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The Essays of Brother Anonymous
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Contents

Contents

Sadhakas - See Aspirants (Sadhakas, Seekers)
Sadhana - See Spiritual Practice (Sadhana)
The Sage
The Sage - After Liberation, sages often drop the body
The Sage - After Liberation, illumined souls are carried along by their prarabdha karma
The Sage – And the ignorant person
The Sage - God stands behind the word of the sage
The Sage – The gaze and touch of the Sage
The Sage – Can one experience pain?
Saguna Brahman (God with form) – Meant for the Bhaktas
Samadhi
Sannyasin – The total renunciate
Sathsang - Avoiding the company of the impure and mundane
Sathsang - Keeping the company of sages
Scriptures - See Intellectuals – Pro: Can reach God and Intellectuals – Con: Cannot reach God
Scriptures – They can stimulate the longing for liberation
Scriptures – Pro: Study scripture carefully and follow it
Scriptures – Pro: Hearing scripture after enlightenment brings pleasure
Scriptures – Con: After knowing God, books are irrelevant
Scriptures – Scriptures and man come from the same source: God
Scriptures – The Bhagavad-Gita
Scripture - The Koran
Security
Seeking - Do nothing - See Nothing - No seeking
The Self (Also known as the Soul, Atman, Child of God, only begotten Son of God, the Eye of God, Face of God, Fire the Son of the Lord, the Firebrand Plucked from the Burning, the Lamp on the Altar, the Flame in the Heart, Christ, Savior, Prince of Peace, Pearl of Great Price, etc.)
The Self - The Self is our very own nature
The Self - The Self is our Original Mind
The Self - The Self is the Christ
The Self - The Self is a fragment of the Father
The Self - The Self is a child of the Father
The Self - The relationship among the Father, the Mother and the Child or Self
The Self - What is the significance of being a Child of God?
The Self - The Self and the Father are one
The Self - Yet the Father is greater than the Self
The Self - The Self is called the Creator
The Self - The individualized Self is veiled by the Mother (Maya) and cannot remember Its identity
The Self - Came forth from the Father and returns to Him after enlightenment
The Self - Has no gender
The Self - Self-realization is the highest goal in life
The Self - Therefore know thy Self
The Self - Begin with yourself
The Self – Knowing the Self is being the Self

The Self - If you wish to know it, turn inward and regard your own heart - See Turn inward, The Heart - Keep it pure, The Heart - Within it is the Father/Self revealed
The Self - The Lord searches the heart - See The Heart - The Lord searches the heart
The Self -The Self is in the heart of everything that lives
The Self - Make Thy Face, the Self, to shine upon us
The Self - It is made in the image of the Father
The Self - It is still
The Self - It is pure
The Self - It is eternal, undying, changeless
The Self - It is light
The Self - It is consciousness or awareness itself
The Self - It is wisdom, glory, and goodness
The Self - It is unending bliss
The Self - It is the eternal witness
The Self - It is imperceptible
The Self - It is inconceivable
The Self - It is indivisible
The Self - It is unconfinable
The Self - It animates everything; It is the doer
The Self - Everything lies within It
The Self - It is beyond all bodies or sheaths
The Self – It Remains as the Residue – See Jnana Yoga – Self-Enquiry – Remove the obstacles and the Self remains as the residue
The Self - The physical body is an instrument for the Self's experience; give it only enough attention to maintain it
The Self - The body without the Self is dead - See The Body - The body without the Self is dead
The Self - Don't live for the body - See The Body - Don't live for it
The Self - Misidentification of the Self with the body is the root delusion - See The Body - Misidentification of the body with the Self is the root delusion
The Self - For enlightenment to occur, the Self must be known as distinct from the body
The Self - Often the terms "Son of God" and "Self" are reserved for the sage
The Self - A vision of the Self - See Enlightenment - (1) Spiritual Awakening
The Self - How is it seen?
The Self - Is the experience referred to in the works of the Self -realized? - See Enlightenment - (1) Spiritual Awakening - How has it been described?, Enlightenment - (1) Spiritual Awakening - Is it mentioned in the Bible?
The Self - Effects of the first sight of It - See Enlightenment - (1) Spiritual Awakening - Its effects
The Self - It will lead you to the Father; It is the door to the kingdom of heaven; It is the key to the door
The Self - After seeing it, contemplate on it and reach the Father – See also Turn from the World to God – Parables of finding the Self and contemplating its identity with the Father
The Self - Realize Its true nature and be liberated
The Self - You must realize absolutely that the Father and Self are one
The Self - The personal soul is seen as feminine before God
The Self - Does the Self ultimately disappear?
Self-Enquiry (Atma-Vichara) – See Discriminate betwen the Unreal and the Real - Self-Enquiry (Atma-Vichara)
Self-Examination and Assessment
The Senses - Their nature - See also Desire, Karma Yoga - Renouce altogether desire for the worldly, the external, the transient, the sensory, and the pleasing
The Senses - The problem they present
The Senses - The solution
The Senses – Without sense control, there is no enlightenment - See Desire - Intention
Seriousness - See Intention
Service, Selfless (also called Seva) – See Action – Karma Yoga – The yoga of action
Service, Selfless - Impart spiritual knowledge where appropriate See Action – Karma Yoga - Impart spiritual knowledge where appropriate
Sexuality – Lust is one of the primary obstacles to Self-knowledge
Sexuality – Sexual desire is a creation of the mind
Sexuality - Householders - Arguments for
Sexuality – Householders - Arguments against
Sexuality – Sexual purity is austerity
Sexuality – Dispassion will not arise until lust is finished with
Sexuality – The sexual vasana or habit is one of the strongest and the last remaining
Sexuality – How can lust be rooted out?
Sexuality – Ascetics and sexuality
Sexuality – Through continence, one develops important spiritual capacities
Sexuality - Mystics and Sexuality
Silence – See The Mind - To know the Self, quiet the mind
Simplicity
Sin
Sin – The non-commission of sin
Slow – See Spiritual Practice (Sadhana) – All spiritual practice is gradual; takes a long time; and should be done ceaselessly
Solitaries – See Contemplatives (Solitaries, Hermits, Recluses)
Spiritual Activism
Spiritual Consumerism
Spiritual Energy - See Kundalini
Spiritual Evolution - See Evolution, Spiritual
Spiritual Experiences
Spiritual Maturity
Spiritual Practice (Sadhana)
Spiritual Practice (Sadhana) – All spiritual practice is gradual; takes a long time; and should be done ceaselessly
Spiritual Practice (Sadhana) - Dissenting opinions
Spiritual Riches
Spiritual Spiral
Spontaneity
Stillness – See The Mind - To know the Self, still the mind
Stages of Enlightenment - See Enlightenment – Stages
Stand Alone
States and Non-States
Strength
Suffering
Suffering - The reward of the patient sufferer
Suicide
Superconsciousness - See Consciousness, States of – Superconsciousness
Supramental Plane - Intuition - The thinking mind discarded
Supramental Plane - Intuition - The enlightening nature of the intuition
Supramental Plane - After enlightenment, all knowledge is supplied through the intuition
Surrender - Total surrender is required for Liberation
Surrender - Surrender selfishness and self-importance – See The Ego – Renounce it
Surrender - Surrender to God and allow Him to shape you
Surrender - Surrender to God and let Him supply your every need; be satisfied with what comes unsought
Surrender – Do your work but surrender the result to God
Surrender – Surrender to your longing for God
Surrender – Surrender to contemplation
Surrender – Avatars teach surrender
Surrender - Total surrender is a high stage of consciousness
Surrender – One final “Yes!”
Surrender – Examples of surrender



Sadhakas - See Aspirants (Sadhakas, Seekers)

Sadhana - See Spiritual Practice (Sadhana)

The Sage

A man cannot recognize a holy person unless he is holy himself. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 366.)

He who has surrendered his body, mind, and innermost self to God is surely a holy man. He who has renounced “woman and gold” is surely a holy man. He is a holy man who does not regard woman with the eyes of a worldly person. He never forgets to look upon a woman as his mother, and to offer her his worship if he happens to be near her. The holy man constantly thinks of God and does not indulge in any talk except about spiritual things. Furthermore, he serves all beings, knowing that God resides in everybody’s heart. These, in general, are the signs of a holy man. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 327.)

After the vision of Brahman a man becomes silent. He reasons about It as long as he has not realized It. If you heat butter in a pan on the stove, it makes a sizzling sound as long as the water it contains has not dried up. But when no trace of water is left the clarified butter makes no sound. If you put an uncooked cake of flour in that butter it sizzles again. But after the cake is cooked all sound stops. Just so, a man established in samadhi comes down to the relative plane of consciousness in order to teach others, and then he talks about God.

The bee buzzes as long as it is not sitting on a flower. It becomes silent when it begins to sip the honey. But sometimes, intoxicated with the honey, it begins to buzz again [a joking reference to his ecstatic moods perhaps]. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 103.)

The goldsmith is up and doing while melting god. As long as the gold hasn’t melted, he works the bellows with one hand, moves the fan with the other, and blows through a pipe with his mouth. But the moment the gold melts and is poured into the mould, he is relived off all anxiety. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 200.)

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

A man who has realized God shows certain characteristics. He becomes like a child or a madman or an inert thing or a ghoul. Further, he is firmly convinced that he is the machine and God is its Operator, that God alone is the Doer and all others are His instruments. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 245.)

When [the mind] becomes pure, one … realizes: “God alone is the Doer, and I am His instrument.” One does not feel oneself to be absolutely necessary to others either in their misery or in their happiness. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 350.)

A man gets rid of all desires when he has Perfect Knowledge. He becomes like a child five years of age. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 346.)

He becomes like a child five years old, not under the control of any of the gunas. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 347.)

Yes, the jnani gets rid of all desire. If any is left, it does not hurt him. At the touch of the philosopher’s stone the sword is transformed into gold. Then that sword cannot do any killing. Just so, the jnani keeps only a semblance of anger and passion. They are anger and passion only in name and cannot injure him. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 347.)

After I had experienced samadhi, my mind craved intensely to hear only about God. I would always search for places where they were reciting or explaining the sacred books, such as the Bhagavata, the Mahabharata, and the Adyatma Ramayana. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 117.)

God, if he so desires, can keep a jnani in the world too. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 343.)

After attaining Brahmajnana, one does not have to discriminate, even about food. The rishis of olden times, endowed with the Knowledge of Brahman and having experienced divine bliss, ate everything, even pork. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 388.)

Nothing came into existence in the past. Nor is there anything existing now. Nor will there be anything in the future. Since the objects that are known do not (really) exist, the terms ‘witness’ and ‘seer’ are not applicable. Since there is no bondage, there is no liberation. Since there is no nescience, there is no knowledge. He who has known this and cast away the sense of duty is a Sage (jnani). Whether his senses come into contact with their objects or not, he is unattached and free from desires. Therefore, even though he may appear to act, he does nothing. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 15.)

[The Jnani] does dream, but he knows it to be a dream, in the same way as he knows the waking state to be a dream. You may call them dream No. 1 and dream no. 2. The Jnani being established in the 4th state – Turiya, the Supreme Reality – he detachedly witnesses the three other states – waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep – as pictures superimposed on it. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 100.)

The main qualities of the ordinary mind are tamas and rajas (sloth and excitement); hence it is full of egoistic desires and weaknesses. But the Jnani’s mind is shudda-sattva (pure harmony) and formless, functioning in the subtle vijnanamayakosha (the sheath of knowledge), through which he keeps contact with the world. His desires are therefore sattvic. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 100-1.)

Only a mystic understands the language and behaviour of another mystic. (Swami Chetanananda in TLWG, 342.)

The enlightened sage abides
As the eternal witness,
Wholly unconcerned, yet intimately engaged.
Resting beyond all definitions,
He neither clings to transcendent freedom,
Nor is he entangled by the dualistic world;
Therefore, he is at one with all of life.

Living in the perfect trust of Supreme Realization,
He has nothing to gain or lose
And naturally manifests love, wisdom, and compassion –
Without any personal sense of being the doer of deeds.

Having abandoned all concepts and ideas,
The enlightened sage lives as ever-present consciousness,
Manifested and manifesting in the world of time and space
That which is eternal, ever new, and whole.
(Adyashanti, IA, xiv.)

The Sage - After Liberation, sages often drop the body

A man cannot preserve his body after attaining Brahmajnana. The body drops off in twenty-one days. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 354.)

It is said that there are places near Kedar that are covered with eternal snow; he who climbs too high cannot come back. Those who have tried to find out what there is in the higher regions, or what one feels there, have not come back to tell us about it. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 217.)

Those who retain their bodies, even after attaining Brahmajnana, … teach others. Divine Incarnations belong to this class. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 354.)

The Sage - After Liberation, illumined souls are carried along by their prarabdha karma

One must reap the result of the prarabdha karma. The body remains as long as the results of past actions do not completely wear away. Once a blind man bathed in the Ganges and as a result was freed from all sins. But his blindness remained all the same. (All laugh.)

It was because of his evil deeds in his past birth that he had to undergo that affliction. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 276.)

Karma alone is responsible for the activity or inactivity of the sages. (Ramana Maharshi, SI, Chapter 4, Question 6.)

When the prarabdha is exhausted, the ego is completely dissolved, without leaving any trace behind. This is the final Liberation (Nirvana). Unless prarabdha is exhausted, the ego will rise up as it may appear to do in the case of Jivanmuktas. (Ramana Maharshi, MG, 30.)

The Jnani, although he has scotched the ego, it continues to rise again and again due to prarabdha. So, for both the Jnani and the ajnani the ego springs up, but with this difference: whereas the Jnani enjoys the transcendental experience, keeping its lakshya (aim, attention) always fixed on its source, … the ajnani is completely ignorant of it. The former is not harmful, being a mere skeleton of its normal self, like a burnt-up rope. By constantly fixing its attention on the Source, the Heart, the ego gets dissolved into it like a salt doll which has fallen into the ocean. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 56.)

The desires of aJnaniare external to him like other objects and cannot taint him. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 101.)

Since samadhi and distraction are the same to a Sage of steadfast wisdom, he does not enter into any action for the sake of steadiness of mind. For him, there is no nescience as a cause of his activity, not any delusion of difference as a result of nescience, nor attachment and hatred resulting from the delusion of difference. Only prarabdha (that part of one’s karma which has to be worked out in this life) remains; this is the cause of his activity. And that being different from person to person there is not fixity (lit. order) in regard to the activity arising out of prarabdha. Therefore there can be desire for sense-enjoyment and efforts to attain it, as in the case of Janaka and others, on account of the prarabdha responsible for enjoyment. Similarly, there can be the desire for Liberation while alive and disgust with sense-enjoyment as in the case of Suka, Vamadeva and others, on account of the prarabdha responsible for inactivity. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 21-2.)

Although he knows the body to be unreal, the Sage may be active on account of his prarabdha; for instance, he may go begging, etc., to maintain the body on account of his prarabdha. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 22.)

So long as the inner organ remains, there will not be entire absence of desires which are modification of rajas. But the Sage does not mistake the desires for characteristics of the Self. That is the difference. He is unattached. Though he acts, he is a non-doer. That is why the scripture (sruti) says that the good and bad acts done by the body and the merit and demerit (acquired thereby) after attaining knowledge do not affect him. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 23.)

After God-realization the illumined soul is carried along by the momentum of his past karma, but he ceases to be affected by it. He behaves like a witness, completely unattached to the world. (Swami Chetanananda in TLWG, 345.)

The Sage – And the ignorant person

The ignorant person is distinguished by his attachment (raga), the Sage by dispassion. Even if the ignorant person occasionally develops dispassion, it is likely to change since he has not got rid of the sense of reality in the objects of the senses. His dispassion is superficial. On the other hand, the dispassion of the Sage, which has developed out of his sense of the unreality of objects of the senses, does not change at any time and is therefore intense. (Ramana Maharshi, JGE, 20.)

