Tuesday, April 24, 2007


The mind is superior to the body. It is the mind that makes the body, but not vice versa. Mind is a repository of thoughts. Negative and evil thoughts make the mind weak. Weak and uncontrolled mind always succumbs to temptations, creating havoc with a person. The habits of brooding over failures gives rise to negative thoughts. Swami Vivekananda's words will certainly help us to overcome such weaknesses. He said: 'The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength. Teach men of the strength that is already within them'.

There are a few fortunate souls who are lucky enough to attain success without pitfalls; the rest have to pass though the hurdles and difficulties. But the real hero is he who welcomes challenges in life and faces them with boldness and courage. Such a person crossing all the hurdles comes out successfully like a lion. The following incident took place during Swami Vivekananda wandering days, when he was staying at Varanasi. It conveys a profound message to the whole world. One day, while returning from the Durga temple, Swamiji was chased by some monkeys. TO save himself , Swamiji started running, but the monkeys ran still faster and grew increasingly aggressive. Meanwhile, an old monk who was witnessing the scene called out to him: 'Stop running. Face the brutes.' Swamiji heard his call and turned to 'face the brutes.; Then the monkeys stopped harassing him. Swamiji drew a great lesson from this incident. He learnt that one should not run away, when faced with danger or difficulty; and instead, one must face it boldly. In his later life, addressing a gathering in New York, he said: '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. Cowards never win victories. We have to face fear and troubles and ignorance, if we expect them to flee before us.


1. A strong mind always remains calm even in adversities.
2. It never succumbs to temptations, and develops tremendous courage to say 'NO' to immoral thoughts and action.
3. It always remains free from prejudice, suspicion and jealousy.
4. Clarity of thinking makes it possible to take right decisions and come to right judgements.
5. Such a mind will never indulge in wrong action, prompted by evil emotions, such as desire, anger, greed, greed, hatred, etc., but will be always guided by serious, deep and right thinking.
6. Positive thinking, concentration, fearlessness, adventurous nature, and self-confidence are the vital qualities of a strong mind.


1. A weak mind gets irritation and loses temper over trifling matters and reacts violently.
2. Such a mind can easily succumb to temptations, like bribery, stealing, etc.
3. Due to confusion, suspicion, and prejudice, if fails to take the right decision and make impartial judgements.
4. Such a mind always compromises with and surrenders to evil forces.
5.It cannot face challenges in life, and tries to escape from them by adoption easy and cheap methods.
6. Such a mind always takes recourse to weeping and grumbling.
7. Such a mind never appreciates good qualities in others.
8. Restlessness, fear, tension, laziness, frustration, superstition, and negative thinking are the main characteristics of a weak mind.

Even a weak and uncontrolled mind can be controlled by applying strong will power and regular training. The body needs nutritious food, so does the mind need good ideas. Though t-power is a great source for strengthening the mind. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that mind is just like a laundered cloth; whatever colour you dip it in, it will take the same colour. Our actions are the concert forms of our thoughts. Once we change our way of thinking and develop a habit to think noble and positive ideas, it will bring tremendous change in our conduct and behaviour. Swami Vivekananda has give us hope, when he said: 'Whatever you think, that you will be, if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be.' Underestimating one's own capacity and constantly thinking in a negative way, such as, i am good for nothing, I am hopeless, I am worthless, I am a sinner. is the prime cause of our mental weakness. Tremendous power is hidden within us : positive thinking is the only way to bring it out.

The habits of reading good, mind-strengthening, and wholesome literature always provides healthy food for our mind. _the selection of such reading material and the company of good people will certainly enhance our mental strength. Specially for the youth, Swami Vivekananda's literature is most inspiring, and a storehouse of all positive and constructive ideas. While explaining the impact of this literature to Romain Rolland, Rabindranath Tagore said: 'If you want to understand India, study Vivekananda; in him, everything is positive nothing negative.'

So, positive thinking, the habit of reading good books, and the practice of meditation are the few means to improve our mental strength, which forms a part of our personality.


Strength is of four types, i,.e. the physical, the mental, the intellectual, and the spiritual. Intellectual strength is superior to physical, and mental strength, and hence it forms an important part of our personality. Though this intellectual faculty is present in everyone, in most of the cases it remains dormant due to lack of proper training and intellectual exercise. Excessive use of modern electronic gadgets has converted man into a machine. The result is computers are keeping everything in memory, and, we, the human beings, are keeping our memory undeveloped. Originality, creativity, and deep thinking are taking leave of mankind; and artificiality, imitation, and shallow and superficial thinking ate making their presence felt every where.

