Spirituality is the life-force of the Order. Revered Swamiji has established this Order for “One’s own liberation and for the good of the world.” Sri Ramakrishna also said, “The only aim of human life is to attain God.” Work can never be the aim, for work is merely a means. It is true that Swamiji used to talk about work, but he also always encouraged regular meditation and other spiritual practices. If anybody was absent at the time of meditation on any day without reason, he would not get food from the monastery that day as a punishment. He had to beg his food int the village. Swami Brahmananda used to say, “Everybody will work due to their natural tendency, but how many want to lead the life of meditation? that is why I always inspire the boys to perform spiritual practices.” Revered Swami Shivananda used to say: “Meditation and japa were important in the past, are important at present, and will be important in the future also. Without doing meditation and japa, it is impossible to work in accordance with Sri Ramakrishna’s and Swamiji’s ideals. Work and worship should go hand in hand.” In this way all our teachers have told us to perform spiritual practices seriously along with our work. We also realize it in the heart of our hearts. … Brothers, you are all Sri Ramakrishna’s children. In the midst of the glamour of wealth and the din and bustle of work, don’t forget the ideal for which you have left hearth and home making your parents shed tears. Be firm-minded and up and doing to reach that ideal even at the cost of your lives. “Either the fulfilment of sadhana, or the fall of the body”—maintaining this spirit, we are to advance with indomitable energy, keeping Sri Ramakrishna’s and Swamiji’s ideal before us. May the Lord be our helper.
Monks’ Conference, 1946
Monastic Disciples of Swami Vivekananda, 295–6