The Sage - God stands behind the word of the sage

Know that…, whatever he [i.e., HSU himself] seriously asks of God, God will never deny to him. (Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 74.)

I shall give them the power of wishing in heaven and on earth so that everything they ever wish for comes true. (The Lord in Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 129.)

The wish of a great soul … can make the impossible possible. Their infallible will power can even liberate people. (Swami Vivekananda in TLWG, 221.)

[I asked,] “Sri Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi], did you not think that you must do something to save the child?” Straight came Sri Bhagavan’s prely, “Even the thought to save the child is a sankalpa (Will), and one who has any sankalpa is no Jnani. In fact such thinking is unnecessary. The moment the Jnani’s eye falls upon a thing, there starts a divine automatic action which itself leads to the highest good.” (G.V. Subbaramayya, SRR, 21.)

The Sage – The gaze and touch of the Sage

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

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

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

I [said to] Bhagavan … that I had already been staying with him for some months, and yet I did not feel any change in myself. It is the look that purifies, he told me, but it is not a visible purification. Coal takes time to ignite, but charcoal is proportionately quicker, while gunpowder ignites immediately. So it is with men under the powerful glance of a Jnani. (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick] in SRRM, 41.)

The Sage – Can one experience pain?

All pains, even physical, are in the mind. Everybody feels the pain of a cut or a sting, but the Jnani, whose mind is sunk in bliss, feels it as in a dream. His resembles the case of the two lovers in the story who were tortured together but did not feel pain because their minds were in ecstacy, gazing at each other’s face. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 99.)

The first question I asked Bhagavan was why Christ called out from the cross. If he was a perfect Jnani then surely he would have been indifferent to all suffering. Bhagavan explained that though a Jnani has attained Liberation already and for him there can be no such thing as suffering, some may appear to feel pain, but this is only a reaction of the body. For the body continues to have its reactions. It still eats and carries out all its natural workings. All its suffering is apparent only to the onlooker and does not affect the Jnani, for he no longer identifies the Self with the body, he lives in a transcendent state above all such.

Besides this, it is immaterial to him where and when he leaves the body. Some of them when mapssing appear to suffer, others may pass while in Samadhi and quite unconscious of the outer world, while yet others may just disappear from sight at the moment of death. This conversation is especially interesting in view of what happened in the case of Bhagavan himself during the last days. He certainly appeared to suffer terribly; at night when he was unaware that anybody could hear him, he lay on his couch, groaning and calling out. At that time it was indeed difficult to realize that he, as a Jnani, did not feel pain in the same way as we do, but that he saw it as something apart from him, as in a dream which could be regarded objectively. When Milarepa was dying he was asked if he did not feel pain, his agony was so obviously great. “No,” he replied, “but there is pain.” Pain was certainly there for the body. If one is identified with the body one feels it and associates oneself with it. But for the Jnani who sees the body always as something apart from himself pain is only an experience outside his reality. There is pain but somehow it is not his. (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick] in SRRM, 19-20.)

Saguna Brahman (God with form) – Meant for the Bhaktas

The Saguna Brahman (1) is meant for the bhaktas. In other words, a bhakta believes that God has attributes and reveals Himself to men as a Person, assuming forms. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 149.)

(1) Brahman-with-attributes -- the personal God, including avatars or incarnations of God.

Samadhi

D: What is samadhi?

B: When the mind is in communion with the Self in darkness, it is called nidra (sleep) i.e. the involution of the mind in ignorance. Involution in a conscious or wakeful state is called samadhi.

Samadhi is continuous inherence in the Self in a waking state. Nidra or sleep is also inherence in the Self but in an unconscious state. (Sri Ramana Maharshi, CFHT, n.p.)

Sannyasin – The total renunciate

[Sri Ramana Maharshi] was … against people taking Sannyasa. If properly kept, it was a useless tie. If not properly kept it condemned itself. After all it only made one think ‘now I am a Sannyasin,’ instead of ‘now I am in the world.’ Thought went on and that was the chief enemy. About retiring to the forest or shutting oneself up in a cave, he expressed exactly the same views. So he obviously endorsed living in the world as itself the necessary environment for helping a person along in his Sadhana. If one could do this, be in the world but not of the world, one had achieved a high state of detachment. (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick] in SRRM, 78.)

Sathsang - Avoiding the company of the impure and mundane

His undisciplined disposition died to a great extent when he broke away from frivolous people. … He found no pleasure in the conversation and entertainment that they engaged in, and they found his company unbearable. … He had no one to whom he could express his troubles, no one who was searching the same thing he was called to. And so he went about, an unloved stranger, and with great self-discipline he stayed away; but doing so caused him much joy later on. (Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 65.)

Sathsang - Keeping the company of sages

Whether of heaven, or of heavenly enjoyments, or of objects of desire, whatever thought arises in the heart of the sage is fulfilled. Therefore let him who seeks his own good revere and worship the sage. (UPAN, 47.)

They who worship the sage, and do so without thought of self, cross the boundary of birth and death. (UPAN, 47.)

By constantly living in the company of holy men, the soul becomes restless for God. This yearning is like the state of mind of a man who has someone ill in the family. His mind is in a state of perpetual restlessness, thinking how the sick person may be cured. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 96.)

The constant company of holy men is necessary. The holy man introduces one to God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 194.)

One should always seek the company of holy men. The nearer you approach the Ganges, the cooler the breeze will feel. Again, the nearer you go to a fire, the hotter the air will feel. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 241.)

Satsang is the fire that burns up all our concepts. (Adyashanti, From Nonduality Salon Highlights, http://www.nonduality.com/hl981.htm, downloaded 11 March 2006.)

Scriptures - See Intellectuals – Pro: Can reach God and Intellectuals – Con: Cannot reach God

Scriptures – They can stimulate the longing for liberation

"Sacred writings are beneficial in stimulating desire for inward realization, if one stanza at a time is slowly assimilated. Otherwise, continual intellectual study may result in vanity, false satisfaction, and undigested knowledge. ... The rishis wrote in one sentence profundities that commentating scholars busy themselves over for generations," [Sri Yukteswar Giri] said. "Endless literary controversy is for sluggard minds. What more quickly liberating thought than 'God is' - nay, 'God'?" (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 129-30.)

Scriptures – Pro: Study scripture carefully and follow it

Do not neglect the study of the scriptures. (UPAN, 54.)

Let the scriptures be your guide ... in deciding what you must do, and what you must abstain from. First learn the path of action, as the scriptures teach it. Then act accordingly. (Sri Krishna in BG, 116.)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (St. Paul in II Timothy 16.)

Every age has its scripture. Allah confirms or abrogates what he pleases. His is the Eternal Book. (Koran, 143.)

Taking Scripture as our guide we do not err, since the Holy Ghost speaks to us through it. (St. John of the Cross in CWSJC, 70.)

One should hear the scriptures during the early stages of spiritual discipline. After attaining God there is no lack of knowledge. Then the Divine Mother supplies it without fail. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 200.)

All Scriptures, such as the Bhafgavad-Gita or the Hindu Bible, and the Christian Bible, have a three-fold meaning. In other words, the Scriptures deal with the three factors of human beings, namely, the material, the mental, and the spiritual. Hence, all true Scriptures have been so written that they serve to be beneficial to the body, mind, and soul of man. True Scriptures are like the wells of Divine Waters, which can quench the three-fold material, mental, and spiritual thirsts of man. In addition, the Scriptures, in order to be worth-while, should really help the businessman, the mental man, and the spiritual man. Although both the material and the psychological interpretations are necessary, it should be remembered that the scriptural authors undertook with great pains to point out to a man that the spiritual interpretations are of supreme importance to him. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, x.)

Scriptures – Pro: Hearing scripture after enlightenment brings pleasure

After I had experienced samadhi, my mind craved intensely to hear only about God. I would always search for places where they were reciting or explaining the sacred books, such as the Bhagavata, the Mahabharata, and the Adyatma Ramayana. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 117.)

Scriptures – Con: After knowing God, books are irrelevant

When the whole country is flooded, the reservoir becomes superfluous. So, to the illumined seer, the Vedas are all superfluous. (Sri Krishna in BG, 40.)

If you see your nature, you don't need to read sutras or invoke buddhas. Erudition and knowledge are not only useless, they cloud your awareness. Doctrines are only for pointing to the mind. Once you see your mind, why pay attention to doctrines. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 17.)

Mother, I don’t know the Vedanta; and Mother, I don’t even care to know. The Vedas and the Vedanta remain so far below when Thou art realized, O Divine Mother! (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 373-4.)

One should hear the scriptures during the early stages of spiritual discipline. After attaining God there is no lack of knowledge. Then the Divine Mother supplies it without fail. (1) (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 200.)

(1) Jesus also said that the Holy Spirit, which Sri Ramakrishna calls the Divine Mother, would bring all things to remembrance. (John 14:26.)

Scriptures – Scriptures and man come from the same source: God

A hadith says: "Man and the Quran are twins." What is meant here by Man is the Perfect Man. What is meant here by twins is identical twins born of the same womb. (1) (Ibn Arabi, KK, 17.)

(1) The common womb of the Word and the being is the Divine Mother.

[Sri] Ramakrishna was listening to a reading of the Bhagavata when he went into bhavasamadhi and saw a shining figure of Sri Krishna. Then a ray of light from the feet of that figure touched the scripture being read, and from there touched the Master's own heart, remaining in contact with all three for some time. The result of this vision [was] his firm, life-long conviction of the unity of the scripture, the devotee, and the Lord. 'Bhagavata, Bhakta, Bhagavan,' he used to say, 'three in One and One in three.' (Yogeshananda, VSR, 52.)

Scriptures – The Bhagavad-Gita

The Gita is the essence of all scriptures. A sannyasi may or may not keep with him another book, but he always carries a pocket Gita. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 772.)

The essence of the Gita is what you get by repeating the word ten times. The word become reversed. It is then “tagi,” which refers to renunciation. The essence of the Gita is: “O man, renounce everything and practice spiritual diwscipline for the realization of God.” (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 255.)

Scripture - The Koran

Thus we (1) have revealed it, a code of judgements in the Arabic tongue. If you succumb to their desires after all the knowledge you have been given, none shall save or protect you from Allah. (Koran, 143.)

(1) The "we" Gabriel refers to here are the angels.

Security

Human beings have a drive for security and safety, which is often what fuels the spiritual search. This very drive for security and safety is what causes so much misery and confusion. Freedom is a state of complete and absolute insecurity and not knowing. So, in seeking security and safety, you actually distance yourself from the Freedom you want. There is no security in Freedom, at least not in the sense that we normally think of it. This is, of course, why it is so free; there's nothing there to grab hold of. (Adyashanti, “Freedom and the Unknown,” 2002, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

Seeking - Do nothing - See Nothing - No seeking

The Self (Also known as the Soul, Atman, Child of God, only begotten Son of God, the Eye of God, Face of God, Fire the Son of the Lord, the Firebrand Plucked from the Burning, the Lamp on the Altar, the Flame in the Heart, Christ, Savior, Prince of Peace, Pearl of Great Price, etc.)

'Spread it out and it fills the whole Dharma-realm, gather it up and it's tinier than a thread of hair.' Its lone brightness gleaming forth, it has never lacked anything. 'The eye doesn't see it, the ear doesn't hear it.' What shall we call this thing? … You'll just have to see it for yourselves. What other way is there? (Master Lin-Chi (Rinzai), ZTML, 79.)

Right now, all this dashing and searching you're doing -- do you know what it is you're looking for? It is vibrantly alive, yet has no root or stem. You can't gather it up, you can't scatter it to the winds. The more you search for it the farther away it gets. But don't search for it and it's right before your eyes, its miraculous sound always in your ears. But if you don't have faith, you'll spend your hundred years in wasted labor. (Lin-Chi, ZTML, 58.)

The Atman (1) is the witness, infinite consciousness, revealer of all things but distinct from all, (2) ... whether they be gross or subtle. It is the eternal reality, omnipresent, all-pervading, the subtlest of subtleties. It has neither inside nor outside. It is the real I, hidden in the shrine of the heart. Realize fully the truth of the Atman. (3) Be free from evil and impurity, and you shall pass beyond death. (4) (Shankara in CJD, 69.)

(1) The Self.
(2) Distinct from all (material) things because prior to matter.
(3) That it is one with the Father or Brahman.
(4) Cleanse yourself and you will realize the Father/Self and pass into immortality.

The Atman is self-luminous, distinct from the five coverings. (1) It is the witness of the three states of consciousness. (2) It is existence, changeless, pure, ever-blissful. It is to be realized by the man of discrimination as the Atman within himself. (Shankara in CJD, 67.)

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


(2) Waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep; they cover the range of human experience -- the Atman or Self is beyond these.

Meditate upon the truth that the Atman is "neither gross nor subtle, neither short nor tall", that it is self-existent, free as the sky, beyond the grasp of thought. (Shankara in CJD, 74.)

The Qualified Total Spirit (1) [is] the Viceregent. It has no bodily shape and it is not even outside this universe and its heavens, but it englobes all existents (2) and therein it is present and in control. In relation to it, highest top and the bottom of the bottom are the same. It is present in every one of those degrees. ... It cannot be parcelled out or partitioned. If the skies fell in and the earth shattered, nothing would happen to it. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 5.)

(1) The soul or Self, Christ or Atman.
(2) It is at once inside (contained in) and at the same time outside (encapsulating) this universe. The paradox is dissolved, as some metaphysical paradoxes are, when we remember that the same truth when seen from the relative plane appears differently when viewed from the absolute.The Self is absolutely All there is (infinite, unbounded) and at the same time appears to us to reside in an individual being (finite, bounded).

According to the people of the Union, (1) self, heart, spirit, intellect, mystery all mean the same thing. (2) These different names are given to the same thing which takes different forms at different times. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 4.)

(1) The Self-realized.
(2) All are revealed as the Transcendental Self.

The nature of Awareness [the Self] is existence-consciousness-bliss. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 12.)

What you call your self now is not the real Self which is neither born nor dies. (Ramana Maharshi, SDB, xvi.)

There is a spirit (1) in the soul, (2) untouched by time and flesh, flowing from the Spirit, (3) remaining in the Spirit, itself wholly spiritual.(4) In this principle is God, ever verdant, ever flowering in all the joy and glory of His actual Self. Sometimes I have called this principle the Tabernacle of the soul, sometimes a spiritual Light, anon I say it is a Spark. But now (5) I say that it is more exalted over this and that than the heavens are exalted above the earth. ... It is free of all names and void of all forms. It is one and simple, and no man (6) can in any wise behold it. (Meister Eckhart in Huxley, PP, 15-6.)

(1) the Self or Christ.
(2) The relative being.
(3) The Father.
(4) Not material.
(5) At this level of enlightenment which I have reached.

Work within your own temple, within your heart, from that centre which is the Christ atom, the Christ seed, the jewel within the lotus. From that centre you may proceed … and from your own Christ power [rebuild]. (White Eagle, WWE, 83.)

The Spirit or Self, [is] the immanent aspect of the Godhead. (Usha, RVW, 16.)

The Self -The Self is our very own nature

The Atman, the pure consciousness, is the real nature of all beings. (Dattatreya, AG, 23.)

[The Warrior] is thyself, yet thou art but finite and liable to error. He is eternal and sure. He is eternal truth. When once he has entered thee and become thy Warrior, (1) he will never utterly desert thee, and at the day of the great peace (2) he will become one with thee. (Ascended Master, probably the Master Hilarion, channelling through Mabel Collins, LOP, 24.)

(1) When you see Him in the fourth-chakra experience of illumination.
(2) That is, on the day of Self-Knowledge.

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 .

