The Road to Wisdom: Swami Vivekananda on Spiritual Evolution

In an ocean there are huge waves, like mountains, then smaller waves, and still smaller, down to little bubbles, but back of all these is the infinite ocean. The bubble is connected with the infinite ocean at one end, and the huge wave at the other hand. So, one may be a gigantic man, and another a little bubble, but each is connected with that infinite ocean of energy, which is the common birth right of every animal that exists. Wherever there is life, the storehouse of infinite energy is behind it. Starting as some fungus, some very minute, microscopic bubble, and all the time drawing from that infinite storehouse of energy, a form is changed slowly and steadily until in course of time it becomes a plant, then an animal, then man, ultimately God. This is attained through millions of aeons, but what is time? An increase of speed, an increase of struggle, is able to bridge the gulf of time.

That which naturally takes a long time to accomplish can be shortened by the intensity of action, says the Yogi. A man may go on slowly drawing in this energy from the infinite mass that exists in the universe, and, perhaps, he will require a hundred thousand years to become a Deva, and then, perhaps, five hundred thousand years to become perfect. Given rapid growth, the time will be lessened. Why is it not possible, with sufficient effort, to reach this very perfection in six months or six years? There is no limit. All beings will at last attain to that goal, we know. But who cares to wait all these millions of aeons? Why not reach it immediately, in this body even, in this human form? Why shall I not get that infinite knowledge, infinite power now?

The ideal of the Yogi, the whole science of Yoga, is directed to the end of teaching men how, by intensifying the power of assimilation, to shorten the time for reaching perfection, instead of slowly advancing from point to point and waiting until the human race has become perfect. All the great prophets, saints, and seers of the world-what did they do? In one span of life they lived the whole life of humanity, traversed the whole length of time that it takes ordinary humanity to come to perfection. In one life they perfect themselves; they have no thought for anything else, never live a moment for any other idea, and thus the way is shortened for them. That is what meant by concentration, intensifying the power of assimilation, thus shortening the time.

Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda


About drmcpanda

Dr. Mahesh Chandra Panda, M.B.B.S.,M.D. Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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8 Responses to The Road to Wisdom: Swami Vivekananda on Spiritual Evolution

  1. I have quoted the excerpt on ‘The Road to Wisdom: Swami Vivekananda on Spiritual Evolution’ from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda as described in Vol.119, No.9 Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India, a monthly journal of the Ramakrishna Order started by Swami Vivekananda in 1896.

  2. Santhosh says:

    Dear Uncle,

    Amazing explanation of the Spiritual development. Very true that with constant dedication and concentration, a person can achieve perfection in a very less time. We are really fortunate to have taken birth in Kaliyuga as one can easily achieve God Consciousness or please God in very less time compared to the other Yugas wherein the yogis have to perform meditation, tapasya for thousands of years. Haven taken the human birth, it is very important to get the knowledge as to how to make this birth a meaningful one. And there is no other way than the “Spiritual” path that adds meaning to our life.

    May God bless all.
    Thank you again for the wonderful post.
    Kind Regards,
    Santhosh KV
    SAP – SRM consultant

  3. Swami Vivekananda is a big name. But in science, logic needs to be practicable and not hypothetical. There are so many human beings in this world and quality of life is consistently changing. God, too is an hypothetical target which too changes its characters with the needs of universe. A human being should find happiness in his immediate surroundings and in his sphere of avocational influence. One should target to work for universal benefit without harming life on earth. Anything good in life is God and total of God on earth is God. By increasing goodness in oneself and by motivating people towards good is achieving Godliness. Last line in the article “That is what meant by concentration, intensifying the power of assimilation, thus shortening the time.” is practicable, probably in this way.

  4. Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

    Respected Sir,

    The road to wisdom leads to place of Anandam (bliss), the last stage of birth right of human being. Bereft of quality to reach to this stage one`s life as human is incomplete and again and again he takes form of different shape to accomplish God`s tasks. All the creatures so far come to existence are bonded with own specific quality to one`s way work of nature except aberrant seen in human race, probably because of developed brain. Hence human being changes his opinion frequently against the law of nature and loses his own way, suffers himself a lot and damages a great extent to others. So whole world is full of suffering only. To escape himself; and to protect and retain the law of nature, the change of mentality to return to human form is mandatory. In this aspect Swami Vivekananda had guided to open the eyes of human beings. So the quenched, evolved spiritual aspirant may hold the path “The road to wisdom”, enumerated by Swamiji to fullfill the dream of Swamiji and be a part of best human-maker.

    With Regards,
    Your Divine Brother
    Dr.Binod Bihari Naik

  5. Sir,

    A nice article regarding Swami Vivekananda.”Arise, awake, sleep no more; within each of you there is the power to remove all wants and all miseries. Believe this, and that power will be manifested.” Your discussion on the road to wisdom in this article has enlighted the society.The real way of life towards the Almighty is always practiced by Yogi. The nature of such people is to experiment manifestation of God as people have troubles to follow them till they see and hear manifestation of God.

    Kedarnath Sahu
    Science Teacher
    Sohela, Bargarh Odisha

  6. Umesh Chandra Panda says:

    Respected Brother,

    I have gone through the article ‘The Road To Wisdom’ & I think by practising Dhyana i.e.concentration & Dharana i.e. to know & realise about the infinite energy, one can reach to the perfection in this short life period.

    Yours Sincerely

  7. Swami Vivekananda says-Spiritual development is the only development.I have studied about physical evolution of ancient man to modern man(Homo Sapiens). But now I knew about spirituality, spiritual evolution. Due to spiritual evolution common man gains wisdom and becomes transformed man. Knowledge is not enough,we should live in wisdom.

  8. Purnima Panda says:

    Pranam kaka,

    Swami Vivekananda forcefully maintained that we should become broad in our outlook and try to see religion as a process or a method to reach the goal of experiencing inner divinity. The truth is that; we are none other than God , but our attachment to the transient body and senses , and erroneous belief of thinking ourselves less privileged , acts as a stumbling block that prevents us to reach this truth in our daily life.

    Really an inspiring article.

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