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Thiruvalluvar

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' RENUNCIATION '


As one by one we give up
We get freer and freer of pain.

Renounce early if you seek joy;
Great gladness awaits the ascetic.

Control the five senses and give up
All longings at once.

To give up all behooves the ascetic:
Attachment deludes.

When on liberation's road the very body is a burden
Why take other luggage?

His is the world beyond heaven
Who is free of the delusion of "I" and "Mine."

Sorrows will cling to those who cling
To likes and dislikes.

Those who give up all are saved;
The rest are caught in delusion.

Life's tangle is cut with detachment;
Uncut the thread is endless.

Cling to the One who clings to nothing;
And so clinging, cease to cling.

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Thiruvalluvar

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' REALIZATION '

Of the folly which takes the unreal for real
Comes the wretchedness of birth.

The pure of vision undeluded
Shall taste radiant joy.

To those freed of doubt and clear
More than earth is Heaven near.

Where a sense of the Real is lacking,
The other five senses are useless.

The mark of wisdom is to see the reality
Behind each appearance.

Those who have learnt to see the reality here
Will have learnt not to come back here.

Reality once searched and seized
No need to think of rebirth.

Wisdom is that rare realization
Which removes the folly of rebirth.

To one who clings and does not cling
Clinging ills will not cling.

Where lust, wrath and delusion are unknown
Sorrow shall not be.

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Thiruvalluvar

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' TRUTHFULNESS '

English version by P. S. Sundaram
Original Language Tamil


"Truthfulness may be described as utterance
Wholly devoid of ill.

Even a lie is truthful
If it does unsullied good.

Lie not against your conscience
Lest it burn you.

Not false to one's own conscience one will reign
In all the world's consciousness.

Truthfulness in thought and word
Outweighs penance and charity.

Nothing can equal truthfulness
In getting fame and other virtues.

To be unfailingly true
Is to be unfailing in other virtues.

Water ensures external purity
And truthfulness shows the internal.

All lights are not lights: to the wise
The only light is truth.

In all the gospels we have read we have found
Nothing held higher than truthfulness."

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' LOVE '

Can love be latched and hidden? A trickling tear
Will proclaim it loud.

The loveless grasp all; while the loving
With their very bones help others.

The soul, it is said, is enclosed in bones
That human love may be.

From love, devotion comes; and from that unsought
Priceless enlightenment.

Bliss hereafter is the fruit, they say,
Of a loving life here.

"Love helps only virtue," say the fools:
But it also cures vice.

As boneless worms wither in the sun, so too
The loveless in a just world.

A loveless life is a withered tree that would fain
Sprout in a desert.

What good are outward features if they lack
Love, the inward sense?

Love's way is life; without it humans are
But bones skin-clad.

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' GORAKSHA SHATAKAM '

|| 90 || Verse 90 When the air moves, the bindu also moves; when it is immovable, [the bindu also] becomes motionless, [and] the yoga practicioner obtains steadiness. For this reason, one should restrain the air. यावद् वायुः स्थितो देहे तावज्जीवो न मुच्यते । मरणं तस्य निष्क्रान्तिस्ततो वायुं निरोधयेत् ॥ ९१ ॥ yāvad vāyuḥ sthito dehe tāvajjīvo na mucyate | maraṇaṁ tasya niṣkrāntistato vāyuṁ nirodhayet

|| 91 || Verse 91 As long as the air stays in the body, so long it is called life; its departure is death. For this reason, [one should] restrain the air. यावद् बद्धो मरुद् देहे यावच्चित्तं निराकुलम् । यावद् दृष्टिर्भ्रुवोर्मध्ये तावत्कालभयं कुतः ॥ ९२ ॥ yāvad baddho marud dehe yāvaccittaṁ nirākulam | yāvad dṛṣṭirbhruvormadhye tāvatkālabhayaṁ kutaḥ

|| 92 || Verse 92 As long as the air is restrained in the body, the mind is without movement, the gaze is between the eyebrows, so long where is the fear of death? अतः कालभयाद् ब्रह्मा प्राणायामपरायणः । योगिनो मुनयश्चैव ततो वायुं निरोधयेत् ॥ ९३ ॥ ataḥ kālabhayād brahmā prāṇāyāmaparāyaṇaḥ | yogino munayaścaiva tato vāyuṁ nirodhayet

|| 93 || Verse 93 That is why, out of the fear of death, even the Lord of Creation Brahma is engaged in the control of the vital air, as well as the yogis and sages. Therefore, one should suppress the movement of the vital air.

