• God, if I worship Thee in fear of hell, burn me in hell. And if I worship Thee in the hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise, but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, withhold not Thine everlasting Beauty (*Rabi’a, also known as Hazrat Bibi Rabia Basri, a Sufi Poet)
  • If we surround our souls with a shell, national pride, racial or religious superiority, frozen articles of faith and empty presumptions of castes and classes, we stifle and suppress the breath of the spirit (Dr. S. Radhakrishnan)
  • Desire and fear agitate our mind, and obscure from its view the happiness that always exists within it (Sri Ramana Maharishi)
  • Happiness does not exist in any external object, but only in us (Ramana Maharishi).
  • This art and science of being is not only the art and science of happiness, but also the art and science of consciousness, and the art and science of self-knowledge (Ramana Maharishi).
  • Merging the mind into the heart certainly comprises meritorius duty (karma), devotion (bhakthi), yoga and supreme wisdom (jnana. (Ramana Maharishi)
  • We can end a conflict of war, but there will always be more unless people’s minds change. But, on the other hand, isn’t there a way of discovering an inner peace that doesn’t depend on health, power, success, money, or the pleasures of the senses, an inner peace that’s the source of outer peace? (Matthiew Ricard, The Monk, and the Philosopher).
  • The reality is one; the learned speak of this in many ways. (The Rg Veda)
  • If you amass intellectual learning just so that you will be influential and famous, your state of mind is no different from that of a beggar sponging off the rich. Such knowledge will bring no advantage either to yourself or to others. (Khyentse Rinpoche, Tibetan Philosopher).
  • If I were not myself a religious person, but wished to make an account of religion, I believe I would tend toward the Feuerbachian view that religion is a human projection of humanity’s conceptions of beauty, goodness, power, and other valued things, a humanizing of experience by understanding it as structured around and mirroring back these values. Then it would resemble art, with which it is strongly associated. But this would dignify religion and characterize the mind as outwardly and imaginatively engaged with the world, as, in parascientific thought after Comte, it never is. (Marilynne Robinson, American novelist, and essayist)
  • The astrolabe of the mysteries of God is love (Jalal-uddin Rumi, Sufi Poet)
  • Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment; Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition. (Jalal-uddin Rumi)
  • The beloved is all in all; the lover merely veils HIm; The Beloved is all that lives, the lover a dead thing. (Jalal-uddin Rumi)
  • Once the noble Ibrahim, as he sat on his throne heard a clamor and noise of cries on the roof, also heavy footsteps on the roof of his palace. He said to himself, “Whose heavy feet are these?” He shouted from the window, “Who goes there?” The guards filled with confusion, bowed their heads, saying, “It is we, going the rounds in a search.” He said, “What seek ye?” They said, “our camels.” He said, “Whoever searched for camels on a housetop?” They said, “We follow thy example, Who seekest union with God while sitting on a throne.” (Jalal-uddin Rumi)
  • When a mother cries to her sucking babe, “Come, O son, I am thy mother!. Does the child answer, “O mother, show a proof that I shall find comfort in taking thy milk?” (Jalal-uddin Rumi)
  • I died a mineral and became a plant. I died a plant and rose an animal. I died an animal and I was a man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying? Yet once more I shall die as a man, to soar with the blessed angels; but even from angelhood, I must pass on. All except God perishes. When I have sacrificed my angel soul, I shall become that which no mind ever conceived. O, let me not exist! for Non-existence proclaims, “To Him, we shall return.” (Jalal-uddin Rumi)
  • Men’s minds perceive second causes, but only prophets perceive the action of the First Cause. (Jalal-uddin Rumi)
  • If thou hast not seen the devil, look at thine own self. (Jalal-uddin Rumi)
  • The spirit possesses God essentially in naked nature, and God the spirit. (Ruysbroeck – Flemish Mystic)
  • You are as holy as you will to be. (Ruysbroeck – Flemish Mystic)
  • The spirit possesses God essentially in nake nature, and God the spirit (Ruysbroeck – Flemish Mystic)
  • The image of God is found essentially and personally in all mankind. Each possesses it whole, entire and undivided, and altogether not more than alone. In this way, we are all one, intimately united in our eternal image, which is the image of God and the source in us of all our lives. Our created essence and our life are attached to it without meditation as to their external cause. (Ruysbroeck, Flemish Scholar, and Mystic).
