I believe that the civilization India evolved is not to be beaten in the world. Nothing can equal the seeds sown by our ancestors. Rome went, Greece shared the same fate; the might of the Pharaohs was broken; Japan has become Westernized; of China nothing can be said; but India is still, somehow or other, sound at the foundation. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), Indian spiritual leader
For the Self, all that is seen is but mirage; it lasts but for a moment. Whatever is seen, we know it is not the real "I. " Who could call real this personal self that changes every moment? Adi Shankara, 9th century Indian philosopher and saint
Sectarianism, bigotry and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful Earth. They have filled the Earth with violence, drenched it often with human blood, destroyed civilizations and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrisha
Divisions are imaginary lines drawn by small minds. Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), Founder of Self-Realisation Fellowship
Life is a loan. Invest wisely. Anonymous
Stop all your attachments to false values. In an ever-changing world there is nothing worthwhile for us to desire or weep for. Joys and sorrows are bound to come in human life; they are just two sides of the same coin. Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1992), founder of the Chinmaya Mission
Even in search of extraordinary gains, the wise will never speak trivial or useless words. Tirukkural 198
Let me tell you the truth: there is nothing wrong in your being in the world. But you must direct your mind towards God; otherwise you will not succeed. Do your duty with one hand and with the other hold to God. After the duty is over, you will hold to God with both hands. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)
There are two great forces in the universe, silence and speech. Silence prepares, speech creates. The strength of noise and activity is great. But infinite is the strength of stillness and silence, in which great forces prepare for action. To be capable of silence, stillness and illuminated passivity is to be fit for immortality. Sri Aurobido (1879-1950)
Like most modern conveniences, ignorance can be very expensive. Anonymous
From one seed arises a huge tree; from it comes numerous seeds, each one of which in its turn grows into a tree. No two fruits are alike. Yet it is one life that throbs in every particle of the tree. So, it is the same Atman everywhere. All creation is That. There is beauty in the birds and in the animals. They too eat and drink like us, mate and multiply; but there is this difference: we can realize our true nature, the Atman. Having been born as human beings, we must not waste this opportunity. Sri Anandamayi Ma, (1896-1982), Bengali mystic
Prayers without action are futile, action without prayers are fatal. Anonymous
In today's multicultural world, the truly reliable path to coexistence and creative cooperation must start from what is at the root of all cultures, from what lies infinitely deeper in human hearts or minds than political opinion, convictions, antipathies or sympathies. That is transcendence. To be in harmony with that which we are not, what we do not understand, what seems distant from us in time and space, but with which we are nevertheless mysteriously linked. Vaclav Havel, playwright, writer and former president of the Czech Republic
A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study. Chinese proverb
Science sometimes runs the risk of not seeing the truth, because it does not want to know about miracles. Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997), French explorer, ecologist and filmmaker
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. Mark Twain, (1835-1910), American author
The Saints, Sages and Satgurus are Hinduism's holy men and women. Saints, devoid of ego, reflect the peace, humility and purity of a devout life. Sages, though perfectly liberated, may outwardly appear detached and ordinary. Satgurus, also fully enlightened, guide others on the path.Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today
DID YOU KNOW?
A HINDU GOD IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM
For too long,planets in the Solar System were named only after Greco-Roman Deities. By the time the International Astronomical Union decided that Gods of other religions should be included, most thought it was too late and no new planets were left to be discovered. But recently, human ingenuity expanded our view of the universe, and several new orbital objects were found, including one named Varuna, after the Hindu God of the Oceans.
Varuna, with a diameter of 800 km, rides a similar orbit to that of Pluto. It has an icy and inhospitable surface, with temperatures estimated at 230oc below zero. Like most planets, Varuna has a spheroid shape, an evidence that it had enough mass to collapse all stardust and rocks into its body. A year on Varuna–the time it takes to orbit the Sun–is equivalent to 283 Earth years. Varuna is currently a candidate for "dwarf planet" classification, the same category as Pluto.
In Hinduism, Varuna, an older brother to Indra, is the Chief of the Adityas. His realms are water, rain and the celestial ocean, as well as law and the underworld. The Atharva Veda portrays Varuna as omniscient keeper of rita, cosmic order. He is also one of the guardians of the directions, representing west. In the Ramayana, it is told that Varuna helped Rama reach Sri Lanka by keeping the waters still.
BASICS OF HINDUISM
HINDUISM'S THIRD PILLAR: SATGURUS
The three pillars of Hinduism are the temples, the scriptures and the Satgurus. They sustain and preserve the ancient wisdom. If any two were to disappear, Hinduism would come back from the third, as perfect as it ever was. Here we bring a description of the third pillar, satgurus, in an excerpt from the 12-century Kularnava Tantra.
When the entire universe is looked on as pervaded by the Sivaguru, what mantra can fail to achieve its purpose for the shishya? When the satguru is present, no tapas is necessary, no pilgrimage, no fasting nor observances. What he speaks is as scripture.
Feel one with your guru and not separate from him, and do good to all as your own. Whether moving or standing, sleeping or waking, performing japa or making offerings, carry out only the injunctions of your guru with your inner being dwelling in him. As in the vicinity of fire, butter gets melted, so in the proximity of the holy Sivaguru all bad karmas dissolve. As lighted fire burns up all fuel, dry and moist, so the glance of the Sivaguru burns up in a moment the karmas of the shishya. As the heap of cotton blown up by a great storm scatters in all the ten directions, so the heap of negative karmas is blown away by the compassion of the Sivaguru. As darkness is destroyed at the very sight of the lamp, so is ignorance destroyed at the sight of the holy Sivaguru.
I tell you now that there can be no Liberation without diksha, initiation. Nor can there be initiation without a preceptor. Hence the dharma, the shakti and the tradition come down the line of masters, called parampara.
Without a satguru all philosophy, knowledge and mantras are fruitless. Him alone the Gods praise who is the satguru, keeping active what is handed down to him by tradition. One should seek with all effort to obtain a preceptor of the unbroken tradition, born of Supreme Siva.