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It is time we realized that looking to God will not help until we look at our own foolishness.

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Be very clear, the spiritual truths, when it becomes part of your cognition and strategy, anywhere you go, Krishna is driving your chariot!

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Yoga Vashishta

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' ON LIBERATION '

I exhort you repeatedly, to wake from your drowsiness, and by remaining ever wakeful to your spiritual concerns, see the undecaying and undeclining sun of your soul at all times.

Do not delay to enlighten your understanding, and attain your highest wisdom in the knowledge of the Supreme Being, and come to the light of truth and shun the errors of the delusive world.

You will no longer be subject to any more birth or pain, nor will you be exposed to any error or evil, if you will only remain steady in your soul by forsaking all your worldly desires.

Remain steadfast in your trust in the tranquil and all-encompassing soul of Brahman, in order to attain the purity and holiness of your own soul. Thereby you will be freed from the snare of your earthly desires, and get a clear sight of that true reality, wherein you will rest in perfect security, as if in profound sleep.

- Chapter 28

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' ON LIBERATION '

Knowledge removes desires. Disappearance of desires destroys the mind. This produces the suppression of breath, and from that proceeds the tranquility of the soul. Hence know that the extinction of desires brings on the destruction of both the mind and vital breath.

The mind without its desires, which form its soul and life, can no longer see the body in which it took so much delight. Then the tranquil soul attains its holiest state.

Mind is another name for desire. When desire is eradicated, the soul discriminates the truth which leads to knowledge of the supreme.

In this manner, we came to the end of our false knowledge of the world, just like we use reason to detect the error of seeing a snake instead of a rope.

Learn this one lesson: that restraining the mind and suppression of breath mean the one same thing. If you succeed in restraining one, you succeed in restraining the other.

- Chapter 69

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' ON LIBERATION '

The essence of divine omnipotence is not divisible into portions or fractions, like sea waves that are broken into foam and spray. As the leaves, stalks, branches and flowers of trees are nothing other than the same substance, so unity, duality, I, you, and the objectivity of the phenomenal world are not different from the essence of the subjective Consciousness which contains and puts forth itself in all these forms.

As the power of thinking, the thought and its object together compose the principle of the mind, so the whole universe and everything that bears a name area all included under the term Consciousness (cid), in the same way as water and its rise and fall are all included under the word "wave".

This Supreme Consciousness is known by the various names of the Lord, God, Truth, Shiva, Intellect and others, as it is by the various names of emptiness, unity and Supreme Spirit.

- Chapter 33

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' THE LATTER TREASURY '

To the learned and unerring, those who have gotten rid of the error of the world and rest in their everlasting tranquility, the world appears like a consumed and extinguished lamp.

To all common people, the world appears to be placed in the air by the will of God for the enjoyment of all.

- Chapter 22

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' THE LATTER TREASURY '

Know the words minds, egoism, understanding and such other words which signify the idea of knowledge proceed only from ignorance. They are soon removed by proper investigation.

Through conversation with the wise it is possible to remove one half of this ignorance. By investigating into the sastras, we can remove a quarter of it. Our belief in and reliance on the Supreme Spirit serves to put down the remaining quarter.

Having thus divided yourself into these fourfold duties, and by each destroying the four parts of ignorance, at last you will find a nameless something which is the true reality itself.

(Vashishta on the Four Quarters to Attain Liberation from Ignorance)

- Chapter 12

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' ON LIBERATION '

He who connects all the worlds within himself, like a thread connecting pearls in a necklace, is the man who possesses everything by renouncing all things from himself.

The soul is unattached to all things, yet it connects and passes through them all like the thread of the Divine Soul connects the worlds like a string of pearls.

