“Aim high, aim at the highest, and al lower aims are thereby achieved.”

Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), South Indian Mystic

You must never forget that greatness does not guarantee happiness, but goodness always does. Sri Chinmoy (1931-2017), renowned spiritual leader, author and athlete

Samadhi may also come through devotion to Ishvara. Rishi Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutras

The world is not a courtroom. There is no judge, no jury, no plaintiff. This is a caravan filled with eccentric beings telling wondrous stories about God. Saadi Shirazi (1210-1291), Persian poet

Look, and it can’t be seen. Listen, and it can’t be heard. Reach, and it can’t be grasped. Above, it isn’t bright. Below, it isn’t dark. Seamless, unnamable, it returns to the realm of nothing. Form that includes all forms, image without an image, subtle, beyond all conception. Approach it and there is no beginning; follow it and there is no end. You can’t know it, but you can be it, at ease in your own life. Just realize where you come from: this is the essence of wisdom. Lao Tzu (ca 600 bce), Chinese philosopher

Realization is real religion, all the rest is only preparation. Hearing lectures, or reading books, or reasoning is merely preparing the ground; it is not religion. Swami Vivekananda

The secret of success in life is time rightly used. Swami Sivananda (1887-1963)

Birds sing not because they have answers but because they have songs. African proverbWithout loving God you will not get anywhere. Remember this at all times. Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), mystic Bengali saint

The mind creates the abyss. The heart crosses over it. Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Hindu sage

Short cuts make long delays. J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), English writer

My brain is only a receiver; in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists. Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), Serbian-American inventor

Words spoken with love are as fragrant as the most beautiful flowers. Amma Karunamayi, Hindu spiritual leader

The world is a drama, staged in a dream. Guru Nanak (1469-1539), founder of Sikhism

No religion which is narrow and which cannot satisfy the test of reason will survive the coming reconstruction of society in which the values will have changed and character, not possession of wealth, title or birth, will be the test of merit. Mahatma Gandhi

Religion is the secret of life. It teaches us to love, to serve, to forgive, to endure, and to interact with our brothers and sisters with empathy and compassion. Advaita is a purely subjective experience. But in daily life it may be expressed as love and compassion. This is the great lesson taught by the great saints and sages of India, the exponents of Sanatana Dharma. Mata Amritanandamayi MaKerala-based hugging saint

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

Happiness depends on what you can give, not on what you can get. Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. Marie Curie (1867-1934), Polish/French scientist

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. Marie Curie (1867-1934), Polish/French scientist


A Nation of Nations

INDIA IS ARGUABLY THE MOST CULTURALLY DIVERSE COUNTRY ON the planet, with over 20 major languages, 700 dialects and 29 states—each with its own unique cultural contributions. Although India is known as one of Earth’s most populated countries, it is hard to comprehend its vastness by the simple population statistic of 1.3 billion. An example, for perhaps a better perspective, is the small 44,000-square-kilometer state of Haryana, which has a population similar to the 7.6 million-square-kilometer continent of Australia. The state of Uttarpradesh has close to 200 million citizens—just over 3.4 times larger than the population of Italy and over 23 times larger than the population of Switzerland. To make matters even more interesting, the state of Tamil Nadu has a population of 72 million people while France has a population of just 65 million, yet Tamil Nadu is just under a quarter the size of France. India has historically been one of the most productive countries in the world, and before the ravages of Mughal and colonial invasions it at times accounted for a quarter of the world’s GDP. If India were to have the same GDP per capita as a developed nation such as France, the GDP of India would be over 50 trillion dollars, making India the most powerful and prosperous economy in the world, as it has been throughout much of history.

A Map of the subcontinent depicting the nation’s states in relation to countries with which they share near equal populations


Worshipping the Holy Feet

THE UNINITIATED MAY WONDER WHY THE feet of holy ones are so reverently worshiped in the Hindu faith. According to tradition, the totality of the satguru is contained within his feet. All nerve currents terminate there. The vital points of every organ of his bodies—inner astral, inner mental and soul—are there. Touch the feet and we touch the spiritual master.

Mystics teach that the big toe on the left foot exudes the most grace. The left leg is the revealing grace, and the big toe of that leg connects to the guru’s pituitary gland, the entrance to the door of Brahm, deep within the sahasrara chakra where, in contemplation, he merges with God.

The vibration of the satguru can be subtly felt through gently touching his sandals. In doing so, one tunes in to the feet of the preceptor’s physical, pranic, astral, mental and soul bodies. In deep spirituality there is little presumption of ego. All that one hopes for, all that one prays for, all that one strives for is to touch the Divine in the most modest of ways. Worship of the feet epitomizes this humble attitude. Devotees worship the feet of the guru as the feet of God, the attainable attainment, seeking to partake of, absorb into themselves, the vibration of their guru, ultimately to become like their guru, who has realized his oneness with God.

Devotees are admonished to choose their guru carefully, forsaking all previous beliefs, religious inclinations and aspirations and adopting his revelation of the Sanatana Dharma as their own. Therefore, choose your spiritual model carefully, because you are going to become like that model if you worship that guru’s feet.

There is yet another meaning of the holy feet. When a person walks upon the Earth, only the feet touch the ground. Similarly, when God and guru contact the Earth, it is the esoteric feet, the lowest part of consciousness, which make that contact. This, then, becomes the locus of communion with the Divine. In India the greatest of all initiations is for the satguru to place his holy feet upon the worthy disciple’s head.