Posts Tagged ‘Hindu’

Inspirations by Paulo Coelho

Posted: March 10, 2012 in Book Notes
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  • [Jorge Luis] Borges starts his talk by saying how the ancients did not revere the book – the written word – as we do. Rather, they saw in the written words a sort of imprisonment of the spirit, of oral teachings. Indeed, to write a message down transforms it: it becomes visible, palpable and no longer dwells in the space between the speaker and the listener. The message becomes “heavier,” acquires a body of ink and paper (or clay in ancient times) and is supposed to live longer than the person who first spoke it.
    • It becomes clear that the written words enables us to remember, but at the same time it perpetuates this loss of memory – we no longer need to make the effort of remembering since it’s written down.
    • … some of these texts, such as the Rig Veda or the Dead Sea Scrolls, are not attributable to a specific single writer, but to this common furnace of imagination that lights humanity.
  • Let’s be honest – throughout a lifetime we amass a quantity of stories and information that only our forgetfulness puts into shape.

The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

  • He was much too happy, but not least bit proud, because a good heart is never proud.

The Prince by Nicollo Machiavelli

  • So, as a prince is forced to know how to act like a beast, he must learn from the fox and the lion; because a lion is defenseless against traps and a fox is defenseless against wolves. Therefore one must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Those who simply act like lions are stupid. So it follows that a prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honor his words when it places him at a disadvantage and when the reason for which he made his promise no longer exist.
  • Men are so simple, and so much creatures of circumstance, that the deceiver will always find someone ready to be deceived.

De Profundis by Oscar Wilde

  • The aim of love is to love: no more, and no less.
  • Where there is sorrow there is holy ground. Some day people will realize what that means. They will know nothing of life till they do.

The Desert Fathers

  • The nature of water is soft, the nature of stone is hard; but if a bottle is hung above a stone letting water drip down, it wears away the stone. It is like that with the word of God; it is soft and our heart is hard, but if a man hears the word of God often, it will break open his heart to the fear of God.
  • A brother asked Poemen about the words, “Do not render evil for evil” (I Thess. 5:15). He said to him, “The passion work in four stages, first in the heart, then in the face, third in words, fourth in deeds – and it is in deeds that it is essential not to render evil for evil. If you purify your heart, passion will not show in your expression, but if it does, take care not to speak about it; if you do speak, cut the conversation short in case you render evil for evil.”

The Bhagavad Gita

  • When the light of wisdom shines from the portals of the body’s dwelling, then we know that Sattva is in power.
  • Greed, busy activity, many undertakings, unrest, the lust of desire – these arise when Rajas increase.
  • Darkness, inertia, negligence, delusion – these appear when Tamas prevail.
  • [How is the man known who has gone beyond the three powers of nature? What is his path; and how does he transcend the three?] He who hates not light, nor busy activity, nor even darkness, when they are near, neither longs for them when they are far; Who unperturbed by changing conditions sits apart and watches and says ‘the powers of nature go round’, and remains firm and shakes not; Who dwells in his inner self, and is the same in pleasure and pain; to whom gold or stones or earth are one, and what is pleasing or displeasing leave him in peace; who is beyond both praise and blame, and whose mind is steady and quiet; Who is the same in honor or disgrace, and has the same love for enemies or friends, who surrenders all selfish undertakings – this man has gone beyond the three. And he who with never-failing love adores me and works for me, he passes beyond the three powers and can be one with Brahman, the ONE. For I am the abode of Brahman, the never-failing fountain of everlasting life. The law of righteousness is my law; and my joy is infinite joy.

Venus in Furs by Leopold Sacher-Masoch

  • ‘Is there any greater cruelty for the lover than the beloved woman’s infidelity?’ ‘Ah,’ she countered, ‘we are faithful as long as we love, but you men demand that women be faithful without love and give ourselves without joy. Who is the cruel one here? The woman or the man? On the whole, you northerners take love too earnestly, too seriously. You talk about duties, when all that should count is pleasure.’