He who sees God without seeing the Self sees only a mental image. They say that he who sees the Self sees God. He who, having completely lost the ego, sees the Self, has found God, because the Self does not exist apart from God. (Ramana Maharshi, FVR, verse 20.)

The Self - The Self is our Original Mind

The buddha is your real body, your original mind. This mind has no form or characteristics, no cause or effect, no tendons or bones. It's like space. You can't hold it. It's not the mind of materialists or nihilists. Except for a tathagata, (1) no one else, no mortal, no deluded being, can fathom it. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 21.)

(1) A perfect or fully-illumined being.

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

(1) The Self.

If you wish to know your original mind, Don't try to join with it, don't try to depart from it. (Master Lin-Chi (Rinzai), ZTML, 62.)

Pure Mind, Pure Buddhi, Pure Atman -- all these are one and the same. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 802.)

The Self - The Self is the Christ

Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ (1) is in you...? (St. Paul in Corinthians 13:5.)

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

God the Son [is] Christ.... (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 19.)

When Christ called himself the "Son of God," he meant the Universal Spirit dwelling (1) in him. In John 10:36 Jesus says: "Of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world ... I said, I am the Son of God." (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 2, 51.)

(1) The Self or Atman, one with the Father or Brahman.

It must be remembered that Christ consciousness (1) in all specks of creation is the only existing reflection of God the Father; hence, Christ intelligence is spoken of as the only begotten Son. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 27-8.)

(1)The Self or Atman.

[We must] differentiate between Jesus the body and Jesus the vehicle in which the only begotten Son, or Christ Consciousness, (1) was manifested. Jesus Himself said that He was not speaking of His body as the only begotten Son, but of His soul which was not circumscribed by the body, but was one with the only begotten Son, Christ consciousness in all specks of vibration. "God so loved the world (or matter) that He gave His only begotten Son to redeem it; that is, God the Father remained hidden as Christ Intelligence in all matter and in all living beings in order to bring all things, by beautiful evolutional coaxings, back to His home of All-Blessedness when they should overcome all mortal tests, and should reincarnate in matter no more; i.e., "go no more out". (Paramahansa Yogananda in SCC, 1, 28.)

(1) The Self.

Christ, it must be remembered, is not the name of the man Jesus, but a term whose literal meaning is "the anointed one," and whose mystic or rather psychological meaning is that of the liberated or spiritual consciousness. (1) Krishna and Buddha were, we may believe, equally the possessors of Christ-consciousness; and men are striving, dimly and confusedly, in all parts of the world, toward the possession of this consciousness no matter who their teacher and no matter by what name that degree of unfoldment is called. (Cerminara, MM, 78.)

(1) The Self.

The Christ is the symbol of Divinity, of the Word, he is the Son of God, (1) the divine spark buried deep in every soul. By binding himself to his higher soul man becomes bound to the Christ principle, which is everywhere, in every soul, and through Christ, he is bound to God. (Aivanhov, LAS, Part 1, 22.)

(1) The Self.

The Self -The Self is a fragment of the Father

When we consider Brahman as lodged within the individual being, we call Him the Atman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74.)

A firebrand (1) plucked out of the burning (2). (Amos 4:1.)

(1) The Self.
(2) The Father.

You are a principal work, a fragment of God himself, you have in yourself a part of him. Why then are you ignorant of your high birth? (Epictetus in ZTG, 58.)

All sentient beings possess a ray of the Eternal. (Milarepa's teacher Lama Yungtun-Trogyal in TGYM, 85.)

Does it not occur to man that there was a time when he was nothing. (1) (Koran cited by Al-Ghazzali, AH, 33.)

(1) I.e., resided with the Father, who is a transcendent void, or "no thing."

All those beings among whom you struggle on are fragments of the Divine. (Ascended Master, probably the Master Hilarion, channelling through Mabel Collins, LOP, 25.)

The human mind is a spark of the almighty consciousness of God. (Sri Yukteswar Giri in Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 112.)

You are a spark of God's own fire. (Krishnamurti, AFM, 62.)

The Self - The Self is a child of the Father

Yes, we worship the Creator Ahuramazda, and the Fire (1) His Son. (Zarathustra in GZ, 46.)

(1) The Self.

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. (Psalm 82:6.)

Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (Jesus in John 10:34.)

You are children of the living Father. (Jesus in STJ, 19.)

If you will know yourselves, (1) then you will ... know that you are the sons of the Living Father. (2) (Jesus in GATT, 3.)

(1) Realize your true identity.
(2) You will see that you are all the children of God, the Transcendental Consciousness seemingly bounded.

We are all sons of our own One God. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, vi.)

All material beings are prodigal sons who have left the home of the Omnipresent Holy Ghost (1) and have identified themselves with the infinitely smaller territory of the human body. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 19.)

(1) In HIN, Sakti, the primal power, or the Divine Mother. "The dynamic aspect of the Godhead, which is usually represented in female form." (Usha, RVW, 30.)

The Self - The relationship among the Father, the Mother and the Child or Self

You must understand that both Prakriti (1) and Brahman (2) are without beginning. All evolution and all the gunas proceed from Prakriti. From Prakriti the evolution of body and senses is said to originate. The sense of individuality in us (3) is said to cause our experience of pleasure and pain. The individual self,(4) which is Brahman mistakenly identified with Prakriti, experiences the gunas which proceed from Prakriti. It is born of pure or impure parents, according to that kind of guna to which it is most attached. (Sri Krishna in BG, 103.)

(1) Prakriti, or Procreatrix, is the Mother.
(2) Brahman is the Father.
(3) This individual self in Hinduism is called the "Jivatman."
(4) Again, the jivatman.

There are the body, the sense-organs, the vital force, the mind, the ego and all their functions, the objects of enjoyment, pleasures and all other kinds of experience, the gross and the subtle elements -- in short, the whole objective universe, and Maya (1) which is its cause. None of these is the Atman. (2) (Shankara in CJD, 50.)

(1) The Divine Mother.
(2) The Child of God.

You must know that Maya (1) and all its effects -- from the cosmic intellect down to the gross body -- are other than Atman. All are unreal, like a mirage in the desert. (Shankara in CJD, 50-1.)

(1) The Mother.

The Atman is distinct from Maya, (1) the primal cause, and from her effect, the universe. (Shankara in CJD, 53.)

(1) The Mother.

[God has] a threefold nature ... as Father, Son, Holy Ghost (Tat, Sat, Aun in the Hindu scripture). God the Father is the Absolute Unmanifested, existing beyond vibratory creation. God the Son is the Christ Consciousness (Brahma or Kutastha Chaitanya) existing within vibratory creation; (1) this Christ Consciousness is the "only begotten" or sole reflection of the Uncreated Infinite. The outward manifestation of the omnipresent Christ Consciousness, its "witness" (Revelation 3:14), I Aun [sic], the Word or Holy Ghost: invisible divine power, the only doer, the sole causative and activating force that upholds all creation through vibration. (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 143n-144n.)

(1) The condition of existing within vibratory creation is often referred to as being 'veiled in Maya.'

The Self - What is the significance of being a Child of God?

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. (1) (St. Paul in Romans 8:16-7.)

(1) Enlightenment will reveal our true identity to us; it will verify that we and the Father are One. Therefore we are all heirs and, since we are all commonly the Self, joined as heirs in common.

[We] shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (1) (St. Paul in Romans 8:21.)

(1) We shall be liberated from the bondage of worldly thoughts, desires, and actions, and their consequences, into the glorious freedom of the Self-realized.

The Self - The Self and the Father are one

He who sees the First-Born -- born of the mind of Brahma, born before the creation of waters (1) -- and sees him inhabiting the lotus of the heart, living among physical elements, sees Brahman indeed. For this First-Born is the immortal self. (UPAN, 21.)

(1) Could mean "born before the creation of sound waves," which brought matter into being.

Brahman is that which is immutable, and independent of any cause but Itself. When we consider Brahman as lodged within the individual being, we call him the Atman. (Sri Krishna in BG, 74.)

When the light of the Atman (1)
Drives out our darkness
That light shines forth from us,
A sun in splendour,
The revealed Brahman. (2)
(Sri Krishna in BG, 59.)

(1) The Self.
(2) The Father.

I (1) and my Father are one. (Jesus in John 10:30.)

(1) The Self or Atman.

The Father is in me, and I am in him. (1) (Jesus in John 10:38.)

(1) The Father exists "inside" my physical body as the soul or Self and the soul or Self exists inside the Father, who is everything.

Concerning the Fatherhood or the Sonship within God, how often is the term "Lord" used by scripture in regard to both the Father and the Son? (Pseudo-Dionysius in CWPD, 59.)

Atman [is] Brahman-within-the-creature. (Shankara in CJD, 14.)

Brahman ... 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.)

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

To gauge the soul we must gauge it with God, for the Ground of God and the Ground of the Soul are one and the same. (Meister Eckhart in Huxley, PP, 12.)

The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God, as if He stood there and they here. This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge. (Meister Eckhart in Huxley, PP, 12.)

He who knows himself knows his Lord. (Rumi in Arberry, DR, 22.)

I went from God to God, until they cried from me in me, "O thou I!" (Bayazid of Bistun in Huxley, PP, 12.)

Let him observe that the spirit (1) is the Total Spirit, (2) 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'. Let him understand that everything is tied to the Total. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 5.)

(1) The Self.
(2) The Father.

Both God and the soul are invisible, indivisible, unconfined by space and time, and outside the categories of quantity and quality. (Al-Ghazzali, AH, 35.)

He who is Brahman is verily Atman. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 134.)

He who is called Brahman by the jnanis is known as Atman by the yogis. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 133.)

The Transcendental Being and the being within are one and the same. There is one indivisible Absolute Existence. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 71.)

I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own. (Walt Whitman in CC, 100.)

The Cosmic Consciousness, the Father ... is present beyond creation as the Transcendental Absolute, and in creation as ... the Christ Intelligence. (1) (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, II, 20.)

(1) The Self, in all creatures.

The Self - Yet the Father is greater than the Self

My Father is greater than I. (1) (Jesus in John 14:28.)

(1) Brahman is greater than Atman; the Universal Soul is greater than the individual Soul; God the Father is greater than the Self.

The Self - The Self is called the Creator

For by [His dear Son] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (St. Paul in Colossians 1:16-7.)

(1) This statement is equivalent to a Hindu saying that the Atman created everything and by it all things consist.

The Self - The individualized Self is veiled by the Mother (Maya) and cannot remember Its identity

The Sutra of the Ten Sages says, "In the body of mortals is the indestructible buddha-nature. (1) Like the sun, its light fills endless space. But once veiled by the dark clouds of the five shades, (2) it's like a light inside a jar, hidden from view." (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 39.)

(1) The Father/Self.
(2) Matter, the Mother's lila, maya.

As long as a man remains conscious of the body, he is conscious of duality. ... 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.)

As long as you live inside the house of maya, as long as there exists the cloud of maya, you do not see the effect of the Sun of Knowledge. Come outside the house of maya, ... and then the Sun of Knowledge will destroy ignorance. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 583.)

The soul, (1) a reflection of spirit, (2) while dwelling within [the human body], (3) cannot remember its omnipresent state. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 15.)

(1) The Atman.
(2) The Father.
(3) The human body, being matter, is actually a creation or artifact of God as the Mother. The Father is its necessary, the Mother its sufficient, cause.

As Ignorance, or Cosmic Illusion, maya is a superimposition upon Brahman. Maya veils man's vision of Brahman, as a result of which man perceives the manifold universe instead of the one Reality. (Usha, RVW, 48.)

The Self - Came forth from the Father and returns to Him after enlightenment

I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and go to the Father. (Jesus in John 16:28.)

The Self - Has no gender
[The Atman] is sexless. The conception of sex pertains to the body, but the Atman is not the body. The Svetasvatara Upanishad says, "Thou are woman, Thou art man; Thou art youth and maiden too. Thou as an old man totterest along on a staff; it is Thou alone, who when born, assumest diverse forms. (Dattatreya, AG, 23.)

There is no sex in the Self. (Ramana Maharshi in CI.)

The Self - Self-realization is the highest goal in life

The highest aim of religion is Atma-jnanam, Self-knowledge. (Sri Yukteswar Giri, HS, 6.)

The Self - Therefore know thy Self

To attain enlightenment without seeing your nature is impossible. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 9.)

Strain every nerve in every possible way to know and experience yourself as you really are. It will not be long, I suspect, before you have a real knowledge and experience of God as he is. Not as he is in himself, of course, for that is impossible for any save God; and not as you will in Heaven, both in body and soul. But as much as is now possible for a humble soul in a mortal body to know and experience him … and as much as he will permit. (Anon., CU, 71.)

My Me is God, nor do I recognize any other Me except my God Himself. (St Catherine of Genoa in PP, 11.)

Knowledge of self is the key to knowledge of God, according to the saying: "He who knows himself knows God." (Al-Ghazzali, AH, 19.)

To know God is not an easy matter, until one becomes a knower of one's self. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 3.)

Atman cannot be realized through this mind; Atman is realized through Atman (1) alone. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 802.)

(1) That is, the Self is known only through the Self.

Pure Mind, Pure Buddhi, Pure Atman -- all these are one and the same. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 802.)

Without first knowing yourself, how can you know that which is true? Illusion is inevitable without self-knowledge. (Krishnamurti, COL, 1, 20.)

The Self - Begin with yourself

Begin with yourself. Do not ask whether God exists; ask whether you exist. (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, IATG, 80.)

Do something with yourself. As you are, you are closed; as you are, you are dead. As you are, you cannot be in a dialogue with the divine, with existence. So transform yourself: open some doors, break open some space, make some windows. Jump outside your mind, your past. Then it is not only that you will know the divine; you will live it. You will live with the grace of the divine; you will live with the love of the divine. You will be a part of it, just a ripple in it. And once you have become a ripple in it, a wave of the divine, only then is there authentic divineness. (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, IATG, 80.)

If you begin with the divine, then you begin with an achieving attitude. If you begin with yourself, then you begin with a losing attitude. Things will begin to disappear and ultimately you will disappear. And when you are not, the divine is -- with all its grace, with all its love, with all its compassion.

But only when you are not. Your nonexistence is the categorical condition. For no one can this condition be relaxed. It is categorical; it is absolute. You are the barrier. When you disappear, you will know -- and only when you know, you know. You cannot understand it. I cannot explain it to you, I cannot make you understand it. …

If you begin with yourself, you will end with the divine, because that is your other part, the other pole. But begin from this bank; do not begin from the other, where you are not. You cannot begin from there. Begin from where you are.

The deeper you go, the less you will be. The more you know yourself, the less you will be a self, and once you have come to a total understanding about yourself, you will be annihilated. You will go into nonexistence, you will be a total negativity. You will be not. And in that not, in that total negation, you will know the grace that is always falling, that is always raining down from eternity. You will know the love that is always around you. It has always been there, but you have not paid any attention to it. Be annihilated, and you will become aware of it. (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, IATG, 83.)

The Self – Knowing the Self is being the Self

Do you deny your existence? If not, how can you deny Reality, which is pure existence, the Self? (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 68.)

Knowing the Self is being the Self. … You are the Self, yet you ask how to know the Self. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 63.)

To know the Self is to be the Self – as there are not two separate selves. This (state) is thanmaya nishta (abiding as That). (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 24.)

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

Absorption in the heart of being,
Whence we sprang,
Is the path of action, of devotion,
Of union and of knowledge. (Ramana Maharshi, CW, Chapter 5.)

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

It is the experience of everyone that even in the states of deep sleep, fainting, etc., when the entire universe, moving and stationary, beginning with earth and ending with the unmanifested (Prakriti), disappear, he does not disappear. Therefore the state of pure being which is common to all and which is always experienced directly by everybody is one's true nature. (Ramana Maharshi, SI, Chapter 4, Question 18.)

