“You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita.” — that is one of the most popular quotes of Swami Vivekananda.
This quotation is a part of Vivekananda’s book Lectures from Colombo to Almora, Chapter: The Work before us (in 1897, while returning to India from the West, Vivekananda delivered a series of lectures. He delivered his first public lecture in the East at Colombo on 15 January 1897. The last lecture of this series was delievered at Dhaka on 31 March 1901. All these lectures were published in the book-form Lectures from Colombo to Almora, first publication: Vyjayanti Press, Madras, 1897)
We want strength
Swamiji suggested to become strong. When he told that a person will be “nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita”, he did not mean that one does not need to read Bhagavad Gita. He reminded us about our weakness. As he told—[Source]
It is weakness, says the Vedanta, which is the cause of all misery in this world. Weakness is the one cause of suffering. We become miserable because we are weak.
Swami Vivekananda wanted “strength”. In this article we’ll create a presentation on the quote You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita.
What we want is vigour in the blood, strength in the nerves, iron muscles and nerves of steel, not softening namby-pamby ideas.[Source]
The sign of life is strength and growth. The sign of death is weakness. Whatever is weak, avoid! It is death. If it is strength, go down into hell and get hold of it! There is salvation only for the brave.[Source]
God is not to be reached by the weak. Never be weak. You have infinite strength within you. How else will you conquer anything? How else will you come to God?[Source]
Strength is in goodness, in purity.[Source]
Wherever there is thought of weakness, approach not the place. Avoid all weakness if you want to be a Jnani.[Source]
The Gita opens with this very significant verse: “Arise, O Prince! Give up this faint-heartedness, this weakness! Stand up and fight!”[Source]
We speak of many things parrot-like, but never do them; speaking and not doing has become a habit with us. What is the cause of that? Physical weakness.[Source]
Strength, strength it is that we want so much in this life, for what we call sin and sorrow have all one cause, and that is our weakness.[Source]
What this world wants today, more than it ever did before, is strength.[Source]
The weak have no place here, in this life or in any other life. Weakness leads to slavery. Weakness leads to all kinds of misery, physical and mental. Weakness is death. There are hundreds of thousands of microbes surrounding us, but they cannot harm us unless we become weak, until the body is ready and predisposed to receive them. There may be a million microbes of misery, floating about us. Never mind! They dare not approach us, they have no power to get a hold on us, until the mind is weakened. This is the great fact: strength is life, weakness is death. Strength is felicity, life eternal, immortal; weakness is constant strain and misery: weakness is death.[Source]
And that’s why. . .
Swami Vivekananda told—[Source]
First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards. Be strong, my young friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. I know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a little experience. You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger. You will understand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of Krishna better with a little of strong blood in you. You will understand the Upanishads better and the glory of the Atman when your body stands firm upon your feet, and you feel yourselves as men. Thus we have to apply these to our needs.