Swami Vivekananda Quotes on Youth

Youth has always been a focal point for Swami Vivekananda. So here are nine Swami Vivekananda quotes on youth.


Youth versus Experience

Every child is a born optimist; he dreams golden dreams. In youth he becomes still more optimistic. It is hard for a young man to believe that there is such a thing as death, such a thing as defeat or degradation. Old age comes, and life is a mass of ruins. Dreams have vanished into the air, and the man becomes a pessimist. Thus we go from one extreme to another, buffeted by nature, without knowing where we are going. – Maya and Illusion, Jnana Yoga, Volume 2


As a rule, the young are optimistic and the old pessimistic. The young have life before them; the old complain their day is gone; hundreds of desires, which they cannot fulfill struggle in their hearts. Both are foolish nevertheless. Life is good or evil according to the state of mind in which we look at it, it is neither by itself. – We Help Ourselves, Not the world, Karma Yoga, Volume 1


That young man cannot be persuaded that there are any difficulties in life. You cannot persuade the old man that life is all smooth. He has had many experiences. That is the difference. – Meditation, Lectures and Discourses, Volume 4


That young man cannot be persuaded that there are any difficulties in life. You cannot persuade the old man that life is all smooth. He has had many experiences. That is the difference. – Swami Vivekananda

When we are healthy and young, we think that all the wealth of the world will be ours, and when later we get kicked about by society like footballs and get older, we sit in a corner and croak and throw cold water on the enthusiasm of others. Few men know that with pleasure there is pain, and with pain, pleasure; and as pain is disgusting, so is pleasure, as it is the twin brother of pain. It is derogatory to the glory of man that he should be going after pain, and equally derogatory, that he should be going after pleasure. Both should be turned aside by men whose reason is balanced. Why will not men seek freedom from being played upon? This moment we are whipped, and when we begin to weep, nature gives us a dollar; again we are whipped, and when we weep, nature gives us a piece of ginger-bread, and we begin to laugh again. – Steps to Realization, Lectures, Volume 1


A disciple went to his master and said to him, "Sir, I want religion." The master looked at the young man, and did not speak, but only smiled. The young man came every day, and insisted that he wanted religion. But the old man knew better than the young man. One day, when it was very hot, he asked the young man to go to the river with him and take a plunge. The young man plunged in, and the old man followed him and held the young man down under the water by force. After the young man had struggled for a while, he let him go and asked him what he wanted most while he was under the water. "A breath of air", the disciple answered. "Do you want God in that way? If you do, you will get Him in a moment," said the master. Until you have that thirst, that desire, you cannot get religion, however you may struggle with your intellect, or your books, or your forms. Until that thirst is awakened in you, you are no better than any atheist; only the atheist is sincere, and you are not. – Bhakti or Devotion, Lectures, Volume 2


[Related: Great Atheist Quotes from Swami Vivekananda]


Youth and the Future

My hope of the future lies in the youths of character - intelligent, renouncing all for the service of others, and obedient - who can sacrifice their lives in working out my ideas and thereby do good to themselves and the country at large. – XXI, Conversations and Dialogues, Volume 7


This is the time to decide your future — while you possess the energy of youth, not when you are worn out and jaded, but in the freshness and vigor of youth. Work - this is the time; for the freshest, the untouched, and un-smelled flowers alone are to be laid at the feet of the Lord, and such He receives. – The Future of India, Lectures from Colombo to Almora, Volume 3


More Swami Vivekananda Quotes on Youth

The body may be changed - may be young or old, strong or weak - but that does not affect the soul at all. It is the same eternal existence, manifesting through the body. Bodies come and go, but the soul does not change. – The Atman, Jnana Yoga, Volume 2


The body may be changed - may be young or old, strong or weak - but that does not affect the soul at all. It is the same eternal existence, manifesting through the body. Bodies come and go, but the soul does not change. – Swami Vivekananda

Even the strongest youth remains but a child if he is always looked after as a child by his parents. – Modern India, Translations: Prose, Volume 4



There it is! The nine Swami Vivekananda quotes on youth!



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