Light Up With a Luminary: Swami Vivekananda
02 Oct 2011

The Author


Light Up with a Luminary features a different person each post that has an inspirational life, outlook or philosophy that lights up our awareness and goodness. Each time there is a small biography as well as a few of their quotes. If you know of a person which you feel is a Luminary , whether from a past or present, contact us.

Swami Vivekananda was born in India on January 12, 1863, and died at the young age of 39. Swami Vivekananda was for the most part, an unknown monk in India until he represented Hinduism at the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. The Parliament of Religions united all of the major world religions for the first attempt in history to create a global dialogue of faiths (Ironically enough: the date was September 11, 1893.). Swami Vivekananda opened the parliament with a speech that became one of the most influential talks of that meeting, and is considered today to be what sparked Western interest in Eastern practices.

His mass appeal was his wide-range knowledge of the Eastern and Western world, their philosophies and cultures. He combined eloquence with logic and compassion, which ultimately led to the spreading of his teachings around the world.

Swami Vivekananda was personable and reachable to his American disciples and is one of the first people in the world to bring Vedanta and Yoga philosophies and practices to America. Amongst his spiritual intellect, his scholarship included history, philosophy, social sciences, art, literature, and yes, sports!

He was a promoter for peace and was ahead of his time as he advocated for many movements we are still globally fighting for today, including: eliminating poverty and injustice, unity of world religions and even women’s rights. He believed in brotherhood, interfaith awareness and in uniting together to realize how each of us are divine.

So Light up with Vivekananda and his thoughts with his quotes below, starting with a snippet of his speech he gave at the parliament:

“Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful Earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.”

“The Idea of perfect womanhood is independence”

“In one word, this ideal is that you are divine.”

Woman has suffered for eons, and that has given her infinite patience and infinite perseverance.

“To believe blindly is to degenerate the human soul. Be an atheist if you want, but do not believe in anything unquestioningly.”

“In a day when you don’t come across any problems—you can be sure that you are traveling in the wrong path.”

“We must overcome difficulty by constant practice. We must learn that nothing can happen to us unless we make ourselves susceptible to it.”

“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.”

“Comfort” is no test of truth; on the contrary, truth is often far from being “comfortable.”

Desire, ignorance, and inequality—this is the trinity of bondage.”

“Please everyone without becoming a hypocrite or a coward.”

“There cannot be friendship without equality.”

Come out into the universe of Light. Everything in the universe is yours, stretch out your arms and embrace it with love. If you every felt you wanted to do that, you have felt God.”

“In one word, this ideal is that you are divine.”

No comments

Fatal error: Uncaught Exception: 12: REST API is deprecated for versions v2.1 and higher (12) thrown in /home/content/84/6481784/html/wp-content/plugins/seo-facebook-comments/facebook/base_facebook.php on line 1273