Is there any one who is not aware of himself? Each one knows, but yet does not know, the Self. A strange paradox. (Ramana Maharshi, TWSRM, Question 43.)

Finding the Heart will be experienced as being the Heart. When this experience becomes permanent through constant practice, the much-desired Self-Realization or Mukti is said at long last to have been achieved – the ‘I-am-the-body’ illusion has broken for ever. (Ramana Maharshi, Guru Ramana, 95-6.)

Who is this witness? You speak of 'witness'. There must be an object and a subject to witness. These are creations of the mind. The idea of witness is in the mind. If there was the witness of oblivion did he say, 'I witness oblivion'? You, with your mind, said just now that there must be a witness. Who was the witness? You must reply 'I'. Who is that 'I' again? You are identifying yourself with the ego and say 'I'. Is this ego 'I', the witness? It is the mind that speaks. It cannot be witness of itself. With self-imposed limitations you think that there is a witness of mind and of oblivion. You also say, "I am the witness''. That one who witnesses the oblivion must say, "I witness oblivion''. The present mind cannot arrogate to itself that position.

The whole position becomes thus untenable. Consciousness is unlimited. On becoming limited it simply arrogates to itself the position. There is really nothing to witness. IT is simple BEING. (Ramana Maharshi, TWSRM, Question 180.)

Concentration, meditation and all spiritual practices are not performed with the object of realizing the Self, because the Self is ever-present, but of realizing the non-existence of ignorance. Every man admits his own existence and does not need a mirror to prove it to him. Existence is awareness, which is the negation of ignorance. Then why does man suffer? Because he imagines himself other than what he in reality is, e.g., the body, this, that, and the other – “I am  Gopal, son of Parashuram, father of Natesan,” etc. In reality he is the intelligent “I-am” alone, stripped of qualities and superimpositions, of names and forms. … He must hold onto that existence [that he sees in dreamless sleep], that lone being – Kaivalya – even when he is in the waking state. The man of wisdom simply is. “I-Am-That-I-Am” sums up the whole Truth. The method is summed up by “Be still and know that I am God.” What does stillness mean? Cessation of thinking, which is the universe of forms, colours, qualities, time, space, all concepts and percepts whatever. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 55.)

The Self - The Father/Self "dwells" in the spiritual heart (hridayam) - See - Heart - The Father/Self "dwells" in the spiritual heart (hridayam)

The Self - If you wish to know it, turn inward and regard your own heart - See Turn inward, The Heart - Keep it pure, The Heart - Within it is the Father/Self revealed

The Self - The Lord searches the heart - See The Heart - The Lord searches the heart

The Self -The Self is in the heart of everything that lives

Smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest, the Self forever dwells within the hearts of all. (UPAN, 18.)

In the heart of all things, of whatever there is in the universe, dwells the Lord. (UPAN, 27.)

[Man's] Atman
Is the Atman in all creatures.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 57.)

The Atman ... dwells in the heart of every mortal creature. (Sri Krishna in BG, 88.)

I am in all hearts. (Sri Krishna in BG, 113.)

The Lord lives in the heart of every creature. (Krishna in BG, 129.)

In every heart you are. (Shankara in CJD, i.)

That [self-existent] Reality pervades the universe, but no one penetrates it. (Shankara in CJD, 52.)

Brahman ... is the one Atman in all creatures. (Shankara in CJD, 63.)

This [original] mind is subtle and hard to see. It's not the same as the sensual mind. And those who move their hands and feet by its light are as many as are the grains of sand along the Ganges. But ask them. They can't explain it. They're like puppets. It's theirs to use. Why don't they see it? (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 10.)

The Self - Make Thy Face, the Self, to shine upon us

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:

The Lord make his face (1) shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up his countenance (2) upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24-6.)

(1) The Self. The Lord cause the Self to shine upon you and grant you the peace of enlightenment.
(2) The Self.

Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. (Psalm 4:6.)

The sins of many births are wiped out in a moment by one glance from the gracious eye of God. (1) (Brahmananda in EC, 60-1.)

(1) The Self.

The Self - It is made in the image of the Father

Desiring that he should become many, that he should make of himself many forms, Brahman meditated. Meditating, he created all things.

Creating all things, he entered into everything. ... He became all things whatsoever: therefore the wise call him the Real. (UPAN, 56.)

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

[Brahman] became many individual beings. (UPAN, 62.)

Having projected out of himself the universe, he entered into every being. All that is has its self in him alone. Of all things he is the subtle essence. (UPAN, 69.)

All that makes Man
In his many natures ...
It is by me only
That these are allotted.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 86.)

Now man was created by Him. (Zarathustra, GZ, 23.)

God ... has created and modelled us. (Zarathustra in GZ, 6.)

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. (Genesis 1:26.)

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7.)

God created man, in the likeness of God made he him. (Genesis 5:1.)

God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27.)

And the Lord God formed man (1) of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; (2) and man became a living soul. (Genesis 27:7.)

(1) That is, man's physical body.
(2) In Latin, spiritus means breath.

We are his workmanship. (St. Paul in Ephesians 2:10.)

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.)

His dear Son (1) ... is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. (St. Paul in Colossians 1:13+15.)

(1) While Jesus is being referred to at one level of meaning, at another the eternal soul or Self is also being pointed to, "the firstborn of every creature."

[God's Son is] the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person. (St. Paul in Hebrews 1:3.)

If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; (1)

All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. (Job 34:14-5.)

(1) The Holy Spirit or Divine Mother is being referred to here.

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.)

God created man in his own likeness. (Al-Ghazzali quoting Mohammed in AH, 36.)

No one can understand a king but a king; therefore God has made each of us a king in miniature, so to speak, over a kingdom which is an infinitely reduced copy of His own. ... The soul, itself unlocated and indivisible, governs the body as God governs the universe. (Al Ghazzali, AH, 37-8.)

The Self - It is still

Unmoving, it moves swifter than thought....
Remaining still, it outstrips all that run.
(UPAN, 27.)

The Self - It is pure

As the sun, revealer of all objects to the seer, is not harmed by the sinful eye, nor by the impurities of the objects it gazes on, so the one Self, dwelling in all, is not touched by the evils of the world. For he transcends all. (UPAN, 22.)

That being is like a flame without smoke. (UPAN, 21.)

As air, though one, takes the shape of every object it enters, so the Self, though one, takes the shape of every object in which it dwells.

As the sun, revealer of all objects to the seer, is not harmed by the sinful eye, nor the impurities of the objects it gazes on, so the one Self, dwelling in all, is not touched by the evils of the world. For he transcends all. (UPAN, 22.)

The Atman witnesses everything, but it is not in the least contaminated. ... It is free forever, and untouched. No karma created by its covering bodies can ever contaminate it, even to the smallest degree. (Shankara in CJD, 47-8.)

The Self - It is eternal, undying, changeless

Undying, ... without beginning, without end, eternal, immutable ... is the Self.
Knowing him as such, one is freed from death. (UPAN, 20.)

The Ancient One is unborn, imperishable, eternal: though the body be destroyed, he is not killed. (UPAN, 18.)

Know the Self to be pure and immortal. (UPAN, 25.)

Know this Atman
Unborn, undying,
Never ceasing,
Never beginning,
Deathless, birthless,
Unchanging for ever.
How can it die
The death of the body?

... Worn-out garments
Are shed by the body:
Worn-out bodies
Are shed by the dweller
Within the Body.
New bodies are donned
By the dweller, like garments.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 37.)

The fire (1) shall ever be burning upon the altar; (2) it shall never go out. (Leviticus 6:13.)

(1) The Self
(2) Of the heart or Hridayam.

The Son abideth ever. (Jesus in John 8:35.)

The Atman is birthless and deathless. It neither grows nor decays. It is unchangeable, eternal. It does not dissolve when the body dissolves. Does the ether cease to exist when the jar that enclosed it is broken? (Shankara in CJD, 53.)

By its nature, the Atman is forever unchanging and perfect. But is assumes the character and nature of its coverings because it is mistakenly identified with them. Although fire is formless, it will assume the form of red-hot iron. (Shankara in CJD, 63.)

No matter how many die from among those that are alive that Qualified Spirit (1) remains present forever and in whatever state it was. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 5.)

(1) That is, the Self, which is the Father-within-the-body; its confinement within the body, albeit illusory, is its qualification.

Here one is mortal; there, one is not. (Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 176.)

If the skies fell in and the earth shattered, nothing would happen to [the Self]. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 5.)

The Self - It is light

Happy is the man to whom you come mightily, O Fire, (1) Son of Ahuramazda, (2) friendlier than the friendliest, more adorable than the most adorable! Through Thy Fire, O Lord, we draw near to Thee and Thee alone! (Zarathustra in GZ, 49.)

(1) "Fire" is the Zoroastrian way of referring to the Child of God or Self
(2) The Father

O Lord, we yearn now for Thy Fire (1) to blaze up through Righteousness, most swift and mighty, clearly guiding the faithful through life. (Zarathustra in GZ, 205.)

(1)The Self.

Salvation is from the Best One (1) who teaches in the Altar-Flame. (2) (Zarathustra in GZ, 197-8.)

(1) Could be either the Mother or Father
(2)The Self.

Then spake Jesus again unto them saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12.)

The clean pure light in a moment of your mind -- that is the Essence-body of the Buddha lodged in you. (Lin-Chi, ZTML, 24.)

In this darkness an incomprehensible light is born and shines forth; this is the Son of God in whom a person becomes able to see and contemplate eternal life. (John Ruusbroec in JR, 22.)

It is Christ, (1) the light of truth, who says, "See," and it is through him that we are able to see, for he is the light of the Father, without which there is no light in heaven or on earth. (John Ruusbroec in JR, 74.)

(1) the Self or Atman.

The Self - It is consciousness or awareness itself

[A man's] consciousness is the reflection of the infinite consciousness of the Atman. (Shankara in CJD, 48.)

The Atman is pure consciousness, clearly manifest as underlying the states of waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep. It is inwardly experienced as unbroken consciousness, the consciousness that I am I. (Shankara in CJD, 68.)

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

Awareness which alone remains - that I am. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 13.)

Pure consciousness, free from all thought … is pure, unbroken awareness of your Self, rather of Being – there is no mistaking it when pure. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 82.)

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

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

The Self - It is wisdom, glory, and goodness

The Atman ... is infinite wisdom. (Shankara in CJD, 48.)

[The Atman's] glories are infinite. (Shankara in CJD, 54.)

Goodness needeth not to enter into the soul, for it is there already, only it is unperceived. (Anon. author of Theologica Germanicus in Huxley, PP, 14.)

The Self - It is unending bliss

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

The pure Atman is revealed ... as unending, unalloyed bliss. (Shankara in CJD, 56.)

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

The Self - It is the eternal witness

Like two birds of a golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes. (UPAN, 46-7.)

The supreme Brahman in this body (1) is also known as the Witness. It makes all our actions possible, and, as it were, sanctions them, experiencing all our experiences. (Sri Krishna in BG, 103.)

(1) The Self.

That Reality is the witness of the three states of consciousness, and is distinct from the five bodily coverings. ... [It] knows all things, from the sense of ego to the body itself. It is the knower of pleasure and pain and of the sense objects. It knows everything objectively -- just as the man knows the objective existence of a jar. (Shankara in CJD, 52.)

The Atman is the witness -- beyond all attributes, beyond action. It can be directly realized as pure consciousness and infinite bliss. Its appearance as an individual soul is caused by the delusion of our understanding, and has no reality. (Shankara in CJD, 64.)

It is the unchanging witness that experiences the ego, the intellect and the rest, with their various forms and changes. (Shankara in CJD, 68.)

The Atman is the witness, infinite consciousness, revealer of all things but distinct from all, no matter whether they be gross or subtle. It is the eternal reality, omnipresent, all-pervading, the subtlest of subtleties. (Shankara in CJD, 69.)

The Self - It is imperceptible

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

(1) The Self.

This Atman cannot be manifested to the senses, or thought about by the mind. It is not subject to modification. (Sri Krishna in BG, 37.)

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.)

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.

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.)

[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.)

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 Self - It is inconceivable

Only the mind's eye can contemplate this mighty beauty. But if it comes to contemplation purblind with vice, impure, weak, without the strength to look upon brilliant objects, it then sees nothing even if it is placed in the presence of an object than can be seen. For the eye must be adapted to what is to be seen, have some likeness to it, if it would give itself to contemplation. No eye that has not become like unto the sun will ever look upon the sun; nor will any that is not beautiful look upon the beautiful. Let each one therefore become godlike and beautiful who would contemplate the divine and beautiful. (Plotinus in EP, 43.)

[The Atman] cannot be defined. (Shankara in CJD, 53.)

The mind is unreal. It is like a magic show. It is like the son of a barren woman. It is absolutely non-existent. Since there is no mind there are no concepts, no Master, no disciple, no world, no separate soul. All concepts are really the Reality of the supreme Absolute Being. (Da Free John in HRG, 15.)

The mind is outside the brain. It's not related to the brain in any way. The brain has enormous capacity, but it's limited. (Krishnamurti in WIEN, 92.)

The Self - It is indivisible

How can the indivisible be located in the divisible? (Al-Ghazzali, AH, 36.)

Division, partition, and things of this sort are not possible for [the Self]. It is that which holds in the man's hand, which looks in his eye, which speaks in his tongue, which walks in his foot, which hears in his ear, and in short is present and in control in all his feelings. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 4.)

It is totally and essentially present in every part of the body, and having circumscribed the whole body, it is transcendent and free from every part of the body. If a finger or a foot were to be cut off, it would suffer no diminution, nor does it lose any part of itself. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 4.)

The Self - It is unconfinable

The Inner Light is beyond praise and blame;
Like space, it knows no boundaries,
Yet it is ever here, within us,
Ever retaining its serenity and fulness.
(Yung-chia Ta-shih in Huxley, PP, 8.)

The soul [is] ... unlocated and indivisible. (Al-Ghazzali, AH, 38.)

Both God and the soul are ... unconfined by space and time. (Al-Ghazzali, AH, 35.)

The Self - It animates everything; It is the doer

The Self is ear of the ear, mind of the mind, speech of speech. He is also breath of the breath, and eye of the eye. (UPAN, 30.)

Verily, it is the Self that sees, hears, smells, tastes, thinks, knows, acts. (UPAN, 39.)

The supreme Brahman in this body (1) is also known as the Witness. It makes all our actions possible, and, as it were, sanctions them, experiencing all our experiences. (Sri Krishna in BG, 103.)

(1) The Self.

Because of [the Atman's] presence, the body, senses, mind, and intellect apply themselves to their respective functions, as though obeying its commands. (Shankara in CJD, 52.)

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

(1) I.e., the soul or what we have here called the Self, which, being one with the Father, is the same as Him. Buddhists often use the same epithets, like Buddha nature, original mind, or Big Mind, for both the Self and God the Father.

Followers of the Way, this thing called mind (1) has no fixed form; it penetrates all the ten directions. In the eye we call it sight, in the ear we call it hearing; in the nose it detects odors, in the mouth it speaks discourses; in the hand it grasps, in the feet it runs along. Basically it is a single bright essence, but it divides itself into these six functions. (Master Lin-Chi (Rinzai), ZTML, 25.)

(1) Functionally, the Self, although Buddhists generally do not use the term "Self."

The Self - Everything lies within It

The Self is Brahman, and Brahman is all. (UPAN, 26.)

As large as the universe outside, even so large is the universe within the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and earth, the sun, the moon, the lightning, and all the stars. What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm. (UPAN, 74.)

When you have reached enlightenment, (1) ignorance will delude you no longer. In the light of that knowledge you will see the entire creation within your own Atman and in me. (Sri Krishna in BG, 54-5.)

