The tender plant of spirituality will die if exposed too early to the action of a constant change of ideas and ideals. Many people, in the name of what may be called religious liberalism, may be seen feeding their idle curiosity with a continuous succession of different ideals. With them, hearing new things grows into a kind of disease, a sort of religious drink-mania. They want to hear new things just by way of getting a temporary nervous excitement, and when one such exciting influence has had its effect on them, they are ready for another. Religion is with these people a sort of intellectual opium-eating, and there it ends.
------ Swami Vivekananda
"Endued with this evenness of mind, one frees oneself in this life, alike from vice and virtue. Devote thyself, therefore, to this Yoga. Yoga is the very dexterity of work."
--- Sloka 50, Chapter II, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, with text, word-for-word translation, English rendering, comments and index by Swami Swarupananda, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.
"Work (with desire) is verily far inferior to that performed with the mind undisturbed by thoughts of results. O Dhananjaya, seek refuge in this evenness of mind. Wretched are they who act for results."
--- Sloka 49, Chapter II, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, with text, word-for-word translation, English rendering, comments and index by Swami Swarupananda, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.
"Thy right is to work only; but never to the fruits thereof. Be thou not the producer of the fruits of (thy) actions; neither let thy attachment be towards inaction."
--- Sloka 47, Chapter II, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, with text, word-for-word translation, English rendering, comments and index by Swami Swarupananda, Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.
Worldly pleasures have not been enjoyed by us, but we ourselves have been devoured; no religious austerities have been performed, but we ourselves have become scorched; time is not gone (being ever present and infinite), but we are gone (because of approaching death). Desire is not reduced in force, though we ourselves are reduced to senility.
--- Translated by Swami Madhavananda from Vairagya Shatakam of Bhartrhari (Published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata).
The face has been attacked with wrinkles, the head has been painted white with grey hair, the limbs are all enfeebled; but desire alone is rejuvenating.
--- Translated by Swami Madhavananda from Vairagya Shatakam of Bhartrhari.
From Srimad Bhagavad Gita
Sloka 12 ch 2:
It is not that I have never existed, nor thou nor these kings. Nor is it that we shall cease to exist in the future.
Sloka 16 ch 2:
The unreal never is. The Real never is not. Men possessed of the knowledge of the Truth fully know both these.
Sloka 17 ch2:
That by which all this is pervaded-- That know for certain to be indestructible. None has the power to destroy this Immutable.
Sloka 18 ch 2:
Of this indwelling Self-- the ever changeless, the indestructible, the illimitable-- these bodies are said to have an end. Fight, therefore,O descendant of Bharata.
Sloka 19 ch 2:
He who takes the self to be the slayer, and he who takes it to be slain, neither of these knows. It does not slay, not is it slain.
"People like to have the fruit of virtue but not virtue; they perform evil with great care but do not wish to have its fruits." (Source untraced)
"After every happiness comes misery; they may be far apart or near. The more advanced the soul, the more quickly does one follow the other. What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both make us forget our true nature; both are chains-- one iron, one gold; behind both is the Atman, who knows neither happiness nor misery. These are states and states must ever change; but the nature of the Soul is bliss, peace, unchanging. We have not to get it, we have it; only wash the dross and see it."
-------- From the Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 7.11-22.
"One day I was in my garden in Qasr al-Arifan (where his mosque and tomb are located), wearing the cloak of Azizan and around me were my followers. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the Heavenly Attractions and Blessings, and I felt I was being dressed and adorned with His Attributes. I trembled in a way that I had never experienced before, and I couldn't remain standing. I stood facing the Qiblah and I entered into a great vision in which I saw the True Annihilation. I found myself completely annihilated and I didn't see any existence except my Lord's. Then I saw myself coming out from His Divine Presence reflected through the Mirror of MUHAMMADUN RASULULLAH, in the image of a star in an ocean of Light without beginning or end. My external life ended and I saw only the meaning of LA ILAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUN RASULULLAH. This led me to the meaning of the essence of the name 'Allah,' which led me to the Absolute Unseen, which is the essence of the Name huwa ("He"). When I entered that ocean my heart stopped pumping and all my life ended, putting me in a state of death. My soul left my body and all those around thought I had died and were crying. Then after six hours I was ordered to return to my body. I perceived my soul slowly re-entering my body and the vision ended." "To deny your existence and to neglect and disregard your ego is the currency of this Order. In this state I entered into every level of existence, which made me a part of all creations and which developed in me a certainty that everyone is better than me. I saw that everyone provides a benefit and that only I give no benefit. One day a surprising state came upon me. I heard the Divine Voice saying, 'Ask whatever you like from Us.' So I said, with humility, 'O Allah, grant me one drop of Your Oceans of Mercy and Blessings.' The answer came, 'You are asking from Our Great Generosity for only one drop?' This was like a tremendous slap on my face and the sting of it lasted on my cheek for days. Then one day I said, 'O Allah grant me from Your Oceans of Mercy and Blessings the Power to carry it.' At that moment a vision was opened to me wherein I was seated on a throne and that throne was over an ocean of mercy. And a voice said to me, 'This ocean of mercy is for you. Give it to My servants.'
