We are always in a hurry. [But] if any great work is to be done, there must be great preparation.
You … people have very hard ideas and are so superstitious and prejudiced! These messengers must have come from God, else how could they have been so great? You look at every defect. Each one of us has his defects. Who hasn’t? I can point out many defects in the Jews. The wicked are always looking for defects. … Flies come and seek for the [ulcer], and bees come only for the honey in the flower. Do not follow the way of the fly but that of the bee….
The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves! If you do not exist, how can God exist, or anybody else? Wherever you are, it is this mind that perceives even the Infinite. I see God, therefore He exists. If I cannot think of God, He does not exist [for me]. This is the grand march of our human progress.
These [great souls] are signposts on the way. That is all they are. They say, “Onward, brothers!” We cling to them; we never want to move. We do not want to think; we want others to think for us. The messengers fulfil their mission. They ask to be up and doing. A hundred years later we cling to the message and go to sleep.
Talking about faith and belief and doctrine is easy, but it is so difficult to build character and to stem the tide of the senses. We succumb. We become hypocrites.
(p.482, Vol.1, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, from Swamiji’s talk on ‘Mohammed’ delivered in San Francisco on 25 March, 1900.)