18 February 2014

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On Pravritti And Nivritti

Nivritti is turning aside from the world.
—Swami Vivekananda
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Pravritti (Devanagari: प्रवृत्ति) and Nivritti {Devanagari: निवृत्ति) are two Sanskrit words and Hindu concepts.There are two impulses in every mind, one says— "go outside", and the another suggests not to go. The first one is "Pravritti" and the second one is "Nivritti.
In this article we'll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda's quotations on Pravritti and Nivritti.

Pravritti and Nivritti


From Karma Yoga, Chapter: Non-attachment is the complete self-abnegation[Source]
Here are two Sanskrit words. The one is Pravritti, which means revolving towards, and the other is Nivritti, which means revolving away. The "revolving towards" is what we call the world, the "I and mine”; it includes all those things which are always enriching that "me" by wealth and money and power, and name and fame, and which are of a grasping nature, always tending to accumulate everything in one centre, that centre being "myself". That is the Pravritti, the natural tendency of every human being; taking everything from everywhere and heaping it around one centre, that centre being man's own sweet self. When this tendency begins to break, when it is Nivritti or "going away from," then begin morality and religion. Both Pravritti and Nivritti are of the nature of work: the former is evil work, and the latter is good work. This Nivritti is the fundamental basis of all morality and all religion, and the very perfection of it is entire self-abnegation, readiness to sacrifice mind and body and everything for another being. When a man has reached that state, he has attained to the perfection of Karma-Yoga. This is the highest result of good works.


From Jnana Yoga, Chapter: Maya and Evolution[Source]
There is one impulse in our minds which says, do. Behind it rises another voice which says, do not. There is one set of ideas in our mind which is always struggling to get outside through the channels of the senses, and behind that, although it may be thin and weak, there is an infinitely small voice which says, do not go outside. The two beautiful Sanskrit words for these phenomena are Pravritti and Nivritti, "circling forward" and "circling inward". It is the circling forward which usually governs our actions. Religion begins with this circling inward. Religion begins with this "do not". Spirituality begins with this "do not". When the "do not" is not there, religion has not begun. And this "do not" came, causing men's ideas to grow, despite the fighting gods which they had worshipped.

 Swami Vivekananda's Quotes on Pravritti and Nivritti

  • Acting in the external world Maya manifests itself as the two powers of attraction and repulsion. In the internal its manifestations are desire and non - desire (Pravritti and Nivritti). The whole universe is trying to rush outwards. Each atom is trying to fly off from its centre. In the internal world, each thought is trying to go beyond control. Again each particle in the external world is checked by another force, the centripetal, and drawn towards the centre. Similarly in the thought - world the controlling power is checking all these outgoing desires.[Source]
  • Every Hindu who has tasted the fruits of this world must give up in the latter part of his life, and he who does not is not a Hindu and has no more right to call himself a Hindu. We know that this is the ideal — to give up after seeing and experiencing the vanity of things. Having found out that the heart of the material world is a mere hollow, containing only ashes, give it up and go back. The mind is circling forward, as it were, towards the senses, and that mind has to circle backwards; the Pravritti has to stop and the Nivritti has to begin. That is the ideal. But that ideal can only be realised after a certain amount of experience. We cannot teach the child the truth of renunciation.[Source]
  • Nivritti is turning aside from the world.[Source]
  • "Pravirti" [Pravritti] means love of God and all his creatures.[Source]
  • The Hindu Ideal of life is "Nivarti" [Nivritti]. Nivarti means subjugation and conquest of evil passions, of Tamasa nature of lust, revenge and avarice. It does not mean conquest of all desire. It means only the annihilation of gross desires. Every man is bound to love and sympathize with his fellow creatures.[Source]
  • The materialising forces which through desire lead us to take an active part in worldly affairs are called Pravritti.[Source]
  • There is being, "x", which is manifesting itself as both mind and matter. Its movements in the seen are along certain fixed lines called law. As a unity, it is free; as many, it is bound by law. Still, with all this bondage, an idea of freedom is ever present, and this is Nivritti, or the "dragging from attachment".[Source]

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