"I was receiving secrets from every side, especially from Uwais al-Qarani, who greatly influenced me to depart from all worldly matters and to attach myself exclusively to spiritual matters. I did this by firmly keeping the sharaca and the orders of the Prophet , until I began spreading the Unseen Knowledge and the Granted Secrets from the Unique Oneness that no one before had ever shared."
---Sheikh Bahauddin Naqshbandi Bukhari
"What we really want is head and heart combined. The heart is great indeed; it is through the heart that come the great inspirations of life. I would a hundred times rather have a little heart and no brain, than be all brains and no heart, but he who has no heart and only brains dies of dryness.
At the same time we know that he who is carried along by his heart alone has to undergo many ills, for now and then he is liable to tumble into pitfalls. The combination of heart and head is what we want. I do not mean that a man should compromise his heart for his brain or vice versa, but let everyone have an infinite amount of heart and feeling, and at the same time an infinite amount of reason. Is there any limit to what we want in this world? Is not the world infinite? There is room for an infinite amount of culture and reason. Let them come together without limit, let them be running together, as it were, in parallel lines each with the other."
---- Swami Vivekananda, The complete works of (Vol II)
"The Hymn of Samadhi"
From The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 4, page 498.
Lo! The sun is not, nor the comely moon,
All light extinct; in the great void of space
Floats the shadow-like the image-universe.
In the void of mind involute, there floats
The fleeting universe, rises and floats,
Sinks again, ceaseless, in the current "I".
Slowly, slowly, the shadow-multitude
Entered the primal womb, and flowed ceaseless,
The only current, the "I am", "I am."
Lo! 'T is stopped, ev'n that current flows no more,
Void merged in void - beyond speech and mind!
Whose heart understands, he verily does.
From the Upanishads:
The way of continence, as prescribed, says that those who attain the world of Brahman by continence, to them belongs this world of Brahman. They have independence is all the worlds.
His form does not exist within the range of vision; nobody sees him with the eye. When this Atman is revealed through deliberation, it is realized by the intellect. Those who know this become immortal."
---- Katha Upanishad.
Whatever noble persons do, others follow. Whatever standard they set up, the world follows.
------- Baghwad Gita
I see my body as a frame made of bamboo strips and covered with cloth. The frame moves. And it moves because someone dwells inside it.
----- Sri Ramakishna Paramahansa
Realize the supreme One who is your own atman; be absorbed in Him; and give up all other vain pursuits. This is the sure way to moksa or absolute freedom.
Unintelligent people follow external desires; they get entangled in the snares of widespread death. Therefore, discerning people, having known what true immortality is in the midst of impermanent things, do not pray for anything here.
--- Katha Upanishad, 2.1.2
--- Verses from 'Aparokshanubhuti' by Shankara.
While thinking of an object the mind verily identifies with that, and while thinking of a void it really becomes blank, whereas by the thoght of Brahman it attains to perfection. So one should constantly think of (Brahman to attain) perfection.
Those who give up this supremely purifying thought of Brahman, live in vain and are on the same level with beasts.
Blessed indeed are those virtuous persons who at first have this conciousness of Brahman and then develop it more and more. They are respected everywhere.
Only those in whom this conciousness (of Brahman) being ever present grows into maturity, attain to the state of ever-existent Brahman, and not others who merely deal with words.
Also persons who are only clever in discussing about Brahman but have no realization, and are very much attached to worldly pleasure, are born and die again and again in consequence of their ignorance.
The aspirant after Brahman should not remain a single moment without the thought of Brahman, just like Brahma, Sanaka, Suka and others.
