23 April 2013

Swami Vivekananda Quotes On Superhuman And Supernatural Powers

[Site admin's note: If the works of Swami Vivekananda are thoroughly studied, then one may find Vivekananda talked about superhuman powers and paranormal abilities several times. This article attempts to make a list of those quotations and comments. Note that quotes from Swami Vivekananda translation of Patanjali's Yoga aphorisms will not be included in this collection, since Patanjali was the main author of the work and not Swami Vivekananda.]

      [Disclaimer: This website neither endorses nor rejects opinions and views on superhuman powers. This work's object is to make a collection of quotes, assessing to evaluating those quotes is not a part of the work. Readers are suggested to use their own common-sense and knowledge here. We don't ask anyone to believe anything. You may post your views on these quotes in the "Comments" section below.]


      Swami Vivekananda talked about "oneness of mind". He said that "there is nothing supernatural" and a man is born with psychic power.
      "The mind is a part of the universal mind. Each mind is connected with every other mind. And each mind, wherever it is located, is in actual communication with the whole world."
      When he told, "there is no end to the power a man can", he meant psychic and spiritual power. Vivekananda himself witnessed supernatural activities several times—
      Well, I saw many things like that. Going about India you find hundreds of similar things in different places. These are in every country. Even in this country you will find some such wonderful things. Of course there is a great deal of fraud, no doubt; but then, whenever you see fraud, you have also to say that fraud is an imitation. There must be some truth somewhere, that is being imitated; you cannot imitate nothing. Imitation must be of something substantially true.[Source]

      On Power of the Mind

      [Site admin's note: In the book"Karma Yoga" Chapter II, Swami Vivekananda narrates two experiences on "Power of the Mind. Both of the incidences he tells are amazing, and more that "unbelievable". But, since the speaker is none other than the Swami Vivekananda, we can not discard these immediately as fake or hoax too. So, these might be good "food for thought".]
      • Incident I

      "I once heard of a man who, if any one went to him with questions in his mind, would answer them immediately; and I was also informed that he foretold events. I was curious and went to see him with a few friends. We each had something in our minds to ask, and, to avoid mistakes, we wrote down our questions and put them in our pockets. As soon as the man saw one of us, he repeated our questions and gave the answers to them. Then he wrote something on paper, which he folded up, asked me to sign on the back, and said, "Don't look at it; put it in your pocket and keep it there till I ask for it again." And so on to each one of us. He next told us about some events that would happen to us in the future. Then he said, "Now, think of a word or a sentence, from any language you like." I thought of a long sentence from Sanskrit, a language of which he was entirely ignorant. "Now, take out the paper from your pocket," he said. The Sanskrit sentence was written there! He had written it an hour before with the remark, "In confirmation of what I have written, this man will think of this sentence." It was correct. Another of us who had been given a similar paper which he had signed and placed in his pocket, was also asked to think of a sentence. He thought of a sentence in Arabic, which it was still less possible for the man to know; it was some passage from the Koran. And my friend found this written down on the paper.

      Another of us was a physician. He thought of a sentence from a German medical book. It was written on his paper.

      Several days later I went to this man again, thinking possibly I had been deluded somehow before. I took other friends, and on this occasion also he came out wonderfully triumphant."[Source]

      • Incident II
      "Another time I was in the city of Hyderabad in India, and I was told of a Brahmin there who could produce numbers of things from where, nobody knew. This man was in business there; he was a respectable gentleman. And I asked him to show me his tricks. It so happened that this man had a fever, and in India there is a general belief that if a holy man puts his hand on a sick man he would be well. This Brahmin came to me and said, "Sir, put your hand on my head, so that my fever may be cured." I said, "Very good; but you show me your tricks." He promised. I put my hand on his head as desired, and later he came to fulfil his promise. He had only a strip of cloth about his loins, we took off everything else from him. I had a blanket which I gave him to wrap round himself, because it was cold, and made him sit in a corner. Twenty-five pairs of eyes were looking at him. And he said, "Now, look, write down anything you want." We all wrote down names of fruits that never grew in that country, bunches of grapes, oranges, and so on. And we gave him those bits of paper. And there came from under his blanket, bushels of grapes, oranges, and so forth, so much that if all that fruit was weighed, it would have been twice as heavy as the man. He asked us to eat the fruit. Some of us objected, thinking it was hypnotism; but the man began eating himself — so we all ate. It was all right.

