international yoga day: 30 timeless quotes by Swami Vivekananda

international yoga day: 30 timeless quotes by Swami Vivekananda
Photo by Mike Kilcoyne / Unsplash

International Yoga Day, observed on June 21st, celebrates the profound impact yoga has on physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. This day highlights the ancient practice that originated in India and has become a global phenomenon.

In honor of this occasion, let’s turn to the wisdom of Swami Vivekananda, a spiritual leader and key figure in introducing yoga and Vedanta to the Western world. His teachings continue to inspire millions to live a life of discipline, inner peace, and enlightenment. Here are 30 powerful quotes to motivate your yoga practice and spiritual journey:

  1. "You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul."
  2. "The goal of mankind is knowledge. It is the one ideal placed before us by Eastern philosophy. Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge."
  3. "All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark."
  4. "The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him—that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free."
  5. "We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far."
  6. "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."
  7. "You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself."
  8. "Arise, awake, and stop not until the goal is reached."
  9. "The fire that warms us can also consume us; it is not the fault of the fire."
  10. "In a conflict between the heart and the brain, follow your heart."
  11. "The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!"
  12. "All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything."
  13. "The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong."
  14. "Strength is Life, Weakness is Death. Expansion is Life, Contraction is Death. Love is Life, Hatred is Death."
  15. "Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal."
  16. "Experience is the only teacher we have. We may talk and reason all our lives, but we shall not understand a word of truth until we experience it ourselves."
  17. "The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed."
  18. "To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will."
  19. "Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true."
  20. "As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God."
  21. "If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practiced, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we have would have vanished."
  22. "The great secret of true success, of true happiness, is this: the man or woman who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish person, is the most successful."
  23. "Meditation can turn fools into sages but unfortunately fools never meditate."
  24. "The greatest sin is to think yourself weak."
  25. "All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life."
  26. "Do not wait for anybody or anything. Do whatever you can, build your hope on none."
  27. "Be the servant while leading. Be unselfish. Have infinite patience, and success is yours."
  28. "Stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny."
  29. "Fill the brain with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work."
  30. "The mind is but the subtle part of the body. You must retain great strength in your mind and words."

As we reflect on these profound words on International Yoga Day, let them inspire us to deepen our practice, cultivate self-awareness, and strive for spiritual growth. Swami Vivekananda's teachings remind us that yoga is not just about physical postures, but a holistic path to self-realization and universal harmony.