  • Knowledge of ourselves teaches us whence we come, where we are and whither we are going. We come from God and we are in exile; and it is because our potency of affection tends towards God that we are aware of this state of exile (Ruysbroeck, Flemish mystic)
  • In the Reality unitively known by the mystic, we can speak no more of Father, Son, and the Holy spirit, nor of any creature, but only one Being, which is the very substance of the Divine Persons. We were all one before our creation, for this is our super-essence. There the Godhead is in simple essence without activity. (Ruysbroeck, Flemish mystic)
  • The Shruti depends upon direct perception. The Smriti plays a part analogous to induction, since, like induction, it derives its authority from an authority other than itself. (Adi Sankara)
  • A disease is not cured by pronouncing the name of medicine, but by taking medicine. Deliverance is not achieved by repeating the word “Brahman,” but by directly experiencing Brahman. (Adi Sankara in Viveka Choodamani)
  • The Atman is that by which the universe is pervaded, but which nothing pervades; which causes all things to shine, but which all things cannot make to shine (Adi Sankara in Viveka Choodamani)
  • The existence of all that is either affirmed or denied in the one substratum of the indestructible, unattached, non-dual, absolute Self, depends only on the mind (Adi Sankara).
  • When a man follows the way of the world, or the way of the flesh, or the way of tradition (i.e. when he believes in religious rites and the letter of the scriptures, as though they were intrinsically sacred), knowledge of Reality cannot arise in him. (Adi Sankara in Viveka Choodamani)
  • The wise say that this threefold (body, ego, and senses) is like an iron chain, binding the feet of him who aspires to escape from the prison–house of this world. He who frees himself from the chain achieves deliverance. (Adi Sankara in Viveka Choodamani)
  • Liberation cannot be achieved except by the perception of the identity of the individual spirit with the universal spirit. It can be achieved neither by Yoga nor by Sankhya (speculative philosophy), nor by the practice of religious ceremonies, nor by mere learning (Adi Sankara).
  • 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 (Adi Sankara)
  • Birth brings death, death brings rebirth:
    This evil needs no proof
    Where then O Man, is thy happiness?
    Like water on a lotus-leaf
    And yet the sage can show us, in an instant,
    How to bridge this sea of change (Adi Sankara’s poem Moha Mudgaram – The Shattering of Illusion).
  • Now there is no class of substance to which the Brahman belongs, no common genus. It cannot, therefore, be denoted by words which, like “being” in the ordinary sense, signify a category of things. Nor can it be denoted by quality, for it is without qualities; nor yet by activity because it is without activity – “at rest, without parts or activity,” according to the Scriptures. Neither can it be denoted by relationship, for it is “without a second” and is not the object of anything but its own self. Therefore it cannot be defined by word or idea; as the Scripture says, it is the One “before whom words recoil.” (Adi Sankara)
  • Defining God:
    Seed and source of the scriptures.
    Logic cannot discover You, Lord, but the Yogis
    Know you in mediation.
    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 (Adi Sankara)
  • Caste, creed, family lineage do not exist in Brahman. Brahman has neither name nor form, transcends merit and demerit, is beyond time, space and the objects of sense-experience. Such is Brahman, and “thou art That.” Meditate upon this truth within your consciousness. (Adi Sankara in Viveka Choodamani)
  • It is ignorance that causes us to identify ourselves with the body, the ego, the senses, or anything that is not the Atman. He is a wise man who overcomes this ignorance by devotion to the Atman. (Adi Sankara in Viveka Choodamani)
  • Among the instruments of emancipation, the supreme is devotion. Contemplation of the true form of the real Self (the Atman which is identical with Brahman) is said to be devotion. (Adi Sankara)
  • The nature of the one reality must be known by one’s own clear spiritual perception; it cannot be known through a pandit (learned man). Similarly, the form of the moon can only be known through one’s own eyes. How can it be known through others? (Adi Sankara)
  • A man can do as he will, but not will as he will (Arthur Schopenhauer, German philsopher)
  • The only possible alternative is simply to keep to the immediate experience that consciousness is a singular of which the plural is unknown; that there is only one thing and that what seems to be a plurality is merely a series of different aspects of this one thing, produced by a deception (the Indian MAJA); the same illusion is produced in a gallery of mirrors, and in the same way Gaurisankar and MT Everest turned out to be the same peak seen from different valleys. (Erwin Schrodinger, physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1933)
  • With all his predilection for the Ångström unit, the physicist prefers to be told that his new suit will require six and a half yards of tweed – rather than sixty-five thousand millions of Ångströms of tweed. (Erwin Schrodinger, physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1933)
  • If a man never contradicts himself, the reason must be that he virtually never says anything at all. (Erwin Schrodinger, physicist)
  • To be in hell is to drift; to be in heaven is to steer (George Bernard Shaw).