      He ended by producing a mass of roses. Each flower was perfect, with dew-drops on the petals, not one crushed, not one injured. And masses of them! When I asked the man for an explanation, he said, "It is all sleight of hand."

      Whatever it was, it seemed to be impossible that it could be sleight of hand merely. From whence could he have got such large quantities of things?"[Source]
        [Site admin's note: A part of the second incident is found in The Complete Works of Vivekananda— Volume VII. Here is that portion]

        From The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda Volume VII
        Five months ago... or just one month before I left India to come to this country, I happened in company in a caravan or party of 25 to sojourn for a space in a city in the interior. While there we learned of the marvellous work of one of these itinerant magicians and had him brought before us. He told us he would produce for us any article we desired. We stripped him, at his request, until he was quite naked and placed him in the corner of the room. I threw my travelling blanket about him and then we called upon him to do as he had promised. He asked what we should like, and I asked for a bunch of California [?] grapes, and straightway the fellow brought them forth from under his blanket. Oranges and other fruits were produced, and finally great dishes of steaming rice.[Source]

        Sixth sense

        • All Hindu philosophy declares that there is a sixth sense, the superconscious, and through it comes inspiration.[Source]
        • The distinguished Oriental thought there was a sixth sense far greater than any of the five we know we possess. It was the truth of revelation. A man may read all the books on religion in the world and yet be the greatest blackguard in the country. Revelation means later reports of spiritual discoveries.[Source]

          Superconscious mind

          • What does consciousness matter! Why, it is nothing compared with the unfathomable depths of the subconscious and the heights of the superconscious! In this I could never be misled, for had I not seen Ramakrishna Paramahamsa gather in ten minutes, from a man's subconscious mind, the whole of his past, and determine from that his future and his powers? [Source]


          Have you ever noticed the phenomenon that is called thought-transference? A man here is thinking something, and that thought is manifested in somebody else, in some other place. With preparations — not by chance — a man wants to send a thought to another mind at a distance, and this other mind knows that a thought is coming, and he receives it exactly as it is sent out. Distance makes no difference. The thought goes and reaches the other man, and he understands it. If your mind were an isolated something here, and my mind were an isolated something there, and there were no connection between the two, how would it be possible for my thought to reach you? In the ordinary cases, it is not my thought that is reaching you direct; but my thought has got to be dissolved into ethereal vibrations and those ethereal vibrations go into your brain, and they have to be resolved again into your own thoughts. Here is a dissolution of thought, and there is a resolution of thought. It is a roundabout process. But in telepathy, there is no such thing; it is direct.[Source]

          Other quotes

          It is possible to acquire miraculous powers 
          by some little degree of mental concentration", 
          and turning to the disciple he asked, 
          "Well, should you like to learn thought-reading? 
          I can teach that to you in four or five days.
          —Swami Vivekananda
          Image source: Wikimedia Commons
          • Meditation power: The power of meditation gets us everything. If you want to get power over nature, [you can have it through meditation]. It is through the power of meditation all scientific facts are discovered today. They study the subject and forget everything, their own identity and everything, and then the great fact comes like a flash. Some people think that is inspiration. There is no more inspiration than there is expiration; and never was anything got for nothing.[Source]
          • Remove viewing: I can see only at a distance of so many feet. But I have seen a man close his eyes and see what is happening in another room. If you say you do not believe it, perhaps in three weeks that man can make you do the same. It can be taught to anybody. Some persons, in five minutes even, can be made to read what is happening in another man's mind. These facts can be demonstrated.[Source]
          • Thought reading: It is possible to acquire miraculous powers by some little degree of mental concentration", and turning to the disciple he asked, "Well, should you like to learn thought-reading? I can teach that to you in four or five days.[Source]
          • Curing diseases: On 20 May 1894, Vivekananda wrote a letter to Swami Saradananda (Sharat) from the United States. In that letter, he informed him a "curious fact". He wrote—
            "Now I tell you a curious fact. Whenever anyone of you is sick, let him himself or anyone of you visualise him in your mind, and mentally say and strongly imagine that he is all right. That will cure him quickly. You can do it even without his knowledge, and even with thousands of miles between you. Remember it and do not be ill any more."[Source]

          See also

          1. Swami Vivekananda Quotes: Food for Thought

          This page was last updated on: 25 March 2014, 4:00 pm IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
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              1. Namaskar Kavita Sangaru,
                Thank you very much for your comments and appreciation.


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