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The Essays of Brother Anonymous
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Contents

Contents

Being is Knowing
Be Still – See Stillness
Being Right
Begin
Beliefs – Enlightenment is not a matter of belief
Beliefs – Question all beliefs
Bhakti Yoga - See also Paths to God
Bhakti Yoga - Attaining devotion is the aim of life
Bhakti Yoga – Easiest path in the Kaliyuga – See also Kali Yuga; dee also Paths to God - Wisdom and love – Pro-Bhakti
Bhakti Yoga - Dwelling in God brings self-mastery
Bhakti Yoga - Devotion leads to enlightenment
Bhakti Yoga – Devotion is surrender to God – See Surrender
Bhakti Yoga – The nearer we approach God, the more we feel His love
Bhakti Yoga – The nearer we approach God, the less active we become
Bhakti Yoga - God is love
Bhakti Yoga - Impact of love for God on God
Bhakti Yoga - When does God come? - See the Father – When will He come?
Bhakti Yoga – Devotion must be pure, unselfish, and deep
Bhakti Yoga – Devotion must be single-minded - See also Turn Godward - Turn away from the world towards
Bhakti Yoga – Devotion must be strong and continuous - See Longing for Liberation - Our longing must be strong and continuous
Bhakti Yoga – God is all we can lawfully desire
Bhakti Yoga – Lust and greed are the primary obstacles to the rise of devotion – See Greed; see Sexuality – Lust
Bhakti Yoga – Practicing the Presence of God - Remember God ceaselessly
Bhakti Yoga – Practicing the Presence of God – How it is done
Bhakti Yoga – Practicing the Presence of God – At time of prayer
Bhakti Yoga – Practicing the Presence of God – At time of work
Bhakti Yoga - The characteristics of a true devotee – see Aspirants – Devotees
Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude
Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Hero
Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Friend or Sakhya
Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Mother or Vatsalya
Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Child
Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Servant or Dasya
Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Serenity or Santa
Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Sweetheart or Madhur
Bhakti Yoga – Devotion is influenced by the gunas
Bhakti Yoga – Devotion can be sathwic, rajasic, and tamasic
Bhakti Yoga – The sathwic devotee
Bhakti Yoga – The rajasic devotee
Bhakti Yoga - The tamasic devotee
Bhakti Yoga – First comes bhakti
Bhakti Yoga – Then comes bhava
Bhakti Yoga – Next comes mahabhava
Bhakti Yoga – Then prema or ecstatic love
Bhakti Yoga – Wisdom and love - Pro-Bhakti - – See Paths to God - Wisdom and love (Jnana and Bhakti) - Pro-Bhakti
Biblical Code - See Mysteries - Biblical Code
Bliss – God the Father is bliss
Bliss – God the Mother is bliss
Bliss – God the Child (the Self) is bliss
Bliss – Bliss is who we are
Bliss – Objects contain no bliss
Bliss – Bliss is enjoyed through the causal body, the anandamayakosha
Bliss – The nature of the Amrita Nadi is unqualified bliss
Bliss – After enjoying bliss, people forget about the world
Bliss – Bliss accompanies Self-Realization
Bliss – The higher realms of Ananda Samadhi
Bliss – The state beyond bliss
Bodily Mortification – See Asceticism – Bodily Mortification
The Body – The temple of God
The Body - Made by the Mother - See The Mother - Created the body
The Body - Its derivation
The Body – Humans have five sheaths
The Body – Annamayakosha or Physical Body
The Body – Pranamayakosha or Pranic Body
The Body – Manomayakosha or Mind
The Body – Vijnanamayakosa or Intellect
The Body – Anandamaya Kosa or Causal Body
The Body – Beyond the bodies is the Mahavayu or Great Cause
The Body - Without the Self, the body is dead
The Body - You cannot escape it
The Body - The body is an instrument for enlightenment only
The Body - Taking a body gives rise to suffering
The Body - It changes and decays
The Body - Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God
The Body - Don't live for it
The Body - Don't mistake it for the true Self
The Body - Love of or identification with it keeps one in the cycle of birth and death, far from God - See also - Non-Duality - The existence of body consciousness is one cause of the experience of duality
The Body - Its relationship to the Self
The Body - When body-consciousness goes, we are liberated
The Body - As the sages see it
The Body - The body of the ordinary person vs. the body of the Avatar – See Avatars – The ordinary person could not tolerate a fraction of their experience
Bondage
Books – See Intellectuals – Pro: Can reach God, Intellectuals – Con: Cannot reach God - See also Scriptures
Brahmayoni – See Universe - How worlds are created, God the Mother - The universe that She creates is like an island galaxy in the Father, and Formlessness Becomes Form
Breathing - Key to spiritual life
Buddha
Buddha - On God
Buddhism - On Buddhism
Buddhism - On the Buddha, Buddha-Nature
Buddhism - The Three Realms
Buddhism - The Middle Way
Buddhism – Epitome of the Buddha’s Teachings
Buddhism -The Sutras are not the truth
Buddhi (Intellect, Intelligence) - See Intellect



Being is Knowing

You cannot see the Self as an object, but you are the Self. Being one's Self is jnana [wisdom]. Being the Self is knowing the Self. In that state, there is no duality. You are always That. (Annamalei Swami in OE, 128.)

Freedom and love arise when you die into the unknown mystery of being. (Adyashanti, http://charityfocus.org/insp/clubs/tow/?pg=26#page315, delivered 12 January 2004, 16 May 2004.)

Don't try to change the dream, because trying to change it is just another movement in the dream. Look at the dream. Be aware of the dream. That awareness is It. Become more interested in the awareness of the dream than in the dream itself. What is that awareness? Who is that awareness? Don't go spouting out an answer, just be the answer. Be It. (Adyashanti, “Selling Water by the River,” Inner Directions Journal, Fall/Winter, 1999, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

Freedom and love arise when you die into the unknown mystery of being. (Adyashanti, http://charityfocus.org/insp/clubs/tow/?pg=26#page315, delivered 12 January 2004, 16 May 2004.)

Be Still – See Stillness

Being Right

Most people, given the choice between being right and being happy, will definitely choose being right. (John Enright, Awareness, Responsibility, Communication Seminar, January 20, 1979.)

Being wrong is to the ego what death is to the body: it is ego-death to be wrong. (John Enright, Cold Mountain Institute Seminar, April 10, 1976.)

Begin

Do not calculate – begin.
Do not hesitate – begin.
Do not look back – begin.
(Bhagwan Rajneesh, CT, 121.)

Betrayal - Born of fear

Betrayal happens through reactivity. Fear comes up and it is not acknowledged or communicated. The fear-driven behavior that results is an attack against others. The alternative to this is honest communication. When you say to another "I am experiencing fear and I'm not sure I can keep my commitment to you," you have honored both the other person and yourself. But if you say nothing and withdraw in fear or act in a hostile manner, you simply deepen the fear that you (and probably the other person) are experiencing. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 31.)

Beliefs – Enlightenment is not a matter of belief

The 'end of knowledge' is to know God -- not only to believe; to become one with God -- not just to worship afar off. Man must know the reality of the Divine Existence, and then know -- not only vaguely believe and hope -- that his own innermost Self is one with God, and that the aim of life is to realize that unity. Unless religion can guide a man to that realization, it is but 'as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.' (Annie Besant, ESO, 21-2.)

Does belief bring clarity? Does the tightly enclosing wall of belief bring understanding? What is the necessity of beliefs, and do they not darken the already crowded mind? The understanding of what is does not demand beliefs, but direct perception, which is to be directly aware without the interference of desire. It is desire that makes for confusion, and belief is the extension of desire. (Krishnamurti in COL, 1, 56.)

You can be converted from one belief to another, from one dogma to another, but you cannot be converted to the understanding of reality. Belief is not reality. You can change your mind, your opinion, but truth of God is not a conviction; it is an experience not based on any belief or dogma, or on any previous experience. (Krishnamurti in COL, 1, 23.)

Belief conditions experience, and experience then strengthens belief. What you believe, you experience. ... Belief is another cloak of desire. Knowledge, belief, conviction, conclusion and experience are hindrances to truth; they are the very structure of the self. ... The unknown can never be experienced by the known; the known, the experienced must cease for the unknown to be. (Krishnamurti in COL, 1, 89.)

Beliefs – Question all beliefs
Our insistence on hearing the answer we expect keeps us from asking the questions we should. (Adyashanti, Downloaded from http://www.thedailyinspiration.com/cgi/daily.php?id=514, 12 March 2006.)

It is important to awaken and experience your Self outside of thought, existing as eternity. So question all notions of yourself that are creations of thought and of time -- of past, present, and future. Experience your eternalness, your holiness, your awakeness until you are convinced that you are never subject to the movement of thought, of fear, or of time. To be free of fear is to be full of Love. (Adyashanti, “Selling Water by the River,” Inner Directions Journal, Fall/Winter, 1999, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

To awaken to the absolute view is profound and transformative, but to awaken from all fixed points of view is the birth of true nonduality. (Adyashanti, “Selling Water by the River,” Inner Directions Journal, Fall/Winter, 1999, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

Spiritual seekers are some of the most superstitious people on the planet. Most people come to spiritual teachers and teachings with a host of hidden beliefs, ideas, and assumptions that they unconsciously seek to be confirmed. And if they are willing to question these beliefs they almost always replace the old concepts with new more spiritual ones thinking that these new concepts are far more real than the old ones. Even those who have had deep spiritual experiences and awakenings beyond the mind will in most cases continue to cling to superstitious ideas and beliefs in an unconscious effort to grasp for the security of the known, the accepted, or the expected. It is this grasping for security in all its inward and outward forms which limits the perspective of enlightenment and maintains an inwardly divided condition which is the cause of all suffering and confusion. You must want to know the truth more than you want to feel secure in order to fully awaken to the fact that you are nothing but Awakeness itself.



Shortly after I began teaching I noticed that almost everyone coming to see me held a tremendous number of superstitious ideas and beliefs that were distorting their perceptions and limiting their scope of spiritual inquiry. What was most surprising was that in almost all cases, even those who had deep and profound experiences of spiritual awakening continued to hold onto superstitious ideas and beliefs which severally limited the depth of experience and expression of true awakening. Over time I began to see how delicate and challenging it was for most seekers to find the courage to question any and all ideas and beliefs about the true nature of themselves, the world, others, and even enlightenment itself. In almost every person, every religion, every group, every teaching and every teacher, there are ideas, beliefs, and assumptions, that are overtly or covertly not open to question. Often these unquestioned beliefs hide superstitions which are protecting something which is untrue, contradictory, or being used as justification for behavior which is a less than enlightened. The challenge of enlightenment is not simply to glimpse the awakened condition, nor even to continually experience it, but to be and express it as your self in the way you move in this world. In order to do this you must come out of hiding behind any superstitious beliefs and find the courage to question everything. Otherwise you will continue to hold onto superstitions which distort your perception and expression of that which is only ever AWAKE. (Adyashanti, “The Courage to Question,” 1999, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

I started to question everything. Whatever deep burning question I had, I would write about it. And I would write as if I was going to give a talk because I think we all become the most clear when we’re trying to communicate information, rather than when we’re speaking to ourselves. I would write my self into the extent of my knowledge. Sometimes it was literally right in the middle of a sentence that I would feel I had nothing more to say. I had written myself right up to my wall, my stuck place. Then I would just sit there, and I would refuse to write down another word that wasn’t authentic and totally real and absolutely true. I found that just by sitting there and keeping my concentration on the exact point where my own personal knowledge ran out, eventually out of nowhere something would start to flow, and I would write the next word. Eventually I would come to a point of completion. This was my way of inquiring. I saw this stillness and silence, and the ability to be ruthlessly honest with myself.

I knew to stay with my line of inquiry, and it became my spiritual path—this questioning; looking at things very deeply, very intently. Then, of course, the awakening part is very spontaneous. (Adyashanti, “Spontaneous Awakening, an Interview,” downloaded from http://store.yahoo.com/soundstruestore/interview-adyashanti.html, 12 March 2006.)

Bhakti Yoga - See also Paths to God
The ways are two: love and want of love. That is all. (Mencius in BSLP, 8.)

Among all means of liberation, devotion is supreme. To seek earnestly to know one's real nature - this is said to be devotion. (Shankara in CJD, 36-7.)

Fidelity sees God and Wisdom keeps God close by and from these two come Love -- a delight in God completely steeped in wonder. (Julian of Norwich in MJN, 74.)

[God] may well be loved, but not thought. By love he can be caught and held, but by thinking never. (Anon., CU, 60.)

All rational beings, angels and men, possess two faculties, the power of knowing and the power of loving. To the first, to the intellect, God who made them is forever unknowable, but to the second, to love, he is completely knowable, and that by every separate individual. So much so that one loving soul by itself, through its love, may know for itself him who is incomparably more than sufficient to fill all souls that exist. This is the everlasting miracle of love. ... To know it for oneself is endless bliss; its contrary is endless pain. (Anon., CU, 55.)

[God] is not known by argument, but by what we do and how we love. (Richard Rolle, FOL, 46.)

No one in this vale of tears is going to attain perfection in the contemplative life overnight. For, first of all, a man’s heart must be set really on fire by the torch of eternal love, so that he feels it burn with love, and he knows his conscience melt with exceptional sweetness. Little wonder when a man is first made a true contemplative, and tastes the sweetness and feels the warmth, that he almost dies through excess of love! He is held tight in the embrace of eternal love, almost as though it were physical, because with unceasing contemplation, and with his whole heart, he is attempting to reach up to and see that indescribable light. In the end such a man will allow his soul no comfort unless it comes from God, for now he is longing for such, and to the end of his life here he knows he will so desire, crying out anxiously with the Psalmist, When shall I come and appear before the face of God? (Richard Rolle, FOL, 106.)

[Perfect souls] think it not unfitting to endure a few years’ hardship in order to be raised to heavenly thrones, and never leave them. … Physically they may have sat in solitary state, but in mind they have companied with angels, and have yearned for their Beloved. (Richard Rolle, FOL, 52.)

It is obvious to those who are in love that no one attains the heights of devotion at once, or is ravished with contemplative sweetness. … When they have attained the gravity of behaviour so necessary and have achieved a certain stability of mind – as much as changing circumstances permit – a certain perfection is acquired after great labour. It is then that they can feel some joy in loving God. (Richard Rolle, FOL, 49.)

Love for God and love for the world cannot coexist in the same soul: the stronger drives out the weaker, and it soon appears who loves the world, and who follows Christ. The strength of people’s love is shown in what they do. The lovers of Christ set themselves against the world and the flesh, just as those who love the world oppose God and their own soul. (Richard Rolle, FOL, 49.)

To undertake the journey to God the heart must be burned and purified of all creatures with the fire of divine love. (St. John of the Cross in CWSJC, 75.)

[The way is] attachment to God, or, in other words, love for Him. And secondly, prayer. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 215.)

One is able to realize God just through love. Ecstacy of feeling, devotion, love, and faith – these are the means. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 108) One realizes God easily through devotion. He is grasped through ecstacy of love. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 107.)

