To prepare articles for this website we regularly need to study Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda and many other books, articles, journals. When I was preparing an article on Swami Vivekananda’s quotations on growth, I found the following quotation—
Liberty is the first condition of growth.
(Yes, I know that every person has “his” or “her” opinion), still, in my opinion, it is a terrific quote. In life, in society or in a country, “growth” of any individual or a group is just not possible if there is no “liberty”, no “freedom”.
Swami Vivekananda discussed this idea “Liberty is the first condition of growth” several times. In this article our attempt will be making a collection of these quotations.
Liberty is the first condition of growth
According to Swami Vivekananda—
- Freedom is the only condition of growth; take that off, the result is degeneration.[Source]
- Liberty is the first condition of growth. Just as man must have liberty to think and speak, so he must have liberty in food, dress, and marriage, and in every other thing, so long as he does not injure others.[Source]
- There cannot be any growth without liberty. Our ancestors freed religious thought, and we have a wonderful religion. But they put a heavy chain on the feet of society, and our society is, in a word, horrid, diabolical. In the West, society always had freedom, and look at them. On the other hand, look at their religion.[Source]
- What else can they be under the existing social bandages, especially in Madras? Liberty is the first condition of growth. Your ancestors gave every liberty to the soul, and religion grew. They put the body under every bondage, and society did not grow. The opposite is the case in the West — every liberty to society, none to religion. Now are falling off the shackles from the feet of Eastern society as from those of Western religion. (From a letter written to Alasinga Perumal dated 29 September 1894)[Source]
- You must remember that freedom is the first condition of growth. What you do not make free, will never grow. The idea that you can make others grow and help their growth, that you can direct and guide them, always retaining for yourself the freedom of the teacher, is nonsense, a dangerous lie which has retarded the growth of millions and millions of human beings in this world. Let men have the light of liberty. That is the only condition of growth.[Source]
You may read these quotes in this powerpoint presentation too—