(1) Union or Self-Knowledge.

Each being contains in itself the whole intelligible world. Therefore All is everywhere. Each is there All, and All is each. Man as he how is has ceased to be the All. But when he ceases to be an individual, he raises himself again and penetrates the whole world. (Plotinus in Huxley, PP, 5.)

The Atman reveals this entire universe of mind and matter. (Shankara in CJD, 53.)

The universe does not exist apart from the Atman. Our perception of it as having an independent existence is false, like our perception of blueness in the sky. (Shankara in CJD, 71.)

You think of yourself as a small thing, whereas in you there is hidden the biggest of universes. If you go to a teacher and come to know yourself you will see everything in you and yourself in everything, and you will know with certainty. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 14.)

Heaven and earth with all their inhabitants, and moreover God himself, is in man. (Jacob Boehme in LDJB, 39.)

The whole universe is in the body and the whole body is in the Heart. hence all the universe is contained in the Heart.

The universe is nothing but the mind, and the mind is nothing but the Heart. Thus the entire story of the universe culminates in the Heart. (Ramana Maharshi in SRG, 27 and 29.)

The Sonship (1) is the sum of all that God created. (Anon., CIM, 2.)

(1)The Self.

The Self - It is beyond all bodies or sheaths

Beyond all sheaths is the Self. (UPAN, 55.)

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

(1) The Self.
(2) The Father.

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

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

There are ... celestial bodies (1) and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, (2) and the glory of the terrestrial (3) is another. ...

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (St. Paul in I Corinthians 15:40 and 44.)

(1) The Self.
(2) Enlightenment, divine ecstacy, omniscience, etc.
(3) Chiefly its sense life.

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, (1) an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (St. Paul in II Corinthians 5:1.)

(1) The Self.

Ye also, as lively stones, (1) are built up a spiritual house. (2) (I Peter 2:5.)

(1) "Stones" in the sense of having an inert physical body; "lively" in the sense of having a living soul.
(2) The Self.

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

(1) The Self.
(2) The Mother.

The Self – It Remains as the Residue – See Jnana Yoga – Self-Enquiry – Remove the obstacles and the Self remains as the residue

The Self - The physical body is an instrument for the Self's experience; give it only enough attention to maintain it

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

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

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

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

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

The Self - The body without the Self is dead - See The Body - The body without the Self is dead

The Self - Don't live for the body - See The Body - Don't live for it

The Self - Misidentification of the Self with the body is the root delusion - See The Body - Misidentification of the body with the Self is the root delusion

The Self - For enlightenment to occur, the Self must be known as distinct from the body

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

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

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

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

The Supreme Person, ... the Innermost Self, dwells forever in the heart of all beings. As one draws the pith from a reed, so must the aspirant after truth, with great perseverance, separate the Self from the body. Know the Self to be pure and immortal. (UPAN, 24-5.)

Recognize me as the Knower of the Field in every body. I regard discrimination between Field and Knower as the highest kind of knowledge. (Sri Krishna in BG, 100.)

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; (1) and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. (Genesis 28:16-7.)

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

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

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

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

As long as a man remains conscious of the body, he is conscious of duality. ... 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.)

The Self - Often the terms "Son of God" and "Self" are reserved for the sage

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightaway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:16-7.)

The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day (1) have I begotten thee. (Psalm 2:7.)

(1) The day of Union or Self-Knowledge.

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you ...

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. (Jesus in Matthew 5:44-5.)

[They] are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. (1) (Jesus in Luke 20:36.)

(1) The resurrection = Union or Self-Realization, when those previously subjected to death and rebirth are resurrected, or freed from death in immortality.

He that overcometh (1) shall inherit all things; (2) and I will be his God, and he shall be my Son. (Revelation 21:7.)

(1) Transcends all worldly desires, renders him/herself pure in heart, and becomes a ruler over self.
(2) Become capable of exercising vast powers over the material domain ("all things").

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, (1) they are the sons of God. (St. Paul in Romans 8:14.)

(1) The enlightened sage is said to be led by the Spirit of God.

All souls who can actually find their souls one with Christ Consciousness, by intuitive Self-Realization, can be called the "Sons of God." (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, x.)

The Self - A vision of the Self - See Enlightenment - (1) Spiritual Awakening

The Self - How is it seen?

Even though the aspirant is gazing at his own Self, it is said to look like a light located outside himself. The UP refer to this illusion: "In one's own soul Brahman is realized clearly, as if seen in a mirror." (Prabhavananda and Manchester, commenting in UPAN, 23n.)

The Self - Is the experience referred to in the works of the Self -realized? - See Enlightenment - (1) Spiritual Awakening - How has it been described?, Enlightenment - (1) Spiritual Awakening - Is it mentioned in the Bible?

The Self - Effects of the first sight of It - See Enlightenment - (1) Spiritual Awakening - Its effects

The Self - It will lead you to the Father; It is the door to the kingdom of heaven; It is the key to the door

I (1) am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, (2) and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (3) (Jesus in John 10:9.)

(1)I, the Christ Consciousness, the immortal Self.
(2) Enlightened.
(3) And liberated, in the experience of permanent God-Realization or Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

I (1) am the way, (2) the truth, (3) and the life: (4) no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Jesus in John 14:6.)

(1) The Self, Christ, or Atman.
(2) No one cometh to God except by contemplating My Light, becoming absorbed in It, and entering through this door to the Father's Realm or Kingdom of Heaven, in the experience of permanent God-Realization or Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
(3) The Self, which is one with the Father, is the Reality, the Truth.
(4) Eternal life or immortality, which the aspirant wins upon Liberation or Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (1) (Jesus in John 6:44.)

(1) The last day is not the Day of Judgment; it is the day of permanent enlightenment or Self-Knowledge -- the last day of mortality and the first day of immortality.

All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man (1) knoweth who the Son (2) is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (Jesus in Luke 9:22.)

(1) No unenlightened mortal.
(2) The Self.

I (1) will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (2) (Jesus in Revelation 21:6.)

(1) I, the Christ Consciousness, the immortal Self.
(2) Will bestow on the pure and devoted the experience of permanent Self-Knowledge, which will bring with it freedom from the cycle of birth and death and everlasting unity with the Heavenly Father.

If the Son, (1) therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (Jesus in John 8:36.)

(1) The Self.

Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you...? (St. Paul in Corinthians 13:5.)

By the power of the Atman, let him rescue his own soul, which lies drowned in the vast waters of worldliness. (Shankara in CJD, 34.)

The spiritual or astral eye is the eye of the astral body. The astral eye is the individualized cosmic energy in the human body. In meditation, first the life force must be withdrawn from the body, and must cross the portals of cosmic energy represented by the golden ring [representing the Holy Spirit]. Then it must plunge in the blue light representing Christ Consciousness. (1) Then it must penetrate through the silver star representing Spirit, in the region of the Infinite. These three -- golden, blue, and silver light -- contain all walls of rays ... of cosmic energy through which one has to penetrate before one can reach Heaven. ... The outer golden light is the Holy Ghost or Cosmic Energy or Nature, the blue represents God the Son or Christ, and the silver star represents God the Father. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 18-9.)

(1) The sense in which Christ is the door.

The Self - After seeing it, contemplate on it and reach the Father – See also Turn from the World to God – Parables of finding the Self and contemplating its identity with the Father

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, (1) he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (2) (Matthew 13:44.)

(1) In the first vision of light called "spiritual awakening," consequent upon the spiritual current reaching the fourth chakra.
(2) Renounced everything and became absorbed in it until he "bought it" or reached permanent God-realization or Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi, making it his own.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, (1) went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (2) (Jesus in Matthew 13:45-6.)

(1) The Self.
(2) Renounced everything, contemplated the Self, and won it forever in the experience of permanent God-Realization or Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

The Self - Realize Its true nature and be liberated

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 Self.

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. (UPAN, 39.)

I am that Self! I am life immortal! I overcome the world -- I who am endowed with golden effulgence! Those who know me achieve Reality. (UPAN, 59.)

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (I John 5:12.)

Whoever sees his nature (1) is a buddha. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 5.)

(1) "His nature" is the Self/Father.

If you don't see your own miraculously aware nature, you'll never find a buddha, even if you break your body into atoms. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 21.)

If but once, only,
A man will open
His mind to receive you
Truly that man is free forever.
(Shankara in CJD, i.)

If you realize [the Atman], you will be freed from the bonds of ignorance, and attain liberation. (Shankara in CJD, 52.)

Until a man wakes to knowledge of his identity with the Atman, liberation can never be obtained; no, not even at the end of many hundreds of ages. (Shankara in CJD, 33.)

Know the Atman, transcend all sorrows, and reach the fountain of joy. Be illumined by this knowledge, and you have nothing to fear. If you wish to find liberation, there is no other way of breaking the bonds of rebirth. (Shankara in CJD, 69.)

The soul (1) that realizes on earth that it is the home and kingdom (2) of our Lord Jesus is made like him and oned (3) to him in rest and peace by his grace. (Julian of Norwich in MJN, 115.)

(1) The individual soul or jiva.
(2) "Home" in the sense that the Christ is "located" within the individual's heart; "kingdom" in the sense that the Christ within, Self, or Atman, contains everything, including the individual Jesus. This relationship is said to be a profound mystery, most difficult to realize.
(3) United with Him.

The Self - You must realize absolutely that the Father and Self are one

He who sees the First-Born (1) ... and sees him inhabiting the lotus of the heart, living among physical elements, sees Brahman indeed. For this First-Born is the immortal Self. (UPAN, 21.)

(1) The Self.

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.)

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) (Shankara in CJD, 69.)

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

[The Self] is realized within one's own heart as existence, knowledge and bliss absolute. (1) Realize this Atman within the shrine of your own heart. (Shankara in CJD, 68.)

(1) I.e., as the Father.

You must realize absolutely that the Atman is Brahman.

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.)

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'. Let him understand that everything is tied to the Total. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 5.)

When the [Yogi] feels his consciousness one with Christ consciousness, (1) he realizes that Christ consciousness is nothing but the reflection of the CC of God the Father. Then the [Yogi], like Jesus, can say, "I (Christ consciousness in creation) and my Father (CC beyond creation) are one." (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 29.)

(1)The Self.

The Self - The personal soul is seen as feminine before God

O living flame of love,
how tenderly you wound
my soul in her profoundest core!
You are no longer shy.
Do it now, I ask you:
break the membrane of our sweet union.

O soothing cautery!
O wound that is a joy!
O sweet cautery!
O delightful wound!
O gentle hand! O delicate touch
That tastes of eternal life,
And pays every debt!
In killing, You changed death to life.
(St. John of the Cross in CWSJC, 717-8.)

In that state [i.e,. of perfection] a devotee looks on himself as a woman. He does not regard himself as a man. Sanatana Goswami refused to see Mirabei because she was a woman. Mira informed him that at Vrindavan the only man was Krishna and that all others were His handmaids. “Was it right of Sanatana to think of himself as a man?” Mira inquired. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 377.)

Chidatma and Chitsakti. The Purusha is Chidatma and Prakriti is Chitsakti. Sri Krishna is the Chidatma and Sri Radha is the Chitsakti. The devotees are so many forms of the Chitsakti. They should think of themselves as handmaids of the Chitsakti, Sri Radha. This is the whole gist of the thing. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 381.)

In relation to God, the personal soul is always feminine and passive. (1) (Aldous Huxley in PP, 22.)

(1) Notice however that the mystical passive is the Cosmic Male or Brahman.

The Self - Does the Self ultimately disappear?

On one occasion, with full hedonistic deliberation, I settled myself down and turned my gaze inward. Almost immediately the empty space began to expand, and expanded so rapidly it seemed to explode; then, in the pit of my stomach, I had the feeling of falling a hundred floors in a non-stop elevator, and in this fall every sense of life was drained from me. The moment of landing, I know: When there is no personal self, there is also no personal God. I saw clearly how the two went together -- and where they went I have never found out.

For a while I sat there mentally and emotionally stunned. I couldn't think about what had happened, nor was there any response in me at all. ... In me, there was no sense of life, no mobement and no feeling; finally, I realized I no longer had a "within" at all.

The moment of falling had been such a complete wipeout that never again would I have any sense of possessing a life I could call my own -- or any other type of life. My interior or spiritual life was finished. There was no more gazing within; from now on my eyes could only look outward. At the time, I had no way of knowing the tremendous repercussions that would follow this sudden event. I had to learn by by bit; on a totally experiential level, because my mind could not comprehend what had happened since this event and everything that followed fell outside any frame of reference known to me. From here on, I literally had to grope my way along an unknown path. (Bernadette Robert, ENS, 24-5.)

One of the first lessons learned on this journey is that the passing of each experience leaves nothing in its wake, hardly a footprint and certainly not a vivid memory. In a word, one learns to live without a past.

For this reason, I wrote quickly before the journey became lost forever and life without a self grew as dim as the day of my birth. (Bernadette Roberts, ENS, 15.)

My view of what some authors call the "unitive stage" is that it begins with the Dark Night of the Spirit, or the onset of the transformation process, when the larva enters the cocoon, so to speak. Up to this point we are actively reforming ourselves, doing what we can to bring about an abiding union with the divine. But at a certain point, when we have done all we can, the divine steps in and takes over. The transforming process is a divine undoing and re-doing that culminates in what is called the state of "transforming union" or "mystical marriage," considered to be the definitive state for the Christian contemplative.

In experience, the onset of this process is the descent of the cloud of unknowing, which, because his former light has gone out and left him in darkness, the contemplative initially interprets as the divine gone into hiding. In modern terms, the descent of the cloud is actually the falling away of the ego-center, which leaves us looking into a dark hole, a void or empty space in ourselves. Without the veil of the ego-center, we do not recognize the divine; it is not as we thought it should be.

Seeing the divine eye-to-eye is a reality that shatters our expectations of light and bliss. From here on we must feel our way in the dark, and the special eye that allows us to see in the dark opens up at this time. So here begins our journey to the true center, the bottom-most, innermost "point" in ourselves where our life and being runs into divine life and being -- the point at which all existence comes together. (Bernadette Roberts, "The Path to No-Self" in TVHV, 131-2.)

This is not a journey for those who expect love and bliss; rather, it is for the hardy who have been tried in fire and have come to rest in the tough, immoveable trust in "that" which lies beyond the known, beyond the self, beyond union, and even beyond love and trust itself. (Bernadette Roberts, ENS, 13.)

Self-Enquiry (Atma-Vichara) – See Discriminate betwen the Unreal and the Real - Self-Enquiry (Atma-Vichara)

Self-Examination and Assessment
When we enter upon the spiritual life, we should consider and examine to the bottom what we are. And then we should find ourselves worthy of all contempt, and not deserving indeed the name of Christians; subject to all kinds of misery and numberless accidents, which trouble us and cause perpetual vicissitudes in our health, in our humors, in our internal and external dispositions; in fine, persons whom God would humble by many pains and labors, as well within as without. After this we should not wonder that troubles, temptations, oppositions, and contradictions happen to use from men. We ought, on the contrary, to submit ourselves to them, and bear them as long as God pleases, as things highly advantageous to us. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 22.)

The Senses - Their nature - See also Desire, Karma Yoga - Renouce altogether desire for the worldly, the external, the transient, the sensory, and the pleasing

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

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

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

The 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.)

The Senses - The problem they present

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 God-realization.

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.)

A man must separate this Atman from every object of experience, as a stalk of grass is separated from its enveloping sheath. Then he must dissolve into the Atman all those appearances which make up the world of name and form. He is indeed a free soul who can remain thus absorbed in the Atman alone. (Shankara in CJD, 56-7.)

A moment unborn and the whole thing is revealed
As soon as the senses stir, it’s covered by clouds.
(10th Century Ch’an Poet Zhuang Zhuo in ZIBO, 30.)

