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The Essays of Brother Anonymous
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Contents

Failing Well
Faith
Faith – Most people lack faith
Faith – Those that lack faith will fail
Family background
Fate – See also Natural Law – The Law of Karma
The Father - Synoptic descriptions - See also Male/Female Principle
The Father – God can be seen
The Father - God alone is real; He alone exists
The Father – God is one
The Father - He has no gender
The Father - He is the transcendental; the Mother is the phenomenal
The Father - He stands behind Her - See also The Mother
The Father - He remains eternally veiled in Her mysterious veil of matter
The Father – God is the Self of the Self
The Father – God alone is the Doer of all actions
The Father - He is the first and the last
The Father - He is source, refuge, and goal of life
The Father - His ways are higher than our ways
The Father - He operates everything - See Discriminate between the Unreal and the Real – Self-Enquiry – Eradicate the sense of doership
The Father - Without Him, we are lost - See Discriminate betwen the Unreal and the Real – Self-Enquiry – Eradicate the sense of doership
The Father - He is everyone's ideal and the object of all longing
The Father – I am That
The Father – He can only be known by the pure mind
The Father – Seek Him within
The Father - Love Him with all your heart
The Father - Know Him and be free
The Father - Realize Who He is

He is transcendent
He is supreme
He is unchanging
Yet He includes changeability
He is all-powerful
He is omniscient
He is omnipresent
He is found within and without
He has form and again He does not
He is without attributes
He is beyond dualities
He is indescribable
He is inscrutable
He is unfathomable, imperceptible, unknowable with the mind
He is a Void
He is love
He is light
He is darkness
He is most valuable, most useful

The Father – When will He come?
The Father - He cannot be made an object of awareness: The case of Bernadette Roberts
The Father - "Nothing but God": The case of Swami Vivekananda
Fear – Fear exists only in relationship to something; i.e., only when there is a second and in thought
Fear - Is an obstacle
Fear – Exception: The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge
Feelings
Final birth – See Aspirants – Final birth
Flowing with life
Food
Forbearance
Forgiveness
Free Souls – See Realized Souls, Jnanis, Vijnanis, Paramahansas, Classifications of Individuals
Free Will – See also God – Will of God; see also God – God alone is the Doer of all actions
Freedom
Friends – Associate only with good people



Failing Well

I’m deeply grateful for my Zen practice. It ultimately led me to fail well. I failed at being a Buddhist, I failed at being a perfect exemplar of the ten precepts, and certainly I failed at meditation, failed at all my efforts to bust down the "gateless gate" to awakening that Zen speaks of. And the fact that I actually got to the point where I failed—and I failed completely—was useful. Zen provided a place for me to fail, and I needed that. In fact, I’d say my process wasn’t so much a letting go as an utter failure. Zen did a good job of letting me fall on my face.

  … failure was the success—awakening happened through failure. In that sense I have a great respect for the lineage. What was transmitted was bigger than all the carriers, it was even bigger than the lineage, much bigger than Zen, much bigger than Buddhism. (Adyashanti, TE.)

Faith

O Lord, in thee do I put my trust. (Psalm 7:1.)

For verily I say into you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (Jesus in Mark 11:23.)

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not and it shall be given him.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (James 1:5-6.)

A firm conviction, based upon intellectual understanding that the teachings of the scriptures and of one's master are true -- this is called by the sages the faith which leads to realization of the Reality. (Shankara in CJD, 36.)

For the intellect faith is ... like a dark night. (St. John of the Cross in CWSJC, 74.)

All things are possible to him who believes; ... they are less difficult to him who hopes; ... they are more easy to him who loves; and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 22.)

The most important thing is faith. … If one has faith one has nothing to fear. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 241.)

One needs faith – faith in the words of the guru, childlike faith. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 381.)

Through faith alone one attains everything. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 234.)

One must take the firm attitude: “What? I have chanted the Mother’s name. How can I be a sinner any more? I am Her child, heir to Her powers and glories.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 147.)

Once a person has faith he has achieved everything. There is nothing greater than faith. ... If a man has faith, then even if he has committed the most heinous sins ... he will certainly be saved through his faith. Let him only say to God, “O Lord, I will not repeat such an action,” and he need not be afraid of anything. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 87.)

It is written in the books of the Vaishanava: “God can be attained through faith alone; reasoning pushes Him far away.” Faith alone. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 310.)

God can be realized by true faith alone. And the realization is hastened if you believe everything about God. The cow that picks and chooses its food gives milk only in dribblets, but if she eats all kinds of plants, then her milk flows in torrents. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 292.)

A guru said to his disciple, “It is Rama alone who resides in all bodies.” The disciple was a man of great faith. One day a dog snatched a piece of bread from him and started to run away. He ran after the dog, with a jar of butter in his hand, and cried again and again, “O Rama, stand still a minute. That bread hasn’t been buttered.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 293.)

Whichever attitude you adopt, you will certainly realize God if you have firm faith. You may believe in God with form or in God without form, but your faith must be sincere and whole-hearted. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 234.)

The practise of discipline is absolutely necessary. Why shouldn't a man succeed if he practises sadhana? But he doesn't have to work hard if he has real faith -- faith in his guru's words. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 247.)

Faith! Faith! Faith! Once a guru said to his pupil, “Rama alone has become everything.” When a dog began to eat the pupil’s bread, he said to it: “O Rama, wait a little. I shall butter Your bread.” Such was his faith in the words of his guru. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 252.)

One should have such burning faith in God that one can say: “What? I have repeated the name of God, and can sin still cling to me? How can I be a sinner any more? How can I be in bondage any more?”

If a man repeats the name of God, his body, mind, and everything become pure. Why should one talk only about sin and hell, and such things? Say but once, “O Lord, I have undoubtedly done wicked things, but I won’t repeat them.” And have faith in His name. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 138.)

What if you are [householders]? Through His grace even the impossible becomes possible. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 293.)

What can one not achieve through simple faith! Once there was an annaprasana ceremony in a guru’s house. His disciples volunteered, according to their powers, to supply the different articles of food. He had one disciple, a very poor widow, who owned a cow. She milked it and brought the guru a jar of milk. He had thought that she would take charge of all the milk and curd for the festival. Angry at her poor offering, he threw the milk away and said to her, “Go and drown yourself.” The widow accepted this as his command and went to the river to drown herself. But God was pleased with her guileless faith and, appearing before her, said: “Take this pot of curd. You will never be able to empty it. The more curd you pour out, the more will come from the pot. This will satisfy your teacher.” The guru was speechless with amazement when the pot was given to him. After hearing from the widow the story of the pot, he went to the river, saying to her, “I shall drown myself if you cannot show God to me.” God appeared then and there, but the guru could not see Him. Addressing God, the widow said, “If my teacher gives up his body because Thou does not reveal Thyself to him, then I too shall die.” So God appeared to the guru – but only once.

Now you see, because of faith in her guru the disciple herself had the vision of God and also showed Him to her teacher. Therefore I say, “Even though my guru frequents a grog-shop, still to me he is the embodiment of Eternal Bliss.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 1016.)

[Nag Mahasaya’s] was the faith that would move mountains. He would accept whatever Sri Ramakrishna said as the gospel truth. To him even what Sri Ramakrishna said in jest had a profound significance. (NM, 45.)

Faith, Love, Grace are all your nature, the Self. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 42.)

Faith – Most people lack faith

People don’t trust a man when he speaks about God. Even if a great soul affirms that he has seen God, still the average person will not accept his words. He says to himself, “If this man has really seen God, then let him show Him to me.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 211.)

Faith – Those that lack faith will fail

Nothing whatsoever is achieved by the performance of worship, japa, and devotions, without faith. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 286.)

The man who says he will not succeed will never succeed. He who feels he is liberated is indeed liberated; and he who feels he is bound verily remains bound. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 706.)

Family background

Look here, I don’t ordinarily inquire about the family background of anyone who comes here. I only look into his heard and read his feelings. In your case [Tarak, later Swami Shivananda], the very sight of you has made me realize that you belong here, and I have a desire to know something of your father and people at home. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in SGS, 6-7.)

Fate – See also Natural Law – The Law of Karma

If a person is going to die he will die whatever happens, you cannot prevent it. He may walk across the road and be killed by a car. Anyhow, he will die. (Sri Ramana Maharshi in SRRM, 76.)

The Creator remaining everywhere makes each one play his role in life according to their Karma. That which is not destined will not happen despite every effort. What is destined is bound to happen. This is certain. (Sri Ramana Maharshi in BRM, 11-2.)

The Father - Synoptic descriptions - See also Male/Female Principle

God is both formless and endowed with form. He is many things more. The Absolute and the Relative belong to one and the same Reality. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 366.)

Brahman is Infinite Being, Infinite Wisdom, Infinite Bliss. In It there exist no delusion, no misery, no disease, no death, no growth, no decay. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 71.)

That into which we merge ourselves in the cosmic consciousness is Satchidananda. (1) It is one eternal Existence that we ... are, one eternal Consciousness which sees its own works in us and others, one eternal Will or Force of that Consciousness which displays itself in infinite workings, one eternal Delight which has the joy of itself and all its workings, -- itself stable, immutable, timeless, spaceless, supreme and itself still in the infinity of its workings, not changed by their variations, not broken up by their multiplicity, not increased or decreased by their ebbings and flowings in the seas of Time and Space, not confused by their apparent contrarieties or limited by their divinely-willed limitations. Satchidananda is the unity of the many-sidedness of manifested things, the eternal harmony of all their variations and oppositions, the infinite perfection which justifies their limitations and is the goal of their imperfections. (Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 395.)

From our perception of the world there follows acceptance of a unique First Principle possessing various powers. Pictures of name and form, the person who sees, the screen on which he sees, and the light by which he sees: he himself is all of these. (Ramana Maharshi, FVR, verse 1.)