The means of realizing God are ecstasy of love and devotion -- that is, one must love God. ... One realizes God easily through devotion. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 107.)

Love of God is the one essential thing. A true lover of God has nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. He is aware that the Divine Mother knows everything. The cat handles the mouse one way, but its own kitten a very different way. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 252.)

Bhakti [devotion] is the only essential thing. One obtains love of God by constantly chanting His name and singing His glories. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 158.)

Once the seed of bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and fruit. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 779.)

The bliss of worship and communion with God is the true wine, the wine of ecstatic love. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 94.)

What is needed is absorption in God – loving Him intensely. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 108.)

As is a man’s feeling of love, so is his gain. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 204.)

The mind, body, and soul of a man becomes purified through divine love. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 155.)

The bhaktas accept all states of consciousness. They take the waking state to be real also. They don’t think the world to be illusory, like a dream. They say that the universe is a manifestation of God’s power and glory. God has created all these – sky, stars, moon, sun, mountains, ocean, men, animals. They constitute His glory. He is within us, in our hearts. Again, He is outside. The most advanced devotees say that He Himself has be come all this – the twenty-four cosmic principles, the universe, and all living beings. The devotee of God wants to eat sugar, not become sugar. (All laugh.) (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 133.)

One should not discuss the discipline of the Impersonal God or the path of knowledge with a bhakta. Through great effort perhaps he is just cultivating a little devotion. You will injure it if you explain everything away as a mere dream. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 354.)

[Ramakrishna] told his devotees that his "final and most mature opinion" was that a man should reach the Absolute (1) by following the trail of the Relative, (2) like reaching the roof by the stairs. (Swami Yogeshananda, VSR, 102.)

(1) God the Father, God without form, the non-dual.

(2) God the Mother, God with form, the dual; that is, by following the path of dualistic worship of God with form (or bhakti) to non-dualistic knowledge of God without form.

Gopaler Ma: My son, you are learned and intelligent, and I am a poor, illiterate widow. I don’t understand anything. Please tell me, are these visions [that Gopaler-Ma has of Krishna] true?

Narendranath Gupta [later Swami Vivekananda]: “Yes, Mother, whatever you have seen is all true. (Gopaler Ma and Naren in TLWG, 346.)

Of all the Qualifications, Love is the most important, for if it is strong enough in a man, it forces him to acquire all the rest, and all the rest without it would never be sufficient. (Krishnamurti, AFM, 63.)

Bhakti Yoga - Attaining devotion is the aim of life
The aim of human life is to attain bhakti. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 161.)

The goal of human life is to love God. Bhakti is the one essential thing. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 94.)

Bhakti, love of God, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. Through love one acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 123.)

Bhakti is the one essential thing. Who can ever know God through reasoning? I want love of God. What do I care about knowing His infinite glories? One bottle of wine makes me drunk. What do I care about knowing how many gallons there are in the grog-shop? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 157.)

The one goal of life is to cultivate love for God, the love that the milkmaids, the milkmen, and the cowherd boys of Vrindavan felt for Krishna. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 94.)

The sum and substance of the whole thing is to cultivate devotion for God and love Him. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 339.)

Bhakti Yoga – Easiest path in the Kaliyuga – See also Kali Yuga; dee also Paths to God - Wisdom and love – Pro-Bhakti
In the Kaliyuga, man, being totally dependent on food for life, cannot altogether shake off the idea that he is the body. In this state of mind it is not proper for him to say, “I am He.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 103.)

In this kali yuga God’s name is the essential thing. Chanting God’s name will bring the results of meditation, worship, and sacrifice. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in RAWSH, 53.)

One should constantly repeat the name of God. The name of God is highly effective in the Kaliyuga. The practice of yoga is not possible in this age, for the life of man depends on food. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 241.)

However you may reason and argue, the feeling that the body is identical with the soul will somehow crop up from an unexpected quarter. ... One cannot get rid of this identification with the body; therefore the path of bhakti is best for people of the Kaliyuga. It is an easy path. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 172.)

The path of knowledge is very difficult. One cannot obtain Knowledge unless one gets rid of the feeling that one is the body. In the Kaliyuga the life of man is centred on food. He cannot get rid of the feeling that he is the body and the ego. Therefore the path of devotion is prescribed for this cycle. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 170.)

The way of love is as true as the way of knowledge. All paths ultimately lead to the same Truth. But as long as God keeps the feeling of ego in us, it is easier to follow the path of love. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 104.)

The rishis followed the path of jnana. Therefore they sought to realize Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. But those who follow the path of devotion seek an Incarnation of God, to enjoy the sweetness of bhakti. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 189.)

Bhakti Yoga - Dwelling in God brings self-mastery
He who dwells in thee becomes king over himself. He controls his wandering thoughts. He becomes master of his speech and of all his organs of sense. He becomes master of his intellect. (UPAN, 54.)

The inner organs (1) are brought under control naturally through the path of devotion…. It is rather easily accomplished that way. Sense pleasures appear more and more tasteless as love for God grows. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 203.)

(1) The sense organs.

Bhakti Yoga - Devotion leads to enlightenment
Neither by study of the Vedas, nor by austerities, nor by alms-giving, nor by rituals can I be seen as you have seen me [Arjuna]. But by single-minded and intense devotion, that Form of mine may be completely known, and seen, and entered into. (Sri Krishna in BG, 97.)

You find yourself in this transient, joyless world. Turn from it, and take your delight in me. Fill your heart and mind with me, bow down to me in self-surrender. If you set your heart upon me thus, and take me for your ideal above all others, you will come into my Being. (Sri Krishna in BG, 85.)

P>If your heart is united with me, you will be set free from karma even in this life, and come to me at the last. (Sri Krishna in BG, 84.)

But behind the manifest and the unmanifest, there is another Existence, which is eternal and changeless. This is not dissolved in the general cosmic dissolution. It been called ... the imperishable. To reach it is said to be the greatest of all achievements. It is my highest state of being. Those who reach it are not reborn. That highest state of being can only be achieved through devotion to Him in whom all creatures exist, and by whom this universe if pervaded. (Sri Krishna in BG, 77.)

Though a man be soiled
With the sins of a lifetime,
Let him but love me,
Rightly resolved,
In utter devotion:
I see no sinner,
That man is holy,
Holiness soon
Shall refashion his nature
To peace eternal;
O son of Kunti,
Of this be certain:
The man that loves me,
He shall not perish. (1)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 84-5.)

(1) He shall win liberation from the wheel of birth and death.

The devoted dwell with Him,
They know Him always
There in the heart,
Where action is not.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 59.)

Because he hath set his love upon me, I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. (Psalm 91:14-6.)

Know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. (St. Paul in Ephesians 3:19.)

[In] a third kind of experience, ... we feel ourselves to be one with God, for by means of our transformation in God we feel ourselves to be swallowed up in the groundless abyss of our eternal blessedness, in which we can never discover any difference between ourselves and God. This is the highest of all our experiences and can be experienced in no other way than by our being immersed in love. (John Ruusbroec in JR, 176.)

When the vessel is ready, the precious liquid is poured in. There is no more precious vessel than a loving soul and no more beneficial drink than the grace of God. (John Ruusbroec in JR, 74.)

Perfect union with God ... is achieved, insofar as possible in this life, through love. (St. John of the Cross in CWSJC, 69.)

A true lover of God has nothing to fear, nothing to worry about. He is aware that the Divine Mother knows everything. The cat handles the mouse one way, but its own kitten a very different way. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 252.)

One realizes God easily through devotion. He is grasped through ecstacy of love. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 107.)

God can be seen. One can talk to Him. But who cares for God? People shed torrents of tears for their wives, children, wealth, and property, but who weeps for the vision of God? If one cries sincerely for God, one can surely see Him. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GLWT, 23-4.)

God visits only the altars of hearts that are cleansed by tears of devotion and lighted with candles of love. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SY, 91.)

Bhakti Yoga – Devotion is surrender to God – See Surrender

Bhakti Yoga – The nearer we approach God, the more we feel His love
As Radha advanced toward Krishna, she could smell more and more of the sweet fragrance of His body. The nearer you approach to God, the more you feel His love. As the river approaches the ocean it increasingly feels the flow of the tides. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 277.)

Bhakti Yoga – The nearer we approach God, the less active we become
God dwells within us. If one knows that, one feels like giving up all activities and praying to God with a yearning soul. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 112.)

If a man comes to love God, he need not trouble himself much about … activities. One needs a fan only as long as there is no breeze. The fan may be laid aside if the southern breeze blows. Then what need is there of a fan?...

The more you come to love God, the less you will be inclined to perform action. When the daughter-in-law is with child, her mother-in-law gives her less work to do. As time goes by she is given less and less work. When the time of delivery nears, she is not allowed to do any work at all, lest it should hurt the child or cause difficulty at the time of birth. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 108.)

Bhakti Yoga - God is love
Do you know what love really is? Do you understand that love is God and God is all? Do you understand that in those words you are reading the whole truth and that you need no other? If God is all there is, then you need only to accept and express love to touch upon all of wisdom, to realize all of realization, to express all there is to express. ("Mary," LOVE, 10.)

Bhakti Yoga - Impact of love for God on God
It is like a great ocean, an infinite expanse of water, without any trace of shore. Here and there some of the water has been frozen. Intense cold has turned it into ice. Just so, under the cooling influence, so to speak, of the bhakta’s love, the Infinite appears to take form. Again, the ice melts when the sun rises; it becomes water as before. … The ice melts into formless water with the rise of the Sun of Knowledge. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 370.)

God sports in this world. He is under the control of His devotee. Syama, the Divine Mother, is Herself tied by the cord of the love of Her devotee. … The devotee attracts God to him. God is the beloved of the devotee and is under his control. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 355.)

Love is the magnet from which God cannot escape. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SY, 19.)

God visits only the altars of hearts that are cleansed by tears of devotion and lighted with candles of love. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SY, 91.)

Bhakti Yoga - When does God come? - See the Father – When will He come?

Bhakti Yoga – Devotion must be pure, unselfish, and deep
One should be able to say [“God, I want Thee”] from one’s innermost soul. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 261.)

Unless the soul is pure, it cannot have genuine love of God and single-minded devotion to the ideal. The mind wanders away to various objects. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna, GSR, 710.)

In genuine love of God there is no desire. Only through such love does one speedily realize God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 252.)

The devotion of a man who has any desire is selfish. But desireless devotion is love for its own sake. You may love me or not, but I love you: this is love for its own sake. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 375.)

It will be very good if you can practise unselfish love for God. A man who has such love says: “O Lord, I do not seek salvation, fame, wealth, or cure of disease. None of these do I seek. I want only Thee.” Many are the people who come to a rich man with various desires. But if someone comes to him simply out of love, not wanting any favour, then the rich man feels attracted to him. Prahlada had this unselfish love, this pure love for God without any worldly end. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 386.)

Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love. (Sri Yukteswar Giri in AY, 89-90.)

Bhakti Yoga – Devotion must be single-minded - See also Turn Godward - Turn away from the world towards
Whosoever works for me alone, makes me his only goal and is devoted to me, free from attachment, and without hatred toward any creature -- that man, O Prince, shall enter into me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 97.)

Give me your whole heart,
Love and adore me,
Worship me always,
Bow to me only,
And you shall find me:
This is my promise
Who love you dearly.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 129.)

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deuteronomy 6:5.)

Delight thyself ... in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart. (Psalm 37:4.)

Blessed are they ... that seek him with the whole heart. (Psalm 119:2.)

The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. These is none other commandment greater than these. (Jesus in Mark 12:29-31.)

It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Jesus in Matthew 4:10.)

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. (Jesus in Matthew 10:37.)

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1) (I John 2:15-7.)

(1) Wins immortality or eternal life and need not be reborn.

By an undivided and absolute abandonment of yourself and everything, shedding all and freed from all, you will be uplifted to the ray of the divine shadow which is above everything that is. (Pseudo-Dionysius in CWPD, 135.)

Attachment to body, objects and persons is considered fatal to a seeker for liberation. He who has completely overcome attachment is ready for the state of liberation. (Shankara in CJD, 45.)

Kill this deadly attachment to body, wife, children and others. The seers who have overcome it go to that high dwelling place of [God]. (Shankara in CJD, 45.)

Hate to think of anything but God himself, so that nothing occupies your mind or ever will but only God. Try to forget all created things that he ever made, and the purpose behind them, so that your thought and longing do not turn or reach out to them in general or in particular. Let them go, and pay no attention to them: it is the work of the soul that pleases God most. All saints and angels rejoice over it, and hasten to help it on with all their might. (Anon., CU, 53.)

I know for the right practice of [the presence of God] the heart must be empty of all other things, because God will possess the heart alone ; and as He cannot possess it alone without emptying it of all besides, so neither can He act there, and do in it what He pleases, unless it be left vacant to Him. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 40.)

It was impossible not only that God should deceive, but also that he should long let a soul suffer which is perfectly resigned to Him, and resolved to endure everything for His sake. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 16.)

All possible kinds of mortification, if they were void of the love of God, could not efface a single sin. ... We ought, without anxiety, to expect the pardon of our sins from the blood of Jesus Christ, only endeavoring to love Him with all our hearts. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 14.)

One should have nistha, single-minded devotion. It is also described as chaste and unswerving devotion to God. It is like a tree with only one trunk shooting straight up. Promiscuous devotion is like a tree with five branches. Such was the single-minded devotion of the gopis to Krishna that they didn’t care to look at anyone but the Krishna they had seen at Vrindavan – the Shepherd Krishna, bedecked with a garland of yellow wild-flowers and wearing a peacock feather on His crest. At the sight of Krishna at Mathura with a turban on His head and dressed in royal robes, the gopis pulled down their veils. They would not look at His face. “Who is this man?” they said. “Should we violate our chaste love for Krishna by talking to him?” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 223.)

Always keep your mind on God. In the beginning you must struggle a little; later on you will enjoy your pension. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 210.)

Love God even as the mother loves the child, the chaste wife her husband, and the worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love, these three powers of attraction, and give it all to God. Then you will certainly see Him. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 83.)

Liberal-minded devotees accept all the forms of God: Krishna, Kali, Siva, Rama, and so on. … But again, there is a thing called nishtha, single-minded devotion. When the gopis went to Mathura they saw Krishna with a turban on His head. At this they pulled down their veils and said, “Who is this man? Where is our Krishna with the peacock feather on His crest and the yellow cloth on His body?” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 307.)

True, you should salute everyone. But you must love one ideal with your whole soul. That is unswerving devotion. … A wife may serve her husband’s brothers by fetching water, or in other ways, but she cannot serve them in the way she does her husband. With him she has a special relationship. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 371.)

Do you know the meaning of devotion that is not loyal to one ideal? It is devotion tinged with intellectual knowledge. It makes one feel: “Krishna has become all these. He alone is the Supreme Brahman. He is Rama, Siva, and Sakti.” But this element of love is not present in ecstatic love of God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 228.)

One who thinks of God, day and night, beholds Him everywhere. It is like a man's seeing flames on all sides after he has gazed fixedly at one flame for some time. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 115.)

Whether you live in the world or elsewhere, always fix your mind on God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 242.)

There is no hope for a worldly man if he is not sincerely devoted to God. But he has nothing to fear ... if he attains sincere devotion [to God] by practising spiritual discipline now and then in solitude. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 126.)

The tortoise moves about in the water. But can you guess where her thoughts are? There on the bank, where her eggs are lying. Do all your duties in the world, but keep your mind on God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 127.)

One who thinks of God, day and night, beholds Him everywhere. It is like a man's seeing flames on all sides after he has gazed fixedly at one flame for some time. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 115.)

Do all your duties, but keep your mind on God. Live with all -- with wife and children, father and mother -- and serve them. Treat them as if they were dear to you, but know in your heart of hearts that they do not belong to you. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 81.)

The mind of the yogi is always fixed on God, always absorbed in the Self. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 113.)

Desire only that which is within you.
Desire only that which is beyond you.
Desire only that which is unattainable.

For within you is the light of the world -- the only light that can be shed upon the Path. If you are unable to perceive it within you, it is useless to look for it elsewhere. It is beyond you, because when you reach it you have lost yourself. It is unattainable, because it for ever recedes. You will enter the light, but you will never touch the flame. (1) (Ascended Master, probably the Master Hilarion, channelling through Mabel Collins, LOP, 10.)

(1) There are several interpretations for this passage. The first is that the Father is ultimately unknowable and so we can never “touch the flame.” The second is that the Father is ultimately not sensible so we will never “touch” the flame. The third is that, at some point along the way, our ego disappears and so the “we” that experiences itself as separate disappears and “we” never touch the flame. The fourth is that enlightenment is virtually endless and, when we do in fact reach its end, “we” as any kind of individualized entity, with or without an ego, cease to exist so that “we” never in fact touch the flame.

Our love for Nature, family, friends, duties, and possessions should not occupy the supreme throne in our hearts. That is where God belongs. (Paramahansa Yogananda in SY, 47.)

All attachment disappeared; my resolution to seek God as the Friend of Friends became adamantine. "Revered Father, how can I tell my love for you? But even greater is my love for my Heavenly father, who has given me the gift of a perfect father on earth. Let me go [to an ashram], that I may someday return with a more divine understanding." (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 84.)

"I am seeking direct perception of God. Without Him, I cannot be satisfied with affiliation or creed or performance of good works." (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 85.)

Bhakti Yoga – Devotion must be strong and continuous - See Longing for Liberation - Our longing must be strong and continuous

Bhakti Yoga – God is all we can lawfully desire
This only is healthful to man, the knowledge of God: ... by this only the soul is made ... Good. (Hermes, DPH, 23.)

I am all that a man may desire
Without transgressing
The law of his nature.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 71.)

Our God is a consuming fire. (1) (St. Paul in Hebrew 12:29.)

(1) God consumed Paul's sins in his fiery light. (Acts 9:3-7.)

I the Lord am a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 5:9.)

Since the human soul is capable of receiving God alone, nothing less than God can fill it; which explains why lovers of earthly things are never satisfied. (Richard Rolle, FOL, 76.)

A word of warning: [God] is a jealous lover, and will brook no rival; he will not work in your will if he has not sole charge; he does not ask for help, he asks for you. His will is that you should look at him, and let him have his way. You must, however, guard your spiritual windows and doorways against enemy attacks. If you are willing to do this, you need only to lay hold upon God humbly in prayer, and he will soon help you. (Anon., CU, 52.)

Only he himself is completely and utterly sufficient to fulfill the will and longing of our souls. Nothing else can. (Anon., CU, 54-5.)

God made all things the same as Himself. The wisdom in this is that He did not want anything worshipped except Himself. (Sheikh al 'Iraqi in Ibn Arabi, KK, 24.)

Baptism by the Holy Ghost means first the dissolution of all wrong desires by good desires, and then the conquering of all good desires by an only desire for the blessed contact of God. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 16.)

Desire is of different kinds. There is no harm in the desire to know God. (Mata Amritanandamayi, AC, I, 27.)

Bhakti Yoga – Lust and greed are the primary obstacles to the rise of devotion – See Greed; see Sexuality – Lust

Bhakti Yoga – Practicing the Presence of God - Remember God ceaselessly
Be established in the consciousness of the Atman, always. (Sri Krishna in BG, 40.)

Mind and sense are absorbed, I alone am the theme of their discourse:
Thus delighting each other, they live in bliss and contentment.
Always aware of their Lord are they, and ever devoted:
Therefore the strength of their thought is illumined and guided toward me.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 87.)

I catch myself growing cold … until once again I put away all things external, and make a real effort to stand in my Saviour’s presence: only then do I abide in this inner warmth. (Richard Rolle, FOL, 46.)

The elect of God, indeed, eat and drink ‘in God’, and all their thinking is directed Godwards; they attend to mundane matters only as need – not lust – may require. They have to talk of earthly things of course, but they do so with reluctance, and they never dwell thereon. Mentally they turn back to God with all speed, and spend the rest of the time with divine duties. (Richard Rolle, FOL, 49.)

[Brother Lawrence held] that we should establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence by continually conversing with Him. That it was a shameful thing to quit His conversation to think of trifles and fooleries. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 6.)

The presence of God [is] a subject which, in my opinion, contains the whole spiritual life. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 42.)

There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 43.)

Were I a preacher, I should, above all other things, preach the practice of the presence of God ; and were I a director, I should advise all the world to do it, so necessary do I think it, and so easy too. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 43.)

At my entrance into religion, I took a resolution to give myself up to God, as the best return I could make for His love, and, for the love of Him, to renounce all besides. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 30.)

After having given myself wholly to God, that He might take away my sins, I renounced, for the love of Him, everything that was not He, and I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world. Sometimes I considered myself before Him as a poor criminal at the feet of his judge; at other times I beheld Him in my heart as my Father, as my God. I worshipped Him the oftenest that I could, keeping my kind in His holy presence, and recalling it as often as I found it wander from Him. I found no small pain in this exercise, and yet I continued it, notwithstanding all the difficulties that occurred, without troubling or disquieting myself when my mind had wandered involuntarily. I made this my business as much all the day long as at the appointed times of prayer; for at all times, every hour, every minute, even at the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thoughts of God. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 26-7.)

When we are faithful to keep ourselves in His holy presence, and set Him always before us, this not only hinders our offending Him and doing anything that may displease Him, at least willfully, but it also begets in us a holy freedom, and, if I may so speak, a familiarity with God, wherewith we ask and, that successfully, the graces we stand in need of. In fine, by often repeating these acts, they become habitual, and the presence of God rendered as it were natural to us. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 28.)

[Brother Lawrence felt] that to arrive at such resignation as God requires, we should watch attentively over all the passions which mingle as well in spiritual things as in those of a grosser nature; that God would give light concerning those passions to those who truly desire to serve Him. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 7.)

In order to form a habit of conversing with God continually, and referring all we do to Him, we must at first apply to Him with some diligence; but ... after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 10.)

We ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen. ... God never failed to grant it, as he had often experienced. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 10-1.)

Useless thoughts spoil all; … the mischief began there; but … we ought to reject them as soon as we perceived their impertinence to the matter in hand, or our salvation, and return to our communion with God. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 12.)

All bodily mortifications and other exercises are useless, except as they serve to arrive at the union with God by love; … he had well considered this, and found it the shortest route to go straight to Him by a continual exercise of love and doing all things for His sake. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 14.)

When sometimes he had not thought of God for a good while, he did not disquiet himself for it; but, after having acknowledged his wretchedness to God, he returned to Him with so much the greater trust in Him as he found himself wretched through forgetting Him. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 15.)

When outward business diverted him a little from the thought of God, a fresh remembrance coming from God invested his soul, and so inflamed and transported him that it was difficult for him to contain himself. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 16.)

In the beginning of the spiritual life we ought to be faithful in doing our duty and denying ourselves; but after that, unspeakable pleasures followed. ... In difficulties we need only have recourse to Jesus Christ, and beg His grace; with that everything became easy. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 17.)

There needed neither art nor science for going to God, but only a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him, for His sake, and to love Him only. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 17-8.)

We might accustom ourselves to a continual conversation with Him, with freedom and in simplicity. … We need only to recognize God intimately present with us, to address ourselves to Him every moment, that we may beg His assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful, and for rightly performing those which we plainly see He requires of us, offering them to Him before we do them, and giving Him thanks when we have done. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 18.)

We might accustom ourselves to a continual conversation with Him, with freedom and in simplicity. ... We need only recognize God intimately present with us, to address ourselves to Him every moment, ... beg His assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful, and for rightly performing those [things] which we plainly see He requires of us, offering them to Him before we do them, and giving Him thanks when we have done. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 18.)

God never failed offering us His grace at each action; ... he distinctly perceived it, and never failed of it, unless when his thoughts had wandered from a sense of God's presence, or he had forgotten to ask His assistance. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 19.)

[The] habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God ... often causes me joys and raptures inwardly, and sometimes outwardly, so great that I am forced to use means to moderate them and to prevent their appearance to others. (Brother Lawrence in PPG, 33.)

Sages like Janaka performed worldly duties … bearing God in their minds, as a dancing-girl dances, keeping jars or trays on her head. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 98.)

Bhakti Yoga – Practicing the Presence of God – How it is done
For the first year I commonly employed myself during the time set apart for devotion with the thought of death, judgment, heaven, hell, and my sins. … At length I came insensibly to do the same thing during my set time for prayer [as I did the rest of the day; namely, practice the presence of God], which caused me great delight and consolation. …

Such was my beginning, and yet I must tell you that for the first ten years I suffered much. The apprehension that I was not [as] devoted to God as I wished to be, my past sins always present to my mind, and the great unmerited favors which God did me, were that matter and source of my sufferings. During this time I fell often, and rose again presently. It seemed to me that all creatures, reason, and God Himself were against me and faith alone for me. …

When I thought of nothing but to end my days in these troubles…, I found myself changed all at once; and my soul, which till that time was in trouble, felt a profound inward peace, as if she were in her center and place of rest. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 30-2.)

As for what passes in me at present, I cannot express it. I have no pain or difficulty about my state, because I have no will but that of God, which I endeavor to accomplish in all things, and to which I am so resigned that I would not take up a straw from the ground against His order, or from any other motive than purely that of love to Him.

I make it my business only to persevere in His holy presence, wherein I keep myself by a simple attention, and a general fond regard to God, which I call an actual presence of God; or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God, which often causes me joys and raptures inwardly, and sometimes also outwardly, so great that I am forced to use means to moderate them and prevent their appearance to others. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 32-3.)

I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and corruption, and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King. Touched with a sensible regret, I confess to Him all my wickedness, I ask His forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands that He may do what He pleases with me. The King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite. It is thus that I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 33.)

My most useful method is this simple attention, and such a general passionate regard to God, to whom I find myself often attached with greater sweetness and delight than that of an infant at the mother’s breast; so that, if I dare use the expression, I should choose to call this state the bosom of God, for the inexpressible sweetness which I taste and experience there.

If sometimes my thoughts wander from it by necessity or infirmity, I am presently recalled by inward motions so charming and delicious that I am ashamed to mentioned them. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 33-4.)

We might accustom ourselves to a continual conversation with Him, with freedom and in simplicity. ... We need only recognize God intimately present with us, to address ourselves to Him every moment, ... beg His assistance for knowing His will in things doubtful, and for rightly performing those [things] which we plainly see He requires of us, offering them to Him before we do them, and giving Him thanks when we have done. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 18.)

Be always with God , and … do nothing, say nothing, and think nothing which may displease Him, and this without any other view than purely for the love of Him, and because He deserves infinitely more. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 38.)

My, God here I am all devoted to Thee. Lord, make me according to Thy heart. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 39.)

Bhakti Yoga – Practicing the Presence of God – At time of prayer
With him the set times of prayer were not different from the other times; … he retired to pray, according to the directions of his superior, but … he did not want such retirement, nor ask for it, because his greatest business did not divert him from God. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 12.)

It was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times; ... we are strictly obliged to adhere to God by action in the time of action as by prayer in the season of prayer. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 19-20.)

His prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of God, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but divine love; and ... when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with God, praising and blessing Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy; yet hoped that God would give him somewhat to suffer when he should grow stronger. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 20.)

I have [now] quitted all forms of devotion and set prayers but those to which my state obliges me. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 32.)

Bhakti Yoga – Practicing the Presence of God – At time of work
So, likewise, in his business in the kitchen (to which he had naturally a great aversion), having accustomed himself to do everything there for the love of God, and with prayer, upon all occasions, for His grace to do his work well, he had found everything easy, during fifteen years that he had been employed there. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 11.)

The most excellent method he had found of going to God was that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men, and (as far as we are capable) purely for the love of God. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 19.)

When he began his business, he said to God, with a filial trust in Him: O my God, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace tom continue in Thy presence; and to this end do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my affections.

As he proceeded with his work he continued with his familiar conversation with his Maker, imploring His grace, and offering to Him all his actions.

When he had finished he examined himself how he had discharge his duty; if he found well, he returned thanks to God; if otherwise, he asked pardon, and, without being discouraged, he set his mind right again, and continued his exercise of the presence of God, as if he had never deviated from it. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 24.)

It was observed of him that in the greatest hurry of business in the kitchen he still preserved his recollection and heavenly-mindedness. … “The time of business,” said he, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 25.)

Bhakti Yoga - The characteristics of a true devotee – see Aspirants – Devotees

Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude
To realize God, one must assume one of these attitudes: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, or madhur. Santa, the serene attitude. ... Dasya, the attitude of a servant toward his master. ... Sakhya, the attitude of friendship. ... Vatsalya, the attitude of the mother toward her child. ... Madhur, the attitude of a woman toward her paramour. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 115.)

The devotee assumes various attitudes toward Sakti in order to propitiate Her: the attitude of a handmaid, a “hero,” or a child toward its mother. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 116.)

One can assume other attitudes [than just the heroic] toward God as well – the attitude in which the devotee serenely contemplates God as the Creator, the attitude of service to Him, the attitude of friendship, the attitude of motherly affection, or the attitude of conjugal love. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 377.)

Gauri used to say that one must become like Sita to understand Rama; like Bhagavati, the Divine Mother, to understand Bhagavan, Siva. One must practise austerity, as Bhagavati did, in order to attain Siva. One must cultivate the attitude of Prakriti in order to realize Purusha – the attitude of a friend, a handmaid, or a mother. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 346.)

Do you know how a lover of God feels? His attitude is: 'O God, Thou art the Master, and I am Thy servant. Thou art the Mother, and I am Thy child.' Or again: 'Thou art my Father and Mother. Thou art the Whole, and I am a part.' He doesn't like to say, 'I am Brahman.' (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 133-4.)

In how many ways the believers in a Personal God enjoy Him! They enjoy Him through many different attitudes: the serene attitude, the attitude of a servant, a friend, a mother, a husband, or a lover. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 217.)

I want to call on God through all the moods – through santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhur. I want to make merry with God. I want to sport with God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 1009-10.)

