When Swami Vivekananda faced his fears & emerged victorious

The following incident is narrated by Swami Vivekananda in his complete works:

“Once when I was in Varanasi, I was passing through a place where there was a large tank of water on one side and a high wall on the other. It was in the grounds where there were many monkeys. The monkeys of Varanasi are huge brutes and are sometimes surly. They now took it into their heads not to allow me to pass through their street, so they howled and shrieked and clutched at my feet as I passed.

As they pressed closer, I began to run, but the faster I ran, the faster came the monkeys and they began to bite at me. It seemed impossible to escape, but just then I met a stranger who called out to me, ‘Face the brutes.’ I turned and faced the monkeys, and they fell back and finally fled.

Swami-Vivekananda

That is a lesson for all life–face the terrible, face it boldly. Like the monkeys, the hardships of life fall back when we cease to flee before them. If we are ever to gain freedom, it must be by conquering nature, never by running away. Cowards never win victories. We have to fight fear and troubles and ignorance if we expect them to flee before us.”

Also read: 5 inspiring incidents from Swami Vivekananda’s life

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The monkey over here is symbolic for any of our problems or fears. We are always ready to delay facing our problems or fears. This procrastination leads us nowhere. In fact, gets us more and more deeper in trouble. But as soon as you face them boldly, they are reduced to ashes and you realize there was no need to fear in the first place.

In a way, this is also the lesson given by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.

Additional reading:

How Swami Vivekananda attacked communalism, casteism, class division in one go

8 Swami Vivekananda quotes on faith and strength

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8 Swami Vivekananda quotes on faith and strength

The following are the quotes by Swami Vivekananda on FAITH and STRENGTH:

– Faith, faith, faith in ourselves, faith, faith in God, this is the secret of greatness. If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty millions of your mythological Gods, and in all the Gods which foreigners have now and again introduced into your midst, and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you.

– The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength. Teach men of strength that is already within them.

– It is the coward and the fool who says, This is my fate – so says the Sanskrit proverb. But it is the strong man who stands up and says, I will make my own fate. It is people who are getting old who talk of fate. Young men generally do not come to astrology.

Swami-Vivekananda

– 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.

Also read: 5 inspiring incidents from Swami Vivekananda’s life

– The history of the world is the history of a few men who had faith in themselves. That faith calls out the divinity within. You can do anything. You fail only when you do not strive sufficiently to manifest infinite power. As soon as a man or a nation loses faith, death comes.

– Be free; hope for nothing from anyone. I am sure if you look back upon your lives you will find that you were always vainly trying to get help from others which never came. All the help that has come was from within yourselves.

– Never say ‘No’, Never say, ‘I cannot’, for you are INFINITE. All the power is WITHIN you. You can do anything and everything. You are almighty.

– Strength is Life, Weakness is Death. Expansion is Life, Contraction is Death. Love is Life, Hatred is Death.

Also read: 10 Swami Vivekananda quotes for youngsters

Vivek Oberoi to play Swami Vivekananda in web series

Actor Vivek Oberoi is all set to play India’s great spiritual guru Swami Vivekananda in the latter’s biopic. The film will be a web-series that will be streamed in three parts in one of the OTT platforms in India.

Swami Vivekananda’s life story has been made into movies quite a few times. The most prominent one is director G V Iyer’s Vivekananda (1998). The film saw Sarvadaman D Banerjee play the titular role of Swami Vivekananda while Mithun Chakraborty played his guru Ramakrishna Paramhansa. The latter won the National Award for Best Supporting Actor.

But this web series is the first time that Swami Vivekananda’s life will be explored in the digital space. As per sources, “the actor has been undergoing extensive research in order to get into the skin of the character and portray the evangelist accurately.”

Swami-Vivekananda-biopic

Sources also reveal that a lot of research has gone into the project, which is in the scripting stage currently. The shoot is expected to commence early next year.

This is Oberoi’s second web series after Inside Edge. This is also the second time that he will be playing a real-life character after Rakht Charitra (2011), where he played the gangster-turned-politician Paritala Ravi.

Not many people would know that the actor’s actual name is Vivek Anand Oberoi. He was named so since his parents were devout followers of the spiritual guru. But he dropped ‘Anand’ from his name out of respect for Swami Vivekananda.

Why Christmas Eve holds importance for Swami Vivekananda followers?

Christmas Eve (24 December) is celebrated all over the world as the day before the birth of Jesus Christ. But the day holds special importance for the followers of Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Swami Vivekananda.

It was on 24 December 1886 that Swami Vivekananda, who was then Narendra Nath Datta, and his group of brother disciples attained Brahmacharya (Monasticism) in Antpur in West Bengal. They then formed the Ramakrishna Math in Belur, which is famously known as the Belur Math.

Christmas Eve is celebrated in every Ramakrishna Math in India and outside to commemorate the Brahmacharya of Swami Vivekananda and others. It was from this day onwards that they took up the task of spreading humanitarian and spiritual values to the society.

Christmas-Eve-Ramakrishna-Math

Generally, a priest from a church is called upon on this day at the Maths. The Jesus Aarti then takes place in front of the picture of Jesus Christ surrounded by sweets and eatables like cakes.

“Swami Vivekananda and fellow Ramakrishna disciples took Bramhacharya on December 24. Swamiji cited the example of the greatness of Jesus and his renunciation. But he and the rest did not know it was the Christmas Eve. They came to know about it later, said Swami Shrimohanananda during the 2014 Christmas Eve celebrations at the Mumbai branch of Ramakrishna Math.