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

As long as God keeps the awareness of 'I' in us, so long do sense-objects exist; and we cannot very well speak of the world as a dream. (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 243.)

Each instrument has ... a proper and legitimate action and also a deformation or wrong principle of its proper action. The proper action of the psychic Prana is pure possession and enjoyment, bhoga. To enjoy thought, will, action, dynamic impulse, result of action, emotion, sense, sensation, to enjoy too by their means objects, persons, life, the world, is the activity for which this Prana gives us a psycho-physical basis. A really perfect enjoyment of existence can come only when what we enjoy is not the world in itself or for itself, but God in the world, when it is not things, but the Ananda of the spirit in things that forms the real, essential object of our enjoying and things only as form and symbol of the spirit, waves of the ocean of Ananda. But this Ananda can only come at all when we can get at and reflect in our members the hidden spiritual being, and its fullness can only be had when we climb to the supramental ranges.

Meanwhile there is a just and permissible, a quite legitimate human enjoyment of these things, which is, to speak in the language of Indian psychology, predominantly sattwic in its nature. It is an enlightened enjoyment principally by the perceptive, aesthetic and emotive mind, secondarily only by the sensational nervous and physical being, but all subject to the clear government of the Buddhi, to a right reason, a right will, a right reception of the life impacts, a right order, a right feeling of the truth, law, ideal sense, beauty, use of things. The mind gets the pure taste of enjoyment of them, rasa, and rejects whatever is perturbed, troubled, and perverse. Into this acceptance of the clear and limpid rasa, the psychic Prana has to bring in the full sense of life and the occupying enjoyment by the whole being, bhoga, without which the acceptance and possession by the mind, rasagrahana, would not be concrete enough, would be too tenuous to satisfy altogether the embodied soul. This contribution is its proper function.

The deformation which enters in and prevents the purity, is a form of vital craving; the grand deformation which the psychic Prana contributes to our being, is desire. The root of desire is the vital craving to seize upon that which we feel we have not, it is the limited life's instinct for possession and satisfaction. It creates the sense of want, - first the simpler vital craving of hunger, thirst, lust, then these psychical hungers, thirsts, lusts of the mind which are a much greater and more instant and pervading affliction of our being, the hunger which is infinite because it is the hunger of an infinite being, the thirst which is only temporarily lulled by satisfaction, but is in its nature insatiable. The psychic Prana invades the sensational mind and brings into it the unquiet thirst of sensations, invades the dynamic mind with the lust of control, having, domination, success, fulfilment of every impulse, fills the emotional mind with the desire for the satisfaction of liking and disliking, for the wreaking of love and hate, brings the shrinkings and panic of fear and the strainings and disappointments of hope, imposes the tortures of grief and the brief fevers and excitements of joy, makes the intelligence into a partial, a stumbling and an eager pursuer of limited, impatient, militant prejudgments and opinion. Desire is the root of all sorrow, disappointment, affliction, for though it has a feverish joy of pursuit and satisfaction, yet because it is always a straining of the being, it carries into its pursuit and its getting a labour, hunger, struggle, a rapid subjection to fatigue, a sense of limitation, dissatisfaction and early disappointment with all its gains, a ceaseless morbid stimulation, trouble, disquiet, asanti. To get rid of desire is the one firm indispensable purification of the psychical Prana, - for so we can replace the soul of desire with its pervading immiscience in all our instruments by a mental soul of calm delight and its clear and limpid possession of ourselves and world and Nature which is the crystal basis of the mental life and its perfection. (Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 628-30.)

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 Senses - The solution

When objects of sense experience are all ignored, then the transcendental brightness of Intuition will shine forth mysteriously, and you will have found the true source of cognition and tranquillity. (The Buddha in BB, 209.)

Each instrument has ... a proper and legitimate action and also a deformation or wrong principle of its proper action. The proper action of the psychic Prana is pure possession and enjoyment, bhoga. To enjoy thought, will, action, dynamic impulse, result of action, emotion, sense, sensation, to enjoy too by their means objects, persons, life, the world, is the activity for which this Prana gives us a psycho-physical basis. A really perfect enjoyment of existence can come only when what we enjoy is not the world in itself or for itself, but God in the world, when it is not things, but the Ananda of the spirit in things that forms the real, essential object of our enjoying and things only as form and symbol of the spirit, waves of the ocean of Ananda. But this Ananda can only come at all when we can get at and reflect in our members the hidden spiritual being, and its fullness can only be had when we climb to the supramental ranges.

Meanwhile there is a just and permissible, a quite legitimate human enjoyment of these things, which is, to speak in the language of Indian psychology, predominantly sattwic in its nature. It is an enlightened enjoyment principally by the perceptive, aesthetic and emotive mind, secondarily only by the sensational nervous and physical being, but all subject to the clear government of the Buddhi, to a right reason, a right will, a right reception of the life impacts, a right order, a right feeling of the truth, law, ideal sense, beauty, use of things. The mind gets the pure taste of enjoyment of them, rasa, and rejects whatever is perturbed, troubled, and perverse. Into this acceptance of the clear and limpid rasa, the psychic Prana has to bring in the full sense of life and the occupying enjoyment by the whole being, bhoga, without which the acceptance and possession by the mind, rasagrahana, would not be concrete enough, would be too tenuous to satisfy altogether the embodied soul. This contribution is its proper function.

The deformation which enters in and prevents the purity, is a form of vital craving; the grand deformation which the psychic Prana contributes to our being, is desire. The root of desire is the vital craving to seize upon that which we feel we have not, it is the limited life's instinct for possession and satisfaction. It creates the sense of want, - first the simpler vital craving of hunger, thirst, lust, then these psychical hungers, thirsts, lusts of the mind which are a much greater and more instant and pervading affliction of our being, the hunger which is infinite because it is the hunger of an infinite being, the thirst which is only temporarily lulled by satisfaction, but is in its nature insatiable. The psychic Prana invades the sensational mind and brings into it the unquiet thirst of sensations, invades the dynamic mind with the lust of control, having, domination, success, fulfilment of every impulse, fills the emotional mind with the desire for the satisfaction of liking and disliking, for the wreaking of love and hate, brings the shrinkings and panic of fear and the strainings and disappointments of hope, imposes the tortures of grief and the brief fevers and excitements of joy, makes the intelligence into a partial, a stumbling and an eager pursuer of limited, impatient, militant prejudgments and opinion. Desire is the root of all sorrow, disappointment, affliction, for though it has a feverish joy of pursuit and satisfaction, yet because it is always a straining of the being, it carries into its pursuit and its getting a labour, hunger, struggle, a rapid subjection to fatigue, a sense of limitation, dissatisfaction and early disappointment with all its gains, a ceaseless morbid stimulation, trouble, disquiet, asanti. To get rid of desire is the one firm indispensable purification of the psychical Prana, - for so we can replace the soul of desire with its pervading immiscence in all our instruments by a mental soul of calm delight and its clear and limpid possession of ourselves and world and Nature which is the crystal basis of the mental life and its perfection. (Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 628-30.)

The moment of experiencing is totally different from the pursuit of sensation. In experiencing there is no awareness of the experiencer and his sensations. When experiencing comes to an end, then begin the sensations of the experiencer; and it is these sensations that the experiencer demands and pursues. ... Sensations become all-dominant, and not experiencing. The longing to repeat an experience is the demand for sensation; and while sensations can be repeated, experiencing cannot. (Krishnamurti, COL1, 64.)

The constant desire to be more or less gives rise to the feeling of individuality and separateness. If we can remain with this fact without condemning or justifying it, we will discover that sensations do not make up our whole life. Then the mind as memory, which is sensation, becomes calm, no longer torn by its own conflicts; and only then, when the mind is silent and tranquil, is there the possibility of living without the "me" and the "mine." Without this love, collective action is merely compulsion, breeding antagonism and fear, from which arise private and social conflicts. (Krishnamurti, COL1, 76.)

There will be no sorrow if and when the sense organs are withdrawn from sense objects. (Mata Amritanandamayi, AC, 1, 24.)

The Senses – Without sense control, there is no enlightenment - See Desire - Intention

Seriousness - See Intention

Service, Selfless (also called Seva) – See Action – Karma Yoga – The yoga of action

Service, Selfless - Impart spiritual knowledge where appropriate See Action – Karma Yoga - Impart spiritual knowledge where appropriate

Sexuality – Lust is one of the primary obstacles to Self-knowledge

Smoke hides fire,
Dust hides a mirror,
The womb hides the embryo:
By lust (1) the Atman (2) is hidden.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 49.)

(1) Admittedly, the lust Krishna refers to is not simply sexually passion, but all forms of craving and attachment. But it includes sexual lust.
(2) The Self.

The inner enjoyment of [lust and greed] injures the growth of one’s devotion. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 1017.)

If you want to realize God, then you must cultivate intense dispassion. You must renounce immediately what you feel to be standing in your way. You should not put it off until the future. [Lust and greed] is the obstruction. The mind must be withdrawn from it. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 750.)

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 his passions? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 97.)

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

In spite of his warning against association with women, the Master [Sri Ramakrishna] accepted one [the Bhairavi Brahamni] as his spiritual guide and sat at her feet for instruction. He demonstrated thereby that there is nothing innate in a woman that obstructs a man’s spiritual progress – rather it is the attitude of the man towards her that helps or hinders. If one loves a woman for her physical charms only, [he] degrades [her] instead of ennobling [her], but if one looks to the divinity of her nature and sees the Mother of the universe manifesting through her, she will help to cut the bonds of matter and show the way to bliss. Woman cannot be shunned, for in this world you cannot escape her. So long as there is the idea of sex, it will follow you everywhere. You can evade it only by regarding woman as mother or sister or daughter – that is, in the purest of relationships. But if you insult her – use her as a toy for pleasure – the nemesis of her wrath will follow you even to the outermost limits of the world. Sri Ramakrishna demonstrated in his life the proper attitude of man towards woman and vice versa, a precious boon to humanity for all time to come. (Anon., LSR, 99.)

Sexuality – Sexual desire is a creation of the mind

Fie on human beings who appraise the foulest part of the body as the most delightful. (Hemalekha in TR, 31.)

The fair woman that appears as the object is / only the reflection of the subtle concept already in the subjective mind. The mind draws an image of her beauty in conformity with its own repeated conceptions. The repeatedly drawn image becomes clearer and clearer until it appears solidly as the object. An attraction springs up (and enslaves the mind) by constant mental associations.

The mind, becoming restless, stirs up the senses and seeks the fulfillment of its desires in the object; a composed mind is not excited even at the sight of the fairest.

The reason for this infatuation is the oft-repeated mental picture. Neither children nor self-controlled yogis are excited in the same way (because their minds do not dwell on such things).

So whoever finds pleasure in anything, the beauty therein is only mental imagery.

Ugly and loathsome women too are looked upon as delightful angels by their husbands.

If the mind conceives anything as loathsome and not delightful, there will be no pleasure in such. (Hemalekha in TR, 30-1.)

Even the most accomplished among men have fallen into the habit of seeking pleasure from woman, for all consider her the best hunting ground for delight.

Similarly also a man’s body is thought by woman to be the highest source of enjoyment. But consider the matter well, Prince.

Shaped of fat and flesh, filled with blood, topped by the head, containing bile and phlegm, a pitcher of feces and urine, generated from semen and ova, and born from the womb, such is the body. Just think of it!

Finding delight in such a thing, how are men any better than worms growing in offal? (Hemalekha in TR, 32.)

On hearing all this, Hemachuda developed disgust for earthly pleasures. (TR, 32.)

His disgust for earthly pleasures grew in volume and in force. He again and again discussed matters with his beloved so that he understood the ultimate truth.

Then realizing the pure consciousness inhering / as the Self to be that self-same Tripura, he became aware of the One Self holding all and was liberated. (TR, 32-3.)

Sexuality - Householders - Arguments for

It is not so harmful for a householder who follows the path of knowledge to enjoy conjugal happiness with his own wife now and then. He may satisfy his sexual impulse like any other natural impulse. Yes, you may enjoy a sweetmeat once in a while. (Mahimacharan laughs.)

It is not so harmful for a householder. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 387.)

[Sri Ramana Maharshi] never taught morals, and had no special abhorrence of sex. He once said in answer to a troubled disciple in my hearing, “It is better to do it than to be always thinking about it.” This reminds one of the Gita, “Thoughts are acts in fancy.” Always thinking of it is repeatedly doing it. (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick] in SRRM, 58.)

Accepting your body is one of the lessons of this embodiment. And this, my friends, includes your sexuality.

Let your lovemaking be a joyful act, an act of surrender to the Christ in yourself and your partner. Physical love is no less beautiful than other forms of love, nor can it be separated from them. Those who view physical love as unholy will experience it that way, not because it is, but because they perceive it that way. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 36.)

Sexuality – Householders - Arguments against

He who is a hero lives with a woman but does not indulge in physical pleasures. Talk to your wife only about God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 966.)

If a man enters the world after realizing God, he does not generally keep up physical relations with his wife. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 326.)

Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? You have children, and still you enjoy intercourse with your wife. Don’t you hate yourself for thus leading an animal life? Don’t you hate yourself for dallying with a body which contains only blood, phlegm, filth and excreta? He who contemplates the Lotus Feet of God looks on even the most beautiful woman as mere ash from the cremation ground. To enjoy a body which will not last and which consists of such impure ingredients as intestines, bile, flesh and bone! (Paramahansa Ramakrishna to Mahendranath Gupta, in GSR 341.)

Sexuality – Sexual purity is austerity

Reverence for the devas, the seers, the teachers and the sages; straightforwardness, harmlessness, physical cleanliness and sexual purity; these are the virtues whose practice is called austerity of the body. (Sri Krishna in BG, 118.)

Sexuality – Dispassion will not arise until lust is finished with

One cannot love God if one feels attracted to worldly things, to [lust and greed]. Merely taking the vow of monastic life will not help a man if he is attached to the world. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 224.)

Most people don't feel any longing for God unless they have once passed through the experience of wealth, name, fame, creature comforts, and the like, that is to say, unless they have seen through these enjoyments. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 216.)

The less you are attached to the world, the more you love God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 277.)

Dispassion is not possible unless there is satiety through enjoyment. (1) You can easily cajole a small child with candies or toys. But after eating the candies and finishing its play, it cries, “I want to go to my mother.” Unless you take the child to its mother, it will throw away the toy and scream at the top of its voice. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 216.)

(1) But note Sri Ramana Maharshi’s comment below.

When celibacy was mooted, Sri Bhagawan [Ramana Maharshi] brushed it aside, and said that it was one among the many aids to realization and did not insist on it, meaning that the craving will wear off with the practice of the Yoga. (Narayana Aiyer, TMY, 38.)

One visitor queried if the vasanas could be got rid of if [the] senses were surfeited to satiation point. Sri Bhagawan replied that such indulgence will be like pouring petrol to put of [a] burning fire. (Narayana Aiyer, TMY, 38.)

Sexuality – The sexual vasana or habit is one of the strongest and the last remaining

Almost all have been caught in the snare of sex attraction. Only a few have been saved by the Divine Mother. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in RAWSH, 199.)

Man has [a] natural tendency to enjoyment and does not welcome renunciation. He finds it difficult to call upon the Lord in a pure and simple way, and instinctively hugs to his bosom some illusion in the midst of truth. Even when renouncing lust and wealth, he would like a passing glimpse of them. … There is nothing to be wondered at in this tendency of the human mind. It only shows how strong are the ties of sense attraction with which the Mother of the universe has bound her creatures. The painful idea is [at last] perceived that unless She out of her infinite grace leads us out of this intricate maze, we are powerless. It is not flattering to our vanity to realize that She alone knows the way out. (Anon, LSR, 102.)

The vasana of sex … was frequently raised even by sannyasins before Sri Bhagawan [Ramana Maharshi]. This vasana of sex was acquired and developed in successive births so that it has become an instinct. It is further developed by more enjoyments and by thinking over them. This vasana is a frailty common to all, except in rare cases, where it has been weakened by meditation in the previous birth. Aspirants in the spiritual path are much discouraged by these vasanas. Indeed, they doubt if it would be at all possible to overcome them. One school of thought believes in sublimating this vasana by unremitting devotion to God and rejecting these thoughts as they occur, but most people generally succumb to the weakness and are still faced with the difficulty. (Narayana Aiyer, TMY, 35-36.)

Since this vasana [of sex] is a cumulative one, ancient and deep rooted, it is the last to fade. (Narayana Aiyer, TMY, 36.)

Sexuality – How can lust be rooted out?

Q: How can we root out the sex idea? M: By rooting out the false idea of the body being the Self. There is no sex in the Self. Be the real Self, then there will be no trouble with sex. (Ramana Maharshi in CI.)

In Ch. XIV of Self-Realization a devotee asks Sri Bhagwan:

D: There are innumerable purva (ancient) vasanas. When will they be wiped out?

B: The more you withdraw into the Self the more they pale off and finally by themselves fade out completely. With firm determination dive deep into the Self and merge there. Vichara must be practiced as long as the vasanas issue forth to cause thoughts to occur.

On another occasion to a question whether distraction due to previous tendencies could be got rid of, Sri Bhagawan replied with emphasis and with a view to carry conviction, “Yes, many have done so. Believe it. They did so because they believed they could. Vasanas can be obliterated. It is done by concentration on that which is free from vasanas, and yet their core.” …

Maha Yoga [the yoga of Self-enquiry] when regularly practiced gradually weakens this vasana. With the practice of … Step 4 detailed in the next chapter and with the gradual attenuation of the mind, the power to bring out this thought decreases and later with more practice of the mind abiding in the Heart these vasanas do not trouble you. Of course a frequent prayer to eliminate these vasanas and a slight but sincere effort to reject these thoughts or a dive into the Heart as soon as they appear are very helpful.

Wise men liken the sadhakas who have not overcome this weakness to filling a leaky vessel with water, for what is acquired by sadhana is lost by the weakness.

Prayer when daily offered for spiritual advancement, by itself, becomes tapas. The prayer for the eradication of this vasana apart from its efficacy in the grant of the boon immediately or later has its psychological effect on the aspirant, particularly when offered earnestly and daily as it creates a good vasana. (Narayana Aiyer, TMY, 36-8.)

Q: I have committed a sexual sin.

M: Even if you have, it does not matter, so long as you do not think afterwards that you have done so. The Self is not aware of any sin and renunciation of sex is internal, not merely of the body. (Ramana Maharshi in CI.)

Sexuality – Ascetics and sexuality

Oh, how many times did I, set in the desert, in that vast solitude parched with the fires of the sun that offers a dread abiding to the monk, … think myself back in the old Roman enchantments? … I, who for fear of hell condemned myself to such a prison, I, the comrade of scorpions and wild beasts, was there, watching the maidens in their dances: my face haggard with fasting, my mind burnt with desire in my frigid body, and the fires of lust alone leaped before a man prematurely dead. … I used to lie at the feet of Christ, watering them with my tears, wiping the, with my hair, struggling to subdue my rebellious flesh with seven days’ fasting. (St. Jerome, battling lust in DF, 31-2.)

When … the solitude of the desert walled me in, I could not endure the stinging of my lusts, the heat of my nature. The flesh I might try to break with frequent fasting: but my mind was seething with imagination. (St. Jerome in DF, 32.)

He who wishes to live in solitude in the desert is delivered from three conflicts: hearing, speech, and sight; there is only one conflict for him and that is with fornication. (Abba Anthony in SDF, 3.)

Abba Gerontius of Petra said that many, tempted by the pleasures of the body, commit fornication, not in their body but in their spirit, and while preserving their bodily virginity, commit prostitution in their soul. "Thus it is good, my well-beloved, to do that which is written, and for each one to guard his own heart with all possible care." (Prov. 4.23.) (SDF, 50.)

To be able to realize God, one must practice absolute continence. Sages like Sujadeva are examples of [a man of unbroken and complete continence]. Their chastity was absolutely unbroken. There is another class, who previously have had discharges of semen but who later on have controlled them. (Paramahansa Ramamrishna in GSR, 411.)

But it is extremely harmful for a sannyasi (1) [to satisfy his sexual impulse]. He must not look even at the portrait of a woman. … A sannyasi must not sit near a woman and talk to her, even if she is intensely pious. No, he must not talk to a woman even though he may have controlled his passion.

A sannyasi must renounce both “woman (2) and gold.” As he must not look even at the portrait of a woman, so also he must not touch gold, that is to say, money. It is bad for him even to keep money near him, for it brings in its train calculation, worry, insolence, anger, and such evils. …

Why all these strict rules for a sannyasi? It is for the welfare of mankind as well as for his own good. A sannyasi may himself lead an unattached life and may have controlled his passion, but he must renounce “woman and gold” to set an example to the world.

A man will have the courage to practise renunciation if he sees one hundred per cent renunciation in a sannyasi. Then only will he try to give up “woman and gold.” If a sannyasi does not set this example, then who will? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 387.)

(1) A renunciate.
(2)That is, sex. If Sri Ramakrishna were talking to a woman, he would in all likelihood have said “men.”

Just as hunger, not greed, has a legitimate purpose, so the sexual instinct has been implanted by Nature solely for the propagation of the species, not for the kindling of insatiable longings. ... Destroy wrong desires now; otherwise they will remain with you after the astral body has been separated from its physical casing. Even when the flesh is weak, the mind should be constantly resistant. Its temptation assails you with cruel force, overcome it by impersonal analysis and indomitable will. Every natural passion can be mastered. (Sri Yukteswar Giri in Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 125-6.)

Sexuality – Through continence, one develops important spiritual capacities

Gauri used to say that when a man attains ecstatic love of God all the pores of the skin, even the roots of the hair, become like so many sexual organs, and in every pore the aspirant enjoys the happiness of communion with the Atman. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 346.)

(1) Sri Ramakrishna is remarking on the intensity of one's feelings rather than on the insanity of one's actions.

God cannot be seen with these physical eyes. In the course of spiritual discipline one gets a 'love body', endowed with 'love eyes', 'love ears', and so on. One sees God with those 'love eyes'. (1) One hears the voice of God with those 'love ears'. One even gets a sexual organ made of love. ... With this 'love body' the soul communes with God.

But this is not possible without intense love of God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, 115.)

A man controlling the seminal fluid for twelve years develops a special power. He grows a new inner nerve called the nerve of memory. Through that nerve he remembers all, he understands all. (Paramahansa Ramamrishna in GSR, 411.)

With her presence she endowed
Him with new senses, faculties and powers,
That far surpassed the limits of the old.
(Walt Whitman in Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness, 64.)

By the practice of continence, aspirants develop a subtle nerve through which they understand the deeper mysteries of God. (Nikhilananda in GSR, 48.)

Sexuality - Mystics and Sexuality

I only talk about seeing your nature. I don't talk about sex simply because you don't see your nature. Once you see your nature, sex becomes basically immaterial. It ends along with your delight in it. (Bodhidarma in ZTB, 19.)

He who has realized God does not look upon a woman with the eye of lust; so he is not afraid of her. He perceives clearly that women are so many aspects of the Divine Mother. He worships them all as the Mother Herself. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 168.)

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

One must become mad with love in order to realize God. (1) ... Sex-life with a woman! What happiness is there in that? The realization of God gives ten million times more happiness. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 346.)

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.)

As I meditated I felt myself take on the form of Siva, the Divine Being prior to all form. I took on the infinite form of the original Deity.... I sat in this blissful state of infinite Being for some time.

Then I felt the Shakti appear against my own form. She embraced me, and we grasped one another in sexual union. We clasped one another in a fire of cosmic desire, as if to give birth to the universes. Then I felt the oneness of the Divine Energy and my own Being. There was no separation at all. The one Being that was my own nature included the reality that is consciousness, and the reality that is all manifestation as a single cosmic unity and eternal union. (Da Free John, KOL, 133-4.)

The mystics, hermits and ascetics who were so terribly ignorant and narrow as to destroy their equilibrium, health, and happiness by refusing all exchanges, became dried up corpses, lifeless and barren, unable to bear fruit, nothing. And of course, according to them, they were doing the will of the Lord. As if the Lord were in favor of death and corpses! The Lord is for life, for creativeness, that is all he does, create. It is humans who have reversed things by imagining that the Lord is against love, against marriage, against children. They believe this should be the pious life of the truly religious. What an off religion!

You will say: "Most of the great Masters and Initiates never married. Were they like those fanatics?" No, the great Masters and the Initiates were liberal. They understood God's creation. They saw things clearly. If they lived a pure and chaste life it was because the exchanges they made on the higher planes were so rich and marvellous that they didn't need to encumber themselves with matter. They lived a life of celibacy and chastity not because they were against love. On the contrary, they nourished themselves and drank from sources in regions unknown to the rest of the world, where the exchanges are made in the brightest light and in the greatest purity.... They were in the midst of angels and archangels, the sun and all the stars smiled on them and even humans gave them their love and trust. They were filled to overflowing with love from all sides! What else could they need? Why give up all those wonders for the sad disappointments of the swamps below? You may not understand me now, but you will. (Aivanhov, LAS, Part 1, 19.)

Silence – See The Mind - To know the Self, quiet the mind

Simplicity

The ultimate truth is so simple, it is nothing more than being in one’s own natural original state. … Just be one’s Self, that’s all. (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick] in SRRM, 59.)

[People] want something elaborate and mysterious, that is why so many religions have come into existence. … It is only those who are mature [who] can understand the matter in its naked simplicity. (Sri Ramana Maharshi in SRRM, 59-60.)

Sin

Sins are like a mountain of cotton. Even as a tiny spark of fire reduces to ashes mountain-high cotton, so does a little of divine grace [reduce to nothing] heaps of sins. (Sri Ramakrishna in GLWT, 153.)

If you can’t make a bad man good, why did you become a monk? (Swami Brahmananda to a monk in GLWT, 116.)

“Daughter, the Lord does not care about externals. He sees our inmost heart. There should be no fear in approaching Him.”

I could not hold back my tears. My lifelong sorrow melted as the btears fell from my eyes, and I realized: Here is my refuge. Here is someone to whom I am not a sinner, I am not an outcast. (Tara, a prostitute, of Swami Brahmananda in GLWT, 117.)

Tabu (Matiswar Sen), a young devotee, used to visit Maharaj every day at Balaram’s house and would give personal service to him. Unfortunately, one day he commited an immoral act (probably adultery), and Maharaj heard about it. Tabu was ashamed to show his face. One day he secretly came to meet some of his friends, but he accidentally encountered Maharaj. Affectionatly Maharaj asked Tabu, “Have you seen the big horns of a buffalo?” “Yes, Maharaj,” replied Tabu. Then Maharaj remarked: “Look, if a mosquito sits on its horn, does the buffalo feel it or register any pain? Know us to be like that.”

Another time Brahmananda said: “Remove all fear and weakness from your mind. Never debase yourself by thinking about sin. Sin, however great it may seem in the eyes of man, is nothing in the eyes of God. One glance of His can uproot the sins of millions of births in a moment. In order to divert human beings from the path of sin, the scriptures mention heavy punishments for the sinner. Of course every action bears a result and evil actions disturb one’s peace of mind.” (Swami Chetanananda in GLWT, 117-8.)

Once the Master assured a devotee: “Have you committed a sin? Don’t be afraid. Take a vow, ‘I will not sin anymore.” I shall swallow all of your sins.” (Swami Premananda in GLWT, 188.)

One morning Swami Shivananda, after lying down for a while, was seated on his cot. He seemed solemn and indrawn, but suddenly said to the attendant standing near: “Will you go and see if there is someone who wants initiation?” The attendant looked here and there and then went downstairs, where he found a woman who wanted initiation. After inquiry he was startled by the information she gave about herself. She was young and had come from a village. … She told the story of her sinful life and said that, although born in a Brahmin family, she had kept bad company and gone astray. … In a remorseful tone she said, “May I not see him [Mahapurushji] once?”

When the attendant, looking disturbed, returned to the swami, the latter inquired very earnestly, “Tell me, is someone there?” The attendant reluctantly replied, “Maharaj, it is a lady who wants initiation, but….,” Before the attendant could finish what he felt he must say, Mahapurush remarked: “What of that? Ask her to bathe in the Ganges and come to me after visiting the shrine. Sri Ramakrishna is the redeemer of the fallen. He came especially to uplift them. What will happen to them if he does not come to their rescue? One could not then call him the saviour of the fallen.”

The swami was ready to shower his blessings upon her. Later, when after her bath, she came for initiation he said, as if he knew everything about her: “What is there to fear, my daughter? You will certainly be blessed, since you have taken refuge in Sri Ramakrishna, our Master and saviour. Say this: ‘Whatever sins I have committed in this life and in lives past, I offer them here [i.e., to the Master] and I will sin no more.” After initiation the woman appeared to be altogether a new person. (Swami Chetanananda of Swami Shivananda of Sri Ramakrishna in GLWT, 170-1.)

Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] never encouraged people who came and started to confess their sins. He would not allow them to continue but shut them up by telling them not to dwell on the past but to find out who they were now in the present. The point was not the act but attachment to it that mattered. Dwelling on it in retrospect was the worst thing the could probably do. This itself was attachment. (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick] in SRRM, 32.)

Sin – The non-commission of sin

This only is healthful to man, the knowledge of God: ... by this only the soul is made ... Good. (Hermes, DPH, 23.)

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

The welcoming of God into the Self is the non-commission of sin. (Zarathustra in GZ, 146.)

In every soul that will be liberated is a Godly desire that never says yes to sin, nor ever shall. (Julian of Norwich in MJN, 64.)

Each instrument has ... a proper and legitimate action and also a deformation or wrong principle of its proper action. The proper action of the psychic Prana is pure possession and enjoyment, bhoga. To enjoy thought, will, action, dynamic impulse, result of action, emotion, sense, sensation, to enjoy too by their means objects, persons, life, the world, is the activity for which this Prana gives us a psycho-physical basis. A really perfect enjoyment of existence can come only when what we enjoy is not the world in itself or for itself, but God in the world, when it is not things, but the Ananda of the spirit in things that forms the real, essential object of our enjoying and things only as form and symbol of the spirit, waves of the ocean of Ananda. But this Ananda can only come at all when we can get at and reflect in our members the hidden spiritual being, and its fullness can only be had when we climb to the supramental ranges.

Meanwhile there is a just and permissible, a quite legitimate human enjoyment of these things, which is, to speak in the language of Indian psychology, predominantly sattwic in its nature. It is an enlightened enjoyment principally by the perceptive, aesthetic and emotive mind, secondarily only by the sensational nervous and physical being, but all subject to the clear government of the Buddhi, to a right reason, a right will, a right reception of the life impacts, a right order, a right feeling of the truth, law, ideal sense, beauty, use of things. The mind gets the pure taste of enjoyment of them, rasa, and rejects whatever is perturbed, troubled, and perverse. Into this acceptance of the clear and limpid rasa, the psychic Prana has to bring in the full sense of life and the occupying enjoyment by the whole being, bhoga, without which the acceptance and possession by the mind, rasagrahana, would not be concrete enough, would be too tenuous to satisfy altogether the embodied soul. This contribution is its proper function.

