Cambridge online dictionary defines “impermanence” as “not lasting for ever or not lasting for a long time” . In Wikisource, the word is defined as “The quality or state of being impermanent.” Both of these definition make sense. But in religion and philosophy, the word “impermanence” has a deeper and broader meaning. It is a very important concept of Hinduism and Vedanta and is one of the essential doctrines or three marks of existence in Buddhism. In Sanskirt, it is called Anitya (Devanagari: अनित्य, Bengali: অনিত্য).
In Bhagavad Gita, we see Sri Krishna is saying to Arjuna— “Anityam asukham lokam imam prapyam bhajsamah” (Translation: Remember the world/creation is impermanent). (Chapter 9, Verse 33)
In this post we’ll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda‘s quotes and comments on “impermanence“
Swami Vivekananda’s quotes on impermanence
- All prosperity which comes with Mammon is transient, is only for a moment.[Source]
- Birth, growth, development, decay, death—this is the sequence in all nature and is the same in the plant and the man. The difference is only in time. The whole cycle may be completed in one case in a day, in the other in three score years and ten; the methods are the same.[Source]
- Decadence seizes everything in this life. It is only when everything, even love, fails, that, with a flash, man finds out how vain, how dream-like is this world.[Source]
- Every particle in this body is continually changing.
- Everything born must die.
- Everything in nature is constantly changing.[Source]
- Everything is evanescent. Enjoyment, misery, luxury, wealth, power, and poverty, even life itself, are all evanescent.[Source]
- “Everything is evanescent, everything is changeful” — knowing this, the sage gives up both pleasure and pain and becomes a witness of this panorama (the universe) without attaching himself to anything.[Source]
- Everything is substance plus name and form. Name and form come and go, but substance remains ever the same. Substance, form, and name make this pitcher. When it is broken, you do not call it pitcher any more, nor do you see its pitcher form. Its name and form vanish, but its substance remains.[Source]
- Everything mutable is a compound. Everything compound must undergo that change which is called destruction.
- Everything that has a beginning in time must end in time.
- Everything that is the result of combination must get dissolved and die.
- In this world nothing is permanent except God.[Source]
- No dream can be eternal; it must end sooner or later. There is none who can keep his dream for ever.[Source]
- No one is constant, but everything is changing, matter eternally concreting and disintegrating.
- No permanent or everlasting good can be done to the world.
- . . . . . . nothing external can be eternal! They little know what they mean, whose hearts quake when they hear that nothing in this relative world can be eternal.[Source]
- Ours are only sand, and, therefore, the building comes down with a crash in no time.[Source]
- The body is subject to the law of growth and decay; what grows must of necessity decay.
- The life comes and goes—wealth, fame, enjoyments are only of a few days.
- The whole world is going towards death; everything dies.
- There cannot be any form unless it is the result of force and matter; and all combinations must dissolve.
- This world is a delusion of two days. The present life is of five minutes.[Source]
- Whatever is weak and corrupt is liable to die— what are we to do with it?