To cultivate different talents, such as music, fine arts, poetry, dance, drama, etc.,creative thinking is absolutely necessary. Deep thinking brings out the hidden talents in man or woman in the form of inspiration, which is possible only though the power of concentration of . The power of concentration helps us to grasp subtle and higher things. And here comes the role of the intellect. Our senses and mind are restless. Since the intellect is superior to them, it alone can brig them under control. And, therefore, one must develop tremendous will power to control the mind and fix it on higher things, to achieve success in life.

The mind always tries to deceive us. It give us convincing arguments to lead a comfortable life by applying short cut methods. It does not want to follow any discipline in the name of freedom, and, prefers easygoing life. Sometimes it forces us , even to do wrong things deviating from the path of righteousness. Hence we need strong intellect, which will detect the evil motives of the mind and will assert its strength to follow the right path, which leads to real success. Therefore, to develop a strong, discriminative, and determinative intellect, it is necessary to cultivate intellectual faculty.


In this mortal body, there is something immortal, eternal, and of the nature of pure consciousness, bliss, peace, and source of tremendous power, energy, and knowledge. It is of the nature of effulgent light; never undergoes any change, Free from birth, old age, and death. From it spring all divine qualities, such as love, compassion, service, purity, truthfulness, fearlessness , etc. That is our divine nature. This spiritual dimension is superior to all other aspects of personality. Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: 'The subtle organs are superior o the gross body, the mind is superior to the organs, but the intellect is superior to the mind. However, the one who dwells in this body is superior to intellect.' Though the divine dwell within our hearts, we are not aware of the fact. The physical body is a product of nature and made of the five element, which will go back to its source after death. But the divine within is entirely separate from the gross and subtle manifestation of nature. If that is true, then why are we not able to realize it ? Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita 'Knowledge remains covered by ignorance. Thereby the creatures become deluded.' The moment we remove this scree of ignorance, the knowledge of the Atman will shine forth, and then will manifest all the great virtues in our personality. SWami Vivekananda said: "Teach yourselves, teach everyone, his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will com, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come, when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity.'

There are four different paths suited to different temperaments. They are: Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga, Karma yoga, and Raja yoga. That is the path of devotion, the path of discrimination, the path of selfless action, and the path of meditation. Regular practice of these four yogas will help us to manifest our divine nature, removing all impurities from the mind. And, therefore, ever day, we must spare sometimes for prayer, meditation, japa, selfless service, and practice of discrimination, which will certainly help us to develop the spiritual dimension of our personality.


A harmonious growth of the physical, the mental, the intellectual and the spiritual dimension is essential for the all-round development of personality. Struggle for perfection in all these aspects will ultimately lead us to the development of the real personality. Once we succeed in doing that, there will be a tremendous qualitative change in our lives. A great number of such people will certainly form a better society; and the y will raise this nation once again to its highest glory.

Monday, April 23, 2007


There is a deep interest for personality development, specially among the youth. They are in a hurry and expect instant change in the personality. In fact, they do not understand the difference between 'change' and 'development'. It is quite possible to change one's personality overnight. The beauty parlours, hair dressing. ready-made garments, cosmetics, and high-heeled shoes can do this magic, which is only a temporary change, and does not help in developing the real personality. It is not advisable to resort to such cheap methods, wasting time, money and energy.

The human body is a rare gift of God. Good health is the source of happiness and success in life. Since the body and mind are closely related to each other, ill health causes mental worries and depression, not enabling to pursue a definite goal in life. Swami Vivekananda has rightly said that most of our miseries are cause by our physical weaknesses.

Our ancient teachers said: 'The body is the means for the pursuit of religion'. Therefore, if is our duty to maintain good health. Swami Vivekananda repeatedly asserted that we must develop muscles of iron and nerves of steel. In one of his lectures,he said: 'Be Strong, my young friends, that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to heaven though football than though the study of GITA. These are my bold words, but i have to say them, for i love you. In know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a little experience. You will understand the GITA better with your biceps, your muscles, a lieele strong.' Poor health not only creates tension in the person concerned, but also disturbs the whole family. To meet the medical expenses, the whole family has to suffer from financial strain. A healthy person always keeps his mind cool in all circumstances. He performs his duties efficiently, enthusiastically, and cheerfully. The development of physical strength, which is indispensable to serve others, to protect one's self-interest, should not be abused for destroying national property. Uncontrolled physical energy many times erupts in the form of caste and communal riots, anti-social activities, violence, robbery, harassment, etc., disturbing the peace and harmony in social. One must canalize this physical energy into constructive purpose.