"Thou shalt never be able to attain spiritual grace unless thou can master all the vices of the flesh. Therefore, fight valiantly against thy frail and sensual flesh, thine own worst enemy which wages war against thee day and night."
--- Brother Gills, a foremost disciple of St. Francis of Assisi.
"Amongst all other virtues, I would set the virtue of chastity first, because sweet chastity contains all perfection itself. There is no other virtue which can be perfect without chastity. It is impossible for any man to attain spiritual grace without perfect chastity."
--- Brother Gills, a foremost disciple of St. Francis of Assisi.
"This whole world is an illusion, like a mirage in a desert. The indivisible Brahman alone exists."
Sloka 13, Chapter 7, Avadhuta Gita of Dattatreya, Translated by Swami Chetanananda, Advaita Ashrama (Publication department), Kolkata.
"The absolute Brahman shines equally in all. It is clear and all-pervasive like space. Truly, how can there be any friendship or enmity, mirth or mysery in It?"
Sloka 8, Chapter 7, Avadhuta Gita of Dattatreya, Translated by Swami Chetanananda, Advaita Ashrama (Publication department), Kolkata.
"One went to the door of the Beloved and
knocked. A voice asked, 'Who is there?'
He answered, 'It is I.'
The voice said, 'There is no room for Me and Thee.'
The door was shut.
After a year of solitude and deprivation he returned and knocked.
A voice from within asked, 'Who is there?'
The man said, 'It is Thee.'
The door was opened for him."
-- Jelaluddin Rumi
Slokas from Pancadasi by Swami Vidyaranya
"He who is subject to erroneous conviction may practice meditation. I do not confuse the Self for the body. So in the absence of such a delusion why should I meditate?"
"To bring to an end your wordly dealings, you may practice contemplation as much as you like, but I know the worldy dealings to be perfectly harmless. Why should I meditate?"
"There is no distraction for me, so for me there is no need for Samadhi too. Both distraction and absorption are states of the changeable mind."
"Let those who are entitled to it, explain the scriptures or teach the vedas. I am not so entitled because all my actions have ceased."
"I have no desire to sleep or beg for alms, nor do I do so; not do I perform the acts of bathing or ablution. The onlookers imagine these things in me. What have I to do with their imaginations?"
"Let those ignorant of the nature of Brahman listen to the teachings of Vedanta philosophy. I have Self-knowledge. Why again should I listen to them? Those who are in doubt reflect on the nature of Brahman. I have no doubts, so I do not do so."
"Who am I? How is this (world) created? Who is the creator? Of what material is this (world) made? Such is the way of that Vichara. "
"I am neither this body, a combination of the (five) elements (of matter), nor am I an aggregate of the senses; I am something different from these. This is the way of that Vichara. "
"Everything is produced by ignorance, and dissolves in the wake of Knowledge. The various thoughts (modifications of the Antahkarana) must be the creator. Such is this Vichara."
"The material (cause) of these two (i.e. ignorance and thought) is the one (without a second), subtle (not apprehended by the senses) and unchanging Sat (existence), just as the earth is the material (cause) of the pot and the like. This is the way of that Vichara."
"As I am also the One, the Subtle, the Knower, the Witness, the Ever-Existent and the Unchanging, so there is no doubt that I am "That" (i.e. Brahman). Such is this enquiry."
--- Slokas 12 to 16, from 'Aparokshanubhuti' by Shankara.
"After hearing from a competent teacher one should realize with the help of a pure mind that there is no manifoldness in this (Brahman)."
"He who sees variety in this (i.e. Brahman), passes from death to death."
--- (Brih. Up. iv.4.19).
"Study of the knowledge of the Supreme Self, association with the good, total renunciation of desires, control of vital energy- these are, as is well known, the perfect means to conquer the mind."
--- Laghu Yogavasistha (28. 128 and 129)
"Do not become attached to things you like, do not maintain aversion to things you dislike. Sorrow, fear and bondage come from one's likes and dislikes."
