18 April 2013

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Love

    Couple hugging, painting
    All earthly love proceeds from the body.
    —Swami Vivekananda
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons 
    Our this article's topic is Swami Vivekananda's quotes and comments on Love (Prema, Hindi: प्रेम, Bengali: প্রেম). Related articles are listed at the bottom of this page.
    • All earthly love proceeds from the body.[Source]
    • All hatred is killing the "Self by the self", therefore love is the law of life.[Source]
    • All things in the universe are of divine origin and deserve to be loved; it has, however, to be borne in mind that the love of the whole includes the love of the parts.[Source]
    • All this is the manifestation of that One Love, more or less expressed.[Source]
    • Beggar's love is no love at all. The first sign of love is when love asks nothing, [when it] gives everything.[Source]
    • Begging is not the language of love.[Source]
    • Begin to love. Power must go. Nothing must stand between me and God except love. God is only love and nothing else—love first, love in the middle, and love at the end.[Source]
    • Books and learning, Yoga and meditation and illumination — all are but dust compared with love.[Source]
    • Do not hate anybody, because that hatred which comes out from you must, in the long run, come back to you. If you love, that love will come back to you, completing the circle.[Source]
    • Do not make the mistake of giving the heart to anything that is changing, because that is misery.[Source]
    • Drink the cup of love and become mad.[Source]
    • Every act of love brings happiness; there is no act of love which does not bring peace and blessedness as its reaction.[Source]
    • Every step that has been really gained in the world has been gained by love.[Source]
    • God is love, and love is God.[Source]
    • Good results can be produced only through love, through sympathy.[Source]
    • Human love is seen to flourish only in places where it is returned; where love is not returned for love, cold indifference is the natural result.
    • If one would expand, he must love, and when he ceases to love he dies.[Source]
    • In hurting any one I am hurting myself, in loving any one I am loving myself.[Source]
    • In hurting anyone, you hurt yourself, in loving anyone, you love yourself.[Source]
    • In the highest love, union is only of the spirit. All love of any other kind is quickly evanescent. Only the spiritual lasts, and this grows.[Source]
    • It has been said, "The lover sees Helen's beauty in an Ethiopian's brow." The Ethiopian is the suggestion and upon that suggestion the man throws his love. As the oyster throws over the irritants, it finds in its shell, the substance that turns the irritants into beautiful pearls, so man throws out love, and it is always man's highest ideal that he loves, and the highest ideal is always selfless; so man loves love.[Source]
    • It is indeed very difficult to have an equal love for all, but without it there is no Mukti.[Source]
    • It is love that gives you the supernatural powers, love that gives you Bhakti, love that gives illumination, and love, again, that reads to emancipation.[Source]
    • It requires no proofs to demonstrate the existence of the beloved to the lover.[Source]
    • Kama (lust) is blind and leads to hell. Prema is love, it leads to heaven.[Source]
    • Kindness and love can buy you the whole world; lectures and books and philosophy all stand lower than these.[Source]
    • Let nothing stand between God and your love for Him. Love Him, love Him, love Him; and let the world say what it will. Love is of three sorts — one demands, but gives nothing; the second is exchange; and the third is love without thought of return — love like that of the moth for the light.[Source]
    • Love and do good to everybody, but do not become a slave.[Source]
    • Love all creatures. Do not be jealous of anyone. Look not to the faults of others.[Source]
    • Love alone is the fittest thing to survive and not hatred.[Source]
    • Love and ask nothing; love and look for nothing further.[Source]
    • Love and forget all the "isms".[Source]
    • Love banishes all fear.[Source]
    • Love binds, love makes for that oneness.[Source]
    • (Love) can never be the means. The man who says, "I love you for such and such a thing", does not love. Love can never be the means; it must be the perfect end.[Source]
    • Love cannot be without a subject and an object.[Source]
    • Love conquers in the long run.[Source]
    • Love immense and infinite, broad as the sky and deep as the ocean — this is the one great gain in life. Blessed is he who gets it.[Source]
    • Love is always a manifestation of bliss. The least shadow of pain falling upon it is always a sign of physicality and selfishness.[Source]
    • Love is always mutual, reflective. You may hate me, and if I want to love you, you repulse me. But if I persist, in a month or a year you are bound to love me. It is a well-known psychological phenomenon.[Source]
    • Love is always the giver, and never the taker.[Source]
    • Love is beyond time and space, it is absolute.[Source]
    • Love is Existence, God Himself; and all this is the manifestation of that One Love, more or less expressed.[Source]
    • Love is great and noble, but, it may die away in meaningless sentimentalism.[Source]
    • Love is higher than work, than Yoga, than knowledge.[Source]
    • Love is struggle of a human Soul to find its complement its stable equilibrium its infinite rest.[Source]
    • Love is the culmination.[Source]
    • Love is the easiest and smoothest way towards the self-surrender or subjection of the will and hatred, the opposite.[Source]
    • Love is the easiest of all, it waits for no logic, it is natural.[Source]
    • Love is the ideal and requires no object. Love is God.[Source]
