as the sixth son of Vishwanath Datta and Bhuvaneswari Devi, Swami Vivekananda was able to rouse millions of youth worldwide. Narendranath Datta as he was called in his childhood, was a kind-hearted person who later came to be known as Swami Vivekananda. Inspired by the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda admired him as his mentor and founded the Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math. This great Indian Hindu monk was able to introduce the idea of Yoga and Vedanta to the young minds of the West.

This World leader is known to many by the famous speech he delivered in Chicago, addressing the people over there as ‘sisters and brothers of America’. During the 19th century, when India was under the colonial rule of the British Vivekananda was able to saw the seeds of nationalism in the minds of Indians. Through several speeches and works, he was able to revive Hinduism, which faced several challenges by the British rule. Born to a typical Bengali family, he was into spirituality from his early childhood. As a child, Vivekananda had several questions about the existence of God, which were answered only by Ramakrishna, who later became his guru. It was from Ramakrishna he came to know the fact that all living beings on Earth are an embodiment of God himself and service to humankind is nothing different from serving the divine power.

After his guru’s death, Vivekananda traversed around the Indian subcontinent to know more about the scenarios that prevailed in British India. He represented India in 1893 World’s Parliament of Religion where his groundbreaking speech touched millions of Americans. Through his lectures and classes, he was able to throw light on Hindu Philosophy and thereby awakened millions. Even in many Western Worlds, people saw the inner meaning of life and spirituality from his words. Vivekananda was able to interpret Vedanta in a modern and universal way. He has written numerous books which reflects his knowledge of which ‘my master’ in which he portrays his guru has grabbed the attention of youth worldwide. As a tribute to this great teacher every year, 12 January is observed as National Youth Day all over India and Ramakrishna Math centres worldwide.

We have dug up these Swami Vivekananda quotes from the depths of the internet and brought together best of these sayings in a single article. This post is probably the biggest database of Swami Vivekananda Sayings in a single place. These famous Swami Vivekananda quotes have the power to change your life by giving a novel outlook about the way you observe different aspects of your life. Hence, these popular Swami Vivekananda quotes should be read with caution and proper understanding of the context. Here are tons of Swami Vivekananda quotes that will open a treasure chest of Wisdom and experiences: –

“In a conflict between the heart and the brain, follow your heart. ”

Swami Vivekananda quotes

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“The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves.”

Swami Vivekananda famous quotes

“The greatest sin is to think yourself weak”

Swami Vivekananda popular quotes

“You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.”

Swami Vivekananda best quotes

“Comfort is no test of truth. Truth is often far from being comfortable.”

Swami Vivekananda saying

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“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”

“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.”

“In a day, when you don’t come across any problems – you can be sure that you are travelling in a wrong path”

“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.”

“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 lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. You can do any thing and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”

“Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads, and dare to carry that out in your life. ”

“Anything that makes weak – physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject it as poison.”

“Be not Afraid of anything. You will do Marvelous work. it is Fearlessness that brings Heaven even in a moment.”

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. ”

“They alone live, who live for others.”

“Arise, awake, stop not till the goal is reached.”

“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 only law of life, just as you breathe to live.”

“Strength is Life, Weakness is Death.
Expansion is Life, Contraction is Death.
Love is Life, Hatred is Death.”

“Neither seek nor avoid, take what comes.”

“The fire that warms us can also consume us; it is not the fault of the fire.”

“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.”

“Learn Everything that is Good from Others, but bring it in, and in your own way absorb it; do not become others.”

“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 the future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.”

“Was there ever a more horrible blasphemy than the statement that all the knowledge of God is confined to this or that book? How dare men call God infinite, and yet try to compress Him within the covers of a little book!”

“Ask nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to you, but do not think of that now.”

“Do one thing at a Time, and while doing it put your whole Soul into it to the exclusion of all else.”

“Each work has to pass through these stages—ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood.”

“All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.”

“whatever you think that you will be.
if you think yourself weak,weak you will be;
if you think yourself strong,you will be”

“We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate.
The wind is blowing; 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 that the fault of
the wind?……. We make our own destiny.”

