15 April 2014

Proverbs Mentioned By Swami Vivekananda

In this article we'll make a collection of proverbs mentioned by Swami Vivekananda in his works and discourses.

Proverbs mentioned by Swami Vivekananda
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Along with the prosperity will rise to white heat all the inborn jealousies and hatreds of the human race. Competition and merciless cruelty will be the watchword of the day. To quote a very commonplace and not very elegant English proverb, "Everyone for himself, and the devil take the hindmost", becomes the motto of the day.[Source]
  • An old proverb of India comes to my mind: "There are hundreds of thousands of teachers, but it is hard to find one disciple." It seems to be true. The one important thing in the attainment of spirituality is the attitude of the pupil. When the right attitude is there, illumination comes easily.[Source]
  • Business is business, in the highest sense, and no friendship — or as the Hindu proverb says "eye-shame" — should be there.[Source]
  • Call often to mind that proverb "The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing". (The Imitation of Christ V.5.)[Source]
  • Don't mind these fools; "No fool like an old fool" is the proverb. Let them bark a little. Their occupation is gone. Poor souls! Let them have a little satisfaction in barking.[Source]
  • "He who is very particular gets nothing", says the proverb.[Source]
  • "It is the coward and the fool who says, 'This is fate'" — so says the Sanskrit proverb. But it is the strong man who stands up and says, "I will make my fate."[Source]
  • Knowledge is power, says the proverb, and that is true. Until you know what the mind is doing you cannot control it.[Source]
  • "Knowledge is power", says the proverb, does it not? It is through knowledge that power comes. Man has got to know. Here is a man of infinite power and strength. He himself is by his own nature potent and omniscient. And this he must know. And the more he becomes conscious of his own Self, the more he manifests this power, and his bonds break and at last he becomes free.[Source]
  • Never mind if your contribution is only a mite, your help only a little; blades of grass united into a rope will hold in confinement the maddest of elephants—says the old proverb.[Source]
  • "One must be a wonderful housekeeper with whom we have never yet lived!" so the Bengali proverb goes.[Source]
  • So universal is this belief, held by Shankara, in the all-inclusiveness of the Vedas that there is even a Hindu proverb that if a man loses his cow, he goes to look for her in the Vedas![Source]
  • Some of the fundamentals of our reasoning are most curious, in spite of our boast of science and knowledge. "It is a headache without a head", as the Sanskrit proverb says.[Source]
  • The common proverb in Rajputana is: "The intelligent woman begets the dull son, and the dull woman begets the sharp son". The fact is, whenever any state or kingdom in Rajputana has been managed by a woman, it has been managed wonderfully well.[Source]
  • The jeweller alone can understand the worth of jewels; this is an old proverb. Is it a wonder that this Western sage does study and appreciate every new star in the firmament of Indian thought, before even the Indians themselves realise its magnitude?[Source]
  • There is a proverb in India: "A thousand years a city, and a thousand years a forest." This change of city into forest and vice versa is going on everywhere, and it makes people optimists or pessimists according to the side they see of it.[Source]
  • There is a proverb in our language — If I want to be a hunter, I'll hunt the rhinoceros; if I want to be a robber, I'll rob the king's treasury. What is the use of robbing beggars or hunting ants? So if you want to love, love God. Who cares for these things of the world? (Original Bengali proverb is— Bengali: "মারি তো গণ্ডার,লুঠি তো ভাণ্ডার")[Source]
  • There is a proverb in our language, "Shall we teach the Architect of the universe how to build?" So those are the highest of mankind who do not work.[Source]
  • There is no hope for money for our project here. It is useless to hope. No large number of men in any country do good out of mere sympathy. The few who really give money in the Christian lands often do so through priestcraft and fear of hell. So it is as in our Bengali proverb, "Kill a cow and make a pair of shoes out of the leather and give them in charity to a Brahmana". So it is here, and so everywhere; and then, the Westerners are miserly in comparison to our race. I sincerely believe that the Asians are the most charitable race in the world, only they are very poor. (by "here" Vivekananda meant the United States)[Source]
  • We are having a nice time here except, as an old Hindu proverb says, that "a pestle must pound even if it goes to heaven". I have to work hard all the same. I am going to Chicago in the beginning of August. When are you starting? (From a letter written to F. Leggett from New York, dated 18 June 1895)[Source]
  • We have a proverb here: "One river is equal to forty miles".[Source]
  • We must be bold enough, must be brave enough to speak of their defects, but at the same time we must give the credit that is due to them. Remember the old English proverb, "Give every man his due".[Source]
  • When the germ of every Aryan science is found in the Vedas and every step of any of those sciences can be traced with exactness from the Vedic to the present day, what is the necessity for forcing the far-fetched suggestion of the Greek influence on them? "What is the use of going to the hills in search of honey if it is available at home?" as a Sanskrit proverb says.[Source]

This page was last updated on: 15 April 2014, 5:12 pm IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
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