    • Love is the only form in which love is loved.[Source]
    • Love is the real immortality, getting which a man becomes perfectly satisfied.[Source]
    • Love itself is God.[Source]
    • Love itself is the eternal, endless sacrifice. [Source]
    • Love itself is the highest recompense of love.[Source]
    • Love knows no bargaining.[Source]
    • Love knows no fear. You may cut me to pieces, and I [will] still love you.[Source]
    • Love knows no reward. Love is always for love's sake.[Source]
    • Love, Love—that's the one thing, the sole treasure.[Source]
    • Love loves for the sake of love itself.[Source]
    • Love makes no distinction between man and man, between an Aryan and a Mlechchha, between a Brâhmana and a Pariah, nor even between a man and a woman. Love makes the whole universe as one's own home. True progress is slow but sure. Work among those young men who can devote heart and soul to this one duty — the duty of raising the masses of India. Awake them, unite them, and inspire them with this spirit of renunciation; it depends wholly on the young people of India.[Source]
    • Love may be symbolised by a triangle. The first angle is, love never begs, never asks for anything; the second, love knows no fear; the third and the apex, love for love's sake.[Source]
    • Love must get to its right destination, it must go unto Him who is really the infinite ocean of love.[Source]
    • Love never asks; it always gives. . . . When a young man goes to see his sweetheart, . . . there is no business relationship between them; theirs is a relationship of love, and love is no beggar.[Source]
    • Love never fails, my son; today or tomorrow or ages after, truth will conquer. Love shall win the victory. Do you love your fellow men? Where should you go to seek for God— are not all the poor, the miserable, the weak, god? Why not worship them first? Why go dig a well on the shores of the Ganga? Believe in the omnipotent power of love. Who cares for these tinsel puffs of name? I never keep watch of what the newspapers are saying. Have you love?— You are omnipotent. Are you perfectly unselfish? If so, you are irresistible. It is character that prays everywhere. It is the Lord who protects His children in the depths of the sea. Your country requires heroes; be heroes!
    • Love opens the most impossible gates; love is the gate to all the secrets of the universe.[Source]
    • Love was the most visible of all visible things.[Source]
    • Lust is the death of love.[Source]
    • Man rails in love with woman, and woman goes to die for man. The chances are that in five minutes John kicks Jane, and Jane kicks John. This is a materialism and no love at all. If John could really love Jane, he would be perfect that moment.[Source]
    • May you have exceeding love for one another among yourselves, and it would be enough to have an attitude of indifference towards public criticisms.[Source]
    • Ninety per cent of human brutes you see are dead, are ghosts — for none lives, my boys, but he who loves.[Source]
    • None will be able to resist truth and love and sincerity. Are you sincere? unselfish even unto death? and loving? Then fear not, not even death. Onward, my lads![Source]
    • Pure love has no motive. It has nothing to gain.[Source]
    • Purity, patience, and perseverance are the three essentials to success and, above all, love.
    • Self is the death of love.[Source]
    • The highest expression of love is unification.[Source]
    • The more we grow in love and virtue and holiness, the more we see love and virtue and holiness outside. All condemnation of others really condemns ourselves. Adjust the microcosm (which is in your power to do) and the macrocosm will adjust itself for you.[Source]
    • The natural state of this universe is attraction; and that is surely followed by an ultimate disunion. Even so, love is the natural impetus of union in the human heart; and though itself a great cause of misery, properly directed towards the proper object, it brings deliverance.[Source]
    • The only medium through which spiritual force can be transmitted is love.[Source]
    • The only way is love and sympathy. The only worship is love.
    • The power is with the silent ones, who only live and love and then withdraw their personality. They never say “me” and “mine”; they are only blessed in being instruments.
    • The reward of love is love, and what a reward it is! It is the only thing that takes off all sorrows, the only cup, by the drinking of which this disease of the world vanishes Man becomes divinely mad and forgets that be is man.[Source]
    • The way of all ways to realisation is love.[Source]
    • There are five stages of love.
      First, man wants help and has a little fear.
      Second, when God is seen as Father.
      Third, when God is seen as Mother. Then all women are looked upon as reflections of the Mother-god. With the idea of Mother-god real love begins.
      Fourth, love for love's sake. Love for love's sake transcends all qualities.
      Fifth, love in Divine-union. It leads to oneness or superconsciousness.[Source]
    • There can be no love so long as there is lust— even a speck of it, as it were, in the heart. None but men of great renunciation, none but mighty giants among men, have a right to that Love Divine. If that highest ideal of love is held out to the masses, it will indirectly tend to stimulate its worldly which dominates the heart of man— for, meditating on love to God by thinking of oneself as His wife or beloved, one would very likely be thinking most of the time of one's own wife— the result is too obvious to point out...
    • There is no true love possible in the slave. If you buy a slave and tie him down in chains and make him work for you, he will work like a drudge, but there will be no love in him.[Source]
    • There is only one element in life which is worth having at any cost, and it is love.[Source]
