Individuality Is My Motto

Individuality is my motto. I have no ambition beyond training individuals up. I know very little; that little I teach without reserve. Where I am ignorant I confess it as such, and never am I so glad as when I find people being helped by Theosophists, or Christians, or Mohammedans, or anybody in the world. I am a sannyasin, as such I consider myself as a servant, not as a master in the world. . . . If people love me, they are welcome, if they hate, they are also very welcome.

Each one will have to save himself; each one to do his own work. I seek no help. I reject none, nor have I any right in the world to be helped. Whosoever has helped me or will help, it will be their mercy to me, not my right, and as such I am eternally grateful.

When I became a sannyasin I consciously took the step, knowing that perhaps this body will have to die of starvation. What of that? I am a beggar. My friends are poor. I love the poor. I welcome poverty. I am glad that I sometimes have to starve. I ask help of none. What is the use? Truth will preach itself, it will not die for the want of a helping hand of me! “Making happiness and misery the same, making success and failure the same, fight thou on” (Gita). It is that eternal love, unruffled equanimity under all circumstances, and perfect freedom from jealousy or animosity that will tell. That will tell—nothing else.

– Swami Vivekananda
Letter to Alasinga Perumal, 1895