Habits play a vital role in developing physical dimension. Bad habits, such as drinking, smoking, drugs addiction, etc., can do great harm to the physical health, making a person weak and susceptible to chronic diseases. One must be very careful and should never fall a prey to such harmful habits. Even the company of such people who are the victims of bad habits should be shunned at all cost. The influence of bad company is very harmful to the teenagers. Their tender and immature mind can easily succumb to the temptations of bad habits. Therefore, parents and teachers should keep watch over them and motivate them to cultivate good habits. Developing good habits regarding food, sleep, exercise, and work is the secret of good health.

Practice of YOGASANA and breathing exercises is the most effective method to keep the body fit, but one must practise them under the guidance of a competent teacher.

In ancient India, learning in the Gurukula system, students used to spent their early days in the company of enlightened teachers. By practising strict discipline, such as, BRAHMACHARYA, physical austerities, service to guru, study of different branches of knowledge, etc., they would attain tremendous energy within themselves. They were capable of retaining all the Vedas in their memory. The obvious reason is conservation of sensual pleasures makes the senses bereft of vigour and strength, and unfit got higher achievements in life. Though our sages were married, they had tremendous control over their senses. By the practice of BRAHMACHARYA, one can easily transform the sexual energy into OJAS, which makes the brain and the nervous system strong and brights new vigour and enthusiasm in blood. Single-point concentration and memory power are the results of BRAHMAVHARYA.



The sign of life is struggle for growth. A tiny seed breaks open the earth to grow into a plant, but growth alone does not addbeauty to life, rather wild and abnormal growth sometimes leads to stagnation. Shaping the growth though proper training and systematicdiscipline is the only way ti make life beaytiful, which ultimately leads to ful;ly-fledged personality.
In the history of mankind, great personilites appear who shook the world during their lifetime. Their marellous achievement dazzled the eyesof people for a while, but were forgetten immediately after ther demise. The reason being appearance of greater and stronger personilities withextraordinary brilliance, who made their hold strong on the mind of peolples. Achievement in life certainly makes a person great, but does not add much to his or her personality. The need of the hour is to develope personility base on charecter and lot on achievements in life. Real personality, which is based in charecter, is remembered by the world though eternity. The number of such peoples, though small, can shape the destiny of mankind. Their names remain imprinted in the hearts of millions of peoples forever. We are proud to say that in modern tiimes India could produce such a real and universal person in Swami Vivekananda, whose thoughs are a source of inspiration thoughout the world to shape a real personality.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Death of Swami Vivekananda

The Swami knew his end was nearing. All his actions during the last days were deliberate and significant. He said that smaller plants cannot grow under the shade of a big tree. On 4 July 1902, he meditated from 8 to 11 in the morning, rather unusually. In the afternoon, he went out for a walk with Swami Premananda and explained his plan to start a Vedic school. In the evening, he retired to hi room and spent an hour in meditation. Then he lay down quietly and after some time took two deep breaths and passed into eternal rest.

He had renounced his mortal body, but his words uttered in 1896 to Mr. Eric Hammond in London remained to reassure everyone of his immortality: 'It may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body to cast it off like a won-out garment. But I shall not cease to work . I shall inspire men everywhere, until the world shall know that it is one with God'.

Triumphal Return

The news of Swami's return had already reached India, and the people everywhere, throughout the country, were afire with enthusiasm to receive him. He was no small or big, committees had been formed to give him a fitting reception. As Romain Rolland says, the Swami 'replied' to the frenzied expectancy of the people by his
message to India, a conch sounding the resurrection of the land of Rama, of siva, of Krsna, and calling the heroic spirit, the immortal Atman, to march to war. He was a general, explaining his Plan of Campaign, and calling his people to rise en masses: " My India, arisw ! Where is your vital force? In your Immortal Soul."
However, he had to bear great criticism from other orthodox Hindus for having traveled in the West. In his day there was hardly a Hindu in America and he received criticism for crossing the ocean, at that time a cause for "outcasting." Vivekananda scoffed at these critiques from the orthodox
saying "I cannot be outcast - As a monk, I am beyond caste." His contemporaries also questioned his motives, wondering whether the fame and glory of his Hindu evangelism compromised his original monastic vows. His enthusiasm for America and Britain, and his spiritual devotion to his motherland,
caused significant tension in his last years.

In the West

Vivekananda was received well at the 1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, where he delivered a series of lectures. He also earned wild applause for beginning his address with the famous words, "Sisters and brothers of America." A newspaper account described him
as "an orator by divine right and undoubtedly the greatest figure at the Parliament." Vivekananda's arrival in the USA has been identified by many to mark the beginning of western interest in Hinduism not as merely an exotic eastern oddity, but as a vital religious and philosophical tradition
that might actually have something important to teach the West.
Vivekananda successfully introduced yoga and Vedanta to the West and lectured around America introducing the topics (1894-6). He taught hundreds of students privately in free classes held in his own room beginning in New York in 1895. Later, he started Vedantic centers in
New York City and London, lectured at major universities and generally kindled western interest in Hinduism. His success was not without controversy, much of it from Christian missionaries of whom he was fiercely critical. After four years of constant touring, lecturing and retreats
in the West, he came back to India in the year 1897.

Conditions in Rural India

Vivekananda travelling extensively through India, somethimes by train, somethimes on foot. He was shocked to see the conditions in rural India people ignorant, superstitious, half-starved, and victims of caste-tyranny.
If this shocked him, the callousness of the so-called educated upper classes shocked him still more. In the course of his travels he met many princes who invited him to stay with them as their guest. He met also city-based members of
the intelligentsia lawyers, teachers, journalist and government officials. He appealed to all to do something for the masses. No one seemed fo pay any heed to him expect the maharaja of maysore, the maharaja of khetri and a few
young men of Madras. Swami vivekananda impressed on everybody the need to mobilize the masses. A few education men and women could not solve the problems of the country; the mass power had to be harenessed to the task. He wanted the
masses education. The ruler of Mysore was among the first to make primary education free within his State. This ruler of Mysore was among the first to make primary sducation free within his state. This, however, was not enough in Swamiji's view.
A peasant could not afford to send his children to school, for he needed their help in his field. He wanted education which perhaps he visualized. Hisletter to the maharaja of Mysore on the subject show how much thought he lead give to the subject
and how original he was.
As Swamiji arrived in Madras, young people gathered round him drawn by his bright looks and inspiring talks. They begged him to go to the USA to attend the forthcoming Parliment of religions in Chicago to represent Hinduism. They even started raising
funds for the purpose. Swamiji was at first reluctant but later felt some good might come out of his visir to the West, for if he could make some impression, first in USA and then also in England. The press paid him the highest tributes as an exponent of Indian's
age-old values; overnight he because a great national hero in India. Suddenly it was brought home to them that there must be something in India thiught that Western intelligentsia feel compelled to admire. Slowly but inevitably, they began to revise their opinions about their own country and civilization.
They began to suspect that perhaps they were not as backward as they once thought, and literature, and in areas like religion and philosophy, in art and literature, they were perhaps more advance than the Western people. They had always felt sorry about themselves, but, now for the first time, they
awoke to the richness of their heritage. This was the starting point of the India renaissance one hears about. A long succession of national leaders starting from Tilak have drawn inspiration from Swami Vivekananda. They 'discovered' India her strong and weak points through him.
'If you want to know India,study Vivekananda', was Tagore's advice to Romain Rolland. This holds true even today, indeed, no one has studied Indian's body and mine so thoroughly as Swamiji did.
He described India's neglect of the masses as a national sin. Next to this was the sin of neglecting the womanhood. Caste, in its present form, was yet another sin. Indian's ethnic and religious pluralism did not worry him, for india had always sought her unity inlove and respect for different sects and
communities. He saw socialism coming and the welcomed it fir indian as for the rest of the world . The Shudras, i.e., the working people, were sure to come to power, and in order that the transition might be peaceful he asked the Brahmins, i.e., the intelligentsia, to pave the way to it. Lest any cultural decline occur following this shift
he wanted to deluge the country with spiritual thought.
It was Swamiji's hope that Indian would create a new social order and a new civilization by combining her best spiritual traditions with the latest advancement in science and technology. She would be rich both materially and spiritually. He knew affluence was not enough, man had
to be human,too. He wanted Indian to set example in this.