    • This is a story from one of the books of India, called "Lives of Saints". There was a young man, a Brahmin by birth, in a certain village. The man fell in love with a bad woman in another village. There was a big river between the two villages, and this man, every day, used to go to that girl, crossing this river in a ferry boat. Now, one day he had to perform the obsequies of his father, and so, although he was longing, almost dying to go to the girl, he could not. The ceremonies had to be performed, and all those things had to be undergone; it is absolutely necessary in Hindu society. He was fretting and fuming and all that, but could not help it. At last the ceremony ended, and night came, and with the night, a tremendous howling storm arose. The rain was pouring down, and the river was lashed into gigantic waves. It was very dangerous to cross. Yet he went to the bank of the river. There was no ferry boat. The ferrymen were afraid to cross, but he would go; his heart was becoming mad with love for the girl, so he would go. There was a log floating down, and he got that, and with the help of it, crossed the river, and getting to the other side dragged the log up, threw it on the bank, and went to the house. The doors were closed. He knocked at the door, but the wind was howling, and nobody heard him. So he went round the walls and at last found what he thought to be a rope, hanging from the wall. He clutched at it, saying to himself, "Oh, my love has left a rope for me to climb." By the help of that rope he climbed over the wall, got to the other side, missed his footing, and fell, and noise aroused the inmates of the house, and the came out and found the man there in a faint. She revived him, and noticing that he was smelling very unpleasantly, she said, "What is the matter with you? Why this stench on your body? How did you come into the house?" He said, "Why, did not my love put that rope there?" She smiled, and said, "What love? We are for money, and do you think that I let down a rope for you, fool that you are? How did you cross the river?" "Why, I got hold of a log of wood." "Let us go and see," said the girl. The rope was a cobra, a tremendously poisonous serpent, whose least touch is death. It had its head in a hole, and was getting in when the man caught hold of its tail, and he thought it was a rope. The madness of love made him do it. When the serpent has its head in its hole, and its body out, and you catch hold of it, it will not let its head come out; so the man climbed up by it, but the force of the pull killed the serpent. "Where did you get the log?" "It was floating down the river." It was a festering dead body; the stream had washed it down and that he took for a log, which explained why he had such an unpleasant odour. The woman looked at him and said, "I never believed in love; we never do; but, if this is not love, the Lord have mercy on me. We do not know what love is..."[Source]
      [Site admin's note: This story told by Vivekananda does not end here. Then we find the woman asks the man to redirect his love towards God. The man thinks on that, agrees, goes to forest and starts praying, meditating etc. After years, when he feel that ultimately he has succeeded to become a Sannyasin, he comes to city, but, again a married woman attracts his mind etc. . .
      We have not added these parts of the story in this quotes collection on love. If any reader is interested, those may be read the full story here.]
    • A boy and a girl, painting
      Though the love of a mother is in some ways greater,
      yet the whole world takes the love of man and woman as the type.
      No other has such tremendous idealising power.
      —Swami Vivekananda
      Image source: Wikimedia Commons
      Though the love of a mother is in some ways greater, yet the whole world takes the love of man and woman as the type (of the soul's relation to God). No other has such tremendous idealising power. The beloved actually becomes what he is imagined to be. This love transforms its object.[Source]
    • To love because it is the nature of love to love is undeniably the highest and the most unselfish manifestation of love that may be seen in the world.[Source]
    • To the lover the beloved is the most beautiful being that ever existed.[Source]
    • Unfurl that banner of love![Source]
    • Unless there is love, philosophy becomes dry bones, psychology becomes a sort of [theory], and work becomes mere labour. [If there is love], philosophy becomes poetry, psychology becomes [mysticism], and work the most delicious thing in creation.[Source]
    • We get caught. How? Not by what we give but by what we expect. 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. Desire, want, is the father of all misery. Desires are bound by the laws of success and failure. Desires must bring misery.
    • We love, love always. Love comes and penetrates through the forms and sees beyond.[Source]
    • We only love that which understands love, that which draws our love.[Source]
    • When abstraction is reached lust dies and there is only love.[Source]
    • When love comes method dies.[Source]
    • Wherever there is love, wherever there is a spark of joy, know that to be a spark of His presence because He is joy, blessedness, and love itself. Without that there cannot be any love.[Source]
    • Whether we do good or evil, the propeller is love.[Source]
    • With love there is no painful reaction; love only brings a reaction of bliss; if it does not, it is not love; it is mistaking something else for love.[Source]
    • Work is merely a schooling for the doer; it can do no good to others. We must work out our own problem; the prophets only show us how to work. "What you think, you become", so if you throw your burden on Jesus, you will have to think of Him and thus become like Him — you love Him.[Source]
    • Work, work — conquer all by your love![Source]