“Even the greatest fool can accomplish a task if it were after his or her heart. But the intelligent ones are those who can convert every work into one that suits their taste.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Are you unselfish? That is the question. If you are, you will be perfect without reading a single religious book, without going into a single church or temple.”

“The powers of the mind are like the rays of the sun when they are concentrated they illumine.”

“Don’t look back—forward, infinite energy, infinite enthusiasm, infinite daring, and infinite patience—then alone can great deeds be accomplished.”

“Devotion to duty is the highest form of worship of God.”

“So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every person a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them!”

“Blessed are they whose bodies get destroyed in the service of others.”

“Bless people when they revile you. Think how much good they are doing by helping to stamp out the false ego.”

“Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.”

“The earth is enjoyed by heroes”—this is the unfailing truth. Be a hero. Always say, “I have no fear.”

“This is a great fact: strength is life; weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal; weakness is constant strain and misery, weakness is death.”

“The Tapas and the other hard Yogas that were practiced in other Yugas do not work now. What is needed in this Yuga is giving, helping others. ”

“Man is to become divine by realizing the divine. Idols or temples, or churches or books, are only the supports, the help of his spiritual childhood.”

“All truth is eternal. Truth is nobody’s property; no race, no individual can lay any exclusive claim to it. Truth is the nature of all souls.”

“God did not give me everything that i wanted. But, He gave me everything that i needed!”

“Liberty is the first condition of growth. It is wrong, a thousand times wrong, if any of you dares to say, ‘I will work out the salvation of this woman or child.”

“Be not afraid of anything. You will do marvellous work. 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 all our woes, and it is fearlessness that brings heaven even in a moment. Therefore, “arise, awake and stop not until the goal is reached.”

“If in this hell of a world one can bring a little joy and peace even for a day into the heart of a single person, that much alone is true; this I have learnt after suffering all my life; all else is mere moonshine. . . .”

“The more we come out and do good to others, the more our hearts will be purified, and God will be in them.”

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“Do not believe in a thing because you have read about it in a book. Do not believe in a thing because another man has said it was true. Do not believe in words because they are hallowed by tradition. Find out the truth for yourself. Reason it out. That is realization.”

“But there is yet time to change our ways. Give up all those old discussions, old fights about things which are meaningless, which are nonsensical in their very nature. Think of the last six hundred or seven hundred years of degradation when grown-up men by hundreds have been discussing for years whether we should drink a glass of water with the right hand or the left, whether the hand should be washed three times or four times, whether we should gargle five or six times. What can you expect from men who pass their lives in discussing such momentous questions as these and writing most learned philosophies on them! There is a danger of our religion getting into the kitchen. We are neither Vedantists, most of us now, nor Pauranics, nor Tantrics. We are just “Don’t-touchists”. Our religion is in the kitchen. Our God is the cooking-pot, and our religion is, “Don’t touch me, I am holy”. If this goes on for another century, every one of us will be in a lunatic asylum. It is a sure sign of softening of the brain when the mind cannot grasp the higher problems of life; all originality is lost, the mind has lost all its strength, its activity, and its power of thought, and just tries to go round and round the smallest curve it can find.”

“He who struggles is better than he who never attempts.”

“We must also remember that in every little village-god and every little superstitious custom is that which we are accustomed to call our religious faith. But local customs are infinite and contradictory. Which are we to obey, and which not to obey? The Brahmin of Southern India, for instance, would shrink in horror at the sight of another Brahmin eating meat; a Brahmin in the North thinks it a most glorious and holy thing to do—he kills goats by the hundred in sacrifice. If you put forward your custom, they are equally ready with theirs. Various are the customs all over India, but they are local. The greatest mistake made is that ignorant people always think that this local custom is the essence of our religion.”

“Why should a Man be Moral? Because this strengthens his will.”

“After every happiness comes misery; they may be far apart or near. The more advanced the soul, the more quickly does one follow the other. What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both make us forget our true nature; both are chains–one iron, one gold; behind both is the Atman, who knows neither happiness nor misery. These are states, and states must ever change; but the nature of the Atman is bliss, peace, unchanging. We have not to get it, we have it; only wash away the dross and see it.”

