Quotes from Hindu Leaders (word document for download)
Selected Quotes by Hindu Leaders
Fearlessness is the first requisite of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral.
You do not like to suffer yourself. How can you inflict suffering on others? Every killing is a suicide. The eternal, blissful and natural state has been smothered by this life of ignorance. In this way the present life is due to killing of the eternal, pristine Being. Is it no a case of suicide?
To be free from violence is the duty of every man. No thought of revenge, hatred or ill will should arise in our minds. Injuring others gives rise to hatred.
O lover of meditation, become pure and clean. Observe non-violence in mind, speech and body. Never break another’s heart. Avoid wounding another’s feelings. Harm no one. Help all. Neither be afraid nor frighten others.
Someone who believes in violence and continues causing injury to others can never be peaceful himself.
Refrain from killing knowingly even the trifling insects like a louse, a bug or a mosquito. Use no violence even to gain possession of a woman, wealth or kingdom. Never kill any animals even for the purpose of sacrifice. Non-violence is the greatest of all religions.
Strictly speaking, no activity and no industry is possible without a certain amount of violence, no matter how little. Even the very process of living is impossible without a certain amount of violence. What we have to do is to minimize it to the greatest extent possible.
The test of ahimsa is the absence of jealousy. The man whose heart never cherishes even the thought of injury to anyone, who rejoices at the prosperity of even his greatest enemy, that man is the bhakta, he is the yogi, he is the guru of all.
If you plant eggplant, you can pluck eggplants. If you sow goodness, you can reap goodness. If you sow evil you will reap evil. Do good to all. God is there, within you. Don’t kill. Don’t harbour anger.
By ‘ahimsa’ Patanjali meant the removal of the desire to kill. All forms of life have an equal right to the air of maya. All men may understand this truth by overcoming the passion of destruction.
The Hindu sage sees the whole of life. If he does not fight, it is not because he rejects all fighting as futile, but because he has finished his fights. He has overcome all dissensions between himself and the world and is now at rest.
Dr. S Radhakrishnan
The Supreme Brahman is characterised by truth, knowledge and bliss (sat-chit-ananda), and that is the only reality. The universe is perceived to be real, because it is superimposed upon brahman, just as blue colour is superimposed upon the sky. Whatever is negated by means of proof must be unreal. But that which is not so disproved must be real, if it is true at all times. The animate and the inanimate prove the existence of brahman. When one says,” I do not know brahman”, even that should be taken as proof of its existence.
The Supreme Person is unsurpassed, and infinite joy in himself. He becomes the joy of another also, as his nature of joy is absolute and universal. When Brahman becomes the object of one’s contemplation, he (the meditator) becomes blissful. Thus, the supreme Brahman is the ocean of infinite and unsurpassed excellence of attributes. He transcends all evil. The expanse of his glory is boundless. He abounds in surpassing condescension, maternal compassion, and supreme beauty. He is the principal entity. The individual self is subservient to him. If the seeker meditates on the Supreme with a full consciousness of this relationship and if the supreme Brahman so meditated upon becomes an object of supreme love to the devotee, then he himself effectuates the devotee’s god-realization.
The firm and unshakable love of God that rises above all ties of love and affection based upon an adequate knowledge and conviction of this great majesty is called bhakti (devotion). That alone is the means to moksha (liberation).
Don’t try to see God, but act in such a way that God will want to see you.
He success of one’s actions rests equally on destiny and personal effort. Destiny is the fruit of efforts made in a previous life. A chariot cannot move on one wheel alone, so without personal effort destiny alone accomplishes nothing.
As one and the same water is called by different names by different people, some calling it ‘water,’ some ‘vari,’ some ‘acqua’, and some ‘pani’, so the one Sachidananda – – Existence-Bliss-Absolute -is invoked by some as God, by some as Allah, by some as Hari and by others as Brahman. In a potter’s shop there are vessels of different shapes and forms – pots, jars, dishes, plates etc. – but all made of the same clay. So God is one, but worshipped in different ages and climes under different names and forms.
To say that there is no God is like saying “I have no tongue”.
We should always remember that everyone is responsible for his own life.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
In our country, there is a peculiar method of trapping monkeys. This process consists of bringing a big pot with a small mouth and keeping some material that is attractive to the monkey inside the pot. The monkey will put its hand inside the pot and catch hold of a handful of the material. It will then not be able to pull out its hand from within the pot. It will imagine that someone inside the pot is holding its hand. Then it makes an attempt to run away along with the pot, but the monkey is thus trapped. No one is holding the monkey. The monkey has trapped itself, because it has taken in its hand such a lot of material. The moment it lets the material in its hand go, it will be free.
Satya Sai Baba
This Divine Being, Sachidananda, is at once impersonal and personal: it is an Existence and the origin and foundation of all truths, forces, powers, existences, but is also the one transcendent Conscious Being and the All-Person of whom all conscious beings are the selves and personalities; for he is their highest Self and the universal indwelling Presence. It is a necessity for the soul in the universe to know to grow into this truth of itself, to become one with the Divine Being, to raise its nature to the Divine Nature, its existence to the Divine Existence, its consciousness into the Divine Consciousness, its delight of being into the Divine Light of being.
The All-Loving Father, the Great Lord, does not force his presence on the soul not yet ripe to receive him. With infinite patience, he waits and watches the struggle of the soul in samsara since the struggle is necessary for the full development of the faculties of the soul.
