The Will to Surmount Mountain-high Obstructions

Living at the Source: Yoga Teachings of Vivekananda,   edited by Ann Myren & Dorothy Madison, Shambhala, 1993

Sri Ramakrishna had several impressive students.  The most renowned of them was Swami Vivekananda. Although he died at a relatively young age (1863-1902), he left works that continue to illumine the path.   I’m happy to share the following inspiring passages  …

All search is in vain, until we begin to perceive that knowledge is within ourselves, that no one can help us, that we must hep ourselves.  7

Make yourself a dynamo.  15

To advance oneself toward freedom—physical, mental, and spiritual—and help others to do so, is the supreme prize of man.  22

Never talk about the faults of others, no matter how bad they may be. Nothing is ever gained by that. You never help one by talking about his fault; you do him an injury, and injure yourself as well.  30

The more  I live, the more I become convinced every day that every human being is divine. In no man or woman, however vile, does that divinity die. Only he or she does not know how to read it and is waiting for the Truth.  52

What work do you expect from 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.  68

Have you got the will to surmount mountain-high obstructions? If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right? 68

Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work. 85

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 in yourselves. Therefore, make your own future.  87

The greatest sin is to think yourself weak. No one is greater: realize you are Brahman. Nothing has power except what you give it. We are beyond the sun, the stars, the universe. Teach the Godhead of man. Deny evil, create none. Stand up and say, I am the master, the master of all. We forge the chain, and we alone can break it.  87-88

The sign of vigor, the sign of life, the sign of hope, the sign of health, the sign of everything that is good, is strength. As long as the body lives, there must be strength in the body, strength in the mind, [and strength] in the hand.  88

Freedom is never reached by the weak. Throw away all weakness. Tell your body that it is strong, tell your mind that it is strong, and have unbounded faith and hope in yourself.  89

It is the cheerful mind that is persevering. It is the strong mind that hews it way through a thousand difficulties. And this, the hardest task of all, the cutting of our way out of the net of maya, is the work reserved only for giant wills.  90

The aim, the end, the goal, of all this training is liberation of the soul. Absolute control of nature, and nothing short of it, must be the goal. We must be the masters and not the slaves of nature; neither body nor mind must be our master, nor must we forget that the body is mine, and not I the body’s.  128

Nothing is done in a day. Religion cannot be swallowed in the form of a pill. It requires hard and constant practice. The mind can be conquered only by slow and steady practice.  129

Practice is absolutely necessary. …. We will never understand these things until we experience them. We will have to see and feel them for ourselves. Simply listening to explanations and theories will not do.  129

Let us not depend upon the world for pleasure.  140

My ideal 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.  141

Enough of books and theories. It is the life that is the highest and only way to stir the hearts of the people; it carries the personal magnetism.  143

Holiness is the greatest power. Everything else quails before it.  144

If you talk all the best philosophies the world ever produced, but if you are a fool in your behavior, they do not count…  147

Wherever you are, that is a point from which you can start to the center.  148

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