7. Inspirational Thoughts and Quotations
Non-violence is the highest virtue according to Hindu scriptures. It has to be both mental and physical. It is difficult to live without harming or hurting others, which includes plants, animals and other creatures. The Bhagavadgita is essentially a response to the moral dilemma one experiences when one's duty calls for acts of violence. Is it proper? Is it justified? Yes, says the scripture when you do it in with a specific attitude and for certain valid reasons.
The Chief Justice said today, "It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” In short he said it is people's karma. They must reap the consequences of what they choose.
We are prisoners of the things we seek. We are bound by the things we love and hate. Until you cut off the bonds, you are chained to the world and its influences - The Bhagavadgita Complete Translation by
You are where your mind is, to what it is drawn and where it would like to dwell. You become divine when you stabilize it in divine thoughts. -
Remembering your divine nature, that you are an aspect of Brahman Himself, and focusing on that spark of thought as frequently as possible is a kind of worship in itself. It is more effective in your transformation than reading the scriptures and visiting the temples.
Not losing hope in adversity, humility in prosperity, gratitude in happiness, courage in pursuit of your dreams and compassion in your dealings with others, you can bring peace and balance into your life.
Many people assume that pure devotion is sufficient to reach the world of Brahman; but pure devotion does not arise in one’s mind and heart, unless sattva becomes predominant and the intelligence (buddhi) is suffused with the brilliance of knowledge.
Svadhyaya means self-study. It is an important aspect of kriya yoga (YS 2.1) and one of the five niyamas listed by Patanjali in the Yogasutras (YS 2.32). Vyasa, one of the traditional commentators of the Yogasutras, defined svadhyaya as the study of scriptures and relentless practice of japa or chanting of Aum or specific mantras.
The sky is an illusion because it is not just above us. It is here, there and everywhere, even inside of you and in every part of you. Yet we habitually look upwards when we want to see the sky, just as we mentally look heavenwards when we think of God.
The first step to practicing renunciation and detachment is to cultivate a flexible mind. Flexibility is not permissiveness. Flexibility means to remain the same. A spiritual practitioner who is flexible remains on the right side of things without being judgmental about those that are not. He remains equal to the dualities of life, while himself practicing yamas and niyamas. It is like having the heart of a yogi but having the willingness to work in a butcher's shop as part of one's duty, and still following a strict vegetarian diet.
Rigidity is a sign of attachment and egoism. To be free you must be willing to flow freely, with the suppleness of a river, without fear or hesitation, taking plunges where circumstances demand down the valleys and deep gorges that come your way along the course that leads to the shores of knowledge.
The test of any religion is who practice it and what character and values it inculcates among its practitioners.
The Bhagavadgita teaches you how to experience real freedom in life through ordinary actions.
The religion of the good and the pious is universal. You will find its wisdom in all the major scriptures of the world religions.
All the answers to all the problems are inside you. They become self-evident to the extent you extend yourself into the universal mind by removing the barriers and the impurities that stand in between.
What nature gives you is your fate; what you make out of it is your destiny.
Renunciation is not a negation of life. It is not some morose and lifeless experience meant for some reclusive people who want to numb their feelings or harden their hearts because they want to escape from life. Renunciation is basically a mental practice, which protects you from growing roots into your own thinking. It is an attitude of staying free mentally from the things that make you a prisoner of your own mind. Renunciation helps you to remain light and nimble and live freely in the midst of duties and responsibilities. It is the best way to keep your mind and heart free and open to the endless possibilities of life, without fear, guilt, anxiety and uncertainty.
In your quest for the Self, start with the simple assertion that "You, (the seeing, enjoying and experiencing one), are the Self." That is the starting point, which Prajapati taught to both Indra among the gods and Virocana among the demons. Then go on to understand what is that You, where it is located, what it means, whether it is real and whether you can stay in that in the midst of life and its distractions. That is all there is to know about the Self, to be the Self and to arrive at truth.
Truly speaking, Karma is not a mechanism of punishment, but a way of bringing you in harmony with the universe. If your actions create confusion, disorder, fear or terror in the world, be assured that such actions will lead you to the darkest hells, because that is where you find your harmony with the universe. A snake is safe and comfortable in its little underground hole. A scholar is comfortable in the company of enlightened minds. Gods are comfortable in heaven, and the demons in their hells. Nature does its best to sort things out and put them in their respective categories. Thus through thoughts and actions you send out a message to the universe what suits you most and the universe willingly lends you a helping hand in getting you what you want. - (From the forthcoming book Selected Upanishads).
What limits you is the boundary your draw around yourself mentally. For some it is the body and for some it is the self-image. Most try to expand it by extending their senses, knowledge, power and influence. Only at the end of a long effort you realize that true freedom comes not by extending it with material means but by shrinking it and erasing it through spiritual practice.
If God does not make sense to you, look for the highest and the best in you and focus upon that. Take refuge in that and let it manifest your life and dreams.
Try to excel in whatever you do, with what you have and what you can, without being egoistic and vain, not to impress others, not to derive pride, but as a way of life and self-expression. Let that be your goal, your standard, your religion and philosophy.
The most precious wealth is the wealth that you store in your mind and use abundantly for your own good and for the good of others.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- Inspirational and Motivational Quotations - 2001
- Inspirational and Motivational Quotations, 2002
- Purpose Without Soul
- Inspiring Thoughts Of The Month
- Inspirational Quotes For Everyday Use
- Affirmations For Positive Self-esteem
- Mahavakyas From The Upanishads For Meditation
- The Dream and Despair of a Yogi
- The Idolaters - The Idol(H)aters
- Hinduwebsite.com - Selected Quotations
- Quotations and Inspiration Websites