Lesson 79: A Story about Associations (Level 2+)

Swami Vivekananda (born January 12, 1863, Calcutta [now Kolkata] – died July 4, 1902, near Calcutta), was a spiritual leader and reformer who attempted to combine Indian spirituality with western material progress. Vivekananda felt that the highest ideal was to serve God through serving humanity. He believed in the harmony of all religions.

The following story is ascribed to Swami Vivekananda.

Explaining the meaning of the word ‘association,’ Swami Vivekananda said: If a rain drop from the sky is caught by clean hands, it is pure enough for drinking. If it falls in the drain, it can’t be used for even washing feet. If it falls on a hot surface, it evaporates. If it falls on a lotus leaf, it shines like a pearl and finally, if it slips into an oyster along with a grain of sand, it might become a pearl.

The rain drop is the same. But its value depends on what it is associated with.

A) Synonyms are words or phrases that mean exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase.

Example: Enormous is a synonym of huge.
The elephant is enormous or the elephant is huge both have the same meaning.

Please find synonyms of the following words in your dictionary.

Reform (verb)
Attempt (verb)
Ascribe (verb)
Shine (verb)

Make sentences with the words above and their synonyms.

B) Swami Vivekananda said:

“The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.”

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live by that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.’’

“We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.”