Selected Famous Quotations

Quotation by Jayaram V

Compiled by Jayaram V

Thoughts belong to no one. They belong to the universe. So are the ideas, concepts and inventions. They float in the space of the universe awaiting their discovery. If we set our minds upon anything, thoughts associated with it come and invade our consciousness. If you think about God, you become receptive to thoughts of God. If you think about sex, thoughts related to sex will enter your consciousness. Thoughts are also contagious. If you think about other people's thoughts, you will be influenced by them in subtle ways and begin to think similar thoughts. Thus, thoughts are also like seeds. What you plant in the garden of your mind would eventually germinate, grow and bear fruit. Good and inspiring thoughts are always useful for meditation and deep thinking. They open your mind to expansive thinking, see others' points of view and appreciate the manysidedness and relativity of truth in our world. It also opens our minds to higher thinking and elevate our awareness. Spending time in reading and thinking about inspirational quotations such as the following is spending valuable time in the company of great minds. Therefore, pick any good thought such as the following and take it for a walk in the backwoods of your mind. Jayaram V


In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind. Louis Pasteur

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. William Shakespeare, As You Like It

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! William Wordsworth

Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment. Baltasar Gracian, The Oracle

When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you. LaoTzu

A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort. Sydney Smith

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau

Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times. Anon

The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. Allan K. Chalmers

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. Oscar Wilde

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. Dale Carnegie

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. Mark Twain

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing Socrates

Nurture your mind with great thoughts. Benjamin Disraeli

When all men think alike, no one thinks very much. Walter Lippmann

Intuition training does not create a new set of abilities; instead it identifies and reduces interferences...Helen Palmer

Intuition is one of the most important abilities we can cultivate... It is becoming necessary for a comprehensive personal and global perspective. Jagadish Parikh

Intuition is the voice of the Real Self, a sure guide toward ultimate perfection. Walter Russe

Intuition is the language of the light, through which men and God communicate. Leonard Bosman

Intuition is the outcome of the fusion of a purified heart and illumined intelligence. Swami Ramdas

The moment of truth, the sudden emergence of a new insight, is an act of intuition. Arthur Koestler

When you let intuition have its way with you, you open up new levels of the world. Such opening up is the most practical of all activities. Evelyn Underhill

When God is our teacher, we come to think alike. Xenophon

Nobody has ever measured how much a heart can hold. Zelda Fitzerald

Be alert, be self aware, so that when opportunity presents itself, you can actually rise to it. David Bohm

Ones deep intuition is an infallible guide to purpose and accomplishment. Willis Harman

Intuition is the superior way of knowing ultimate truth without the use of prior knowledge or reason Spinoza

Contact with eternity is in the present moment, but it is mediated by thought. It is a matter of attention. David Bohm

Pay attention, Pay attention, pay attention. (The three secrets of obtaining a full, rich life). Zen Saying

The light of the body is the eye. The Bible

Sitting Quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes and the grass grows by itself. A Japanese Zen poem

Often our first teacher is our own heart. H. Storm

You feed your longings and desires and they do the work. My whole life has been following my intuition and strange beckonings. David Whyte

Intuition and concepts constitute ... the elements of all our knowledge, so that neither concepts without an intuition in some way corresponding to them, nor intuition without concepts, can yield knowledge. Immanuel Kant (1724–1804)

Intuition is not infallible; it only seems to be the truth. It is a message which we may interpret wrongly. Christina Stead (1902–1983)

Intuition, like the rays of the sun, acts only in an inflexibly straight line; it can guess right only on condition of never diverting its gaze; the freaks of chance disturb it. Honoré De Balzac (1799–1850)

We denote this primary wisdom as Intuition, whilst all later teachings are tuitions.Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

The role intuition plays in mathematics and ethics has provoked lively debate in the history of Western philosophy. According to mathematical intuitionism, mathematical knowledge rests on mathematical concepts that are immediately clear and irreducible. According to ethical intuitionism, there are fundamental ethical truths that can be known directly and do not have to be inferred. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition

Trust your hunches. They're usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level. Dr. Joyce Brothers

The only real valuable thing is intuition. Albert Einstein

Knowledge has three degrees opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition. PLOTINUS

When you let intuition have its way with you, you open up new levels of the world. Such openingup is the most practical of all activities.Evelyn Underhill

The term intuition does not denote something contrary to reason, but something outside of the province of reason. C.G. Jung

Intuition makes a great range of information available to us. Helen Palmer

I firmly believe that intuitive or symbolic sight is not a gift but a skilla skill based in selfesteem. Caroline Myss

Intuition is the deepest wisdom of the soul. Jeffrey Mishlove

Intuitive knowledge is an illumination of the soul, whereby it beholds in the light of God those things which it pleases Him to reveal to us by a direct impression of divine clearness. Rene Descartes

The only mistake I ever made was not listening to my gut. Lee Iacocca

If the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Often you have to rely on intuition. Bill Gates

Faith is a passionate intuition.William Wordsworth

Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you're alive, it isn't. Richard Bach

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! ShineThe Buddha

There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day. Alexander Woollcott

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T. S. Eliot

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.Unknown

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Oliver Wendell Holmes

Honesty, Humor, Friendliness, Confidence, Integrity, Persistence, Humility, Goal Setter, Decisive, Hard Worker, Learner, Positive Mental Attitude, Compassionate, Disciplined, Dedicated, Faithful, Dependable, Knowledgeable, Communicator, Loving, Enthusiastic, Motivated, Patient, Loyal, Organized, Good Listener, Empathetic, SelfRespect, Common Sense, and Character. Go ahead now. Look yourself in the mirror and claim these qualities! Do it for several weeks and you’ll notice a change in your life. ZIG ZIGLAR

Don't judge those who try and fail, judge those who fail to try. Unknown

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will. Vince Lombardi

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. William Feather

Far better it is to dare mighty things to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that know not victory or defeat. Theodore Roosevelt

A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. William Shedd

There is plenty of room at the top ... but no place to sit down. Unknown

No great man ever complains of want of opportunity. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friendship consists in forgetting what one gives, and remembering what one receives. Dumas The Younger

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm. Unknown

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live… Dorothy Thompson

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Sir Winston Churchill

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most. Dostoyevsky

The key to change . . . is to let go of fear. Rosanne Cash

Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival. Hannah Arendt

We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears. Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Love is always creative, fear always destructive. Emmet Fox

The violent have been victorious for most of history because they kindled the fear with which everyone is born. Theodore Zeldin.

Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again. — Henry Ford

No one loves the man whom he fears. Aristotle

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not look for allies in life’s battlefield but to my own strength. Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom. Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone; But let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure. — Rabindranath Tagore

Fear is only as deep as the mind allows Japenese proverb.

Have a vision not clouded by fear. Cherokee Proverb

A life lived in fear is a life half lived. Spanish proverb

Men are strong as long as they represent a strong idea. They become powerless when they oppose it. Sigmund Freud.

The way to develop selfconfidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. — William Jennings Bryant

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. German Proverb

Fear is the parent of cruelty. James Anthony Froude

Bullies are always to be found where there are cowards Mahatma Gandhi

The greatest mistake you can make is to be continually fearing you will make one. — Elbert Hubbard

The basis of optimism is sheer terror. Oscar Wilde

It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more “manhood” to abide by thoughtout principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul & spirit, not in muscles & an immature mind. — Alex Karras

All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes & cry that it is dark. — Swami Vivekananda

Do what you fear & the death of fear is certain. — Tony Robbins

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. — John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

To fight fear, act. To increase fear–wait, put off postpone. — David Joseph Schwartz

Defeat the fear of death and welcome the death of fear. G. Gordon Liddy

Dangers bring fears and fears more dangers bring. — Richard Baxter

The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies. — Sir Francis Bacon

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Hatred is never anything but fear – if you feared no one, you would hate no one. — Hugh Downs

Do not fear to step into the unknown for where there is risk, there is also reward. — Lori Hard

Where fear is present, wisdom cannot be. — Lactantius

Where fear is, happiness is not. — Seneca

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. — Marcus Aelius Aurelius

All women love the men they fear. All women kiss the hand that rules them. Lionel Atwill

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do Pope John XXIII

The free man is he who does not fear to go to the end of his thought. — Leon Blum

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Alexander Pope

A child understands fear and the hurt and hate it brings. — Epictetus

I expect nothing. I fear no one. I am free. Nikos Kazantzakis

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. — Robert Albert Bloch

There is nothing more fearful than ignorance in action. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom. Marilyn Ferguson

To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead. Bertrand Russell.