  • The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth (Chief Seattle).
  • Life ceases just when we are getting ready for it. (Seneca)
  • Physical science … faces us with the impasse that mind per se cannot play the piano – mind per se cannot move a finger of a hand. Then the impasse meets us. The blank of the ‘how’ of mind’s leverage on the matter. The inconsequence staggers us. Is it a misunderstanding? (Charles Scott Sherrington, neurophysiologist, winner of the Nobel Prize)
  • The world is the wheel of God, turning round and round with all living creatures upon its rim. The world is the river of God, flowing from him and flowing back to him. On this ever-revolving wheel of being the individual self, goes round and round through life after life, believing itself to be a separate creature, until it sees its identity with the Lord of Love and attains immortality in the indivisible whole. (Shvetashvatara Upanishad)
  • What is the ultimate teaching of Buddhism? “You won’t understand it until you have it.” (Shih-t’ou – Zen Buddhist Monk)
  • One who wants to follow the dharmic path must adhere to contentment, forgiveness, control over mind, honesty, cleanliness of mind and body, control of senses, spiritual learning, truthfulness, and freedom from anger. (Manu Smriti)
  • Learn to look with an equal eye upon all beings, seeing the one Self in all. (Srimad Bhagavatham).
  • Having achieved human birth, a rare and blessed incarnation, the wise man, leaving all vanity to those who are vain, should strive to know God, and Him only, before life passes into death. (Srimad Bhagavatham)
  • Like the bee gathering honey from different flowers, the wise man accepts the essence of different scriptures and sees only the good in all religions. (Srimad Bhagavatham)
  • Nature is neutral. Man has wrested from nature the power to make the world a desert or to make the deserts bloom. There is no evil in the atom-only in men’s souls.” (Adlai Stevenson)
  • Music can penetrate the core of our physical being. It can make us weep, or give us intense pleasure. Music, like being in love, can temporarily transform our whole existence (Anthony Storr)
  • ..the profound meaning of music and its essential aim… is to promote a communion, a union of man with his fellow man and with the Supreme Being (Stravinsky).
  • When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs for what it has found (Sufi Aphorism)
  • The children of God are very deal but very queer, very nice but very narrow. (Sadhu Sunder Singh)
  • If you wish to tranquilize your mind and restore its original purity, you must proceed as you would do if you were purifying a jar of muddy water. You first let it stand, until the sediment settles at the bottom when the water will become clear, which corresponds with the state of the mind before it was troubled by defiling passions. Then you carefully strain off the pure water. When the mind becomes tranquilized and concentrated into perfect unity, then all things will be seen, nor in their separateness, but in their unity, wherein there is no place for the passions to enter, and which is in full conformity with the mysterious and indescribable purity of Nirvana (Surangama Sutra)
  • The truth indeed has never been preached by the Buddha seeing that one has to realize it within oneself (Sutralamkara)
  • Seeing him alone, one transcends death; there is no other way. (Svetasvatara Upanishad)
  • The body is the first of many layers that surround the human personality, each less physical than the one before. They are, roughly, components of what we call “mind.” (Taittriya Upanishad)
  • Those who speak ill of me are really my good friends. When, being slandered, I cherish neither enmity nor preference, there grows within me the power of love and humility, which is born of the Unborn. (Kung-chia Ta-Shih)
  • The right relation between prayer and conduct is not that conduct is supremely important and prayer may help it, but that prayer is supremely important and conduct tests it. (Archbishop Temple)
  • Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting (Mother Teresa).