One way to approach God, according to traditional Hinduism, is by practicing any one of five dualistic attitudes, or moods. These attitudes, or moods, are manifested in the relationship between the devotee and God, and they are: shanta bhava, the peace and stillness felt in the presence of God; dasya bhava, the attitude of a servant towards his Master; sakhya bhava, the attitude of a friend towards a Friend; vatsalya bhava, the attitude of a parent towards a Child; madhura bhava, the attitude of a lover towards the Beloved. (Swami Chetanananda in TLWG, 335.)

Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Hero
A hero’s attitude is to please Her even as a man pleases a woman through intercourse. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 116.)

In northwest India the bride holds a knife in her hand at the time of marriage; in Bengal, a nut cutter. The meaning is that the bridegroom, with the help of the bride, who is the embodiment of the Divine Power, will sever the bondage of illusion. This is the “heroic” attitude. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 116-7.)

The attitude of “hero” is extremely difficult. The Saktas and the Bauls among the Vaishnavas follow it, but it is very hard to keep one’s spiritual life pure in that attitude. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 377.)

Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Friend or Sakhya
Sakhya, the attitude of friendship. Friends say to one another, “Come here and sit near me.” Sridama and other friends sometimes fed Krishna with fruit, part of which they had already eaten, and sometimes climbed on His shoulders. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 115.)

It is custom in India that during the food offering no one should be in the shrine room except the worshipper. We heard from outside Swamiji saying, addressing Sri Ramakrishna, “Friend, please eat!” Then he came out of the shrine and closed the door. His eyes were bloodshot with emotion. … Swamiji’s relation to his Chosen Deity was that of a friend. That is why, in offering the food, he addressed Sri Ramakrishna by that term. (Swami Bodhananda of Swami Vivekananda in GLWT, 66-7.)

Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Mother or Vatsalya
Vatsalya, the attitude of the mother toward her child. This was Yasoda’s attitude toward Krishna. The wife, too, had a little of this. She feeds her husband with her very life-blood, as it were. The mother feels happy only when the child has eaten to his heart’s content. Yasoda would roam about with butter in her hand, in order to feed Krishna. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 115.)

Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Child
I assume the attitude of a child. … The divine Maya, seeing this attitude in an aspirant, moves away from his path out of sheer shame. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 377.)

My natural attitude has always been that of a child toward its mother. I regard the breasts of any woman as those of my own mother. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 116.)

Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Servant or Dasya
Dasya, the attitude of a servant toward his master. Hanuman had this attitude toward Rama. A wife feels this mood also. She serves her husband with all her heart and soul. A mother also has a little of this attitude, as Yasoda did towards Krishna. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 115.)

It is good to have the attitude of the servant toward the master. From this relationship of master and servant spring up other attitudes: the attitude of serene love for God, the attitude of friend toward friend, and so forth. When the master loves his servant, he may say to him, “Come, sit by my side; there is no difference between you and me.” But if the servant comes forward of his own will to sit by the master, will not the master be angry? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 290.)

The 'servant I' -- that is, the feeling, 'I am the servant of God, I am the devotee of God' -- does not injure one. On the contrary, it helps one to realize God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 171.)

The relationship of master and servant is the proper one. Since this “I” must remain, let the rascal be God’s servant. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 105.)

Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Serenity or Santa
Santa, the serene attitude. The rishis of olden times had this attitude toward God. They did not desire any worldly enjoyment. It is like the single-minded devotion of a wife to her husband. She knows that her husband is the embodiment of beauty and love, a veritable Madan. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 115.)

Bhakti Yoga – Mood or attitude – Sweetheart or Madhur
The conjugal relationship, the attitude of a woman to her husband or sweetheart, contains all the rest – serenity, service, friendship, and motherly affection. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 377.)

The conjugal relationship, the attitude of a woman to her husband or sweetheart, contains all the rest – serenity, service, friendship, and motherly affection. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 377.)

Madhur, the attitude of a woman toward her paramour. Radha had this attitude toward Krishna. The wife also feels it for her husband. This attitude includes all the other four. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 115.)

Bhakti Yoga – Devotion is influenced by the gunas
Even bhakti has three aspects: sattva, rajas, and tamas. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 250.)

Bhakti Yoga – Devotion can be sathwic, rajasic, and tamasic
As worldly people are endowed with sattva, rajas, and tamas, so also is bhakti characterized by the three gunas. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 146.)

Bhakti Yoga – The sathwic devotee
Sattva begets bhakti. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 250.)

The sattva of bhakti is pure sattva. When a devotee acquires it he doesn’t direct his mind to anything but God. He pays only as much attention to his body as is absolutely necessary for its protection. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 250.)

Do you know what a worldly person endowed with Sattva is like? Perhaps his house is in a dilapidated condition here and there. He doesn’t care to repair it. The worship hall may be strewn with pigeon droppings and the courtyard covered with moss, but he pays not attention to these things. The furniture of the house may be old; he doesn’t think of polishing it and making it look neat. He doesn’t care for dress at all; anything is good enough for him. But the man himself is very gentle, quiet, kind, and humble; he doesn’t injure anyone. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 146.)

Similarly, Bhakti, devotion, has its Sattva. A devotee who possesses it meditates on God in absolute secret, perhaps inside his mosquito net. Others think he is asleep. Since he is late in getting up, they think perhaps he has not slept well during the night. His love for the body goes only as far as appeasing its hunger, and that only by means of rice and simple greens. There is no elaborate arrangement about his meals, no luxury in clothes, and no display of furniture. Besides, such a devotee never flatters anybody for money. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 146.)

Bhakti Yoga – The rajasic devotee
Again, among the worldly there are people with the traits of rajas. Such a man has a watch and a chain, and two or three rings on his fingers. The furniture of his house is all spick and span. One the walls hang portraits of the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and other prominent people; the building is whitewashed and spotlessly clean. His wardrobe is filled with a large assortment of clothes; even the servants have their livery, and all that. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 146.)

An aspirant possessed of Rajasic bhakti puts a tilak on his forehead and a necklace of holy rudraksha beads, interspersed with gold ones, around his neck. (All laugh.)

At worship he wears a silk cloth. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 147.)

Direct the six passions to God. The impulse of lust should be turned into the desire to have intercourse with Atman. Feel angry at those who stand in your way to God. Feel greedy for Him. If you must have the feeling of I and mine, then associate it with God. ... If you must have pride, then feel like Bibbishana, who said, 'I have touched the feet of Rama with my head; I will not bow this head before anyone else.' (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 220.)

Bhakti Yoga - The tamasic devotee
The traits of a worldly man endowed with tamas are sleep, lust, anger, egotism and the like. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 146.)

A man endowed with tamasic bhakti has burning faith. Such a devotee literally extorts boons from God, even as a robber falls upon a man and plunders his money. ... If you can give a spiritual turn to your tamas, you can realize God with its help. Force your demands on God. He is by no means a stranger to you. He is indeed your very own. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 147.)

If you can give a spiritual turn to your tamas, you can realize God with its help. Force your demands on God. He is by no means a stranger to you. He is indeed your very own. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 147.)

Assume the tamasic aspect of bhakti. Say with force: “What? I have uttered the name of Rama and Kali. How can I be in bondage any more? How can I be affected by the law of karma?” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 252.)

Feel piqued at God and say to Him: 'You have created me. Now you must reveal Yourself to me.' (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 242.)

We can force our demand on Him. We can say to Him, “Reveal Thyself to me or I shall cut my throat with a knife!” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 384.)

Bhakti Yoga – First comes bhakti
First of all one acquires bhakti. Bhakti is single-minded devotion to God, like the devotion a wife feels for her husband. It is very difficult to have unalloyed devotion to God. Through such devotion one’s mind and soul merge in Him. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 315.)

Bhakti Yoga – Then comes bhava
Then comes bhava, intense love. Through bhava a man becomes speechless. His nerve currents are stilled. Kumbhaka comes by itself. It is like the case of a man whose breath and speech stop when he fires a gun. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 315.)

Bhakti matured becomes bhava. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 255.)

Bhakti Yoga – Next comes mahabhava
Next is mahabhava. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 255.)

Bhakti Yoga – Then prema or ecstatic love
Then prema, and last of all is the attainment of God. Gauranga experiences the states of mahabhava and prema. When prema is awakened, a devotee completely forgets the world; he also forgets his body, which is so dear to a man. Gauranga experienced prema. He jumped into the ocean, thinking it to be the jamuna. The ordinary jiva does not experience mahabhava or prema. He goes only as far as bhava. But Gauranga experienced all three states. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 255.)

But prema, ecstatic love, is an extremely rare thing. Chaitanya had that love. When one has prema one forgets all outer things. One forgets the world. One even forgets one’s own body, which is so dear to a man. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 315.)

There are two characteristics of prema. (1) First, it makes one forget the world. So intense is one's love of God that one becomes unconscious of outer things. ... Second, one has no feeling of 'my-ness' toward the body, which is so dear to man. One wholly gets rid of the feeling that the body is the soul. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 202.)

(1) Prema is divine love.

There are two elements in this ecstatic love: “I-ness” and “my-ness.” Yasoda used to think: “Who would look after Gopala if I did not? He will fall ill if I do not serve Him.” She did not look on Krishna as God. The other element is “my-ness.” It means to look on God as one’s own – “my Gopala.” Uddhava said to Yasoda: “Mother, your Krishna is God Himself. He is Lord of the Universe and not a common human being.” “Oh!” exclaimed Yasoda. “I am not asking you about your Lord of the Universe. I want to know how my Gopala fares. Not the Lord of the Universe, but my Gopala.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 229.)

When a man is intoxicated with ecstatic love of God, he doesn’t take delight in anything else. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 372.)

Large fish live in the deep water of a big lake. Throw some spiced bait into the water; then the fish will come, attracted by its smell; now and then they will make the water splash. Devotion and ecstatic love are like the spiced bait. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 353.)

Sri Ramakrishna was completely intoxicated with divine love. The devotees felt its contagion and danced with the Master in an ecstacy of love. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 807.)

Rama said to Lakshmana, “Brother, wherever you find people singing and dancing in the ecstacy of divine love, know for certain that I am there.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 210.)

The whole thing in a nutshell is that one must develop ecstatic love for Satchidananda. What kind of love? … Gauri used to say that one must become like Sita to understand Rama; like Bhagavati, the Divine Mother, to understand Bhagavan, Siva. One must practise austerity, as Bhagavati did, in order to attain Siva. One must cultivate the attitude of Prakriti in order to realize Purusha – the attitude of a friend, a handmaid, or a mother. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 346.)

One must become mad with love in order to realize God. ... Sex-life with a woman! What happiness is there in that? The realization of God gives ten million times more happiness. Gauri used to say that when a man attains ecstatic love of God all the pores of the skin, even the roots of the hair, become like so many sexual organs, and in every pore the aspirant enjoys the happiness of communion with the Atman. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 346.)

The fact is, all men may look alike from the outside, but some of them have fillings of “condensed milk.” Cakes may have fillings of condensed milk or powdered black grams, but they all look alike from the outside. The desire to know God, ecstatic love for Him, and such other spiritual qualities are the “condensed milk.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 232.)

It is not possible to develop ecstatic love of God unless you love Him very deeply and regard Him as your very own. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 229.)

It is the very nature of [ecstatic] love that it makes a man think himself stronger than his Beloved. He is always alert lest his Beloved should suffer. The one desire of his life is to keep his Beloved from being pricked in the foot by a thorn. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 229.)

Do you know the meaning of devotion that is not loyal to one ideal? It is devotion tinged with intellectual knowledge. It makes one feel: “Krishna has become all these. He alone is the Supreme Brahman. He is Rama, Siva, and Sakti.” But this element of love is not present in ecstatic love of God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 228.)

I was always overwhelmed with divine ecstacy and I couldn't tell the passing of day and night. On the day after such a vision I would have a severe attack of diarrhoea, and all these ecstacies would pass out through my bowels. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 813.)

Bhakti Yoga – Wisdom and love - Pro-Bhakti - – See Paths to God - Wisdom and love (Jnana and Bhakti) - Pro-Bhakti

Biblical Code - See Mysteries - Biblical Code

Bliss – God the Father is bliss

Brahman … is pure bliss. (UPAN, 52.)

Who could live, who could breathe, if that blissful Self dwelt not within the lotus of the heart? (UPAN, 56.)

[The] Highest Reality is an exalted state of bliss. (The Buddha in BB, 287.)

The nature of Awareness is existence-consciousness-bliss. (Ramana Maharshi in WHO, 12.)

When one’s true nature is known, then there is Being without beginning and end; It is unbroken Awareness-Bliss. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 24-5.)

The primary awareness of reality, my own actual consciousness [can] not be modified or lost. It is … bliss, joy, freedom, consciousness and sublime knowledge! (Da Free John, KOL, 136.)

Bliss – God the Mother is bliss

That which is the Blissful Mother is, again, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 277.)

This Holy Ghost (1) is the Great Comforter. Being guided by the universal, reflected, God-Consciousness, it contains the all-coveted bliss of God. ... On the day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with the new wine of joy coming from the touch of Aum, or the comforting Holy Vibration. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 19.)

(1) The Divine Mother or Shakti.

Aun [sic] (1) the blissful Comforter is heard in meditation and reveals to the devotee the ultimate Truth, bringing "all things to remembrance." (John 14:26) (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 144n.)

(1) The Holy Ghost or Divine Mother.

An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, (1) I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light. (Paramahansa Yogananda in AY, 142.)

The Holy Ghost or Divine Mother.

Bliss – God the Child (the Self) is bliss

When all the five coverings are removed, the pure Atman (1) is revealed. It is revealed as God dwelling within; as unending, unalloyed bliss; as the supreme and self-luminous Being. (Shankara in CJD, 56.)

(1) The Self or Christ – the three terms are synonymous.

The Atman is the witness -- beyond all attributes, beyond action. It can be directly realized as pure consciousness and infinite bliss. (Shankara in CJD, 64.)

Pleasure and pain are characteristics of the individual -- not of the Atman, which is forever blissful. (Shankara in CJD, 48.)

The Atman is forever blissful. For it, there can never be any suffering. (Shankara in CJD, 49.)

It never ceases to experience infinite joy. (Shankara in CJD, 52.)

[The Self] is realized within one's own heart as existence, knowledge and bliss absolute. Realize this Atman within the shrine of your own heart. (Shankara in CJD, 68.)

Bliss – Bliss is who we are

I am indeed that Brahman which is free from diversity. … I am Existence-Knowledge-Bliss and boundless as space. (Dattatreya, AG, 56.)

I am that Brahman which is bliss, which is eternal, effulgent, all-pervasive, the substratum of names and forms, which is not cognized by the impure intellect, but is cognized by the pure intellect, stainless and boundless. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 7.)

Your nature is Bliss. (Ramana Maharshi, TWSRM, Question 197.)

Bliss – Objects contain no bliss

When the object of desire is obtained, the intellect becomes steady for a moment and turns inward. Then the bliss of the Self is reflected on it and this gives rise to a delusion that there was bliss in the object. But when other objects are desired the bliss vanishes. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 9.)