Spiritual Verses by Rumi

  • This fiery lust does not abate with practice, but only by abstaining does it lesson. So long as you lay firewood on a fire, how will the fire die down by stoking it?
  • And know the faithful from the hateful ones; seek out companions of the truth and join them! Each person shows a liking for their own, a fool alone then thinks he’s done good deeds.

Posted: February 3, 2012 in Quotes

It is false to speak of realisation. What is there to realise?

The real is as it is always. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before.We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long samskaras [innate tendencies] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone.

Be As You Are, The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi

  • No object, no kind of knowledge, can be absolutely real if its existence is only temporary. Absolute reality implies permanent existence.
  • When the truth is known, we are no longer deluded by the appearance.
  • A God who transforms Himself into the visible universe is Himself subject to transformation and change – He cannot be regarded as the absolute reality.
    • A God who creates a world limits Himself by the very act of creation, and thus ceases to be infinite.
  • Within Maya, the mind cannot function without causal relation. But to speak of cause and effect with reference to the Absolute is simply absurd. To seek to know what caused the world is to transcend the world, to seek to find the cause of Maya is to go beyond Maya – and, when we do that, Maya vanishes, for the effect ceases to exist.
    • In other words, the relation between Brahman and Maya is, by its very nature, unknowable and indefinable by any process of the human intellect.
  • The principle of Maya is the superimposition of the ego-idea upon the Atman, the real Self. The ego-idea represents a false claim to individuality, to being different from our neighbor.
    • Superimposition is the apparent presentation to consciousness, by the memory, of something previously observed elsewhere.
    • As long as we remain in ignorance, we shall continue to experience this apparent world which is the effect of superimposition.
    • When transcendental consciousness is achieved, superimposition ceases.
    • Lose the ego-idea in transcendental consciousness, and the world-appearance must necessarily vanish.
  • Brahman is absolute existence, knowledge and bliss.
  • The inner Self, the reality, is never an object of sense-perception, however, – because, in our ignorance, we superimpose the idea of a private individuality – of being Mr. Smith or Mrs. Jones – upon our awareness of Existence.
  • A distinction must, however, be made between Maya as a universal principle and ignorance (avidya) which is individual. Individual ignorance is beginningless, but it can end at any moment: it is lost when a man achieves spiritual illumination. Thus the world may vanish from the consciousness of an individual and yet continue to exist for the rest of mankind.
  • Iswara is Brahman united with Maya – the combination of Brahman and its power creates, preserves and dissolves the universe in an endless and beginnningless process.
    • Iswara is God personified, God with attributes.

Brahman may be compared to an infinite ocean, without beginning or end. Just as, through intense cold, some portions of the ocean freeze into ice and the formless water appears to have form, so through the intense love of the devotee, Brahman appears to take on form and personality. But the form melts away again as the sun of knowledge rises. Then the universe also disappears, and there is seen to be nothing but Brahman, the infinite. – Sri Ramakrishna