“This World will always continue to be a mixture of Good and Evil. Our duty is to sympathize with the weak and to Love even the wrongdoer.”

“Do good because it is good to do good. Ask no more.”

“Desire can be eradicated from the roots by firmly imbibing the four attributes of: Jnan, Atmanishtha, Vairagya, Dharma and the full fledged devotion to God.”

“A fool may buy all the books in the world, and they will be in his library; but he will be able to read only those that he deserves to.”

“Never say, “O Lord, I am a miserable sinner.” Who will help you? You are the help of the universe. What in this universe can help you? What can prevail over you? You are the God of the universe; where can you seek for help? Never help came from anywhere but from yourself. In your ignorance, every prayer that you made and that was answered, you thought was answered by some Being, but you answered the prayer yourself unknowingly. The help came from yourself, and you fondly imagined that someone was sending help to you. There is no help for you outside of yourself; you are the creator of the universe. Like the silkworm, you have built a cocoon around yourself. Who will save you? Burst your own cocoon and come out as a beautiful butterfly, as the free soul. Then alone you will see Truth.”

“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.”

“beleive in yourself and the world will be at your feet”

“Books are infinite in number and time is short. The secret of knowledge is to take what is essential. Take that and try to live up to it.”

“The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.”

“The only religion that ought to be taught is the religion of fearlessness. Either in this world or in the world of religion, it is true that fear is the sure cause of degradation and sin. It is fear that brings misery, fear that brings death, fear that breeds evil. And what causes fear? Ignorance of our own nature.”

“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.”

“There is no God separate from you, no God higher than you, the real ‘you’. All the gods are little beings to you, all the ideas of God and Father in heaven are but your own reflection. God Himself is your image. ‘God created man after His own image.’ That is wrong. Man creates God after his own image. That is right. Throughout the universe we are creating gods after our own image. We create the god and fall down at his feet and worship him; and when this dream comes, we love it!”

“The whole life is a succession of dreams. My ambition is to be a conscious dreamer, that is all.”

“Take Risks in Your Life If u Win, U Can Lead! If u Lose, U Can Guide!”

“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity 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.”

“Shri Ramakrishna use to say, “As Long as I Live, so long do I learn”. That man or that society which has nothing to learn is already in the jaws of death.”

“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”

“The greatest truths are the simplest things in the world, simple as your own existence.”

“Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being.”

“All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind.”

“Desire, ignorance, and inequality—this is the trinity of bondage.”

“Education is the manifestation of perfection already existing in man.”

“How often does a man ruin his disciples by remaining always with them! When men are once trained, it is essential that their leader leave them, for without his absence they cannot develop themselves. Plants always remain small under a big tree.”

“Do not believe a thing because you have read about it in a book. Do not believe a thing because another man has said it was true. Do not believe in words because they are hallowed by tradition. Find out the truth for yourself. Reason it out. That is realization.”

“Astrology and all these mystical things are generally signs of a weak mind; therefore as soon as they are becoming prominent in our minds, we should see a physician, take good food, and rest.”

“The brain and muscles must develop simultaneously. Iron nerves with an intelligent brain — and the whole world is at your feet.”

“You must worship the Self in Krishna, not Krishna as Krishna.”

“The cheerful mind perseveres and the strong mind hews its way through a thousand difficulties.”

“Give up the idea that by ruling over others you can do any good to them. But you can do just as much as you can in the case of the plant: you can supply the growing seed with the materials for the making up of its body, bringing to it the earth, the water, the air, that it wants. It will take all that it wants by its own nature, it will assimilate and grow by its own nature.”

“The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.”

“Things do not grow better; they remain as they are. It is we who grow better, by the changes we make in ourselves.”

“Be strong! … You talk of ghosts and devils. We are the living devils. The sign of life is strength and growth. The sign of death is weakness. Whatever is weak, avoid! It is death. If it is strength, go down into hell and get hold of it! There is salvation only for the brave. “None but the brave deserves the fair.” None but the bravest deserves salvation.”

