“Put your heart, mind, intellect, and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
Swami Sivananda (1887-1963)
Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside. Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)
Success or achievement is not the final goal. It is the spirit in which you act that puts the seal of beauty upon your life. Swami Chinamayananda (1916-1992), founder of the Chinmaya Mission
Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
A tree is known by its fruit. Zulu Proverb
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. Lao Tzu (4th or 6th century bce), author of the Tao Te Ching
We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world. Helen Keller (1880-1968), American author
The devout seeker is he who mingles in his heart the double currents of love and detachment, like the mingling of the streams of Ganges and Yamuna. Saint Kabir (1440-1518)
Know the world in yourself. Never look for yourself in the world, for this would be to project your illusion. An inscription on the wall of an ancient Egyptian temple in Luxor (Thebes)
You live on Earth only for a few short years which you call an incarnation, and then you leave your body as an outworn dress and go for refreshment to your true home in the spirit. Chief White Eagle (1825-1914), Indigenous leader of the Ponca tribe
When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful. Malala Yousafzai Pakistani activist and Nobel Prize laureate
Listen while I tell you the path to liberation: truth, patience, calmness and discipline of self; discrimination between the eternal and the passing; devotion to the humble servants of the Lord; rising in the early morning and bathing before daybreak; repeating in the way prescribed the flawless Letters Five; worshiping the guru’s feet; applying holy ash; eating but when hungry; with the whole heart giving praise; studying the shastras; seeing others as oneself; severing attachment to all property and wealth; speaking with fit courtesy; avoiding argument; driving from the mind all thought of family and caste; being ever free of the smallest like or dislike; living and abiding beneath the Lord’s eternal feet. Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964), renowned Sri Lankan mystic
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), Lebanese-American writer, poet and artist
Everything in the future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now. Sri Yukteshwar Giri (1855-1936)
Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian author
I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), American civil rights activist
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. Rumi (1207 1273), Sufi mystic and poet
Our meditative practice has to be important. It doesn’t work for it to be the sixth out of seven priorities in our life. It needs to be a top priority in order to make progress. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of Hinduism Today
The Hindu religion brings to us the gift of tolerance that allows for different stages of worship, different and personal expressions of devotion and even different Gods to guide our life on this Earth. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today
Why Do Hindus Wear a Dot?
The dot worn on the forehead is a religious symbol. It represents divine sight and shows that one is a Hindu. It is called the bindi in the Hindi language, bindu in Sanskrit and pottu in Tamil. In olden days, all Hindu men and women wore these marks, and they both also wore earrings. Today it is the women who are most faithful in wearing the bindi.
The dot has a mystical meaning. It represents the third eye of spiritual sight, which sees things the physical eyes cannot see. Hindus seek to awaken their inner sight through yoga. The forehead dot is a reminder to use and cultivate this spiritual vision to perceive and better understand life’s inner workings—to see things not just physically, but with the “mind’s eye” as well. The bindi is made of red powder (called sindur, traditionally made from powdered turmeric and fresh lime juice), sandalpaste or cosmetics.
In addition to the simple dot, there are many types of forehead marks, known as tilaka in Sanskrit. Each mark represents a particular sect or denomination of our vast religion. We have four major sects: Saivism, Vaishnavism, Shaktism and Smartism. Vaishnava Hindus, for example, wear a v-shaped tilaka made of white clay. Elaborate tilakas are worn by Hindus mainly at religious events, though many wear the simple bindi, indicating they are Hindu, even in the general public. By these marks we know what a person believes, and therefore know how to begin conversations.
Men and women of a particular religion wishing to identify themselves to one another often do so by wearing distinctive religious symbols. Often these are blessed in their temples, churches or synagogues. Christians wear a cross on a necklace. Jewish boys wear small leather cases that hold scriptural passages, and the round cap called yarmulka. Sikh men wear their hair in a turban. In many countries, Muslim women cover their head with a scarf, called hajib.
Do not be ashamed to wear the bindi on your forehead in the United States, Canada, Europe or any country of the world. Wear it proudly. The forehead dot will distinguish you from all other people as a very special person, a Hindu, a knower of eternal truths. You will never be mistaken as belonging to another religion. Don’t be intimidated when people ask you what the dot means. Now you have lots of information to give a good answer, which will probably lead to more questions about your venerable religion.
Drawn from the teachings of
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami