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Be of Good Cheer

Karma is the eternal assertion of human freedom. If we can bring ourselves down by our karma, surely it is in our power to raise ourselves by it. (5:213-14)

Who makes us ignorant? We ourselves. We put our hands over our eyes and weep that it is dark. (2:356)

What do you gain in heaven? You become gods, drink nectar, and get rheumatism. There is less misery there than on earth, but also less truth. (8: 107)

Truth is infinitely more weighty than untruth; so is goodness. If you possess these, they will make their way by sheer gravity. (5:65)

Impurity is a mere superimposition under which your real nature has become hidden. But the real you is already perfect, already strong. (3:159)

Salvation means knowing the truth. We do not become anything; we are what we are.... It is a question of knowledge! You must know what you are, and it is done. (1:512)

First, believe in this world - that there is meaning behind every thing. (1:441)

No man is born to any religion; he has a religion in his own soul. (6:82)

Despondency is not religion, whatever else it may be. (4:11)

If the mother is pleased, and the father, God is pleased with the man. (1:43)

Wherever you are, that is a point from which you can start to the center. (3:536)

We should be brave to open our doors to receive all available light from outside. Let rays of light come in, in sharp-driving showers from the four quarters of the earth. (4:406)

When you deal with roots and foundations, all real progress must be slow. (5:193)


What the World Wants Is Character

One word of truth can never be lost; for ages it may be hidden under rubbish, but it will show itself sooner or later. Truth is indestructible, virtue is indestructible, purity is indestructible. (5:57)

We must have friendship for all; we must be merciful toward those that are in misery; when people are happy, we ought to be happy; and to the wicked we must be indifferent. These attitudes will make the mind peaceful. (1:222)

We have no right to make others selfish by our unselfishness have we? (6:417)

Please everybody without becoming a hypocrite or a coward. (5:97)

What the world wants is character. The world is in need of those whose life is one burning love, selfless. That love will make every word tell like a thunderbolt. (7:501)

The pure heart is the best mirror for the reflection of truth.... All truth in the universe will manifest in your heart, if you are sufficiently pure.

Let us not depend upon the world for pleasure. (8:29)

Superstition is a great enemy of man, but bigotry is worse. (1:15)

If superstition enters, the brain is gone. (3:278)

Soft-brained men, weak-minded, chicken-hearted, cannot find the truth. One has to be free, and as broad as the sky. (8:104)


The New Cycle

The new cycle must see the masses living Vedanta, and this will have to come through women. (7:95)

Women will work out their own destinies - much better, too, than men can ever do for them. All the mischief to women has come because men undertook to shape the destiny of women. (8:9I)

The idea of perfect womanhood is perfect independence. (8:198)

I shall not rest till I root out this distinction of sex. Is there any sex-distinction in the Atman (Self)? Out with the differentiation between man and woman - all is Atman! Give up the identification with the body, and stand up! (6:272-73)

Woman has suffered for eons, and that has given her infinite patience and infinite perseverance. (7:95)

There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. (6:328)

When you are judging man and woman, judge them by the standard of their respective greatness. (2:26)


Modes of Action

Perfection does not come from belief or faith. Talk does not count for anything. Parrots can do that. Perfection comes through the disinterested performance of action. (4:137)

In a conflict between the heart and the brain follow your heart (8:223)

Every action that helps a being manifest its divine nature more and more is good, every action that retards is evil. (6:319)

Too much sentiment hurts work. "Hard as steel and soft as flower" is the motto. (8:434)

Tell the truth boldly, whether it hurts or not. Never pander to weakness. If truth is too much for intelligent people and sweeps them away, let them go; the sooner the better. (7:79)

Go on saying, "I am free." Never mind if the next moment delusion comes and says, "I am bound." Dehypnotize the whole thing. (1:501)

This earth is higher than all the heavens; this is the greatest school in the universe. (5:94)

Everything must be sacrificed, if necessary, for that one sentiment, universality. (6:285)



The Place of Humbug

How easily this world can be duped by humbugs and what a mass of fraud has gathered over the devoted head of poor humanity since the dawn of civilization. (7:489)

Contradictions come from the same truth adapting itself to the varying circumstances of different natures. (1:18)

We must approach religion with reverence and with love, and our heart will stand up and say, this is truth, and this is untruth. (1:415)

Excepting the infinite spirit, everything else is changing. There is the whirl of change. Permanence is nowhere except in yourself. There is the infinite joy, unchanging. Meditation is the gate that opens that to us. (4:249)

The only knowledge that is of any value is to know that all this is humbug. But few, very few, will ever now this. "Know the Atman alone, and give up all other vain words." This is the only knowledge we gain from all this knocking about the universe. (8:385)

Worship of society and popular opinion is idolatry. The soul has no sex, no country, no place, no time. (8:37)

Learning and wisdom are superfluities, the surface glitter merely, but it is the heart that is the seat of all power. It is not in the brain but in the heart that the Atman, possessed of knowledge, power, and activity, has Its seat. (6:425)

Jnana [knowledge of the ultimate reality] teaches that the world should be renounced but not on that account abandoned. To live in the world and not to be of it is the true test of renunciation. (5:272)

The first test of true teaching must be that the teaching should not contradict reason. (2:390)

Nature, body, and mind go to death, not we; we never go nor come. (7:70)

