Readings

Readings and Quotes

We present here a col­lec­tion of quotes on spir­i­tu­al life, main­ly from the teach­ings of Sri Rama­kri­shna, Sri Sara­da Devi, and Swa­mi Vivek­a­nanda. See the whole list here.

A Song on Samadhi
Swami Vivekananda

Swa­mi Vivek­a­nanda com­posed this hymn in an attempt to express the inex­press­ible expe­ri­ence of nirvikalpa samad­hi. An Eng­lish Trans­la­tion (from the Com­plete Works) Lo! The sun is not, nor the come­ly moon, All light extinct; in the great void of space Floats shad­ow-like the image-uni­­verse. In the void of mind invo­lute, there floats The fleet­ing […] Read more »

Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna in Eight Aphorisms
Swami Harshananda

Swa­mi Har­shanan­da com­posed eight sutras embody­ing the essence of Sri Ramakrishna’s teach­ings. They are pre­sent­ed here­with. (From the Vedan­ta Kesari, Decem­ber 2011) Swa­mi Brahma­rupa­nanda has been giv­ing a series of talks on this sub­ject: lis­ten here. ईश्वरोऽस्त्येवः स एव सत्यम्॥१॥ तं द्रष्टुं ज्ञातुं तेन सह आलापं कर्तुं च साध्यम्॥२॥ ईश्वरदर्शनं साक्षात्कारश्च जीवनस्य लक्ष्यम्॥३॥ तद्दर्शनेन साक्षात्कारेण […] Read more »

Ramakrishna, Christ, and the Incarnation
From The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

M: “How amaz­ing! A sim­i­lar thing hap­pened with two women at the time of Jesus. They too were sis­ters, and devot­ed to Christ. Martha and Mary.” MASTER (eager­ly): “Tell me the sto­ry.” M: “Jesus Christ, like you, went to their house with his devo­tees. At the sight of him one of the sis­ters was filled […] Read more »

Are Christ and Buddha Identical?
Swami Vivekananda

It is my par­tic­u­lar fan­cy that the same Bud­dha became Christ. Bud­dha proph­e­sied, “I will come again in five hun­dred years”, and Christ came here in five hun­dred years. These are the two Lights of the whole human nature. Two men have been pro­duced, Bud­dha and Christ; these are the two giants, huge gigan­tic per­son­al­i­ties, […] Read more »

Sri Sarada Devi on Fault-finding

I tell you one thing—if you want peace, do not find fault with oth­ers. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own. To err is human. One must not take that into account. It is harm­ful for one­self. […] Read more »

What is Dharma?
Sister Nivedita

Like the del­i­cate charm that is com­mon to hon­ourable women; like the dis­tinc­tive great­ness of saints and heroes; like the intel­lec­tu­al breadth of a uni­ver­si­ty city; like all the finest things in the world in fact, Indi­an thought had remained till the year 1893 with­out a def­i­n­i­tion, and with­out a name. For the word dhar­ma […] Read more »

The Real Temple of the Lord
Swami Premananda

We should nev­er for­get that our real object is to enshrine the Lord in the heart of every man in the world, for the real tem­ple of the Lord is the human heart. There with­in the heart of every man the ground has to be con­se­crat­ed, for it has been defiled by the pro­fan­i­ty of […] Read more »

Responsibility of Students of Vedanta
Swami Ashokananda

Do the stu­dents of Vedan­ta real­ize that they have great respon­si­bil­i­ty on their shoul­ders? None can deny that human­i­ty is just now pass­ing through a peri­od of great storm and stress, when every ide­al is being remod­eled, old ideas are being chal­lenged and accus­tomed ways of doing things are being ques­tioned. Eco­nom­i­cal­ly, polit­i­cal­ly, cul­tur­al­ly, spir­i­tu­al­ly, […] Read more »

On the Four Yogas:
A poem by Abir Muhuri

(Based upon the book The Teach­ings of Swa­mi Vivek­a­nanda) To nur­ture and blos­som the divine with­in That is the sole goal of one’s reli­gion To unite with God and join in his grace Is up to our own exper­i­men­ta­tion The ways to divin­i­ty stretch to infin­i­ty As each per­son is a wave among the oceans […] Read more »