The soul with no attachment to the world is like lamp without oil that soon burns out into darkness. But the spirit that is warm with its affections is like lamp with oil that burns with universal love and enlightens all objects around it.

The Lord who lives aloof from all resembles a lamp without oil in darkness, but the same Lord manifesting himself in all things resembles the lamp with oil that lights every object.

- Chapter 93

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' ON LIBERATION '

Without the existence of God, there is no entity called the world or our egoism. Having no cause, these things are identical with the one self-existent God.

The world does not appear of itself. It rests like a carving in the spirit of God. It shows itself as separate to us only by illusion.

These existences composed of the five elements produce many other beings, just as males and females mate and produce their offspring in infinity. So Divine Consciousness, being joined with the illusory intelligence, presents endless forms to our view.

- Chapter 96

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' ON LIBERATION '

What is this world and what are these individual egos that seem to be infinite in number and appear as distinct creations of God?

The essence of God is without beginning or end and extends to infinite space and time. The same is also true of this transparent cosmos, and that is the body of this world which is simply a form of Divine Consciousness and not any void or any separate thing.

The essential property of God is his consciousness, therefore he is said to be of essence of consciousness. Just as fluidity is the property of water, so consciousness is the essential property of everything.

We cannot attribute the creation of the impure world to the pure essence of the Divine Spirit. The purity of the Divine Soul cannot admit the impurity of creation, which would amount to a duality of purity and impurity in the Supreme Soul.

Therefore there is no gross creation whatsoever, only the form of the intellect itself. All that is visible to us is nothing other than the solid intellect itself.

- Chapter 97

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' ON LIBERATION '

The living soul becomes united with an outer object when one perceives and the other is the object of perception. Both, namely the inner soul and the outer object, being pervaded by the all pervasive Intellect of God, become one and the same with God, the common receptacle of all.

Hence the belief in separate perceiver, perception, and the object of perception is as false as water in a mirage. There is nothing we can shun or grasp as desirable or disgusting when they are all the same in the sight of God.

All things internal or external manifest as parts of the one universal and intellectual Soul. All worlds are only the manifestation of Divine Consciousness. It is vain to attribute any difference to them. All of us are displayed in Consciousness which forever contains the inner and outer worlds.

As the ocean is a calm expanse of water after its waves subside, reflecting the sky clearly, so it is that after we lose sight of the diversities presented to our superficial view, the entire universe appears as the reflection of one glorious and everlasting God.

- Chapter 51

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' ON LIBERATION '

Many thinking and learned men have used the words Brahma, Indra, Rudra, and the names of the regents of worlds for God, in order to justify the doctrines of the Puranas, Vedas and SIddhantas.

Others have applied titles like consciousness or intellect (cit), Brahma, Shiva, the Soul or spirit (atma), the Lord (isa), the Supreme Spirit and God (isvara) to the nameless God that is apart and aloof from all.

Such is the truth of nature and of yourself also, which is styled as Shiva, which always confers all felicity to the world and to yourself also.

The words Shiva, Soul, supreme Brahman and others, have been coined by the ancients to express the Supreme Being; and though they differ in sound, there is no difference in sense and signification.

- Chapter 41

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' VISHNU'S DUAL INCARNATIONS AS KRISHNA AND ARJUNA '

Now it will come to pass that Yama, the son of the sun god Surya and the lord of regions of the dead, will again perform his penance after the expiration of many ages to come.

He will again resume his penance for a dozen years to atone for his sin of destroying the living. Then he will abstain from his habitual conduct of destroying the lives of human beings.

At that time, the earth will be filled with deathless mortals. This wretched earth will be covered and over burdened with people like trees in a dense forest.

The earth, groanring under her burden and oppressed by tyranny and lawlessness, will have recourse to Hari for her redress.

For this reason, Hari will be incarnate in two bodies joined with the powers of all the gods. He will appear on earth in two persons of Nara and Narayana, the one a man and the other Lord Hari Himself.

With one body Hair will become the son of Vasudeva and therefore will be called Vasudeva(Krishna). With the other he will be the son of Pandu, and therefore will be named Pandava Arjuna, Arjuna the Pandava.