Come out into the broad light of day, come out from the little narrow paths, for how can the infinite soul rest content to live and die in small ruts? Come out into the universe of Light. Everything in the universe is yours, stretch out your arms and embrace it with love. If you ever felt you wanted to do that, you have felt God. (2:322-23)

People come to me - thousands come every year - with this one question. Someone has told them that if they are chaste and pure they will be hurt physically.... How do these teachers know it? Have they been chaste? These unchaste, impure fools, lustful creatures, want to drag the whole world down. (1:520)

The power of purity - it is a definite power. (4:33)


A Look at the Mind

Words are only a mode of mind acting on mind. (6:134)

Let people have all the mythology they want, with its beautiful
inspirations; for you must always bear in mind that emotional natures do not care for abstract definitions of truth. (2:393)

Man finds nothing in that which does not echo back the heart- beats of his special love in life. (4:322)

Ordinarily speaking, spiritual aspiration ought to be balanced through the intellect; otherwise it may degenerate into mere sentimentality. (7:22)

Astrology and all these mystical things are generally signs of a weak mind; therefore as soon as they are becoming prominent in our minds, we should see a physician, take good food, and rest. (8:184)

Anything that brings spiritual, mental, or physical weakness touch it not with the toes of your feet. (8:185)

The great task is to revive the whole man, as it were, in order to make him the complete master of himself. (2:35)

There cannot be friendship without equality. (3:318)

We are always after Truth, but never want to get it. (1:439)


God Facts

You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself. (5:409)

Stand as a rock; you are indestructible. You are the Self, the God of the universe. (2:236)

In worshiping God we have always been worshiping our own hidden Self. The worst lie that you ever tell yourself is that you were born a sinner or a wicked man.(2:279)

Wherever there is any love, any sweetness in any human being, either in a saint or a sinner, either in an angel or a murderer, either in the body, mind, or the senses, it is He. (2:421)

The Lord is very merciful to him whom He sees struggling heart and soul for realization. But remain idle, without any struggle, and you will see that His grace will never come. (5:398)

Today God is being abandoned by the world because He does not seem to be doing enough for the world. So they say, "Of what good is He?" Shall we look upon God as a mere municipal authority? (7:18)

How do you know that a book teaches truth? Because you are truth and feel it. That is what the Vedanta says. What is the proof of the Christs and Buddhas of the world? That you and I feel like them. (2:307)

Various religions, Bibles, Vedas, dogmas - all are just tubs for the little plant; but it must get out of the tub. (7:6-7)

God is the infinite, impersonal being - ever existent, unchanging, immortal, fearless; and you are all His incarnations, His embodiments. This is the God of Vedanta, and His heaven is everywhere. In this heaven dwell all the Personal Gods there are - you yourselves. (8:134)

We cannot know Brahman, but we are Brahman, the whole of It, not a piece.(8:21)

It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God. (2:307)

Only that is ours which we earn. No authority can save us, no beliefs. If here is a God, all can find Him. No one needs to be told it is warm; each one can discover it for himself. So it should be with God. He should be a fact in the consciousness of all men. (8:15)

All is the Self or Brahman. The saint, the sinner, the lamb, the tiger, even the murderer, as far as they have any reality, can be nothing else, because there is nothing else. (8:12)

Religion as a science, as a study, is the greatest and healthiest exercise that the human mind can have. (2:66)

This is no world. It is God Himself. In delusion we call it world.(6:371)

Everything exists already in the Self of all beings. He who asserts he is free, shall be free. He who says he is bound, bound shall he remain. To me, the thought of oneself as low and humble is a sin and ignorance. (6:311)


Secrets of Existence

Do something for your souls! Do wrong if you please, but do something! (6:66)

The first sign that you are becoming religious is that you are becoming cheerful.(1:264)

This is the great lesson that we are here to learn through myriads of births and heavens and hells - that there is nothing to be asked for, desired for, beyond one's Self. (8:504)

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you free. (7:49)

All knowledge that we have, either of the external or internal world, is obtained through only one method - by the concentration of the mind. (4:2I9)

Holiness is the greatest power. Everything else quails before it. (6:89)

Every step I take in the light is mine forever. (7:59)

If you talk all the best philosophies the world ever produced, but if you are a fool in your behavior, they do not count. (3:536)


A Personal View

My ideal can be put into a few words and that is to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life. (7:501)

I believe in reason and follow reason. (2:336)

Be free! A free body, a free mind, and a free soul! That is what I have felt all my life; I would rather be free doing evil freely than be doing good under bondage. (3:515-16)

Enough of books and theories. It is the life that is the highest and the only way to stir the hearts of the people; it carries the personal magnetism. (5:65)

Once I was invited to a dinner. The hostess asked me to say grace. I said, "I will say grace to you, madam. My grace and thanks are to you." (8:132-33)

I am glad I have done something good and many things bad; glad I have done something right, and glad I have committed many errors, because every one of them has been a great lesson. (2:147)

I would a hundred times rather have a little heart and no brain, than be all brains and no heart.... He who has no heart and only brains dies of dryness. (2:145)

Individuality is my motto. (7:487)

I have never seen the man who was not at least my equal. (6:48)

It is my belief that religious thought is in man's very constitution, so much so that it is impossible for him to give up religion until he can give up his mind and body, until he can give up thought and life. (3:1)