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Durable Link to this BlogWednesday, June 5, 2002

"Face the Brute"

"Face the Brute"

Swami Vivekananda - the Most Famous Hindu Monk
Swami Vivekananda wandered throughout India as an ascetic. While in Benaras, he went to visit a Durga temple in the remote corner of the holy city. The road was deserted and Swamiji was walking all alone, lost in deep thought. Suddenly he was persued by a troop of monkeys, ominously trying to attack. Swamiji, sensing danger, started to run and the monkeys chased him. He was almost out of breath when he heard a voice of another older ascetic shouting. "Stop! Do not run. Always take the brutes!". Vivekananda turned, fearlessly. Seeing him bold and defiant, the monkeys backed out and finally disappeared.

Years later in New York, in one of his lectures, quoting this incident, he said " That is a lesson for life. Face the terrible, face it boldly. Like the monkeys, the hardships of life fall back when we cease to flee before them".

From The Complete Works of Swami Vivekanananda Volume I.

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Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


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