Wednesday, July 4, 2012



Today, the 4th of July 2012, is the 110th Death Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

I first learnt about Swami Vivekananda, sometime in the 1960’s, when I was a small boy and my father had taken us to visit Belur Math near Kolkata. 

At Belur Math I acquired a tiny pocket book called “Thus Spake Vivekananda”.

Whenever the chips were down, or I felt dejected, I referred to the inspiring gems of wisdom, distilled from the complete works of Swami Vivekanada, for instant motivation and strength.

Here’s one of those gems of wisdom, a phrase from the sayings of Swami Vivekananda -
Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison
I feel that the word “weak” is all encompassing and embraces anything that creates in you a stressful situation like all negative emotions and feelings like anger, irritation, infuriation, frustration, despondency, depression, demoralization, unhappiness – anything that disturbs your inner tranquility and equanimity, drains you emotionally and intellectually, besides literal physical weakness.

Oh yes, unhappiness is weakness, unhappiness is Poison 
Now sit down in a quiet tranquil place, close your eyes, introspect, and try to think of all the things that make you feel negative – all your unhappiness-creators and unhappy situations.

These unhappiness creators can be anything, for example:

Toxic and incompatible persons, who irritate, annoy and hassle you, 
Foods and beverages (like Alcoholwhich don’t suit you and are physically detrimental to your health and well-being, 
Activities, social and personal, which may appear pleasurable, but which actually drain you out, 
Technology and Gadgets, like your cell-phone, which disturb your peace of mind, and 
Strained Relationships, which are a source of unhappiness and cause stress in you,
Things that cause a guilty conscience in you,
Anything stressful and things which are a stimulus for negative emotions like anger, worry, fear, etc

Close your eyes, introspect and think...about all the persons and things that generate negative vibes, stress and unhappiness in you or make you feel “weak”. Then, follow Swami Vivekananda's advice: 

Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison. 

Yes, you can do it in actual life...

Make an exhaustive list of all the things that make you “weak” and try to reject them as “poison”.  
At first you may be a bit sceptical about this approach, but when you start implementing, you’ll be surprised how much it is in your own control to prevent unhappiness.

While you reject the things that make you "weak" and unhappy, you must also reinforce the things that make you feel "strong" and happy.  

Yes, if unhappiness is weakness, happiness is strength.
So simultaneously, reflect and contemplate, and make a list of things which give you strength and joy, make you happy and productive – all the things and people that create positive feelings in you – and try to devote as much time and energy to doing these positive things that give you strength and make you feel good and happy.  
To put it in a nutshell:

1. Try your best to generate happiness vibes by doing things which make you “strong” and happy 

2. Try to reduce or even eliminate negative unhappiness vibes by rejecting” things which make you weak” and unhappy. 

Implementing this gem of wisdom from Swami Vivekananda is breathtaking in its simplicity. Try it - it works for me and I am sure it will work for you.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and he is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

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Anonymous said...

Pearls of wisdom. Life is inherently simple, its only our mind which makes it complex.
Thanks for the post. Sometimes, even obvious things need re-inforcement.

Minnie said...

Very well put Vikram. None like Swami Vivekanand. What he said then holds so true even now, and will hold true forever. You also put things in great perspective. Great post.