Bliss is experienced in the state of samadhi and deep sleep even without objects. Therefore there is no bliss in objects. The Self alone is bliss. It is because the bliss of the Self alone is experienced by all, that all are proclaimed by the Vedas to be of the form of bliss. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 9.)

Bliss – Bliss is enjoyed through the causal body, the anandamayakosha

Maya has been defined as a composition of the three gunas. It is the causal body of the Atman. Through these, the seeker tastes everlasting bliss. (Shankara in CJD, 50.)

Functioning through the causal body the mind enjoys bliss; it dwells in the anandamaya kosa. This corresponds to the semi-conscious state experienced by Chaitanya. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna IN FMSR, 71.)

Chaitanya experienced … the semi-conscious state, when his mind entered the causal body and was absorbed in the bliss of divine intoxication. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 330.)

By means of [the causal body] one enjoys the Bliss of God and holds communion with Him. The Tantra calls it the Bhagavati Tanu, the Divine Body. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 902.)

This Purusha, the Son of God (1) is screened by five coverings called the koshas or sheaths.

Heart, the 1st Kosha. The first of these five is the Heart, Chitta, the Atom, ... and ... being the seat of bliss, ananda, is called Anandamaya Kosha. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 35.)

(1) The Self, Atman, or Christ – all synonyms.

Anandamaya-kosha, the sheath of bliss (referring to the ego or causal body), so called because it is nearest the blissful Atman. (Usha, RVW, 42.)

Bliss – The nature of the Amrita Nadi is unqualified bliss

According to Da Free John, "the 'Amrita Nadi' is the 'Form of Reality,' founded in the heart and terminated in the aperture of the head. It is the cycle or form of unqualified enjoyment that contains and is the source of all things, all bodies, realms, experiences, states, and levels of being. Its basic nature is unqualified enjoyment or bliss. It is all-powerful Existence or unqualified Presence. It is your very nature at this moment, and it is experienced as such when true understanding arises and becomes the radical premise of conscious life." (Da Free John, KOL, 157.)

Bliss – After enjoying bliss, people forget about the world

If a man enjoys the Bliss of God, he doesn't enjoy the world. Having tasted divine bliss, he finds the world insipid. ... Can worldly pleasures and sex pleasures be compared to the bliss of God? If a man once tastes that bliss, he runs after it ever afterwards. It matters very little to him then whether the world remains or disappears. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna, GSR, 756-7.)

After enjoying divine bliss, one looks on the world as cow-droppings. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 753.)

O mind! Forget the body, forget the sickness, and remain merged in Bliss. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 71.)

His example and precepts deeply impressed on us the extreme insignificance of worldly joys before the ineffable bliss of God. (Swami Shivananda in BTE, 12.)

Bliss – Bliss accompanies Self-Realization

To him who sees the Self revealed in his own heart belongs eternal bliss -- to none else, to none else! (UPAN, 23.)

Man, in his ignorance, identifies himself with the material sheaths that encompass his true Self. Transcending these, he becomes one with Brahman, who is pure bliss. (UPAN, 52.)

[God] brought all this into being as a field for His Love and Wisdom to play in, and so that He might fill His Heaven with human souls able to enjoy His bliss eternally after doing His work while in the flesh. (Zarathustra in GZ, 5.)

Utterly quiet,
Made clean of passion,
The mind of the yogi
Knows that Brahman,
His bliss is highest.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 67.)

When all the five coverings are removed, the pure Atman is revealed. It is revealed as God dwelling within; as unending, unalloyed bliss; as the supreme and self-luminous Being. (Shankara in CJD, 56.)

The righteous shall surely dwell in bliss. (Koran, 16.)

This is the everlasting miracle of love. ... To know it for oneself is endless bliss; its contrary is endless pain. (Anon., CU, 55.)

I drank glass after glass of love;
Neither did the wine finish, nor my thirst. (Bayazid of Bistun in Ibn Arabi, KK, 16.)

[My] heart was hungry, yet satisfied, [my] soul was full of contentment and joy: [my] prayers and hopes were all fulfilled. (Blessed Henry Suso in ECS, 424.)

O joy! O ineffable gladness! O life entire of love and of peace! O riches secure without longing! (Dante in Bucke, CC, 77.)

If the mind is free from [lust and greed], then what else can obstruct a man? He enjoys then only the bliss of Brahman. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in TLWG, 313.)

Attribute to yourselves the bliss of God-Consciousness; then you too will experience ineffable joy. The bliss of God-Consciousness always exists in you. It is only hidden by the veiling and projecting power of maya. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 277.)

The bliss of worship and communion with God is the true wine, the wine of ecstatic love. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 94.)

Direct your mind to God with whole-souled devotion. Enjoy the Bliss of God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 915.)

“As far as the eye could see, the shining billows were madly rushing at me from all sides with a terrific noise, to swallow me up! I was panting for breath. I was caught in the rush and collapsed, unconscious. What was happening in the outside world I did not know; but within me there was a steady flow of undiluted bliss, altogether new, and I felt the presence of the Divine Mother." On his lips when he regained consciousness of the world was the word "Mother". (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 14.)

A man who has seen God sometimes behaves like a madman: he laughs, weeps, dances, and sings. Sometimes he behaves like a child, a child five years old -- guileless, generous, without vanity, unattached to anything, not under the control of any of the gunas, (1) always blissful. Sometimes he behaves like a ghoul: he doesn't differentiate between things pure and things impure; he sees no difference between things clean and things unclean. And sometimes he is like an inert thing, staring vacantly: he cannot do any work; he cannot strive for anything. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 265.)

(1) The cosmic qualities which are the constituents of matter and influence behavior.

Suddenly Sri Ramakrishna went into a spiritual mood and said to Dr. Sarkar: "Mahindra Babu, what is this madness of yours about money? Why such attachment to wife? Why such longing for name and fame? Give up all these, now, and direct your mind to God with whole-souled devotion. Enjoy the Bliss of God." Dr. Sarkar sat still without uttering a word. The devotees also remained silent. (Mahendranath Gupta in GSR, 915.)

The ocean filled with joy -- the atmosphere all joy! Joy, joy, in freedom, worship, love! Joy in the ecstacy: Enough to merely be! Enough to breathe! Joy, Joy! All over joy. (Walt Whitman in Bucke, CC, 78.)

Upon his heart fell one drop of the Brahmic Bliss, leaving thenceforward for always an aftertaste of heaven. (Bucke of himself in CC, 10.)

Between the eyebrows there is a third eye, the eye of wisdom. When this eye is opened a fountain of joy is released, and the whole universe seems merged in bliss. (Swami Brahmananda, EC, 189.)

The real Ideal of every human being is Satchidanandam, -- Eternal Life, Infinite Knowledge and Everlasting Joy; for all men wish to live forever, to be all-knowing and to have eternal bliss. But God alone is all-life, all-knowledge and all-happiness; therefore God is really the Ideal of every living being. (Ramakrishnananda, GDI, 28.)

The one purpose of life is to know God. Plunge deep into the sea of bliss and become immortals. (Swami Brahmananda in EC, 54.)

During deep meditation, the experiences of the realm of ideas become so powerful in the mind of the devotee that he does not have the slightest knowledge of the external world for the time being. This condition of the devotee has been designated by the scriptures as Savikalpa Samadhi. Although, owing to the strength of his mental power, the external world vanishes from the mind of the devotee at the time of such Samadhi, the realm of ideas still persists. His experience of the chosen Ideal in that world of ideas and the joy he derives from it are in no way less intense and real to him than that of the waking world and his contacts with men and things in that world. All the ideas that arise at that time in his mind have only his chosen Ideal for their object. The scriptures have called that condition of the devotee's mind as Savikalpa Samadhi, because at that time the series of the mental modifications of the devotee have only one thing as their main object.

Thus the gross external world vanishes from the mind of the devotee owing to the meditation on a particular object of the ideal world. ... The attainment of the Nirvikalpa Samidhi is not very remote from this devout aspirant who has been able to advance so far. Thus the mind of the person, who gets rid of the belief in the existence of the external world to which he has been accustomed for an infinitely long time, becomes endowed with much power and determination. The whole of his mind goes forward with enthusiasm in the direction of the enjoyment of divine bliss, when once there arises the conviction that the enjoyment of that bliss becomes more intense if the mind can be made completely free from modifications. He then ascends to the highest plane in the realm of ideas by the grace of the teacher and God, and establishes himself firmly in the non-dual knowledge and attains eternal peace. (Swami Saradananda, SRGM, Vol. 1, 104-5.)

I sat that afternoon on my blanket, hallowed by associations and past-life realizations. My divine guru approached and passed his hand over my head. I entered the nirbikalpa samadhi state, remaining unbrokenly in its bliss for seven days. Crossing the successive strata of Self-knowledge, I penetrated the deathless realms of Reality. All delusive limitations dropped away; my soul was fully established on the altar of the Cosmic Spirit. (Lahiri Mahasaya, touched by his guru Babaji, in Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 313.)

All creatures, from the highest to the lowest in the link of creation, are found eager to realize three things: Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss. (Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 6.)

To realise and unite oneself with the active Brahman (1) is to exchange ... the individual for the cosmic consciousness. ... We are aware of an unwounded Delight, a pure and perfect Presence, an infinite and self-contained Power present in ourselves and all things. ... This foundation enables us to possess in the security of the divine existence the whole universe within our own being. ... We are no longer limited and shut in by what we inhabit, but like the Divine contain within ourselves all that for the purpose of the movement of Nature we consent to inhabit. ... Having this, we possess our eternal self-existence at rest in its eternal consciousness and bliss. ... we ... realise this silent Self as the Lord of all the action of universal Nature. (Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 392-3.)

(1) The “active Brahman” is the Mother. Sri Aurobindo is distinguishing Shakti from Brahman here, a position that identifies the initial experience of cosmic consciousness with a sixth-chakra rather than a seventh-chakra state.”
[Finally] ... the intelligence, the thinking, understanding and reflective mind, renounces its sattwic limitations and opens to an essential light and peace. An infinite knowledge offers to us its splendid ranges, a knowledge not made up of mental constructions, not bound by opinion and idea or dependent on a stumbling uncertain logic and the petty support of the senses, but self-sure, authentic, all-penetrating, all-comprehending, a boundless bliss and peace.... A higher force, bliss and knowledge from a source beyond mind and life and body seize on them to remould in a diviner image. (Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 226-8.)

Brahman is without attributes (and cannot therefore be cognized). Its general existence is known even in the state of nescience in the form of ‘I am,’ while its particular aspects like consciousness, bliss, etc., are not then known, but are known only in the state of knowledge. … The attributeless Brahman … is known as existence and unknown as consciousness and bliss. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 13-4.)

[Bliss] is the experience of joy (or peace) in the state of vijnana (1) free of all activities and similar to deep sleep. This is also called the state of kevala nirvikalpa (remaining without concepts). (Ramana Maharshi, SI, Chapter 3, Question 3.)

(1) In my view, Sri Ramana does not mean here by the term “vijnana” what Paramahansa Ramakrishna does. By it, I think, Ramana means “a mode of specific knowledge that has arisen from [a] distinctionless state.” (Ramana Maharshi, SE, answer to question 32.)

One sees here that he associates vijnana with kevalya nirvikalpa samadhi and not sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. However, Sri Ramakrishna uses it to mean a deeper state of enlightenment than Brahmajnana or kevalya nirvikalpa samadhi, in which one moves from the position “I am God” to the position “God has become everything.” I believe Sri Ramakrishna’s vijnana would be equivalent to Ramana’s sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi, but I have no specific evidence for this assertion because the two discuss this level of enlightenment in different ways.

Bliss is coeval with Being-Consciousness. All the arguments relating to the eternal Being of that Bliss apply to Bliss also. Your nature is Bliss. Ignorance is now hiding that Bliss. Remove the ignorance for Bliss to be freed. (Ramana Maharshi, TWSRM, Question 197.)

To BE the Self that you really are is the only means to realize the Bliss that is ever yours. (Ramana Maharshi, MG, 52.)

[The quest] has to begin with the mind turned inward to oppose the rushing thoughts and to understand the location of the ‘I’. When the mind eventually sinks in the Heart, undisturbed bliss is overwhelmingly felt. There is then feeling which is not divorced from pure awareness, i.e., head and heart become one and the same. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 80.)

On diving deep upon the quest
“Who am I and from whence?” thoughts disappear
And consciousness of Self … flashes forth
As the “I-I” within the cavity
Of every seeker’s Heart. And this is Heaven,
This is that Stillness, the abode of Bliss. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 27.)

Conceive of the intensity of the bliss raised beyond all relative imagination, and far beyond the power of any physiological organism to endure, and then regard it as not lasting merely for a moment or a brief period, but extending with unbroken continuity indefinitely; then something of the Bliss-aspect of Nirvana may be apprehended. Is it so surprising that many become 'God-intoxicated' and fail to go to the winning of real Mastery? (Franklin Merrell-Woolf in PTS, 29-30.)

I always thrilled at the touch of Sri Yukteswar's holy feet. A disciple is spiritually magnetized by reverent contact with a master; a subtle current is generated. The devotee's undesirable habit-mechanisms in the brain are often as if cauterized; the grooves of his worldly tendencies are beneficially disturbed. Momentarily at least he may find the secret veils of maya lifting, and glimpse the reality of bliss. My whole body responded with a liberating glow whenever I knelt in the Indian fashion before my guru. (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 115.)

Sri Yukteswar chose the following morning to grant me Kriya Yoga initiation. The technique I had already received from two disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya -- Father and my tutor, Swami Kebalananda. But Master possessed a transforming power; at his touch a great light broke upon my being, like the glory of countless suns blazing together. A flood of ineffable bliss overwhelmed my heart to an innermost core. (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 105.)

Senses crave indulgence, greed, and temptations to excite and amuse them, whereas soul can be satisfied only by the calmness, peace, and bliss, born of meditation and the moderate use of the sense servants. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 17.)

In John 3:5-6, Christ says: "Except a man be born of water (the oceanic vibration of Aum or Amen, the Holy Ghost, the Invisible Force that upholds all creation; God in his immanent aspect of the Creator) (1) and of the Spirit, (2) he cannot enter the Kingdom of God, That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit." These words mean that unless we can transcend the body and realize ourselves as Spirit, we cannot enter into the kingdom or state of that Universal Spirit.

The thought is echoed in a Sanskrit couplet of the Hindu scriptures: "If thou canst transcend the body and perceive thyself as Spirit, thou shalt be eternally blissful, free from all pain." (Paramahansa Yogananda, SR, 51-2.)

(1) God as the Mother.
(2) God as the Father.

An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The Spirit of God, I realized, is exhaustless Bliss; His body is countless tissues of light. (Paramahansa Yogananda in AY, 142.)

I cognized the centre of the empyrean as a point of intuitive perception in my heart. Irradiating splendour issued from my nucleus to every part of the universal structure. Blissful amrita, nectar of immortality, pulsated through me with a quicksilverlike fluidity. (Paramahansa Yogananda in AY, 142.)

The torrential bliss is overwhelming, but the yogi learns to control its outward manifestations. (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 24n.)

