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Quotes & Quips

Quotes & Quips

"Important things are not things."

Swami Tejomayananda, spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission




Do everything with full attention. Nothing should be done without reverence, for everything is really done unto God. You should not worship God carelessly. It is not that God will punish you, but that you will destroy your own fine sense of values. Don't trample on greatness in any form. One should have reverence for whatever one does, even if it is just an extraneous thing. Swami Ashokananda (1893-1969), monk of the Ramakrishna Order and accomplished teacher of Vedanta in the West


The Bereaved Mother: Even the beasts have feelings of mother and child. A dog knows how to protect its young, and a cow how to caress its calf. The mother hen closely watches and protects her fledgelings. And it is said that an eel is always precautious to ward off the danger that may entangle its young ones. But men, merely to gratify their tongue, kill and separate others' dear ones. All the dumb creatures suffer the pinch of pain as much as men. The only difference is that men cry with tears.

From Chinese Poems and Pictures on Ahimsa, translated into Sanskrit and English by Dr. Raghu Vira


A swami, when asked to define Hinduism, remarked, "Friends, Hinduism is so fine that I hesitate to define it."


Life should be dynamic, full of movement, flowing endlessly like the mighty Ganges. Life's movement should be channelled in the right direction. Life becomes a burden for many people because it has lost its dynamism. For them life is not like a flowing river. It is a static, turbid puddle.Understand that action gives movement to life, knowledge gives it direction and devotion bestows the inspiration to life's journey. Rameshbhai Oza, inspired performer of Vaishnava kathas


Love is seeing and feeling life everywhere. When your heart is full of love, you sense life pulsating through all creation. Mata Amritanandamayi Ma, Kerala-based hugging saint


The greatest service one can do for people is to help them experience God. Swami Omkarananda (1930-2000), founder of Omkarananda Ashram, Rishikesh


Life is like photography. You use the negative to develop. Swami Beyondananda


A Cherokee elder sitting with his grandchildren told them, "In every life there is a terrible fight--a fight between two wolves. One is evil: he is fear, anger, envy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment and deceit. The other is good: joy, serenity, humility, confidence, generosity, truth, gentleness, and compassion." One child asked, "Grandfather, which wolf will win?" The elder looked him in the eye and replied, "The one you feed."


Brown rice is healthier compared to white rice as vitamins and minerals are removed when processing white rice. Datuk Seri Kerk Choo Ting, Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister of Malaysia, when speaking of his government's efforts to create a more dynamic food industry by promoting brown rice for good health and growing and selling it domestically for the first time in Malaysian history


Learn to laugh at yourself. You will have a lifelong source of amusement.


God cannot be partial if He is everywhere. Arvind Sharma, professor of comparative religion, McGill University, Montreal


There the eye goes not, nor words, nor mind. We know not. We cannot understand how He can be explained. He is above the known, and He is above the unknown. Thus have we heard from the ancient sages who explained this truth to us. Sama Veda, Kena Upanishad 1.3


When the solution is simple, God is answering. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Until we have peace in our own heart, we can't hope for peace in the world. Peace is the natural state of the mind. It is there, inside, to be discovered in meditation, maintained through self-control, and then radiated out to others. The best way to promote peace is to teach families to be peaceful within their own homes by settling all conflicts quickly. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today


Avoidance of Injuring Others

Tirukural 312: It is the principle of the pure in heart never to injure others, even when they themselves have been hatefully injured.

Tirukural 314: If you return kindness for injuries received and forget both, those who harmed you will be punished by their own shame.

Tirukural 318: Why does he who knows what injury to his own life is like inflict injury upon other living human beings?

Tirukural 320: All suffering recoils on the wrongdoer himself. Thus, those desiring not to suffer refrain from causing others pain.


Did You Know


The Significance of 108

It is said that the cosmos is mystically connected to the number 108, for reasons yet to be comprehended. Many have wondered at the sacredness of 108. Certainly, its application to nearly all things holy is in itself significant, including the number of beads on a japa mala that are counted while repeating a mantra and the number of names of a God or Goddess chanted during puja while offering flowers. But what is the meaning behind its significance?

In numerology, 108 breaks down to 1 + 0 + 8 = 9. Nine is a mystically charged number, and the sum of the digits resulting from any number multiplied by 9 always returns to 9.

Vedic astrology divides the heavens into 27 moon signs, called nakshatras, each with 4 padas, making 108 padas in all, giving 108 basic kinds of human nature. The pada occupied by the moon at the time of birth indicates the nature of one's career, pleasures, family and path to liberation.

In astronomy, Vedic seers calculated that the distance between the Earth and Moon is 108 times the diameter of the Moon, the distance between the Earth and Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Sun, and the diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. These numbers are remarkably close to the results of calculations based on modern scientific measurements using the average distances between Earth and the Moon and Earth and the Sun.

Ayurveda tells us that there are 108 marmas, points in the body, where consciousness and flesh intersect to give life to the living being. Similarly, the lines of the mystical, mesmerizing Sri Chakra Yantra intersect in 54 points, each with a masculine and feminine quality, totalling 108.

In explaining the number of beads on a japa mala, some say that 108 are the number of steps a soul takes to reach the Divine within himself. With this sacred number appearing in so many intersections between the Divine and the human, it is no wonder that Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Taoists find that offerings of 108 help us remain in harmony with God's perfect universe.


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