    Love conquers all fear

    From Complete Works Volume III—[Source]
    Think of a young mother in the street and a dog barking at her; she is frightened and flies into nearest house. But suppose the next day she is in the street with her child, and a lion springs upon the child. Where will be her position now? Of course, in the very mouth of the lion, protecting her child. Love conquers all fear. Fear comes from the selfish idea of cutting one's self off from the universe. The smaller and the more selfish I make myself, the more is my fear.

    True love

    Main article: Swami Vivekananda's quotes on true love or real love
    • Love should be unrelated. Even when we love wrongly, it is of the true love, of the true bliss; the power is the same, use it as we may. Its very nature is peace and bliss. The murderer when he kisses his baby forgets for an instant all but love. Give up all self, all egotism s get out of anger, lust, give all to God. "I am not, but Thou art; the old man is all gone, only Thou remainest." "I am Thou." Blame none; if evil comes, know the Lord is playing with you and be exceeding glad.[Source]
    • Merely to love is the sole request that true love has to ask.[Source]
    • The word "love" is very difficult to understand; love never comes until there is freedom. There is no true love possible in the slave.[Source]

    Love and Sex

    See also: Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Sex
    • If you can love your wife, you have all the religion in the world. You have the whole secret of religion and Yoga in you. But can you love? That is the question. You say, "I love . . . Oh Mary, I die for you! " [But if you] see Mary kissing another man, you want to cut his throat. If Mary sees John talking to another girl, she cannot sleep at night, and she makes life hell for John. This is not love. This is barter and sale in sex. It is blasphemy to talk of it as love... Everybody talks of love, [yet in the] columns in the newspapers [we read] of divorces every day. When you love John, do you love John for his sake or for your sake? [If you love him for your sake], you expect something from John. [If you love him for his sake], you do not want anything from John. He can do anything he likes, [and] you [will] love him just the same.[Source]
    • The highest love is the love that is sexless, for it is perfect unity that is expressed in the highest love, and sex differentiates bodies. It is therefore only in spirit that union is possible.[Source]
    • We are always mistaking the: love that we have — this carnal, human love, this attachment for particles, this electrical attraction for human beings in society — for this spiritual Bliss.[Source]

    Powerpoint presentation

    Special article

    1. Ultimate prayers of a devotee

    See also

      1. Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Women

          This page was last updated on: 14 April 2014, 6:24 pm IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
          Number of revisions in this page: 21


              1. Beggar's love is no love at all - what does it mean? can you explain?

                1. Most probably Swami Vivekananda told— love is all giving, it does not ask for return. You may find some other similar quotes above which may help to understand it better—
                  a) Merely to love is the sole request that true love has to ask.
                  b) To love because it is the nature of love to love is undeniably the highest and the most unselfish manifestation of love that may be seen in the world.
                  c) Love may be symbolised by a triangle. The first angle is, love never begs, never asks for anything; the second, love knows no fear; the third and the apex, love for love's sake.
                  We have another article "True Love" — you may check that one too (linked in the article body)

              2. I like these quotes. How can I download the powerpoint slides?

                1. Click on the wrench icon, there you'll find download options in different format including PPT and PDF.

              3. We often misunderstand and confuse "lust" and "sex" with "love". Lust and sex are not love.

                Love is divine, love is pure, love is eternal.

              4. Thanks you dear, friend. There is also this touching sentence from Vivekananda:
                "All expansion is life, all contraction is death. All love is expansions all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore love for love's sake, because it is the only law of life, just as you breathe to live. This is the secret of selfless love, selfless action and the rest."


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