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. — Bertrand Russell

Understanding is curing ignorance and curing ignorance is abolishing fear. Matt Marty

We must act in spite of fear... not because of it. Anonymous

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed. — Buddha

Fear makes strangers of people who should be friends. Shirley MacLaine.

Fear breeds fear. Byron Janis

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. Marie Curie

You gain strength, courage & confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. — Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort. — Theodore Roosevelt

We cannot escape fear. We can only transform it into a companion that accompanies us on all our exciting adventures. — Susan Jeffers

The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears & score your points when you get the opportunity. — Lewis Grizzard

Like most wildly ambitious people, I am driven almost exclusively by fear of failure. — Scott Turow

If you can DREAM it, you can DO it. Walt Disney

Remember your dreams. Maryanne RadmacherHershey

Most people never listen. Ernest Hemingway

Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. Leo Buscaglia

Go to the truth beyond the mind. Love is the bridge. Stephen Levine

The harder you fall, the higher you bounce. UNKNOWN

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Albert Einstein

People are like stainedglass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. Elizabeth KüblerRoss

Do what you can with what you have where you are. Theodore Roosevelt

People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln

When you follow your bliss...doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors;and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else. Joseph Campbell

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone. Coco Chanel

The future depends on what we do in the present. Mahatma Gandhi

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. Michael Jordan

We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true. Woodrow Wilson

And life is what we make it. Always has been, always will be. Grandma Moses

A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. Walt Whitman

You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses. ZIGGY

Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble. Frank Tyger

Begin somewhere. You cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do. Liz Smith

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness. Gilda Radner

We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart. Blaise Pascal

The worst bankrupt in the world is the person who has lost his enthusiasm. H. W. Arnold

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. Beverly Sills

He who angers you conquers you. Elizabeth Kenny (Australian Nurse )

Swami Raghavendra Tirtha*

Scriptures: The shastras have an answer for all our mundane problems. Follow the shastras and listen to the words of the enlightened. Put into practice as much as you can whatever you learn. The scriptural way of life is the royal road to peace, prosperity and happiness.

Knowledge: The search for knowledge is never easy. As the Upanishads say it is like walking on the razor's edge. But for those who have strong faith and put in sustained effort and have the blessings of Sri Hari and Sri Madhvacharya, this is not difficult.

Miracles: Always keep away from people who merely perform miracles without following the shastras and yet call themselves God or guru. I have performed miracles, and so have great persons like Srimadacharya. These are based on yoga siddhi and the shastras. There is no fraud or trickery at all. These miracles were performed only to show the greatness of God and the wonderful powers that one can attain with His grace. Right knowledge (jnana) is greater than any miracle. Without this no real miracle can take place. Any miracle performed without this right knowledge is only witchcraft. No good will come to those who perform such miracles and also those who believe in them.

God: The Lord is full of auspicious qualities and absolutely faultless. There is no virtue that does not exist in Him. He is the Lord of Ramaa, Brahma and all other devathas at all times and in all ways. His form is beyond prakrithi (nature). His body is made up of jnana and ananda. He is omnipresent and omniscient. All the jivas are subservient to Him. Mahalaksmi who is ever liberated is His consort.

Souls: All jivas (souls) are not equal. There is gradation amongst them and they are of three types. Whatever state they attain finally is in keeping with their intrinsic nature. The sattvik souls attain moksha which is a state of eternal bliss. The tamasic souls attain eternal hell where there is all pervading darkness. This is a state of eternal sorrow. The rajasic souls keep rotating in samsara always, experiencing both happiness and sorrow. The shastras declare such a three fold classification and gradation of souls. It can be seen everywhere in this world.

Philosophies: There are several schools of philosophy which go against these tenets and declare that there is no God, no dharma, this world is false; there is nothing but void; the jivas and Brahma are the same; there is no three fold classification or gradation, all the jivas are equal to Brahma, the Vedas are not true, Brahman is nirguna (attribute less), nirakara (formless). None of these philosophies are correct.

