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 »