You are here to eat mangoes; not to count the number of leaves in the mango tree. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886), guru of Swami Vivekananda

The intellect in its capacity to contain Truth is a very limited tool, while faith is very broad, accommodating and embracing faculty. The mystery of life and beyond life, of Siva, is really better understood through faith than through intellectual understanding. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

It is not in books, you fool. Satguru Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lanka's most renowned contemporary spiritual master

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), mystic, poet and artist

Meet life as it comes, with or without the things that your mind is demanding from it. Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

Respect, don't suspect. Swami Tejomayananda, head of Chinmaya Mission

The best way to cheer yourself up: Cheer everybody else up. Mark Twain (1835-1910), American author

Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you're alive, it isn't. Richard Bach, American writer

Happiness eludes us if we run after it. In fact, happiness comes only from within. It is not a commodity to be bought from outside. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

It is not surprising that we keep looking for love, because we are all born of love. We come out of love. All of us are nothing but vibrations of love. We are sustained by love, and in the end we merge back into love. Baba Muktananda (1908-1982)

I don't have a problem with willpower. It's won't power I have a problem with.

Go beyond science, into the region of metaphysics. Real religion is beyond argument. It can only be lived, both inwardly and outwardly. Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of the Divine Life Society

The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him–that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

You are the only person on this earth who can use your ability.

The Vedas are not only true, but they contain all truth, including the ideas of modern science. Swami Dayananda Saraswati (1825-1883), Hindu reformer

One must seek the shortest way and the fastest means to get back home–to turn the spark within into a blaze, to be merged in and to identify with that greater fire which ignited the spark. Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri (1885-1961), South Indian Mystic

If you lose all differentiation between yourselves and others, fit to serve others you will be. Milarepa (1052-1135), Buddhist saint

We do not know the various kinds of saints, how they behave, what they do and eat, etc. We only know that by God's grace they manifest themselves in this world to liberate the ignorant and bound souls. Shirdi Sai Baba (1838-1915)

All this universe is in the glory of God, of Siva, the God of love. The heads and faces of men are His own, and He is in the hearts of all. Krishna Yajur Veda, Svetasvatara Upanishad 3.11

Help wanted: Psychic. You know where to apply.

One must be patient like the Earth. What iniquities are being perpetuated on her! Yet she quietly endures them all. Mother Sarada Devi (1853-1920)

Enquire: 'Who am I?' and you will find the answer. Look at a tree: 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. Sri Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), Bengali mystic

It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in human history, the only way of salvation is the ancient Hindu way. Here we have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together in to a single family. So now we turn to India: this spiritual gift, that makes a man human, is still alive in Indian souls. Go on giving it to the world. Nothing else can do so much to help mankind to save itself from destruction. Dr. Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1889-1975), British historian

Parents need to fill a child's bucket of self-esteem and respect so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes to make it dry. Alvin Price, American teacher

The more we thank God for what we have, the more we have to thank God for.

The arrow that is shot should penetrate so deeply, that even the feathers do not show. Hug the body of the Lord so tightly that the bones must be crushed to a crumble. Weld to the divine until the very welding disappears. Mahadeviyakkha, 12th Century South Indian saint

Wanting to reform the world without discovering one's true self is like trying to cover the world with wool to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes. Sri Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic


Karma literally means "deed " or "act " and more broadly names the universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction which governs all life. Karma is a natural law of the mind, just as gravity is a law of matter. Karma is not fate, for man acts with free will, creating his own destiny. The Vedas tell us, if we sow goodness, we will reap goodness; if we sow evil, we will reap evil. Karma refers to the totality of our actions and their concomitant reactions in this and previous lives, all of which determines our future. It is the interplay between our experience and how we respond to it that makes karma devastating or helpfully invigorating. The conquest of karma lies in intelligent action and dispassionate reaction. Not all karmas rebound immediately. Some accumulate and return unexpectedly in this or other births.



From ancient times, about one-fifth of the world's people have lived in India. Today an unpartitioned India (i.e., plus Pakistan and Bangladesh) would still account for 22% of the world's population.