Conversations With Swami Vivekananda


Q: Swami, if all things are one, what is the difference between a cabbage and a man?

Swami Vivekananda: Stick a knife into your leg, and you will see the line of demarcation.

Q: Then, Swami, what you claim is that all is good?

Swami Vivekananda: By no means. My claim is that all is not ” only God is! That makes all the difference.

WOMAN STUDENT: Well, Swami, what would become of the world if everyone renounced?

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Madam, why do you come to me with that lie on your lips? You have never considered anything in this world but your own pleasure!

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: I am the disciple of a man who could not write his own name, and I am not worthy to undo his shoes. How often have I wished I could take my intellect and throw it into the Ganges!

STUDENT: But, Swami, that is the part of you I like best.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: That is because you are a fool, Madam ” like I am.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: I have to come back once more. The Master said I am to come back once more with him.

MRS. ALLAN: You have to come back because Shri Ramakrishna says so?

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Souls like that have great power, Madam.

WOMAN STUDENT: Oh, if I had only lived earlier, I could have seen Shri Ramakrishna!

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA (turning quietly to her): You say that, and you have seen me?

MISS BELL: This world is an old schoolhouse where we come to learn our lessons.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Who told you that? [Miss Bell could not remember.] Well, I don't think so. I think this world is a circus ring in which we are the clowns tumbling.

MISS BELL: Why do we tumble, Swami?

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Because we like to tumble. When we get tired, we will quit. 

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