When the divine joy comes, immediately my breath is still and I am lifted into the Spirit. I feel the bliss of a thousand sleeps rolled into one, and yet I don't lose my ordinary awareness. This is universally the experience of those who go into the superconscious state. (Paramahansa Yogananda, MEQ, 161.)

When the profound ecstacy of God falls over you, the body becomes absolutely still, the breath ceases to flow, and the thoughts are quiet -- banished every one, by the magic command of the soul. Then you drink of God's bliss and experience an intoxication of joy that not a thousand draughts of wine could give you. (Paramahansa Yogananda, MEQ, 161.)

There is great bliss in meditation. (Krishnamurti, COL, 2, 219.)

For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had. (Eckhart Tolle, PN, 1-3.)

The happiness that we get from worldly objects is only an infinitesimal fraction of the bliss that we get from within. (Mata Amritanandamayi, AC, 1, 8.)

Bliss – The higher realms of Ananda Samadhi
Samadhi is generally classified as of two kinds. In the first, the savikalpa samadhi, one experiences the mystic vision of the spiritual form of God, while the consciousness of individuality remains. In the second, the nirvikalpa samadhi, a man loses his individuality and goes beyond the vision of the form of God. The whole universe disappears. Besides these two there is yet another kind of samadhi called ananda (blissful) samadhi. If an ordinary man attains this experience, his body and brain cannot stand the intense ecstatic joy; he cannot live more than twenty-one days. (Swami Brahmananda in EC, 189.)

Awake on these [supramental] levels the soul becomes master of the ranges of gnostic thought, gnostic will, gnostic delight, and if it can do this in Samadhi, it may carry its memory of experience and its power of experience over into the waking state [i.e., normal consciousness]. Even on the yet higher level open to us, that of the Ananda, the awakened soul may become similarly possessed of the Bliss-Self both in its concentration and in its cosmic comprehension. But still there may be ranges above from which it can bring back no memory except that which says, "somehow, indescribably, I was in bliss," the bliss of an unconditioned existence beyond all potentiality of expression by thought or description by image or feature. Even the sense of being may disappear in an experience in which the world-existence loses its sense and the Buddhistic symbol of Nirvana seems alone and soverignly justified. (Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga, 505.)

Bliss – The state beyond bliss

[The state beyond bliss] is the state of unceasing peace of mind which is found in the state of absolute quiescence, jagrat-sushupti (lit. sleep with awareness) which resembles inactive deep sleep. In this state, in spite of the activity of the body and the senses, there is no external awareness, like a child immersed in sleep (who is not conscious of the food given to him by his mother). A yogi who is in this state is inactive even while engaged in activity. This is also called sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi (natural state of absorption in oneself without concepts). (Ramana Maharshi, SI, Chapter 3, Question 4.)

Bodily Mortification – See Asceticism – Bodily Mortification

The Body – The temple of God

… ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (1) (St. Paul in Ephesians 2:22.)

(1) The Spirit = The Holy Spirit = The Divine Mother, Shakti.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (St. Paul in I Corinthians 3:16.)

You must know that this body, through which man experiences the whole external world, is like the house of a householder. (Shankara in CJD, 46.)

Whenever I point out the inherent limitations of the physical body, someone inevitably interprets my statements to mean "the body is bad, inferior, or evil." This need to reject the body is a form of attachment to it. Where there is resistance to desire, desire itself is made stronger.

The body is not bad or inferior in any way. It is simply temporal. You will never find ultimate meaning by satisfying its needs. Nor might I add will you find ultimate meaning by denying its needs. Taking care of the body is an act of grace. Preoccupation with bodily pleasures or pains is anything but graceful.

If you wish to follow the path I have laid out for you, accept your body fully and care for it diligently. When the body is loved, it does its work without complaining. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 35-6.)

The Body - Made by the Mother - See The Mother - Created the body

The Body - Its derivation

The senses derive from physical objects, physical objects from mind, mind from intellect, intellect from ego, ego from the unmanifested seed, (1) and the unmanifested seed from Brahman (2) -- the Uncaused Cause. (UPAN, 19-20.)

(1) The Christ, Self, or Atman – all synonyms.
(2) The Father.

Above the senses is the mind. Above the mind is the intellect. Above the intellect is the ego. Above the ego is the unmanifested seed, the Primal Cause.

And verily beyond the unmanifested seed is Brahman, the All-pervading Spirit, the unconditioned. (UPAN, 24.)

The body consisting of the five gross elements is called the gross body. The subtle body is made up of the mind, the ego, the discriminating faculty, and the mind-stuff. There is also a causal body, by means of which one enjoys the Bliss of God and holds communion with Him. The Tantra calls it the Bhagavati Tanu, the Divine Body. Beyond all these is the Mahakarana, the Great Cause. That cannot be expressed in words. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 902.)

Possessed of consciousness, the power of feeling, ... [this Atom] is called Mahat, the Heart, Chitta.... Being ... magnetized, it has two poles, one of which attracts it toward the Real Substance, Sat, and the other repels it from the same. The former is called Sattwa or Buddhi, the Intelligence, which determines what is Truth; and the latter, being a particle of Repulsion, ... produces the ideal world for enjoyment (ananda) and is called Anandatwa or Manas, the Mind. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 27.)

Man is a combination of body, life force, and consciousness. His consciousness is a reflection of Christ consciousness. (1) His life force is a reflection of cosmic energy. (2) His body is condensed cosmic energy and life energy. Consciousness, life force, and the body are the different rates of conscious, cosmic vibration. Life force vibrating more finely becomes cosmic consciousness and life force when it vibrates grossly, changes into electrons, atoms, molecules, and bodily flesh. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, I, 20.)

(1) The Christ, Self, or Atman -all three are synonyms.
(2) Cosmic energy is the Divine Mother, Shakti, or Holy Ghost – i.e., all are synonyms.

The Body – Humans have five sheaths

The senses are said to be higher than the sense-objects. The mind is higher than the senses. The intelligent will is higher than the mind. What is higher than the intelligent will? The Atman (1) Itself. (Sri Krishna in BG, 49.)

(1) The Self or Christ.

The body consisting of the five gross elements is called the gross body. The subtle body is made up of the mind, the ego, the discriminating faculty, and the mind-stuff. There is also a causal body, by means of which one enjoys the Bliss of God and holds communion with Him. The Tantra calls it the Bhagavati Tanu, the Divine Body. Beyond all these is the Mahakarana, the Great Cause. That cannot be expressed in words. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 902.)

This Purusha, the Son of God (1) is screened by five coverings called the koshas or sheaths.

Heart, the 1st Kosha. The first of these five is the Heart, Chitta, the Atom, ... and ... being the seat of bliss, ananda, is called Anandamaya Kosha.

Buddhi, the 2nd Kosha. The second is the ... Buddhi, the Intelligence that determines what is truth. Thus, being the seat of knowledge, jnana, it is called Jnanamaya Kosha.

Manas, the 3rd Kosha. The third is the body of Manas, the Mind, composed of the organs of senses, ... and called the Manomaya Kosha.

Prana, the 4th Kosha. The fourth is the body of energy, life force or Prana, composed of the organs of action..., and thus called the Pranamaya Kosha.

Gross matter, the 5th Kosha. The fifth and last of these sheaths is the gross matter, the Atom's outer coating, which, becoming Anna, nourishment, supports this visible world and thus is called the Annamaya Kosha. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 35-6.)

(1) The Christ, Self, or Atman.

The five koshas, described in the Taittreya Upanishad, are located one within the other and envelop the Atman. Beginning with the outermost sheath, they are: 1. Annamaya-kosha, the gross physical sheath, which is nourished by food. 2. Pranamaya-kosha, the subtle or vital sheath, which vitalizes and holds together body and mind. 3. Manomaya-kosha, the sheath of mind, which receives sense impressions. 4. Vijnanamaya-kosha, the sheath of intellect, referring to the faculty which discriminates or wills. 5. Anandamaya-kosha, the sheath of bliss (referring to the ego or causal body), so called because it is nearest the blissful Atman. The Atman remains separate from the sheaths and unaffected by their properties. (Usha, RVW, 42.)

The Body – Annamayakosha or Physical Body
Gross matter, the 5th Kosha. The fifth and last of these sheaths is the gross matter, the Atom's outer coating, which, becoming Anna, nourishment, supports this visible world and thus is called the Annamaya Kosha. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 36.)

The Body – Pranamayakosha or Pranic Body
Prana, the 4th Kosha. The fourth is the body of energy, life force or Prana, composed of the organs of action..., and thus called the Pranamaya Kosha. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 36.)

Pranamaya-kosha, the subtle or vital sheath, which vitalizes and holds together body and mind. (Usha, RVW, 42.)

The Body – Manomayakosha or Mind
Manas, the 3rd Kosha. The third is the body of Manas, the Mind, composed of the organs of senses, ... and called the Manomaya Kosha. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 35-6.)

Possessed of consciousness, the power of feeling, ... [this Atom] is called Mahat, the Heart, Chitta.... Being ... magnetized, it has two poles, one of which attracts it toward the Real Substance, Sat, and the other repels it from the same. The former is called Sattwa or Buddhi, the Intelligence, which determines what is Truth; and the latter, being a particle of Repulsion, ... produces the ideal world for enjoyment (ananda) and is called Anandatwa or Manas, the Mind. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 27.)

The Body – Vijnanamayakosa or Intellect
Buddhi, the 2nd Kosha. The second is the ... Buddhi, the Intelligence that determines what is truth. Thus, being the seat of knowledge, jnana, it is called Jnanamaya Kosha. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 35.)

The nescience imagined in [Brahman] and its effects, namely the individual, the Lord and the world, are unreal in all the three periods of time. Whatever is seen is the play of the intellect which is the effect of that nescience. Brahman, while unmoved, illumines the intellect. This intellect projects its false imagination in the states of waking and dreaming and merges in the nescience in the state of deep sleep. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 14.)

The Self which is self-luminous and the witness of everything manifests itself as residing in the vijnanakosa (sheath of the intellect). By the mental mode which is impartite, seize this Self as your goal and enjoy it as the Self. (Ramana Maharshi, SE, answer to question 32.)

The Body – Anandamaya Kosa or Causal Body
Maya has been defined as a composition of the three gunas. It is the causal body of the Atman. Through these, the seeker tastes everlasting bliss. (Shankara in CJD, 50.)

Functioning through the causal body the mind enjoys bliss; it dwells in the anandamaya kosa. This corresponds to the semi-conscious state experienced by Chaitanya. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna IN FMSR, 71.)

Chaitanya experienced … the semi-conscious state, when his mind entered the causal body and was absorbed in the bliss of divine intoxication. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 330.)

By means of [the causal body] one enjoys the Bliss of God and holds communion with Him. The Tantra calls it the Bhagavati Tanu, the Divine Body. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 902.)

This Purusha, the Son of God (1) is screened by five coverings called the koshas or sheaths.

Heart, the 1st Kosha. The first of these five is the Heart, Chitta, the Atom, ... and ... being the seat of bliss, ananda, is called Anandamaya Kosha. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 35.)

(1) The Christ, Self, or Atman.

Anandamaya-kosha, the sheath of bliss (referring to the ego or causal body), so called because it is nearest the blissful Atman. (Usha, RVW, 42.)

The Body – Beyond the bodies is the Mahavayu or Great Cause
Last of all the mind loses itself in the Great Cause. What one experiences after that cannot be described in words. In his inmost state of consciousness Chaitanya enjoyed this experience. Do you know what that state is like? Dayananda described it by saying, “Come into the inner apartments and shut the door.” Anyone and everyone cannot enter that part of the house. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in FMSR, 71.)

The Body - Without the Self, the body is dead

Without the Self, there is no life. (UPAN, 27.)

Who could live, who could breathe, if that blissful Self dwelt not within the lotus of the heart? (UPAN, 56.)

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (Jesus in John 6:63.)

The body without the spirit is dead. (James 2:26.)

Some will say, How are the dead (1) raised up? (2) And with what body do they come? (3)

Thou, fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: (4)

... There are ... celestial bodies, (5) and bodies terrestrial: (6) but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. (7)

... So also is the resurrection of the dead. (8) It is sown in corruption; (9) it is raised in incorruption. (10)

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. ...

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; (11) neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (12)

Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (13)

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, (14) at the last trump: (15) for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (16)

For this corruptible must put on incorruptible, and this mortal must put on immortality. (17)

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (18)

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (St. Paul in I Corinthians 15:35-55.)

(1) Mortals, the unenlightened, who are "dead" to Spirit or unconscious of It.
(2) Made immortal, enlightened.
(3) To God.
(4) The lower self or ego the carnal self, is not profitable except it be transcended.
(5) The eternal Self and its higher sheaths or koshas.
(6) The lower physical and astral bodies.
(7) The glory of the celestial bodies is in enlightenment, Self-realization; the glory of the terrestrial bodies lies in lesser worldly aims like gratification of the senses, ambition, pride of accomplishment, etc.
(8) The attainment of full enlightenment, raising one from mortality (“the dead”) to immortality.
(9) We are ordained to attain God by overcoming the conditions of the world through mastering the lessons of physical, worldly life.
(10) We then leave the world behind, unstained, perfected, raised to immortality and able to enter the New Jerusalem, the Kingdom of Heaven.
(11) Nothing physical can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
(12) Neither can evil deeds and sensuality win us heaven.
(13) Not everyone shall remain unconscious of God and the spiritual life, as the unrealized are. Some will wake up and realize the Self. All will eventually do so.
(14) Enlightenment happens in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.
(15) Yogananda suggests this "trumpet" is the sound of OM heard in the energy centers of the body. (Cf. SCC, 1, 15-21.)
(16) The unenlightened shall be purified and raised beyond the touch of materiality forever, through Self-realization.
(17) It is God's plan for everyone that they move from darkness into light, from unenlightenment into enlightenment.
(18) For the Self-realized, there will be no return to the physical realm: they will then be immortal. There will be no more birth into the physical world and hence no more death.

Without this [original] mind, (1) we can't move. The body has no awareness. Like a plant or stone, the body has no nature. So how does it move? It's the [original] mind that moves. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 21.)

(1) The Self, the Christ, or Atman – all synonyms.

The body is matter (Jada), (1) it never knows, it is always the known. (Ramana Maharshi, SDB, xvi.)

(1) Insentient.

The Body - You cannot escape it

You cannot neglect your body and learn to love yourself. Instead, embrace the body with love and it will become a willing servant to the goals of Spirit.

Even if it were possible to totally neglect the physical body, freedom would not be found. For upon the death of the physical body, another body is experienced. Each body is a sheath or a veil that holds the soul in some degree of ignorance/limitation. We are always attracted to the bodily form that allows us to fully experience our current level of fear. The more volatile our fears, the denser the body must be to contain them.

So I suggest to you the futility of trying to escape the body you are in. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 36.)

The Body - The body is an instrument for enlightenment only

The physical body ... is born through the karma of the previous life, and is the vehicle of experience for the Atman. (Shankara in CJD, 45.)

It is through the body's help that the Self is realized. (Ramana Maharshi, CI, n.p.)