  • Let everyone understand that real love of God does not consist in tear-shedding, nor in that sweetness and tenderness for which we usually long, just because they console us, but in serving God in justice, the fortitude of soul and humility. (St. Teresa)
  • Science does not produce wisdom. While the insights of science can help us change our world, only human thought and concern can enlighten us about the way we should follow in life. (Matthew Ricard and Trinh Thuan).
  • Goodness needeth not to enter into the soul, for it is there already, only it is unperceived. (Thelogic Germanica)
  • No one, apparently, can claim to know what time is. Nevertheless, there is this brave breed of people called physicists, who used this elusive notion as one of the basic building blocks of their theory, and miraculously, the theory worked. When one of the leading figures of the clan, by the name of Albert Einstein, quietly mumbled his secret incantation which sounded like “Combine time with space in such a way that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, then mass is equal to energy,” lo and behold, atoms exploded ever so noisily. (Masanao Toda, Japanese Philosopher)
  • We should blunt our sharp points, and unravel the complications of things; we should temper our brightness, and bring ourselves into an agreement with the obscurity of others (Tao Tse-Ching).
  • Pig eat acorns but neither consider the sun that gave them life, nor the influence of the heavens by which they were nourished, nor the very root of the tree from when they came. (Thomas Traherne, English Poet, and Philosopher)
  • The world is a mirror of Infinite Beauty, yet no man sees it. It is a Temple of Majesty, yet no man regards it. It is a region of Light and Peace, did not men disquiet it. It is the Paradise of Good. It is more to man since he is fallen than it was before. It is the place of Angels and the Gate of heaven. When Jacob waked out of his dream, he said, God is here, and I wist it not. How dreadful is this place! This is none oth er than the House of God and the Gate of Heaven. (Thomas Traherne, English poet, and philosopher)
  • Pigs eat acorns but neither consider the sun that gave them life, nor the influence of the heavens by which they were nourished, nor the very root of the tree from whence they came. (Thomas Traherne)
  • Religion was born, when the first con-man met the first fool (Mark Twain).
  • Faith is believing something you know ain’t true (Mark Twain)
  • A drunken man who falls out of a cart, though he may suffer, does not die. His bones are the same as other people’s, but he meets his accident in a different way. His spirit is in a condition of security. He is not conscious of riding in the cart; neither is he conscious of falling out of it. Ideas of life, death, fear and the like cannot penetrate his breast; and so he does not suffer from contact with objective existence. If such security is to be got from wine, how much more is to be got from God? (Chuang Tzu)
  • Fools regard themselves as awake now-so personal is their knowledge. It may be as a prince or it may be as a herdsman, but so cocksure of themselves. (Chuang Tzu)
  • A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker. (Chuang Tzu)
  • The Grand Augur, in his ceremonial robes, approached the shambles and thus addressed the pigs. “How can you object to this?” I shall fatten you for three months. I shall discipline myself for ten days and fast for three. I shall strew find grass and place you bodily upon a carved sacrificed dish. Does not this satisfy you?” Then, speaking from the pigs’ point of view, he continued: “It is better perhaps, after all, to live on bran and escape from the shambles.” “But then” he added, speaking from his own point of view, “to enjoy honor when alive, one would readily be on a war-shield or in the headsman’s basket.” So he rejected the pigs’ point of view and adopted his own point of view. In what sense, then was he different from the pigs? (Chuang Tzu) Moral of the story: Anyone who sacrifices anything but his own person or his own interests is on the exactly the same level as Chuang Tzu’s pigs.
  • It was from the Nameless that Heaven and Earth sprang; The named is but the mother that rears the ten thousand creatures, each after its kind. Truly, “Only he that rids himself forever of desire can see the Secret Essences.” He that has never rid of himself of desire can see only the Outcomes. (Lao Tzu – Founder of Taoism)
  • He who knows does not speak; He who speaks does not know. (Lao Tzu)
  • Only he that rids himself forever of desire can see the Secret Essences. He that has never rid himself of desire can see only the outcomes. (Lao Tzu)
  • The further one travels, the less one knows (Lao Tzu)
  • The longest journey begins with a single step (Lao Tzu)