Mantra

November 28, 2013

Love for the mantra is love for God. The love purifies the mind and heart. Eventually the love for God matures into love for the Self.

– Michael James (paraphrased from video)


Ramana

November 27, 2013

AFTER the devotee departed, Bhagavan turned towards us and said: “People imagine that the devotees crowding around a Jnani get special favors from him. If a guru shows partiality, how can he be a Jnani? Is he so foolish as to be flattered by people’s attendance on him and the service they do? Does distance matter? The guru is pleased with him only who gives himself up entirely, who abandons his ego forever. Such a man is taken care of wherever he may be. He need not pray. God looks after him unasked.”


Dan Brown

November 24, 2013

People for whom creativity is a profession have little choice but to take their critics lightly. The alternative is to care deeply what people think… and, in doing so, lose all spontaneity and creativity.

As crazy as this may sound, I would much prefer to write a book that sparks passionate reaction (even a negative one) than to write a book that evokes apathy or indifference. Yes, I wish everyone loved the books I write, but that’s not how it works for me… or any author, for that matter.

When you’re a creative person—whether a writer, a painter, or a composer—all you have to guide the process is your own taste. You create the novel/painting/symphony that you yourself like, and then you pray like hell that someone shares your taste. Those who do are fans…and those who don’t are your critics.

As for the aspect of success that is most rewarding to me…it is the luxury of engaging in the creative process every day as a job. I learned long ago that if I’m not actively creating something, I’m not happy.


Vernon Howard

November 24, 2013

In 1983 Michael Benner of station KLOS in Los Angeles, California said, “Vernon Howard is one of the most powerful speakers I have ever interviewed. He has an uncanny ability to cut through the fluff and puff and jolt people into seeing who they really are. At times humorous and gentle, at other times demanding and forceful, Vernon Howard holds the record for generating responses to our KLOS talk shows. Not everyone likes his message, but I can’t imagine anyone turning him off.”

Here are some quotes from him:

* You have nothing to do. You have everything to be. People are so confused about what to do with their family affairs, love life, finances, health. And no matter what they do, nothing helps very much. Of course it doesn’t. Nothing can be truly different until the individual is different, really different internally. Doing without being is a dreadful way to spend the day, as millions know. But you can be different.

* Millions love the voice which blames others for their griefs, which is why millions continue to suffer.

* A child was told by several adults to be good. Observing the behavior of the adults, he concluded that goodness consisted of envy, sarcasm, and trickery. Years later, as an adult himself, he was resentful and greatly perplexed. He wondered why a person as good as himself should attract so much unhappiness.

* Anyone can conceal anger, but the spiritual hero is one who ends its cause, which is unconscious egotism.

* A clear understanding of negative emotions dismisses them.

* A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.

* All forms of self-defeating behavior are unseen and unconscious, which is why their existence is denied.

* Beauty is only skin deep, but it’s a valuable asset if you’re poor or haven’t any sense.

* Freedom begins as we become conscious of it.

* It is a true miracle when a man finally sees himself as his only opposition.

* Learn to see things as they really are, not as we imagine they are.

* Our freedom can be measured by the number of things we can walk away from.

* Quit thinking that you must halt before the barrier of inner negativity. You need not. You can crash through… whatever we see a negative state, that is where we can destroy it.

* Remember above all that mental stability comes by examining the contents of the mind, not by avoidance.

* Truth is not a matter of personal viewpoint.

* You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.


Vision

November 24, 2013

It really is true, where you look is where you go.

– Tim Ferriss, learning to rally drive.


Swami Chidananda Saraswati on Prayer

November 22, 2013

The Rationale Behind Prayer

By

Sri Swami Chidananda

God, not only being transcendental, but also being immanent, not only being immanent but also being a specific indwelling divine principle within each and every body, why is there so much difficulty in attaining that which is nearer to us than anything else in all the universe?

Even if the most proximate thing is by your side, if you turn your head the other way and look in the opposite direction, you will not be able to see it. That is the trouble. That is the problem. There is nothing wrong with God, nothing wrong with His immanence, nothing wrong with His immediacy. What is wrong is that our gaze is elsewhere. So everything is wrong with the direction we have decided to turn our gaze to.

Therefore, all the saints and mystics have prayed, “O Lord, bless me and grant that I may constantly remember You. Let my mind be constantly thinking of You. Let my entire being look only in Your direction, and may I have no eyes for anything else, no ears for anything else. Having ears, let me hear nothing except Your name, Your description, Your glories, Your praise—from saints, scriptures, teachers, mystics, yogis. Having eyes, let me see nothing except things pertaining to You, things that will help me to move towards You. Having a mind, let it think of nothing, but think only of You.

In this way, through all our faculties, let us become only God-oriented. Let all our faculties move only in His direction. Let us make up our mind, our entire being, to refuse to focus upon anything else except the supreme, ultimate, almighty, universal Spirit Divine, our ultimate goal supreme. This then is the way.

Therefore, we pray to the Supreme Being every morning to bless us that we may have the ability and strength to so do. We pray to Him. This leads us into another quandary, another difficulty, another paradox. All religions, all scriptures, all prophets have declared that God is omniscient. Does He not know our predicament? When He is omniscient and He thus knows our situation, why should we pray? Does He not know? Can He not set it right?

A baby knows nothing; it cannot express itself. But the mother, through her love and care, intuitively grasps, “Oh, something is wrong with baby’s tummy. It’s feeling discomfort; therefore it is crying.” God is more than father and mother. He is everything to us, ten times more than any earthly mother that Brahma has ever created. That being so, where is the need to bring anything to His notice, as though He doesn’t know it? Does He need to be told? He is the eye of our eye, ear of our ear, heart of our heart, mind of our mind. So what is the purpose of prayer, the meaning of prayer? This is the paradox and question that faces us when we say, “Prayer can overcome all things.”

A cloth gets soiled. We wish to make it clean, white and shining once again. So we put it in a bucket of hot water and add soap powder. We clean it. The water is not in need of the cloth, nor is the soap. They can serve many other purposes, yet we bring them together. Why? Because the cloth is in need of water, it is in need of soap. Therefore, it goes into the proximity, into an active, dynamic contact with the water and soap. And it comes out clean, white, completely free from all dirt. It is restored to its original purity.

That is the logic behind prayer. Not because the Lord needs to be told, not because He does not know. He knows everything. It is because the one who prays is benefited, is blessed by the contact he creates through prayer. Prayer has gained an essential place in the context of the mystical aspects of all the living religions of the world. They all emphasis prayer. Not because we are telling Him something that He does not know, that He has to be told, but because the very act of telling Him elevates us, sanctifies us, blesses us. Therefore it is that we pray.

Even so, let us pray to revered and beloved Holy Master that by his blessings we will be enabled to constantly keep ourselves in a state of continuous contact and communion with the Supreme Being, for that is the greatest good of man. In that lies the highest welfare of the human individual. In that lies the fulfilment and success of the pilgrim soul upon earth, success in ultimately completing this journey of life by reaching the destination—not having to come back again to repeat this journey, but making it the final journey.

Supremely blessed are those who are thus graced by the almighty Spirit Divine and blessed by their spiritual master. May all of you who sit and hear this word be thus graced by God and guru. God bless you all!


For the World

November 21, 2013

The Self-realised sage can be seen to engage in worship solely for the welfare of the world. – Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal