Swami Vivekananda 156th birth anniversary: Here are some sayings and teachings by him.(HT File Photo)

Swami Vivekananda was a Hindu monk and chief disciple of the 19th-century mystic Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He introduced the world to the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga.

Vivekananda was born Narendranath Datta to an aristocratic family in North Calcutta on January 12, 1863. He is seen as a major force behind the revival of Hinduism in India and is credited with creating interfaith awareness as well. Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary is also celebrated as National Youth Day in India.

In 1881, he first met Ramakrishna Paramhansa, following which he journeyed down the path of spirituality. Vivekananda, who founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission, is also credited with instilling a sense of nationalism in people in a colonial India.

On his 156th birth anniversary, here’s looking at a few teachings and sayings by Swami Vivekananda which helped shape the minds of the youth of the nation.

When he spoke about the path to success

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea…This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”

When he elaborated on the growth of the soul

“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”

When he revealed the path to success

“The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful.”

When he reminded all that one can do anything and everything

“You can do anything and everything, without even the guidance of any one. Stand up and express the divinity within you.”

When he dared people to be free

“Dare to be free, dare to go as far as your thought leads, and dare to carry that out in your life.”

When he defined love

“All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying.”

When he revealed that the power to change is within us

“We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in the future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.”

When he spoke about work

“Each work has to pass through these stages—ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood.”

When he explained what the basis of misunderstandings is

“The reason for every misunderstanding is that we see the people as we are but not as they are.”

When he taught how to stand out from the crowd

“Learn everything that is good from others but bring it in, and in your own way absorb it; do not become others.”

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