In the Vedas, reality experienced at the transcendental level is called Brahman. This term denotes a non-dual pure consciousness which pervades the universe and yet remains outside it. Brahman is described as the first principle; from it all things are derived, by it all are supported, and into it all finally disappear. In Brahman alone the apparent differences of the phenomenal world are unified. According to the non-dualistic Vedanta philosophy, Brahman is identical with the self of man, known as Atman. (Nikhilananda, HIN, 29.)

The Father – God can be seen

Yet in fact he is not hidden, for he is clearly and truly accessible, admittedly not to all but only to them who pass beyond all things that exist, whether they be clean or unclean; who transcend every method, achieving whatever holy end or purpose is open to men and angels; who dispense with all divine 'lights' and heavenly sounds and works, and enter into the darkness with love; for in truth it is here, as the Bible makes clear, that he dwells who is above all. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 211.)

God really exists. You don’t see the stars in the day-time, but that doesn’t mean that the stars do not exist. There is butter in milk. But can anybody see it by merely looking at the milk? To get butter you must churn milk in a quiet and cool place. You cannot realize God by a mere wish; you must go through some mental disciplines. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 48.)

God can be seen. One can talk to Him as I am talking to you. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 109.)

Yes, I have seen God. I have seen Him more tangibly than I am talking to you. … But, my child, who wants to see God? People shed jugs of tears for money, wife, and children. But if they would weep for God for only one day they would surely see Him. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 57.)

Yes, God can be seen. Can God, whose creation is so beautiful and enchanting, be imperceptible? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in TLWG, 81.)

When the mind is united with God, one sees Him very near, in one's own heart. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 916.)

As I see this fan, directly before me, in exactly the same manner have I seen God. ... I have seen that He and the one who dwells in my heart are one and the same Person. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 949.)

God can be realized. Can God, whose glory is so beautiful, be unperceivable? Let anyone verify whether this is true or not. If God is not perceivable, then the scriptures lose their worth. Would you say that the words of the scriptures are all fantasies – that they have been composed like fictions and dramas to mesmerize men of the Kaliyuga? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in FMSR, 131.)

The Father - God alone is real; He alone exists

Verily, all is [God]. (UPAN, 46.)

[There is] no other beside me.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 71.)

God made all things.
There is only God.
(Ashtavakra, HA, xxiv.)

I am God, and there is none else. (Isaiah 5:22.)

[God] is real; the universe is unreal. A firm conviction that this is so is called discrimination between the eternal and non-eternal. (Shankara, CJD, 35.)

[God] alone is real. There is none but He. When He is known as the supreme reality there is no other existence but [God]. (Shankara, CJD, 69.)

No matter what a deluded man may think he is perceiving he is really seeing [God] and nothing else but [God]. (Shankara, CJD, 71.)

There is no absolute which has not a relative side. Because of this, whatever is worshipped, the Absolute appears in that face. Whether or not the owner of a belief knows this, this is how it is. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 24.)

At last the gnostic (1) understands … whatever is manifested is …that … One Existence, One Soul, One Body; it is neither separated nor individuated; that everything in immanence is nothing other than His Manifestation and Tools. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 7.)

(1) The knower of God.

It is absolutely impossible to worship other than Him. Even the worship of an idol results in the worship of God, because the existence of the idol is also of God. To be able to understand this it is necessary to understand and to know that all existence is of God. ... The gnostic, after having understood this meaning, neither enters into nor denies anybody else's belief, because he understands there is no other existent but him and because he saw the All linked together in a chain of order, and understood that he himself is nothing other than an order and a will. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 25.)

God ... alone is real; all else is illusory. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 95.)

God alone is real and all else is unreal. Water alone is real; its bubbles appear and disappear. They disappear into the very water from which they arise. (GSR, 788.)

God is like an ocean, and living beings are its bubbles. (GSR, 788.)

Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute is one, and one only. But it is associated with different limiting adjuncts on account of the different degrees of Its manifestation. That is why one finds various forms of God. The devotee sings, “O my Divine Mother, Thou art all these!” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 277.)

Nothing exists except the One. That One is the Supreme Brahman. So long as He keeps the “I” in us, He reveals to us that it is He who, as the Primal Energy, creates, preserves, and destroys the universe. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 242.)

Brahman and the Primal Energy at first appear to be two. But after attaining the Knowledge of Brahman one does not see the two. Then there is no differentation; it is One, without a second -- Advaita -- non-duality. (Ramakrisha in GSR, 242.)

[God] alone is real. Real means eternal, and unreal means impermanent. He who has acquired discrimination knows that God is the only Substance and all else is non-existent. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 327.)

God alone is the real and permanent Substance; all else is illusory and impermanent. The magician alone is real; his magic is illusory. This is discrimination. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 179.)

In the Vedas, reality experienced at the transcendental level is called Brahman. This term denotes a non-dual pure consciousness which pervades the universe and yet remains outside it. Brahman is described as the first principle; from it all things are derived, by it all are supported, and into it all finally disappear. In Brahman alone the apparent differences of the phenomenal world are unified. According to the non-dualistic Vedanta philosophy, Brahman is identical with the self of man, known as Atman. (Nikhilananda, HIN, 29.)

All one’s confusion comes to an end if one only realizes that it is God who manifests Himself as the atheist and the believer, the good and the bad, the real and the unreal; that it is He who is present in waking and in sleep; and that He is beyond all these. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 236.)

[One] day I saw rice, vegetables, and other food-stuff, and filth and dirt as well, lying around. Suddenly the soul came out of my body and, like a flame, touched everything. It was like a protruding tongue of fire and tasted everything once, even the excreta. It was revealed to me that all these are one Substance, the non-dual and indivisible Consciousness. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 282.)

These are very profound words. I feel as if someone were pressing my mouth. … I have seen with my own eyes that God dwells even in the sexual organ. I saw Him once in the sexual intercourse of a dog and a bitch.

The universe is conscious on account of the Consciousness of God. Sometimes I find that this Consciousness wriggles about, as it were, even in small fish. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 260.)

Sometimes I find that the universe is saturated with the Consciousness of God, as the earth is soaked with water in the rainy season. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 260.)

The Father – God is one

The Reality is one. People give It various names. Take the case of a lake with four landing-ghats on its four banks. People who draw water at one ghat call it “jal,” and those who draw water at the second ghat call it “pani.” A the third ghat they call it “water,” and at the fourth “aqua.” But it is one and the same thing: water. (Letter from Aswini Kumar Dutta to “M,” with reminiscences of PR in GSR, 1024.)

That which is Brahman is also Rama, Krishna, and Siva. … There is only One without a second. The Vedas speak of It as “Om Satchidananda Brahma,” the Puranas as “Om Satchidananda Krishna,” and the Trantra as “Om Satchidananda Siva.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 290.)

The Father - He has no gender

Neither male nor female art thou,
Nor neuter;
Whatsoever form thou assumest,
That thou art.
(UPAN, 126.)

In Brahman there is no distinction between Purusha (1) and Prakriti. (2) ... If Brahman alone is the indivisible Supreme Beatitude, how can one say it is male or female? (Dattatreya, AG, 110.)

(1) The Supreme Person, conventionally considered the mystic male.
(2) Nature, the Creator, the Mother, conventionally considered the mystic female. The difference between male and female is that between the static and the dynamic, the empty and the manifest, silence and sound.

The Father - He is the transcendental; the Mother is the phenomenal

Brahman is that which is immutable, and independent of any cause but Itself. … The creative energy of Brahman is that which causes all existences to come into being. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74.)

A relationship can be imagined only between two existing entities; but pure being (1) and the phenomenal (2) are not perceived to coexist. Because when the one is seen the other disappears, the problem of their relationship baffles human reasoning. Any statement about the creation is figurative, and the Vedas give different descriptions of it so that the mind may understand, by easy stages, that in reality there is no creation at all. (Nikhilananda, HIN, 39.)

(1) The absolute or transcendental world.
(2) The relative or natural world.

The Father - He stands behind Her - See also The Mother

I am that Light, the Mind, thy God, who am before that moist nature that appeared out of darkness. (Hermes, DPH, 8.)

Behind [my Prakriti] (1), and distinct from it, is That which is the principle of consciousness in all beings, and the source of life in all. It sustains the universe. (Sri Krishna in BG, 70.)

(1) Prakriti is the Divine Mother, the primal, creative, manifested energy. In Latin, Prakriti is Procreatrix; cf. Ramakrishnananda, GDI, 1.

This entire universe is pervaded by me, in that eternal form of mine which is not manifest to the senses. Although I am not within any creature, all creatures exist within me. I do not mean that they exist within me physically. That is my divine mystery. You must try to understand its nature. My Being sustains all creatures and brings them to birth, but has no physical contact with them. (Sri Krishna in BG, 80.)

As to what pertains to Manifestation, the Principle [of life] (1) causes the succession of its phases, but is not this succession. It is the author of causes and effects, but is not the causes and effects. It is the author of condensations and dissipations (birth and death, changes of state), but is not itself condensations and dissipations. All proceeds from it and is under its influence. It is in all things, but is not identical with beings, for it is neither differentiated nor limited. (Chang Tsu in PP, 7-8.)

(1) The Father.

Maya, (1) which is not essentially different from Brahman, is the material cause, and Brahman, as pure intelligence, is the efficient cause of the universe. After projecting all material forms, Brahman enters into them as life and consciousness and animates them. Thus Brahman, which is transcendental, becomes immanent in the universe. (Nikhilananda, HIN, 45.)

(1) Maya is a name for the Divine Mother.
(2) The Heavenly Father.

The Father - He remains eternally veiled in Her mysterious veil of matter

Veiled in my Maya, (1) I am not shown to many.
How shall this world, bewildered by delusion,
Recoghnize me, who am not born and change not?
(Sri Krishna in BG, 73.)

(1) Matter, mater, Mother.

Whatever is within the domain of maya is unreal. Give it up. Destroy the prison-house of name and form and rush out of it with the strength of a lion. Dive deep in search of the Self and realize It through samadhi. You will find the world of name and form vanishing into void, and the puny ego dissolving in Brahman-Consciousness. (Totapuri in GSR, 28.)

