Faith – The Source of Strength — Swami Vivekananda’s Teachings

  1. (Collected by Brahmachari Amal, an American devotee and published on the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda)

Have faith in yourselves, great convictions are the mothers of great deeds.

The history of the world is the history of a few men who had faith in themselves. That faith calls out the divinity within. You can do anything. You fail only when you do not strive sufficiently to manifest the infinite power. As soon as a man or a nation loses faith, death comes.

What we want is this Shraddha. … What makes the difference between man and man is the difference in this Shraddha and nothing else. What makes one man great and another weak and low is this Shraddha. …This Shraddha must enter into you.

Have faith that you are all, my brave lads, born to do great things! Let not the barks of puppies frighten you – no, not even the thunderbolts of heaven – but stand up and work!

Have faith in yourself. You people were once the Vedic Rishis. Only you have come in different forms, that’s all. I see it clear as daylight that you all have infinite power in you. Rouse that up; arise, arise.

This faith in themselves was in the hearts of our ancestors, this faith in themselves was the motive power that pushed them forwards and forward in the march of civilization; and if there has been degeneration, if there has been defect, mark my words, you will find that degradation to have started on the day our people lost this faith in themselves.

Have faith in yourself – all power is in you – be conscious and bring it out. Say, “I can do everything.” “Even the poison of a snake is powerless if you can firmly deny it.” Beware! No saying ‘nay’, no negative thoughts !

Losing faith in one’s elf means losing faith in God.

To advance we must have faith in ourselves first and then in God. He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.

Faith, faith, faith in ourselves, faith, faith in God – this is the secret of greatness.

Each one of you has a glorious future if you dare believe me. Have a tremendous faith in yourselves, like the faith I had when I was a child, … Have that faith, each one of you, in yourself – that eternal power is lodged in every soul – and you will revive the whole of India.

Let a man go down as low as possible; there must come a time when out of sheer desperation he will take an upward curve and will learn to have faith in himself. But it is better for us that we should know it from the very first. Why should we have all these bitter experiences in order to have faith in ourselves ?

If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty million of your mythological gods .. and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you. Have faith in yourselves, and stand upon that faith and be strong; that is what we need.

Faith in ourselves will do everything. I have experienced it in my own life.

The ideal of faith in ourselves is of the greatest help to us. If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practised, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries we have would have vanished. Throughout the history of mankind, if any motive power has been more potent than another in the lives of all great men and women, it is that of faith in themselves. Born with the consciousness that they were to be great, they became great.

Whatever of material power you see manifested by the Western races is the outcome of this Shraddha, because they believe in their muscles and if you believe in your spirit, how much more will it work! Believe in that infinite soul, the infinite power, which with consensus of opinion, you books and sages preach. That Atman which nothing can destroy, in it is infinite power only waiting to be called out … Be strong and have this Shraddha, and everything is bound to follow.

Have faith, as Nachiketa … ay, I wish that faith would come to each of you; and every one of you would stand up a giant, a world-mover with a gigantic intellect – an infinite God in every respect. This is what I want you to become.

Make men first. Men we want, and how can men be made unless Shraddha is there!

What I mean o say is that want of Shraddha has brought in all the evils among us, and is bringing in more and more. My method of treatment is to take out by the roots the very causes of the disease and not to keep them merely suppressed.

The idea of true Shraddha must be brought back once more to us, the faith in our own selves must be reawakened, and, then only, all the problems which face our country will gradually be solved by ourselves.

Infinite faith and strength are the only conditions of success.

Every boy should be trained to practise absolute Brahmacharya, and then, and then only, faith – Shraddha – will come.

Be possessed of Shraddha (faith), of Virya(courage), attain to the knowledge of the Atman, and sacrifice your life for the good of others – this is my wish and blessing.

Sincerity of conviction and purity of motive will surely gain the day; and even a small minority, armed with these, is surely destined to prevail against all odds.

Truth, purity, and unselfishness – wherever these are present, there is no power below or above the sun to crush the possessor thereof. Equipped with these, one individual is able to face the whole universe in opposition.

Let people say whatever they like, stick to your own convictions, and rest assured, the world will be at your feet. They say, “have faith in this fellow or that fellow,” but I say, “Have faith in yourself first,” that’s the way.

What we want are Western Science coupled with Vedanta, Brahmacharya as the guiding motto, and also Shraddha and faith in one’s own self.




























(next part is “The Power of Will”)

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