10 April 2014

"When I Asked God For Strength" — Did Swami Vivekananda Really Say It?

Unlike most of the articles of the website our this article is more a discussion than a quotation collection. 

The quotation

If you search Swami Vivekananda's quotations in world wide web, you'll find the following quotation too—
When I asked God for strength
He gave me difficult situations to face
When I asked God for brain & brawn
He gave me puzzles in life to solve
When I asked God for happiness
He showed me some unhappy people
When I asked God for wealth
He showed me how to work hard
When I asked God for favours
He showed me opportunities to work hard
When I asked God for peace
He showed me how to help others
God gave me nothing I wanted
He gave me everything I needed.


Undoubtedly it is a wonderful expression and you'll find many sites and articles tagging it as a Swami Vivekananda quotes. Some of these sites are— GoodReads, ThinkExist, QuotesDaddy etc. Someone named Gouri Suresh wrote a book Environmental Studies and Ethics, there too the author included this quote as a "selected Swami Vivekananda quote".


Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Now, here is our question— Did Swami Vivekananda really say it? And if he did, what is the source, where can we find this quotation?
  1. We have thoroughly checked Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, of two different publications, but we have not found this quote anywhere.
  2. We asked a Ramakrishna Mission worker, he also felt that "most probably" it was not said by Vivekananda.
  3. We have not found any website or work created by Ramakrishna Mission that includes this quotation in their collection.


First conclusion: Following the "discussion" above, we are willing to conclude that it is not actually a Swami Vivekananda quote. Most probably someone (mistakenly?) added it as a Vivekananda quotation somewhere, someone else copied from there, and so on. . . in all over the internet this quotation became known as Vivekananda's words.

Unanswered question: Here we have one more question— if not Swami Vivekananda, who actually told this? We have tried searching, but we have been unsuccessful so far. We have no idea about this quotation's actual author!

Please feel free to share your knowledge/opinion on this quotation in the comment box below.

This page was last updated on: 10 April 2014, 9:51 pm IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
Number of revisions in this page: 1

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