Scriptural Verses C (word document for download)
Crime and punishment
If a ruler did not readily punish those that deserve punishment the stronger would fry like fish on a stick the weaker ones, the crow would eat the sacrificial rice and the dog would lick the butter offering; nothing would anymore be one’s own and everything would become topsy-turvy.
– Manusmriti, VII, 20
And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body, remembering Me [the Supreme Lord] alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.
– Bhagavad Gita 8.5
Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunté, that state he will attain without fail.
– Bhagavad Gita 8.6
From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My [the Supreme Lord’s] abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.
– Bhagavad Gita 8.16
In the human heart grows a wonderful thing called desire. It is born of the seed called error. Wrath and pride constitute it’s large trunk. The wish for action is the watering basin at it’s foot. Ignorance is the root of that tree, and heedlessness is the water that gives it sustenance. Envy constitutes its leaves. The evil acts of past lives supply it with vigour. Loss of judgement and anxiety are it’s twigs, grief forms its large branches, and fear is its sprout. Thirst for pleasure forms the creepers that cling on it. Greedy fellows, bound in chains of iron, sitting round that fruit-yielding tree, pay their homage to it in expectation of obtaining its fruit. Those who shed these chains and cut down that tree cast off both sorrow and joy succeed in attaining the ends of both. The foolish who nourish that tree by indulging their sense are destroyed by those very senses like patients who consume poisonous medicine. A skilled person tears up and cuts through the deep root of the tree with the sword of wisdom.
– Mahabharata, XII, 240
Noble birth, health, beauty, prosperity and objects of enjoyment are all won through destiny. The poor, although they may not want them, have many children, while the rich, who desire them, have none. Wonderful is the course of destiny! According to the destiny under which one is born one is overtaken by evils such as disease, fire, water, weapons, hunger, poison, fever, death, and falling from high places. One who is free from sin suffers calamities, while sinners are living happily. A rich man dies young and a poor fellow drags on his existence, weighed down by decrepitude, for a hundred years. All this is the work of destiny.
– Mahabharata, XII, 28
Those who blindly believe in destiny [without understanding that they create it] do not achieve anything
– Chanakya Shloka
What is meant to be will never be. What is meant to be will happen by itself. If fate has so ordained, even that will disappear what you already hold in your hand.
– Panchatantra, III
A poor carp slid out from the fisherman’s hand, who had caught him, but fell back into the net. He escaped from the net, only to be swallowed by a heron. If fate is against you, how can you escape misfortune?
– Panchatantra, II
A man whose hour has not yet come does not die although transfixed by a hundred arrows; a man whose hour has come does not remain alive if just touched by the tip of a blade of grass.
– Mahabharata, XIII, 149
Faith should not be blind
One who is expert in logic and in understanding the revealed scriptures, and who always has firm conviction and deep faith that is not blind, is to be considered a topmost devotee in devotional service.
– Chaitanya Charitamrita Mad.22.66
A bad friend is like an earthen jar: it breaks easily and is impossible to repair. A good friend is like a vessel made of gold: it is hard to break and is easy to mend.
– Panchatantra, II
There is a benefit even in misfortune, for it is the rod with which a man can measure the loyalty of friends.
– Tirukkural 80:796
Knowledge is to be realised
This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realisation, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.
– Bhagavad Gita 9.2
Meaning and Purpose
Now (i.e. now that you are a human being) you should inquire into Brahman (spirit, the eternal)
– Vedanta Sutra 1.1.1
After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare form of human life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should immediately endeavour for the ultimate perfection in life and not fall down into the repeated cycle of birth and death.
– Bhagavat Purana 11.9.29
Suffering, and how to deal with it
[Queen Kunti continued] “I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.”
– Bhagavat Purana 1.8.25
There is nothing to be lamented when a matter is beyond the control of any human being.
– Bhagavat Purana 1.9.15 Commentary
In my opinion, this [calamity] is all due to inevitable time, under whose control everyone in every planet is carried, just as the clouds are carried by the wind.
O how wonderful is the influence of inevitable time. It is irreversible—otherwise, how can there be reverses in the presence of King Yudhisthira, the son of the demigod controlling religion; Bhima, the great fighter with a club; the great bowman Arjuna with his mighty weapon Gandiva; and above all, the Lord, the direct well-wisher of the Pandavas?
O King, no one can know the plan of the Lord. Even though great philosophers inquire exhaustively, they are bewildered.
– Bhagavat Purana 1.9.14-16
I can find no means to drive away this grief, which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to dispel it even if I win a prosperous, unrivalled kingdom on earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven.
– Bhagavad Gita 2.8
My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.
