Inspirational Wisdom from Swami Vivekananda


Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:


Today, January 12, is the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda (12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902).

I first learnt about Swami Vivekananda, sometime in the 1960’s, when I was a small boy, and my father had taken us to visit Belur Math near Kolkata.

At Belur Math I acquired a tiny pocket book called “Thus Spake Vivekananda”.

Whenever the chips were down, or I felt dejected, I referred to the inspiring gems of wisdom, distilled from the complete works of Swami Vivekananda, for instant motivation and strength.

On the occasion of his birth anniversary, let me tell you about my favourite saying of Swami Vivekananda which inspired me and I try to implement in my day to day living.


Here is an inspirational gem of wisdom, a phrase from the sayings of Swami Vivekananda:

Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison

I feel that the word “weak” is all encompassing.

The term “weak” embraces anything that creates in you a stressful situation.

Thus “weakness” includes all negative emotions and feelings like anger, irritation, fury, worry, anxiety, frustration, despondency, depression, demoralization etc, which, in a nutshell, cause unhappiness.

These negative emotions disturb your inner tranquility and equanimity, drain you emotionally and intellectually, and make you feel “weak” just like physical weakness.


Unhappiness is a negative emotion which drains you.

Hence, Unhappiness is Weakness.

Unhappiness is Poison for the soul.

Conversely, Happiness is Strength.

Happiness is Tonic for the soul.

Now, how do you “reject as poison” the “weakness” of unhappiness?

The first step is to identify your “Unhappiness Creators”.


Now sit down in a quiet tranquil place, close your eyes, introspect, and try to think of all the things that make you feel negative,

Reflect and introspect on all your unhappiness-creators and unhappy situations.

Now sit down in a quiet tranquil place, close your eyes, introspect, and try to think of all the things that make you feel negative,

Reflect and introspect on all your unhappiness-creators and unhappy situations.

These unhappiness creators can be anything – tangible and intangible – things, activities, persons etc.

Unhappiness Creators include:

  1. Toxic individuals andincompatible persons, who irritate, annoy and hassle you
  1. Foodsand Beverages(like Alcohol) which do not suit you and are physically detrimental to your health and well-being
  1. Activities, social and personal, which may appear pleasurable, but which actually drain you out
  1. Technology and Gadgets, like your cell-phone, which disturb your peace of mind
  1. Strained Relationships, which are a source of unhappiness and cause stress in you
  1. Any activity or thing that causes a guilty consciencewithin you
  1. Disagreeable personsand unpleasant activitieswhich are a stimulus for negative emotions like anger, worry, fear, etc and create negative vibes within you.

Close your eyes, introspect and think about all aspects of your life – your work life, your home life, your social life.

Think about all the persons, activities and things that generate negative vibes, create stress and unhappiness in you, things that make you feel “weak”.

Then, follow Swami Vivekananda’s advice:

Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison

Yes, you can do it in actual life.

Just “reject” all these “poisonous” things and people by avoiding them as far as possible.

Make an exhaustive list of all your “unhappiness creators”  all the things and people that make you “weak” – and try to reject them as “poison”. 

At first you may be a bit skeptical about this approach.

But when you start implementing, you will be surprised how much of it is in your own control to prevent unhappiness.


While, on the one hand:

  1. You reject the things that make you “weak”and unhappy

simultaneously, on the other hand:

  1. You must reinforce the things that make you feel “strong”and happy


Say NO to unhappiness creators

Say YES to happiness creators  

Yes  if unhappiness is weakness” – then  happiness is strength.

So simultaneously, reflect and contemplate.

Make a list of things and persons that give you strength and joy and make you happy and productive.

Include all the things and people that create positive feelings in you.

Then try to devote as much time and energy to doing these positive things and interacting with these morale boosting people that give you strength and make you feel good and happy.


To put it in a nutshell, if you want to be happy:

  1. Try your best to generate happiness vibesby doing things which make you “strong” and happy
  1. Try to reduce or even eliminate negative unhappiness vibesby “rejecting”things which make you “weak” and unhappy.

(And if you want to be unhappy, just do the opposite – keep wallowing in negative vibes by encouraging your unhappiness creators and avoiding your happiness creators).


Whenever I feel unhappy, I realize that it is because I have allowed myself to be overwhelmed by my unhappiness creators.

And the moment I envelop myself with my happiness creators, I start feeling happy.

Remember this saying of Swami Vivekananda:

Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison

(Conversely, I say: Anything that makes you feel strong, imbibe as nectar)

Implementing this inspiring gem of wisdom from Swami Vivekananda is breathtaking in its simplicity.

Try it – experiment – discover your happiness creators and unhappiness creators.

Start making your two lists and then you know what to do.

This works for me and I am sure it will work for you.

I do feel stressed out and unhappy at times – but I know why – and I know what to do – so I try my best to make my unhappiness creators disappear and overwhelm myself with happiness creators.

Wish you a stress-free life filled with happiness.


Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

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Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Updated, Abridged and Revised version of my article written more than 20 years ago and Posted by me Vikram Karve at 9/26/2009 03:50:00 PM in this blog at url:  and  and  and etc

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