“The very reason for nature’s existence is for the education of the soul.”

“If a man can realize his divine nature with the help of an image, would it be right to call that a sin? Nor, even when he has passed that stage, should he call it an error. […] man is not traveling from error to truth, but from truth to truth, from lower to higher truth. To him all the religions from the lowest fetishism to the highest absolutism, mean so many attempts of the human soul to grasp and realize the Infinite, each determined by the conditions of its birth and association, and each of these marks a stage of progress; and every soul is a young eagle soaring higher and higher, gathering more and more strength till it reaches the Glorious Sun.”

“By doing well the duty which is nearest to us, the duty which is in our hands, we make ourselves stronger”

“This universe is the wreckage of the infinite on the shores of the finite.”

“The knowing ones must have pity on the ignorant.
One who knows is willing to give up his body even for an ant,
because he knows that the body is nothing.”

“A good practice carried to an extreme and worked in accordance with the letter of the law becomes a positive evil.”

“God Gave Me Nothing I Wanted
He Gave Me Everything I Needed.”

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“It is a very hard thing to understand, but you will come to learn in time that nothing in the universe has power over you until you allow it to exercise such a power.”

“Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.”

“When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state.”

“The help which tends to make us spiritually strong is the highest help, next to it comes intellectual help and after that comes physical help.”

“You need not worry or make yourself sleepless about the world; it will go on without you.”

“The mother and the father are the causes of this body; so a man must undergo a thousand troubles in order to do good to them.”

“Be Grateful to the Man you help, think of Him as God. Is it not a great privilege to be allowed to worship God by helping our fellow men?”

“The mind is in its own nature when it is calm. The moment you can calm it, that [very] moment you will know the truth.”

“Of one hundred persons who take up the spiritual life, eighty turn out to be charlatans, fifteen insane, and only five, maybe, get a glimpse of the real truth. Therefore beware.”

“A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century.”

“Have Faith in Man, whether he appears to you to be a very learned one or a most ignorant one.”

“People laugh at me because I am different;
I laugh at people cause the are all the same.”

“The one great advantage of Bhakti is that it is the easiest and most natural way to reach the great divine end in view; it’s great disadvantage is that in its lower forms it oftentimes degenerates into hideous fanaticism. The fanatical crew in Hinduism, Mohammedanism, or Christianity, have always been almost exclusively recruited from these worshippers [sic] on the lower planes of Bhakti. That singleness of attachment (Nishthâ) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of the denunciation of everything else. All the weak and undeveloped minds in every religion or country have only one way of loving their own ideal, i.e., by hating every other ideal. Herein is the explanation of why the same man who is so lovingly attached to his own ideal of God, so devoted to his own ideal of religion, becomes a howling fanatic as soon as he sees or hears anything of any other ideal.”

“The Heart and core of everything here is good, that whatever may be the surface waves, deep down and underlying everything, there is an infinite basis of Goodness and Love.”

“A tremendous stream is flowing toward the ocean, carrying us all along with it; and though like straws and scraps of paper we may at times float aimlessly about, in the long run we are sure to join the Ocean of Life and Bliss.”

“The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God; but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man. They have not seen the Father, but they have seen the Son. And he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also.”

“If the Student thinks he is the Spirit, he will be a better Student. If the Lawyer thinks he is the Spirit, he will be a better Lawyer, and so on.”

“Ignorance is the mother of all the evil and all the misery we see. Let men have light, let them be pure and spiritually strong and educated, then alone will misery cease in the world, not before. We may convert every house in the country into a charity asylum, we may fill the land with hospitals, but the misery of man will still continue to exist until man’s character changes.”

“Never forget the glory of human nature! We are the greatest god.. Christs and Buddhas are but waves in the boundless ocean which I AM.”

“Where the whole world is awake, the sage sleeps.”

