This article is on Swami Vivekananda‘s quotes on Prayer. Related articles are listed at the bottom of the page.
- All these forms and ceremonies, these prayers and pilgrimages, these books, bells, candles, and priests, are the preparations; they take off the impurities from the soul.[Source]
- “External worship, material worship,” say the scriptures, “is the lowest stage; struggling to rise high, mental prayer is the next stage, but the highest stage is when the Lord has been realised.”[Source]
- Foolish parents teach their children to pray, “O Lord, Thou hast created this sun for me and this moon for me,” as if the Lord has had nothing else to do than to create everything for these babies. Do not teach your children such nonsense. Then again, there are people who are foolish in another way: they teach us that all these animals were created for us to kill and eat, and that this universe is for the enjoyment of men. That is all foolishness. A tiger may say, “Man was created for me” and pray, “O Lord, how wicked are these men who do not come and place themselves before me to be eaten; they are breaking Your law.”[Source]
- Go on! To pray for something is better than nothing.[Source]
- Meditation is a sort of prayer and prayer is meditation.[Source]
- Pray for knowledge and light; every other prayer is selfish.[Source]
- Prayer and praise are the first means of growth. Repeating the names of God has wonderful power.[Source]
- Prayer with the lips was not enough; people should pray with their hearts.[Source]
- Tell me one case where these prayers have been answered. All the answers that came were from your own hearts.[Source]
- These prayers for health and wealth and material prosperity are not Bhakti. They are the lowest form of Karma.[Source]
- We must learn to control all our brain – centres consciously. The first step is the joy of living. Asceticism is fiendish. To laugh is better than to pray.[Source]
- Words are not necessary. Better is silent prayer.[Source]
Pray that. . .
From Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume VI—[Source]
Pray that that manifestation which is our Father, our Mother, may cut our bonds.
Pray, “Take us by the hand as a father takes his son, and leave us not.”
Pray, “I do not want wealth or beauty, this world or another, but Thee, O God! Lord! I have become weary. Oh, take me by the hand, Lord, I take shelter with Thee. Make me Thy servant. Be Thou my refuge.”
Pray, “Thou our Father, our Mother, our dearest Friend! Thou who bearest this universe, help us to bear the little burden of this our life. Leave us not. Let us never be separated from Thee. Let us always dwell in Thee.”
Let us pray
From a letter written to Alasinga Perumal in 1894 from Chicago—[Source]Let us pray, “Lead, Kindly Light” — a beam will come through the dark, and a hand will be stretched forth to lead us. I always pray for you: you must pray for me. Let each one of us pray day and night for the downtrodden millions in India who are held fast by poverty, priestcraft, and tyranny — pray day and night for them.
King and the Sage
It is an interesting story. From Complete Works, Volume II—[Source]
A certain great king went to hunt in a forest, and there he happened to meet a sage. He had a little conversation with him and became so pleased with him that he asked him to accept a present from him. “No,” said the sage, “I am perfectly satisfied with my condition; these trees give me enough fruit to eat; these beautiful pure streams supply me with all the water I want; I sleep in these caves. What do I care for your presents, though you be an emperor?” The emperor said, “Just to purify me, to gratify me, come with me into the city and take some present.” At last the sage consented to go with the emperor, and he was taken into the emperor’s palace, where there were gold, jewellery, marble, and most wonderful things. Wealth and power were manifest everywhere. The emperor asked the sage to wait a minute, while he repeated his prayer, and he went into a corner and began to pray, “Lord, give me more wealth, more children, more territory.” In the meanwhile, the sage got up and began to walk away. The emperor saw him going and went after him. “Stay, Sir, you did not take my present and are going away.” The sage turned to him and said, “Beggar, I do not beg of beggars. What can you give? You have been begging yourself all the time.” That is not the language of love. What is the difference between love and shopkeeping, if you ask God to give you this, and give you that? The first test of love is that it knows no bargaining. Love is always the giver, and never the taker. Says the child of God, “If God wants, I give Him my everything, but I do not want anything of Him. I want nothing in this universe. I love Him, because I want to love Him, and I ask no favour in return. Who cares whether God is almighty or not? I do not want any power from Him nor any manifestation of His power. Sufficient for me that He is the God of love. I ask no more question.”