“United your resolve, united your hearts, may your spirits be at one, that you may long together dwell in unity and concord” The final mantra of the Rigveda
Rainwater never stands on high ground, but runs down to the lowest level. So also the mercy of God remains in the hearts of the lowly, but drains off from those of the vain and the proud. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-1886)
Worldly comfort is an illusion, As soon you get it, it goes. Mira Bai (1500-1550), Rajasthani princess, poet and saint
Middle path. No extremes. Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964), renowned Sri Lankan mystic
Sweetness cannot be described in words. It can be known only when you put something sweet on your tongue. Similarly, God cannot be explained in words. It is essentially something to be realized by oneself. Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati (1912–1954), Jagadguru of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham
As fragrance abides in the flower, as reflection is within the mirror, so does your Lord abide within you. Why search for Him without? Guru Nanak (1469-1539), founder of Sikhism
The Holy Land is everywhere. Black Elk (1863-1950), medicine man of the Oglala Lakota people
If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children. Confucius (551-479 bce)
A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning. Kenyan Proverb
Re-examine all you have been told. Dismiss what insults your soul. Walt Whitman (1819-1892), American poet
Great suffering brings with it the power of great endurance. When sorrow is deepest, all the forces of patience and courage are banded together to do their duty. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise. Maya Angelou (1928-2014), American poet
Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves. Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), a guru of the Inchagiri Sampradaya
Nowadays, the practice of yoga stops with just asanas. Very few even attempt dharana and dhyana (deeper meditation) with seriousness. There is a need to search once more and reestablish the practice and value of yoga in modern times. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888 1989), Indian mystic and yogi
Whatever they are here, whether a tiger or a lion or a wolf or a bear or a bird or an insect or a mosquito, they become That. Chandogya Upanishad VI 9: I 3
If I love myself despite my infinite faults, how can I hate anyone at the glimpse of a few faults. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)
Thoughts come and go. Feelings come and go. Find out what it is that remains. Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)
Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have. Epictetus (55-135 ce), Stoic philosopher
At first was neither Being nor Nonbeing. There was not air nor yet sky beyond. In what was it contained? Where? In whose protection? Was water there, unfathomable and deep? There was no death then, nor yet deathlessness; of night or day there was not any sign. The One breathed without breath by its own impulse. Other than that was nothing else at all. Rigveda x, 129, 1-2
The two greatest follies are believing you’re a human and believing in sequential time. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today
Your recognition of what is, is the way you create it to yourself. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today
What Is the Nature of God?
GOD IS ALL AND IN ALL, ONE WITHOUT A second, the Supreme Being and only Absolute Reality. God, the great Lord hailed in the Upanishads and adored by all denominations of Hinduism, is a one being, worshiped in many forms and understood in three perfections, with each denomination having its unique perspectives: Absolute Reality, Pure Consciousness and Primal Soul. As Absolute Reality, God is unmanifest, unchanging and transcendent, the Self God, timeless, formless and spaceless.
As Pure Consciousness, God is the manifest primal substance, pure love and light flowing through all form, existing everywhere in time and space as infinite intelligence and power. As Primal Soul, God is our personal Lord, source of all three worlds. Extolling God’s first Perfection, the Vedas explain, “Self-resplendent, formless, unoriginated and pure, that all-pervading Being is both within and without, transcending even the transcendent, unmanifest, causal state of the universe” ( Manduka Upanishad 2.1.2 ). Describing the second Perfection, the Vedas reveal, “He is God, hidden in all beings, their inmost soul who is in all. He watches the works of creation, lives in all things, watches all things. He is pure consciousness, beyond the three conditions of nature” ( Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.11 ). Praising the third Perfection, the Vedas recount, “He is the one God, the Creator. He enters into all wombs. The One Absolute, impersonal Existence, together with His inscrutable maya, appears as the Divine Lord, endowed with manifold glories. With His Divine Power He holds dominion over all the worlds” ( Shvetashvatara Upanishad 3.1 ). In summary, we know God in three perfections, two of form and one formless. We worship His/Her manifest form as Pure Love and Consciousness. We worship Him/Her as our Personal Lord, the Primal Soul who tenderly loves and cares for His/Her devotees—a being whose resplendent body may be seen in mystic vision. And we worship and ultimately realize God as the formless Absolute, which is beyond qualities and description.
Drawn from the teachings of
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswanmi
DID YOU KNOW?
The Cosmic Egg
ACCORDING TO HINDU PHILOSOPHY, THE UNIVERSE UNDERGOES endless cycles of expansion and contraction, to and from a point where all potentiality exists as one—an initial singularity. Of course, a singularity isn’t really a “point” at all, because it is unobservable. When everything is coalesced into one, there is nothing else for it to relate to with which to define it as anything. It is truly nothing. Several Sanskrit terms used for this source of all things, such as Parabrahman or Parasiva , translate as “beyond God” or “before God,” denoting supremacy even to the greatest of celestial beings or divine intelligences.
This ancient idea of a cyclical reality finds affinity with today’s Big Crunch and Big Bounce Theories. These ideas postulate that everything erupts from the Big Bang, but that universal expansion eventually slows as gravity becomes the dominant force. While engulfing stars and galaxies, black holes would collide and combine like beads of water traveling back to a single origin. Ultimately, the universe would collapse into the singularity from which it began and, according to some theorists, would be ripe for another cosmic cycle.
Thus far, our current cycle of the universe has been expanding for about 13.77 billion years. In an oversimplified answer of how we know that, it’s because that is how far back in time we can see from our perspective here on Earth (after accounting for the stretch in spacetime caused by expansion). As you look off into the stars, you are looking back in time. The more distant the star, the longer its light has taken to reach us, thus, what we see is a star’s past. Look far enough into space and you start to see infantile stars, the first elements, and finally a lot of nothing. By knowing the speed of light (just over 186,282 miles per second), the rate of cosmic expansion, and the calculated distance to these ancient stars, one can deduce how long it has taken for the oldest light of the universe to reach us. This mind-bending reality of staring through time has an interesting outcome. Much like the idea of the Brahmanda (the cosmic egg), from wherever you are in the universe, you exist in a bubble, born of your exact point in space and time, all defined by the speed of light. To kindle your meditations a little further, the universe erupts from the singularity, yet, when we look out into that universe, that same unobservable nothingness is what defines its edges.