- Chapter 52

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' ON LIBERATION '

Continue to meditate on the existence of all things in one form and ever existent entity alone, until by your constant habit of thinking so, you find all outward existence disappear into nonexistence.

When the mind is of one even course and habituated to it by constant practice, then there is an end to the thoughts of endless varieties and particulars. They naturally disappear of themselves.

There is an end of our ignorance and delusion as we gain wisdom and reason. We gain our best knowledge by learning, but only by practice can we have the object of our knowledge.

Whether you attain tranquility through 'samhkya' or 'vedanta' yoga, it is the same if you can reduce yourself to the Supreme Soul. By doing so even for a moment, you are to be reborn in this lower world no more.

- Chapter 69

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' ON LIBERATION '

You well know the precarious state of worldly possessions and their pernicious effects. They come and go of their own accord, but overpower a man in both states (of prosperity and adversity).

So uncertain are the favors of friends and fortune, and so unforeseen is their loss also, that it is impossible for anybody to account for them.

Such is the course of the world, that you have no command over it, nor is it ever subject to you. If the world is so insubordinate to you, then why should you be sorry for something so unmanageable?

What cause of joy or grief is there in the vicissitudes of things in the world, which are occasioned by the revolutions of the mind on the privot of conscious intellect.

- Chapter 43

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' ON LIBERATION '

The mind misled by its desires views the inner spirit (unchanging Universal Soul) as another (living individual soul).

As the same man seems to be changed to another person during his fit of anger, so Consciousness is transformed to a changeable spirit by one's mistake of its true nature.

Consciousness "loses" its state of purity when it is attributed with many variable qualities and desires. By thinking constantly of its gross nature, Consciousness is at last converted to the very gross object of thought.

The propensities of past lives and past actions, cause men to be born again.

The birds of the air, woodland animals with four feet, forest trees and plants, bushes on hills and orchids on trees, are all only reincarnations (resulting from one's mistake of the true nature of the Self).

- Chapter 30

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' ON LIBERATION '

The thought of duality of one identical soul, in its two aspects of Supreme Soul and individual souls; is driven away by the conviction that i do nothing, and the agency of all actions rests in the great God himself.

The unity is perceived as a duality, by the dualistic opinions of men. Belief in unity, destroys the sense of dualism and plurality from the minds of men.

There is no duality or secondary being in the soul, which may be regarded as the Supreme Soul, because there is but one Soul only, which is unchangeable and unperishable, at all times and everywhere.

- Chapter 33

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' ON LIBERATION '

The abandonment of every jot of desire, the control of 'prana', and the exercise of reasoning, will contract the actions of the heart and mind, thereby preventing the rise of passions, affections and illusions.

There is a pleasure in respect to the vision of the phenomena, which is common to all living being; but this being felt spiritually, amounts to holy pleasure (pramananda). The sight of God in one's consciousness, which is beyond the province of the mind, transcends mental pleasure, and affords a divine ecstasy, called 'brahmananda' (bliss of Brahman).

The true rapture of the soul is known when the mind is dormant and insensible, and such bliss cannot be found even in heaven.

- Chapter 44

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' ON LIBERATION '


If the fullness of one's desires and fancies, is fraught with the pains and troubles of life, it must be the lack of such wishes and views, that will serve to set him free from these pains forever.

If even a slight desire is enough to expose a man to many cares in life, then its utter privation must afford him complete rest and quiet, in his transient state of being.

Place your trust in the 'cit atma' (conscious soul) seated in the cavity of your heart, and look upon mankind driven to desires, like bits of straw flying randomly in the turbulent air.

Wash out the dirt of your desires from your mind, by the pure water of your spiritual knowledge; and after securing the perfect tranquility of your soul, continue to enjoy the highest bliss of a holy life.

- Chapter 33

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' ON LIBERATION '


It is the nature of everything in this extensive world to be born of its own kind.

All persons and things continue to exist because of their own desires and tendencies, whether it be in the direction of virtue or vice.

When the desires in a man's mind are either diminished or brought under his control, he is no longer subject to the acts of goodness or vice.

Utterly indifferent, he becomes exempt from both merit and demerit and from their consequences of reiterated births and deaths.

- Chapter 86

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