The body is called the Field, because a man sows seeds of action in it, and reaps their fruits. Wise men say that the Knower of the Field is he who watches what takes place in the body.

Man's body ... has the highest evolutionary value because of unique brain and spinal centres. These enable the advanced devotee fully to grasp and express the loftiest aspects of divinity. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, guru to Paramahansa Yogananda in AY, 110.)

The body is your animal -- the horse upon which you ride. Therefore you must treat it well, and take good care of it; you must not overwork it, you must feed it properly on pure food and drink only, and keep it strictly clean always, even from the minutest speck of dirt. For without a perfectly clean and healthy body you cannot do the arduous work of preparation, you cannot bear its ceaseless strain. But it must always be you who controls that body, not it that controls you. (Krishnamurti, AFM, 22-3.)

The Body - Taking a body gives rise to suffering

All formations are subject to suffering. ... That which is transient is subject to suffering. (The Buddha in BB, 27.)

To dwell in the three realms is to dwell in a burning house. To have a body is to suffer. ... Those who understand this detach themselves from all that exists and stop imagining or seeking anything. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 2.)

Suffering is inevitable when one assumed a human body. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 943.)

Pleasure and pain are the characteristics of the embodied state. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 275.)

One is aware of pleasure and pain, birth and death, disease and grief, as long as one is identified with the body. All these belong to the body alone and not to the Soul. After the death of the body, perhaps God carries one to a better place. It is like the birth of the child after the pain of delivery. Attaining Self-Knowledge, one looks on pleasure and pain, birth and death as a dream. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 257.)

Tota Puri was a tall and stalwart figure. he was able to make his mind still and devoid of any functions whatever, in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, as a result of practising mental abstraction and meditation for forty long years in solitude as an all-renouncing ascetic. ... [On one occasion] he had a severe attack of blood dysentery. On account of the wringing pain in the intestines day and night, his mind, although calm and tranquil and accustomed to Samadhi, moved away from its abidance in Brahman and came down to body-consciousness. ... The Swami then became terribly annoyed with his own body. He thought, "Even my mind is not under my control today on account of the trouble from this 'cage of bones and flesh'. Away with this nuisance of a body! ... I will put an end to all suffering by immersing it in the Ganga at this dead of night." (Saradananda, SRGM, 1, 546, 558-9.)

The body itself is the worst sickness. (Ramana Maharshi in SRRM, 32.)

There is no need for alarm. The body is itself a disease. Let it have its natural end. Why mutilate it? Simple dressing of the affected part is enough. (Sri Ramana Maharshi when the doctors wanted to amputate his arm to save his life in SMSLS, 49.)

The Body - It changes and decays

[The body] cannot be the Atman, (1) the ever-pure, the self-existent.

It did not exist before birth, it will not exist after death. It exists for a short while only, in the interim between them. Its very nature is transient, and subject to change. It is a compound, not an element. Its vitality is only a reflection. It is a sense-object, which can be perceived, like a jar. How can it be the Atman -- the experiencer of all experiences? (Shankara in CJD, 57.)

(1) The Self or Christ.

The body, which is made up of skin, flesh, blood, arteries, veins, fat, marrow and bone, is full of waste matter and filth. It deserves our contempt. (Shankara in CJD, 45.)

O fool, stop identifying yourself with this lump of skin, flash, fat, bones and filth. Identify yourself with Brahman, the Absolute, the Atman in all beings. That is how you can attain the supreme peace. (Shankara in CJD, 58.)

As to his beauty, [man] is little more than nauseous matter covered with a fair skin. Without frequent washing he becomes utterly repulsive and disgusting. (Al-Ghazzali, AH, 32.)

The Body - Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God

I that am the Mind (1) ... will not suffer the operations ... which ... belong to the body, to be ... brought to perfection (2)...; but being the Porter or Doorkeeper, (3) I will shut up the entrances of Evil, (4) and cut off the thoughtful desires of filthy works. (5) (Hermes, DPH, 14.)

(1) The universal Mind or God. May also refer to the perfected master, who is also "the Mind."
(2) God has not designed life so that the actions of the body last or reach perfection. The body is impermanent and merely a mechanism that assists us to reach enlightenment, which is the goal of life.
(3) The perfected master is the dispenser of God's grace upon the aspirant. In this sense, he or she holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
(4) The sense doors -- eyes, ear, etc. -- are the entrances of Evil.
(5) Impure wishes and acts.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. (Jesus in John 6:63.)

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. (1) (St. Paul in I Corinthians 15:50.)

(1) Nothing material can enter into the immaterial kingdom. That is one reason why the rich man could not go through the eye of the needle: because he was attempting to bring the material, including his desires, with him.

As long as a man remains conscious of the body, he is conscious of duality. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 269.)

Without desires the body cannot live. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 397.)

The Body - Don't live for it

No one's body is of the same will as the soul; food and also a store of wealth is the body's desire (while) righteous action and the distribution of gifts is the desire of the soul. (Zarathustra in GZ 108.)

Whoever works for the body cannot save the soul, for (he is) as it were fat while the soul is lean and hungry in Hell; whoever labours for the soul, (his) body is hungry and lean because of worldly misery and destitution, but his soul is fat in heaven. (Zarathustra in GZ, 158.)

He who tries to find the Atman by feeding the cravings of the body, is trying to cross a river by grasping a crocodile, mistaking it for a log. (Shankara in CJD, 45.)

Through ignorance, man identifies the Atman with the body, taking the perishable for the real. Therefore he nourishes this body, and anoints it, and guards it carefully. He becomes enmeshed in the things of the sense like a caterpillar in the threads of its cocoon. (Shankara in CJD, 54.)

Body and wealth are impermanent. Why go to so much trouble for their sakes? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 285.)

A true spiritual devotee does not care for such things as wealth or health. He thinks: “Why should I practise spiritual austerities for creature comforts, money, or name and fame? These are all impermanent. They last only a day or two.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 286.)

Jesus warns people not to be material and use all their energies in worrying about food and raiment. Jesus tells us to concentrate on eternal life which is the source of all lives, and attain immortality, while casually eating or clothing the body without much worrying. Jesus ate and clothed himself but his whole mind was on God. By this he found the source of life and did not waste time in acquiring the transitory necessities which support the impermanent bodily house of the immortal soul. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 3, 155.)

Between right and wrong it should not be difficult to choose, for those who wish to follow the Master have already decided to take the right at all costs. But the body and the man are two, and the man's will is not always what the body wishes. When your body wishes something, stop and think whether you really wish it. For you are God, and you will only what God wills; but you must dig deep down into yourself to find the God within you, and listen to His voice, which is your voice. (Krishnamurti, AFM, 20.)

The astral body has its desires -- dozens of them; it wants you to be angry, to say sharp words, to feel jealous, to be greedy for money, to envy other people their possessions, to yield yourself to depression. All these things it wants, and many more, not because it wishes to harm you, but because it likes violent vibrations, and likes to change them constantly. But you want none of these things, and therefore you must discriminate between your wants and your body's. (Krishnamurti, AFM, 23-4.)

The Body - Don't mistake it for the true Self

That which is non-existent can never come into being, and that which is can never cease to be. Those who have known the inmost Reality know also the nature of is and is not. (Sri Krishna in BG, 36.)

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (Jesus in John 3:6.)

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (St. Paul in I Corinthians 3:16.)

What seers call the gross body ... is known to be the root of that delusion of "I' and "mine". (Shankara in CJD, 43.)

The fool sees the reflection of the sun in the water of a jar, and thinks it is the sun. Man in the ignorance of his delusion sees the reflection of Pure Consciousness upon the coverings, and mistakes it for the real I. (Shankara in CJD, 68.)

Just a pillow-case. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna speaking of his body, in GSR, 133.)

The body and the soul. The body was born and it will die. But for the soul there is no death. It is like the betel-nut. When the nut is ripe it does not stick to the shell. But when it is green it is difficult to separate from the shell. After realizing God, one does not identify any more with the body. Then he knows that body and soul are two different things. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 319.)

A sadhaka begins by taking himself as the body, but when he gets at the Self, he will realise himself to be the Pure Intelligence – even the body will then appear as that intelligence, as the variously shaped jewellery are nought but gold… (pensively). Yes, it is possible for a sadhaka who has experienced the Self to continue identifying himself with the body when out of meditation, but he gradually loses the identification in the course of his practice. In the floodlight of the Self the darkness of illusion disspates for ever. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 91.)

The Bible refers to Aum (1) as the Holy Ghost or invisible life force that divinely upholds creation. "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which we have of God, and ye are not your own?" - I Corinthians 6:19. (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 363n.)

(1) The Divine Mother, Shakti, or Holy Ghost – all synonyms.

Do not mistake your bodies for yourself -- neither the physical body, nor the astral, nor the mental body. Each one of them will pretend to be the Self, in order to gain what it wants. But you must know them all, and know yourself as their master. (Krishnamurti, AFM, 20-1.)

The concept "I-am-the-body" is the primal ignorance. It is known as the firm knot of the heart. It gives rise to the concepts of existence and non-existence. If there is no trace of it at all everything will be found to be the Reality of the Supreme Absolute Being. (Da Free John in HRG, 15.)

The concept "I-am-the-body" is the sentient inner organ, the mind. It is also the illusive bondage to identification with birth and death. (Da Free John in HRG, 15.)

The Body - Love of or identification with it keeps one in the cycle of birth and death, far from God - See also - Non-Duality - The existence of body consciousness is one cause of the experience of duality

The cause of death (1) is the love of the body. (2) (Hermes, DPH, 12.)

(1) Mortality, both in the sense of being born and dying again and again and in the sense of being unenlightened.
(2) The love of one's life and of one's bodily or sensory experiences.

Your real body has no sensation, no hunger or thirst, no love or attachment, no pleasure or pain, no good or bad, no shortness or length, no weakness or strength. Actually, there's nothing here. It's only because you cling to this material body that things like hunger and thirst, warmth and cold and sickness appear. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 19-20.)

As long as one is conscious of the body, one is also conscious of objects. Form, taste, smell, sound and touch -- these are the objects. It is extremely difficult to get rid of the consciousness of objects and one cannot realize 'I am He' as long as one is aware of objects. (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 181.)

So long as there is the idea that the body is the Self one cannot be a realizer of truth whoever he might be. (Ramana Maharshi, SI, Chapter 2, Question 20.)

The Body - Its relationship to the Self

The attributes of matter are superimposed on Spirit, (1) and the attributes of Spirit are superimposed on matter. Therefore when the body is ill a man says, 'I am ill.' (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 969.)

(1) The All-Self, God, or Brahman.

The nexus of the body and the Self is called the granthi. (1) It is only by this connection with the Self that one is aware of the body.

This body is insentient. The Self is pure awareness. The connection between the two is deduced through the intellect.

Oh child, enveloped by the diffused light of pure awareness the body functions. Owing to non-apprehension (of the world) in sleep (swoon), and so on, the location of the Self has to be inferred.

Even as subtle forces like the electric current pass through visible wires, the light of awareness flows through a nadi (2) in the body.

When the effulgent light of awareness shines in atma nadi (3) alone, nothing else shines except the Self.

Anything that appears before (such a jnani) has no separate existence. He knows the Self clearly as the ignorant one his body.

He for whom the atman (4) alone shines, within, without and everywhere, as (clearly as) objects to the ignorant, is called one who has cut the nexus.

The nexus is twofold; one the bond of the nadis, dwells in one nadi alone, the bond (between awareness and the body) is sundered and the light abides in the Self.

As a heated iron-ball appears as a ball of fire, this (body) heated in the fire of Self-enquiry shines as the Self.

The old vasanas (5) pertaining to the body, (mind and so on) are destroyed. Being free from body-consciousness one never has the sense of doership.

Since such a one has no sense of doership, his karma (6), it is said, is completely destroyed. As nothing but the Self exists, no doubts arise for him. xx Once the knot is cut, one is never bound again. This is considered the state of power supreme and peace supreme. (Sri Ramana Maharshi in SRG, 49-55.)

(1) Knot.
(2) Nerve.
(3) According to Da Free John, "the 'Amrita Nadi' is the 'Form of Reality,' founded in the heart and terminated in the aperture of the head. It is the cycle or form of unqualified enjoyment that contains and is the source of all things, all bodies, realms, experiences, states, and levels of being. Its basic nature is unqualified enjoyment or bliss. It is all-powerful Existence or unqualified Presence. It is your very nature at this moment, and it is experienced as such when true understanding arises and becomes the radical premise of conscious life." (Da Free John, KOL, 157.)
(4) The Self or Christ.
(5) Latent tendencies or habit patterns.
(6) The residue of acts in which he or she is implicated as a result of the law of cause and effect.

The Body - When body-consciousness goes, we are liberated

This is, O Son, the Guide in the way that leads thither; for thou must first forsake the Body before thy end, (1) and get the victory in this contention. (Hermes, DPH, 2.)

(1) Before thy death. God has decreed that one must achieve enlightenment while alive in the physical body.

Man, in his ignorance, identifies himself with the material sheaths that encompass his true Self. Transcending these, he becomes one with Brahman, who is pure bliss. (UPAN, 52.)

The man who has learned that the Self is separate from the body, the senses, and the mind, and has fully known him, the soul of truth, the subtle principle -- such a man verily attains to him, and is exceeding glad, because he has found the source and dwelling place of all felicity. (UPAN, 18.)

To the Birthless, the light of whose consciousness forever shines, belongs the city of eleven gates. (1) He who meditates on the ruler of that city knows no more sorrow. (UPAN, 22.)

(1) Footnote by Prabhavananda and Manchester: "The Birthless is the Self; the city of eleven gates is the body with its apertures -- eyes, ears, etc." (p. 22n.)

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; (1) and I knew it not.

And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. (Genesis 28:16-7.)

(1) The place he is referring to is not a geographical location; it is the body, Beth-El, the House of the Lord.

Your real body has no sensation, no hunger or thirst, no love or attachment, no pleasure or pain, no good or bad, no shortness or length, no weakness or strength. Actually, there's nothing here. It's only because you cling to this material body that things like hunger and thirst, warmth and cold and sickness appear. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 19-20.)

Whoever realizes that the six senses aren't real, that the five aggregates are fictions, that no such things can be located anywhere in the body understands the language of buddhas. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 24.)

The intelligent man may be learned in the Vedanta and the moral laws. But there is not the least hope of his liberation until he stops mistakenly identifying himself with the body and the sense-organs. (Shankara in CJD, 58.)

When all the five coverings are removed, the pure Atman is revealed. It is revealed as God dwelling within; as unending, unalloyed bliss; as the supreme and self-luminous Being. (Shankara in CJD, 56.)

If thou sayest, "I know myself," meaning thy outward shape, body, face, limbs, and so forth, such knowledge can never be a key to the knowledge of God. (Al-Ghazzali, AH, 19.)

If a man truly realizes that the body and the world are unreal, then his soul attains samadhi. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 782.)