“The tender plant of spirituality will die if exposed too early to the action of a constant change of ideas and ideals. Many people, in the name of what may be called religious liberalism, may be seen feeding their idle curiosity with a continuous succession of different ideals. With them, hearing new things grows into a kind of disease, a sort of religious drink-mania. They want to hear new things just by way of getting a temporary nervous excitement, and when one such exciting influence has had its effect on them, they are ready for another. Religion is with these people a sort of intellectual opium-eating, and there it ends.”

“The Older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my new gospel”

“The will is not free – it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect – but there is something behind the will which is free.”

“Serve man Serve god”

“He is trying to justify himself, but he cannot fool Krishna.”

“My Faith is in the Younger Generation, the Modern Generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like Lions.”

“For all of us in this world life is a continuous fight.”

“Anything that is secret and mysterious in these systems of Yoga should be at once rejected. The best guide in life is strength. In religion, as in all other matters, discard everything that weakens you, have nothing to do with it.”

“If a person who can [give a blow] forbears, there is merit in that.”

“Absolute equality, that which means a perfect balance of all the struggling forces in all the planes, can never be in this world. Before you attain that state, the world will have become quite unfit for any kind of life, and no one will be there. We find, therefore, that all these ideas of the millennium and of absolute equality are not only impossible but also that, if we try to carry them out, they will lead us surely enough to the day of destruction.”

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

“so even though all the senses bring in sensations from nature, the ocean-like heart of the sage knows no disturbance, knows no fear”

“Just as inequality is necessary for creation itself, so the struggle to limit it is also necessary. If there were no struggle to become free and get back to God, there would be no creation either. It is the difference between these two forces that determines the nature of the motives of men. There will always be these motives to work, some tending towards bondage and others towards freedom. This”

“We tend to reduce everyone else to the limits of our own mental universe and begin privileging our own ethics, morality, sense of duty and even our sense of utility. All religious conflicts arose from this propensity to judge others. If we indeed must judge at all, argued Vivekananda, then it must be `according to his own ideal, and not by that of anyone else’. It was important, therefore, to learn to look at the duty of others through their own eyes and never judge the customs and observances of others through the prism of our own standards.”

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“Let miseries come in millions of rivers and happiness in hundreds! I am no slave to misery! I am no slave to happiness!”

“The idea is, when a man receives a gift from another, his heart becomes impure, he becomes low, he loses his independence, he becomes bound and attached.”

“We are allowed to worship him. Stand in that reverent attitude to the whole universe, and then will come perfect non attachment”

“Arjuna asks: “Who is a person of established will?”

“Stand up and be strong! No fear. No superstition. Face the truth as it is!”

“There is only one sin. That is weakness.”

“Work for work’s sake. There are some who are really the salt of the earth in every country and who work for work’s sake, who do not care for name, or fame, or even to go to heaven.”

“We must be Bright and Cheerful, long faces do not make Religion”

“A fool may buy all the books in the world, and they will be in his library; but he will be able to read only those that he deserves to; and this deserving is produced by Karma.”

“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.”

“To the Hindu, says Vivekananda, “Man is not travelling from error to truth, but climbing up from truth to truth, from truth that is lower to truth that is higher.”

“the easiest way to make ourselves happy is to see that others are happy.”

“What is it that is whirling the mind? Imagination, creative activity. Stop creation and you know the truth. All power of creation must stop, and then you know the truth at once.”

“He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God. ”

“What right has a man to say he has a soul if he does not feel it, or that there is a God if he does not see Him? If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.”

“Every work that we do, every movement of the body, every thought that we think, leaves such an impression on the mind-stuff, and even when such impressions are not obvious on the surface, they are sufficiently strong to work beneath the surface, subconsciously. What we are every moment is determined by the sum total of these impressions on the mind.”

“It is the greatest manifestation of power to be calm. It is easy to be active. Let the reins go, and the horses will run away with you. Anyone can do that, but he who can stop the plunging horses is the strong man.”

“take Buddha. The central idea [is] sacrifice.”

“You find in Krishna that non-attachment is the central idea.”

“All who have actually attained any real religious experience never wrangle over the form in which the different religions are expressed. They know that the soul of all religions is the same and so they have no quarrel with anybody just because he or she does not speak in the same tongue.”

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