Quotes on Faith

faith


“Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.”

– Rabindranath Tagore


“Faith is a passionate intuition.”

– William Wordsworth


““Faith” is a fine invention
For Gentlemen who see!
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency!”

– Emily Dickinson


“Reason is our soul’s left hand, Faith her right.”

– John Donne


“What you call faith I call the soul’s foreknowledge of the Highest Truth”

– Sri Chinmoy.


“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.”

– Blaise Pascal


“Faith can move mountains, but don’t be surprised if God hands you a shovel.”

– Author Unknown

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Quote: “Can you not see the plank in your own eye?”

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

– Matthew 7:3

This well known quote comes from the Bible. The context is

For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?

Meaning of quote

As humans we are opt to see the mistakes of others, but overlook our own mistakes. It is easier to criticise the failing of other people than it is to be aware of our own shortcomings.

In fact, if we concentrate on the weaknesses of other people, we can unconsciously invite these problems into our own nature.

Also, within the context of this parable, Jesus Christ is making us aware that those who are quick to judge – will be judged themselves. If we judge with a critical eye – that is how we will be judged ourself.

If someone does something wrong, it doesn’t mean we can never tell them. There are occasions, when we need to criticise the behaviour of other people. This teaching is aimed at those who spend their time judging and condemning others – but ignoring their own problems. Continue Reading →

Quotes on religious unity

Selected quotes on religious and spiritual unity.


 

religion-oneness

“If we live in our oneness-heart, we will feel the essence of all religions which is the love of God. Forgiveness, compassion, tolerance, brotherhood and the feeling of oneness are the signs of a true religion.”

– Sri Chinmoy

“What is needed is a fellow feeling between the different types of religion, seeing that they all stand or fall together, a fellow feeling which springs from mutual esteem and mutual respect, and not the condescending, patronizing, niggardly expression of goodwill, unfortunately in vogue at the present time with many.”

– Swami Vivekananda, The necessity of religion

As different streams, having their sources in different places, all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.”

– Swami Vivekananda

“We try to realise the essential unity of the world with the conscious soul of man; we learn to perceive the unity held together by the one Eternal Spirit, whose power creates the earth, the sky, and the stars, and at the same time irradiates our minds with the light of a consciousness that moves and exits in unbroken continuity with the outer world.”

– Rabindranath Tagore

“Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged”

— Rumi

“Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached.”

– Sri Ramakrishna

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Story: Where is my glass of water? Narada

There is a story from long ago India of a great yogi – Narada – who is requested by the sage Vishnu to fetch him a glass of water from the river. Narada is a highly evolved soul who has shunned the world but never understood the power of ‘maya’ – our enthrallment with the appearances and enchantments of the world – and is about to experience this.

At the river Narada sees a beautiful girl, and captivated by her beauty follows her to her village and requests her father for her hand in marriage. Years go by and Narada has forgotten his original purpose and Vishnu’s request – he is immersed in his human life in the world with his wife and family. One night a terrible storm comes, sweeping away the village and his family in a flood – desperate, Narada remembers his Guru Vishnu and calls out for his help. Vishnu appears before him and asks him:

Narada, where is my glass of water? I am still thirsty.’ The distraught Narada is still grieving though for his family, and does not understand.

‘Where does this pain and suffering come from, Narada?’ asked Vishnu with a smile. ‘I thought you had full knowledge of Maya before you set out to fetch water for me.

You knew all about the spiritual truths and realities. Yet you forgot all about them as soon as you experienced the material world – home, family, children, and village. Your understanding of Maya could have helped you in the tumult of pleasure and pain, but it did not. Such is the spell of Maya, the illusory nature and powerful enchantments of this world.’

The story remains relevant even today, our tendency to easily forget our deeper spiritual nature and purpose as we become absorbed in the human dramas of our lives that resemble, in Shakespeare’s words ‘a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more’. When we become interested in meditation though, there is a remembering of something more, a questing beyond the usual attractions of our lives that have failed to fully satisfy. This is a special time in our journey of self-discovery, an awakening to some deeper realisation. Vishnu has come to us and asks of us…

‘But where is my glass of water?’

 

 

Revisiting the Upanishads

I have been browsing through the Upanishads of late, enjoying their perennial wisdom and marvelling at the common ground they share with 21st century revelations about the primary nature of the universe and with modern quantum theory. The Upanishads are a summation of the knowledge, insights and sacred wisdom of the Vedic sages and seers and date back some 4,000 years.

Tormalet

In his introduction to selected translations from the Upanishads, Alistair Shearer writes that the Vedic teachings propose ‘the ground of all being is an infinite and unified field of Consciousness, eternal and self-luminous. This Consciousness creates the universe from its own depths, by reverberating within itself….Thus, Veda is said to be the source of creation; it is the DNA of the universe, containing all manifest possibilities in seed form.’ The Upanishadic teachings also reflect the ancient Greek understanding of philosophy or ‘gnosis’ – the cultivation of true and sacred wisdom. Plato described such a philosopher as one who would ‘live in constant companionship with the divine order of the world’. Continue Reading →

The only news I know

The only news I know
Is Bulletins all Day
From Immortality.
The only Shows I see —
Tomorrow and Today —
Perchance Eternity —
The only one I meet
Is God — The only Street
Existence — This traversed
If other news there be —
Or Admirabler Show —
I’ll tell it You —
– Emily Dickinson

Last Days of Swami Vivekananda

Vivekananda3Swami Vivekananda was a close disciple of the great spiritual Master Sri Ramakrishna. After Ramakrishna’s passing, Vivekananda began a whirlwind of activity. He travelled across India, United States and Europe – giving lectures on Vedenta, philosophy and encouraging dynamic action – especially in India. Towards the end of his short life, his hectic schedule told on his health and he retreated to the Himalayas to spend more time in quiet contemplation.

In his final days, he became aware of his limited time left on earth; he was moved to practise more meditation and contemplate on the deepest spiritual truths.

“I am making ready for death. A great tapasya and meditation has come upon me, and I am making ready for death.” – Belur Math, 1902

As his final days came, Swami Vivekananda, a great Vedantist, reveals how his devotion to Mother Kali increased and he began to be more aware of the world beyond this earth of joy and suffering. Continue Reading →

The mystery of death

emily-dickinson-death-stop

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

Emily Dickinson


The mystery of death holds both fear and fascination. On the one hand we fear death – death of the body and death of the ego; to some, death is the extinction of all that we hold dear in the world.

But, if we live not only for worldly possessions, we come to feel that maybe there is more to life than this physical being. The Seers and mystics proclaim that death is but a transition: a chance for renewal and rebirth. Death is an end for the body; but for the soul, death is merely the process of discarding its worn-out garment and moving to something higher.


 

Death is not the end
Death can never be the end.

Death is the road.
Life is the traveller.
The Soul is the Guide

Sri Chinmoy


“They will come back – come back again, as long as the red Earth rolls.
He never wasted a leaf or a tree. Do you think He would squander souls ?”

Rudyard Kipling


 

 Sri Aurobindo on death

“Death is a stair, a door, a stumbling stride
The soul must take to cross from birth to birth,
A grey defeat pregnant with victory”

– Sri Aurobindo, Savitri

To understand the perspective of a Seer poet on death, I recommend the Debate of love and death in Savitri by Sri Aurobindo. It is a beautiful and thought provoking dialogue between Savitri and death – between human mortality and the divine.

References

[1] Because I could not stop for death

[2] Quotes on Death

[3] The Sack of the Gods R.Kipling

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