On account of Maya, Satchidananda is not seen. Though now and then one may get a glimpse of It, again Maya covers It. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 831.)

It is extremely difficult to go beyond the three gunas. (1) One cannot reach that state without having realized God. Man dwells in the realm of maya. Maya does not permit him to see God. It has made him a victim of ignorance. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 269.)

(1) Tamas, rajas, and sattwa -- which constitute maya.

Once, when I was explaining God's actions to someone, God suddenly showed me the lake at Kamarpukur. (1) I saw a man removing the green scum and drinking the water. The water was clear as crystal. God revealed to me that Satchidananda is covered by the scum of maya. He who puts the green scum aside can drink the water. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 260.)

(1) Paramahansa Ramakrishna's birthplace.

The Father – God is the Self of the Self

Just as ice is nothing but water, so the Beloved is without form, without quality, and the question of manifestation does not arise. When this is realized, one has realized one's Self. For, to find the Beloved is to find my Self, to discover that God is my very own, wholly identical with myself, my innermost Self, the Self of my Self. Then according to the exigence of time and circumstances, various possibilities may take effect - as for example, the revelation of mantras and even of the entire Vedas by the ancient Rishis who were seers of mantras. All this will occur in consonance with the individual karma and inner disposition of the person concerned. (Sri Anandamoyi Ma, ABPM.)

The Father – God alone is the Doer of all actions

It is God alone who has planted in man’s mind what the “Englishman” calls free will. People who have not realized God would become engaged in more and more sinful actions if God had not planted in them the notion of free will. Sin would have increased if God had not made the sinner feel that he alone was responsible for his sin.

Those who have realized God are aware that free will is a mere appearance. In reality man is the machine and God its Operator, man is the carriage and God its Driver. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 379-80.)

God alone is the Doer. I say: “O Lord, I do as Thou doest through me. I speak as Thou speakest through me. I am the machine and Thou art the Operator. I am the house and Though art the Indweller. I am the engine and Thou art the Engineer.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 209.)

If a man has the firm conviction that God alone is the Doer and he is His instrument, then he cannot do anything sinful. He who has learnt to dance correctly never makes a false step. One cannot even believe in the existence of God until one’s heart becomes pure. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 220.)

What is knowledge? And what is the nature of the ego? “God alone is the Doer, and none else” – that is knowledge. I am not the doer; I am a mere instrument in His hand. Therefore I say: “O Mother, Thou art the Operator and I am the machine. Thou art the Indweller and I am the house. Thou art the Driver and I am the carriage. I move as Thou movest me. I do as Thou makest me do. I speak as Thou makest me speak. Not I, not I, but Thou, but Thou.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 98.)

Only an ignorant person feels that he is the doer. A man verily becomes liberated in life if he feels: 'God is the Doer. He alone is doing everything. I am doing nothing.' Man's sufferings and worries spring only from his persistent thought that he is the doer. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 142.)

The feeling of “Thee and Thine” is the outcome of Knowledge; “I and mine” comes from ignorance. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 265.)

“He is the Master, and the universe and all its living beings belong to Him” – that is Knowledge. And “I am the doer,” “I am the guru,” “I am the father” – that is ignorance. “This is my house’ this is my family; this is my wealth; these are my relatives” – this also is ignorance. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 307.)

’I” and “mine” – that is ignorance. “Thou” and “Thine” – that is Knowledge. A true devotee says: “O God, Thou alone ar the Doer; Thou alone doest all. I am a mere instrument; I do as Thou makest me do. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 900.)

The Father - He is the first and the last

In my mind I [shall] realize Thee as the First and Last. (Zarathustra in GZ, 187.)

I am the beginning, the middle, and the end in creation. (Sri Krishna in BG, 89-90.)

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8.)

Have you already discovered the beginning, that now you can seek after the end? For where the beginning is, the end will be. Blessed is he who shall stand at the beginning, and he shall know the end and he shall not taste death. (Jesus in STJ, 22.)

The Father - He is source, refuge, and goal of life

The whole universe came forth from Brahman and moves in Brahman. (UPAN, 23.)

Brahman is the end of the journey. Brahman is the supreme goal. (UPAN, 20.)

The universe is a tree eternally existing, its root aloft, its branches spread below. The pure root of the tree is Brahman, the immortal, in whom the three worlds have their being, whom none can transcend, who is verily the Self. (UPAN, 23.)

As the web comes out of the spider and is withdrawn, as plants grow from the soil and hair from the body of man, so springs the universe from the eternal Brahman. (UPAN, 43.)

He who knows, meditates upon, and realizes this truth of the Self, finds that everything -- primal energy (1), fire, water, and all other elements -- mind, will, speech, sacred hymns and scriptures -- indeed the whole universe -- issues forth from it. (2) (UPAN, 73.)

(1) The Divine Mother.
(2) The Heavenly Father.

Before creation came into existence, Brahman existed as the Unmanifest. From the Unmanifest he created the Manifest. From himself, he brought forth himself. Hence he is known as the Self-Existent. (UPAN, 56.)

[Brahman] is the principle of life. (UPAN, 45.)

The Seer, the Thinker, the One who is above all, the Self-Existent -- he it is that has established perfect order among objects and beings from beginningless time. (UPAN, 27.)

Brahman sees all, knows all; he is knowledge itself. Of him are born cosmic intelligence, name, form, and the material cause of all created beings and things. (UPAN, 44.)

That being ... is the power of all powers. (UPAN, 21.)

You are ... the goal of all our striving. (Arjuna in BG, 95.)

God (my) Lord, beyond whom there is none. (Zarathushtra in GZ, 178-9.)

The imperishable Brahman ... is the end and refuge of those who seek liberation. (UPAN, 19.)

All the worlds have their being in [Brahman], and no one can transcend it. (UPAN, 22.)

I am the divine seed of all that lives. In this world, nothing animate or inanimate exists without me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 90.)

I am where all things began, the issuing-forth of the creatures, Known to the wise in their love when they worship with hearts overflowing. (Sri Krishna in BG, 87.)

The Lord lives in the heart of every creature. (1) He turns them round and round upon the wheel of his Maya. (2) Take refuge utterly in him. By his grace you will find supreme peace, and the state which is beyond all change. (Sri Krishna in BG, 129.)

(1) As the Atman or individual Self.
(2) Here used to mean the illusion produced by the Divine Mother.

Men take refuge in me, to escape from their fear of old age and death. Thus they come to know Brahman, and the entire nature of the Atman, and the creative energy (1) which is in Brahman. Knowing me, they understand the nature of the relative world (2) and the individual man, and of God who presides over all action. Even at the hour of death, they continue to know me thus. In that hour, their whole consciousness is made one with mine. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74.)

(1) The Mother.
(2) The domain of the Mother.
Brahman is one,
Changeless, untouched by evil:
What home have we but him?
(Sri Krishna in BG, 60.)

Flying from fear,
From lust and anger,
He hides in me
His refuge, his safety:
Burnt clean in the blaze of my being
In me many find home.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 51.)

The Lord is my light and my salvation. (Psalm 27:1.)

The Lord ... is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psalm 91:2.)

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7.)

But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand. (Isaiah 64:8.)

It is the cause of the evolution of the universe, its preservation and its dissolution. (Shankara in CJD, 75-6.)

It was he who created you from dust, making you a little germ, and then a clot of blood. He brings you infants into the world; you reach manhood, then decline into old age (though some of you die young), so that you may complete your appointed term and grow in wisdom. (Koran, 163.)

Allah has brought you forth from the earth like a plant, and to the earth He will restore you. Then He will bring you back afresh. (Koran, 22.)

It is Allah who has created you and given you your daily bread. He will cause you to die hereafter and will then bring you back to life. (Koran, 190.)

The Father - His ways are higher than our ways

But what need have you, Arjuna, to know this huge variety? Know only that I exist, and that one atom of myself (1) sustains the universe. (Sri Krishna in BG, 90.)

(1) Could this one atom be the Atman?

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. (Ecclesiastes 11:5.)

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9.)

The more we busy ourselves to know God's secrets, the futher away from knowledge we shall be. (Julian of Norwich in MJN, 59.)

What can a man understand of God's activities? The facets of God's creation are infinite. I do not try to understand God's actions at all. I have heard that everything is possible in God's creation, and I try to bear that in mind. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 259.)

If a jug of water is enough to remove my thirst, why should I measure the quantity of water in a lake. I become drunk on even half a bottle of wine -- what is the use of my calculating the quantity of liquor in the tavern? What need is there of knowing the Infinite? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 153 and 150.)

How could man's limited reasoning powers comprehend the inconceivable motives of the Uncreated Absolute? The rational faculty in man, tethered by the cause-effect principle of the phenomenal world, is baffled before the enigma of God, the Beginningless, the Uncaused. (Sri Yukteswar Giri in Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 486.)

Brahman is really understood or properly understood by one who has realized that it ought to remain ever the unknown and unknowable to him, but if one thinks, he has known it, then, in fact, he does not know it at all. (Narayananda, GG, 25.)

The Father - He operates everything - See Discriminate between the Unreal and the Real – Self-Enquiry – Eradicate the sense of doership

The Father - Without Him, we are lost - See Discriminate betwen the Unreal and the Real – Self-Enquiry – Eradicate the sense of doership

The Father – He is all we can lawfully desire – See Bhakti Yoga – God is all we can lawfully desire

The Father - He is everyone's ideal and the object of all longing

O Lord (my) God, these two things I long for -- a Vision and a Talk with Thee. (Zarathustra in GZ, 201.)

Our natural desire is to have God and the good desire of God is to have us.

We can never stop this desire or longing until we have our lover in the fulness of joy.

Then we can no more desire. (Julian of Norwich in MJN, 31.)

