Today, the World Hindu Congress (WHC) commemorated 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s famous speech at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. Here ‘s the Wikipedia link about Swami Vivekanda and here’s the link about the speech.
I admire Swami Vivekananda for he was the embodiment of spirituality and boldness. He often stressed about being bold and courageous and not fearing anything or anyone. My first memories of him are from my school days. Mine was a pro-Hindu school. We often hear Swami Vivekananda’s stories, speeches and quotes setting a benchmark for how an ideal student should be. Our teachers used to tell stories of him learning everything in one-sitting as an example of concentration and focus that we should strive for. He is much more than that, of course. I have a very deep respect for him.
My respect only strengthened further when I met a couple of his ardent fans in my real life. They were the most un-corrupted people I have met. I particularly remember a lawyer whom I contacted for legal advice before buying my apartment. He was as a simple and straightforward guy who spoke in black and white. Either a yes or a no. Unlike other lawyers who provide a similar service, he charged much much lesser. The others used to charge an arm, I also learnt that he charges nothing for people who can’t pay. When I went to his office, I saw Swami Vivekananda’s books and quotes everywhere. He was very professional and didn’t encourage any loopholes. His integrity may be costing him a little bit in the line of business he is in but nevertheless he was being honest. By the end of that short meeting, I started respecting him and, more than him, Swami Vivekananda.
When it comes to Swami’s works, I have read ‘Karma Yoga’ but I found it very heavy may be because I read it too early. I should read that again for understanding. I have ‘Complete works of Swami Vivekananda’ and I hope to read them and understand them well.
You can find the full text of the speech at Viveksamity website here
Below is the audio recording of Swami’s speech by Subir Ghosh. Thanks to Sanskriti Culture channel in Youtube.
Following are some of my favorite quotes of him:
“Arise, awake, stop not till the goal is reached.”
“The greatest sin is to think yourself weak”
“The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves.”
“You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.”
“Comfort is no test of truth. Truth is often far from being comfortable.”
“The fire that warms us can also consume us; it is not the fault of the fire.”
The complete list of his quotes can be found in this Goodreads link