Gospel of Strength by Swami Vivekanada - Part 1

Stop becoming weak

Strength, strength , it is that we want so much in this life, for what we call sin and sorrow have all one cause and that is our weakness. With weakness comes ignorance and with ignorance comes misery.

Never be weak, You must be strong, you have infinite strength within you.

Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin- to say that you are weak.

The only saint is that soul that never weakens and faces everything.

All weakness, all bondage is imagination… Do not weaken!... Stand up and be strong! That is all the religion I know.

Know that all sins and all evils can be summed up in that one word, weakness. It is weakness that is the motive power in all the evil doing; it is weakness that is the source all the selfishness; it is weakness that makes men injure others; it is weakness that makes them manifest what they are not in reality.

The weak have no place here, in this life or in any other life. Weakness leads to slavery. Weakness leads to all kinds of misery, physical and mental. Weakness is death. There are hundreds of thousands of microbes surrounding us, but they cannot harm us unless we become weak, until the body is ready and predisposed to receive them. There may be a million microbes of misery floating about us. Never mind! They dare not approach us, they have no power to get a hold on us, until the mind is weakened.

This is the great fact; strength is life, weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal, weakness is constant strain and misery; weakness is death.

You must retain great strength in your mind and words “ I am low, I am low” – repeating these ideas in the mind, man belittles and degrades himself.

Sin may be said to be the feeling of every kind of weakness. From this weakness spring jealousy, malice and so forth. Hence weakness is sin.

What we want is strength, so believe in yourselves… Make your nerves strong. What we want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel. We have wept enough. No more weeping, but stand on your own feet and be men.

What is sin and what is misery, and what are all these, but the results of weakness? Men are taught from childhood that they are sinners and weak. Teach them that they are all glorious children of immortality, even those who are the weakest in manifestation. Let positive, strong, helpful thoughts enter into their brains from very childhood. Lay yourselves open to these thoughts, and not to weakening and paralyzing ones.

First build up your physique. Then only you can get control over the mind.

Never can hatred and malice vanish from one’s heart unless once becomes a hero

It is very easy to say “Hate nobody, resist not evil” but we know what that kind of thing generally means in practice. When the eyes of society are turned towards us, we may make a show of non-resistance, but in our hearts it is canker all the time.. This is hypocrisy and will service no purpose.

This is the once question, I put to every man, woman or child, when they are in physical, mental or spiritual training. Are you strong? Do you feel strength? – for I know it is strength alone that leads to truth.

Stamping down the weakness of mind and heart, stand up saying “I am possessed of heroism; I am possessed of a steady intellect...” Never allow weakness to overtake your mind”

Strength is the medicine for the world’s disease. Strength is the medicine which the poor must have when tyrannized over by the rich. Strength is the medicine that the ignorant must have when oppressed by the learned.

Non-injury is right; “resist not evil” is a great thing – these are indeed grand principles; but the scriptures say, “... If any one smites you on your cheek and you don’t return an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth, you will verily be a sinner.”

This is very true, and this is a thing which should not be forgotten. Heroes alone enjoy the world. Show your heroism. Otherwise you live a disgraceful life if you pocket your insults when you are kicked and trodden down by anyone who takes it into this head to do so. Your life is a veritable hell here, and so is the life hereafter. This is my advice to you. Of course do not do any wrong. Do not injure or tyrannize over anyone, but try to do good to others as much as you can. But passively to submit to wrong done by other is a sin. Try to pay them back in their own coin then and there. If you cannot do that. How do you profess to be a man?

First you have to build the body with good nutritious food – then only will the mind be strong. The mind is but the subtle part of the body.

The only test of good things is that they make us strong.

As soon as you say,”I am little mortal being,” you are saying something which is not true, you are giving the lie to yourselves, you are hypnotizing yourselves into something vile and weak and wretched.