All things long for it. The intelligent and rational long for it by way of the stirrings of being alive and in whatever fashion befits their condition. (Pseudo-Dionysius in CWPD, 54.)

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 Father – I am That

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.)

Better than viewing Him as Other,
Indeed the noblest attitude of all,
Is to hold Him as the 'I' within,
The very 'I'. (Ramana Maharshi, CW, Chapter 5.)

The Father – He can only be known by the pure mind

[Brahman] cannot be apprehended by the impure mind but can be apprehended by the pure mind. (Ramana Maharshi, SI, Chapter 3, Question 7.)

When the indefinable power of Brahman separates itself from Brahman and, in union with the reflection of consciousness (chidabhasa) assumes various forms, it is called the impure mind. When it becomes free from the reflection of consciousness (abhasa), through discrimination, it is called the pure mind. Its state of union with the Brahman is its apprehension of Brahman. The energy which is accompanied by the reflection of consciousness is called the impure mind and its state of separation from Brahman is its non-apprehension of Brahman. (Ramana Maharshi, SI, Chapter 3, Question 8.)

The Father – Seek Him within

The real Christ and Buddha are in us. (1) (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in LSR, 47.)

(1)Are to be found in the "inner" world of spiritual experience, not in the outer world of matter .

The Father - Love Him with all your heart

Thou shalt love the Lord the God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment. (Jesus in Matthew 22:37.)

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Jesus in Matthew 6:33.)

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you. (Jesus in John 6:27.)

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.)

The Father - Know Him and be free

He who knows that Brahman dwells within the lotus of the heart becomes one with him and enjoys all blessings. (UPAN, 55.)

Having given up the false identification of the Self with the senses and the mind, and knowing the Self to be Brahman, the wise, on departing this life, become immortal. (UPAN, 30.)

The ancient, effulgent being, in-dwelling Spirit, (1) subtle, deep-hidden in the lotus of the heart, is hard to know. But the wise man, following the path of meditation, knows himself and is freed alike from pleasure and from pain. ... When a man is free from desire, his mind and senses purified, he beholds the glory of the Self and is without sorrow. (UPAN, 17-8.)

(1) The Father, the Transcendental or Universal Self, or Paramatman.

He who knows the immutable, the pure, the shadowless, the bodiless, the colorless, attains to Brahman, O my friend. Such an one becomes all-knowing, and he dwells in all beings. Of him it is written:

He who knows that immutable Self, wherein live the mind, the senses, the Pranas, the elements -- verily such an one knows all things, and realizes the Self in all. (1) (UPAN, 39.)

(1) Who knows the Father becomes omniscient and knows the same Spirit that is in all.

Look unto me. (1) (Isaiah 5:22.)

(1) "Look unto me" -- the statement has many levels. One is probably to meditate on me or focus your gaze on the Third Eye, a meditative practice said to complete the energy circuit between the medulla oblongata and the eyes and purify the meditator. Another is to look to me as your salvation.

The living God ... is the Saviour of all men. (St. Paul in I Timothy 4:10.)

Realize Brahman, and there will be no more returning to this world -- the home of all sorrows. You must realize absolutely that the Atman is Brahman. (1)

Then you will win Brahman for ever. He is the truth. He is existence and knowledge. He is absolute. He is pure and self-existent. He is eternal, unending joy. He is none other than the Atman. (Shankara in CJD, 69.)

(1) I.e., the Self is the Father.

The wise men of true discrimination understand that the essence of both Brahman and Atman is Pure Consciousness, and thus realize their absolute identity. (Shankara in CJD, 74.)

Let him observe that the spirit is the Total Spirit, and that the intellect is the Total Intellect, and observe this with the certainty of the Truth ... and then throw away from himself anything called 'partial'. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 5.)

The “Nectar Lake” is the Lake of Immortality. A man sinking in It does not die, but becomes immortal. … God is the Lake of Nectar, the Ocean of Immortality. … Sinking in It, one does not die, but verily transcends death. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 108.)

The Father - Realize Who He is

He is transcendent

It [is] an ineffable "That" of which nothing can be said; for the universe and all that is does not exist in That. (Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 350.)

The Lord God ... is a Spirit even among the spirits. (Zarathustra, GZ, 170.)

p> Man conforms to the earth;
The earth conforms to the sky;
The sky conforms to the Way (1);
The Way conforms to its own nature.
(Lao-Tzu, WOL, 77.)

(1) God the Father.

For he in himself is beyond them all indeed, whether it is by negation or affirmation. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 210.)

Yet in fact he is not hidden, for he is clearly and truly accessible, admittedly not to all but only to them who pass beyond all things that exist, whether they be clean or unclean; who transcend every method, achieving whatever holy end or purpose is open to men and angels; who dispense with all divine 'lights' and heavenly sounds and works, and enter into the darkness with love; for in truth it is here, as the Bible makes clear, that he dwells who is above all. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 211.)

Into this supreme and dazzling darkness we pray that we may come, that by not seeing and knowing we may see and know him who is beyond all seeing and knowing through this very act of not seeing or knowing; and at this supreme peak of being, by dismissing all things that are, that we may praise him who is himself above all. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 212.)

There is no corporeality in the Godhead. (Blessed Henry Suso, HSU, 176.)

No Qualification or name is possible at this station. Whatever word is used to explain this station is inadequate because at this Presence the Ipseity (1) of God is in Complete Transcendence from everything, because He has not yet descended into the Circle of Names and Qualities. All the Names and Qualities are buried in annihilation in the Ipseity of God. ... "Did not a time pass over man when man was not a thing mentioned, remembered or heard of?" ... "At that time God Almighty was in a state such that there was nothing with Him." (Ibn Arabi, KK, 10.)

(1) Being

He is supreme

Brahman is supreme. (UPAN, 46.)

You are all we know, supreme, beyond man's measure. (Arjuna in BG, 92.)

Author of this world, the unmoved and the moving,
You alone are fit for worship, you the highest.
Where in the three worlds shall any find your equal? (Arjuna in BG, 95.)

He is unchanging

Ananda, can you not see the difference in nature in that which moves and changes, and that which is motionless and unchanging? It is body which moves and changes, not Mind. ... As one forgets the true nature of Mind, so he mistakes the reflections of objects as being his own mind, thus binding him to the endless movements and changes and sufferings of the recurrent deaths and rebirths that are of his own causing. You should regard all that changes as "dust-particles" and that which is unchanging as being your own true Nature of Mind. (Buddha in Goddard, Buddhist Bible, 131.)

Like the akasa, Brahman is without any modification. It has become manifold because of Sakti. Again, Brahman is like fire, which itself has no colour. The fire appears white if you throw a white substance into it, red if you throw a red, black if you throw a black. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 280.)

God has revealed to me that only the Paramatman, whom the Vedas describe as the Pure Soul, is as immutable as Mount Sumeru, unattached, and beyond pain and pleasure. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 398.)

Yet He includes changeability

Both changeability and unchangeability belong to one and the same Reality. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 345.)

He is all-powerful

To him Brahmins (1) and Kshatriyas (2) are but food, and death itself a condiment. (UPAN, 19.)

(1) Members of the priestly caste.
(2) Members of the warrior caste.

The wise Creator ... knows all and can do all and is fully perfect in His own Self. (Zarathushtra in GZ, 22.)

The Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible. (Deuteronomy 10:17.)

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39.)

When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. (I Samuel 5:2-4.)

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31.)

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. (Isaiah 46:10.)

The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.

... There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.

An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. (Psalm 33:13 and 16-7.)

With men this is impossible; with God all things are possible. (Jesus in Matthew 19:26.)

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (St. Paul in Romans 9:20-1.)

He makes the night to enter into the day and makes the day to enter into the night.

He brings forth the living from the dead, and brings forth the dead from the living. (Rumi in DR, 15.)

His Power is most great; His Glory is vast; and there is no Divinity but Him. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 10.)

Nothing is impossible for God. … Everything is possible for Him. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 124.)

But is there anything, however hard, that cannot be achieved through God’s grace? His grace makes even the impossible possible. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 1015.)

He is omniscient

Brahman sees all, knows all; he is knowledge itself. (UPAN, 44.)

I am absolute knowledge. (Sri Krishna in BG, 82.)

Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Jesus in Matthew 6:8.)

In the Quran it says: "The keys of the Unknowable are gathered all on His level; He alone knows them." (Ibn Arabi, KK, 10.)

He is omnipresent

Brahman is all. (UPAN, 26.)

This Self ... is God, all gods ... everything that breathes, the beings that walk and the beings that walk not. ... All these, while they live, and after they have ceased to live, exist in him. (UPAN, 62.)

Filled with Brahman are the things we see,
Filled with Brahman are the things we see not,
From out of Brahman floweth all that is:
From Brahman all -- yet is he still the same.
(UPAN, 27.)

God clothes himself ... with a star-studded celestial robe, whose end none can see on any side. (Zarathushtra in GZ, 7-8.)

My face is equal
To all creation.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 84.)

Do not ask whether the Principle is in this or that; it is in all beings. It is on this account that we apply to it the epithets of supreme, universal, total. ... It has ordained that all things shall be limited, but is Itself unlimited, infinite. (Chuang Tzu in PP, 7.)

One Nature, perfect and pervading, circulates in all natures,
One Reality, all-comprehensive, contains within itself all realities. (Yung-chia Ta-shih in PP, 8.)

On the earth whatever is seen is Him. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 24.)

The Beloved is all in all; the lover merely veils Him. (Rumi in PP, 15.)

The greatest of the universe, the deepest ocean is Thou. Why bother to know about places since Being is Thou. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 34.)

What one must understand is that this one Existence has such magnitude that it includes everything. ... It is both relative and absolute, both all-inclusive and transcendent from all. By virtue of Its absoluteness, it is rich beyond need and dear above everything. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 33.)

There is no end to the Ipseity (1) of God or to His qualification. (Ibn-Arabi, KK, 9.)

(1) Being.

'He is at every moment in a different configuration,' means ... that there is no end to the revelation of God. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 9.)

The most advanced devotees say that He Himself has become all this -- the twenty-four cosmic principles, the universe, and all living beings. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 133.)

All one's confusion comes to an end if one realizes that it is God who manifests Himself as the atheist and the believer, the good and the bad, the real and the unreal; that it is He who is present in waking and in sleep; and that He is beyond all these. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 236.)

He is found within and without

What is within us is also without. What is without is also within. He who sees difference between what is within and what is without goes evermore from death to death. (1) (UPAN, 21.)

(1) I.e., is condemned to reincarnate.

The Kingdom is inside you and outside you. (Jesus in STJ, 19.)

The more God is in all things, the more He is outside them. The more He is within, the more He is without. (Meister Eckhart in PP, 2.)

He is able to show His Being either within or without; that which is in the image of everything, that which is understandable in every intellect, the meaning that is in every heart, the thing heard in every ear, the eye that sees in every eye, is Him. ... If He is manifest in this face He is also looking from the other. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 8.)

God is both within and without. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 243.)

God alone is. When I open my eyes, it is Saguna; (1) when I close them, it is Nirguna. (2) (Swami Satchidananda in SWAM, 74-5.)

(1) Saguna = God with qualities or form. Equivalent to saying "All I see around me when my eyes are open is God."

(2) Nirguna = God without qualities or form; i.e., the formless, impersonal, or Transcendental Absolute.

He has form and again He does not

You believe in God without form; that is quite alright. But never for a moment think that this alone is true and all else false. Remember that God with form is just as true as God without form. But hold fast to your own conviction. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna to Mahendranath Gupta, or “M,” in GSR, 80.)

Kabir used to say: “God with form is my Mother, the Formless God my Father. Whom should I blame? Whom should I adore? The two sides of the scale are even.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 233-4.)

Whichever attitude you adopt, you will certainly realize God if you have firm faith. You may believe in God with form or in God without form, but your faith must be sincere and whole-hearted. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 234.)

Under the cooling influence, so to say, of the deep love of Its worshipper, the Infinite reduces Itself to the finite and appears before the worshipper as God with form. Again, as on the rising of the sun, the ice melts away, so, on the awakening of Knowledge, God with form melts away into the same Infinite and Formless. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 802.)

God reveals Himself in many ways: sometimes as man [an avatar], sometimes in other divine forms made of Spirit. One must believe in divine forms. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 798.)

No one can say with finality that God is only 'this' and nothing else. He is formless, and again He has forms. For the bhakta He assumes forms. But He is formless for the jnani, that is, for him who looks on the world as a mere dream. The bhakta feels that he is one entity and the world another. Therefore God reveals Himself to him as a Person. But the jnani -- the Vedantist, for instance -- always reasons, applying the process 'Not this, not this'. Through his discrimination he realizes, by his inner perception, that the ego and the universe are both illusory, like a dream. Then the jnani realizes Brahman in his own consciousness. He cannot describe what Brahman is. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 148.)

The formless Deity and God with form may be likened to water and ice. The water freezes into ice. The ice melts into water through the heat of jnana. Water takes the form of ice through the cooling influence of bhakti. (Letter from Aswini Kumar Dutta to “M,” with reminiscences of Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 1024.)

But mark this: form and formlessness belong to one and the same Reality. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 370.)

God with form is as real as God without form. Do you know what describing God as being formless only is like? It is like a man’s playing only a monotone on his flute, though it has seven holes. But on the same instrument another man plays different melodies. Likewise, 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.)

You see the same room whether you look at it from one side or from the middle of the room. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 908.)

He is without attributes

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.)

Undifferentiated consciousness is the only true reality. Whatever is different from it is personal and has nescience as its material cause and consciousness as its basis. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 12.)

Brahman is always unattached. The three gunas are in It, but It is unaffected by them, just as the wind carries odour yet remains odourless. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 71.)

In order to meditate on God, one should try at first to think of Him as free from upadhis, limitations. God is beyond upadhis. He is beyond speech and mind. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna to Manilal Mallik in GSR, 365; TLWG, 87.)

He is beyond dualities

Brahman is beyond knowledge and ignorance, virtue and vice, merit and demerit, cleanliness and uncleanliness. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 900.)

Brahman is beyond vidya and avidya, knowledge and ignorance. It is beyond maya, the illusion of duality.

The world consists of the illusory duality of knowledge and ignorance. It contains knowledge and devotion, and also attachment to “woman and gold”; righteousness and unrighteousness; good and evil. But Brahman is unattached to these. Good and evil apply to the jiva, the individual soul, as do righteousness and unrighteousness; but Brahman is not at all affected by them. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 101-2.)

Good and bad, virtue and vice, and the other pairs of opposites, cannot in any way injure the Self, though they undoubtedly afflict those who have identified themselves with their bodies. Smoke soils the wall, certainly, but it cannot in any way affect akasa, space. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 274.)

He is indescribable

Brahman is without comparison. It is impossible to explain Brahman by analogy. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 307.)

What Brahman is cannot be described in words. ... One cannot describe in words the joy of play and communion with Satchidananda. He alone knws, who has realized it. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 900.)

When the “I” disappears, what is remains. That cannot be described in words. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 915.)

Nobody knows what remains after the “I” disappears. Nobody can express it in words. That which is remains. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 758.)

If you ask me what Brahman is like, all I can say is that It cannot be described in words. Even when one has realized Brahman, one cannot describe It. If someone asks you what ghee is like, your answer will be, “Ghee is like ghee.” The only analogy for Brahman is Brahman. Nothing exists besides It. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 920.)

Somebody once said that everything in the world has been made impure, like food that has touched the tongue, and that Brahman alone remains undefiled. The meaning is this: All scriptures and holy books – the Vedas, the Puranas, the Trantras, and so forth – may be said to have been defiled because their contents have been uttered by the tongues of men; but what Brahman is no tongue has yet been able to describe. Therefore Brahman is still undefiled. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 900.)

Brahman is beyond words and thought. However great a man may be, how much can he know of Brahman? Sukadeva and sages like him may have been big ants; but even they at the most could carry away eight or ten grains of sugar. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 102.)

Suppose a man has seen the ocean, and somebody asks him, "Well, what is the ocean like?" The first man opens his mouth as wide as he can and says: "What a sight! What tremendous waves and sounds!" The description of Brahman in the sacred books is like that. ...

Suka and other sages stood on the shore of this Ocean of Brahman and saw and touched the water. According to one school of thought they never plunged into it. Those who do cannot come back to the world again.

In samadhi one attains the Knowledge of Brahman -- one realizes Brahman. In that state reasoning stops altogether, and man becomes mute. He has no power to describe the nature of Brahman.

man’s “I” completely disappears when he goes into samadhi after attaining the Knowledge of Brahman. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 268.)

Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. (All laugh.)

It wanted to tell others how deep the water was. But this is could never do, for no sooner did it get into the water than it melted. Now who was there to report the ocean's depth? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 102-3.)

What Brahman is cannot be described, Even he who knows It cannot talk about It. There is a saying that a boat, once reaching the “black waters” of the ocean, cannot come back. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 268.)

Once four friends, in the course of a walk, saw a place enclosed by a wall. The wall was very high. They all became eager to know what was inside. One of them climbed to the top of the wall. What he saw on looking inside made him speechless with wonder. He only cried, “Ah! Ah!” and dropped in. He could not give any information on what he saw. The others, too, climbed the wall, uttered the same cry, “Ah! Ah!, and jumped in. Now who could tell what was inside? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 268.)

He is inscrutable

No one can describe His nature in words. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 124.)

Thou art beyond the grasp of the intellect. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 53.)

Can a man ever understand God’s ways? … Sometimes He wakes us up and sometimes He keeps us unconscious. One moment the ignorance [of maya] disappears, and the next moment it covers our mind. If you throw a brick-bat into a pond covered with miss, you get a glimpse of the water. But a few moments later the moss comes dancing back. And covers the water. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 257.)

What can a man understand of God's activities? The facets of God's creation are infinite. I do not try to understand God's actions at all. I have heard that everything is possible in God's creation, and I try to bear that in mind. Therefore I do not give a thought to the world, but meditate on God alone. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 259.)

Once, when I was explaining God's actions to someone, God suddenly showed me the lake at Kamarpukur. (1) I saw a man removing the green scum and drinking the water. The water was clear as crystal. God revealed to me that Satchidananda is covered by the scum of maya. He who puts the green scum aside can drink the water. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 260.)

(1) PR's birthplace.

Who can really know Him? But as for us, it is enough to know as much of Him as we need. What need have I of a whole well of water? One jar is enough for me. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 329.)

It is said in the scriptures that only those who have been charitable in their former births get money in this life. But to tell you the truth, the world is God’s maya. And there are many confusing things in this realm of maya. One cannot comprehend them.

The ways of God are inscrutable indeed. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 397.)

There is much confusion in this world of His maya. One can by no means say that “this” will come after “that” or “this” will produce “that.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 398.)

He is unfathomable, imperceptible, unknowable with the mind

But Knowledge differs much from Sense; for Sense is of things that surmount it, (1) but Knowledge is the end of Sense.

Knowledge is the gift of God; for all Knowledge is unbodily, but useth the Mind as an instrument, as the Mind useth the Body. (Hermes, DPH, 23.)

(1) Sensory experiences overpower and inhibit the rise of Knowledge.

Beyond the ken of the senses is he. (UPAN, 45.)

None beholds him with the eyes, for he is without visible form. (UPAN, 24.)

That which is not comprehended by the mind but by which the mind comprehends -- know that to be Brahman. (UPAN, 30.)

Words cannot reveal, mind cannot reach, eyes cannot see [Brahman]. (UPAN, 24.)

Soundless, formless, intangible, undying, tasteless, odorless, without beginning, without end, eternal, immutable, beyond nature, (1) is the Self. Knowing him as such, one is freed from death. (2) (UPAN, 20.)

(1) The realm of the Divine Mother.
(2) Liberated from reincarnation.

Him the eye does not see, nor the tongue express, nor the mind grasp. Him we neither know nor are able to teach. Different is he from the known, and different is he from the unknown. (UPAN, 30.)

The senses have separate origin in their several objects. They may be active, as in the waking state, or they may be inactive, as in sleep. He who knows them to be distinct from the changeless Self grieves no more. (UPAN, 24.)

He can neither be conceived of nor spoken of. [Brahman] is beyond all thought. (UPAN, 47.)

[He is] closer than the nose is to the ears, or the ears to the mouth, to all that the bodily world thinks and speaks and does; ... [but] though present in everything, He is unseen anywhere. (Zarathushtra in GZ, 8.)

I know all beings, Arjuna: past, present and to come. But no one knows me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 73.)

That infinite happiness (1) ... can be realized by the purified heart but is beyond the grasp of the senses. (Sri Krishna in BG, 66.)

(1) Union or Self-Knowledge.

The Way ... is nothing to look at
And nothing to hear.
(Lao-Tzu, WOL, 88.)

But, as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:

The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (St. Paul in I Corinthians 2:9-10.)

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know (1) even as also I am known. (2) (St. Paul in I Corinthians 13:12.)

(1) God.
(2) By God, supersensibly.

One can neither discuss nor understand the One, the Superknowable, the Transcendent, Goodness itself. (Pseudo-Dionysius in CWPD, 53.)

If all knowledge is of that which is and is limited to the realm of the existent, then whatever transcends being must also transcend knowledge. (Pseudo-Dionysius in CWPD, 53.)

For he in himself is beyond them all indeed, whether it is by negation or affirmation. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 210.)

For the perfect and unique cause of all is of necessity beyond compare with the highest of all imaginable heights, whether by affirmation or denial. And this surpassing non-understandability is 'un-understandably' above every affirmation and denial. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 218.)

We must not dare to apply words or conceptions to this hidden transcendent God. ... In the scriptures the Deity has benevolently taught us that understanding and direct contemplation of itself is inaccessible to beings, since it actually surpasses being. Many scripture writers will tell you that divinity is not only invisible and incomprehensible, but also "unsearchable and inscrutable," since there is not a trace for anyone who would reach through into the hidden depths of this infinity. (Pseudo-Dionysius in CWPD, 50.)

[Brahman] is beyond the grasp of the senses. (Shankara in CJD, 75.)

The intellect cannot understand [Brahman]. It is out of the reach of thought. (Shankara, CJD, 75.)

Sound, touch, sight, taste and smell -- these five essences of the elements are what we experience. They exist in order to be experienced by the individual man. (Shankara in CJD, 43.)

The deer, the elephant, the moth, the fish and the bee -- each of these goes to its death under the fascination of one single sense out of five. What, then, must be the fate that awaits a man who is under the fascination of all five senses. (Shankara in CJD, 43-4.)

Know that the deluded man who walks the dreadful path of sense-craving, moves nearer to his ruin with every step. (Shankara in CJD, 44.)

God is something above being that is more interior and present to each thing than the thing is to itself. (Blessed Henry Suso, HSU, 131.)

It is of the very essence of the soul that she is powerless to plumb the depths of her creator. And here one cannot speak of the soul any more, for she has lost her nature yonder in the oneness of divine essence. There she is no more called soul, but is called immeasurable being. (Meister Eckhart in PP, 12.)

He cannot be comprehended by our intellect. ... For we ... are created beings. But only to our intellect is he incomprehensible: not to our love. (Anon., CU, 55.)

My vision ... was greater than our speech, which yields to such a sight. (Dante in Bucke, CC, 78.)

I dare not take upon myself with my blundering, earthly tongue to speak of what belongs solely to God. If I dared, I would not. (Anon., CU, 87.)

This [fourth] presence [known as the Absolute Unknowableness] is also called the Universe of the Divine Nature ... the universe of non-manifestation ... which does not come under any measure or form or compehensibility. It is also called the universe of Absoluteness ... the Absolute Blindness ... Sheer Being, Absolute Being ... Mother of the Book, Absolute Expression, the Ocean-Deep Point, the Unknown of the Unknown. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 11.)

Just as the ear cannot take cognizance of colour, nor the eye of sound, so, in conceiving of the ultimate realities, God and the soul, we find ouselves in a region in which sense concepts can bear no part. (Al-Ghazzali, AH, 36.)

God is ... a dark night to man in this life. (1) (St. John of the Cross, CWSJC, 75.)

(1) That is, to a man's senses.

For all the beauty there may be
Ill never throw away my soul;

only for something I dont know
that one may come on randomly.

In savoring a finite joy
the very most one can expect
is to enfeeble and destroy our taste,
leaving the palate wrecked;
for all the sweetness there may be
Ill never throw away my soul;
only for something I dont know
that one may come on randomly.

A generous heart will never care
to go part way;
it wont be cowed
if there is passage anywhere,
but set out on the hardest road;
nothing can cause it misery,
and with faith soaring like a cloud
it feeds on something I dont know
that one may come on randomly.

One who suffers the pains of love
from contact with the holy being
will find himself abandoning old tastes
and killing remnants of all taste-
like one who feverishly rejects the food he sees,
although he longs for something I dont know
that he may come on randomly.

Dont be surprised by all of this,
and let your taste remain as dead
for it will lead you to a bed of evil
far from any bliss;

For every living being is seen to be
relentlessly alone
and feeds on something I dont know
that he may come on randomly.

And once the will has felt
 the mark of the divinity,
it cannot be repaid by any man;
only the Lord can heal the dark;
His beauty is of such degree
as to be seen through faith alone,
tasted in something I dont know
that one may come on randomly·

With such a lover as the Lord
tell me if you will be in pain,
for His love is devoid of taste
among the things made in this world.
Without a foothold you must seek Him out-
no face nor form,alone -
tasting there something I dont know
that one may come on randomly.

And dont look to your inner eye
(though of a vastly greater worth)
to find among the joys of earth
happiness and ecstasy;
more than all beauty there may be
or may have been or can be now,
one feeds on something I dont know
that one may come on randomly·

Whoever cares to do his best
should look for what may still be gained,
not what already is obtained,
and he will see the higher crest.
And so to reach the utmost peak
I always shall be moved
to go largely to something I dont know
that one may come on randomly.

On earth you never must rely
on what the senses understand
or all the knowledge you command,
although it rises very high.
No grace nor beauty there may be
will make me throw away my soul;
only for something I dont know
that one may come on randomly.
(St. John of the Cross, PSJC, 85-9.)

The nature of Brahman cannot be described. About It one remains silent. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 218.)

No one has ever been able to say what Brahman is. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 102.)

Your philosophy is mere speculation. It only reasons. God cannot be realized that way. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 183.)

Thou art beyond the grasp of the intellect. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 53.)

"As long as you are in the world of thought, you can never know God," the Master told Hari one day. "He cannot be reached by argument. For as you proceed to discriminate and argue, you cannot ignore the world. You cannot give up the senses of taste, smell, sight, touch and hearing, and the objects of the senses. You get the knowledge of Brahman only after your discrimination stops. You cannot know it through the mind. It is known only through the Atman, or Self. Pure mind, pure intellect, and the Pure Self are all one. ... As long as the mind functions you cannot say that the world does not exist. When the mind is destroyed, i.e., when its functions of discrimination and imagination stop, then you achieve Samadhi and have direct knowledge of Brahman." (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in ST, 21.)

Suppose a man has seen the ocean, and somebody asks him, "Well, what is the ocean like?" The first man opens his mouth as wide as he can and says: "What a sight! What tremendous waves and sounds!" The description of Brahman in the sacred books is like that. ...

Suka and other sages stood on the shore of this Ocean of Brahman and saw and touched the water. According to one school of thought they never plunged into it. Those who do cannot come back to the world again.

In samadhi one attains the Knowledge of Brahman -- one realizes Brahman. In that state reasoning stops altogether, and man becomes mute. He has no power to describe the nature of Brahman.

Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. (All laugh.)

It wanted to tell others how deep the water was. But this is could never do, for no sooner did it get into the water than it melted. Now who was there to report the ocean's depth? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 102-3.)

Reasoning and discrimination vanish after the attainment of God and communion with Him in samadhi. How long does a man reason and discriminate? As long as he is conscious of the manifold, as long as he is aware of the universe, of embodied beings, of 'I' and 'you.' He becomes silent when he is truly aware of unity. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 177.)

No man hath seen God at any time (no mortal under 'time,' the relativities of maya, can realise the Infinite); the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father (the reflected Christ Consciousness or outwardly projected Perfect Intelligence that, guiding all structural phenomena through Aun [sic] vibration, has issued forth from the 'bosom' or deeps of the Uncreated Divine in order to express the variety of Unity), he hath declared (subjected to form, or manifested) him. (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 487.)

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.)

[The light of consciousness] is the self-luminous existence-consciousness which reveals to the seer the world of names and forms both inside and outside. The existence of this existence-consciousness can be inferred by the objects illuminated by it. It does not become the object of consciousness. (Ramana Maharshi, SI, Chapter 3, Question 1.)

He is a Void

The Way is a void,
Used but never filled:
An abyss it is,
Like an ancestor
From which all things come. (WOL, 56.)

A deep pool it is,
Never to run dry! (Lao Tzu, WOL, 56.)

Touch ultimate emptiness. (Lao Tzu, WOL, 68.)

Between the earth and sky
The space is like a bellows,
Empty but unspent.
When moved its gift is copious. (Lao Tzu, WOL, 57.)

Most perfect, yet it seems
Imperfect, incomplete;
Its use is not impaired.
Filled up, and yet it seems
Poured out, an empty void:
It never will run dry. (Lao Tzu, WOL, 98.)

Get a hold of this thing and use it, but don't fix a label to it. This I call the Dark Meaning. When you can see it like this, you won't be averse to anything. (Master Lin Chi [Rinzai], ZTML, 55.)

He is love

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (I John 4:16.)

He cannot be comprehended by our intellect. ... For we ... are created beings. But only to our intellect is he incomprehensible: not to our love. (Anon., CU, 55.)

He is light

The sight of Good is not like the beam of the Sun, which being of a fiery shining brightness maketh the eye blind by his excessive Light, that gazeth upon it; rather the contrary, for it enlighteneth, and much increaseth the light of the eye, as any man is able to receive the influence of this intelligible clearness.

For it is more swift and sharp to pierce, and innocent or harmless withal, and full of immortality; and they that are capable, and can draw any store of this spectacle and sight, do many times fall asleep from the Body, (1) into this most fair and beauteous Vision. (Hermes, DPH, 21-2.)

(1) We would say, today, "enter Samadhi."

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.)

And there we shall be, our minds away from passion and from earth, and we shall have a conceptual gift of light from him and, somehow, in a way we cannot know, we shall be united with him and, our understanding carried away, blessedly happy, we shall be struck by his blazing light. Marvellously, our minds will be like those in the heavens above. We shall be "equal to angels and sons of God, being sons of the resurrection." (Pseudo-Dionysius, CWPD, 52-3.)

Do you know what the vision of Divine Consciousness is like? It is like the sudden illumination of a dark room when a match is struck. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 308.)

He is darkness

For he in himself is beyond them all indeed, whether it is by negation or affirmation. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 210.)

For the perfect and unique cause of all is of necessity beyond compare with the highest of all imaginable heights, whether by affirmation or denial. And this surpassing non-understandability is 'un-understandably' above every affirmation and denial. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 218.)

The darkness of unknowing [is] a darkness which is indeed hidden, one in which [the seeker] forgoes all knowledge capable of being known. Always he is made to feel and experience, in a way that is invisible and intangible, the presence of him who is above all things. He has no feeling or thought of anything else at all, not even of himself. But it is as he gets away from the knowing that is always unknown that he united to him in the best way possible, and because he knows nothing he is made to know what is beyond thought. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 212.)

Yet in fact he is not hidden, for he is clearly and truly accessible, admittedly not to all but only to them who pass beyond all things that exist, whether they be clean or unclean; who transcend every method, achieving whatever holy end or purpose is open to men and angels; who dispense with all divine 'lights' and heavenly sounds and works, and enter into the darkness with love; for in truth it is here, as the Bible makes clear, that he dwells who is above all. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 211.)

Into this supreme and dazzling darkness we pray that we may come, that by not seeing and knowing we may see and know him who is beyond all seeing and knowing through this very act of not seeing or knowing; and at this supreme peak of being, by dismissing all things that are, that we may praise him who is himself above all. (Pseudo-Dionysius in MT, 212.)

I pray we could come to this darkness, so far above light! If only we lacked sight and knowledge so as to see, so as to know, unseeing and unknowing, that which lies beyond all vision and knowledge. For this would be really to see and to know: to praise the Transcendent One in a transcending way, namely through the denial of all beings. ...Now as we climb from the last things up to the most primary we deny all things so that we may unhiddenly know that unknowing which itself is hidden from all those possessed of knowing amid all beings, so that we may see above being that darkness concealed from all the light among beings. (Pseudo-Dionysius, CWPD,138.)

The fact is that the more we take flight upward, the more our words are confined to the ideas we are capable of forming; so that now as we plunge into that darkness which is beyond intellect, we shall find ourselves not simply running short of words but actually speechless and unknowing. ... The more [the mind] climbs, the more language falters, and when it has passed up and beyond the ascent, it will turn silent completely, since it will finally be at one with him who is indescribable. (Pseudo-Dionysius, CWPD, 139.)

Do not think that because I call it a 'darkness' or a 'cloud' it is the sort of cloud you see in the sky, or the kind of darkness you know at home when the light is out. That kind of darkness you can picture in your mind's eye.... I do not mean this at all. By 'darkness' I mean 'a lack of knowing' -- just as anything that you do not know or may have forgotten may be said to be 'dark' to you, for you cannot see it with your inward eye. For this reason it is called 'a cloud', not of the sky, of course, but 'of unknowing', a cloud of unknowing between you and your God. (Anon., CU, 58.)

A man by his appetite feed[s] and pasture[s] on worldly things that gratify his faculties. When the appetites are extinguished -- or mortified -- he no longer feeds upon the pleasures of these things, but lives in a void and in darkness. (St. John of the Cross in CWSJC, 76.)

[Brahman] is between light and darkness. It is Light, but not the light that we perceive, not material light. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 307.)

He is most valuable, most useful

The Way is a void,
Used but never filled:
An abyss it is,
Like an ancestor
From which all things come. (Lao Tzu, WOL, 56.)

A deep pool it is,
Never to run dry! (Lao Tzu, WOL, 56.)

Between the earth and sky
The space is like a bellows,
Empty but unspent.
When moved its gift is copious. (Lao Tzu, WOL, 57.)

Most perfect, yet it seems
Imperfect, incomplete;
Its use is not impaired.
Filled up, and yet it seems
Poured out, an empty void:
It never will run dry. (Lao Tzu, WOL, 98.)

Thirty spokes will converge
In the hub of a wheel;
But the use of the cart
Will depend on the part
Of the hub that is void.

With a wall all around
A clay bowl is molded;
But the use of the bowl
Will depend on the part
Of the bowl that is void.

Cut out windows and doors
In the house as you build;
But the use of the house
Will depend on the space
In the walls that is void.

So advantage is had
From whatever is there;
But usefulness rises
From whatever is not. (Lao Tzu, WOL, 63.)

Get a hold of this thing and use it, but don't fix a label to it. This I call the Dark Meaning. When you can see it like this, you won't be averse to anything. (Lin-Chi [Rinzai], ZTML, 55.)

The Father – When will He come?

I always thought He would reduce you to extremity. He will come in His own time, and when you least expect it. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 35.)

Blind as we are, we hinder God and stop the current of His graces. But when He finds a soul penetrated with a lively faith, He pours into it His graces and favors plentifully; there they flow like a torrent which, after being forcibly stopped against its ordinary course, when it has found a passage, spreads itself with impetuosity and abundance. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 40.)

[Liberation] will occur in consonance with the individual karma and inner disposition of the person concerned. (1) (Sri Anandamoyi Ma, ABPM.)

(1) Cf. Andrew Cohen: “For some reason - maybe it is karma - I was ready to accept enlightenment [when it came]. For some reason I was ready at that point in my own evolution to accept the burden.” (OE, 249.)

The Father - He cannot be made an object of awareness: The case of Bernadette Roberts

"It" ... so surrounded me I could hardly divert my eyes from it. This went on for several days until I knew the greater my attempts to ignore it, the greater it increased the pressure to "Look!" So eventually I did look, and the moment I did so, it vanished and was gone, but in the same instant I knew why.

You cannot look at what Is, for it cannot become an object to the mind, nor for that matter, can it be a subject. What Is is "that" which can never be a subject or an object. Thus, the moment you look with your relative (subject-object-oriented) mind, what Is is gone because you have tried to make it an object, and it won't work. The relative mind cannot apprehend this reality; only a non-relative mind sees because what Is is equally non-reflective or non-self-conscious. Since what Is is all that Is, it has nothing to see outside itself nor within itself and thus, has no such thing as a relative, reflective, self-conscious mind. Nor is it a mind at all, nor consciousness, for no man knows what it is, only that it is. Therefore, once we have been rid of a reflective, relative, self-conscious mind, then and only then can we come upon what Is: that which sees and is seen and the act of seeing itself are ONE. (Bernadette Roberts, ENS, 67.)

The Father - "Nothing but God": The case of Swami Vivekananda

At the marvellous touch of the Master [Sri Ramakrishna], my mind underwent a complete revolution. I was aghast to realize that there really was nothing whatever in the entire universe but God. I remained silent, wondering how long this state of mind would continue. It didn't pass off all day. I got back home, and I felt just the same there; everything I saw was God. I sat down to eat, and I saw that everything -- the plate, the food, my mother who was serving it and I myself -- everything was God and nothing else but God. I swallowed a couple of mouthfuls and then sat still without speaking. My mother asked me lovingly, "Why are you so quiet? Why don't you eat?" That brought me back to everyday consciousness, and I began eating again. But, from then on, I kept having the same experience, no matter what I was doing -- eating, drinking, sitting, lying down, going to college, strolling along the street. It was a kind of intoxication; I can't describe it. If I was crossing a street and saw a carriage coming towards me I didn't have the urge, as I would ordinarily, to get out of its way for fear of being run over. For I said to myself, "I am that carriage. There's no difference between it and me." During that time I had no sensation in my hands or feet. When I ate food, I felt no satisfaction from it; it was as if someone else was eating. Sometimes I would lie down in the middle of a meal, and then get up again after a few minutes and go on eating; thus it happened that on those days I would eat far more than usual, but this never upset me. My mother became alarmed; she thought I was suffering from some terrible disease. "He won't live long," she'd say.

When that first intoxication lost part of its power, I began to see the world as though it were in a dream. When I went for a walk around Cornwallis Square, I used to knock my head against the iron railings to find out if they were only dream-railings or real ones. The loss of feeling in my hands and feet made me afraid that I was going to be paralyzed. When I did at last return to normal consciousness I felt convinced that the state I had been in was a revelation of non-dualistic experience. So then I knew that what is written in the Scriptures about this experience is all true. (Swami Vivekenanda in RHD, 206-7.)

Fear – Fear exists only in relationship to something; i.e., only when there is a second and in thought

Fear is not an abstraction; it exists only in relationship to something. Fear does not exist of itself; it exists as a word, but it is felt only in contact with something else.

The known, past experience, is trying to absorb what it calls the inner solitude; but it cannot experience it, for it does not know what it is; it knows the term, but not what is behind the term. The unknown cannot be experienced. You may think or speculate about the unknown, or be afraid of it; but thought cannot comprehend it, for thought is the outcome of the known, of experience. As thought cannot know the unknown, it is afraid of it. There will be fear as long as thought desires to experience, to understand the unknown.

… If you listen rightly, the truth of all this will be seen, and then truth will be the only action. Whatever thought does with regard to inner solitude is an escape, an avoidance of what is. In avoiding what is, thought creates its own conditioning which prevents the experiencing of the new, the unknown. Fear is the only response of thought to the unknown; thought may call it by different terms, but still it is fear. Just see that thought cannot operate upon the unknown, upon what is behind the term, ‘inner solitude.’ Only then does what is unfold itself, and it is inexhaustible. (Krishnamurti, COL, 2, 9-10.)

The known looking at the unknown brings about fear; it is this activity that causes fear. … So your fear is really not of the inner solitude, but the past is afraid of something it does not know, has not experienced. The past wants to absorb the new, make of it an experience. But can the past, which is you, experience the new, the unknown? The known can experience only that which is of itself, it can never experience the new, the unknown. By giving the unknown a name, by calling it inner solitude, you have only recognized it verbally, and the word is taking the place of experiencing; for the word is the screen of fear. The term ‘inner solitude’ is covering the fact, the what is, and the very word is creating fear. (Krishnamurti, COL, 2, 9.)

All fear comes from thought in the form of memory (Adyashanti, past) or projection (Adyashanti, future). Thought creates time: past, present, and future. So fear exists and comes from the perceived existence of time. To be free of fear is to be free of time. Since time is a creation of thought, to be free of fear you must be free of thought. Consequently, 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.)

Fear - Is an obstacle

If a man's thoughts are not scattered, if his mind is not perplexed, if he has ceased to think of good and evil, then there is no fear for him while he is watchful. (Buddha in TCB, 55.)

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (Proverbs 3:25-6.)

[The] desire for certainty through identification, through condemnation and justification, is the cause of fear, which destroys all communion. (Krishnamurti, COL, 1, 26.)

Only your fear keeps you in resistance to life. Move through the fear by breathing and the resistance dissolves. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 13.)

Fear – Exception: The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7.)

Feelings

How could the sages be without feelings? It’s just that they penetrate through them and are not beclouded by them. They have feelings, but without entanglements. With feelings, there is nowhere they do not reach. Having no entanglements, there is never any love or hate. (16th Century Ch’an master Zibo in ZIBO, 53.)

We allow ourselves to feel high, low, and low about low. (John Enright, Cold Mountain Institute Seminar, April 10, 1976.)

There are two sources of stimulus when an emotion is generated. The emotion might be in response to an actual situation (a tiger attacks, a person is slugged, etc.)

or it might be in response to the remembered idea of the situation (we remember the tiger attacking or the person being slugged). We can thus divide emotions into these two categories and list them:

Situation Stimulated

Self-Stimulated


(John Enright, Cold Mountain Institute Seminar, April 8, 1976.)

The check for a situation-stimulated or self-stimulated emotion is whether or not it needs an audience for its expression.

In the expression of self-stimulated emotions, the more we express it, the more comes up. We refill our pity pots endlessly, for example, because we do not move through self-pity to the grief that underlies it. Once the grief is fully experienced we have no more basis for self-pity on that score. Nostalgia literally ain’t what it used to be – which is joy. (John Enright, Cold Mountain Institute Seminar, April 10, 1976.)

Be aware of your feelings. The feeling of guilt is often outpictured through the physical body. If you are feeling badly about something you said to a friend or family member, you might injure your mouth, tongue, or teeth, get a sore throat or laryngitis.

Be sensitive to your bodily symptoms. They show you how your body is attempting to carry out the conscious or subconscious commands it feels it has received from you. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 36.)

Final birth – See Aspirants – Final birth

Flowing with life

Now you are flowing with the current of life. Do you need to get a job, be married, have children, write books, give talks, feed the hungry, save the disenfranchised and disheartened! Not unless they join you in the river. And if they do, you can be sure it is not you working, marrying, procreating, writing, talking, feeding or saving. It is the river doing it through you. And so you remain cheerful and at ease whatever you are doing. Nothing keeps you from breathing, because breathing is your only responsibility. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 13-4.)

For many years you have been moving too fast for the river to catch up to you. No wonder you don't feel supported by the universe! But, take heart, every indigenous people who have lived on the planet have known and practiced what I am teaching to you. And somewhere, deep in your heart, you know and remember it too. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 14.)

Food

[Sri Ramana Maharshi] said that the mind was entirely created by the food we ate which must be healthy and strictly vegetarian. However he never interfered with people or enforced such things on them. … He was dead against meat-eating. (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick] in SRRM, 57-8.)

Forbearance

A man of understanding holdeth his peace. (Proverbs 11:12.)

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but, if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (I Peter 2:19-20.)

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (St. Paul in Hebrews 12:14.)

To endure all kinds of affliction without rebellion, complaint or lament -- this is called forbearance. (Shankara in CJD, 36.)

You should know that God is not satisfied with the kind heart that you possess. He wants more from you. He expects this from you also: When you are mistreated by someone's words or conduct, you must not just suffer it patiently. You must forget yourself so utterly that you do not go to bed until you have approached those who mistreat you and, as far as you are able, calm their raging hearts with your sweet and humble words and actions. By means of such meekness and humility you take the swords and knives out of their hands and render them powerless in their malice. (The Lord in a vision to Blessed Henry Suso, HSU, 123.)

Titsika or forbearance [is] the endurance of all afflictions arising from the contact of the senses with their objects. A man practising this discipline does not care to relieve his physical suffering nor does he show any anxiety or grief on its score. By means of this discipline the aspirant remains unagitated by heat and cold, pleasure and pain, love and hate, and the other pairs of opposites. (Nikhilananda, "Introduction" to SK, 43-4.)

Forgiveness

You cannot be in the heart unless you are in forgiveness of yourself and others. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 9.)

Free Souls – See Realized Souls, Jnanis, Vijnanis, Paramahansas, Classifications of Individuals

Free Will – See also God – Will of God; see also God – God alone is the Doer of all actions

Is there any one who has free will or anything like that? It is by God’s will alone that everything has always happened and shall happen. Man understands it in the long run. But then something has to be added. Just as, when a cow is tied to a post with a long tether, it can stand at a distance of one cubit from the post, or it can go up to the whole length of the tether according to its choice, so too it is with the free will of man. A man ties a cow with the idea, “Let her lie down, stand or move about as she likes within that area.” Similarly God has give man some power. And He has also given him freedom to utilize it as he likes. That is why man feels himself free. But the rope is fastened to the post. And mark this: If anyone prays to Him in all humility, He may remove him to another place and tie him there; or He may lengthen the tether or even remove it completely from his neck. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in SRGM, I, 94.)

As long as a man has not realized God, he thinks he is free. It is God Himself who keeps this error in man. Otherwise sin would have multiplied. Man would not have been afraid of sin, and there would have be punishment for it. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 211.)

It is God alone who has planted in man’s mind what the “Englishman” calls free will. People who have not realized God would become engaged in more and more sinful actions if God had not planted in them the notion of free will. Sin would have increased if God had not made the sinner feel that he alone was responsible for his sin.

Those who have realized God are aware that free will is a mere appearance. In reality man is the machine and God its Operator, man is the carriage and God its Driver. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 379-80.)

Do you have free will? Of course you do. You can keep saying no to love and you can keep your pain alive. Are you likely to do this? Well.......everyone has a limit as to how much pain is enough.

So, yes, the outcome is in a way guaranteed. You might even say that the deck is stacked. Chances are very strong that you will choose love, sooner or later.

Whether it will be sooner or later is up to you. (Paul Ferrini, Ask Paul Archive 1, Paul Ferrini Website, http://www.paulferrini.com/html/b_-_home.html, accessed 8 Jan. 2002.)

Freedom

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (St. Paul in II Corinthians 3:17.)

The buddha is the person who's free, free of plans, free of cares. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 6-7.)

As long as a man has not realized God, he thinks he is free. It is God Himself who keeps this error in man. Otherwise sin would have multiplied. Man would not have been afraid of sin, and there would have be punishment for it. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 211.)

Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. It is man's pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity. (Krishnamurti, CHT.)

Kazantzakis’ gravestone says, “I want nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.” (John Enright, Awareness, Responsibility, Communication Seminar, January 20, 1979.)

Is it possible to cease functioning from the known? If one cannot cast off the known completely, then one's life will simply be a manifestation of what the mind thinks it knows. True freedom comes when every speck of the known collapses into the unknown, not just for a moment, but continually. (Adyashanti, Downloaded from http://www.members.shaw.ca/adyashanti/, 16 May 2004.)

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

Friends – Associate only with good people

Among human beings, there are the good and the wicked, the holy and the unholy. There are some who are devoted to God, and others who are attached to the world. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 86.)

Be intimate only with good people; you must keep away from the evil-minded. God is even in the tiger; but you cannot embrace the tiger on that account. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 84.)

It is said in the scriptures that water is a form of God. But some water is fit to be used for worship, some water for washing the face, and some only for washing plates or dirty linen. This last sort cannot be used for drinking or for a holy purpose. In like manner, God undoubtedly dwells in the hearts of all – holy and unholy, righteous and unrighteous; but a man should not have dealings with the unholy, the wicked, and the impure. He must not be intimate with them. With some of them he may exchange words, but with others he shouldn’t go even that far. He should keep aloof from such people. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 85.)

[God has created wicked people because] that is His will, His play. In His maya there exists avidya as well as vidya. Darkness is needed too. It reveals all the more the glory of light. There is no doubt that anger, lust, and greed are evils. Why, then, has God created them? In order to create saints. A man becomes a saint by conquering the senses. Is there anything impossible for a man who has subdued the passions? He can even realize God, through His grace. Again, see how His whole play of creation is perpetuated through lust. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 97.)

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