O Swami Vivekananda!
Sri Ramakrishna’s life-breath,
Sri Ramakrishna’s supreme gift to mankind,
Sri Ramakrishna’s victory-song all-where!
The victory-world’s delight you were;
Lo, the cyclone-valour of the Absolute!
You awakened your slumbering India,
You awakened humanity’s sleep.
In you blossomed the Form Universal.
O hero-warrior sannyasin,
In the core of the creation,
Sleeplessly shall burn
The incense of your self-offering.
” Vivekananda was a soul of puissance if ever there was one, a very lion among men, but the definite work he has left behind is quite incommensurate with our impression of his creative might and energy. We perceive his influence still working gigantically, we know not well how, we know not well where, in something that is not yet formed, something leonine, grand, intuitive, upheaving that has entered the soul of India and we say, “Behold, Vivekananda still lives in the soul of his Mother and in the souls of her children.”
“I cannot write about Vivekananda without going into raptures. Few indeed could comprehend or fathom him – even among those who had the privilege of becoming intimate with him. His personality was rich, profound and complex and it was this personality – as distinct from his teachings and writings – which accounts for the wonderful influence he has exerted on his countrymen and particularly on Bengalees. This is the type of manhood which appeals to the Bengalee as probably none other. Reckless in his sacrifice, unceasing in his activity, boundless in his love, profound and versatile in his wisdom, exuberant in his emotions, merciless in his attacks but yet simple as a child – he was a rare personality in this world of ours”
– Subash Chandra Bose
“Swami Vivekananda saved Hinduism and saved India. But for him, we would have lost our religion and would not have gained our freedom. We therefore owe everything to Swami Vivekananda.
– Sri C. Rajagopalachari
“Just as the sun dispels darkness,
just as Lord Vishnu destroys the wicked,
so his enchanting personality
destroys the threefold misery of man.”
— Swami Ramakrishnananda (a brother disciple of Swami Vivekananda)
“I cannot touch these sayings of his, scattered as they are through the pages of this book at thirty distance, without receiving a thrill through my body like an electric shock. And what shock, what transport, must have been produced when, in burning words, they issued from the lips of the hero!”
“… after having gone through [his works], the love that I had for my country became a thousandfold.”
“His whole life and teaching inspired my generation.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru – first Prime Minister of independent India
“The truths he preaches would have been as true, had he never been born. Nay more, they would have been equally authentic. The difference would have lain in their difficulty of access, in their want of modern clearness and incisiveness of statement, and in their loss of mutual coherence and unity. Had he not lived, texts that today will carry the bread of life to thousands might have remained the obscure disputes of scholars. He taught with authority, and not as one of the Pundits. For he himself had plunged to the depths of the realisation which he preached, and he came back like Ramanuja only to tell its secrets to the pariah, the outcast, and the foreigner.”
– Sister Nivedita