Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902,) born Narendra Nath Datta, is one of the most admired spiritual leaders of India. He was the chief disciple of the 19th-century Hindu mystic Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the driving force behind the Ramakrishna Mission.
Born in Calcutta in British India, Swami Vivekananda was an associate of the Brahmo Samaj, a Hindu reform movement, and training to be a lawyer. When he stumbled upon Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda had a forceful religious experience and became one of Ramakrishna’s disciples. After his master’s death, he founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He became a mendicant, traveled the length and breadth of India on foot, meditating and propagating his interpretation of Ramakrishna’s teachings.
* The will is not free – it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect – but there is something behind the will which is free.
* We came to enjoy; we are being enjoyed. We came to rule; we are being ruled. We came to work; we are being worked. All the time, we find that. And this comes into every detail of our life.
* Feel like Christ and you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.
* Blows are what awaken us and help to break the dream. They show us the insufficiency of this world and make us long to escape, to have freedom.
* Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are soul-immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; you are not matter, you are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter.
* Be a hero. Always say, “I have no fear.” Tell this to everyone—“Have no fear."
* Anything that makes weak – physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject it as poison.
* Truth does not pay homage to any society, ancient or modern. Society has to pay homage to Truth or die.
* 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.
* Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man, and character is the test of that manifestation.