  • As long as man is within the limitations of Maya, the One is seen as many. Ignorance can do no better than to worship Appearance; and Iswara is the ruler of all appearances – the highest idea which the human mind can grasp and the human heart can love. The human mind can never grasp the absolute Reality, it can only infer its presence and worship its projected image.
  • The absolute reality is beyond good and evil, pleasure and pain, success and disaster. Both good and evil are aspects of Maya. As long as Maya exists, they exist. Within Maya they are real enough.
    • The questions “Why does God permit evil?” is, in fact, most misleadingly phrased. It is as absurd as if one were to ask “Why does God permit good?” Nobody today would ask why rain “permitted” a catastrophic flood; nobody would blame or praise fire because it burns one man’s house and cooks another man’s dinner.
  • Once we become conscious, even dimly, of the Atman, the Reality within us, the world takes on a very different aspect. It is no longer a court of justice but a kind of gymnasium. Good and evil, pain and pleasure, still exist, but they seem more like the ropes and vaulting-hoses and parallel bars which can be used to make our bodies strong.
    • Maya is no longer an endlessly revolving wheel of pain and pleasure but a  ladder which can be climbed to consciousness of the Reality.
    • Every experience offers us the chance of making a constructive reaction to it – a reaction which helps to break some chain of our bondage to Maya and bring us that much nearer to spiritual freedom.
  • If we recognize our brotherhood with our fellow-men; if we try to deal honestly, truthfully, charitably with them; if, politically and economically, we work for equal rights, equal justice and the abolition of barriers of race and class and creed, then we are in fact giving the lie to the ego-idea and moving toward awareness of the universal, non-individual Existence.
  • What is so attractive about Vedanta is its undogmatic, experimental approach to truth. Shankara does not tell us that we must accept the evidence of Brahman as a dogma before we can enter upon the spiritual life. No – he invites us to find out for ourselves.
    • Nothing – no teacher, no scripture – can do the work for us. Teachers and scriptures are merely encouragements to personal effort.
  • The illuminated seer does not merely know Brahman, he is Brahman, he is Existence, he is Knowledge. Absolute freedom is not something to be attained, absolute knowledge is not something to be gained, Brahman is not something to be found. It is only Maya which has to be pierced, ignorance which has to be overcome. The process of discrimination is a negative process. The positive fact, our real nature, eternally exists. We are Brahman – and only ignorance divides us from this knowledge.
  • Rituals plays an important part in the act of devotion, as a physical aid to concentration – for the acts of ritual bring the mind back repeatedly from its distractions and help to keep it steadily upon its object.
  • For what greater fool can there be than the man who has obtained this rare human birth together with bodily and mental strength and yet fails, through delusion, to realize his own highest good?
  • Longing for liberation is the will to be free from the fetters forged by ignorance…
    • Among all means of liberation, devotion is supreme. To seek earnestly to know one’s real nature – this is said to be devotion.
  • Children may free their father from his debts, but no other person can free a man from his bondage: he must do it himself.
    • A sickness is not cured by saying the word “medicine.” You must take the medicine. Liberation does not come by merely saying the word “Brahman.” Brahman must be actually experienced.
  • If you really desire liberation, hold the objects of sense-enjoyment at a distance, like poison; and keep drinking in with delight such virtues as contentment, compassion, forgiveness, straightforwardness, tranquility and self-control, as if they were nectar.
  • Maya is destroyed by direct experience of Brahman – the pure, the free, the one without a second.
  • Ignorance is nowhere, except in the mind.
  • Practice detachment toward all actions. Have faith in the Reality.
  • Ignorance, although beginningless, comes to an end when knowledge dawns.
    • Therefore a man should practice discrimination between the Atman and the individual self.
  • Man in the ignorance of his delusion sees the reflection of Pure Consciousness upon the covering, and mistakes it for the real I.
  • A jar made of clay is not other than clay. It is clay essentially. The form of the jar has no independent existence. What, then, is the jar? Merely an invented name! The form of the jar can never be perceived apart from the clay. What, then, is the jar? An appearance! The reality is the clay itself.
  • The Atman is the reality. It is your true, primal self. It is pure consciousness, the one without a second, absolute bliss. It is beyond form and action. Realize your identity with it. Stop identifying yourself with the coverings of ignorance, which are the masks assumed by an actor.
  • The more a man satisfies his cravings in the objective world, the more his cravings will increase.
    • When craving grows stronger, self-control is lost.
  • The spiritual seeker who is possessed of tranquility, self-control, mental poise and forbearance, devotes himself to the practice of contemplation, and mediates upon the Atman within himself as the Atman within all beings. Thus he completely destroys the sense of separateness which arises from the darkness of ignorance, and dwells in joy, identifying himself with Brahman, free from distracting thoughts and selfish occupations.
  • Mistaking the appearance for the reality, people ignorantly imagine that I am enclosed within a bodily and mental form. In the same way, they imagine Time, which is indivisible and continuous, to be divided into cycles, years and seasons.
    • The sky is not confined by its clouds. I am not confined by the body. How, therefore, can I be affected by the states of waking, dreaming or dreamless sleep? They are merely bodily conditions.
  • How can the physical eyes see anything but physical objects? How can the mind of the enlightened man think of anything other than the Reality? How could a wise man reject the experience of supreme bliss and take delight in mere outward forms? When the moon shines in its exceeding beauty, who would care to look at a painted moon?
  • He has no riches, yet he is always contented. He is helpless, yet of mighty power. He enjoys nothing, yet he is continuously rejoicing. He has no equal, yet he sees all men as his equals.
Q & A
  • Who is the lord? He who leads us out of ignorance.
  • Who is poor? He who is not contented.
  • What should one strive for? To go on learning as long as one lives.
  • What qualities are rarest in this world? To have the gift of speaking sweet words with compassion, to be learning without pride, to be heroic and also forgiving, to be rich without attachment to riches – these four are rare.

