National Youth Day: 25 inspirational quotes by Swami Vivekananda on his 157th birth anniversary

Swami Vivekananda, born Narendranath Datta, hailed from an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family. He is credited with bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion in the late 19th century. Born on January 12, 1863, he played an important role in introducing the Indian Vedanta and philosophies of yoga to the western world, which put India on the world’s spiritual map. It was Swami Vivekananda’s 1893 speech at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago that forever changed the way the world looked at India and made him popular as a ‘messenger of Indian wisdom to the western world’.

In the memory of one of India’s most revered spiritual leaders who continues to inspire millions, here are 25 of Swami Vivekananda’s quotes that may inspire you to change the way you look at life:

“Arise, awake and don’t stop until the goal is reached.”

“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.”

“The greatest sin is to think yourself weak.”

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

“Talk to yourself once in a day, otherwise you may miss meeting an intelligent person in this world.”

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

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

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

“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.”

“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.”

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

“Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin, to say that you are weak, or others are weak.”

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

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

“Neither seek nor avoid, take what comes.”

“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.”

“Be a hero. Always say, I have no fear.”

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

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.”

“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 anything and everything, without even the guidance of anyone. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”

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

“Stand up, be bold, 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 yourself.”

“Strength is life, weakness is death. Expansion is life, contraction is death. Love is life, hatred is death.”

“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.”

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

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