"... I, as I stand here, am the effect, the result, of all the infinite past which is tacked on to me. And why is it necessary for me to remember all the past? When a great ancient sage, a seer or a prophet of old, who came face to face with the truth, says something, these modern men stand up and say, "Oh, he was a fool!". But just use another name. "Huxley says it, or Tyndall"; then it must be true, and they take it for granted. In place of ancient superstitions they have erected modern superstitions, in place of old Popes of religion they have installed modern Popes of science. So we see that this objection to memory is not valid, and that is about only serious objection that is raised against this theory. Although we have seen that it is not necessary for the theory that there shall be the memory of past lives, yet at the same time, we are in a position to assert that there are instances which show that this memory does come, and that each one of us will become free. Then alone you will find that this world is but a dream; then alone you will realise in the soul of your soul that you are but actors and the world is a stage; then alone will the idea of non-attachment come to you with the power of thunder; then all this thirst for enjoyment, this clinging on to life and this world will vanish for ever; then the mind will see clearly as daylight how many millions of times you had fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, relatives and friends, wealth and power. They came and went. How many times you were on the topmost crest of the wave, and how many times you were down at the bottom of despair! When memory will bring all these to you, then alone will you stand as a hero and smile when the world frowns upon you. Then alone will you stand up and say, "I care not for thee even, O Death; what terrors hast thou for me? This will come to all." ..."
--- Swami Vivekananda, from part of a lecture delivered in New York on January 26, 1896.
"One should know the behaviour of the mind which, being endowed with discrimination, and free from illusions, is under control. The condition of the mind in deep sleep is not like that but is of a different kind".
"The mind is withdrawn in deep sleep, but it is not so when the mind is controlled. The controlled mind is verily the Fearless Brahman, the light of whose omniscience is all-pervading."
--- Mandukya-karika 3.34-35 (as in "Jeevan Mukti Viveka -- Swami Vidyaranya", Advaita Ashram, Kolkata.)
"There are two ways to dissolve the mind, O Raghava ! the one is yoga and the other is knowledge. Restraining the transformations of the mind is called yoga and right seeing is called knowledge."
--- Laghuyogavashishta 27.72 (as in "Jeevan Mukti Viveka -- Swami Vidyaranya", Advaita Ashram, Kolkata.)
"Our present life is a prelude to the Future Life. It is a pilgrimage of short duration to a higher life."
"Unequal in life, all lie equal in death."
"Faith in life hereafter gives meaning to this life."
"Death levels the high and the low alike."
"All is not lost when death takes pace, for death is not the end of Life."
--- Holy Prophet Zarathustra
Yourselves by Toil and Travel of your own
Must for your old Delinquency atone.
Were you indeed not blinded by the Curse
Of Self-exile, that still grows worse and worse,
Yourselves would know that, though you see him not,
He is with you this Moment, on this Spot,
Your Lord through all Forgetfulness and Crime,
Here, There, and Everywhere, and through all Time.
--- From "The Bird Parliament" written by Attar (Farid ud-din) [1119-1230 AD]
"Thinking of objects, attachment to them is formed in a man. From attachment longing, and from longing anger grows."
"From anger comes delusion, and from delusion loss of memory. From loss of memory comes the ruin of discrimination, and from the ruin of discrimination he perishes."
--- Slokas 62 and 63, Chapter 2, Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita.
"Free from attachment, fear and anger, with their minds intent on Me, purified by knowledge and penance, many have attained My Being."
--- Sloka 10, Chapter 4, Lord Krishna in Srimad-Bhagawad-Gita.
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven."
"Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."
"Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
--- The Sermon on the Mount. (Thus spake. The Christ.)
"He who is able to withstand the urge arising from passion and anger in this very life, before the fall of the body, is a poised and happy man."
--- Sloka 23, Chapter 5, Srimad-Bhagavad-Gita
"Those deluded men, regarding sacrifices and works of merit as most important, do not know any other good. Having enjoyed in the high places of heaven won by good deeds, they enter again this world or a still lower one."
--- Mundakopanishad 1.2.10 (as in "Jivan Mukti Viveka -- Swami Vidyaranya", Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.)
"When the mind, owing to its desirelessness, does not function at all, then the state of mindlessness arises which is the giver of supreme peace."
--- Laghu-Yoga-Vashistha Ramayna 28.55 (as in "Jivan Mukti Viveka -- Swami Vidyaranya", Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.)
"The man who is ignorant, and has no faith, and who is of a doubting nature, perishes. Not this world, nor the world beyond, nor happiness is for the doubting soul."
--- From Bhagawad-Gita (as in "Jivan Mukti Viveka -- Swami Vidyaranya", Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata.)
"Even in this life they have conquered relative existence whose minds are firm-fixed on the sameness of everything, for God is pure and the same to all; therefore, such are said to be living in God."
----- Lord Krishna