– Bhagavat Purana 10.14.8
If you want to love happily cultivate contentment and self-control: happiness is founded on contentment, discontent is the root of suffering.
– Manusmriti, IV, 12
Happiness in the three modes
That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realisation is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness.
That happiness which is derived from contact of the senses with their objects and which appears like nectar at first but poison at the end is said to be of the nature of passion.
And that happiness which is blind to self-realisation, which is delusion from beginning to end and which arises from sleep, laziness and illusion is said to be of the nature of ignorance.
– Bhagavad Gita 18.37-39
The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense
objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.
– Bhagavad Gita 2.59
A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, who is unbewildered, and who knows the science of God, is already situated in transcendence.
Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realised person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.
An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise mean does not delight in them.
Before giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of the material senses and check the force of desire and anger, he is well situated and is happy in this world.
One whose happiness is within, who is active an rejoices within, and whose aim is inward is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.
– Bhagavad Gita 5.20-24
In the stage of perfection called trance, or samadhi, one’s mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This perfection is characterised by one’s ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness, realised through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.
– Bhagavad Gita 6.20-23
By nature, the Supreme Lord and his emanations are blissful.
– Vedanta Sutra 1.1.12
Human Life Versus Animal Life
Both animals and men share the activities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. But the special property of the humans is that they are able to engage in spiritual life. Therefore without spiritual life, humans are on the level of animals.
Lord Rishabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.
– Bhagavat Purana 5.5.1
“That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world.”
– Bhagavad Gita 15.6
These nine things one should keep secret: one’s age, one’s wealth, an opening in the wall, one’s love, one’s medicine, one’s religious exercises, one’s charity, and the insults one has suffered.
– Hitopadesha, I
‘Atmavan manyate jagat’ (Sanskrit)
In material life a person tends to assess others according to his own mentality.
(Or, “A person thinks everyone in the universe is like him.”)
– Source Unknown
Miscellaneous (late additions)
In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], will supply all necessities to you. But he who enjoys such gifts without offering them to the demigods in return is certainly a thief.
– Bhagavad Gita 3.12
My dear Arjuna, one who does not follow in human life the cycle of sacrifice thus established by the Vedas certainly leads a life full of sin. Living only for the satisfaction of the senses, such a person lives in vain.
– Bhagavad Gita 3.16
Yoga and Meditation
To practice yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay kusha grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft cloth. The seat should be neither too high nor too low and should be situated in a sacred place. The yogI should then sit on it very firmly and practice yoga to purify the heart by controlling his mind, senses and activities and fixing the mind on one point.
– Bhagavad Gita 6.11-12
One should hold one’s body, neck and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose. Thus, with an unagitated, subdued mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex life, one should meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.
– Bhagavad Gita 6.13-14
The need for respectful inquiry
Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.
– Bhagavad Gita 4.34
Bhakti (loving service)
If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.
– Bhagavad Gita 4.34
Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature.
– Bhagavad Gita 4.34
Simply by our remembering you, our houses become instantly sanctified. And what to speak of seeing you, touching you, washing your holy feet and offering you a seat in our home?
– Bhagavat Purana 1.19.3
Questions about Meaning and Purpose
Shri Shukadeva Goswami said: My dear King, your question is glorious because it is very beneficial to all kinds of people. The answer to this question is the prime subject matter for hearing, and it is approved by all transcendentalists.
Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, leave many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor.
The lifetime of such an envious householder is passed at night either in sleeping or in sex indulgence, and in the daytime either in making money or maintaining family members.
Persons devoid of atma-tattva (knowledge of the self) do not like to inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children and wife. Although sufficiently experienced, they still do not see their inevitable destruction.
– Bhagavat Purana 2.1.1-4
Causes of Suffering
“The example can be given of a high-court judge sitting on his bench. By his order so many things are happening—someone is being hanged, someone is being put into jail, someone is awarded a huge amount of wealth—but still he is neutral. He has nothing to do with all that gain and loss. Similarly, the Lord is always neutral, although He has His hand in every sphere of activity.”
– Bhagavad Gita 4.34 (commentary)
“A human being who identifies this body made of three elements with his self, who considers the by-products of the body to be his kinsmen, who considers his land of birth worshipable, and who goes to a place of pilgrimage simply to take a bath rather than meet men of transcendental knowledge there is to be considered like an ass or a cow.”
– Bhagavat Purana 10.84.13
Saints and Places of Pilgrimage
“Saints of your calibre are themselves places of pilgrimage. Because of their purity, they are constant companions of the Lord, and therefore they can purify even the places of pilgrimage.”
– Bhagavat Purana 1.13.10