10 Swami Vivekananda quotes for youngsters

Swami Vivekananda was known as the Youth Icon of India. Hence, his birth anniversary, 12 January, is celebrated as National Youth Day in India. He is known for giving motiovational, enlightening and powerful quotes on various topics in order to strenghthen people.

So, it is obvious that he has given lots of quotes and comments for the youngters or the youth.

Swami-VivekanandaHere are 10 quotes by Swami Vivekananda for youngsters:

– 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.

– Youth is the best time. The way in which you utilize this period will decide the nature of coming years that lie ahead of you.

– Brave, bold people, these are what we want. What we want is vigor in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, not softening namby-pamby ideas. Avoid all these. Avoid all mystery.

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

– Youth means to place your firm confidence in yourself and exercise your hopeful determination and resolution and willing good intentions in this beautiful task of self-culture.

– My hope of the future lies in the youths of character, intelligent, renouncing all for the services of others, and obedient – good to themselves and the country at large.

– 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.

– Strength is life, Weakness is Death.

– Be a Hero. Always say, ‘I have no fear’.

– Take risks in your life. If you win, you can lead. If you lose, you can guide!

Swami Vivekananda’s inspiring thoughts on India

Swami Vivekananda is one of the greatest spiritual gurus of the world. But he is also who can also be called a ‘Patriot Monk.’ His love, admiration and respect for his motherland shines brightly through volumes of his teachings.

Here are some of his inspiring thoughts on India on the occasion of Republic Day:

– I am proud that I am a countryman of yours. You the descendants of the sages, you the descendants of the most glorious Rishis the world ever saw. Therefore have faith in yourselves, be proud of your ancestors.

swami-vivekananda– Shall India die? Then from the world all spirituality will be extinct, all moral perfection will be extinct, all sweet-souled sympathy for religion will be extinct, all ideality will be extinct; and in its place will reign the duality of lust and luxury as the male and female deities, with money as its priest, fraud, force, and competition its ceremonies, and the human soul its sacrifice. Such a thing can never be.

– Once more the wheel is turning up, once more vibrations have been set in motion from India, which are destined at no distant day to reach the farthest limits of earth. Believe, believe, the decree has gone forth, the fiat of the Lord has gone forth – India must rise, the masses and the poor are to be made happy.

Also read: 10 Swami Vivekananda quotes for youngsters

– India will be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with the power of the spirit; not with the flag of destruction, but with the flag of peace and love, the garb of the Sannyasin; not by the power of wealth, but by the power of the begging bowl

– Let us all work hard, my brethren; this is no time for sleep. Do not figure out big plans at first, but begin slowly, feel the ground, and proceed. Up, up, the long night is passing, the day is approaching, the wave has risen, nothing will be able to resist its tidal fury.

– Let her New India arise – out of the peasants’ cottage, grasping the plough; out of the huts of the fisherman, the cobbler, and the sweeper. Let her spring from the grocer’s shop, from beside the oven of the fritter-seller. Let her emanate from the factory, from marts, and from markets. Let her emerge from groves and forests, from hills and mountains…

– Arise and awake and see her seated here on her eternal throne, rejuvenated, more glorious than she ever was – this Motherland of ours.

How Swami Vivekananda attacked communalism, casteism, class division in one go

The following incident is taken from the book, Swami Vivekananda: The Friend Of All. It’s published by Swami Sarvabhutananda. The incident is presented on the occasion of his 154th Birth Anniversary (January 12, 2017).

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It was 1891. Swamiji was staying at Mount Abus as a guest of a Muslim lawyer. He invited him saying, “If you would condescend to live with me, I shall feel myself greatly blessed. But I am a Mussalman. I shall, of course, make separate arrangements for your food.” Swamiji didn’t hear a word of that.

swami-vivekananda-wallpaperOne day, Jagmohanlal, the Private Secretary of the Raja of Khetri, came to the lawyer’s bungalow and was quite surprised to see Swamiji, a Hindu sanyasi, there. Unable to conceal his wonder, Jagmohanlal said to Swamiji, “Well, Swamiji, you are a Hindu monk. How is it that you are living with a Muslim?”

Swamiji, who couldn’t stand any differentiation on the basis of religion and caste, sternly replied, “Sir, what do you mean? I am a Sanyasin. I am above all your social conventions. I can dine even with a Bhangi. I am not afraid of God because He sanctions it. I am not afraid of the scriptures for they allow it. But I am afraid of you people and your society. You know nothing of God and scriptures. I see Brahman everywhere, manifested even through the meanest of creature. For me, there is nothing high or low. Shiva Shiva!”

Also read: Why Christmas Eve holds importance for Swami Vivekananda followers?

Every word of Swamiji rained fire while Munshi Jagmohanlal stood mesmerized before his towering personality.

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The above incident conveys a lot more than it seems. On the surface, it speaks about Swami Vivekananda’s intolerance to religious division. But from what he told Jagmohanlal, we also get to know about his opposition to any sort of casteism, especially from the line, “I see Brahman everywhere…”

Also read: 10 Swami Vivekananda quotes for youngsters

Similarly, by saying, “But I am afraid of you people and your society,” and “For me, there is nothing high or low,” he has also revealed that social class doesn’t exist for him. And he did walk his talk. This is evident from the incident where he happily accepted food from a person belonging to the so-called lower caste outside a railway station in Rajasthan.

This and many other such incidents from his life clearly show his forward and liberal thinking even more than 100 years ago.

Also read: Short story: Under the shade in the rainy evening in Bharatpur

By: Keyur Seta