Rouse your sleeping soul. The power to achieve all lies within you!
Almost the first words that the great Buddha uttered were — “Whatever you think, that you are, whatever you shall think, that you shall be.” That be true, do not teach yourself that you are weak, that you cannot do anything unless you are helped by somebody who does not live here, but who sits above the damp-clouds.
The result will be that you will be more and more weakened everyday and you will hypnotise yourselves into all sorts of vices. No good can come out of you, if you do not believe in yourself.
There is the story of a lioness, heavy with young, going about in search of prey, and there was a flock of sheep, and the lioness jumped upon the flock. She died in the attempt and a little baby lion was born, motherless.
“Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
The sheep brought it up – it lived on grass like the sheep, bleated like the sheep, and although it became a big full-grown lion, for all intents and purposes it thought it was a sheep.
In course of time another big lion came in search of prey, and it was astonished to find that in the midst of this flock of sheep was this lion flying away at the approach of danger. He tried to get near it to teach that it was not a sheep but a lion, yet at his every approach the sheep fled and with them the sheep-lion.
But the other lion was rather kind, he watched, and one day found the big sheep-lion sleeping. He jumped on it and said, “You are a lion.” “I am a sheep,” cried the other lion. He would not believe, but bleated.
The lion dragged him towards a lake and said, “Look there; there is my reflection and yours.” Then came the comparison. He looked at this lion and then at his own reflection, and in a moment came the idea that he was a lion. The lion roared and the bleating was gone.
You are lions; you are souls, pure, infinite and perfect. You are children of the Almighty. The strength of the universe is in you. How can you be nothing? You are everything and you can do anything. Within you lies infinite power, only waiting to be called out.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
So arise; awake from this hypnotism of weakness! Believe in yourself. None is really weak for within each is the glorious, omnipotent and omniscient soul assuring the infinite possibility and the infinite capacity of all to become great and good.
Teach yourselves; teach every one his real nature. Call upon your sleeping soul and see how it rises. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity. This is the great fact which we ought to remember.
The above essay is a collation of the teachings of Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), borrowed directly from his books From Colombo to Almora and Speeches & Writings of Swami Vivekananda. The disparate lines have been presented here as woven into a whole thought. Minor modifications have been applied to enhance readability.
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