swami-vivekanand imageSwami Vivekananda (1863–1902). A disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda was a monk who played a key role in bringing Vedanta and Indian spirituality to the West. His poetry captures his vision, spirituality and energy.

Born into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self; therefore, service to God could be rendered by service to mankind.

After Ramakrishna’s death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired first-hand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India. He later travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World Religions.

Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint and his birthday is celebrated there as National Youth Day.

  1. A Hymn to the Divinity of Shri Ramakrishna
    We salute Thee! Lord! Adored of the world, Samsara’s bondage breaker, taintless Thou, Embodiment of blessed qualities, Thou transcendest all Gunas; human form Thus bearest. Thee we salute and adore!
  2. To The Awakened India
    Once more awake! For sleep it was, not death, to bring thee life Anew, and rest to lotus-eyes for visions Daring yet. The world in need awaits, O Truth! No death for thee!
  3. Hold on Yet A While, Brave Heart
    If the sun by the cloud is hidden a bit, If the welkin shows but gloom, Still hold on yet a while, brave heart, The victory is sure to come.
  4. The Great Benediction After Mourning
    The blissful winds are sweet to us. The seas are showering bliss on us.
  5. And Let Shyama Dance There
    Beaut’ous blossoms ravishing with perfume, Swarms of maddened bees buzzing all around; The silver moon–a shower of sweet smile, Which all the dwellers of heaven above Shed lavishly upon the homes of earth;
  6. The Hymn of Samadhi
    Lo! The sun is not, nor the comely moon, All light extinct; in the great void of space Floats shadow-like the image-universe.
  7. Six Stanzas on Nirvana
    I am neither the mind, nor the intellect, nor the ego, nor the mind-stuff; I am neither the body, nor the changes of the body; I am neither the senses of hearing, taste, smell, or sight, Nor am I the ether, the earth, the fire, the air;
  8. Shiva In Ecstasy
    Shiva is dancing, lost in the ecstasy of Self, sounding his own cheeks.
  9. To Sister Mary Hale
    Now Sister Mary, You need not be sorry For the hard raps I gave you, You know full well, Though you like me tell, With my whole heart I love you.
  10. Soor Das’ Song
    O Lord, look not upon my evil qualities Thy name, O Lord, is Same-Sightedness Make of us both the same Brahman! One drop of water is in the sacred Jumna,
  11. The Hymn of Creation – Existence
    Existence was not then, nor non-existence, The world was not, the sky beyond was neither. What covered the mist? Of whom was that? What was in the depths of darkness thick?
  12. The Hymn of Creation – One Mass
    One Mass, devoid of form, name, and colour, Timeless, devoid of time past and future, Spaceless, voiceless, boundless, devoid of all– Where rests hushed even speech of negation.
  13. A song I sing to Thee
    A song I sing. A song I sing to Thee! Nor care I for men’s comments, good or bad. Censure or praise I hold of no account. Servant am I, true servant of Thee Both (Purusha and Prakriti together.), Low at Thy feet, with Shakti, I salute!
  14. To a Friend
    Where darkness is interpreted as light, Where misery passes for happiness, Where disease is pretended to be health, Where the new-born’s cry but shows ’tis alive; Dost thou, O wise, expect happiness here?
  15. The Dance of Shiva
    Lo, the God is dancing — Shiva the all-destroyer and Lord of creation, The Master of Yoga and the wielder of Pinâka. (Trident.)
  16. Requiescat In Pace!
    Speed forth, O soul! upon thy star-strewn path, Speed, blissful one, where thought is ever free, Where time and sense no longer mist the view, Eternal peace and blessings be on thee!
  17. To Shri Krishna
    O Krishna, my friend, let me go to the water, O let me go today.
  18. A Hymn to the Divine Mother
    Thou most beautiful! Whose holy hands Hold pleasure and hold pain! Doer of good! Who art Thou? The water of existence By Thee is whirled and tossed in mighty waves.
  19. Blessings to Nivedita
    The mother’s heart, the hero’s will, The sweetness of the southern breeze, The sacred charm and strength that dwell On Aryan altars, flaming, free;
  20. A Hymn to Shiva
    Salutation to Shiva! whose glory Is immeasurable, who resembles sky In clearness, to whom are attributed The phenomena of all creation,
  21. The Living God
    He who is in you and outside you, Who works through all hands, Who walks on all feet, Whose body are all ye, Him worship, and break all other idols!
  22. The Cup
    This is your cup — the cup assigned to you from the beginning. Nay, My child, I know how much of that dark drink is your own brew
  23. Song Of The Sanyasin
    Wake up the note! the song that had its birth Far off, where worldly taint could never reach, In mountain caves and glades of forest deep, Whose calm no sigh for lust or wealth or fame
  24. The Song Of The Free
    The wounded snake its hood unfurls, The flame stirred up doth blaze, The desert air resounds the calls Of heart-struck lion’s rage.
  25. Thou Blessed Dream
    If things go ill or well – If joy rebounding spreads the face, Or sea of sorrow swells – A play – we each have part,
  26. To An Early Violet
    What though thy bed be frozen earth, Thy cloak the chilling blast; What though no mate to clear thy path, Thy sky with gloom o’ercast –
  27. To My Own Soul
    Hold yet a while, Strong Heart, Not part a lifelong yoke Though blighted looks the present, future gloom.
  28. To The Fourth Of July
    Behold, the dark clouds melt away, That gathered thick at night, and hung So like a gloomy pall above the earth!
  29. Peace
    Behold, it comes in might, The power that is not power, The light that is in darkness, The shade in dazzling light.
  30. My Play Is Done
    Ever rising, ever falling with the waves of time, still rolling on I go From fleeting scene to scene ephemeral, with life’s currents’ ebb and flow.
  31. Who Knows How Mother Plays
    Perchance a prophet thou- Who knows? Who dares touch The depths where Mother hides Her silent failless bolts!
  32. On The Sea’s Bosom
    In blue sky floats a multitude of clouds – White, black, of many shades and thicknesses;
  33. Angels Unawares
    One bending low with load of life — That meant no joy, but suffering harsh and hard — And wending on his way through dark and dismal paths Without a flash of light from brain or heart
  34. Light
    I look behind and after And find that all is right,
  35. Quest For God
    O’ver hill and dale and mountain range, In temple, church, and mosque, In Vedas, Bible, Al Koran I had searched for Thee in vain.
  36. Kali The Mother
    The stars are blotted out, The clouds are covering clouds. It is darkness vibrant, sonant.
  37. Hold Yet A While
    Hold yet a while, Strong Heart, Not part a lifelong yoke Though blighted looks the present, future gloom.
  38. A Blessing
    The Mother’s heart, the hero’s will, The softest flowers’ sweetest feel;
  39. A Benediction
    The mother’s heart, the hero’s will, The sweetness of the southern breeze,