A beautiful incidence from Swami Vivekanada’s life

In topic

Great Masters / Storytelling / Wisdom For Seekers


Sadhguru tells the beautiful incidence from the life of Swami Vivekananda. After his guru, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, attained samadhi, Vivekananda wanted to take his masters message to the west. He wants the permission of Sharada Devi, Ramakrishna's wife. Sadhguru narrates the incidence...


Duration: 10 min


Your browser does not support the audio element. /wp-content/uploads/When-Swami-Vivekananda-asked-permission-from-Sharada-Devi_PD.mp3


6 min read

A beautiful incidence from Swami Vivekanada’s life

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

To be spiritual has always been also understood as to be gentle. And unfortunately to be gentle has always been misunderstood and misinterpreted as to be soft or to be weak. The weak are gentle not by choice. Because they’re incapable of making a strong imprint, they’re gentle. Gentleness is of value only when it’s by choice. You’re capable of being violent but you choose to be gentle – that’s of great value. You’re incapable of violence, now you’re gentle – that’s not of any great value, because that’s coming from a certain incapability.

Today somebody was asking me, “Sadhguru, why all the goddesses in India, always they have weapons in their hands?” Why our Bhairavi, though she has eyes, she doesn’t have any weapons in her hands. Ten hands and no weapons, because she’s done with violence. You’ll see the buffalo, Mahishasura, already conquered. So what needs to be treated brutally has been done. The beast has been killed. Now there is no need for weapons. So all hands free.

So to bring yourself to this state – intense, not in a violent manner – she’s intense in victory, she’s intense in energy, she’s intense in her ecstasy. Her intensity is not violence. Not that she is not capable of, it’s just that she’s done with it. In the evolution of one’s action – If you look at the evolution of action, the initial part of the action will always be violent. As you become more expert with something, you will see those rough edges in your action goes away, and it becomes smoother and smoother, and there’ll be no violence in action. Even a swordsman, who is an expert – only somebody who is new goes, “Ahhh!” like this. An expert will just flick it, and it’s done. There’s no violence in the action. So in the evolution of action, she’s passed that. Still intense, but in victory, energy, and ecstasy – not in a violent manner. There’re many symbolisms like that here, if you peel your eyes and see, where it is intense but not violent.

Is something wrong with violence? It’s not a question of right and wrong, it’s just a crude way of conducting life. If you say violence is bad, that means you will end up rejecting a part of yourself, and you can never get rid of it, because it’ll not go. It’ll come out in so many ways. People who are peaceful on the street are violent at home. If they’re not capable of physical violence, they’re verbally violent, they’re violent in their thought and emotion – in so many ways. So, rejecting violence is not going to work. Evolving violence into a more sophisticated action – the need is not for violence, the need is for intensity. The need for that intensity is always there in every human being.

If you do not refine and refine that need for intensity, and manage to experience that intensity by simply sitting in meditativeness, or in devotion, or in love, or in simply pure action. If you do not find refinement and still find intensity, violence will erupt from you in so many different ways. You may not have the courage to get into a physical fight, but it will happen in so many different ways and life turns ugly. It will enter every sphere of your life, and the way you take things and keep things, you will know whether you’re gentle or violent, you know.

There’s a very beautiful incident which happened which I must have told you a few times. Swami Vivekananda – all of you heard of Swami Vivekananda? After his Guru Ramakrishna attained samadhi, he wanted to take his Master’s message to the West. So he wants to go and do this, but he wants to seek the permission of Sarada Devi, who was Ramakrishna’s wife. He went to see her, and she was busy cooking in the kitchen. When he went and said this, she was focused in what she was doing. Without looking up, she listened to him. He said, “I want to go to the Western world and spread the message of my Master. Shall I go?” So without looking up from the chores that she was doing she said, “Naren, can you give me that knife?” So he picked up the knife and gave it. He is a certain kind of person so he gave it in a certain way. Not like that – he gave it in a certain way. She took the knife and kept it aside and she said, “You may go.”

Then he noticed this and he said, “Why did you ask for the knife? You have no vegetables to cut, everything is already on the pot. Already in the pot, on the boil, why did you ask for the knife? There was no need for the knife, why did you ask for it?” She said, “I wanted to see how you will give the knife. You may go and spread the Master’s message.”

So this is where gentleness is. Not because somebody’s watching, not because you’re under scrutiny. Just the way you move, how you step on the planet, how you breathe, how you sit, how you stand, how you look at other people – this is where you have to refine your action. Now, I’m not talking to you about mindfulness, no – being mindful of everything – no. I’m talking about refining your physical action, your verbal action. With this, slowly, your mental action and emotional action also can be refined. To just move your hands and legs in a more gentle manner.

This refinement can happen either because you become meditative, or you consciously refine it so that you move towards meditativeness. It’s good to start from both the ends. If you want to reach the destination, it’s good to start from every possible end, so that you get there quick enough. If you want to burn a candle quick, you burn it from both ends, isn’t it? If you burn it from only one end, it may take a lifetime. You want to enjoy at least half a lifetime of meditativeness – you must burn it from both ends.

So, you may be practicing meditation but also consciously refining your physical action – the way you move your hands, the way you move your body, the way you move your breath, your words. This is not about becoming pretentious. This is about becoming conscious.

Great Masters

More Wisdom

Show All>