Poem by Shankara

Posted: May 23, 2011 in Poetry

O Lord, dweller within;
You are the light
In the heart’s lotus.
Om is your very self,
Om, holiest word,
Seed and source of the scriptures.
Logic cannot discover
You, Lord, but the yogis
Know you in meditation.
In you are all God’s faces,
His forms and aspects,
In you also
We find the guru.
In every heart you are
And if but once, only,
A man will open
His mind to receive you
Truly that man
Is free forever.

  • We are always thinking that by changing our situation we will overcome our mental agitation, and we are always thinking that when we reach a certain point, all mental agitations will disappear. But it is the nature of the material world that we cannot be freed from anxiety.

What is called renunciation is the same as yoga, or linking oneself with the Supreme; for no one can become a yogi unless he renounces the desire for sense gratification. – Bhagavad Gita 6.2

  • The desire for sense gratification must be overcome by the process of purification, but desire for Krishna should be cultivated. It is simply that we have to transfer the desire. There is no question of killing desire, for desire is the constant companion of the living entity.
    • In the material world everyone is working for sense gratification. The profits of one’s labor in the material world are used to gratify one’s senses. But a real yogi does not desire such fruits. He has no desire other than Krishna, and Krishna is already there.
  • The whole process of the yoga system is to purify oneself. And what is this purification? Purification ensues upon the realization of one’s actual identity. Purification is realizing that “I am pure spirit – I am not this matter.”
    • Due to material contact, we are identifying ourselves with matter, and we are thinking, “I am this body.” But in order to perform real yoga one must realize his constitutional position as being distinct from matter.
  • Simply breathing deeply and doing some exercises is not yoga as far as Bhagavad Gita is concerned. A whole purification of consciousness is required.
    • One must sit very straight, and the eyes be only half-closed, gazing at the tip of one’s nose.
  • Contemporary civilization in this age of Kali has actually made it impossible for us to be alone, to be desireless and to be possessionless.
  • When a candle is in a windless place, its flame remains straight and does not waver. The mind, like the flame, is susceptible to so many material desires that with the slightest agitation it will move.
    • A little movement of the mind can change the whole consciousness.
  • As long as we are in the material conception of life, we are not actually enjoying ourselves but are simply becoming more and more entangled in material nature.
    • The more we increase material enjoyment, the more we become entangled in this world, and the more difficult it becomes to get free from the material entrapment.
  • No one is born our enemy, and no one is born our friend. These roles are determined by mutual behavior. As we have dealings with others in ordinary affairs, in the same way the individual has dealings with himself. I may act as my own friend or as an enemy.

For those who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy. – Bhagavad Gita 6.6

  • To cut something, a sharp instrument is required; and to cut the mind from its attachment, sharp words are often required.

