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Trees of Shade

p<>{color:#000;}.

TREES

OF

SHADE

A Collection of Teachings of Three GOD-Realized Masters:

Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

Sri Sri Ma Anandamayi

Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Compilation By[*:*] Ritesh Gupta

Copyright 2016 Ritesh Gupta

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DEDICATION

To GOD, Guru and Parents

PREFACE

India has always had a rich spiritual heritage. India, in fact, is known as the ‘Spiritual Powerhouse’ of the world just as the West is the Economic Powerhouse. Just as the United States offers its’ citizens the independence and the freedom of expression which enables a rich culture of entrepreneurship to flourish in that country, so too India, for centuries, has offered its citizens a freedom of spiritual expression which explains the rich spiritual heritage of this ancient land.

India is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. Myriad streams of spiritual thought, philosophy and spiritual practices have their origins in India – Dualism, Non-Dualism, Qualified Non- Dualism, Vedanta, Tantra, Ashtanga Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and so on and so forth. India is the only country in the world which believes in 360 million incarnations of GOD and in fact, this ancient land has been blessed with the footsteps of some of the most powerful incarnations of the Divine Spirit –Durga, Shiva, Kali, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira and Guru Nanak, to name a few. Great rishis such as Vashista, Gautama and Vyasa were born here; God-realized Masters such as Adi Guru Shankaracharya, Patanjali, Sri Chaitanya, Jnandeva, Tukaram, Tulsidas and Mirabai graced this land with their presence.

The 19th Century was an especially blessed one for India as a whole galaxy of great souls incarnated in this country. The virtual “who’s who” of the spiritual world were born in India to guide the country through one of the most crucial phases in its’ entire history. A glance at the list below would confirm that some of the greatest saints of all time were born in India during this period:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Lahiri Mahasaya (1828)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Shirdi Sai Baba (1835)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Yukteswar Giriji Maharaj (1855)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Swami Vivekananda (1863)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Aurobindo (1872)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Ramana Maharishi (1879)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (1893)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Ma Anandamayi (1896)

Definitely, the above list is not an exhaustive one!

Saints have always been regarded as ‘trees’ that provide shelter from the harsh rays of the worldly sun. As the adorable woman saint, Sri Sri Ma Anandamayi, once said:
A saint is like a tree. He does not call anyone nor does he send anyone away. He gives shelter to whoever cares to come, be it a man, woman, child or an animal.”

The anthology, “Trees of Shade”, collates the teachings of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, Sri Sri Ma Anandamayi and Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa – three of the most well-known Masters of recent times – and organizes them across a spectrum of topics such as Reincarnation, Will-Power, Character, Meditation, Karma, Religion, Service and so forth.

The teachings, collected from a variety of published sources such as biographies, commentaries and others, have been presented in a chronological order as per the recorded period of earthly sojourn of these Masters.

The “Trees of Shades” anthology has a three-fold purpose:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Currently there is no book in the market which collates, topic wise, the teachings of these three saints hence the need was felt for a work which would enable people to access, in one place, some of the key teachings of these great Masters.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. This book would also provide a ready reference on how the great masters, living at different times, have taught remarkably the same things – just as the essential teachings of all religions are the same!

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Finally, but maybe most importantly, we human beings have a tendency of disbelieving something the first time that we hear of it, even if it is from a reliable source. We become more convinced when we hear of the same thing from a second source. Finally we are convinced when a third source confirms the same. This book highlights the fact that the fundamental truths of life are eternal and constant irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender and nationality.

This anthology is merely a ‘teaser’, a few gems collected from the vast treasure-trove of knowledge contained in the books mentioned in the Bibliography as well as the numerous other publications of the teachings/writings of these great Masters. Readers should not be satisfied with this one limited collection but instead should dive deep in the ocean of knowledge and discover the many more gems that wait to be discovered.

All the best for your spiritual journey.

Ritesh Gupta

New Delhi

December, 2016

[]Table of Contents

[
**]ABOUT THE MASTERS
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
Sri Ma Anandamayi
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

A:

On AUM (OM)

On ACTION
On ANGER
On ATTACHMENT

B:

On BHAKTI (Love of GOD)

C:

On CHANTING GOD’s NAME
On CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES
On CALMNESS
On CHARACTER
On COMPANY

D:

On DEATH/LAST MOMENTS
On DESIRES
On DHARMA
On DIVINE MOTHER
On DOING THINGS WELL

E:

On EVIL/TEMPTATION

F:

On FAITH/HOPE
On FOOD
On FEAR/COURAGE
On FRIENDSHIP
On FREE-WILL Vs. PRE-DESTINY

G:

On GOAL OF LIFE
On GOD
On GURU

H:

On HAPPINESS/SORROW
On HATRED/CRITICISM
On HEALTH/HEALING
On HUMAN NATURE

I:

On IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN BIRTH

K:

On KARMA
On KNOWLEDGE
On KUNDALINI AWAKENING

L:

On LUST

M:

On MAN’S DUTY
On MEDITATION
On MARRIAGE
On MARRIED LIFE
On MIND

P:

On PATIENCE/FORTITUDE
On PEACE
On PRAYER
On PRIDE
On PURITY/IMPURITY

R:

On RELIGION
On RENUNCIATION
On REINCARNATION
On RESTLESSNESS

S:

On SATSANGA
On SELF-REALIZATION
On SELF-EFFORT
On SERVICE
On SOLITUDE
On SPIRITUAL PRACTISES
On SPIRITUAL LIFE
On STRESS & TENSION
On SUFFERING
On SUPERNORMAL POWERS (SIDDHIS)
On SUICIDE

T:

On TIME UTILISATION
On TRUTH
On THOUGHTS/THINKING/INTUITION

W:

On WORLDLY LIFE
On WILL-POWER

Y:

On YOGA

MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS
On Devotion/Devotees
On False Prophets
On Ghosts/Apparitions
On Habits
On Loyalty
On Servants
On Shraddha Ceremony

Appendix A: GLOSSARY

Appendix B: BIBLIOGRAPHY

Appendix C: ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[]ABOUT THE MASTERS

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886) Ramakrishna Paramahansa is perhaps the best known saint of nineteenth century India. He was born in a poor Brahmin family in 1836, in a small town near Calcutta, West Bengal. Ramakrishna’s father had a vision of GOD Gadadhara (Vishnu) while on a religious pilgrimage. In the vision, GOD told him that HE would be born into the family as a son.

Young Ramakrishna was prone to experiences of spiritual reverie and temporary loss of consciousness. His early spiritual experiences included going into a state of rapture while watching the flight of cranes, and losing consciousness of the outer world while playing the role of GOD Shiva in a school play. Ramakrishna had little interest in school or practical things of the world. In 1866, he became a priest at a recently dedicated temple to the Goddess Kali located at Dakshineswar, near Calcutta, on the Ganges River. It was built by a pious widow, Rani Rasmani.

Ramakrishna became a full-time devotee to the Goddess spending increasing amounts of time giving offerings and meditating on HER. He meditated in a sacred grove of five trees on the edge of the temple grounds seeking a vision of the goddess Kali. At one point he became frustrated, feeling he could not live any longer without seeing Kali. He demanded that the goddess appear to him. He threatened to take his own life with a ritual dagger (normally held in the hand of the Kali statue). At this point, he explained how the Goddess appeared to him as an ocean of light:

“When I jumped up like a madman and seized [a sword], suddenly the blessed Mother revealed herself. The buildings with their different parts, the temple, and everything vanished from my sight, leaving no trace whatsoever, and in their stead I saw a limitless, infinite, effulgent Ocean of Consciousness. As far as the eye could see, the shining billows were madly rushing at me from all sides with a terrific noise, to swallow me up. I was caught in the rush and collapsed, unconscious within me there was a steady flow of undiluted bliss, altogether new, and I felt the presence of the Mother.”

Ramakrishna explained on different occasions that God is both with form and formless and can appear to the devotee either way. His whole life was literally an uninterrupted contemplation of God. Through his God-intoxicated life Sri Ramakrishna proved that the revelation of God takes place at all times and that God-realization is not the monopoly of any particular age, country, or people. At a time when the very foundation of religion, faith in God, was crumbling under the relentless blows of materialism and scepticism, Sri Ramakrishna, through his burning spiritual realizations, demonstrated beyond doubt the reality of God and the validity of the time-honoured teachings of all the prophets and saviours of the past, and thus restored the falling edifice of religion on a secure foundation. His small room in the Dakshineswar temple garden on the outskirts of the city of Calcutta became a veritable parliament of religions. Everyone who came to him felt uplifted by his profound God-consciousness, boundless love, and universal outlook.

Ramakrishna died of cancer of the throat in 1886, leaving his wife Sarada Devi, who was considered a saint in her own right, and Swami Vivekananda to carry on his message. Swami Vivekananda entered onto the world stage by doing a keynote address at the World Parliament of Religions meeting in Chicago in 1893, and he electrified his audience. Hindus for generations could point to their indigenous traditions with pride after his exemplary speech.

Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

(1836 – 1886)

Sri Ma Anandamayi (1896-1982) was one of the most influential spiritual luminaries of the Twentieth Century. Her devotees ranged from Prime Ministers and great Saints down to the simplest villagers, and people came from all over the world to simply see Her and sit in Her presence. Though virtually uneducated, She spoke with the authority of direct experience and captivated all with Her sweetness and power. To this day, Her presence and guidance is felt by those who turn to Her in prayer, and Her life is an inspiration to all who feel drawn to the spiritual Path.

Ma was born in 1896 in Kheora, East Bengal (now Bangladesh). Preceded by many miraculous signs and visions, She exhibited perfect awareness and consciousness from birth. She never uttered a cry, but was peaceful and radiant, and later surprised people by remembering by name people who were present in the immediate time following Her birth. She was given the name Nirmala Sundari Devi, meaning “Goddess of flawless beauty”. At each stage of Her life, She spontaneously manifested an example of perfection in fulfilling the different stages of human existence.

Although having no external Guru, in 1922 She spontaneously went through the ritual of Initiation exactly according to the Sastras, the Guru emerging from within, and after imparting the instruction and empowerment, being absorbed back into Her own Self.

In the year 1932, Ma left Bengal and for the next fifty years of Her life, wandered the length and breadth of India, never staying in any one place for long. She was led only by the needs of the many devotees that surrounded Her and the inner call of mankind to manifest spirituality. There is a wealth of stories of Ma’s guidance and blessing, many accompanied by supernatural manifestations. Many ashrams were set up in Her Name and became centres of spiritual activities. Even political leaders came to Her, and She was loved and respected by Mahatma Gandhi, and Prime Ministers Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Many famous Saints and Mahatmas realized Her divinity and even openly proclaimed it. During this period many people, such as Arnaud Desjardins, the French producer of spiritual films, Melita Maschmann, the German novelist, and Dr. Colin Turnbull, the English author, became her disciples.

Kamala Nehru, wife of the future Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, became a devotee in 1933. She gave to her daughter, Indira, the rosary which Mataji had given her. Mahatma Gandhi came to hear of Anandamayi through Kamala and sent his aide, Jamnalal Bajaj, to see Her. He in turn became a devotee. Through the sincere efforts of both Kamala Nehru and Bajaj, a meeting was arranged between Ma and Mahatma Gandhi. At one point during the conversation, Ma said to Gandhiji:
I shall steal everything belonging to you, shall I?” to which the Mahatma replied softly: “Such theft is a rare fortune”.

A central theme of her teaching is “[_ the supreme calling of every human being is to aspire to self- realization. All other obligations are secondary ]” and “_only actions that kindle man’s divine nature are worthy of the name of actions”. She did not give formal initiations and refused to be called a guru, as she maintained that “all paths are my paths” and kept saying “I have no particular path”.

Ma took Mahasamadhi in the year 1982. Her body was enshrined in a beautiful marble Samadhi in Kankhal, south of the pilgrimage centre of Haridwar, and to this day the Jyoti Peeth (Centre of Light) radiates blessing and light to the entire world. Ma still makes Her divine presence felt to those who turn to Her in prayer.

Sri Sri Ma Anandamayi

(1896 – 1982)

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952): was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India to a devout family. In his youth he sought out many of India’s Hindu sages and saints, hoping to find an illuminated teacher to guide him in his spiritual quest. Swami Yogananda’s seeking after various saints mostly ended when he met his guru, Swami Yukteswar Giri, in 1910, at the age of 17. He describes his first meeting with Sri Yukteswar as a rekindling of a relationship that had lasted for many lifetimes:

“We entered a oneness of silence; words seemed the rankest superfluities. Eloquence flowed in soundless chant from heart of master to disciple. With an antenna of irrefragable insight I sensed that my guru knew God, and would lead me to Him. The obscuration of this life disappeared in a fragile dawn of prenatal memories. Dramatic time! Past, present, and future are its cycling scenes. This was not the first sun to find me at these holy feet!”

After passing his Intermediate Examination in Arts from the Scottish Church College, Calcutta, in June 1915, he graduated with a degree similar to a current day “Bachelor of Arts” or B.A. (which at the time was referred to as an A.B.), from the Serampore College, a constituent college of the University of Calcutta. In 1915, he took formal vows into the monastic Swami Order and became ‘Swami Yogananda Giri’. In 1917, Yogananda founded a school for boys in Dihika, West Bengal. This school would later become Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS), the Indian branch of Swami Yogananda’s American organization.

In 1920, Yoganandaji went to the United States aboard the ship ‘City of Sparta’, as India’s delegate to an International Congress of Religious Liberals convening in Boston. That same year he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) to disseminate worldwide his teachings on India’s ancient practices and philosophy of Yoga and its tradition of meditation. For the next several years, he lectured and taught on the East Coast. Thousands came to his lectures. During this time he attracted a number of celebrity followers, including soprano Amelita Galli-Curci, tenor Vladimir Rosing and Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch, the daughter of Mark Twain.

Swami Yogananda was the first Hindu teacher of yoga to spend a major portion of his life in America. He lived there from 1920—1952, interrupted by an extended trip abroad in 1935–1936, which was mainly to visit his guru in India. During this visit, he met with Mahatma Gandhi, Ma Anandamayi, renowned physicist C.V. Raman, and several disciples of Yukteswarji’s guru, Sri Lahiri Mahasaya. While in India, Sri Yukteswar gave Swami Yogananda the monastic title of Paramahansa, meaning “Supreme Swan”, and is a title indicating the highest spiritual attainment. En route to India, he undertook visits to other living western saints like Therese Neumann, the stigmatist of Konnesreuth, and places of spiritual significance.

Paramahansaji was believed to be an incarnation of the famous Pandava, Arjuna, and his commentary on the Gita, “GOD Talks With Arjuna” is, possibly, the most comprehensive and also the most relevant commentary of this sacred text. His commentary on the Bible, “The Second Coming of Christ” is equally comprehensive and exhaustive. Paramahansaji compiled his teachings in the form of easy to read lessons which are available for study through YSS/SRF. Countless people all over the world have benefitted immensely from the invaluable knowledge contained in these lessons. Yoganandaji is also the author of the spiritual classic, “Autobiography of a Yogi”, which was voted as amongst the 100 most influential spiritual books of the last century.

In the days leading up to his death, Paramahansaji began hinting that it was time for him to leave the world. On March 7, 1952, he attended a dinner for the visiting Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Binay Ranjan Sen, and his wife at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. At the conclusion of the banquet, he read from his poem ‘My India’, concluding with the words: “Where Ganges, woods, Himalayan caves and men dream God—I am hallowed; my body touched that sod”. As he uttered these words, he lifted his eyes to the Kutastha centre, and his body slumped to the floor as Swamiji entered Mahasamadhi.

Sri Paramahansa Yoganandaji’s remains are interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Great Mausoleum in Glendale, California.

Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

(1893 – 1952)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[]ON AUM (OM)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Aum (OM, ॐ) is spoken of as the symbol of Ishvara or God. This great authority on yoga refers to Aum as a Cosmic Sound continuously flowing in the ether, unutterable by any human voice, and fully known only to the illumined. Further, Patanjali says that deep concentration on Aum is a means to liberation.

(GOD Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita Commentary by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The cosmic Aum sound is the combined vibration of the three phases of Nature: creation, preservation and dissolution operative in the physical, astral and causal universes.

The vocal chanting of Aum should be intoned first in a high pitch, representing creation; then in a lower pitch, representing preservation; then in a still lower tone that gradually fades away, representing dissolution.

(GOD Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita Commentary by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.”

The vibratory force emanating from Spirit is the Holy Ghost: Cosmic Vibration, the Word, Aum (OM) or Amen. All things, all created planets and living beings in the Holy Ghost, or Holy Vibration, are nothing but the frozen imagination of God.

This Holy Ghost in the Hindu scriptures is called the Aum or Maha-Prakriti (Great Nature, the Cosmic Mother that gives birth to all creation).

(The Second Coming of Christ: A Revelatory Bible Commentary by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD as Spirit has no circumscribing name. Whether one refers to the Absolute as God or Jehovah or Brahman or Allah – that does not express HIM. God the Creator and Father of all, vibrates through nature as the eternal life and that life has the sound of the great Amen or Aum.

That name most accurately defines GOD.