The Nature of Reality: The world that we see is real; this world has a master; he is neither nirguna nornirakara. The shastras declare Him to be nirguna and nirakara because He is devoid of the three qualities of sattva, rajas, and tamas (unlike us). For the suffering soul His grace is the only means to attain salvation which is eternal bliss. Those who forsake Him will never be truly happy.

Right living: Without right living, right thinking will never come. Right living is performing one's ordained duties according to one's station in life without hankering after the fruits of the actions and on the other hand offeringall one's activities to the Lord. This is real sadachara (right living). This is real karma yoga.

Fasting: Another facet of right living is performing right rituals and observing fasts. Fasting on ekadashi and krishnashtami is compulsory for everyone. Both men and women belonging to all walks of life have to observe this. Those who give up this will always have the doors of the Lord's home closed. This is what the shastras declare.

Observances: Observance of chaturmasya vrata is another compulsory mode of worship. Along with this, vishnupanchaka and other vaishnava vratas can be performed according to one's capacity. The main goal of all such vratas is to earn His grace and love.

Tolerance: One should always be careful never to harm or hurt another. Philosophical thought is very necessary for the soul's growth. Without philosophical thought we can not arrive at the right conclusions. But let there be no personal enmity.

Worship: Social work done for the good of worthy people should be considered as the Lord's worship. In short our life itself is a worship.Every action is a puja. This life is precious. Every second of our life is precious. Not even a second that has gone will come back.

Devotion to God: Listening to the right shastras and always remembering Him is the highest duty. Without this life becomes meaningless. Have devotion to the Lord. This devotion should never be blind faith. Accepting the Lord's supremacy wholeheartedly is true devotion.

Blind faith: Blind faith is not devotion. It is only stupidity. We should have devotion, not only for the Lord, but also for all other deities and preceptors in keeping with their status. In short having devotion to those above us, goodwill amongst those who are our equals and having affection for those who are below us are the excellent values of life.

Social welfare: Anybody who approaches you should not go heavy at heart or empty handed. Spirituality can never exist without social grace. And social life without spirituality is no life at all. Spirituality never denies any virtue. But always remember that the Lord is the home of all values. The world does not exist for our sole pleasure and enjoyment. The thought that we are here for the good of the world is real spirituality.

Self Discipline: While incorporating right thinking and right values in our life we should also make it a habit to give up wrong values and wrong thinking. If we do not fight against them it amounts to approving them. But such disapproval should never turn to cruelty. It should be within the limits of justice. The outstanding feature of this should be love for truth and not personal hatred.

Selected Quotations of Francis Bacon **

Knowledge is power.

The world ’s a bubble, and the life of man Less than a span.

Virtue is like precious odours,—most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed.

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.

Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses.

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall.

A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.

Discretion of speech is more than eloquence; and to speak agreeably to him with whom we deal is more than to speak in good words or in good order.

Chiefly the mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands.

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.

Sir Henry Wotton used to say that critics are like brushers of noblemen’s clothes.

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*The philosophy preached by Swami Raghavendra Tirtha was based on the Dwaita philosophy of Sri Madhvacharya. The excerpts repoduced here are from the last speech delivered by the Swamiji just before he attained Samadhi in 1671.

** Francis Bacon was born in January 1561, in London. His father, Nicolas Bacon, was the Lord Keeper of the Seal of Elisabeth I. His father sent him to Trinity College in 1573 where he until 1575. When he was 18, his father died, leaving him penniless. He studied law and entered the House of Commons at the age of 23. Studious and industrious, he rose to prominence during the reign of King James I who elevated him thrice in dignity, and six times in office. He became Baron Verulam, Viscount St. Albans and Lord Chancellor of England in his reign. But his fortunes took a turn in 1621 due to some unfortunate developments. He was dismissed from his offices, expelled from parliament and was imprisoned for accepting bribes. He was also barred from practicing law or entering the court. Utterly disgraced, forlorn and feeling rejected, he spent the reminder of his life away from court politics, in pursuit of science and literature. He died on 9th April,1626. During his lifetime he also published a number of works, which made him truly immortal.