Quotes and Quips

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Bear insult, bear injury, that is the highest sadhana.

Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society

If you desire the world, you may try to renounce it in order to escape sorrow. Instead, renounce desire! Then you will be free of sorrow, and the world will not trouble you. Ashtavakra Gita 16.9

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God is not a limited individual who sits alone up in the clouds on a golden throne. God is pure consciousness that dwells within everything. Understanding this truth, learn to accept and love everyone equally. Mata Amritanandamayi Ma, Hindu spiritual leader

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The sages, being filled with universal love for all beings, did not want to keep their enlightenment to themselves. They declared to all: “O mortals, striving and struggling upon this Earth plane, weeping, wailing, buffeted by the vicissitudes of life: we have come upon a great discovery. There is something beyond these appearances, these vanishing names and forms that go to make up this universe. There is something beyond which is the very source and support of all these objects of the phenomenal world. Why do you search in vain for happiness outside? Come, come, happiness resides within.” Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), president of Divine Life Society

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You may develop a thousand virtues and be reckoned as the greatest in the land. But the lotus of your heart will not blossom until you receive the grace of the Guru, the grace of God! Dada J.P. Vaswani, spiritual leader and head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission

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Come apart from the clever argumentation of contending theology and, for a brief while, look inward, that one look shall drive the nail into the coffin of birth and forever end its cycle recurring. Tirumantiram 1631

Bury yourself in God. Do that and the spoiling magnetism and wrong hypnotism that you have got from these worldly objects will leave you; your mind will be running in order again. You will be again inspired. Swami Rama Tirtha (1873-1906), yogi and writer

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Hinduism is not just a faith. It is the union of reason and intuition that cannot be defined but is only to be experienced. Evil and error are not ultimate. There is no Hell, for that would mean there is a place where God is not and there are sins which exceed His love. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), first Vice President of India

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Every man usually has something he can do better than anyone else. Usually it is reading his own handwriting. J. Norman Collie (1859-1942), British scientist

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“Case closed,” affirmed Sgt. Christopher Perry of the Newington, Connecticut, police department, after a town employee unknowingly fished a large, colorful statue from Mill Pond Park and brought it to the police. The police posted a picture on Facebook thinking it had been lost and were informed that the statue was Lord Ganesha, and Hindus had permission from the parks and recreation department to dissolve it in the pond.

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True, you have worked hard for many years. But you must aspire until the end. There is no such thing as a pension in the spiritual life. Sri Chinmoy renowned spiritual leader, author, poet and artist

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We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them. Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

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Stop dreaming that you are just an ordinary mortal, constantly going through mental ups and downs. No matter what happens, remember always that you are made in the true image of Spirit. Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), disciple of Sri Yukteswar

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Let there be no neglect of the duties to the Gods and the fathers. Be one to whom the mother is a God. Be one to whom the father is a God. Be one to whom the teacher is a God. Be one to whom the guest is a God. Krishna Yajur Veda, 1.11.1

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Tapas is like a large wildfire, the best you can do is try to control it when it burns. Sometimes it flares up on its own and sometimes the guru causes it. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today

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He is a man on the path of enlightenment who has arrived at a certain subsuperconscious state and wishes to stay there. Therefore, he automatically has released various interactions with the world, physically and emotionally, and remains poised in a contemplative, monastic lifestyle. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

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JOSH MECOUCH

D I D   Y O U   K N O W ?

When Is a Child a Hindu by Birth?

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S. RAJAM

THE ISSUE IS DISCUSSED IN BOTH MODERN and ancient Indian law. The Hindu succession act of 1956 governs the disposition of property of a person who is legally a Hindu and who dies without a will. As with all Indian law, Hindu is defined to include Buddhists, Jainas and Sikhs. With regard to children, section i.2.1.b states, “Any child, legitimate or illegitimate, one of whose parents is a Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion and who is brought up as a member of the tribe, community, group or family to which such parent belongs or belonged” is a Hindu for purposes of the act.

The ancient Dharma Shastras, such as the Yajnyavalkya Smruti and Parasara Smruti, according to Dr. Sabharathnam of Chennai, state that the child inherits the father’s religion and not the mother’s, just as it inherits the father’s gotra, or family lineage, and not the mother’s. Even if the child had been brought ceremonially into another religion, he states, it could be returned to the Hindu fold by performance of the necessary rituals, for example, by giving the child a ceremonial bath and then a Hindu name. After that, the parents should see that the other childhood rites of passage, samskaras, are given at the appropriate times in the child’s life.

Asked about this issue, Hinduism Today publisher Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami observed that currently in the US, if both parents consider the children to be Hindu and the children have Hindu first names, then the community also views them as Hindus. The issue can become quiet contentious when a divorce occurs, with governing US law varying from state to state.

B A S I C S

The Power of Yantras and Gems

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COMMONLY DEFINED AS A VESSEL OR A container, the yantra is a mystical diagram composed of geometric and, occasionally, alphabetic figures. It is usually etched on small plates of gold, silver or copper and is sometimes three dimensional, formed from stone or metal. A yantra’s function is to focus the spiritual and mental energies according to a circuit-like pattern that can be oriented toward health, wealth, childbearing, the invocation of the Gods and more. It is usually installed near or under a temple Deity. Psychically seen, the temple yantra is a magnificent three-dimensional edifice of light and sound in which the devas work. On the astral plane, it is much larger than the temple itself.

The Sri Chakra (at right), is the most well known yantra and is a central image in Shakta worship. Consisting of nine interlocking triangles, this yantra is the design of Siva-Shakti’s multidimensional manifestations. For Saivites, the Tiru-Ambala Chakra yantra, representing Lord Nataraja, is most sacred. Yantras are also used for meditation and sadhana.

The Agamas prescribe the installation of precious gems beneath temple Deities. Also, according to the Agamas, placing of a yantra beneath the Deity—as has been done in some modern temples—disturbs the spiritual forces associated with other substances placed in the pedestal, such as the precious gems. The yantra is to be placed in front of the Deity.

The Agamas state that nine gems will polarize the nine essential aspects of an ideal society. At the center of the installed gems beneath the Deity is a ruby, denoting the power of speech. Beryl is set in the east, denoting the power of knowledge; sapphire in the southeast signifying the health and strength of the physical body; emerald in the south representing the prosperity of families and the abundance of fields; a pearl in the southwest denoting a plenitude of wealth and grains; hessonite in the west distinguishing a society blessed with virtuous sons and daughters; a diamond in the northwest conveying the welfare of cows and other animals; topaz in the north representing the unfailing welfare of the village; and coral in the northeast denoting the presence of all human virtues.


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