“There is something good in all seeming failures. You are not to see that now. Time will reveal it. Be patient.” Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh

Character is formed from the repeated choice of thoughts and action. Make the right choice. You shall have a firm and noble character. Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1992), founder of the Chinmaya Mission

The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), mystic poet

Within such a yogi who establishes himself in absolute non-dual union with Lord God and who keeps himself free from all sorts of differentiating notions, the exalted power of all-knowing gets unfolded in all its fullness. Raurava Agama Vidya Pada 2.15

The real measure of your wealth is how much you would be worth if you lost all your money. Anonymous

The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process, is its own reward. Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), American aviation pioneer

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence. Xenocrates (396-314 bce), Greek philosopher

Don’t talk too much, your ignorance exceeds your knowledge. Spanish proverb

In a day when you don’t come across any problems, you can be sure that you are traveling in a wrong path. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King Jr (1929-1968), leader in the African American civil rights movement

The spiritual aspiration is innate in man; for he is, unlike the animal, aware of imperfection and limitation and feels that there is something to be attained beyond what he now is. Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950)

To whomsoever it is not known, to him it is known: to whomsoever it is known, he does not know. It is not understood by those who understand it; it is understood by those who do not understand it. Kena Upanishad 2.2.3

Let go or be dragged. Zen proverb

If you are a king, will you have contentment? If you are a beggar, will you have contentment? Whatever your walk in life may be, you will only have contentment through knowing yourself by yourself. Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964), renowned Sri Lankan mystic

No person is born great. Great people become great when others are sleeping. African proverb

Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life can become. Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)

When mankind can roll up space as if it were a piece of leather, then there will be an end of sorrow—apart from the sorrow born of not knowing God. Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.20

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. Rumi (1207 1273), Sufimystic and poet

One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions. Grace Hopper (1906-1992), American computer scientist

Culture is coded wisdom. Wangari Maathai (1940-2011), first African woman to win the Nobel Prize

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you. Lao Tzu (4th or 6th century bce), author of the Tao Te Ching

We’re not trying for perfection, we’re trying for improvement. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today

It is the day-to-day reactions to circumstance that indicate the attainment and not mere recorded knowledge about the path. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today


God and the Gods

Hindus believe in one supreme Being, the Supreme God, who created an extensive hierarchy of Gods, said to number three hundred and thirty-three million. In the Vedas, the Supreme is called Brahman, who simultaneously exists as absolute, transcendent Parabrahman, as omniscient consciousness or Parashakti and as Parameshvara, the primal soul. The word Brahman comes from the Sanskrit root “Brh,” meaning to grow, manifest or expand. Brahman is simultaneously Purusha, the Primal Soul, who is perfection of being, the original soul who creates innumerable individual souls—including the Gods—like waves in an ocean or sparks from a fire. It is thought that some Gods did not undergo evolution as humans know it, but were emanated as mature intelligences, as Mahadevas, to govern and interpenetrate specific orders of space and time. They are so close to the Supreme that they fulfill their cosmic functions in perfect accord with the wisdom, intent and action of their Source. The Gods are real inner-plane beings existing at the vibratory rate of our soul nature. Down through the ages, ordinary people and saints alike, in all cultures, have had visions of them. Their decisions and actions are so vast in their implications and complexity that we could never comprehend them with our limited human faculties.

Depicting the ineffable: These 12th-century carvings are several of many which depict various Gods and Goddesses at the Halebidu Temple in Karnataka, India. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS