18 Swami Vivekananda Quotes from His Work and Its Secret Lecture

Work and its secret is one of my favorite lectures from Swami Vivekananda. In the lecture, he gives his views on the secrets to success and life in general and provides some guidelines on how we can achieve success.


So here are eighteen Swami Vivekananda quotes from Work And Its Secret:


One of the greatest lessons I have learnt in my life is to pay as much attention to the means of work as to its end.


We forget that it is the cause that produces the effect; the effect cannot come by itself; and unless the causes are exact, proper, and powerful, the effect will not be produced.


We want to get everything from nature, but we find in the long run that nature takes everything from us — depletes us, and casts us aside.


We want to get everything from nature, but we find in the long run that nature takes everything from us — depletes us, and casts us aside. - Swami Vivekananda (Work and Its Secret)

Reserve unto yourself the power of detaching yourself from everything, however beloved, however much the soul might yearn for it, however great the pangs of misery you feel if you were going to leave it; still, reserve the power of leaving it whenever you want.


Attachment is the source of all our pleasures now. We are attached to our friends, to our relatives; we are attached to our intellectual and spiritual works; we are attached to external objects, so that we get pleasure from them. What, again, brings misery but this very attachment? We have to detach ourselves to earn joy.


That man alone will be able to get the best of nature, who, having the power of attaching himself to a thing with all his energy, has also the power to detach himself when he should do so.


We get misery in return for our love; not from the fact that we love, but from the fact that we want love in return. There is no misery where there is no want.


[Related: Swami Vivekananda Thoughts, Quotes and Words of Wisdom about Love]


The great secret of true success, of true happiness, then, is this: the man who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish man, is the most successful. It seems to be a paradox.


Ask nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to you — but do not think of that now, it will come back multiplied a thousand-fold — but the attention must not be on that.


Learn that the whole of life is giving, that nature will force you to give. So, give willingly. Sooner or later you will have to give up.


Learn that the whole of life is giving, that nature will force you to give. So, give willingly. Sooner or later you will have to give up. - Swami Vivekananda (Work and Its Secret)

With clenched hands, you want to take. But nature puts a hand on your throat and makes your hands open. Whether you will it or not, you have to give. The moment you say, "I will not", the blow comes; you are hurt. None is there but will be compelled, in the long run, to give up everything. And the more one struggles against this law, the more miserable one feels.


Even by intellectually recognizing the difficulties, we really do not know them until we feel them.


We get only that for which we are fitted. Let us give up our pride and understand this, that never is misery undeserved.


There never has been a blow undeserved: there never has been an evil for which I did not pave the way with my own hands. We ought to know that. Analyze yourselves and you will find that every blow you have received, came to you because you prepared yourselves for it. You did half, and the external world did the other half: that is how the blow came. That will sober us down.


We are all the time, from our childhood, trying to lay the blame upon something outside ourselves.


We are always standing up to set right other people, and not ourselves. If we are miserable, we say, "Oh, the world is a devil's world." We curse others and say, "What infatuated fools!" But why should we be in such a world, if we really are so good? If this is a devil's world, we must be devils also; why else should we be here? "Oh, the people of the world are so selfish!" True enough; but why should we be found in that company, if we be better? Just think of that.


We only get what we deserve. It is a lie when we say, the world is bad and we are good. It can never be so. It is a terrible lie we tell ourselves.


We only get what we deserve. It is a lie when we say, the world is bad and we are good. It can never be so. It is a terrible lie we tell ourselves. - Swami Vivekananda (Work and Its Secret)

We are to take care of ourselves — that much we can do — and give up attending to others for a time. Let us perfect the means; the end will take care of itself. For the world can be good and pure, only if our lives are good and pure. It is an effect, and we are the means. Therefore, let us purify ourselves. Let us make ourselves perfect.



That's it! Eighteen quotes from Work and Its Secret by Swami Vivekananda. See more Swami Vivekananda quotes here.

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