Author - Webteamvidyapith

TO A FRIEND

(Rendered from a Bengali poem composed by Swami Vivekananda)

Where darkness is interpreted as light,

Where misery passes for happiness,

Where disease is pretended to be health,

Where the new-born’s cry but shows ’tis alive;

Dost thou, O wise, expect happiness here?

Where war and competition ceaseless run,

Even the father turns against the son,

Where “self”, “self”–this always the only note,

Dost thou, O wise, seek for peace supreme here?

A glaring mixture of heaven and hell,

Who can fly from this Samsar of Maya?

Fastened in the neck with Karma’s fetters,

Say, where can the slave escape for safety?

The paths of Yoga and of sense-enjoyment,

The life of the householder and Sannyas,

Devotion, worship, and earning riches,

Vows, Tyaga, and austerities severe,

I have seen through them all. What have I known?

–Have known there’s not a jot of happiness,

Life is only a cup of Tantalus;

The nobler is your heart, know for certain,

The more must be your share of misery.

Thou large-hearted Lover unselfish, know,

There’s no room in this sordid world for thee;

Can a marble figure e’er brook the blow

That an iron mass can afford to bear?

Friendless, clad in rags, with no possession,

Feeding from door to door on what chance would bring.

The frame broken under Tapasya’s weight;

What riches, ask thou, have I earned in life?

Listen, friend, I will speak my heart to thee;

I have found in my life this truth supreme–

Buffeted by waves, in this whirl of life,

There’s one ferry that takes across the sea.

Formulas of worship, control of breath,

Science, philosophy, systems varied,

Relinquishment, possession, and the life,

All these are but delusions of the mind–

Love, Love–that’s the one thing, the sole treasure.

Vol 4. Page 493

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Patriotism

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.

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Swami Vivekananda at Chicago

ADDRESSES AT THE PARLIAMENT OF RELIGIONS

RESPONSE TO WELCOME
Chicago, September 11, 1893

Sisters and Brothers of America,

It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world; I thank you in the name of the mother of religions, and I thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.

My thanks, also, to some of the speakers on this platform who, referring to the delegates from the Orient, have told you that these men from far-off nations may well claim the honor of bearing to different lands the idea of toleration. I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: “As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”

The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: “Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me.” Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.

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BRAVE HEART

HOLD ON YET A WHILE, BRAVE HEART

If the sun by the cloud is hidden a bit,

If the welkin shows but gloom,

Still hold on yet a while, brave heart,

The victory is sure to come.

 

No winter was but summer came behind,

Each hollow crests the wave,

They push each other in light and shade;

Be steady then and brave.

 

The duties of life are sore indeed,

And its pleasures fleeting, vain,

The goal so shadowy seems and dim,

Yet plod on through the dark, brave heart,

With all thy might and main.

 

Not a work will be lost, no struggle vain,

Though hopes be blighted, powers gone;

Of thy loins shall come the heirs to all,

Then hold on yet a while, brave soul,

No good is e’er undone.

 

Though the good and the wise in life are few,

Yet theirs are the reins to lead,

The masses know but late the worth;

Heed none and gently guide.

 

With thee are those who see afar,

With thee is the Lord of might,

All blessings pour on thee, great soul,

To thee may all come right!

(CW Vol 4. Page 389)

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Real Education

Education

Vivekananda believed education is the manifestation of perfection already in men. He thought it a pity that the existing system of education did not enable a person to stand on his own feet, nor did it teach him self-confidence and self-respect. To Vivekananda, education was not only collection of information, but something more meaningful; he felt education should be man-making, life-giving and character-building. To him, education was an assimilation of noble ideas.

Education is not the amount of information that we 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..

Swami Vivekananda felt that the education that young boys and girls receive is very negative. He thinks they do not gain confidence or self-respect from these education, so according to Swami Vivekananda only positive education should be given to children. Swami Vivekananda told, if young boys and girls are encouraged and are not unnecessarily criticized all the time, they are bound to improve in time.
He also told the youth:

Set yourselves to the task of spreading education among the masses. Tell them and make them understand, “You are our brothers—a part and parcel of our bodies, and we love you and never hate you.”

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Great future for Vidyapith.

The idea of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith, Deoghar was first conceived by Swami Turiyananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, who inspired Brahmachari Vidyachaitanya to start a school in order to implement the man-making ideas of Swami Vivekananda. Accordingly, Br. Vidyachaitanya rented a small house at Mihijam in May 1922 and started a school with three day-scholars. Eight months later, in January 1923, he left Mihijam and came to Deoghar with twelve students. Staying initially in a house on Rohini Road for one and a half months, he subsequently shifted to another place on the Kachahari Road. Thereafter, in the middle of 1924, he once again shifted the school to the Khema Villa and the Bama Villa in Deoghar.

Meanwhile, the work of procuring a plot of land for Vidyapith went on in full swing. On its accomplishment, the portion of the school located at Khema Villa was removed in 1925 to a couple of newly constructed houses, keeping the other portion at Bama Villa for a while more. Finally, when Vidyapith was totally shifted in its new premises, Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj, the then President of the Ramakrishna Order paid a visit and inaugurated the school ceremonially on January 19, 1926, the holy Saraswati Puja day. Shivanandaji Maharaj was deeply impressed by Vidyapith’s dedicated services and said: “I visualize a great future for Vidyapith. I am convinced that great work will be done through this institution.” His vision has indeed come true.

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Real Leader

Swami Vivekananda’s concept of leader or leadership is not merely a position where someone gets the necessary power to give command over a group of other men and women, or treat them like servants. From Swami Vivekananda’s point of view, leadership is a work of responsibility, it is a duty. If the common concept of leadership attaches the words like “respect”, “fame”, “social status” etc with it, then Swami Vivekananda asks “sacrifice”, “dedication”, “service” from a leader. In this page we’ll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda’s quotes on leader or leadership.

A leader must be impersonal.
Can a leader be made my brother? A leader is born. Do you understand? And it is a very difficult task to take on the role of a leader. — One must be accommodate a thousand minds. There must not be a shade of jealousy or selfishness, then you are a leader. First, by birth, and secondly, unselfish — that’s a leader. Everything is going all right, everything will come round. He casts the net all right, and winds it up likewise best instrument. Love conquers in the long run. It won’t do to become impatient — wait, wait — patience is bound to give success. . . .
Do not try to be a ruler. He is the best ruler who can serve well.
Do not try to “boss” others, as the Yankees say.
Everyone can play the role of a master, but it is very difficult to be a servant.

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Question and Answers

Q.

How is it possible for God who is infinite to be limited in the form of a man (as an Avatâra)?

A. — It is true that God is infinite, but not in the sense in which you comprehend it. You have confounded your idea of infinity with the materialistic idea of vastness. When you say that God cannot take the form of a man, you understand that a very, very large substance or form (as if material in nature), cannot be compressed into a very, very small compass. God’s infinitude refers to the unlimitedness of a purely spiritual entity, and as such, does not suffer in the least by expressing itself in a human form.
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