For one who has conquered the mind, the Supersoul is already reached, for he has attained tranquility. To such a man happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same. – Bhagavad Gita 6.7

  • One has to transcend dualities, but as long as this body is here these dualities will be here also…One has to learn to tolerate such dualities.
  • In everyone’s life there are two duties: one is to serve the illusion, and the other is to serve the reality.
  • The constitutional position of the living entity is to be a servant, not a master.
  • The word which is “creation” in English language is in Sanskrit exactly “projection.”
    • Western Creation: Something that coming out of nothing.
    • Vedanta Creation: Projection of that which already existed.
  • We are all one, and the cause of evil is the perception of duality.
    • As soon as I begin to feel that I am separate from this universe, then first comes fear, and then comes misery.
    • In reality there is one, but in Maya it is appearing as many.
    • The real is one. It is the mind which makes it appear as many. When we perceive diversity, the unity has gone; and as soon as we perceive the unity, the diversity has vanished.
  • Behind everything the same divinity is existing, and out of this comes the basis of morality. Do not injure another. Love everyone as your own self, because the whole universe is one. In injuring another, I am injuring myself; in loving another, I am loving myself.
  • Just as when a farmer wants to water his field from the canals that pass near, he has only to lift his gate – so each man is the Infinite already, only these bars and bolts and different circumstances shut him in; but as soon as these are removed, he rushes out and expresses himself.
  • Concentrating the powers of the mind is the only way to knowledge.
    • Knowledge is a lower state; it is only in Maya that we can have knowledge.
  • Religion always takes three steps. The first is dualism. Then man gets to a higher state, partial non-dualism. And at last he finds he is one with the universe.
    • When a man first hears it, he must reason on it, so that he does not believe it ignorantly, but knowingly; and after reasoning what it is, he must meditate upon it, and then realize it. And that is religion. Belief is no part of religion. We say religion is a super-conscious state.
  • “Why” cannot be asked beyond the limit of causation. It can only be asked within Maya.
  • [Yoga] One ounce of practice is worth a thousand pounds of theory.
  • Of all scriptures of the world it is the Vedas alone that declare that even the study of the Vedas is secondary. The real study is “that by which we realize the unchangeable.” And that is neither reading, nor believing, nor reasoning, but super-conscious perception, or Samadhi.
  • In the unconditioned there cannot be time, space, or causation.
  • Ignorance makes the illusion.
    • Not that we do not know, or that we are ignorant; but it is above knowledge, and cannot be brought down to the plane of knowledge.
    • There are certain things which we can never know, because they are much higher than the highest vibration of knowledge.
    • Knowledge cannot be the goal, because knowledge is a compound. It is compound of power and freedom, and it is freedom alone that is desirable. Simply the possession of power would not be knowledge.
    • It is not law that we want but ability to break law. We want to be outlaws.
  • If you think you are free, free you will be.
  • There is really no difference between matter, mind, and spirit. They are only different phases of experiencing the One.
  • Reason is not perfect. It is, however, the only possible rational system that the human mind can conceive.
  • Why should God need any purpose? If He had any, He would be bound by it. There would be something besides Him which was greater.
  • As soon as we react, we become slaves.

Posted: January 3, 2011 in Quotes

And when he sees me in all and sees all in me,
Then I never leave him and he never leaves me.
And he, who in this oneness of love
Loves me in whatever he sees,
Wherever this man may live,
In truth, he lives in me…

– Bhagavad Gita, VI:30,31

Posted: January 3, 2011 in Quotes
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Place your burden
at the feet of the Lord of the Universe
who accomplishes everything.
Remain all the time steadfast in the heart,
in the Transcendental Absolute.
God knows the past, present and future.
He will determine the future for you
and accomplish the work.
What is to be done will be done
at the proper time. Don’t worry.
Abide in the heart and surrender your acts
to the divine.

Ramana Maharshi

Posted: August 25, 2010 in Quotes

The supreme perfection of actionlessness

He attains though renunciation.

– Bhagavad Gita, XVIII.49.3-4

Posted: June 12, 2010 in Quotes

Man is made by his belief.

As he believes, so he is.

Bhagavad Gita