Quotes and Quips

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Prayer reminds me that I am not lost in a dream, but I am only dreaming that I am lost.

Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

What is God after all? An eternal child playing an eternal game in an eternal garden. Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), Indian philosopher, yogi, guru and poet

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Ever afterward, though the dance of creation changes around me in the hall of eternity, I shall be the same. Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), God-intoxicated yogini and mystic Bengali saint

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If you desire to be pure, have firm faith, and slowly go on with your devotional practices without wasting your energy in useless scriptural discussions and arguments. Your little brain will otherwise be muddled. Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886), famed Hindu mystic

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A big storm may impede progress for a short time, but in the long run it makes you a better sailor. Anonymous

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So potent is the power acquired through disciplined self-denial that those who attain it may even delay the moment of death. Tirukural 269

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The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

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The worst thing you can do for anyone you care about is anything that they can do on their own. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th president of the United States

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I don’t want to believe. I want to know. Carl Sagan (1934-1996), astrophysicist and author of Cosmos

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Each today, well-lived, makes yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look, therefore, to this day, for it and it alone is life. Kalidasa (5th century AD), Classical Sanskrit writer and poet

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When you see with your inner eye, then you realize that you are God and not different from Him. Shirdi Sai Baba (1838-1918), Indian saint and guru

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Should even one’s enemy arrive at the doorstep, he should be attended upon with respect. A tree does not withdraw its cooling shade even from the one who has come to cut it. Mahabharata 12.146.5

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We who have come from the East here have been told day after day in a patronizing way that we ought to accept Christianity because Christian nations are the most prosperous. We look about us and see England as the most prosperous nation in the world, with her foot on the neck of 250 million Asiatics. We look back in history and see Christian Spain’s wealth beginning with the invasion of Mexico. Such prosperity comes from cutting the throats of fellow men. At such a price the Hindu will not have prosperity. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, 1893

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Devotion to the satguru is the one main prescription. Without this, all learning, all austerity, family status and observances are useless. They are only decorations, pleasing to the worldly eye. Kularnava Tantra

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Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), mystic poet

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A leader is best when people barely know he exists. Of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, “We did this ourselves.” Lao Tzu (604-531 BCE), Chinese philosopher

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I wish I could make him understand that a loving, good heart is riches enough, and that without it, intellect is poverty. Mark Twain (1835-1910), American author

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If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. African proverb

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Give me by all means the shorter and nobler life, instead of one that is longer but of less account! Epictetus (55-135 CE), Greek Stoic philosopher

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Hinduism is focused on the present moment. It’s not focused on what happens after we die, it’s not focused on some future event, it’s not focused on tomorrow, it’s not focused on later today. It’s focused on living in as high a state of consciousness as possible, right now! Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of HINDUISM TODAY

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Spiritual destiny is manifested in the lives of those who stand out from the masses and actually do something, who live a creative life for the benefit of others. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001)

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CARTOONSTOCK

D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?

Painting Gods

Dr. S. P. Sabharathnam Sivacharyar offers his response to the question of why it is preferred to paint a temple’s inner sanctum, rather than photograph it.
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THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN a good painting and a good photo. A kind of sacred power gets induced into a painting through the mind and meditation of the painter. Without deep meditation on the selected form or scene, a good painting cannot be accomplished. But no such meditation is involved while taking photographs, and the presence of sacred power seems to be absent in the photos. We can see this difference by looking at the painting of Sri Nataraja done by A. Manivel and any photograph of Sri Nataraja.

While painting, the painter selects the essential items of the scene which enhance its beauty and depicts only these selected items. Such selection gives sanctity to the painted scene. But no such selection is made while taking a photograph. It plainly presents the scene without its power. The beauty of the scene is not enhanced. Photography is a mechanical activity; painting is absolutely a spiritual activity.

In view of these and other differences, painting a temple murti is permitted and a photo is not. The general view being held by the elders is that taking a photograph would spoil the sanctity of the image or shrine. But we cannot show any scriptural rule which prohibits the taking of photographs. According to the scriptural classification, there is one category known as chitrabhasa (paintings and drawings). Modern photos could potentially be included in this category, but care should be taken to see that the photos preserve the sanctity of the shrine.

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A. MANIVEL

B A S I C S

The Meaning of Life

RISHIS PROCLAIM THAT WE ARE NOT our body, mind or emotions. We are divine souls on a wondrous journey. We came from God, live in God and are evolving into oneness with God. We are, in truth, the Truth we seek. We are immortal souls living and growing in the great school of earthly experience in which we have lived many lives.

Vedic Rishis have given us courage by uttering the simple truth, “God is the Life of our life.” A great sage carried it further by saying there is one thing God cannot do: God cannot separate Himself from us. This is because God is our life. God is the life in the birds. God is the life in the fish. God is the life in the animals. Becoming aware of this Life energy in all that lives is becoming aware of God’s loving presence within us. We are the undying consciousness flowing through all things. Deep inside we are perfect this very moment, and we have only to discover and live up to this perfection to be whole.

The ultimate goal of life on earth is to realize the Self, the rare attainment of nirvikalpa samadhi. Each soul discovers its Sivaness, Absolute Reality, Parasiva—the timeless, formless, spaceless Self God. The realization of the Self is the destiny of each soul, attainable through renunciation, sustained meditation and frying the seeds of karmas yet to germinate. It is the gateway to moksha, liberation from rebirth.

The Self lies beyond the thinking mind, beyond the feeling nature, beyond action or any movement of even the highest state of consciousness. The Self God is more solid than a neutron star, more elusive than empty space, more intimate than thought and feeling. It is ultimate reality itself, the innermost Truth all seekers seek. Because Self Realization must be experienced in a physical body, the soul cycles back again and again into flesh to dance with Siva, live with Siva and ultimately merge with Siva in undifferentiated oneness. Yea, jiva is actually Siva.

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A. MANIVEL


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