It is on the gross body that the other bodies subsist. In the false belief of the form "I am the body" are included all the three bodies consisting of the five sheaths. And destruction of the false belief of selfhood in the gross body is itself the destruction of the false belief of selfhood in the other bodies. So inquiry is the means to removal of the false belief of selfhood in all the three bodies. (Ramana Maharshi, SE, answer to question 5.)

The Body - As the sages see it

And [Jesus] took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. (1)

After that [Jesus] put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. (Mark 8:23-5.)

(1) Perhaps seeing the energy system of the body or chakras.

I see the body as a frame made of bamboo strips and covered with a cloth. The frame moves. And it moves because someone dwells inside it. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 969.)

I see you all as so many sheaths, and the heads are moving. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 969.)

Do you know what I see? I see that God alone has become everything. (1) Men and animals are only frameworks covered with skin, and it is He who is moving through their heads and limbs. I see that it is God Himself who has become the block, the executioner, and the victim for the sacrifice. ... There sits Latu resting his head on the palm of his hand. To me it is the Lord who is seated in that posture. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 70-1.)

(1) A level of knowledge known by Sri Ramakrishna as vijnana and by Sri Ramana Maharshi as sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi, superior to jnana or Self-realization.

It seems to me that men and other living beings are made of leather, and that it is God Himself who, dwelling inside these leather cases, moves the hands, the feet, the heads. I had a similar vision once before, when I saw houses, gardens, roads, men, cattle -- all made of One Substance; it was as if they were all made of wax.

I see that it is God Himself who has become the block, the executioner, and the victim for the sacrifice. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 942.)

The soul that realizes the Self may still be connected with a working body, senses, and mind, without identifying itself with that body. (Ramana Maharshi, CI, n.p.)

After realisation the body and all else will not appear different from the Self. (Ramana Maharshi, TWSRM, Question 197.)

[Sri Ramana Maharshi] now moved to an underground pit known as Patala Lingam, where the rays of the sun never fell and which was so dark and unwholesome that few had the courage to enter it. … He was, of course, lost in meditation, absorbed in the Self and unaware of bodily existence while the lower part of his thighs had been nibbled away by the dark denizens of the pit. ….

But try to imagine the state of exaltation in which he now perpetually lived. His bliss was so full that he was entirely unconscious of what was happening to his body. He felt no pain, no discomfort, only an unalloyed and almost overwhelming bliss – the pure Consciousness of the Self. (Subbaraya Karnath, SMSLS, 8.)

There is no need for alarm. The body is itself a disease. Let it have its natural end. Why mutilate it? Simple dressing of the affected part is enough. (Sri Ramana Maharshi when the doctors wanted to amputate his arm to save his life in SMSLS, 49.)

Have I ever asked for any treatment? It is you who want this and that for me, so it is you who must decide. If I were asked I should always say, as I have from the beginning, that no treatment is necessary. Let things take their course. (Ramana Maharshi in SMSLS, 51.)

Let the body, the result of fructifying karma, rest or move about, live or die, the Sage who has realized the Self is not aware of it, just as one in [a] drunken stupor is not aware of his clothing. (Ramana Maharshi in SMSLS, 53.)

The Jnani who has found himself as formless pure Awareness is unaffected though his body be cleft with a sword. Sugar-candy does not lose its sweetness though broken or crushed. (Ramana Maharshi in SMSLS, 53.)

“When we have finished a meal do we keep the leaf-plate on which we have eaten it?” On another occasion he told [pus] that the Jnani rejoices as a servant rejoices to lay down his burden at the place of delivery. (Subbaraya Karnath of Sri Ramana Maharshi in SMSLS, 53.)

Pure Consciousness wholly unrelated to the physical body and transcending the mind is a matter of direct experience. Sages know their bodiless, eternal Existence just as the layman knows his bodily existence. But the experience of Consciousness can be with bodily awareness as well as without it. In the bodiless experience of Pure Consciousness the Sage is beyond time and space, and no question about the position of the Heart can then at all arise.

Since, however, the physical body cannot subsist (with life) apart from Consciousness, bodily awareness has to be sustained by pure Consciousness. The former, by its nature, is limited and can never be co-extensive with the latter, which is infinite and eternal. Body-consciousness is merely a monad-like, miniature reflection of the pure Consciousness with which the Sage has realized his identity. For him, therefore, body consciousness is only a reflected ray, as it were, of the self-effulgent, infinite Consciousness which is himself. It is in this sense alone that the Sage is aware of his bodily existence.

Since, during the bodiless experience of the Heart as pure Consciousness, the Sage is not at all aware of the body, that absolute experience is localized by him within the limits of the physical body by a sort of feeling-recollection made while he is with bodily awareness. (Ramana Maharshi, MG, 74-5.)

The Body - The body of the ordinary person vs. the body of the Avatar – See Avatars – The ordinary person could not tolerate a fraction of their experience

Bondage

It is only if bondage is real that Liberation and the nature of its experiences have to be considered. So far as the Self (Purusha) is concerned it has really no bondage in any of the four states. As bondage is merely a verbal assumption according to the emphatic proclamation of the Vedanta system, how can the question of Liberation, which depends upon the question of bondage, arise when there is no bondage? Without knowing this truth, to enquire into the nature of bondage and Liberation, is like enquiring into the non-existent height, colour, etc., of a barren woman's son or the horns of a hare. (Ramana Maharshi, SI, chapter 4, answer to question 11.)

Only so long as one considers oneself bound do thoughts of bondage and Liberation continue. When one enquires who is bound the Self is realized, eternally attained, and eternally free. When thought of bondage comes to an end, can thought of Liberation survive? (Ramana Maharshi, FVR, verse 39.)

Books – See Intellectuals – Pro: Can reach God, Intellectuals – Con: Cannot reach God - See also Scriptures

Brahmayoni – See Universe - How worlds are created, God the Mother - The universe that She creates is like an island galaxy in the Father, and Formlessness Becomes Form

Breathing - Key to spiritual life

You cannot be in the heart if your breathing is shallow or labored.

When the breath is shallow, thinking is superficial. If you want to live a spiritual life, bring your awareness to your breath. Become aware of the times when you are breathing in a shallow way and bring your awareness to your thoughts. You will see that your mind is chattering. None of these thoughts has depth or significance. If you relax and breathe deeply, these thoughts will fly away like startled birds. And then you will abide in the heart. When the breath is labored, thinking is driven by fear and anxiety. Become aware when your breathing is labored. Notice what you are thinking and feeling. Your mindstates will be rooted in the past or future. You will be focused on what other people are doing and how you can accommodate them or protect yourself from their actions. You are building a fortress of thought around your heart. Take a deep breath and relax. Now take another one. Breathe and return to the heart. Breathe and return to your essential Self. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 9.)

Breathing is the key to living a spiritual life in physical embodiment. When the body dies, the breath leaves the body. Where does it go!

Most of you think that the body is the creator of the breath. Actually, it is the other way around. The breath is the begetter of the body. When the breath goes, the body ceases to function. It disintegrates into nothing because, without the breath of spirit, the body is nothing.

If you want to lead a spiritual life breathe deeply and slowly. Take the air deep down into your abdomen and release it fully. The more air you bring into your body, the lighter it will feel, and the easier it will be for you to accomplish your responsibilities. One who breathes is not afraid or overwhelmed by what life presents because he or she has the energy to meet all circumstances. Only one whose breathing is shallow or labored and irregular is de-energized and easily intimidated by the challenges of life.

Unless you breathe deeply and calmly, you cannot be in your heart. If you do not know what I am talking about, put this book down and begin to breathe into your abdomen, counting to five on the inhalation and counting again to five on the exhalation. Breathe in this way for five minutes, gradually extending your count to seven, or eight, or nine. Do not force. Just expand gradually, as your lungs comfortably allow.

Now you are in your heart. Notice that you are deeply relaxed, yet surprisingly alert. Your consciousness extends to all the cells of your body. You are content where you are. You fully inhabit your body in the present moment. You feel warm and energetic. You feel safe and secure. Your thoughts have slowed down and become more integral. You are no longer focusing on the "shoulds" and "what ifs" of your life. Tension and anxiety are absent. Past and future have receded from your awareness. Your thinking is centered and dignified. You can stay with your thoughts because they are fewer and further between. Now bring your awareness to your heart, as you continue to breathe gently but deeply into your abdomen.

Can you feel the presence of understanding and compassion in your heart center! Can you see that you hold yourself and others in gentle acceptance! Can you feel the love that dwells in your heart and freely extends to others! (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 9-10.)

If you keep forgetting to breathe, the planet is doomed. "Well, " you say, "I can handle that." But it may not be as easy as you think. Try it for a while. Breathe deeply for one day and see what happens. If you are committed to this practice, all that is artificial in your life will begin to fall away. And you may be surprised how much of your life begins to unpeel. Consider this. Is your job safe! Not if you go to work out of sacrifice. What about your marriage! Are you with your partner out of duty or love! What about your values and religious beliefs...are they safe! Or have they been fashioned out of guilt and fear! If so, they will not stand the ebb and flow as the breath comes down into the belly and out through the mouth, the nose, and the skin. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 12-3.)

Can you live without overstimulation! Can you slow down, breathe and live in the moment! It may not be as difficult as you think. Since you can only begin now, not in the past or future, it is a simple challenge. Try it now. Be in the present and breathe for a few minutes. The more you do it, the easier it will become. This practice will gather momentum, like a stream coming down from a mountain, taking with it all the blocks that stand in its way. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 13.)

Nothing keeps you from breathing, because breathing is your only responsibility. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 14.)

Breathe and in time the river of life will find you and adopt you. And then you will be its spokesman and its confidant. The one who listens and the one who tells the truth. The one who serves without saving.

And loves without asking in return. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 14.)

Buddha

I have obtained deliverance by the extinction of self. (The Buddha to Upaka, the first monk he met after enlightenment, in GB, 37.)

The Buddhas of the past, putting away all hankering after the world ... and training their minds in ... Mindfulness; thoroughly exercising themselves in the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, realized supreme Enlightenment. And I know that the Buddhas of the times to come will do the same. And I know that the Exalted One, the Able Awakened One of today, has done so now. (The Buddha in BPM, 154.)

Buddhas don't keep precepts. And Buddhas don't break precepts. Buddhas don't keep or break anything. Buddhas don't do good or evil. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 5.)

Our very nature is Buddha, and apart from this nature there is no other Buddha. (Hui Neng, SHN, 25.)

Buddha - On God

Monks, there is a not-born, a not-become, a not-made, a not-compounded. Monks, if that unborn, not-become, not-made, not-compounded were not, there would be apparent no escape from this, here, that is born, become, made, compounded. (The Buddha in BPM, xiii.)

There is but one common essence. (The Buddha in BB, 283.)

If we examine the origin of anything in all the universe, we find that it is but a manifestation of some primal essence. Even the tiny leaves of herbs, knots of threads, everything, if we examine them carefully we find that there is some essence in its originality. Even open space is not nothingness. How can it be then that the wonderful, pure, tranquil and enlightened Mind, which is the source of all conceptions of manifested phenomena, should have no essence of itself. (The Buddha in BB, 126.)

The Essential Intuitive Mind [possesses] its own mysterious Enlightening Nature, and ... the attainment to this Essential Intuitive Mind unveils this mysterious Enlightening Nature. (The Buddha in BB, 182.)

Buddhism - On Buddhism

All things are a non-dual unity representing the true appearance of all things. This is the fundamental principle of Buddhism. (Hakuin, ZMHK, 1.)

Buddhism - On the Buddha, Buddha-Nature

Followers of the Way, don't take the Buddha to be some sort of ultimate goal. In my view he's more like the hole in a privy. (1) (Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai], LCL, 76.)

(1) Besides meaning to shock his hearers, Master Lin-Chi is also referring to the hole's quality of being a relative absence of anything -- no thing -- which is similar to the Buddha-Nature, which is an absolute absence of anything.

Buddhism - The Three Realms

The three realms are greed, anger and delusion. To leave the three realms means to go from greed, anger and delusion back to morality, meditation and wisdom. (1) (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 23.)

(1) I.e., sila, samadhi, and panna.

Greed is the realm of desire, anger the realm of form and delusion the formless realm. When a thought begins you enter the three realms. The beginning or end of the three realms, the existence or non-existence of anything depends on the mind. This applies to everything, even to such inanimate objects as rocks and sticks. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 26.)

Buddha, patriarchs -- these are just laudatory words and phrases. Do you want to know what the threefold world is? It is nothing other than the mind-ground that you who are now listening to the Dharma are standing on. When you have a moment of greed in your mind, that is the world of desire. When you have a moment of anger in your mind, that is the world of form. When you have a moment of ignorance in your mind, that is the world of formlessness. These are the pieces of furniture in your house. (Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai], LCL, 54.)

The threefold world does not announce, 'I am the threefold world.' Rather it's you, followers of the Way, who do so, this person here in front of my eyes who in marvellous fashion shines his torch on the ten thousand things and sizes up the world - it's he who assigns names to the threefold world. (Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai], LCL, 54.)

Buddhism - The Middle Way

Whoever knows that the mind is a fiction and devoid of anything real knows that his own mind neither exists nor doesn't exist. Mortals keep creating the mind, claiming it exists. And arhats keep negating the mind, claiming it doesn't exist. But bodhisattvas and buddhas neither create nor negate the mind. That is what's meant by the mind that neither exists nor doesn't exist. The mind that neither exists nor doesn't exist is called the Middle Way. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 26.)

Don't hate life and death or love life and death. Keep your every thought free of delusion, and in life you'll witness the beginning of nirvana, and in death you'll experience the assurance of no rebirth. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 29.)

Buddhism – Epitome of the Buddha’s Teachings

Not to commit any sin, to do good, and to purify one's mind, that is the teaching of all the Awakened. (Buddha in TCB, 61.)

Buddhism -The Sutras are not the truth

This teaching is found in all the sutras of all the Buddhas and is presented to meet the varied dispositions of all beings, but it is not the truth itself. These teachings are only a finger pointing toward Noble Wisdom. They are like a mirage with its Springs of water which the deer take to be real and chase after. So with the teachings in all the sutras: They are intended for the consideration and guidance of the discriminating minds of all people, but they are not the truth itself, which can only be self-realised within one's deepest consciousness. (The Buddha in BB, 292-3.)

Transcending life and death is leaving home. Not suffering another existence is reaching the Way. Not creating delusions is enlightenment. Not engaging in ignorance is wisdom. No affliction is nirvana. And no appearance of the mind is the other shore. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 24-5.)

Things like the twelve divisions of the scriptures all speak of surface or external matters. But students don't realize this and immediately form their understanding on the basis of such surface and external words and phrases. All this is just depending on something and whoever does that falls into the realm of cause and effect and hasn't yet escaped the threefold world of birth and death. (Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai], LCL, 36.)

The buddhas are born from the realm that leans on nothing. (1) If you can waken to this leaning on nothing, then there will be no Buddha to get hold of. (Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai], LCL, 36.)

(1) Besides the obvious meaning of "independent," "leaning on nothing" also signifies leaning on God, Who is nothing, no-thing, the Void, emptiness.

Buddhi (Intellect, Intelligence) - See Intellect

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