Life is Wonderful

Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902), born Narendranath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk, philosopher and author.
He is best known for his ground-breaking speech to the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in US, in which he introduced Hinduism to America and called for religious tolerance and an end to fanaticism.

I’m not going to describe his life, work and achievements, as it’s too vast to cover in a blog post in one go. Whenever I start reading him, I get immersed in the ocean of his deeds, achievements and words. So, I’m taking here just one aspect of his life.

Swami was the chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Vivekananda considered him as an incarnation of God. Vivekananda had written that Ramakrishna had infinite knowledge, infinite love, infinite work, and infinite compassion for all being. He considered it his good fortune that he could see the man so close.

Swami owed everything to Ramakrishna, “All that I am, all that the world itself will some day be, is owing to my Master, Shri Ramakrishna.”

At one occasion, Vivekananda asked him, “Have you seen God?”

Ramakrishna replied, “Yes, I’ve seen. Like I’m seeing you right now, I’ve seen God exactly the same way.”

Swami had asked this question to many great people, but a clear affirmative reply came only from Sri Ramakrishna.

I have come across a beautiful conversation Swami Vivekananda had with his Guru, Ramkrishna Paramahansa. Hope you too will like to have a look at his eleven questions and answers thereto:

1. Swami Vivekanand:- I can’t find free time. Life has become hectic.

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Activity gets you busy. But productivity gets you free.

2. Swami Vivekanand:- Why has life become complicated now?

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Stop analyzing life, it makes it complicated. Just live it.

3. Swami Vivekanand:- Why am I then constantly unhappy?

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Worrying has become your habit. That’s why you are not happy. Any person can make you realise how wonderful the world is, but only few will make you realise how wonderful you are in the world..!

4. Swami Vivekanand:- Why do good people always suffer?

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Diamond cannot be polished without friction. Gold cannot be purified without fire. Good people go through trials, but don’t suffer. With that experience their life becomes better, not bitter.

5. Swami Vivekanand:- You mean to say such experience is useful?

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Yes. In every term, experience is a hard teacher. It gives the test first and the lessons .

6. Swami Vivekanand:- Because of so many problems, we don’t know where we are heading.

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- If you look outside you will not know where you are heading. Look inside. Eyes provide sight. Heart provides the way.

7. Swami Vivekanand:- Does failure hurt more than moving in the right direction?

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you.

8. Swami Vivekanand:- In tough times, how do you stay motivated?

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.

9. Swami Vivekanand:- What surprises you about people?

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- When they suffer they ask, “why me?” When they prosper, they never ask “Why me?”

10. Swami Vivekanand:- How can I get the best out of life?

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.

11. Swami Vivekanand:- One last question. Sometimes I feel my prayers are not answered.

Ramkrishna Paramahansa:- There are no unanswered prayers. Keep the faith and drop the fear. Life is a mystery to solve, not a problem to resolve. Trust me. Life is wonderful if you know how to live.

–Kaushal Kishore

37 Comments

  1. I am greatly indebted to you, Kaushal, for writing an inspiring post devoted to Swami Vivekananda.
    His spiritual and humanitarian philosophy influenced me to such a degree that I wrote 4 part
    series about his life, more than 12,000 thousand words in total. I have all 8 volumes of his work and read them often. You were right, Kaushal, to highlight the most essential points of his teaching.
    We know Swami’s words only because he met J. J. Goodwin, an English stenographer who wrote down word for word Swami’s speeches and thoughts. As he is hardly ever mentioned, I feel duty bound to Swami, to write about his faithful disciple.

    Being such an extraordinary man, Swami’s gratitude to his guru, Ramakrishna Paramhansa resulted in the creation of Ramakrishna Mission, a Hindu spiritual organization with the motto:
    “For one’s one salvation and for the good of the world.” – a direct translation from Sanskrit.

    Swami’s influence on the whole world was such that there is a Blue plaque in London, erected on the house he stayed in during1886.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have rightly stated various facts, Joanna about Swami ji. I have already stated in my post that it’s not possible to cover his life in a single post. I had read each and every word of your posts on Swami ji, and you also must have realised that you could add something more about him. You’re right, Swamiji established Ramakrishna Mission in the honour of his spiritual Guru at the Belur Math. He had this kind of personality. It pleases me, Joanna, whenever you say that you are his disciple. Thank you for sharing your beautiful reflections in detail. Much much appreciated!

      Like

  2. During my freshmen level, we did a course titled Philosophical and sociological foundation of education. One Indian intellectual considered human as complete from birth and emphasized on letting him realize this totality with help of education and that man is Swami Vivekanada. Education is manifestation of perfection inherent in human – Swami Vivekanada(2013).

    I love his takes on education. It gladdens my heart to find him more amazing. He’s a legend.

    Thanks for showing us this wonderful part of him. Keep up the good work, Mr. KK. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so pleased to read your beautiful reflections, my friend. You’re so right when you talk of education in the eyes of Swami Vivekananda. I think you must be knowing the concept of “dwij”, that believes that a person is first born physically and at a later date is born twice spiritually when he attains enlightenment. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Suzette for your appreciation and sharing that important information. Much appreciated. You are right, Swami ji left imprints wherever he went.

      Liked by 1 person

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