Concentration is the essence of all knowledge; nothing can be done without it. Ninety percent of thought force is wasted by the ordinary human being, and therefore he is constantly committing blunders; the trained man or mind never makes a mistake.
To me the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collection of facts. If I had to do my education over again, and had any voice in the matter, I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration and detachment, and then with a perfect instrument I could collect facts at will.
How has all the knowledge in the world been gained but by the concentration powers of the mind? The world is ready to give up its secrets if we only knew how to knock, how to give the necessary blow. The strength and force of the blow come through concentration. There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point; that is the secret.
Here is the difference between man and the animals — man has greater powers of concentration. The difference in their power of concentration also constitutes the difference between man and man. Compare the lowest with the highest man. The difference is in the degree of concentration. This is the only difference.
Do you see, simply by the observance of strict Brahmacharya (continence), all learning can be mastered in a very short time – one has unfailing memory of what one hears or knows but once. It is owing to this lack of continence that everything is on the bring of ruin in our country.
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life — think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. This is the way that every spiritual giant is produced. Others are mere talking machines.
How are we to know that the mind has become concentrated? Because the idea of time will vanish. The more time passes unnoticed, the more concentrated we are. In common life we see that when we are interested in a book we do not notice the time at all and when we leave the book we are often surprised to find how many hours have passed.
All the great prophets, saints and seers of the world — what did they do? In one span of life, they lived the whole life of humanity. In one life they perfected themselves; they have no thought for anything else, … and thus the way has shortened for them. That is what I meant by concentration — intensifying the power of assimilation, thus shortening of the time.
Concentration of the powers of mind is our only instrument to help us see God. The concentrated mind is a lamp that shows us every corner of the soul.
Success in life is mostly depends on the power of concentration. Clear thinking and intellectual understanding are very easy for a concentrated mind. Arjuna could shoot at the target with his tremendous power of concentration.
In a time of vicious influences, constant bombardment of negativity and celebration of toxicity, the ideology of India’s greatest spiritual ambassador and “patriotic saint” Swami Vivekananda is like finding a sweet water lake in the midst of scorching desert. A life-saving-hand to the drowning man. An elixir to the dying person.
To pass on the greatest of the great spiritual ideas and in memory of his master, Vivekananda founded The Ramakrishna Mission at Belur, Kolkata in 1897. And started a revolution of electric patriotism throughout the country. For decades, men and women have been dedicating their lives to empower the society through extensive work in health care, disaster relief, rural management, tribal welfare, elementary and higher education and culture.
Harnessing The Youth Power
Swami Vivekananda had unflinching faith in the youth of the country, for they are the ones who have the potential and power to re-write the future of the country. All of his teachings concentrated in reaching and tapping the great force of young people. In so doing, he fanned the sparks of possibilities into flames of irresistible achievement.
To sculpt India’s glory and greatness into every atom of the country Vivakananda asked 100 patriotic and dedicated youngster, which I believe we can all be should we choose to be. He constantly talked about the importance of strength, rigor and manhood. What other great definition of strength can we possibly get than to cultivate,
1. Muscles of Iron
2. Nerves of Steel
3. Mind of Thunderbolt
Volcano of Confidence
Swami Vivekananda emphasized greatly on the value of confidence and individuality. No point in going to temple or being religious he said, unless one has unfailing confidence in himself. The great implication of his words is that God dwells within one’s own consciousness, which is ever present to give him all that he wants or desires. In the light of self-awareness and mindfulness, successful and prosperous living is effortless and graceful.
Swami Vivekananda was a Touchstone of Brahmacharya. An Oracle of continence or “clean living”. He intelluctualized the awesome power of vairagya and detachment by realizing the boundless freedom and limitless serenity that comes from transcending weakness and vices.
A little thought and time-travel to the childhood days would suffice to the realization of the practical wisdom of continence. The ascetic standards by which Vivekananda lived is something we should all be proud of being born in India and breathing its aura.
Worship of Service
What distinguishes Swami Vivekananda from every other Saint who have ever walked on the sacred land of India is his unique perspective of God. Having visceralized all of the major spiritual philosophies, Vivekananda realized the unequivocal truth that each individual is a divine spark of infinite existence. The one-ness of all existence became apparent to him. And hence he gave the admonition: To serve the poor, diseased and helpless is to serve God. He gave the command to youth to channelize its energy both mental and physical toward serving the people and nation at large. What a great man!
The Whip of Sulibele
My generation hero and cult of Karnataka from Ramakrishna math is Chakravarthi Sulibele. For years he has been into youth empowerment, social cleansing and restoring national pride.
Sulibele’s speech, especially when addressing the youth is characterized by red-hot-iron patriotism, bone-numbing words, and blood-boiling anecdotes. Blending his excellent oratory skill with let’s-get-onto-the-streets-for-country message of Swami Vivekananda, Sulibele thunders on the youth of the country who seem to be sleeping in their lives.
Watching him storming on the podium to arouse the slumbering lion in youth and the sleeping giant in teenagers is nothing short of spell binding.