The Universe



“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore we've learned most of what we know. Recently, we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can't, because the cosmos is also within us. We're "made" of star stuff. We are a way that the cosmos can know itself. The journey for each of us begins here.”
[Carl Sagan]

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature".




The Secret

The secret which every intellectual man quickly learns -- that beyond the energies of his possessed and conscious intellect he is capable of a new energy (as of intellect doubled upon itself), by abandonment of the nature of things; that beside his privacy of power as an individual man, there is a great public power upon which he can draw, by unlocking, at all risks, his human doors, and suffering the ethereal tides to roll and circulate through him; then he is caught up into the life of the universe, his speech is thunder, his thought is law, and his words are universally intelligible to plants and animals.
[Ralph Waldo Emerson]




Inner Peace



'When people talk about Arunachala, they often talk about how it brings peace into their lives. In this respect here is a beautiful description by the famous wandering lady, Peace Pilgrim, of the signs of inner peace':

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
A loss of interest in judging other people.
A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
A loss of interest in conflict.
A loss of the ability to worry.
Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Contented feeling of connectedness with others and nature.
Frequent attacks of smiling.

An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
[Peace Pilgrim]




Who Am I?

All agitation will cease the moment one enters on the enquiry, “Who Am I?” This was the sadhana that Ramana Maharshi achieved and taught to his disciples. This is also the easiest of all disciplines.
[Sri Sathya Sai Baba]




Love

Without Love, nothing will happen. If you can't love your Self, you can't love anyone else. The result of this will be suffering. Love the Self and you will have loved every being. Learn to know how to love your Self. Love your Self. Always Love your Self and this Self will love you more and more.
[HWL Poonja]




Power of Thought

"The soul is dyed the colour of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny . . . it is the light that guides your way."
[Heraclitus]




Fear makes you a Slave

"When a person is not afraid of death how can you force him to do anything? It is your fear that makes you a slave. In fact, it is your fear that forces you to make others slaves before they can try to make a slave out of you! A man who is fearless is neither afraid of anybody nor names anybody afraid of him. Fear totally disappears."
[Osho]




The Fear of God

There were two brothers who were always up to some mischief. If somebody had been locked up in his house or if somebody's dog had been painted green, one always knew who the culprits were; the brothers!

One day the boys' mother asked a priest to talk to her sons and put the fear of God in them so that they would mend their ways. The priest asked her to send her sons to him one at a time. When the younger boy, a lad of thirteen, came, he made him sit and asked him: "Where is God?" The boy did not answer.

The priest asked again, in a louder voice: "Where is God?" The boy remained silent. But when the priest asked the same question a third time, the boy jumped up and ran away. He went straight to his brother. "We are in big trouble!" he gasped. "What's wrong?" asked the older boy, warily, wondering which of their sins had caught up with them. "God is missing," said the youngster, "and they think we have something to do with it!"




India - the Inner Space

"I call India, not a country, but an inner space. I call India not something that exists there in geography, on the maps. I call India that which exists hidden within you, and that which you have not yet discovered. India is your innermost space. India it not a nation, it is a state of mind."
[Osho]

"India's way is not of searching with the help of a lamp. India's way is like a bolt of lightning in the dark night. When Lightning happens, all becomes visible simultaneously. It is not that a little is seen first, then a little more, then again a little more; no, there is sudden revelation, all is revealed at the same time. The flash of the lightning shows all that is, all the paths that go far away, as far as the horizon, all of them at the same time. There idea of change, because the truth has already been seen. In India, what is called experience, intuition, reveals all things simultaneously, like a flash of lightning. Hence, truth is seen in its totality, as it is."
[Osho]




Spiritual Journey

The spiritual journey does not consist in arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one's own ignorance concerning one's self and life, and the gradual growth of that understanding which begins the spiritual awakening. The finding of God is a coming to one's self.
[Aldous Huxley]

"People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering."
[St. Augustine]

"A warrior must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if he feels that he should not follow it, he must not stay with it under any conditions. His decision to keep on that path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. He must look at every path closely and deliberately. There is a question that a warrior has to ask, mandatorily: 'Does this path have a heart?'"
[Carlos Castaneda]




Guru's Grace

" . . . it's not sadhana that produces awakening. It's assimilation that produces awakening. So to assimilate something you have to be in its field, in its aura. The guru is that which is grace, living grace, and the real essence of sadhana is to assimilate that. When the disciple wakes up it's because they've assimilated the guru's grace, not because they've done sadhana. Paradoxically, one has to do sadhana to create the kind of resonance that allows the assimilation to occur. Sadhana is like preparing the field but really it is all grace. And to get grace you have to be in relationship to grace. You don't have to be in its physical presence necessarily, although there are benefits to that. You can get it anywhere as long as you hook into it. But the guru is the hook, the source of it."
[Lee Lozowick]




Chinese Mountain Hermit

At a true site . . . there is a touch of magic light. How so, Magic? It can be understood intuitively, but not conveyed in words. The hills are fair, the waters are fine, the sun handsome, the breeze mild; and the sky has a new light: another world. Amid confusion, peace; amid peace, a festive air.

Upon coming into its presence, one's eyes are opened; if one sits or lies, one's heart is joyful. Here the breath gathers, and the essence collects. Light shines in the middle, and magic goes out on all side. Above or below, to right or left, it is not thus. No greater than a finger, no more than a spoonful; like a dewdrop, like a pearl, like the moon through a a crack like the reflection in a mirror. Play with it, and it is as if you can catch it; put it off, and it cannot be got rid of. Try to understand!

It is hard to describe.




Yeh T'ai
Beauty


“Every beauty which is seen here below by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all come . . . ”
[Michelangelo]




Anecdotes by Paul Coelho



Lottery Ticket

A pious man found himself suddenly deprived of all of his wealth. Knowing that God would help him no matter what, he began to pray: "Lord, please let me win the lottery," he asked. He prayed for years and years, but was still poor. One day he died, and since  he was a very pious man, he went straight to heaven. When he arrived there, he refused to enter. He said that he had lived his entire life according to his religious teachings, and that God had never allowed him to win the lottery. "Everything You promised me was a lie," the man said, disgusted. "I was always ready to help you win," the Lord responded. "But, no matter how much I wanted you to do so, you never bought a lottery ticket!"


The Caterpillar

Think of the caterpillar. It spends most of its life on the ground, envying the birds and indignant at its fate and its shape.  "I am the most disliked of all the creatures," it thinks.  "Ugly, repulsive, and condemned to crawl along the ground." One day, though, Mother Nature asks the caterpillar to make a cocoon. The caterpillar is startled; it has never made a cocoon before.  He thinks that he is building his tomb, and prepares to die. Although unhappy with the life he has led up until then, he complains to God: "Just when I finally became accustomed to things, Lord, you take away what little I have." In desperation, he locks himself into the cocoon and awaits the end. Some days later, he finds that he has been transformed into a beautiful butterfly and is able to fly to the sky, and is greatly admired. He is surprised at the meaning of life and at God's designs.


Decisions

If you are dissatisfied with something; even a good thing that you would like to do, but have not been able to do, stop now. When things are not going well, there are two options. In order to discover which of those options is correct, since they are opposites, make use of silence and prayer. Little by little, things will become strangely clear, until you have sufficient strength to choose. Once you have made your decision, forget completely the other possibility. And go forward, because God is the God of the Valiant.
"Everything always turns out for the best. If things are not going well, it is because you have not yet reached the end."


Making a Difference

Ryokan was a Zen teacher of repute. One day a fisherman saw him walking on the beach soon after a storm. The storm had washed up thousands of starfish on the shore, and they were beginning to dry up. Soon all of them would be dead. Ryokan was picking up starfish and throwing them into the sea.

The fisherman caught up with the teacher and said, “Surely, you cannot hope to throw all these starfish back into the sea? They will die in their thousands here. I've seen it happen before. Your effort will make no difference.” “It will to this one,” said Ryokan, throwing back another starfish into the sea.




Anecdotes by Kahlil Gibran



The Pebble


When God threw me, a pebble, into this wondrous lake I disturbed its surface with countless circles. But when I reached the depths I became very still.
[Kahlil Gibran]


The Three Ants

Three ants met on the nose of a man who was lying asleep in the sun. And after they had saluted one another, each according to the custom of his tribe, they stood there conversing.

The first ant said, “These hills and plains are the most barren I have known. I have searched all day for a grain of some sort, and there is none to be found.” Said the second ant, “I too have found nothing, though I have visited every nook and glade. This is, I believe, what my people call the soft, moving land where nothing grows.” Then the third ant raised his head and said, “My friends, we are standing now on the nose of the Supreme Ant, the mighty and infinite Ant, whose body is so great that we cannot see it, whose shadow is so vast that we cannot trace it, whose voice is so loud that we cannot hear it; and He is omnipresent.”

When the third ant spoke thus the other ants looked at each other and laughed. At that moment the man moved and in his sleep raised his hand and scratched his nose, and the three ants were crushed.
[Kahlil Gibran]


Knowledge and Half Knowledge

Four frogs sat upon a log that lay floating on the edge of a river. Suddenly the log was caught by the current and swept slowly down the stream. The frogs were delighted and absorbed, for never before had they sailed.

At length the first frog spoke, and said, "This is indeed a most marvellous log. It moves as if alive. No such log was ever known before."

Then the second frog spoke, and said, "Nay, my friend, the log is like other logs, and does not move. It is the river that is walking to the sea, and carries us and the log with it."

And the third frog spoke, and said, "It is neither the log nor the river that moves. The moving is in our thinking. For without thought nothing moves."

And the three frogs began to wrangle about what was really moving. The quarrel grew hotter and louder, but they could not agree.

Then they turned to the fourth frog, who up to this time had been listening attentively but holding his peace, and they asked his opinion.

And the fourth frog said, "Each of you is right, and none of you is wrong. The moving is in the log and the water and our thinking also."

And the three frogs became very angry, for none of them was willing to admit that his was not the whole truth, and that the other two were not wholly wrong.

Then a strange thing happened. The three frogs got together and pushed the fourth frog off the log into the river.
[Kahlil Gibran]




Anecdotes by Anthony de Mello



The Saint


There once lived a man so godly that even the angels rejoiced at the sight of him. But in spite of his great holiness, he had no notion that he was holy. He just went about his humdrum tasks diffusing goodness like the way of flowers -- unselfconsciously, diffusing their fragrance like street lamps diffuse their glow.

The saint's holiness lay in this - that he forgot each person's past and looked at them as they were now, and he looked beyond each person's appearance to the very centre of their being where they were innocent and blameless and too ignorant to know what they were doing. Thus he loved and forgave everyone that he met - and he saw nothing extraordinary in this for it was the result of his way at looking at people.

One day an angel said to him, "I have been sent to you by God. Ask for anything you wish and it will be given to you. Would you wish to have the gift of healing?" "No," said the man, "I'd rather God did the healing himself."

"Would you want to bring sinners back to the path of righteousness?" "No," he said, "It is not for me to touch human hearts. That is the work of angels."

"Would you like to be such a model of virtue that people will be drawn to imitate you?" "No," said the saint, "For that would make me the centre of attention."

"What then do you wish for?" asked the angel. "The Grace of God," was the man's reply. "Having that, I have all I desire." "No," you must ask for some miracle," said the angel, "Or one will be forced on you." "Well then I shall ask for this, let good be done through me without my being aware of it."

So it was decreed that the holy man's shadow would be endowed with healing properties whenever it fell behind him. So, everywhere his shadow fell - provided he had his back to it - the sick were healed, the land became fertile, fountains sprang to life and colour returned to the faces of those who were weighed down by life's sorrow. But the saint knew nothing of this because the attention of people was so centred on the shadow that they forgot about the man and so his wish that good be done through him and he be forgotten, was abundantly fulfilled.
[Anthony De Mello]


Victory and Honour

Of this I am quite sure, that if we open up a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.

The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.

. . . we have to gain the victory. That is our task.
[Winston Churchill]