Religion teaches only good. Quarrels and fights are caused by man’s own selfish ego. Religion does not teach how to fragment or divide. The quarrels are not between religions but between politicians.
A man’s heart is always good at the core. It may get rusted on the outside on account of various internal factors but its goodness remains always the same, whatever the outward appearance. It is like the head of a cabbage whose outer layer may be bad but the inside layers retain their freshness.
After every happiness comes misery; they may be far apart or near. The more advanced the soul, the more quickly does one follow the other. What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both make us forget our true nature; both are chains, one iron, another gold; behind both is the Atman, who knows neither happiness nor misery. These are states and states must ever change; but the nature of the soul is bliss, peace, unchanging. We have not to get it, we have it; only wash away the dross and see it.
The path of true non-violence requires much more courage than violence.
When individuals change for the better, then society will change, and when society changes, then the country will change.
Remember that death is awaiting you at every moment
By filling a reservoir, you supply water to all the pipes connected to it. If you pour water at the root of a tree, it will reach all the branches. In the same way, by loving God, we love everyone. It is the same God dwelling within everyone.
You are not this body; you are not this mind. You are the spirit. This is the greatest truth.”
Shri Nirmila Devi
Although almost every one of us can speak wonderfully on spiritual matters, when it comes to action and the living of a spiritual life, we find ourselves awfully deficient. To quicken the spirit, the impulse must come from another soul. The person from whose soul such an impulse comes is called the guru.
To a worldly man, a God-intoxicated person will appear to be mad and he will laugh at him for it. But, to the God-intoxicated man, the worldly appear insane, foolish, misled, blind. Of all the insanities that harass man, God-madness is the least harmful, the most beneficial.
Satya Sai Baba
Your basic nature, believe me, abhors this dull, dreary routine of eating drinking and sleeping. It seeks something which it knows it has lost santhi, inward contentment. It seeks liberation from bondage to the trivial and the temporary. Everyone craves for it in his heart of hearts.
Satya Sai Baba
If you are working for Krishna, then its Krishna’s desire it you be successful or not. That means don’t think that because you are Krishna conscious, you will always be successful. No. It doesn’t matter – even if you are unsuccessful, you must know it firmly that without Krishna’s desire nothing can happen.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Man’s history is the history of his journey to the unknown in quest of the realisation of his immortal self – his soul.
An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.
What use a bowman’s arrow or a poet’s words, if they enter the heart but do not cause the head to spin?
There is only one reason or secret [of success], the singular goal of earning the spiritual master’s pleasure. If he is pleased then we progress. If he is not pleased there is no trace of progress.
We don’t have a large number of followers. As soon as you try to sell a diamond, you cannot expect many customers. Nonetheless, a diamond is a diamond, even if there are no customers. The number of customers is not the test.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
“The demythicisation and desacralisation of our society have accelerated by the liberal application of that peculiarly modern fancy that progress must be linear. This posture, which assumes the new to be always superior to the old, grows logically out of the western preference for linear thought. The doctrine of linear progress forbids ancient wisdom to enter into modernity, mandating that new and different reality forms must inevitably supplant and replace all older models. From the superficial standpoint, this is often true, for myths continually evolve new ways to express their messages, ways that are fit for the new conditions in which these myths are continually finding themselves. But myths do not jettison their old messages in order to load new ones (as, for instance, ‘liberation theologians” have been trying to bend Christian myth into doing): instead, living myths develop new ways of transmitting the same eternal message”.
Dr. Robert Svoboda
The Greatness of Saturn, Rupa and Co., Calcutta, 1998
Western culture gives freedom to the individual, regardless of the hurts he may cause to elders, spouse and children. Eastern culture gives freedom within the bounds of duty to elders, spouse and children. The sense of duty is the foundation of Hindu culture, and in performing duty one finds freedom from within oneself through the highest accomplishment of yoga.
Further Quotes by M. Gandhi
Where there is fear, there is not religion.
There would be no one to frighten you if you refused to be afraid.
For a nonviolent person, the whole world is one family. He will thus fear none, nor will others fear him.
True nonviolence should mean a complete freedom from ill will and anger and hate and an overflowing love for all.
This freedom from all attachment is the realization of God as Truth.
Independence means voluntary restraints and discipline, voluntary acceptance of the rule of law.
If it is man’s privilege to be independent, it is equally his duty to be inter-dependent.
Justice does not help those who slumber but helps only those who are vigilant.
What I object to is the craze for machinery, not machinery as such.
Moral results can only be produced by moral restraints.
To observe morality is to attain mastery over our mind and our passions.
Performance of duty and observance of morality are convertible.
Non-cooperation means refusal both to help the sinner in his sin and to accept any help or gift from him till he has repented.
My patriotism is not an exclusive thing. It is all-embracing and I should reject that patriotism which sought to mount the distress or exploitation of other nationalities.
Satyagraha is a relentless search for truth and a determination to search for truth.
Satyagraha does not depend on the outside help, it derives all its strength from within.
The greater our innocence, the greater our strength and the swifter our victory.
Sorrow and suffering make for character if they are voluntarily borne, but not if they are imposed.
My religion teaches me that whenever there is distress which one cannot remove one must fast and pray.
Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time.
Truth, which is permanent, eludes the historian of events. Truth transcends history.
Anger, lust and such other evil passions ranging in the heart are the real untouchables.
Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity.
Woman, I hold, is the personification of self-sacrifice, but unfortunately today she does not realize what tremendous advantage she has over man.
In response to the question, “What do you think of Western civilisation?” – “I think it’s a good idea”