(The Second Coming of Christ: A Revelatory Bible Commentary by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda)

h1={color:#002060;}.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[]ON ACTION

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. HE is the Doer undoubtedly and man is HIS instrument. But it is also true that an action cannot fail to produce its result. If you commit a sin, you must bear its fruit. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is extremely difficult to perform unselfish action. Desire for fruit comes from nobody knows where. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Improper, ill-fated, degrading actions that give expression to one’s animal nature lead to misery even though they be pleasurable. To live up to the highest ideals may be irksome at first but ultimately leads to real well-being and peace. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. How easy it is to pack the day with foolishness, how difficult to fill it with worthwhile activities and thoughts! Yet GOD is not so much interested in what we are doing as where the mind is. Everyone has a different difficulty, but GOD doesn’t listen to any excuses. HE wants the devotee’s mind to be engrossed in HIM in spite of any troublesome circumstances. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Before embarking on important undertakings, sit quietly, calm your senses and thoughts and meditate deeply. You will then be guided by the great creative power of Spirit. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do not make unimportant things important, nor concentrate on trifles at the expense of vital matters, or you will hamper your progress. Impulsive actions that are not in keeping with one’s real duties are undesirable. [8]

[]ON ANGER

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<{color:#000;}. Anger is a sign of tamas. In anger man loses all discrimination. Hanuman set fire to Lanka but he had no sense then to apprehend that it might burn even the place where Sita was staying [2]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When anger arises in your heart, try to cast it away. Anger harms a human being in every respect. It produces the action of poison in the body. To criticize people or to feel hostile towards anyone harms oneself and puts obstacles into one’s path to the Supreme.” [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Anger is a fire that saps the atmosphere generated by one’s spiritual endeavour. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When you are angry, say nothing. Anger gives birth to jealousy, hatred, spite, revenge, destructive instinct, wild ideas, brain paralysis and temporary insanity – any of which may lead to horrible crimes.

To conquer others by anger is the method of fools. Be indifferent to those who seem to enjoy making you angry. When anger comes, remain calm and think of peace, love and forgiveness, all of which banish anger. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<{color:#000;}. Should one speak such words as would hurt the feelings of another? Even if it is the truth, it should not be told in an unpleasant manner. [3]

[]ON ATTACHMENT

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Remember that maya or attachment and daya or compassion – these are two different things. Attachment means the feeling of ‘my-ness’ towards one’s relatives. It is the love that one feels for one’s parents, one’s brother, one’s sister, one’s wife and children. Through maya GOD makes one serve one’s relatives.

Compassion is the love one feels for all beings of the world. It is an attitude of equality. Through compassion one serves all beings.

Maya keeps us in ignorance and entangles us in the world whereas daya makes our hearts pure and gradually unties our bonds. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If, due to attachment to those with whom one has been united in this world of coming and going, one is utterly immersed in the sorrow of bereavement, how can the pilgrimage along one’s own Path become fruitful? [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When someone understands deep down in his innermost heart that nobody is anybody’s own, why then should he bear so much pain and suffering? Of course, being under the spell of delusion it is not always possible to attain to real, deep understanding. But in some cases even bitter medicines or injections administered forcibly restore people to health. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<{color:#000;}. Attachment is blinding; it lends an imaginary halo of attractiveness to the object of desire. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Attachment develops through companionship. Man can keep company with GOD directly through HIS remembrance. The Divine Name is the royal road to hold GOD fast in memory. In short, the Divine Name is the prince of sadhanas. [4]

[]ON BHAKTI (Love oF GOD)

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The path of knowledge leads to Truth, as does the path that combines knowledge and love. The path of love, too, leads to this goal. The way of love is as true as the way of knowledge. All paths ultimately lead to the same Truth. But as long as GOD keeps the feeling of ego in us, it is easier to follow the path of love. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bhakti or love of GOD, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. Through love one acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bhakti is the one essential thing. Who can ever know GOD through reasoning? I want love of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Raga-bhakti is pure love of GOD, a love that seeks GOD alone and not any worldly end. Such is love of GOD for its own sake. You simply love GOD and don’t want anything from HIM in return. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Love of GOD is the one essential thing. A true lover of GOD has nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. He is aware that the Divine Mother knows everything. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. By no means all people feel attracted to GOD. There are special souls who feel so. To love GOD one must be born with good tendencies. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Once the seed of bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable; it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and fruits. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Without loving GOD you will not get anywhere. Remember this at all times. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In order to kindle love of GOD one has to endeavour to keep the mind constantly engrossed in japa, meditation or the reflection on spiritual subjects. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The gratification of one’s will and pleasure is called self-indulgence; the fulfillment of Sri Krsna’s will and pleasure is called love. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD will not tell you that you that you should desire HIM above all else, because HE wants your love to be freely given, with “prompting”. That is the whole secret in the game of this Universe. HE who created us yearns for our love. Our love is the one thing GOD does not possess, unless we choose to bestow it. And we shall never be happy until we give it. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Let not anyone else know how deeply you feel for the Lord. The Master of the Universe knows of your love; don’t display it before others or you may lose it. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If, in the darkness, the mind never wavers, if love and longing never grow weak, it is then that you prove to yourself that you really have the love of GOD. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. All souls are equal. The only difference between you and me is that I made the effort. I showed GOD that I love HIM, and HE came to me. Love is the magnet from which GOD cannot escape. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You cannot please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by becoming perfect brahmanas, demigods or great saints or by becoming perfectly good in etiquette or vast learning. None of these qualifications can awaken the pleasure of the Lord. Nor by charity, austerity, sacrifice, cleanliness or vows can one satisfy the Lord. The Lord is pleased only if one has unflinching, unalloyed devotion to HIM. Without sincere devotional service, everything is simply a show. [23]

ON CHANTING GOD’S NAME

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should not be ashamed of chanting GOD’s holy name. As the saying goes, ‘One does not succeed so long as one has these three: shame, hatred and fear.’ [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If a man repeats the name of GOD, his body, mind and everything become pure. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The name of GOD has very great sanctity. It may not produce an immediate result but one day it must bear fruit. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD and HIS Name are identical. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Japa means silently repeating GOD’s name in solitude. When you chant HIS name with single-minded devotion you can see GOD’s form and realise Him. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is possible to practice GOD’s name under the most adverse circumstances. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you cannot sustain japa at all times, at any rate complete two rosaries twice daily, morning and evening. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To begin with, one has to repeat the Name forcibly. Constant practice is needed. Look, when dirt accumulates on a vessel, it has to be scrubbed and polished to become shiny. Rubbing it just once will not make it clean. With the repetition of the Name it is also similar. By sustained practice success will be accomplished. GOD’s Name is not like worldly medicine that acts at times and at other times does not. GOD’s Name invariably bears fruit. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. With firm faith, implicit confidence and devotion, casting away pride, adhere to the Name and you will see that all your work will be done, as it were, of itself. Whenever you possibly can, sustain the flow of a sacred Name.

To repeat His Name is to be in His presence. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Karma accumulated for ages and ages, sins and desires, are wiped out by GOD’s sacred Name. Just as lighting a lamp illumines a cave that has been in darkness for centuries, even so the obscurity of numberless births is annihilated by the power of a Divine Name.

By GOD’s Name the pull of evil is vanquished. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Never let your mouth be empty, keep misri (sugar-candy) in it all times – namely the misri of GOD’s name. No bitterness will then have a chance of accumulating. [17]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Always bear in mind that GOD’s name is HE Himself. Let it be your inseparable companion. Since all names are HIS indeed, HE will allow Himself to be grasped by any of them. [17]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Chanting GOD’s holy Name lessens the intensity of Karmic effects. Always repeat the name of the Chosen Ideal like the ever-moving hand of a clock. [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If the devotee really has faith in the name of the Lord, he or she can attain everything, as the Lord and HIS name are, in fact, one. [4]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If a person unaware of the effective potency of a certain medicine takes that medicine or is forced to take it, it will act even without his knowledge because its potency does not depend on the patient’s understanding. Similarly, even though one does not know the value of chanting the holy name of the Lord, if one chants knowingly or unknowingly, the chanting will be very effective. [23]

[]ON CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD alone looks after the world. Let a man first realise HIM. Let a man get the authority from GOD and be endowed with HIS power; then and then alone may he think of doing good to others. A man should first be purged of all egotism. Then alone will the Blissful Mother ask him to work for the world. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The man who works for others, without any selfish motive, really does good to himself. By these philanthropic activities you are really doing good to yourself. If you can do them disinterestedly, your mind will become pure and you will develop love of GOD. As soon as you have that love you will realize HIM. Man cannot really help the world. GOD alone does that. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. People who carry to excess the giving of alms or distributing of food among the poor, fall victims to the desire of acquiring name and fame. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should give something to monks and devotees. Those who have the means should help such persons when they meet them. It is good to help those who yearn for GOD. Thus one makes good use of one’s money. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. First GOD, then charity, doing good to others, doing good to the world, and redeeming people. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I cannot eat anything offered by miserly people. Their wealth is squandered in these ways:

first, litigation;

second, thieves and robbers;

third, physicians;

fourth, their wicked children’s extravagance;

Those who have money should give in charity. The miser’s wealth is spirited away but the money of the charitable person is saved. He who gives away in charity achieves the four fruits: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Widening your shriveled heart, make the interests of others your own and serve them as much as you can by sympathy, kindness, presents and so forth, otherwise one cannot be called a human being. Whenever you have the opportunity, give to the poor, feed the hungry, nurse the sick [18]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question: Many people beg out of habit even when they are not really in need. Should one give to such beggars?

Sri Ma: If one happens to know that they are not in need one should definitely not give. For, if they misuse the gift, part of the evil results will have to be borne by the donor. Sometimes one feels intuitively whether a beggar is in need or not, but by no means always. In such cases, one should give with the thought that it is GOD in that guise who is asking for alms. When giving with this attitude, no evil consequences for oneself will follow one’s gift. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Those who sacrifice wealth for GOD are never left poor in any incarnation; this is the law. [10]

[]ON CALMNESS

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Men are quick to praise and quick to blame; so pay no heed to what others speak of you. [2]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To remain calm and at peace under all circumstances is man’s duty. Hostility, condemnation, abusive language, ill-feeling and so forth, even if kept concealed within one’s mind, will and must fall back on oneself. Nobody should ever harm himself by harbouring such thoughts and feelings. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To remain calm in the solitude of your room is easy enough. It is when you are with people who get on your nerves that you have to prove your faith and devotion. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Whether you are suffering in this life, or smiling with opulence and power, your consciousness should remain unchanged. If you can accomplish even-mindedness, nothing can ever hurt you. The lives of all great masters show that they have achieved this blessed state. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Stillness is the altar of Spirit. There is no limit of the deepening of stillness. [10]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Calmness is the soil, and the only soil, in which all that we most desire to be will grow. [11]

[]ON CHARACTER

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. He who meditates on GOD for many days has substance in him, has divine power in him. Further, he who sings well, plays well on a musical instrument or has mastered any one art, has in him real substance and the power of GOD. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A man can be recognized as a human being by his worthy character. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do not pay attention to the shortcomings of others but try to discover their positive qualities, remembering that it is your way of looking at things that causes you pain. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not right to change one’s resolution (sankalpa). The body is not forever but the word will remain after the body is no more. A word, a promise, is forever. [19]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Many people excuse their own faults but judge others harshly. We should reverse this attitude by excusing others’ shortcomings and by harshly examining our own. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Anything of which you are cognizant, has a relative vibration within yourself. One who is quick to see and judge evil in other persons has the seed of that evil within himself. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. By constantly following the inner voice of conscience, which is the voice of GOD, you will become a truly moral person, a highly spiritual being, a man of peace. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What does good behavior consist of? In the careful, watchful regulation of our daily conduct to each other, when we do not feel like it; since we are human beings, and not machines, it becomes necessary for us to be vigilant in the exercise of self-control. We must do what we know to be right, whether we feel like it or not. [11]

[]ON COMPANY

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD dwells in all beings. But you may be intimate only with good people; you must keep away from the evil-minded. GOD is even in the tiger but you cannot embrace the tiger on that account. You may say, ‘Why run away from a tiger which is also a manifestation of GOD?’ The answer to that is: ‘Those who tell you to run away are also manifestations of GOD – and why shouldn’t you listen to them? [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD undoubtedly dwells in the hearts of all – holy and unholy, righteous and unrighteous; but a man should not have any dealings with the unholy, the wicked, the impure. He must not be intimate with them. With some of them he may exchange words but with others he shouldn’t go even that far. A man living in society should make a show of tamas to protect himself from evil-minded people but he should not harm anybody in anticipation of harm likely to be done to him. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you are in bad company, then you will talk and think like your companions. On the other hand, when you are in the company of devotees, you will think and talk only of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You acquire the nature of the people whose company you keep. A man seeks the company that agrees with his own nature. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The kind of world in which one lives and the company one keeps in that particular world will naturally exercise a powerful influence on one’s mind and character. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. By the talk and the dealings of the people all around, distraction and agitation are produced in the mind due to different kinds of vibrations. Therefore one has been advised to eat pure food, to cultivate elevating thoughts and feelings, gentle and benevolent behavior and to read books of wisdom. In order to avoid distraction and agitation, advance towards That which has brought you into being. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Just as we are bound to inhale the air about us, we constantly absorb the subtle influences from our surroundings. No man can remain entirely unaffected by the contacts he makes. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Choose your company carefully. Be cordial and sincere but always maintain a little distance and reverence. Never be familiar with people. It is easy to make friends but to keep friends you should follow this rule. [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Discussing the folly of keeping bad company, Paramahansaji said:
“Peeling garlic or touching a rotten egg leaves offensive smells on the hands, which then require a lot of washing.” [12]

ON DEATH/LAST MOMENTS

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should constantly remember death. Nothing will survive death. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is good to prepare for death. The way to remember GOD in the hour of death is to practise now the repetition of HIS name and the chanting of HIS glories. If one keeps up this practise, then in the hour of death one will repeat the name of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If a man thinks of GOD day and night, he will have the same thought in the hour of death. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Blessed is he who breathes his last pronouncing GOD’s name. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To weep for someone who has left this world sometimes harms that person. Therefore, it is the duty of the bereaved to remain calm and collected and pray for the spiritual welfare of the deceased. It is HE who gives and HE who again takes away. Thus, what can man do about it? [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Just as a leech does not leave its place without hooking on to something else, so the soul at the time of leaving the body hooks on to some kind of new existence according to the state of mind of the dying person. But at that moment one has no control over one’s mind. it will automatically dwell where it usually dwells. This is why one has to practice the Presence of GOD while one is well and fit, so that the thought of GOD may come spontaneously when one is ill and weak. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Death teaches us not to place our reliance on the flesh but on GOD. Therefore Death is a friend. We should not grieve unduly about the passing of our loved ones. It is selfish to desire that they always remain near us for our pleasure and comfort. The sorrow of separation causes most men to cry for a while; then they forget. But the wise feel impelled to seek their vanished dear ones in the heart of the Eternal. What devotees lose in finite life, they find again in the Infinite. [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A group of disciples were walking with Paramahansa Yoganandaji on the lawn of the Encinitas Hermitage, which overlooks the ocean. It was very foggy and dark. Someone remarked, “How cold and gloomy it is!”

Paramahansaji replied: It is something like the atmosphere that envelops a materialistic person at the time of death. He slips from this world into what seems to be a heavy mist. Nothing is clear to him; and for a time he feels lost and afraid. Then, in accordance with his karma, he either goes on to a bright astral world to learn spiritual lessons or sinks into a stupor until the right karmic moment arrives for him to be reborn on earth. On the other hand, the consciousness of a devotee, one who loves GOD, is not disturbed by the transition from this world to the next. He effortlessly enters a realm of light, love and joy. [12]

ON DESIRES

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD is the Kalpataru, the wish-fulfilling tree. You will certainly get whatever you ask of HIM. GOD knows our inner feeling. A man gets the fulfilment of the desire he cherishes while practising sadhana. As one thinks, so one receives. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You feel desperate when you have desires and they remain unfulfilled. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Lord knows the course of our thoughts. HE does not reveal Himself to us until we have surrendered to HIM our last worldly desire. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Why do you consider non-essentials so important? Most people concentrate on breakfast, lunch, dinner, work, social activity and so on. But no matter how many of your desires are satisfied, you never will find happiness through them. The more you have, the more you want. Learn to live simply. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is the desires alone that make him take one body after another. There will be rebirth for a man if he has even the desire to eat a piece of sweetmeat. [3]

ON DHARMA

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There is no harm in disobeying your elders for the sake of GOD. For Rama’s sake Bharat did not obey his mother Kaikeyi. The gopis did not obey their husbands when they were forbidden to visit Krishna. Prahlada disobeyed his father for the sake of GOD. King Bali disregarded the words of Shukracharya, his teacher, in order to please GOD. Vibhishana went against the wishes of Ravana, his elder brother, to please Rama. But you must obey your elders in all other things. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Show great devotion to your parents; but don’t obey them if they stand in your way to GOD. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If man endeavours to live his life in the world according to dharma – the dictates of religion and righteousness – he will gradually overcome sorrow and will progress towards peace. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The path that leads to the realization of one’s Self and cannot be relinquished – this is dharma. For every individual the road to illumination is different. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Dharma means those immutable principles of self-discipline and right action that protect man permanently from the threefold suffering of physical disease, mental unhappiness and spiritual ignorance. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. With one’s body one can acquire all goals of life, and it is one’s parents who give the body birth and sustenance. Therefore no mortal man can repay his debt to his parents, even if he serves them for a full lifetime of a hundred years. A son who, though able to do so, fails to provide for his parents with his physical resources and wealth is forced after his death to eat his own flesh. A man who, though able to do so, fails to support his elderly parents, chaste wife, young child or spiritual master, or who neglects a brahmana or anyone who comes to him for shelter, is considered dead, though breathing. [23]

ON DIVINE MOTHER

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When I think of the Supreme Being as inactive – neither creating nor preserving nor destroying – I call HIM Brahman or Purusha, the Impersonal GOD. When I think of HIM as active – creating, preserving and destroying – I call HIM Sakti or Maya or Prakriti, the Personal GOD. But the distinction between them does not mean a difference. The Personal and Impersonal are the same thing, like milk and its whiteness, the diamond and its lustre, the snake and its wriggling motion. It is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Mother and Brahman are one. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One must propitiate the Divine Mother, the Primal Energy, in order to obtain GOD’s grace. GOD Himself is Mahamaya. Sakti alone is the root of the Universe. Bondage and liberation are both of HER making. SHE is self-willed and must always have HER own way. SHE is full of bliss. SHE gives freedom to one out of a hundred thousand. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mother, Thou art verily Brahman and thou art verily Sakti. Thou art Purusha and Thou art Prakriti. Thou art Virat. Thou art the Absolute and Thou dost manifest Thyself as the Relative. Thou art verily the twenty-four cosmic principles. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Everyone is under the authority of the Divine Mother, Mahamaya, the Primal Energy. Even the incarnations of GOD accept the help of maya to fulfil their mission on earth. Therefore they worship the Primal Energy. You should accept the Divine Mother, the Primal Energy. Brahman is not different from its Sakti. What is Brahman is also Sakti. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You may feel a thousand times that it is all magic; but you are still under the control of the Divine Mother. You cannot escape HER. You are not free. You must do what SHE makes you do. A man attains Brahmajnana only when it is given to him by the Adyasakti, the Divine Mother. Then alone does he see the whole thing as magic; otherwise not. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should look after one’s mother as long as she is alive. It is the Mother of the Universe who is embodied as our earthly mother. If a person deceives his father and mother in order to seek religion, he gets only worthless trash. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Great Mother of the Universe arranges whatever is necessary for each one: SHE certainly knows the real need of every individual. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Even though you may want to put GOD the Mother aside, SHE will not leave you. Are you not HER offspring? Keep in mind that everything is under HER dispensation; SHE provides for each the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Omkara are one and the same as the word Ma – ananda in essence. HE indeed is the Mother, all pervading (mayi), who gives to everyone exactly what he needs – SHE Herself giving of Herself to Herself! [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. No matter what happens, at all times in death and life we are on the lap of the Divine Mother. Life is waking on HER lap and death is sleeping on HER lap. [11]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. During the Christmas meditation in 1948, the Divine Mother appeared to the Master and the awed disciples heard him speaking to HER. Many times he exclaimed, with a deep sigh:
“Oh, You are so beautiful!” Paramahansaji told many of the devotees HER wishes concerning their lives. Suddenly he cried. “Don’t go! You say the subconscious material desires of these people are driving You away? Oh, come back! Come back! [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A student who had met many disappointments began to lose faith in GOD. To him Paramahansaji said:
“The moment when Divine Mother beats you the hardest is the time you should cling tenaciously to HER skirt. In this world we seem to be immersed in a sea of troubles. Then the Divine Mother comes and shakes us, awakening us from this terrible dream. Every man, sooner or later, will have that liberating experience.” [12]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Universal Mother, hearing the words of demon Chanda, spoke with a voice deep as thunder:
“O You, a veritable Fool! I have no necessity for My lord; I have got nothing to do with my lord. I Myself am the Lord of all the beings; and I preserve this whole Universe with all the lords and beings therein.” [24]

ON DOING THINGS WELL

[]

h1={color:#002060;}.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When you are unwilling to perform a task you are tired from the beginning, and when you are willing you are full of energy. Always work willingly and you will find that you are sustained by the indefatigable power of GOD. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Repentance doesn’t mean merely to be sorry for a misdoing but also to refrain from performing that act again. When you repent truly, you determine to forsake evil. The heart is often very hard; it is not easily moved. Soften it by prayer. Then Divine blessing comes. [12]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If one cultivates the habit of doing everything well, there is a fair promise of one doing likewise on the spiritual path. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What you have to do, do it well and with all your might. By persisting you will gradually develop interest in it and come to love it. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To change one’s mind again and again will not lead anywhere. Whatever one does must be done one-pointedly. [16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[]ON EVIL/TEMPTATION

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The very nature of GOD’s creation is that good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, will always exist in the world. Haven’t you noticed that even wicked men are needed? Suppose there are rough tenants on an estate; then the landlord must send a ruffian to control them. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question[*:*] If GOD is the fountain of goodness, why should there be so much fighting, cruelty and sin?

Sri MaHE is goodness as well as evil. HE is everything. HE Himself stages a play with Himself. HE does whatever is necessary for the completion of HIS play. [*^21^

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Evil has its power. If you side with it, it will hold you. When you make a misstep, return immediately to the ways of righteousness. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Temptation is not our own creation; it belongs to the world of maya (cosmic delusion), and all men are subject to it. But to enable us to free ourselves, GOD gave us reason, conscience and will-power. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Doing something wrong from a moral or material standpoint is not the only meaning of temptation. Forgetting your soul by becoming too engrossed in the body and its comforts is temptation too. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The old orthodox way is to deny temptation, to suppress it. But you must learn to control temptation. It is not a sin to be tempted. Even though you are boiling with temptation, you are not evil; but if you yield to that temptation you are caught temporarily by the power of evil. When you permit temptation to overcome you, your wisdom is a prisoner. The quickest way to banish temptation is first to say “NO” and get out of that particular environment; then reason it out later when calmness and wisdom return. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Some people say that evil does not exist. But that is not true. In order to perpetuate the creation-making storm of delusion, GOD gave it individuality also, and the power to go on independently creating and maintaining universes. This intelligent cosmic delusive force is known as Satan (or maya), an archangel of the Lord.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. This world has two general patterns – good and bad, in which, Satan has created an evil counterpart of every pattern of good that GOD has created – still, HIS love is the greater force. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD is on your right side and Satan is on your left. Every time you do a good deed, GOD draws you, and every time you do an evil deed, Satan pulls you on his side. You have the power to listen to GOD and to ignore Satan. GOD never leads us into temptation for HE has given us reason, the power of free choice, by which we can protect ourselves. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As soon as hatred comes into your heart, remember that Satan is trying to destroy you. As soon as love comes, GOD is calling you. There are patterns of evil and patterns of perfection. GOD is displaying HIS patterns to attract you and Satan is displaying his patterns for the same reason.

DON’T let Satan win this tug-of-war. [15]

ON FAITH/HOPE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Once a person has faith he has achieved everything. There is nothing greater than faith. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Have faith in GOD’s forms. Meditate on that form of GOD which appeals to your mind. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Ganges water is not to be regarded as water; nor the dust of Sri Vrindavana as dust; nor the Mahaprasada of Sri Jagannatha Deva as rice. These three are objective manifestations of the Supreme Being. [2]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD keeps milk ready in the mother’s breast before the baby is born; in HIM put your whole trust; seek refuge in HIM alone. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Intense faith is a path to the vision of GOD. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not wrong to tell the Lord that we want something, but it shows greater faith if we simply say: “Heavenly Father, I know that thou dost anticipate my every need. Sustain me according to thy will.” [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question: Is it wrong to doubt? I don’t lie to believe blindly.

Paramahansaji: There are two kinds of doubt: destructive and constructive. Destructive doubt is habitual scepticism. Men who cultivate that attitude disbelieve blindly; they shun the work of impartial investigation. Constructive doubt is intelligent questioning and fair examination. Those who cultivate that attitude do not prejudge matters or accept as valid the opinions of others. In the spiritual path, constructive doubters base their conclusions on tests and personal experience: the proper approach to truth. [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Faith is the proof of things unseen.

All phenomena or visible matter can be recorded by the senses but not noumena – that is, invisible substances such as vibrations, subtle cosmic forces, and astral lights, which are unseen, unknown to, and unregistered by the limited power of the senses. The proof of the existence of all subtle forces, and of GOD as the final Substance, lies in faith. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Hope is much more than a result of human reason. It is a manifestation of soul consciousness. Hope for the highest and the best; as a child of GOD, nothing is too good for you. Keep on hoping. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Doubts will arise and again faith will come. This way alone faith is strengthened. Gradually, after many such attempts, firm faith will come. [3]

ON FOOD

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is best to take only sattvic food. Haven’t you read about it in the Gita? [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question: Why should onions, garlic and eggs be avoided?
Sri Ma: Because they take the mind in the wrong direction – down instead of up.
Question: And meat?
Sri Ma: Meat also. You are already fleshy, if you eat meat you become more fleshy. It keeps you down to worldliness, whereas you are aspiring to the Divine.
Question: Is there immorality involved in eating meat?
Sri Ma: Certainly. To kill is a sin.
Question: Only for the Sadhaka or for all?
Sri Ma: For all.
There is indeed a close interrelationship between the mind and food. Sattvic food will produce sattvic qualities, rajasic food rajasic qualities and so on. Therefore people observe special rules concerning their diet. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The sattvic or spiritual quality; the rajasic or activating quality; and the tamasic or material quality of the mind are all affected by the food we eat. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Meat eating produces gross material reactions that develop the material or animal mental tendencies, whereas eating raw fruits and vegetables helps to reinforce and develop the spiritual qualities. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Man is a threefold being: body, mind and soul – and all three need to be recharged. Food recharges the body battery; concentration recharges the mind battery; divine wisdom recharges the soul battery. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As your food is, so will be your blood. From pure food you get pure blood, pure mind and strength. Pure mind begets ecstatic love (prema bhakti). [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. First offer to GOD whatever you eat. One must not eat unoffered food. [5]

ON FEAR/COURAGE

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. So long as you feel that someone may do something that would harm you, practice a little more often, than you would do otherwise, the repetition of the name of your Beloved (ishta). To place your reliance on your ishta is the one thing to be done under all circumstances.” [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What fear is there for a man whose one and only object in life is the Supreme Quest? [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Dependence is due to fear. As long as you are afraid you will be bound. But the moment you are fearless you will be independent and free. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In education not enough stress is laid upon the need for courage in the character. We must learn to endure. And the only way to learn is by enduring. In courage one sees the brilliant triumph of the soul over the flesh. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If circumstances are bad and you have to beat them, do not make them a part of yourself. Play your part in life, but never forget it is only a role. What you lose in the world will not be a loss to your soul. Trust in GOD and destroy fear which paralyzes all efforts to succeed and attracts the very thing you fear. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Fearlessness means faith in GOD: faith in HIS protection, HIS justice, HIS wisdom, HIS mercy, HIS love and HIS omnipresence.to be fit for self-realisation, a man must be fearless. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The moment you fear, you are nobody. It is fear that is the great cause of misery in the world. It is fear that is the greatest of all superstitions. It is fear that is the cause of our woes, and it is fearlessness that brings heaven in a moment. Therefore ‘Arise, awake’ and stop not till the goal is reached. [7]

ON FRIENDSHIP

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you foster a spirit of friendship, your tolerance and courtesy towards all will increase. Whenever you feel hurt by anything that has been said, you should eject the matter like poison. [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Who is called a friend? He who makes you turn your mind towards the Beloved, he is your best friend. But a person who diverts your thoughts away from HIM and tempts you to progress in the direction of “death”, he is an enemy, not a friend. Try to correct yourself. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Don’t mix with others too closely. Friendships do not satisfy us unless they are rooted in mutual love for the Lord. Our human wish for loving understanding from others is in reality the soul’s desire for unity with GOD. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do not be impressed by the praise of acquaintances who really do not know you. Rather seek the good opinion of true friends – those who help you to improve yourself and who never flatter you or condone your faults. It is GOD who is guiding you through the sincerity of real friends. [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Possessions mean nothing to me but friendship is very dear. In true companionship one catches a glimpse of the Friend of all friends. Never be false to a friend or betray anyone. To do so is one of the greatest sins before the Divine Tribunal. [12]

ON FREE-WILL Vs. PRE-DESTINY

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A man becomes liberated even in this life when he knows that GOD is the Doer of all things. Not even a leaf moves except by the will of GOD. Where is man’s free will? All are under the will of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To tell you the truth, everything happens by GOD’s will. When HE says ‘Yea’, everything comes to pass, and when HE says ‘Nay’, everything comes to a standstill. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question: Man’s life is conditioned by his Prarabdha Karma (Pre-destiny). Where does Free-Will come in?
Sri Ma: You must use your free will to find the Supreme. The practice by which you advance towards HIM is precisely what we call purushartha (free will or the power to decide for oneself). By GOD’s grace even your destiny may be modified. If a devotee’s faith that his Prarabdha Karma can be changed by GOD’s grace is firm, then this may become possible. There certainly are laws that regulate GOD’s creation, yet nothing is impossible for HIM. If you think that GOD’s grace is also within destiny, this is so for you. If, on the other hand, you are convinced that GOD is more powerful than destiny, then HE may do anything for you. HE provides for the worldly as well as spiritual needs of HIS devotees. [21]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To be tempted is not sinfulness, but to be able to resist and overcome temptation is greatness; this is freedom, for you are acting by free will and free choice only. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Our fate is not predestined by HIM; nor is karma the sole factor, though our lives are influenced by our past thoughts and past activities. If you are not happy with the way life is turning out, change the pattern. I don’t like to hear people sigh and ascribe present failure to past-life errors; to do so is spiritual laziness. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Lord has given you free will and so HE cannot act as a dictator. Although HE is Almighty Power, HE does not arrange that you be released from suffering when you have chosen the path of evil actions. Is it just to expect HIM to remove your burdens if your thoughts and deeds are opposed to HIS laws? [12]

ON GOAL OF LIFE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The goal of human life is to love GOD. Bhakti is one essential thing. To know GOD through jnana and reasoning is extremely difficult. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The true aim of man’s life is to realize GOD. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Everyone without exception has in the end to reach the goal of human existence. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You came to earth to accomplish a divine mission (to be reunited with GOD). Realise how tremendously important that is! Do not allow the narrow ego to obstruct your attainment of an infinite goal. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The aim of life is to realise GOD and remain immersed in the contemplation of HIS Holy Feet always. [3]

ON GOD

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD is everybody’s Beloved just as the moon is dear to every child. Everyone has the same right to pray to HIM. Out of HIS grace HE reveals Himself to all who call upon HIM. You too will see HIM if you but pray to HIM. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD really exists. You don’t see the stars in the day-time but that doesn’t mean that the stars do not exist. You cannot realise GOD by a mere wish; you must go through some mental disciplines. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD favours those who can weep for HIM. Tears shed for GOD wash away the sins of former births. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What Brahman (that is, GOD) is cannot be described. All things in the world – the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, the six systems of philosophy – have been defiled, like food that has been touched by the tongue. Only one thing has not been defiled in this way and that is Brahman. No one has ever been able to say what Brahman is. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Reality is one and the same. The difference is only in name. He who is Brahman is verily Atman, and again, He is the Bhagavan. He is Brahman to the followers of the path of knowledge, Paramataman to the yogis and Bhagavan to the lovers of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It doesn’t matter whether you accept GOD with form or not. It is enough to feel that GOD is a Person who listens to our prayers, who creates, preserves and destroys the Universe and who is endowed with Infinite Power. It is easier to attain GOD by following the path of devotion. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There are certain characteristics of GOD-vision. One sees light, feels joy and experiences the upsurge of a great current in one’s chest like the bursting of a rocket. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. People don’t trust a man when he speaks about GOD. Even if a great soul affirms that he has seen GOD, still the average person will not accept his words. He says to himself, ‘If this man has really seen GOD, then let him show HIM to me.’ But can a man learn to feel a person’s pulse in one day? He must go about with a physician for many days; only then can he distinguish the different pulses. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD is present where people talk about HIM. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Who can ever know GOD? I don’t even try. I only call on HIM as Mother. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One cannot keep one’s mind on the formless GOD a long time. That is why GOD assumes form for HIS devotees. Believe in the form of GOD. It is only after attaining Brahmajnana that one sees non-duality, the oneness of Brahman and its Sakti. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The facets of GOD’s creation are infinite. It is enough to believe that all is possible in GOD’s creation. Never allow the thought to cross your mind that your ideas are the only true ones and that those of others are false. Then GOD will explain everything. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As you go nearer to GOD you see less and less of HIS attributes. A devotee at first may see the Deity as the ten-armed Divine Mother; when he goes nearer he sees HER possessed of six arms; still nearer, he sees the Deity as the two-armed. The nearer he comes to the Deity, the fewer attributes he sees. At last, when he comes in the presence of the Deity, he sees only Light without any attributes. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Everything comes by HIS grace alone – this of course is a fact. You experience as your own the power HE has vested in you. Apply it in HIS service to the utmost of your capability, whatever be the nature of your approach, whatever your line. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One has to be centered in GOD in order to become firm, calm, deeply serious, pure and holy, full of courage and with one’s personality fully intact. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Even the impossible becomes possible by GOD’s will. Let HIS Lotus feet be your sole refuge. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In all matters depend exclusively upon GOD. To HIM you should submit your heart’s petitions and yearnings. Place your reliance on HIM alone. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is the will of the Almighty that prevails at all times. Such verily is the law of creation. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ever try to spend all the twenty-four hours in the contemplation and remembrance of the Supreme Being, in the repetition of GOD’s name or the study of books of wisdom. By some realization, by a divine mood or appearance, even by tears shed in longing for HIM, the ONE at times makes HIS presence felt. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question: In this age of Science, why is it difficult to believe in GOD?

Sri Ma: By studying Science, the thirst for knowledge is aroused, and thus one awakens to the search after Truth. But the truth that denies GOD and all deities is a partial and one-sided point of view – it isn’t a comprehensive vision at all. An integral, complete vision unites the point of view of science with that of faith. In a full vision, the standpoints of the believer and of the non-believer meet. [21]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question: What is the greatest sin and the greatest virtue?

Sri Ma: Forgetfulness of GOD is the greatest sin; HIS constant remembrance is the greatest virtue. [21]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. This body tells of one sovereign remedy for all ills: GOD. Trust in HIM, depend on HIM, accept whatever happens as HIS dispensation, regard what you do as HIS service, keep satsanga, think of GOD with every breath, live in HIS presence. Leave all your burdens in HIS hands and HE will see to everything, there will be no more problems. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When one is advancing towards GOD, it will be found difficult to move towards the world and vice versa. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD doesn’t talk to man direct but uses the channel of the guru and his teachings. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD’s love is so all-embracing that no matter what wrongs we have done, HE forgives us. If we love HIM with all our hearts, HE wipes out our karma. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD understands you when everyone else misunderstands you. Others give you their affection for a while and then forsake you, but HE abandons you never. HE does not punish you if you refuse HIM but you punish yourself. You find that “all things betray thee, who betrayest ME” [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not necessary to explain things to GOD for HE knoweth your need before you speak and is more ready to give than you are to ask. When you meditate, turn away from everything except the one absorbing thought of HIS overshadowing presence. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Make the effort to please GOD first. It is impossible to please all. I try never to displease anybody. I do my best and that is all I can do. My first aim is to please GOD. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. He is the wisest who seeks GOD. He is the most successful who has found GOD.

There cannot be any excuse for not thinking of GOD. Day and night – whether you are washing dishes or digging a ditch or working in an office or garden – rolling in the background of your mind, GOD! GOD! GOD!. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD manifests in creation as the Cosmic Vibration, which expresses itself as Cosmic Sound and Cosmic Light.

The Cosmic Sound or Aum is the synthesis of all the sounds of the highly vibrating life forces (lifetrons), electrons, protons and atoms. By listening to Aum, the yogi becomes a true bramachari or one who is attuned to Brahman. [13]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It pleases God when His children seek Him. [14]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is possible to talk to God. His voice can be heard in words as well as through intuitive feeling. [14]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Have faith in Him; He is ever present. [14]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Even the injunctions of destiny are cancelled if one takes refuge in GOD. Destiny strikes off with her own hand what she has written about such a person. [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. With what attitude GOD behaves with man depends on with what attitude man behaves with HIM. If we solely devote ourselves to GOD, GOD becomes solely devoted to us. We should call GOD our friend, our Mother, our Father, our Learning, our Wealth, our All-in-All. [4]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Supreme Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is always fully satisfied in Himself. Therefore when something is offered to HIM, the offering, by the Lord’s mercy, is for the benefit of the devotee, for the Lord does not need service from anyone. [23]

ON GURU

[]Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There is only one Guru and that is Satchitananda. HE alone is the teacher. If a man in the form of a guru awakens spiritual consciousness in you, then know for certain that it is GOD the Absolute who has assumed that human form for your sake. The guru is like a companion who leads you by the hand. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If a disciple falls into the clutches of an incompetent teacher, he doesn’t attain liberation. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not good to be a guru by profession. One cannot be a teacher without a command from GOD. He who says he is a guru is a man of mean intelligence. He who is spiritually higher than others does not consider himself a guru. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Like the physicians, there are three classes of religious teachers. The inferior teacher is merely content with giving instruction; he doesn’t bother about the student after that. The mediocre teacher explains the teaching again and again for the good of the student, that he may assimilate it; he persuades the student through love and kindness to follow it. But the superior teacher uses force, if necessary, on the stubborn student. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Just as without the help of teachers and experts one cannot become proficient in the worldly knowledge that is taught in Universities, so the sublime knowledge of the Absolute does not come without the guidance of a competent Guru. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD alone is man’s Guru. One should put one’s whole faith in HIM. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When there is need of a Guru, his appearance is but natural. So long as one has not been initiated by a Guru, the ordinary person’s duty is to engage in the study of scriptures, in japa, in meditation, in chanting GOD’s Name – any Name one likes best. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be very careful whom you accept as your Guru. Don’t be in a hurry. Take your time over it and use your intelligence. But once you have accepted a Guru, it is irrevocable and you must surrender completely. If you fail in this, I maintain you have not accepted him as your Guru. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The grace of the Guru always pours forth but you must have mercy upon yourself and allow it to reach you. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Those who are one hundred percent loyal to a guru can be sure of ultimate liberation and ascension. One may have many teachers, but only one guru, who remains as one’s guru even in many different lives until the disciple reaches the final goal of emancipation in GOD. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When one has found his guru there should be unconditional devotion to him, because he is the vehicle of GOD. Without a guru the average devotee cannot find GOD; It requires 25% devoted practice of meditation techniques; 25% blessings of the guru; and 50% grace of GOD [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Obedience to the guru is necessary for attunement with his wisdom. It is not slavery to follow the wish of a God-realised guru, because his wish gives independence and freedom. A true guru is the servant of GOD, carrying out HIS plan for your liberation. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is extremely difficult to be a Guru, for he has to take the responsibilities for the disciple’s sins. If the disciple commits a sin, that affects the Guru too. [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One thing is outstandingly necessary – the right attitude towards the Guru. One may have many teachers but only one guru. He appears when the hunger for GOD is so strong that it will take no denial. He does not hesitate to give what we call “pain” if by that pain the disciple will draw closer to GOD. It is like a painful operation that has as its objective the benefit of the patient. [11]

ON HAPPINESS/SORROW

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. By sorrow does the Lord dispel sorrow and by adversity does HE destroy adversity. When this is done HE sends no more suffering. This must be borne in mind at all times. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To be always in a happy mood helps spiritual endeavour. Dejection creates obstacles on the path. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. This world oscillates endlessly between happiness and sorrow, there can be no security, no stability here. These are to be found in GOD alone. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. So long as one believes that true happiness can be had in this world without searching within, one will remain in bondage. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In a time of misfortune I heard Thy voice, saying:
‘‘The sun of My protection shines equally on thy brightest and thy blackest hours. Have faith and smile! Sadness is an offence against the blissful nature of Spirit. By being happy, My child, thou dost please Me.” [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Remember that when you are unhappy it is generally because you do not visualise strongly enough the great things that you definitely want to accomplish in life, nor do you employ steadfastly enough your will power, your creative ability, and your patience until your dreams are materialized. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You have the power to hurt yourself or benefit yourself. If you do not choose to be happy no one can make you happy. Do not blame GOD for that! And if you choose to be happy, no one can make you unhappy…it is we who make of life what it is. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A strong determination to be happy will help you. Do not wait for circumstances to change, thinking falsely that in them lies the trouble. _*Do not make unhappiness a chronic habit,_ thereby affecting yourself and your associates. If you possess happiness you possess everything; to be happy is to be in tune with GOD. That power to be happy comes through meditation. [*^8^]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sorrow, illness and failure are natural results of transgressions against GOD’s laws. Wisdom consists in avoiding such violations and finding peace and happiness within yourself through thoughts and actions that are in harmony with your real Self. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In doing good we must sometimes suffer. To find the Lord we must be willing to suffer. What is it to endure discomfort of the flesh and discipline of the mind to gain the eternal solace of Spirit? [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Whosoever leads a careless life patterned after the dictates of his impulsive desires and habits, and who tries to feel security in financial acquirements and sense pleasures, will lose his happiness during the trials of life. Like a house built upon the treacherous sand, earthly happiness cannot prevail against the rain, floods and wind of physical disease and mental troubles, the changes of fortune or the ultimate storm of death.

Foolish is the man who lives for earthly happiness only, for at the time of death everything he loved and considered to be everlastingly his own will be taken away from him. [14]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON HATRED/CRITICISM

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I used frequently to visit a certain house at Kamarpukur. The boys of the family were of my age. The other day they came here and spent two or three days with me. Their mother, like Hazra, used to hate people. Then something happened to her foot and gangrene set in. On account of the foul smell, no one could enter her room. I told the incident to Hazra and asked him not to hate anyone. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Don’t find fault with anyone, not even with an insect. As you pray to GOD for devotion, so also pray that you may not find fault with anyone. [1]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. May I not increase the ignorance of wrong doers by my intolerance or vindictiveness. Inspire me to help them by my forgiveness, prayers and tears of gentle love. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Internal criticism is the malignant twin of verbal criticism. To seethe silently with critical thoughts is very foolish, creating disturbing vibrations that affect one’s inner peace and unpleasantly affect those around him. [14]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To critique one’s fellow beings in a spirit of intolerance or gloating over their faults is to call forth God’s judgment. [14]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To be able to stand criticism is a mark of spiritual strength. It is weakness to allow resentment to conquer one’s feelings when criticized. [14]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Just as in the case of electricity, the modern theory is that the power leaves the dynamo and completes the circle back to the dynamo, so it is with hate and love; they must come back to the source. [6]

ON HEALTH/HEALING

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Food, sleep, toilet, clothes, etc. should be given only as much attention as is needed for the maintenance of health. What is the use of a merely well-nourished body? Rather it should become an aid to spiritual endeavour. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Infinite source is an infinite dynamo, continually pouring strength, happiness and power into the soul. Absolute, unquestioning faith in GOD is the greatest method of instantaneous healing. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Obey GOD’s hygienic laws. The mental hygiene of keeping the mind pure is superior to physical hygiene, but the latter is important, and should not be neglected. Do not, however, live by such rigid rules that the least deviation from your wonted habits upsets you. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Diseases may be classified as physical, mental or spiritual:
Maladies that affect the blood, bones, brain, nerves and tissues are physical diseases.
Mental disease springs from the invasion of fear, worry, anger, dissipation, greed and bad habits.
Ignorance of God, or our relationship with Him, is the cause of spiritual disease. It is the sin of all sins, according to the Hindu scriptures, because it is the root from which all other miseries spring. Lack of inner peace, want of harmony with one’s fellow beings and bewilderment about the meaning and purpose of life are some of the spiritual diseases. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. All methods of healing are really indirect ways of rousing the life-energy or prana, which is the true and direct healer of all diseases. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Just as an automobile battery depends for its life upon two sources, chemicals and an electrical charge, so the body battery depends for its existence upon two sources:
The “chemicals” of food, water, sunshine and oxygen
The “charge” of life-force and consciousness
The latter constitute the primary indispensable condition of life while the former are secondary. [15]

ON HUMAN NATURE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. All men look alike, to be sure, but they have different natures. Some have an excess of sattva, others an excess of rajas and still others an excess of tamas. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The man of worldly nature suffers so much sorrow and affliction but he forgets it all in a few days and begins his old life over again. The camel loves to eat thorny bushes. The more it eats the thorns, the more the blood gushes from its mouth. Still it must eat thorny plants and will never give them up. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There is another characteristic of the bound soul. If you remove him from his worldly surroundings to a spiritual environment, he will pine away. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A characteristic of rajas is that it stimulates the desire to ‘lecture’ and to show off one’s scholarship. But sattva makes one introspective. It makes one hide one’s virtues. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is the very nature of rajas to involve a man in many worldly activities. That is why rajas degenerates into tamas. If a man is entangled in too many activities he surely forgets GOD. He becomes more and more attached to ‘woman and gold’. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One cannot be guileless without a great deal of spiritual discipline in previous births. A hypocritical and calculating mind can never attain GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Wicked men have the nature of tigers and bears. They will pursue you to do you an injury. In the presence of a wicked person I become alert. Some people have the nature of a snake: they will bite you without warning. You have to discriminate a great deal in order to avoid the bite; otherwise your passion will be stirred up to such an extent that you will feel like doing an injury in return. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Whether a person will make spiritual progress or not can be known to a great extent by his physical marks. The hand of a deceitful person is heavy. A snub nose is not a good sign. Pigeon-breast is not good either. Hard bones and heavy elbow joints are bad signs too; and yellow eyes, like a cat’s.

A man becomes very mean if he has lips that are thick. There are other physical signs:
one eye and squint eyes. Squint-eyed people are wicked and deceitful. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Some are born with pure sattva as a result of their prarabdha karma. Sattva mixed with rajas diverts the mind to various objects. There is no harm in doing good to others in an unselfish spirit. This is called unselfish action. On the other hand, a characteristic of tamas is pride. Pride and delusion come from tamas. Another characteristic of tamas is anger. Through anger one loses one’s wits and cannot distinguish between right and wrong. Still another feature of tamas is lust. [1]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It takes character to be able to apologize graciously and sincerely. Do not, however, encourage a wrongdoer by being too humble and apologetic. You need not fawn on your enemy, just silently love him. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Never compare yourself with anybody else. You are what you are. Nobody is like you. Nobody can act your part as you can. Similarly, you should not try to play somebody else’s part. [25]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do something that nobody else has done; something that will dazzle the world. Show that GOD’s creative principle works in you. [25]

h1={color:#002060;}.

h1={color:#002060;}.

h1={color:#002060;}.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN BIRTH

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Having attained this rare human birth, man’s supreme need is to develop love for the lotus feet of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD no doubt dwells in all but HE manifests Himself more through man than through other beings. Is man an insignificant thing? He can think of GOD, he can think of the Infinite, while other living beings cannot. Rama said to Lakshmana:
“Look at the elephant brother. He is such a big animal but he cannot think of GOD.” [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. He is born in vain who having attained the human birth, so difficult to get, does not attempt to realise GOD in this very life. [5]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Among animals and birds there is no desire to be liberated from suffering and to find the Supreme Being, who is eternal bliss, eternal beauty. This aspiration is reserved exclusively for human beings. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Having obtained the great boon of human birth, do not waste a single moment. Plants, trees, animals and birds also live for some time and after generating other plants, trees, animals and birds of their own species, pass away. If you too live in a similar manner, what difference is there between them and yourself? Everyone should make a strenuous effort not to leave this world with a “return ticket”. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Everyone without exception will have to put in strenuous effort. Men and women are equally endowed with the capacity to realize GOD. It is the duty of a human being to make human birth, which is such a rare boon, successful. Otherwise he has to continue in the rounds of births and deaths. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To be born as a human being is a rare boon. If in spite of having obtained this great opportunity one does not give time to the contemplation of the Beloved, one will have to ask oneself: “What have I been doing?” To neglect the contemplation of Reality means to take the road of death. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You don’t know how fortunate you are to have been born as a human being. In that you are blessed more than any other creature. The animal is not able to meditate and have GOD-communion. You have the freedom to seek HIM and you don’t use it. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. My child, you have been extremely fortunate in getting this human birth. Have intense devotion to GOD. [3]

ON KARMA

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sin begets its own result. This is GOD’s law. Won’t you burn your tongue if you chew a chilli? So one should be careful about anger, passion and greed. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Man must reap the fruit of his own karma. The truth is that one must reap the result of their prarabdha karma. The body remains as long as the results of past actions do not completely wear away. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question: But, sir, how can one escape prarabdha, the effect of action performed in previous births?

Answer: No doubt a man experiences a little of the effect; but much of it is cancelled by the power of GOD’s name. A man was born blind of an eye. This was his punishment for a certain misdeed he had committed in his past birth, and the punishment was to remain with him for six more births. He, however, took a bath in the Ganges, which gives one liberation. This meritorious action could not cure his blindness, but it saved him in his future births. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The stream of godly thoughts is the path that leads to the exhaustion of karma. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Everything comes to pass according to each one’s destiny. You will have to accept this. The Creator has so regulated the Universe that everyone has and ever will have to reap the fruit of his actions; there is no way out of it. Karma, the consequences of one’s past actions, are one’s own liability. Man must foster the desire to perform right action. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What is called destiny is HIS decree – here rules and regulations do exist. As ordained by the Great Mother, whatever be the result of any action that SHE will bestow without fail. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There are many actions as the result of which one goes through great suffering after death – not to salvation. From darkness one has to proceed to even deeper darkness. Why this should be so cannot be explained. It is HIS inscrutable dispensation. As one sows so one reaps. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. How much karma from former births yet remains to be worked out! Just as when, for example, someone has ruined his digestion by indulging in excessive and unrestrained eating; even though he later adopts a frugal and well-regulated diet, the results of these wise measures will not be noticeable straightaway.

Thus, whatever be the nature of one’s actions at the time, one has to also simultaneously enjoy and suffer the accumulated consequences of one’s previous conduct. In God’s creation, there is perfect Justice. Generally speaking, man is born into this world In order to reap the pleasant results of his good deeds as well as the outcome of his wrong-doing.

What about the consequences of any Impropriety or Injustice he commits at the present time? He will of course have to endure them. Man enjoys the fruits of his accumulated former good works, but he will also have to suffer the effects of his evil deeds. The Almighty’s Will is being fulfilled. Man must foster the desire to perform right actions, yet even the Impossible becomes possible by God’s Will. Let HIS Lotus-feet be your sole refuge! [21]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. According to your actions you will reap the fruits. No effort is ever wasted. Good works and bad works will yield their harvest in great abundance – for HE is extremely generous. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Karma will work itself out to the minutest detail. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You should understand that the way people behave towards you, be it pleasant or unpleasant, is the result of your karma. Man is born into this world to reap the fruit of his actions of previous lives. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Before you act, you have freedom; but after you act, the effect of that action will follow you whether you want it to or not. That is the law of karma. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Blind selfishness is the root cause of unbalancing the prosperity vibration. Rich people who have fought failure and acquired success, but who later become selfish – ignoring the agonies of others who fail – may lose their wealth by wrong investments, or may attract poverty in their next lives. Many are the romances of Dame Fortune with her consort, Lord Karma (the law of cause and effect). [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The best way to escape the effects of a specific action is to overcome its effect in this life; otherwise it will be carried over to the next life. To assist you in the fight against bad karma you have the good forces of all lives, plus GOD, and contact with HIM eternally.

Your undesirable karma cannot be destroyed without contact with GOD. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The result of karma is inevitable. But by repeating the Name of GOD, you can lessen its intensity. If you were destined to have a wound as wide as a ploughshare, you will get a pin-prick at least. [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. According to karma Yoga, the action one has done cannot be destroyed, until it has borne its fruit; no power in nature can stop it from yielding its result. [6]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As long as one does not inquire about the spiritual values of life, one is defeated and subjected to miseries arising from ignorance. Be it sinful or pious, karma has its resultant actions. [23]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In this world no one has any permanent relationship with anyone else. We cannot stay forever even with our own body, what to speak of our wife, children and the rest. Every creature is born alone and dies alone, and alone one experiences the just rewards of his good and evil deeds. [23]

ON KNOWLEDGE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What is knowledge? ‘GOD alone is the Doer and none else’ – that is knowledge. I am not the doer; I am a mere instrument in HIS hand. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Compassion, Love of GOD and Renunciation, are the glories of true knowledge. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There is nothing in mere scholarship. The object of study is to find the means of knowing GOD and realizing HIM. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is difficult to teach others. Only if a man gets a command from GOD after realizing HIM, is he entitled to teach. The instruction of a man who has not seen GOD does not produce the right effect. He may say one thing rightly, but he becomes confused about the next. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. People with a craze do not attain Knowledge. Follow conventions only as much as necessary. Don’t go to excess. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You may learn a great deal from books but it is all futile if you have no love for GOD and no desire to realise HIM. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There are some signs of knowledge. First, an unshakable buddhi. No matter how many sorrows, afflictions, dangers and obstacles one may be faced with, one’s mind does not undergo any change. Second, manliness – very strong grit. Another sign of knowledge is a peaceful nature. Still another is the absence of egotism. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Does book learning make one wise? He who has a commission from GOD never runs short of wisdom. That wisdom comes from GOD. It is inexhaustible. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The knowledge of a worldly person, the knowledge of a devotee and the knowledge of an Incarnation are by no means of the same degree. The knowledge of a worldly person is like the light of an oil lamp, which shows only the inside of a room. Through such knowledge he eats and drinks, attends to household duties, protects his body, brings up his children and so on. The knowledge of a devotee is like the light of the moon, which illumines objects both inside and outside of a room. But such light does not enable him to see a distant or a very minute object. The knowledge of an incarnation of GOD is like the light of the sun. Through that light the Incarnation sees everything, inside and outside, big and small. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There are several kinds of people who do not attain divine knowledge. First, a man with a perverse mind; second, one who is very fastidious about outer purity and third, a doubting person. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your whole life you have spent in acquiring knowledge with mercenary motives and in similar pursuits. With all your strength you are serving worldly aims. Learn also to do a little service for the love of GOD, so that your thoughts may dwell on HIS Lotus feet. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Never cease to strive after the Knowledge that will free you from all ties and snares of this world as well as from the necessity to gain any other knowledge. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. At the present time people think they have to look after themselves, so they go and take up a job. They do not realize that as soon as they give of their knowledge, their necessities are already arranged for. Knowledge should not be sold. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not a pumping-in from the outside that gives wisdom. It is the power and extent of your inner receptivity that determines how much you can attain of true Knowledge, and how rapidly. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not necessary to go through every kind of human experience in order to attain ultimate wisdom. You should be able to learn by studying the lives of others. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do not confuse understanding with a larger vocabulary. Sacred writings are beneficial in stimulating desire for inward realisation, if one stanza at a time is slowly assimilated. Otherwise continual intellectual study may result in vanity, false satisfaction and undigested knowledge. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. From time immemorial innumerable people have worshipped images and thereby attained spiritual knowledge. Do you want to deny this fact? [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Books cannot teach GOD, but they can destroy ignorance; their action is negative. [6]

ON KUNDALINI AWAKENING

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The awakening of Kundalini is the beginning of spiritual consciousness and its union with Siva in the Sahasrara, ending in Samadhi, is the consummation of the Tantrik disciplines. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spiritual consciousness is not possible without the awakening of the Kundalini. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Primordial Energy resides in all bodies as the Kundalini. The Kundalini is speedily awakened if one follows the path of bhakti. GOD cannot be seen unless She (kundalini) is awakened. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. After great effort and spiritual practice the Kundalini is awakened. The Kundalini when awakened, passes through the lower centres and comes to the Anahata, which is at the heart. It stays there. After passing through the six centres, the Kundalini reaches the thousand-petalled lotus known as the Sahasrara and the aspirant goes into Samadhi. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When a person regularly prays, performs pujas and yogic practices, meditates and reflects on the higher truths of existence with sufficient concentration, the mind substance gets purified, thoughts become refined and the centers (of the Kundalini) unfold themselves. [20]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When with great patience and sanctity you strive to purify your inner and outer vehicles, the resulting vibrations of your thoughts strike ever higher and higher centers, releasing their tension, freeing up the pent-up life force at the lowest center to seek outlets upwards. Then all lethargy, primal urges and samskaras of the devotee gradually fade away like mists before the Sun’s rays. [20]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In pictures of God Shiva we see a snake on His head. This signifies that the snake (current) was coiled at the base of the spine, but when lifted up through the passage of the spine it goes back into the Infinite. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Hindu sages have spoken of the outgoing life-force, at the base of the spine in the coccyx, as the “serpent force” or Kundalini. This force is spoken of as the “kundalini serpent” because it runs down through a circular passage coiled like a snake, into the sex nerves.

‘Kundalini awakening’ means withdrawing this downward flowing life current and directing it upwards into the spinal passage and to the medulla oblongata in the brain.
No salvation is possible without awakening the Kundalini. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. All forms of relaxation, the study of spiritual books, meditation, worship, silence, moral living, introspection or anything that keeps the body and mind in spiritual rest, awakens Kundalini or causes, to varying degrees, the downward flowing life-force to reverse its direction from the body and sex nerves to medulla oblongata. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Kundalini current is NOT sex force. It is nothing short of blasphemy to call kundalini power “sex force”. [15]

ON LUST

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Anger and Lust cannot be destroyed. Turn them toward GOD. If you must feel desire and temptation, then desire to realize GOD, feel tempted by HIM. Discriminate and turn your passions away from worldly objects. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Lust and Indolence (i.e. laziness) – these are the two greatest obstacles on the path to Self-realization. It is patience and fortitude that are most helpful. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Lust applies to the abuse of any or all of the senses in the pursuit of pleasure or gratification. Through the sense of sight man may lust after material objects; through the sense of hearing, he craves the sweet, slow poison of flattery and voices and music that rouse his material nature; through the lustful pleasure of smell he is enticed toward wrong environments and actions; lust for food and drink causes him to please his taste at the expense of health; through the sense of touch he lusts after inordinate physical comfort and abuses the creative sex impulse.

Lust also seeks gratification in wealth, status, power, domination – all that satisfies the “I, me, mine. [13]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Lustful desire is egotism, the lowest rung of the ladder of human character evolution. By the force of its insatiable passion, kama (or Lust) loves to destroy one’s happiness, health, brain-power, clarity of thought, memory and discriminative judgment. [13]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Lust is the death of Love. There can be no love so long as there is lust – even a speck of it, as it were, in the heart. [7]

ON MAN’S DUTY

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A man has certain debts to pay; his debts to the gods and rishis and his debts to mother, father and wife. He cannot achieve anything without paying the debt he owes to his parents. A man is indebted to his wife as well. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One must show the highest respect to one’s mother for she is the very embodiment of the Blissful Mother of the Universe. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Man is born in this world to realise GOD; it is not good to forget that and divert the mind to other things. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is incumbent on man to consider everything that happens to be for the best: ‘For the best’ denoting what is most helpful towards the realization of the Divine. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What you consider to be your duty, you will in any case try to carry it out. But man’s special duty, which is the thought of GOD, on this you should concentrate. Time is gliding away swiftly. For a few days only lasts this reunion with friends and kinsmen. Gather up your possessions brother, for no one accompanies you on your final journey. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Many feel the urge to create a new and better world. Rather than let your thoughts dwell on such matters, you should concentrate on That by the contemplation of which there is hope of perfect peace. It is man’s duty to become a seeker after GOD or Truth. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is man’s duty to be constantly engaged in japa, meditation, the remembrance of GOD, worship, the perusal of scriptures, prayer, singing the Lord’s praises, attending religious gatherings or doing service. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Grade your duties and live a balanced life. Don’t think that you are too spiritual to wish for material success. The spiritually selfish man, ignoring material life, is punished with loss of mental balance. At the same time, don’t be so busy with material duties that you have no time for meditation, spiritual study and service to others! [15]

ON MEDITATION

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In meditation one must be absorbed in GOD. By merely floating on the surface of the water, can you reach the gems lying at the bottom of the sea? [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The mind cannot be fixed, all of a sudden, on the formless aspect of GOD. It is wise to think of GOD with form during the primary stages. By meditating on GOD with form one speedily acquires devotion; then one can meditate on the formless GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One acquires the nature of the object one meditates upon. The nature of GOD is like that of a child. If you meditate on an ideal you will acquire its nature. If you think of GOD day and night, you will acquire the nature of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is good to meditate in the small hours of the morning and at dawn. One should also meditate daily after dusk. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One cannot meditate unless GOD wills it. One can meditate when GOD makes it possible for one to do so. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. At the beginning of meditation, the objects of the senses (form, taste, smell, touch and sound) appear before the aspirant. But when the meditation becomes deep, they no longer bother him. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you are engrossed in the quest of the Supreme, it can never be that you will not find. Constant effort! So long as you have not reached, do not relax your efforts. Therefore, do not abandon meditation. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In the first stage, to sit for meditation causes uneasiness or pain in one’s limbs. Just like, at first people study in the hope of becoming rich but later they come to understand the value of knowledge. But here we are concerned with Supreme Knowledge (Brahmavidya). At first the mind does not become steady and one cannot find any delight in the name of GOD or in meditation. By japa, meditation or other spiritual exercises one’s thinking has to be brought under control. By practice, the mind becomes steady. [21]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Methods of Meditation:
1. First method, concentrate on a Deity, such as Siva, Kali, Durga, Krishna, Rama and so forth. This is meant for those who are attracted to any particular aspect of GOD.
2. The other procedure is to empty the mind and stand back as witness. However, to keep the mind empty is extremely difficult for the great majority of aspirants.
3. One may concentrate on the inner light, the light by which all outer objects are also perceived. Even a blind man sees an inner light.
4. Another method is to sit absolutely still and watch the movement of one’s breathing. This will steady the mind. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Meditation should not be confused with ordinary concentration. Concentration consists in freeing the attention from distractions and in focusing it on any thought in which one may be interested. Meditation is that special form of concentration in which the attention has been liberated from restlessness and is focussed on GOD. Meditation, therefore, is concentration used to know GOD. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Lord has no favourites. To him who loves GOD, to him HE surrenders. But he cannot be known except through communion. No matter how many good works you do; no matter how much service you render to humanity; no matter how vast your philanthropies – they are not enough! To know GOD, direct communion through meditation is necessary. [10]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Meditation is the one portal through which every seeker of every religion must pass in order to find, see, contact or know GOD. Meditation is the only doorway to GOD. [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. An essential adjunct to successful meditation is right posture. A devotee who meditates with a bent spine gets little spiritual result. His bent spine is like a broken bow, unable to protect him against the forces of restlessness. The correct posture for meditation should be like a “bow” – neck straight, shoulders pulled back, chest pushed forward and the abdomen drawn in. This position of the spine, curved in the front and not in the back, is called the “bow of meditation”. [13]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When the rains of difficult spiritual trials or the flood of accumulated sorrowful events or the mighty wind of death threatens with vehemence and impetuosity, the wise man’s house of intuitive cosmic perception and bliss stands unshaken. The wisdom and bliss acquired by meditation become a permanent abode of the consciousness, which not even the most-dreaded event of death can destroy. [14]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When you meditate your body becomes filled with electricity or life energy that is ever present in the ether. Most people do not realize that. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Meditation is the method by which we fry the seeds of karma so that they cannot germinate and bear fruit in some future life. [11]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When we sit for meditation, we must rise above all consciousness of time. Even if we meditate only for five minutes, those five minutes must be one hundred percent concentrated upon GOD. [27]

ON MARRIAGE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. All women are the embodiments of Sakti. It is the Primal Power that has become women and appears to us in the form of women. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As there are women endowed with vidyasakti, so also there are women with avidyasakti. A woman endowed with spiritual attributes leads a man to GOD but a woman who is the embodiment of delusion makes him forget GOD and drowns him in the ocean of worldliness. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If a person does not get married and regards the Almighty as his one and only support, leaving all matters to HIM, GOD Himself will draw him towards his goal. If you think, without a wife or son or husband you will miss all the good they could have done for you, you are greatly mistaken. HE, who is the Creator of all, has made perfect arrangements for HIS creatures. There is no cause whatever for worry. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Marriage is un-necessary and hampering for those who, renunciants at heart, are intensely seeking GOD, the Eternal Lover. But in ordinary cases I am not against true marriage. Two persons who unite their lives to help each other toward divine realisation are founding their marriage on the right basis: unconditional friendship.

Woman is motivated primarily by feeling and man by reason; marriage is meant to balance these qualities.
Today there aren’t many real soul-unions because young people get little spiritual training. Emotionally immature and unstable, they are usually influenced by fleeting sex attraction or worldly considerations that ignore the noble purpose of marriage. [12]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. That country and that nation which do not respect women have never become great, nor will ever be in future. [6]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Women will work out their own destinies – much better too, than men can ever do for them. All the mischief to women has come because men undertook to shape the destinies of women. [6]

ON MARRIED LIFE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A wife endowed with spiritual wisdom is a real partner in life. She greatly helps her husband to follow the religious path. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Blessed indeed is the householder who performs his duties in the world, at the same time cherishing love for the Lotus Feet of GOD. He is indeed a hero. He is like a man who carries a heavy load of two maunds on his head and at the same time watches a bridal procession. One cannot lead such a life without great spiritual power. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To live in the home that he has created for himself is surely fitting for a householder. Do not, however, neglect the search for your “real home”. Only when this is found has one truly come home. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If while living in the grihastha asrama one is serving the Supreme in everyone, this is real and true asrama life. Serve the Supreme Lord in your husband; serve the child Krsna in your son; serve your wife as a ray of Mahamaya. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A successful marriage is usually owing to the efforts of the wife. By showering love on her husband, by ceaseless service to him, and by daily thought for his comfort, convenience, health and general welfare, a woman can make herself indispensable to, and beloved of, the most cantankerous husband. At the same time she will be hastening her own spiritual evolution, transmuting unlovely egotism into consideration for others – a quality possessed by all truly attractive people. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In modern times it is extremely helpful to have a wife who is interested in the development of one’s profession or business and a wrong choice can be detrimental to one’s profession. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Marriage for money alone never lasts. Those who want money should go into business and earn it; they should never try to ‘get rich quick’ through marriage. There is life long humiliation in store for the man who marries a woman for her money, and women do not find the gratification they expect from marrying for wealth.

Also, don’t try to climb into society through marriage. Don’t try to become famous by sharing the halo of someone else’s fame. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spiritual progress becomes easier if husband and wife agree in their views regarding spiritual practices. [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Those who are interested only in a so called beautiful life – namely remaining as a householder entangled by sons and a wife and searching after wealth – think that such things are life’s ultimate goal. Such people simply wander in different types of bodies throughout this material existence without finding out the ultimate goal of life. [23]

ON MIND

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The mind is like a needle covered with mud and GOD is like a magnet. The needle cannot be united with the magnet unless it is free from mud. Tears wash away the mud, which is nothing but lust, anger, greed and other evil tendencies and the inclination to worldly enjoyments as well. As soon as the mud is washed away, the magnet attracts the needle, that is to say man, realizes GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Unless the mind becomes steady there cannot be yoga. It is the wind of worldliness that always disturbs the mind, which may be likened to a candle-flame. If that flame doesn’t move at all, then one is said to have attained yoga. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. By practise (i.e. spiritual practices) one acquires uncommon power of mind. Then one doesn’t find it difficult to subdue the sense-organs and to bring anger, lust and the like under control. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If the mind is much directed to something else, it doesn’t dwell deeply on GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The thing is somehow to unite the mind with GOD. You must not forget HIM, not even once. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A man cannot realise his true Self unless his heart is pure. The Vedanta says that a man does not desire to know GOD unless he has a pure mind. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Pure Mind and the Pure Atman are one and the same thing. Whatever comes up in the Pure Mind is the voice of GOD. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The remedy for all ills is to still the mind. When the man’s mind has been stilled, all will be well with him, both physically and psychologically. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is natural that the mind should find all sorts of reasons for not doing sadhana; yet your aim must be to persevere in it. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Never allow your mind to be idle. Keep it engaged in the repetition of a mantra, of GOD’s name, of sacred hymns and the like or else in pure Remembrance.

The endeavour is to keep the mind constantly engaged in the contemplation of GOD. This is man’s duty as a human being. Do not escape by saying, “I cannot”. You will have to develop the capacity for it; you will have to do it. For a human being everything is possible. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As if by compulsion the mind runs after the gratification of desires that bring suffering. The mind has become uncontrollable. By the repetition of a Divine Name of mantra and by meditation, this illness can be cured. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You say the mind will not concentrate on the Name. Rather reflect in this manner:
“The mind does not obey me; very well, I shall not obey the mind either; I shall continue to repeat the Lord’s Name.” [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Fickleness is one of the characteristics of the mind. For life after life, you have formed the habit of letting the mind turn outward. The mind is so used to it that now you will have to reverse its movement and make it turn inwards. So long as the mind’s movement does not turn within, it is impossible to find GOD. Therefore try your utmost to make your mind face inwards. By becoming inward-turned, GOD, who is enthroned on the lotus of your heart, will be revealed. If the mind roams about outside, it is turned away from HIM. Worship GOD but not for the sake of showing off. Become steady in your practice. [21]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be careful what you choose to do consciously for unless your will is very strong, that is what you may have to do repeatedly and compulsively through the habit-influencing power of subconscious mind. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mind is the chief factor governing the body. One should always avoid suggesting to the mind thoughts of human limitations such as sickness, old age and death. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should not “bolt” his mental duties of thinking out the right solution to life’s various problems; they should be thoroughly masticated, one at a time, with the sharp teeth of keen attention, and saturated with the saliva of keen judgment. Thus you may avoid worry indigestion. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. My child, this mind is just like a wild elephant. It races with the wind. Therefore one should discriminate all the time. One should work hard for the realization of GOD. [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The mind is possessed of noble thoughts at times and haunted by evil thoughts at other moments. It is Nature’s law, just as you find the full moon and the new moon. [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The mind is the root cause of lust, anger, pride, greed, lamentation, illusion and fear. The mind is by nature very restless, and one should not make friends with it. If we place full confidence in the mind, it may cheat us at any moment. If the yogi gives his mind a chance and does not restrain it, his mind will give facility to enemies like lust, anger and greed, and they will doubtlessly kill the yogi. [23]

ON PATIENCE/FORTITUDE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You must remember that nothing can be achieved except in its proper time. Some persons must pass through many experiences and perform many worldly duties before they can turn their attention to GOD; so they have to wait a long time. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Look at the anvil of a blacksmith – how it is hammered and beaten; yet it moves not from its place. Let men learn patience and endurance from it. [2]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. At all times let forbearance be your norm. Say to yourself:
“Lord, everything Thou doest is for the highest good.” Anchored in patience, enduring everything, abide by HIS name and live joyously. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. How can one be a human being without fortitude? To attain to Truth one has to endure all hardships, ever abiding in patience. It is the obstacles that give birth to patience. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Like a hero, taking refuge in patience, attend to your duties. Don’t fall a prey to despair; don’t be broken. One must remember that just as good times do not continue forever, so Bhagavan can also put an end to bad times. Repeating GOD’s name mentally, carry out whatever happens to be your duty. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Patience is the foundation on which spiritual endeavour is based. The pilgrim on the path of the Supreme must be intent on becoming endurance personified. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You are your own enemy and you don’t know it. You don’t learn to sit quietly. You don’t learn to give time to GOD. And you are impatient and expect to attain heaven all at once. You cannot get it by reading books or by listening to sermons or by doing charitable works. You can get it only by giving your time to HIM in deep meditation. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Great results are attained only by great patience, great courage and great attempts. [7]

ON PEACE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The nearer you come to GOD, the more you feel peace. Peace, peace, peace – Supreme Peace. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Unless one takes the path to the Supreme, one cannot find peace. Therefore the remembrance of GOD must be sustained under all conditions and circumstances. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is the nature of the world to keep the sense of want burning. From the world you receive things of the world – never Supreme Peace. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you sit at home and say: “I want to pass an exam”, nothing will happen. You have to take the necessary steps. Similarly you have to take the road that leads to peace. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Peace and happiness are found on the path to GOD, never in the world, where one gets a little happiness which is invariably followed by its shadow – sorrow. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Seek to do brave and lovely things that are left undone by the majority of the people. Give gifts of love and peace to those whom others pass by. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Peace is found through surrender to good through devotion. People who are loving, who practise stillness, who delight in meditation and good actions, are really peaceful. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Live each present moment completely and the future will talk care of itself. Fully enjoy the wonder and beauty of each instant. Practise the presence of peace. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When you have peace in every movement of your body, peace in your thinking and in your will power, peace in your love and peace and GOD in your ambitions, remember, you have connected your life with GOD. [8]

ON PRAYER

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Pray to GOD. He is full of compassion. Will HE not listen to the words of HIS devotee? HE is the Kalpataru. You will get whatever you desire from HIM. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. During the twilight hour of the dusk you should give up all other activities and remember GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not good to keep pictures of the terrible aspects of the Divine Mother. If one does, one should worship them. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Whatever has to be done, GOD will put it right – remember this!

Whether one feels like it or not, it is imperative to attend to one’s prayers with great regularity. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Prayer invariably has a result, not necessarily the result you pray for, but since prayer connects you with GOD – it is always beneficial. To be reminded of HIM no matter from what motive is beneficial. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD does not give you everything that you pray for; HE gives you what is best for you. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The only way to reach GOD through prayer is by persistence, regularity and depth of earnestness. Cleanse your mind of all negation, such as fear, worry, anger; then fill it with thoughts of love, service and joyous expectation.

In the sanctum of your heart there must be enshrined one power, one joy, one peace – GOD. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As you cannot broadcast through a broken microphone, so you cannot send out prayers through a mental microphone that has been disordered by restlessness. By deep calmness you should repair your mind microphone and increase the receptivity of your intuition. Thus you will be able to broadcast to HIM effectively and to receive HIS answers. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Though GOD hears all our prayers, HE does not always respond. Our situation is like that of a child who calls for his mother but the mother does not think it necessary to come. She sends him a plaything to keep him quiet. But when the child refuses to be comforted by anything except the mother’s presence, she comes.

If you want to know GOD, you must be like the naughty baby who cries till the mother comes. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The superconscious law of success is put into operation through man’s prayers and by his understanding of the Lord’s omnipotence. Do not stop your conscious efforts or rely wholly on your own natural abilities, but ask divine aid in all you do. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Through all our prayers must run the thread of surrender to the will of GOD.

Above all our own wishes must stand the wish that GOD’s will should prevail. [11]

ON PRIDE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The pride of man, that he is the doer, springs from ignorance. Men are powerful because of the power of GOD. The puppets dance well on the stage when pulled by a wire, but they cannot move when the wire snaps. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In a balance, the scale that is heavy goes down, but the lighter one rises up. So the man of merit and ability is always humble and meek while the fool is puffed up with vain conceit. [2]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you have to be proud, be proud of your relationship with GOD. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Always bear this in mind: “Everything is in GOD’s hands and you are HIS tool to be used by HIM as HE pleases. [20]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Humility comes from realising that GOD is the doer, not you! When you see that, how can you be proud of any accomplishment? Think constantly that whatever work you are performing is being done by the Lord through you. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A Self – admiring person is apt to refrain from further effort…Only he who is free from the sense of self-importance becomes richer and richer in spirituality until he is one with GOD. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If GOD were to say to me today: ‘‘Come home!”, without a backward glance I would leave all my obligations here – organisation, buildings, plans, people – and hasten to obey HIM. Running the world is HIS responsibility. HE is the doer, not you or I. [8]

ON PURITY/IMPURITY

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. First of all purify the mind. In the pure heart GOD takes HIS seat. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. After the purification of the heart one obtains Divine Love. Then one sees GOD through HIS grace. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Without purity one cannot advance towards Divinity. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Essentially, whatever aids towards the realization of Truth may be called pure and whatever is apt to retard it, impure. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You cannot make steel until you have made the iron white-hot in fire. It is not meant for harm. Trouble and disease have a lesson for us. Our painful experiences are not meant to destroy us, but to burn out our dross, to hurry us back ‘home’. No one is more anxious for our release than GOD. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A pure heart sees beyond the intellect; it gets inspired; it knows things that reason can never know; and whenever there is conflict between the pure heart and intellect, always side with the pure heart. [6]

ON RELIGION

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Some address the One Reality as ‘Allah’, some as ‘GOD’, some as ‘Brahman’, some as ‘Kali’ and others by such names as ‘Rama’, ‘Jesus’, ‘Durga’, ‘Hari’. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Each religion is only a path leading to GOD, as rivers come from different directions and ultimately become one in the one ocean. The one Satchitananda is called Brahman, Krishna and Siva. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If there are errors in other religions, that is none of our business. GOD, to whom the world belongs, takes care of that. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Kirtana and Namaz are one and the same. [20]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Whether you worship Christ, Krishna, Kali or Allah, you actually worship the One Light, which is also in you, since it pervades all things. Everything originates from Light, everything in its essence is Light. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The true practice of religion is to sit still in meditation and talk to GOD. But you don’t get to that point of intensity, you don’t concentrate enough, and that is why you remain in delusion. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Men hold many different opinions about religion but in the course of realizing Truth, or GOD, all will discover – whether they be Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jew – that true religion, or the actual experience of GOD, is the same for all. There is only one truth, though its aspects are myriad; there cannot be two or more conflicting truths. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The good that formal religion has done through the ages, by reminding people of an ideal, can never be denied. Yet unscientific religion that holds people only through dogmatic reasoning, or fear, or emotion, has caused the tyranny of the caste system, for example, in the East; and of the class system, Spanish Inquisition and the burning of martyrs in the West. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The role of religion is to offer a distinct, individual and characteristic form of social service by showing the practical, workable way to peace, enlightenment and spiritual strength. [15]

ON RENUNCIATION

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The essence of the Gita is: ‘O man renounce everything and practise spiritual discipline for the realization of GOD. You have to renounce mentally.’ [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The robe of a sannyasi is flame coloured to remind him that he has burnt rajas – greed, passion, anger and so forth; to remind him that he is enveloped by fire, that he is always at the burning ghat. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To engage in actions without desire for their fruit is true tyaga (renunciation). [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Renunciation is not an end, it is the means to an end. The real renunciant is he who lives for GOD first, regardless of his outer mode of existence. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A lazy person never finds GOD. An idle mind becomes the workshop of the devil. But persons who work for a living without any wish for the fruits of action, desiring GOD alone, are true renunciants. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One of the dangers that threaten all who take up the life of renunciation is that of becoming too self-centered. We have to watch ourselves, analyze our reactions, acts and emotions and we may see that the dominant thought is, “How does it affect me?”
Do not always ask, “What will I get out of it?” Say instead, “I wonder how I can help? [11]

ON REINCARNATION

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. So long as a man has not realised GOD, he will have to come back to the ‘Potter’s hand’, that is, he will have to be born again and again. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In his last birth a man is endowed with sattva. His mind is directed to GOD. He longs for GOD. He withdraws his mind from worldly things. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There is such a thing as inborn tendencies. When a man has performed many good actions in his previous births, in the final birth he becomes guileless. In the final birth he acts somewhat like a madcap. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Desires and cravings make up the contents of your subtle body. When the physical body is dead, that subtle body with those desires and cravings floats about shelter-less, and then man is born again according to his karma. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Those who do not attain to the goal of human existence, have to continue in the realm of death, which is the ceaseless round of birth and rebirth. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. So long as you are worldly-minded you get a ‘return ticket’, you remain bound to the round of birth and re-birth, repeating the same kind of experience over and over again. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Reincarnation is a scientific doctrine. Although it originated in the religions of the East, it may also be considered a Christian doctrine. We find in the Christian Bible the same conception of reincarnation – the same universal laws of finding God – as in the Hindu Bible (the Bhagavad Gita).

Reincarnation is one of the greatest doctrines; without the concept of reincarnation we cannot conceive, from the limited perspective of one life, the eternal justice of God. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. We do not improve all at once, but gradually; reincarnation gives our souls and subtle bodies a chance to improve. The difference in the temperament, nature, capacity and evolution of the different members of the same family, having the same surroundings and the same training, cannot be explained except through the doctrine of reincarnation. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. [Saint Bahinabai (died 1700 AD) had the following conversation with her son (Vithoba) on her death-bed:
**]….When Vithoba returned, Bahinabai told him that this was her last life and that during her previous twelve lives she had died as a yogabhrasta – that is, one who is practicing yoga but dies before attaining liberation….at her son’s request, Bahinabai tells him something of each of those twelve lives. In the first three births, she was born in a family of the Vaisya (traders) caste….in her next four births she was born in the homes of parents of the milkman caste….in the rest of her births she was born in Brahmin families….. [4]

ON RESTLESSNESS

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There are two kinds of restlessness: one due to worldly activity and the other the restlessness to advance on the spiritual path. The latter is the very means to real peace, that which is tranquility, Atma, GOD. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The worst of all temptations is restlessness. It is evil because it keeps your attention on the world and thus causes you to remain in ignorance of GOD. If you meditate regularly, you will be with GOD all the time. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A restless mind vibrating through the nerves is a chief cause of nervousness.

Nervousness appears to be a simple ailment but in reality is very complicated and uncomfortable. Nervousness interferes with all the normal functions of the human body and mind, upsetting the physical, mental and spiritual machinery. [15]

ON SATSANGA

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should trust in the words of holy men and great souls, those who have realised GOD. They constantly think of GOD, as a lawyer of his lawsuits. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you can’t get the company of living sages, read books about them or written by them, that is to say study sacred texts. Above all, try to remain in the Presence of GOD by the constant remembrance of one of HIS names. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A man must carefully watch his company…the power exerted by good or bad company is greater than will power. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Environment and the company you keep are of paramount importance. There is no period in life when environment and good company are not important.

It is most important to know that sinners or saints are largely made through the company they keep. [15]

ON SELF-REALIZATION

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Man cannot realize GOD by self-exertion alone. For the vision of GOD, His grace is absolutely necessary and this grace is felt by the pure of heart. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The means of realizing GOD are ecstasy of love and devotion – that is, one must love GOD. He who is Brahman is addressed as the Mother. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One cannot realize GOD without sincerity and simplicity. GOD is far, far away from the crooked heart. GOD cannot be realized by a mind that is hypocritical, calculating or argumentative. One must have faith and sincerity. Hypocrisy will not do.

To the sincere GOD is very near; but HE is far, far away from the hypocrite. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In very truth, man’s sole duty is the search after Self-Realization. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A person who has made GOD-Realization the one and exclusive aim of his life, has already found refuge in HIM – even though HE may, for the time being, declare Himself by HIS absence. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If someone really and truly seeks GOD, he will certainly find HIM. The first step is the manifestation of unbroken endurance and never ending patience, for this road is extremely difficult. To the limit of your power, try not to give way to despair and to remain at every moment an aspirant towards self-realization. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Various obstacles are met with by one treading the path of perfection. Such a life is bound to be a constant struggle for Self-knowledge and GOD-Realization.

To realize the Self is to realize GOD and to know GOD is to know one’s Self.
On this path one can progress only by adhering to truth, fortitude and serenity. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The householder, who has to make a livelihood and educate his children, cannot live without compromise. However, a person who has given his life to the search after Truth, knows no compromise. He has to adhere to truth at all costs. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You should transfer your attention from failure to success, from worry to calmness, from mental wanderings to concentration, from restlessness to peace, and from peace to the divine bliss within. When you attain this state of Self-Realization, the purpose of your life will have been gloriously fulfilled. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When you wake up in another life, you will be exactly what you were before death. Unless you practice being in a high state of consciousness now, you will not attain it after death.

Those who think that just by dying they will become angels are mistaken. Become an angel now and you will be one after death. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What does a man become by realizing GOD? Does he get two horns? No. What happens is, he develops discrimination between the real and the unreal, gets spiritual illumination and goes beyond life and death. [3]

ON SELF-EFFORT

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. He who will learn to swim must attempt swimming for some days. None can venture to swim in the sea after a single day’s practice. So, if you want to swim in the sea of Brahman, you must make many ineffectual attempts at first before you can successfully swim therein at last. [2]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. So long as no breeze is blowing, we fan ourselves to alleviate heat; but when the breeze begins to blow giving relief to all men, rich and poor alike, we give up fanning. We should ourselves persevere to reach our final goal so long as there is no help from above; but when fortunately that help comes to one, one might stop toiling, otherwise not. [2]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When the heart is full of worldly desires, it is their very nature to make the mind confused. This is why effort is necessary. So long as you do not become absorbed in dhyana and japa, it has to be performed by constant endeavour. To be moderate in eating, sleeping and so forth is imperative. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Anything at all can be accomplished by sustained effort. You must spare no pains to make the mind concentrated. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Remember, that every person has to mold his or her own life. Accept cheerfully whatever HE may bestow on you or take away from you. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Endeavour to make yourself what you should be and what you want to be. As you keep your mind on GOD and attune yourself to HIS will, you will progress more and more surely in your path. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. No one should fear the rigours of self-denial; the spiritual blessings that follow are great and incomparable. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Why don’t you make the effort? Whence do all the beautiful things in creation continually emerge? Whence comes the intelligence of great souls, but from the storehouse of the Infinite Spirit? And if these wonders you see about you are not enough to induce you to seek HIM, why should HE reveal Himself to you?
To coax GOD to give Himself takes steady, unceasing zeal. Nobody can teach you that zeal. You have to develop that yourself.
Remember that no one, not even a Master, can do everything for you. You have to do much yourself. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Wherever you are be ever ready, like a good photographer, to take pictures of exemplary conduct and to ignore bad behavior. The more you improve yourself, the more you will elevate others around you.

The self-improving man is the increasingly happy man. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It will not do merely to listen to great principles. You must apply them in the practical field, turn them in to constant practice. [6]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Every man should take up his own ideal and endeavour to accomplish it. That is a surer way of progress than taking up other men’s ideals which he can never hope to accomplish. [7]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The vital, all important things the soul must do for itself. If we do not want to practice the virtues of calmness, self-control, endurance, fortitude – no one can make us do or do it for us!
We have to practice peace, deliberately calm ourselves, when everything seems to conspire against our inner quiet. [11]

ON SERVICE

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In being of spiritual, mental and material service to others, you will find your own needs fulfilled. [8]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Regard what you are doing as HIS service. Everything is HIS gift and should be offered again to HIM. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To engage in service is a very powerful sadhana. Even though others may be unjust to you, you yourself should neither do, nor say anything unseemly.

The difficulties that may arise when doing anyone a service should be borne cheerfully. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do not attempt to be a ruler in this world; remain a server. The very fact of being a ruler creates complications; while if you can become a server, there will be no more trouble. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A person who can remain steeped in the thought of GOD all the twenty-four hours is indeed constantly engaged in the greatest service of all sentient beings. [16]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Service, in the real sense of the word, is not a joke. One should be extremely careful about making HIS service perfectly flawless. [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Blessed are those whose bodies get destroyed in the service of others. [7]

ON SOLITUDE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. By meditating on GOD in solitude the mind acquires knowledge, dispassion and devotion. But the very same mind goes downward if it dwells in the world. [1]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Seclusion is the price of greatness and GOD-Realisation. Seek solitude as much as possible. Do not spend your leisure time with other people for merely social purposes. GOD’s love is hard to find in company. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be alone within. Don’t lead the aimless life that so many persons follow. Meditate and read good books more. Once in a while it is all right to go to the movies and have a little social life, but mostly remain apart and live within yourself. Don’t spend precious time and energy in idle talk.

Eat in silence; work in silence. GOD loves silence. [8]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Many people wish to be alone just to avoid work and trouble. I wanted to learn how to use solitude for the good of my soul, for I always feel that solitary days contain a special jewel of realization. [11]

ON SPIRITUAL PRACTISES

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One must have stern determination; then alone is spiritual practice possible. One must make a firm resolve. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should fast on the eleventh day of the lunar fortnight (Ekadashi). That purifies the mind and helps one to develop love of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should practice the art of fixing the mind on GOD. One should practise regularly such disciplines as worship, japa and meditation. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One attains GOD through japa. By repeating the name of GOD secretly and in solitude one receives divine grace. Then comes HIS vision. Higher than worship is japa, higher than japa is meditation, higher than meditation is bhava and higher than bhava are mahabhava and prema. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One must practise intense spiritual discipline. The Divine Mother Herself practised austere sadhana to set an example for mankind. Sri Krishna, who is none other than the Ultimate Brahman, also practised sadhana to set an example for others. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. This attitude of regarding GOD as Mother is the last word in sadhana.

‘O GOD, Thou art my Mother and I am Thy child’ – this is the last word in spirituality. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When it is a question of good deeds or spiritual exercises (satkarma), disinclination and lethargy have to be completely ruled out. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be very firm in your resolve to cultivate as much as possible the actions that are helpful to a GOD-centered life. Engage in them even when there is no desire to do so, as one takes medicine. With or without inclination persevere in their performance, so that there may be no time at all left for the display of restlessness. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Though the inclination may be lacking and one forces oneself to attend to one’s spiritual practices, then also GOD will most certainly grant the power to advance in HIS direction as the fruit of one’s labour. The result of the practice will be reaped as well as the result of the concentration of the mind – remember this! [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. No spiritual exercise or rite should be done disrespectfully, for it is HE Himself who has come in the guise of the practice. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Everything you do in order to realize GOD is helpful. Nothing at all is wasted. By whatever Name you may invoke HIM your effort will be crowned with success. The main thing is to cling to the Name with constancy. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Remember HIM, repeat HIS holy name, contemplate HIM and regularly read scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Srimad Bhagavatam, the Ramayana and so forth. Someone who had lost all his six sons found much solace in reading the Bhagavatam. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You must meditate deeply. The more you meditate, the more transparent will your mind become. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Many people cling to the erroneous idea that GOD made Jesus perfect and then sent him here. Jesus had to attain that state of Christ-Consciousness. He reached that Christ-state after many incarnations of spiritual development. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do not keep brooding over the distance between you and Truth, but keep walking toward it by doing some good every day and you will finally reach your goal. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you do a good action, that will counter act your past evil action. Past sins can be counteracted by meditation, japa and spiritual thought. [3]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You will succeed through practice. Don’t give up your practice of japa, even if your mind doesn’t become steady. Do your spiritual practice ardently. [3]

ON SPIRITUAL LIFE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When the worldly man teaches spirituality he always advises a compromise between the world and GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A man must work. Work means meditation, japa and the like. The chanting of GOD’s name and glories is work too. You may also include charity, sacrifice and so on. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Having chosen the spiritual path, one should never at all covet anyone’s affection or respect or wish to be helped in one’s tasks. At all times practice patience and self-discipline. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In the spiritual field also, if you persevere and continue with steadfastness, everything will come to you of itself. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ever remember that one who is eager to advance towards HIM and practices HIS Name and HIS Presence, progresses – no matter what his condition may be. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In the worldly as well as in the spiritual life, one should try to meet troubles with equanimity. On every pilgrimage it is but natural that there should be difficulties. They provide the opportunity to develop forbearance, humility, generosity and friendliness towards all. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In the beginning of one’s spiritual search, it is wise to compare various spiritual paths and teachers. But when you find the real guru destined for you, the one whose teachings can lead you to the Divine Goal, then restless searching should cease. A spiritually thirsty person should not go on indefinitely seeking new wells; rather he should go to the one well and drink daily of its living waters. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not necessary to go to the forest to find HIM. Worldly habits will hold us fast wherever we may be until we free ourselves from them. The Yogi learns to find GOD in the cave of his heart. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The spiritual path is like a razor’s edge. It is not simple at all. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Seek guidance from within. Whenever you want to produce something, do not depend upon the outside source. Go deep within and seek the Infinite Source. All methods of business success, inventions, vibrations of music, and inspirational thoughts and writings are recorded in the annals of GOD. [15]

ON STRESS & TENSION

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Each time a swarm of worries invades your mind, refuse to be affected; wait calmly, while seeking the remedy. Spray the worries with the powerful chemical of your peace. [8]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Allowing oneself to be agitated by mental anxiety amounts to strain; this is not the line to be taken for by such a state of mind the power to create obstacles is developed. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Worldly occupations and business are bound to cause worry; it cannot be otherwise. The only way to meet it is by endurance, endurance and more endurance. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rather than allowing yourself to be unresistingly consumed by the fire of worry and anxiety, ever try to keep awake the conviction that everything happens according to HIS will. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do you know why anxiety arises? Solely because GOD is thought to be far away. Evil-mindedness (durbuddhi) also has the same cause. To remove GOD into the far distance is called unrighteousness. [16]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To sum up, to free yourself from tension:
i) Keep the mind calm through practice of meditation
ii) Think one thought at a time
iii) Don’t interrupt others while they are talking. Let them complete their sentences.
iv) Read books that require deep concentration
v) Learn to eat slowly, and preferably in silence
vi) Exercise regularly
vii) Relax. Don’t get bogged down in little things.
viii) Set aside time for seclusion, when you can be alone with GOD and have time to think
ix) Keep your mind fixed, at all times, on the polestar of GOD’s presence
x) Try always, to the best of your ability, to walk in the footsteps of the Guru [26]

ON SUFFERING

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Man’s sufferings and worries spring only from the persistent thought that he is the doer. A man verily becomes liberated in life if he feels: ‘GOD is the Doer’. HE alone is doing everything. I am doing nothing.’ [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Iron must be heated again and again and hammered a hundred times before it becomes good steel. Then only it becomes fit to be made into a sharp sword, and can be bent in any way you like. So man must be heated several times in the furnace of tribulations and hammered with the persecutions of the world before he becomes pure and humble, and fit to enter the presence of GOD. [2]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. At times, it is true, man is made to suffer. But thereby also, HE, the Fountain of Goodness, does what is for man’s real welfare; yet to realize this is perplexing for the ordinary person. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. By pain, pain has to be conquered. This is called tapasya. To be able to bear hardships and troubles is called tapasya by this body. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The cause of man’s ignorance and suffering is his complacency towards GOD and things spiritual and his selfish obsession with things of the world. [17]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Remember, one is born to experience various kinds of joys and sorrows according to one’s desire. For the time being, GOD comes to you in the disguise of suffering. HE is purifying you in this manner. The suffering is for your own best. A mother gives a slap to her beloved child for its own good, in order to keep him on the right path. When a fond mother gives her baby a bath, the child may scream desperately, yet the mother will not let the baby go until she has thoroughly washed and scrubbed him. [20]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There are many reasons for suffering. One reason is to prevent man from learning too much of others and not enough of himself. Pain eventually compels human beings to wonder:
“Is a cause-effect principle operating in my life? Are my troubles due to my wrong thinking.” [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Everyone wishes to be happy, yet very few persons make the necessary effort to adopt a course of action that leads to happiness. They do not avoid the actions that lead to suffering, and do not follow the paths that lead to happiness.

Even after burning their fingers in the fire of ignorance-born experiences, very few people learn to avoid misery-making acts. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Misery and happiness are equal factors in the formation of character. In some instances misery is a greater teacher than happiness. In the vast majority of cases, it would be found that it was misery that taught more than happiness, it was poverty that taught more than wealth, it was blows that brought out their inner fire more than praise. [7]

ON SUPERNORMAL POWERS (siddhis)

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You cannot realise GOD if you acquire even one of the eight supernatural powers. Occult power is sure to beget pride and pride makes one forget GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The long and short of the matter is that those who go about making disciples belong to a very inferior level. So also do those who want occult powers to walk over the Ganges and to report what a person says in a far-off county and so on. It is very hard for such people to have pure love for GOD. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One must not allow oneself to be caught by the lure of supernormal faculties. By using such powers to destroy or improve people, one may become arrested on that level instead of progressing towards the Ultimate. [22]

ON SUICIDE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Suicide is a heinous sin. A man who kills himself must return again and again to this world and suffer its agony. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. By unnatural death one becomes an evil spirit. Beware! Make it clear to your mind. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Never allow the mind to dwell on the idea of suicide, it is a sin to do so. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Suicide is a most heinous sin. Man is born in order to reap the consequences of his actions of former births. To try and escape from this by suicide is extremely foolish, it only prolongs the agony indefinitely.

Suicide does not solve anything, on the contrary it creates endless complications and prevents one from paying off one’s karmic debts.
One who commits suicide enters a very deep darkness from which it is most difficult to be released. [22]

ON TIME UTILISATION

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If others fool away their time, you be lost in GOD. You will go ahead. Let your example change others’ lives. Reform yourself and you will reform thousands. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Don’t joke all the time with each other. Be happy and cheerful inside. Words are like bullets: when you spend their force in idle conversation, your supply of inner ammunition is wasted. Why dissipate in useless talk the perceptions that you have gained? [8]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To talk of GOD alone is worthwhile. All else is vain and in pain. By idle and vain talk stumbling blocks are created on the path that leads to HIM. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do not let your time pass idly. Either keep a rosary with you and do japa or if this does not suit you, at least go on repeating the name of the Lord regularly and without interruption like the ticking of a clock. There are no rules or restrictions in this. [17]

ON TRUTH

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD is realized by following the path of truth. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Even those engaged in worldly activities, such as office work or business, should hold to the truth. Truthfulness alone is the spiritual discipline in the Kaliyuga. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. No lie of any sort is good. Uttering false words or doing false deeds, one gradually loses all fear (of bad deeds). [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should not hold one’s tongue at the sight of injustice and untruth. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Truthfulness of speech is the tapasya of the Kaliyuga. Truthfulness, obedience to GOD and the regarding of others’ wives as one’s mother, are the greatest virtues. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Speak the truth to all. Secrecy, slyness and deception amount to cheating. They only taint the mind and set one floating on a sea of misery. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One should never tell a lie. GOD is Truth. By speaking the truth under all circumstances a state of integrity comes about naturally. No untruth should ever come from one’s lips. If truth is the fulcrum of one’s life, all virtues will develop spontaneously. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In the sastras it is said: “Do not utter unpleasant truths.”
Who are you to lecture to the whole world? Everybody should be told that in GOD’s creation, according to the Hindu Sanatana Dharma, it is unlawful to say what will cause hostility or distress to anyone. Preserve a spirit of calm and friendliness. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is very important to speak the truth. GOD is Truth. By being truthful one draws nearer to HIM. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be truthful in thought, speech and behavior. Let others do as they please, as their nature dictates. Be straight and sincere with those whom you have to work with. By your example others will be changed. [22]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Don’t advertise all your secrets in your desire to be honest. If you tell about your weaknesses to un-scrupulous persons, they will have great times poking fun at you if on some future occasion they wish to hurt you. Why should you supply the “ammunition”? [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be honest with yourself. The world is not honest with you. The world loves hypocrisy. When you are honest with yourself you find the road to inner happiness. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not necessary that truth be perceived; it is necessary to act upon it. When you have boiled down your facts by reason to form a right conclusion, harness that reason to will power and act according to your conclusion.

Discrimination is of little value unless it is accompanied by activity along the line indicated. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One must not speak unpleasant truths un-necessarily. By indulging in rude words one’s nature becomes rude. One loses sensitivity without control over one’s words. [5]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A wise person should not enter an assembly if he knows the participants there are committing acts of impropriety. And if, having entered such an assembly, he fails to speak the truth, speaks falsely or pleads ignorance, he will certainly incur sin. [23]

ON THOUGHTS/ THINKING/ INTUITION

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. How can a man lose his intelligence if he always fixes his mind on HIM whose very nature is eternal intelligence. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Don’t follow the path of evil. Give up sinful thoughts. That is how GOD wants us to act. Perform only those duties that are virtuous. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be not a traitor to your thoughts. Be sincere; act according to your thoughts; and you shall surely succeed. Pray with a sincere and simple heart and your prayers will be heard. [5]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Keep your thinking on a very high level. Praise and blame, filth and sandal paste must become alike. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Where the thought of GOD is, there HE Himself is present in the form of that thought. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To regret one’s bad luck only troubles the mind and ruins the body; it has no other effect – remember this. HE, by whose law everything has been wrought, HE alone should be reflected upon. [16]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Man’s highest faculty is not reason but intuition, that is, knowledge derived immediately and spontaneously from the soul. Intuition comes from within; thought from without. Intuition gives a face-to-face view of Reality; thought gives an indirect view of it. Intuition sees Reality in its totality while thought chops it up into parts.

Every man has the power of intuition as he has the power of thought. As thought can be cultivated, so intuition can be developed. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Intuition is the discriminative faculty that enables you to decide which of the two lines of reasoning is right. Perfect intuition makes you a master of all knowledge. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your good habits help you in ordinary and familiar situations but may not suffice to guide you when a new problem arises. Then discrimination is necessary. Man is not an automaton and therefore cannot always live wisely by simply following set rules and rigid moral precepts. In the great variety of daily problems and events, we find scope for the development of good judgement. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Don’t mentally review any problem constantly. Let it rest at times and it may work itself out; but see that you do not rest so long that your discrimination is lost. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Avoid negative approach to life. Life has a bright side and a dark side, for the world of relativity is composed of light and shadows. If you permit your thoughts to dwell on evil, you yourself will become ugly. Look only for the good in everything, that you absorb the quality of beauty. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question: Aren’t your teachings about controlling the emotions dangerous? Many psychologists claim that suppression leads to mental maladjustments and even to physical illness.

Paramahansaji: Suppression is harmful – holding the thought that you want something but doing nothing constructive to get it. Self-control is beneficial – patiently replacing wrong thoughts by right ones, changing reprehensible actions to helpful ones. [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. By the application of intuition, the spiritual eye and the heart become radio-like receiving stations, and by the concentration of will power they become astral broadcasting stations. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD can be known only through the sense of intuition. He wants us to know HIM. Hence every man is endowed with intuition. [27]

ON WORLDLY LIFE

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You may try to increase your income but in an honest way. The goal of life is not the earning of money but the service of GOD. Money is not harmful if it is devoted to the service of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is not good to become involved in many activities. That makes one forget GOD. Work is only a means to the realization of GOD. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Money enables a man to get food and drink, build a house, worship the deity, serve devotees and holy men and help the poor when he happens to meet them. These are good uses of money. Money is not meant for luxuries or creature comforts or for buying a position in society. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The aim of life is the attainment of GOD. Therefore I say that work is only the first step. It can never be the goal of life. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One very seldom comes across such a religious family in which all the members are devoted to GOD. I have seen only two or three such families. Generally one finds quarrels, misunderstanding, jealousy and friction. Besides, there are disease, grief and poverty in the world. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There is neither end nor limit to this desire for worldly enjoyment. [1]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Worldly life is no doubt a battle-field. By becoming conscious of one’s spiritual wealth, one must strive to emerge triumphant from the battle. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To perform one’s worldly duties is a good thing. At the same time, one has to be mindful of man’s real Duty. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. While a person living in the world takes pleasure in parties, meeting people, etc., the one whose aim is Self-Realization will delight in meditation, singing the praises of GOD, reading books of wisdom, listening to discourses on religion and philosophy and mixing with those who are pilgrims on the Path. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What is called the ‘World’, is dragging man towards foolishness and misery – away from the Divine. Enjoying the pleasures and comforts of material life nobody ever attains to the realization of GOD. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. What appears delightful to the senses later develops into a hotbed of poison, generating inner turmoil and disaster for it belongs to the realm of death. To perform one’s worldly duties is a good thing. At the same time, one has to be mindful of man’s real Duty. [17]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Question: What is the difference between a worldly person and an evil person?
Paramahansaji: Most men are worldly; few are really evil. ‘Worldly’ means being foolish, giving importance to trifling matters and staying away from GOD out of ignorance. But ‘evil’ means deliberately turning one’s back on the Lord; not many would do that. [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Service, and not money-making alone, should be the goal of business. The advertising motto should not be: “Something to tell about anything to sell”, but rather: “An attractive way of telling about something worth selling. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your mind should be on what you can do to increase and perfect whatever service you render your company, rather than on how much salary you can make or how far you can get ahead in the firm. Then money will be your slave; otherwise it may become your master. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Most workers want important confidential positions but they forget that it is necessary first that they develop the requisite qualities of responsibility and efficiency, alertness, loyalty and unselfishness.

Developing one’s usefulness is the surest way of attracting notice and success. No businessman can effectively conduct his entire business alone. The largest and the smallest business concerns the world over are always looking for honest, loyal, dependable, energetic, untiring, imaginative and enthusiastic workers. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you don’t like being obliged to please an employer and if you cannot endure subordination, you should learn everything necessary to become your own employer. Acquire complete knowledge and experience in one branch of an essential business; then direct your attention to gathering funds – by extra work, and by prudent borrowing, if necessary. Lead a plain life and be prepared to sacrifice some of your lesser desires to achieve your goal. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Communion with GOD can remove all human limitations that impede success. Learn to receive success vibrations intuitively from GOD during meditation, and from mixing with successful men and associating with successful business firms when you are busy with worldly affairs. [15]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Worldliness and realisation of GOD cannot go together. [7]

ON WILL-POWER

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Whatever you make up your mind to do, you can do. Remember, in your will lies the almighty power of GOD. When a host of difficulties come and you refuse to give up in spite of all obstacles; when your mind becomes “set”, then you will find GOD responding to you. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your part is to awaken your desire to accomplish your worthy objectives. Then whip your will into action until it follows the way of wisdom that is shown to you. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Always be sure, within the calm region of your inner Self, that what you want is right for you to have and in accord with GOD’s purposes. Be certain that you have made a good selection, then refuse to submit to failure. If you cling to a certain thought with dynamic will power, it finally assumes a tangible outward form. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is your will power that is going to determine what you are able to do – nothing else; not your past habits, not your past karma, not your horoscope. [25]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You must exercise your will power. If you make up your mind and go forth like a flame, every obstacle in your path will be consumed. [25]

Sri Ma Anandamayi:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Under no circumstances, however adverse, should man accept defeat. [16]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Verily, everything in the world is achieved by will-power. If by determination and patience someone can translate his ideal into life, his actions will be inspired. Such a worker is backed by Divine Power. [20]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If the individual uses the whole of his will-power in anything he undertakes, he gets in touch with Mahasakti, the Supreme Power – and then where is the boundary? [22]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Will is a great force in man. Man becomes what he wills…Therefore, we must direct our will Godward. We must desire to possess GOD with a will. The force of our will awakens GOD and HE has to come to us. The name of GOD generates this Godward will in man. [4]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. To succeed you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will, “I will drink the ocean,” says the persevering soul, “at my will mountains will crumble up.” Have that sort of energy, that sort of will, work hard and you will reach the goal. [6]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. This will is caused by character and character is manufactured by karma or work. As is the karma so is the manifestation of the will. [6]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON YOGA

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Abhyasa yoga – the yoga of practice. You should practise calling on GOD every day. It is not possible to succeed in one day; through daily prayer you will come to long for GOD. [1]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. During ordinary activity, the invading thoughts in an average man are completely homogenized with his activity. This is why he does not know how restless he is. He discovers it, to his dismay, when he starts to practice yoga. For the first time in his life, he begins then to stand aside as a conscious witness of the bewildering torrent of his thoughts. He may become erroneously convinced that his mind is made more restless by yoga than by worldly activities! [13]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Yoga teaches that the spiritual aspirant must retrace the various states of higher vibrations in order to lift the consciousness from the captive vibrations of breath, heart, and circulation to the more subtly vibrating sound emanating from the bodily atoms and life force. [14]

Miscellaneous:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. “Those who, fixing their minds on ME, adore ME, ever united to ME with supreme devotion, are in MY eyes the perfect knowers of yoga.”
(Srimad Bhagavad Gita; XII:2)

MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS

On Devotion/Devotees:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Let me tell you that the less people know of your spiritual life, the better it will be for you. Devotees endowed with sattva meditate in a secluded corner or in a forest or withdraw into the mind. Have faith in the name of GOD. Then you won’t need even to go to holy places. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As a devotee cannot live without GOD, so also GOD cannot live without HIS devotee. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD provides everything for a genuine devotee, even without his making any effort. A true devotee has no desire. He does not care for money. Money comes to him of itself. The Gita describes such a devotee as ‘content with what comes to him without effort.’ [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Some souls realise GOD without practising any spiritual discipline. They are called nitya siddha, eternally perfect.

Those who have realised GOD through austerity, japa and the like are called sadhana siddha, perfect through spiritual discipline.
Again, there are those called kripa siddha, perfect through divine grace. These last may be compared to a room kept dark a thousand years, which becomes light the moment the lamp is brought in.
There is also a class of devotees, the hathat siddha, that is to say, those who have suddenly attained GOD-vision. Their case is like that of a poor boy who has suddenly found favour with a rich man. The rich man marries his daughter to the boy and along with her gives him land, house, carriage, servants and so forth.
There is still another class of devotees, the svapna siddha, who have had the vision of GOD in a dream. [1]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When visiting a sage or going to a temple, you should never go empty-handed. You have to take something, however trifling, in your hand as an offering. [2]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

On False Prophets:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Any man in religious garb may look holy, but he cannot hide a wicked heart; it must eventually come out in his practical dealings as wicked actions.

Spiritual pretenders commit the highest sin against GOD, using the Master of the Universe for personal or monetary gain. Undiscerning persons may be duped; but GOD is not deceived, nor is the karmic law. [14]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A false prophet can never be a GOD-ordained guru, no matter how artfully he assumes such title. A false prophet is one who knows at heart his hypocrisy and moral weakness and yet professes goodness to attract and hold people who will follow him blindly for his own ends – financial and for gratification of his ego.

A true guru will not bring any such evil or misguidance to his followers. He can be known by his humility, uprightness and GOD attunement, as evidenced by his ability to enter the elevated states of GOD communion in superconsciousness, Christ consciousness and cosmic consciousness. [14]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

On Ghosts/Apparitions:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do not give in to your inclination to think about ghosts and apparitions. In the presence of HIS Name no other power can function. This is the truth, be firmly convinced of it. The moment you have recourse to GOD’s Name you should feel that no lesser power can touch you.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Ma Anandamayi

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Evil entities do not attack one who is positive. Keep yourself in a positive state of mind constantly and fill your mind with thoughts of GOD. Read spiritual books constantly – in this way you will surround yourself with light. Evil spirits are in the darkness; they cannot penetrate the light. But if you become negative and your aura becomes dark, they come nearer and nearer to you and at last they gain admittance. Sing or chant – loudly, softly or mentally – the word Aum. When you go to bed at night, write, with your finger, the word Aum on your pillow.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sister Gyanamata

On Habits:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Good habits are your best helpers; preserve their force by stimulating them with good actions. Bad habits are your worst enemies; against your will they make you do the things that hurt you most. They are detrimental to your physical, social, mental, moral & spiritual happiness. Starve bad habits by refusing to give them any further food of bad actions. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It is only when you discard your bad habits that you are really a free man. Until you are a true master, able to command yourself to do the things that you should do but may not want to do, you are not a free soul. In that power of self-control lies the seed of eternal freedom. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A habit is the result of concentration of the mind. You have been thinking in a certain way. Weaken a bad habit by avoiding everything that occasioned it or stimulated it, without concentrating upon it in your zeal to avoid it. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Shall you be better to fight (bad habits) tomorrow than today? Why add today’s mistakes to yesterday’s? You have to turn to GOD sometime, so isn’t it better to do it now? If you keep on trying, you will improve. “A saint is a sinner who never gave up.” [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The world creates bad habits in you, but the world will not stand responsible for your mistakes springing from those habits. Then why give all your time to a false friend – the world? Reserve an hour a day for scientific soul exploration. Doesn’t the Lord – the Giver of your life, your family, your money and everything else – deserve one twenty-fourth part of your time? [12]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As past evil karma powerfully stimulates a man to indulge in sense pleasures, so strong past habits of God-communion compel a reincarnated yogi to seek divine union. [13]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Very seldom do we realize that the health, success and wisdom outlook of our life entirely depends upon the issue of battle between our good and bad habits.

People seeking happiness must avoid the influence of bad habits which lead to evil actions. Evil actions produce misery sooner or later. Misery corrodes body, mind and soul like a burning acid and cannot be endured long. [15]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

On Loyalty:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You will find that everything will betray you if you betray your loyalty to GOD. Loyalty attracts the Divine Attention. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Loyalty to a spiritual custom without sincerity and conviction is hypocrisy. Loyalty to the spirit of a custom even without clinging to a form is wisdom. [8]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

On Servants:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be friendly with the servants. Do not get angry with them but see that they do their work well. [22]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Ma Anandamayi

On Shraddha Ceremony:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Whatever is offered to a deceased person in the shraadha ceremony reaches him in some manner and gives him satisfaction. Nowadays one often hears people question whether the shraadha really benefits the dead and in what way. In actual fact, there are many true stories that can establish your faith in the matter. One should not make light of anything. [21]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sri Ma Anandamayi

“[Never Voice These Truths to one
Who is Without Self-Control or Devotion,
Nor to One Who Performs No Service,
Or Who Does Not Care to Hear,
Nor to One Who Speaks ill of ME.”
__][[
Srimad Bhagavad Gita (XVIII:67)]]

Appendix A: GLOSSARY

[]

h1={color:#002060;}.

h1={color:#002060;}.

h1={color:#002060;}.

h1={color:#002060;}.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Anahata: the fourth subtle spiritual center in the body, located in the heart region

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Artha: money

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Atma: soul

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bhagavan: GOD

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bhava: the state of ‘Sabikalpa Samadhi’; a state of deep meditation in which the soul merges in Cosmic Consciousness but then returns again to body consciousness

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Brahmana: Supreme Spirit; that aspect of GOD which is beyond creation

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Brahmajnana: Knowledge of ‘Brahmana’ or Spirit

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Dhyana: Meditation

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Grihastha Asrama: householder life; married life

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Japa: continuous chanting of GOD’s name; can be internal or uttered in soft tones

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Jnana: Knowledge

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Kaliyuga: that stage of collective human consciousness when excessive materialism dominates

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Kalpataru: a wish fulfilling tree

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Kama: lust for fulfilment of desires

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Kirtana: devotional chanting of GOD’s name accompanied with musical instruments

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Kutastha: spiritual center at the point between the two eyebrows; seat of soul in the human body

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mahamaya: the Supreme Mother of the Universe

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mahaprasada: the word ‘prasada’ means food that is first offered to the Lord and then distributed amongst the devotees but since the temple of Lord Jagannatha in the Indian state of Orissa is a major shrine of the Hindus hence the ‘prasada’ from this place is referred to as ‘Mahaprasada’ or the ‘Great Offering’ in keeping with the highly sanctified status of the shrine

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Maunds: an early measure of weight used in India before the introduction of the metric system; 1 Maund = 37.324 kg

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mahabhava: the state of ‘Nirbikalpa Samadhi’; a state of deep meditation in which the soul merges in Cosmic Consciousness and does not return again to body consciousness

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Moksha: liberation

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Namaz: way of offering prayer in Islam

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Paramataman: GOD

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Prema: love

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rajas: the activating quality in Nature; can take one either towards sattva or [tamas
__]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rishi: a seer or sage

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sadhaka: devotee

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sadhana: concerted spiritual practices which take one towards GOD

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sahasrara: the highest subtle spiritual center in the human body; the thousand-petalled lotus located at the top of head

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Samskaras: in-born human tendencies

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sanatana Dharma: eternal religion of the Vedas; encompasses all humanity and for the upliftment of all

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sannyasi: one who has renounced the world and taken on ‘sannyasa’

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sannyasa: to formally renounce the world by severing ties with one’s relatives and material possessions in order to devote oneself wholeheartedly to seek God

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sastras: religious texts which outline in detail the Hindu system of philosophy and eternal principles of righteousness

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Satchitananda: literally means, Truth (or Sat), Consciousness (or Chit) and Joy (or Ananda); GOD

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sattva: pure, spiritual quality in Nature which takes one towards GOD

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Satsanga: literally, “company of truth”; in India a spiritual custom in which two or more people gather at a place talk or read about GOD

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Shraadha: Hindu religious rites associated with a departed soul

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tamas: material quality in Nature which takes one away from GOD

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tantrik: a voodoo doer

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tapasya: austerities

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Virat: gigantic

h1={color:#002060;}.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix B: BIBLIOGRAPHY

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Vol I,II by Mahendranath Gupta

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, published by Sri Ramakrishna Math

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Gems of Gospel of Holy Mother published by Poornima Prakashan

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Indian Saints & Mystics by Pravrajika Suddhatmaprana

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Great Sayings: Words of Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi & Swami Vivekananda, published by The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The Voice of Vivekananda published by Sri Ramakrishna Math

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Pearls of Wisdom: Swami Vivekananda published by The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Spiritual Diary published by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Spiritual Teachings of Sri Sri Paramahamsa Yogananda published by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Rajarsi Janakananda: A Great Western Yogi published by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

#
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD Alone: The Life & Letters of A Saint published by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Sayings of Sri Paramahamsa Yogananda published by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

#
p<>{color:#000;}. GOD Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita commentary by Sri Sri Paramahamsa Yogananda

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The Second Coming of Christ: Bible commentary by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Yogoda Satsanga Lessons published by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Matri Vani: Vol I, II, III published by Shree Shree Anandamayee Sangha

#
p<>{color:#000;}. A Goddess Amongst Us: Anandamayi Ma by Swami Managalananda

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Life & teachings of Sri Anandamayi Ma by Dr.Alexander Lipski

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The Most Gracious Presence: Sri Ma Anandamayi by Bithika Mukerji

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Life & Teachings of Sri Ma Anandamayi by Bithika Mukerji

#
p<>{color:#000;}. That Compassionate Touch of Ma Anandamayee by Narayan Chaudhuri

#
p<>{color:#000;}. As A Flower Sheds Its Fragrance: Diary Leaves of A Devotee published by Shree Shree Anandamayee Charitable Society

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Srimad Bhagavatam Purana by Maharishi Veda Vyasa

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Purana by Maharishi Veda Vyasa

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Yogoda Satsanga Magazine: Jan-Mar, 2015, published by the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Finding The Joy Within You: Sri Sri Daya Mata, published by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Only Love: Sri Sri Daya Mata, published by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

The following internet resources have been used in writing the biographies of the three saints:
1. [http://www.om-guru.com/
++]2. [http://www.dakshineswarkalitemple.org/
++]3. [http://www.ramakrishna.org/
++]4. [http://www.srianandamayima.org/
++]5. http://en.wikipedia.org/

Appendix C: About The Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ritesh has a deep interest in spiritual matters. An MBA and an Engineer by training, at present he runs his own entrepreneurial venture in New Delhi.

 

Ritesh is also the author of the Spiritual Thriller, ‘The Blazing Trident’, which is available for sale worldwide through Shakespir. To know more about the book, do visit the book’s webpage:
www.dews.in/the-blazing-trident

 

For any feedback on ‘Trees of Shade’ anthology, feel free to drop mail on:
[email protected]

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Trees of Shade

  • Author: Ritesh Gupta
  • Published: 2016-12-20 19:36:00
  • Words: 30359
Trees of Shade Trees of Shade