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What is the use of going on pilgrimage if you do not improve yourself?

Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lankan spiritual master

You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5

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Missionary activity and conversion is not about freedom of religion. It is about the attempt of one religion to exterminate all others. Such an exclusive attitude cannot promote tolerance or understanding or resolve communal tensions. The missionary wants to put an end to pluralism, choice and freedom of religion. He wants one religion, his own, for everyone and will sacrifice his life to that cause. Vamadeva Shastri, Vedic teacher

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Hinduism teaches that all humans are destined to transform a self-centered life to a God or Reality-centered life, in their respective traditions. God accepts us all as we are. We are not required to present ourselves in any particular garb or caricature. True conversion, the discovery of the ultimate ground of being, takes place in the heart of one’s own religious and spiritual traditions and not outside of it. Swami Aksharananda, Hindu scholar and key figure in the Hindu community of Guyana

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Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. Carl Jung (1875-1961), Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist

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He who does not find God within himself will never find God outside himself. But he who sees Him in the temple of his Soul sees Him also in the temple of the Universe. God is seen when the mind is tranquil. When the sea of the mind is agitated by the winds of desires, it cannot reflect God, and then God-vision is impossible. Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886), Indian mystic and yogi

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Part of the Hindu religion teaches, more so than anything else, control of your mind; self-control. Rajeev Ram, winner of the 2016 Olympic silver medal for tennis mixed doubles

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Apparently the people of India have no need to keep their religious sensibility to themselves. Unlike some anxious believers around the world, they have been able to avoid the paranoia that often accompanies religion. Thomas Moore, best selling American author

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Ignorance is seeing that which is impermanent, impure, sorrowful, or not self as permanent, pure, joyful and as self. Yoga Sutras 11.5

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Laughing is good exercise; it’s like jogging on the inside. A thousand learned pandits in a hundred years can, perhaps, bring about what a true teacher can accomplish with a smile, a wink, in his devotees. Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

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Gurudeva! Wherever you go, I shall follow. Wherever you stay will be my home. Whomsoever you love, I shall love also. Your lotus feet will be to me more sacred than Kashi. Dada J.P. Vaswani, spiritual head of Sadhu Vaswani Mission

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If we get angry, we give up the most intelligent part of us. We lose our ability to solve things with our highest intelligence. So, there’s no reason to become angry. It is counter-productive. We need to rise above such instinctive emotions. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of HINDUISM TODAY

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Every experience that we ingest is going to produce its own reaction. In surveying our own internal balance of tamasic, rajasic and sattvic tendencies, we need to apply the power of discrimination so that everything we take into our mind and body can be easily and harmoniously digested and assimilated. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), Founder of HINDUISM TODAY

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MEGHA VISHWANATH

DID YOU KNOW?

Lighting of Lamps

IF YOU GO TO A HINDU TEMPLE OR HOME shrine, you will notice there is always some kind of oil lamp in front of the Deity or just above the altar. Why light a lamp when you can just turn on an electric light?

In a traditional analogy, each component of a lamp has meaning. The oil represents our negative tendencies and the wick our mind. Lighting the lamp brings knowledge, or light, to our mind, and our negative tendencies gradually fade as the oil is consumed.

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SHUTTERSTOCK

Contributing source: Remembering Hindu Traditions, published by the Colombo Young Women’s Hindu Association, 2004

A lamp that is kept burning constantly is called the akhanda dipam, literally meaning “nonstop light.” Light is the opposite of darkness; and in Hinduism light is correlated to knowledge or a force that can dispel darkness or ignorance.

Pandit S.P. Sabharathnam shares this insight from the Saiva Agamas, “The primal fire is in the face of the lamp; Ishvara is present in the long stem; Brahma is present at the base. If the flames are nine in number, they represent the Navashaktis; if five, they represent the Pancha Brahmas; a single flame represents Sarasvati. Lighting sacred lamps results in the unfoldment of knowledge for adults, teens and children.”

We offer light. We are able to see with that same light and we hope to become illumined by the inner light of realization.

BASICS

Parasiva, Life’s Ultimate Goal

From Sivaya Subramuniyaswami’s Merging with Siva

NEVER HAVE THERE BEEN SO MANY people living on the planet wondering, “What is the real goal, the final purpose, of life?” However, man is blinded by his ignorance and his concern with the externalities of the world. He is caught, enthralled, bound by karma. The ultimate realizations available are beyond his understanding and remain to him obscure, even intellectually.

Man’s ultimate quest, the final evolutionary frontier, is within man himself. It is the truth spoken by Vedic rishis as the Self within man, attainable through control of the mind and purification. It is karma that keeps us from knowing of and reaching life’s final goal, yet it is wrong to even call it a goal. It is what is known by the knower to have always existed. It is not a matter of becoming the Self, but of realizing that you never were not the Self. And what is that Self? It is Parasiva. It is God. It is That which is beyond the mind, beyond thought, feeling and emotion, beyond time, form and space. That is what all men are seeking, looking for, longing for. When karma is controlled through yoga and dharma well performed, and the energies are transmuted to their ultimate state, the Vedic truth of life discovered by the rishis so long ago becomes obvious. That goal is to realize God Siva in His absolute, or transcendent, state, which when realized is your own ultimate state—timeless, formless, spaceless Truth. That Truth lies beyond the thinking mind, beyond the feeling nature, beyond action or any movement of the vrittis, the waves of the mind. Being, seeing, this Truth then gives the correct perspective, brings the external realities into perspective. They then are seen as truly unrealities, yet not discarded as such. This intimate experience must be experienced while in the physical body. One comes back and back again into flesh simply to realize Parasiva. Nothing more.

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A. MANIVEL

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