To the Fourth of July

On the 4th of July, 1898, Swa­mi Vivek­a­nanda was trav­el­ling with some Amer­i­can dis­ci­ples in Kash­mir, and as part of a domes­tic con­spir­a­cy for the cel­e­bra­tion of the day—the anniver­sary of the Amer­i­can Dec­la­ra­tion of Independence—he pre­pared the fol­low­ing poem, to be read aloud at the ear­ly break­fast. Behold, the dark clouds melt away, That […] Read more »

Swami Vivekananda on the Upanishads

The Upan­ishads have this one theme before them: “What is that know­ing which we know every­thing else?” In mod­ern lan­guage, the theme of the Upan­ishads is to find an ulti­mate uni­ty of things. Knowl­edge is noth­ing but find­ing uni­ty in the midst of diver­si­ty. Every sci­ence is based upon this; all human knowl­edge is based […] Read more »

Swami Vivekananda on Buddha and Shankara

Bud­dha brought the Vedan­ta to light, gave it to the peo­ple, and saved India. A thou­sand years after his death … Shankaracharya arose and once more revived the Vedan­ta phi­los­o­phy. He made it a ratio­nal­is­tic phi­los­o­phy. In the Upan­ishads the argu­ments are often very obscure. By Bud­dha the moral side of the phi­los­o­phy was laid […] Read more »

Swami Brahmananda on Meditation

Prac­tice japa and med­i­ta­tion reg­u­lar­ly. Do not miss even one day. The mind is like a spoiled child—always rest­less. Try repeat­ed­ly to steady it by fix­ing it on the Cho­sen Ide­al, and at last you will become absorbed in him. If you con­tin­ue your prac­tice for two or three years, you will begin to feel […] Read more »

Spiritual Teachings of Swami Brahmananda

Just as the Ganges has its ebb and flow, so is there an ebb and flow in spir­i­tu­al moods at the begin­ning. But lat­er, as you con­tin­ue, there will come an even flow of the mind toward God. Try dili­gent­ly to check this mad out­ward rush of your mind. You can do this suc­cess­ful­ly if […] Read more »

Swami Vivekananda on Sri Ramakrishna

Sri Rama­kri­shna nev­er spoke a harsh word against any­one. So beau­ti­ful­ly tol­er­ant was he that every sect thought that he belonged to them. He loved every­one. To him all reli­gions were true. He found a place for each one. He was free, but free in love, not in “thun­der.” * * * * This is […] Read more »

Teachings of Holy Mother

You may say that you have done so much of japa or so much of work; but noth­ing will avail. Nobody can achieve any­thing unless Mahamaya clears the way. Oh, my chil­dren, take refuge, just take refuge. Then alone she will clear the way out of her mer­cy. … Once in sum­mer at Kamarpukur, a […] Read more »

Swami Vivekananda on Kali

How I used to hate Kali … and all Her ways! That was the ground of my six years’ fight—that I would not accept Her. But I had to accept Her at last! Rama­kri­shna Parama­ham­sa ded­i­cat­ed me to Her, and now I believe that She guides me in every­thing I do, and does with me […] Read more »

Swami Vivekananda on the Mother

Say, “I am the Spir­it! Noth­ing exter­nal can touch me.” When evil thoughts arise, repeat that, give that sledge-ham­mer blow on their heads, “I am the Spir­it! I am the Wit­ness, the Ever-Blessed! I have no rea­son to do, no rea­son to suf­fer, I have fin­ished with every­thing, I am the Wit­ness. I am in […] Read more »

Sri Ramakrishna on the Path of Devotion

Bhak­tiyo­ga is the reli­gion for this age. But that does not mean that the lover of God will reach one goal and the philoso­pher and work­er anoth­er. It means that if a per­son seeks the Knowl­edge of Brah­man he can attain It by fol­low­ing the path of bhak­ti, too. God, who loves His devo­tee, can […] Read more »

Sri Ramakrishna on the Knowledge of the Absolute

The attain­ment of the Absolute is called the Knowl­edge of Brah­man. But it is extreme­ly dif­fi­cult to acquire. One can­not acquire the Knowl­edge of Brah­man unless he com­plete­ly rids him­self of his attach­ment to the world. When the Divine Moth­er was born as the daugh­ter of King Himalaya, she showed her var­i­ous forms to her […] Read more »