The deformation which enters in and prevents the purity, is a form of vital craving; the grand deformation which the psychic Prana contributes to our being, is desire. The root of desire is the vital craving to seize upon that which we feel we have not, it is the limited life's instinct for possession and satisfaction. It creates the sense of want, - first the simpler vital craving of hunger, thirst, lust, then these psychical hungers, thirsts, lusts of the mind which are a much greater and more instant and pervading affliction of our being, the hunger which is infinite because it is the hunger of an infinite being, the thirst which is only temporarily lulled by satisfaction, but is in its nature insatiable. The psychic Prana invades the sensational mind and brings into it the unquiet thirst of sensations, invades the dynamic mind with the lust of control, having, domination, success, fulfilment of every impulse, fills the emotional mind with the desire for the satisfaction of liking and disliking, for the wreaking of love and hate, brings the shrinkings and panic of fear and the strainings and disappointments of hope, imposes the tortures of grief and the brief fevers and excitements of joy, makes the intelligence into a partial, a stumbling and an eager pursuer of limited, impatient, militant prejudgments and opinion. Desire is the root of all sorrow, disappointment, affliction, for though it has a feverish joy of pursuit and satisfaction, yet because it is always a straining of the being, it carries into its pursuit and its getting a labour, hunger, struggle, a rapid subjection to fatigue, a sense of limitation, dissatisfaction and early disappointment with all its gains, a ceaseless morbid stimulation, trouble, disquiet, asanti. To get rid of desire is the one firm indispensable purification of the psychical Prana, - for so we can replace the soul of desire with its pervading immiscence in all our instruments by a mental soul of calm delight and its clear and limpid possession of ourselves and world and Nature which is the crystal basis of the mental life and its perfection. (Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 628-30.)

Slow – See Spiritual Practice (Sadhana) – All spiritual practice is gradual; takes a long time; and should be done ceaselessly

Solitaries – See Contemplatives (Solitaries, Hermits, Recluses)

Solitude - Some solitude is important for enlightenment

We have witnessed many persons, whom God favored with progress in detachment and freedom, fall from happiness and firmness in their spiritual exercises and end up by losing everything merely because they begin to indulge in some slight attachment to conversation and friendship under the color of good. For by this attachment they gradually emptied themselves of both holy solitude and the spirit and joy of God. (St. John of the Cross in CWSJC, 98.)

One cannot think of God unless one lives in solitude. The goldsmith melts gold to make ornaments. But how can he do his work well if he is disturbed again and again? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 246.)

One must go into solitude to attain this divine love. To get butter from milk you must let it set into curd in a secluded spot: if it is too much disturbed, milk won't turn into curd. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 82.)

The mind cannot dwell on God if it is immersed day and night in worldliness, in worldly duties and responsibilities; it is most necessary to go into solitude now and then and think of God. To fix the mind on God is very difficult, in the beginning, unless one practices meditation in solitude. When a tree is young, it should be fenced all around; otherwise it may be destroyed by cattle. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 81.)

Practice spiritual discipline in solitude and obtain the butter of knowledge and love. Even if you keep that butter in the water of the world the two will not mix. The butter will float. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 82.)

One must go into solitude to attain ... divine love. To get butter from milk you must let it set into curd in a secluded spot: if it is too much disturbed, milk won't turn into curd. Next, you must put aside all other duties, sit in a quiet spot, and churn the curd. Only then do you get butter. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 82.)

The yogi seeks to realize the Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. He withdraws his mind from sense-objects and tries to concentrate it on the Paramatman. Therefore, during the first stage of his spiritual discipline, he retired into solitude and with undivided attention practices meditation in a fixed posture. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 134.)

Even if one lives in the world, one must go into solitude now and then. It will be of great help to a man if he goes away from his family, lives alone, and weeps for God even for three days. Even if he thinks of God for one day in solitude, when he has the leisure, that too will do him good. People shed as whole jug of tears for wife and children. But who cries for the Lord? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 139-40.)

As the Self is all-pervasive it has no particular place for solitude. The state of being free from mental concepts is called 'dwelling in solitude'. (Ramana Maharshi, SI, Chapter 2, Question 19.)

Spiritual Activism

Let no political significance ever be attached falsely to my writings or sayings. … I will have nothing to do with political nonsense. I do not believe in politics. God and Truth are the only policy in the world. Everything else is trash. (Swami Vivekananda in GLWT, 52.)

D: Is the desire for Swaraj [Indian Self-Rule] right?

M: Yes. Prolonged practical work for the goal gradually widens the outlook so that the individual becomes gradually merged in the country. Such merging of the individual is desirable, and the Karma is nishkama karma.

D: If Swaraj is gained after a prolonged struggle and terrible sacrifice, is not the person justified in being pleased with the result?

M: No. He must have in the course of the work surrendered himself to a Higher Power, Whose might must be kept in mind and never lost sight of. How then can he be elated? He should not even care for the results of his actions. Then it becomes nishkama.

D: How can unerring rectitude be ensured for the worker?

M: If he has surrendered himself to God or to a Guru, the Power to which he has surrendered will lead him on to the right course. The worker need no longer concern himself about the rectitude or otherwise of the course. The doubt will arise only if he has not obeyed the Master in every detail. (Ramana Maharshi to Jamnalal Bajaj in SMSLS, 36-7.)

D: Is not the tapas [austerity and its merits] of the ancient Mahatmas available for the benefit of the present day inheritors? …

M: It is. But the fact should be emphasized that no one can claim to be the sole beneficiary. The benefits are shared by all the virtuous alike. (After a pause.)

Is it without such saving Grace that the present country-wide awakening on a Spiritual basis has come into being? (Ramana Maharshi to Jamnalal Bajaj in SMSLS, 37.)

D: (Mahatma Gandhi) has sent me here. Is there any message that I may take to him?

M: What message is needed when heart speaks to heart? … The same Shakti that is working here is also working there. (Ramana Maharshi to Rajendra Prasad in SMSLS, 37.)

Mahatma Gandhi wrote: “Those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.”(4) The same goes for ecology and economics. A deep spirituality cannot abandon these domains to confused human beings lacking vision or empathy. (Tim Conway, “Healing Our World: Introduction,” Enlightened-Spirituality.org, http://tinyurl.com/2z86kb, downloaded 28 Sept. 3007.)

Endnotes (4) Mohandas Gandhi, An Autobiograpy: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Boston: Beacon, 1957, p. 504. The Twelve Principles of Spiritual Activism Rule 1: All motivation underlying our actions must shift from anger and despair to compassion and love. The point is to work for love rather than against evil. Our actions may be the same but our underlying intentions will support love, not anger, despair, fear, or hate.

Rule 2: To maintain non-attachment to the outcome of our actions because success is not the purpose of this work.

Rule 3: The integrity of the work acts as its own form of protection. If you work is grounded in integrity, the negativity can move on.

Rule 4: Working with integrity involves congruence with both the ends and the means. The process and the product are one.

Rule 5: Do not turn your adversaries into “the enemy". Arrogance only leads to more arrogance and polarizes everybody involved. If you can train yourself constantly to entertain alternative points of view, you can move from a position of arrogance (usually defensive) to a position of inquiry (less hostile). No matter how much you believe in the rightfulness of your own position, there usually is a small kernel of truth in you so-called “opponent’s” position.

Rule 6: Love your enemy or at least have compassion for them. This means learning to see the world not as an us/them dichotomy but as “we” consciousness. We are no different. “Them” is no other than “us.”

Rule 7: Work for the world rather than for yourself. One’s fulfillment comes from the privilege of being able to do the work, to plant seeds for a future vision.

Rule 8: It is also true that in selfless service we help and serve ourselves; in giving we receive. A feeling of gratitude evolves from this position rather than one of arrogance.

Rule 9: Learn to be open to the pain of the world. As we let the pain in, we become the vehicle for transformation. If we block the pain, we actually prevent ourselves from participating in the world’s attempt to heal itself. The pain is the medicine and by letting the pain in, we become agents for the earth’s healing. This is hard for our culture because we are taught and programmed to avoid pain at all costs.

Rule 10: What you attend to and focus on, you become. Focusing on battles makes us embattled; focusing on love, makes us more loving. We must choose wisely and be attentive to where to place our attention.

Rule 11: We need to cultivate a deep trust in the unknown and the mysterious, to recognize that forces are at work that we can trust completely, even though we do not know the agenda. This kind of trust involves:

a) Recognize that there are invisible forces afoot.

b) We can draw upon these forces and ask them for their help and support.

c) We can rely upon universal principles beyond our direct observation to help us.

d) This brings great relief knowing we are not ultimately in control or in charge.

e) Our “job” is to figure out what our unique role and gift is in this larger process.

f) We then must give this gift or skill as generously as possible.

g) Trust that the rest will unfold.

Rule 12: Love will create the form. The heart will bridge the gap and fragmentation that the mind creates. We need to learn how to work from a place of the heart, not the head. In this way we will develop a kind of effectiveness that is beyond our normal way of understanding because it doesn’t have anything to do with thinking. It means learning how to embrace our humanity with an open heart to serve as hospice workers to a dying culture and as midwives to an emerging new one. Both tasks are required simultaneously.

The Dalai Lama says: “A positive future can never emerge from the mind of anger and despair.”

(Maureen Doerken: This material has been edited and paraphrased from its original "Twelve Rules of Spiritual Leadership" in March/April 2002 edition of Timeline, the bimonthly email newsletter of the Foundation for Global Community, used with their permission.)

(Maureen Doerken, “Twelve Principles of Spiritual Activism,” http://www.spiritualactivism.org/Twelve%20Principles.html, downloaded 31 Oct. 2007.)

Heroes are ordinary men and women who dare to see and meet the call of a possibility bigger than themselves. Breakthroughs are created by such heroes, by men and women who will stand for the result while it is only a possibility—people who will act to make possibility real. (Werner Erhard, “New Conversations That Lead to New Possibilities,” Mastery Foundation, http://www.masteryfoundation.org/peace/ireland/blockanderhard/, downloaded 31 Oct. 2007.)

Spiritual Consumerism

Many seekers do not take full responsibility for their own Liberation, but wait for one big, final spiritual experience which will catapult them fully into it. It is this search for the final liberating experience which gives rise to a rampant form of spiritual consumerism in which seekers go from one teacher to another, shopping for enlightenment as if shopping for sweets in a candy store. This spiritual promiscuity is rapidly turning the search for enlightenment into a cult of experience seekers. And, while many people indeed have powerful experiences, in most cases these do not lead to the profound transformation of the individual, which is the expression of enlightenment. (Adyashanti, “Selling Water by the River,” Inner Directions Journal, Fall/Winter, 1999, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

Spiritual Energy - See Kundalini

Spiritual Evolution - See Evolution, Spiritual

Spiritual Experiences

Mother, may those who come to You have all their desires fulfilled! But please don’t make them give up everything at once, Mother. Well, You may do whatever You like in the end. If You keep them in the world, Mother, then please reveal Yourself to them now and then. Otherwise, how will they live? How will they be encouraged if they don’t see You once in a while? (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 381.)

There are so many divine experiences. How can I tell you of them all? ... There is no limit to them. (Swami Brahmananda in EC, 204.)

Spiritual Maturity

Hour by hour resolve firmly ... to do what comes to hand with correct and natural dignity, and with humanity, independence, and justice. Allow your mind freedom from all other considerations. This you can do, if you will approach each action as though it were your last, dismissing the wayward thought, the emotional recoil from the commands of reason, the desire to create an impression, the admiration of self, the discontent with your lot. (Marcus Aurelius, MED, 46.)

Spiritual Practice (Sadhana)

I bring you great and good news. There is a way from the crushing miseries of this transitory life to real happiness, and it is open to all. But the way is hard, and there is no magical method of making it easy. It means strenuous and constant self-examination; it means renouncing all that you foolishly prize now -- your present self, in fact, with all the ignorant cravings and blind urges that make it what it is. No one can tread this path for you, neither god nor man; you must tread it for yourself. So begin now. (The Buddha in TCB, 52.)

One needs sadhana. Mere study of the scriptures will not do. ... The almanac may forecast twenty measures of rain; but you don't get a drop by squeezing its pages. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 779-80.)

Day and night a man should practise worship, japa, meditation, and other spiritual exercises. Only then, by virtue of practice, will he be able to think of God in the hour of death. If one dies thus, thinking of God, one will acquire God's nature. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 820.)

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.)

A man does not have to suffer any more if God, in His grace, removes his doubts and reveals Himself to him. But this grace descends upon him only after he has prayed to God with intense yearning of heart and practised spiritual discipline. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 116.)

First of all dive deep. Plunge to the bottom and gather up the gems. Then you may do other things. But nobody wants to plunge. People are without spiritual discipline and prayer, without renunciation and dispassion. They learn a few words and immediately start to deliver lectures. It is difficult to teach others. Only if a man gets a command from God, after realizing Him, is he entitled to teach. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 125-6.)

One must have stern determination; then alone is spiritual practice possible. One must make a firm resolve. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 210.)

"Practice, practice," [Swami Brahmananda] would tell us: "Through practice of the spiritual disciplines the heart will be purified and a new realm will open. You will realize that God alone is real and that everything else is unreal. But when through japam and meditation a little awakening comes, do not imagine you have achieved the end. Light! More Light! Onward! Onward! Attain God! Gain his vision! Talk to him!" (Swami Prabhavananda, EC, 61.)

Spiritual Practice (Sadhana) – All spiritual practice is gradual; takes a long time; and should be done ceaselessly

Patiently, little by little, a man must free himself from all mental distractions, with the aid of the intelligent will. He must fix his mind upon the Atman, and never think of anything else. No matter where the restless mind wanders, it must be drawn back and made to submit to the Atman only. (Sri Krishna in BG, 66.)

The man who has once asked the way to Brahman goes further than the mere fulfiller of the Vedic rituals. By struggling hard, that yogi will move gradually toward perfection through many births, and reach the highest goal at last. (Sri Krishna, BG, 69.)

(1) God.

[Brother] Moses was zealous in all he did, but became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, St. Isadore, abbot of the monastery, took Brother Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isadore told Moses, "Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative." [Brother Moses the Black, Desert Father, in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_the_Black, downloaded 27 May 2006.)

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

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

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

One gradually acquires love of God through the practise of chanting God's name and glories. (Sri Ramakrishna in GSR, 131.)

It takes a long time to see the effect [of chanting God’s name]. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 370.)

The name of God has very great sanctity. It may not produce an immediate result, but one day it must bear fruit. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 146.)

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

Everything depends upon time. Mere thinking cannot make a person hungry. In the same way longing for God does not come simply by saying, “Let there be longing.” Yearning is awakened in the mind automatically when a person feels the need for God. Yearning for God does not come until and unless a person has satisfied his cravings for mundane objects, renounced all attachment to lust and gold, and shunned worldly comforts and enjoyments like filth. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in TLWG, 98.)

Why are you so impatient? Everything happens in course of time. It takes time for fruit to ripen or for an abscess to mature. Divert all your attachments towards God and He will be revealed to you. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in TLWG, 104.)

Compassion is the love one feels for all beings of the world. ... [Compassion] makes our hearts pure and gradually unties our bonds. (Sri Ramakrishna, GSR, 161.)

If one meditates for a long time, without disturbance, on the Self ceaselessly, with the “I am He” thought which is the technique of reflection on the Self, the darkness of ignorance which is in the heart and all the impediments which are but the effects of ignorance will he removed, and the plenary wisdom will be gained. (Ramana Maharshi, SE, answer to question 29.)

[Turning the mind inward] is done by practice and dispassion and that succeeds only gradually. The mind, having been so long a cow accustomed to graze stealthily on others' estates, is not easily confined to her stall. However much her keeper tempts her with luscious grass and fine fodder, she refuses the first time; then she takes a bit; but her innate tendency to stray away asserts itself; and she slips away; on being repeatedly tempted by the owner, she accustoms herself to the stall; finally even if let loose she would not stray away. Similarly with the mind. If once it finds its inner happiness it will not wander outward. (Ramana Maharshi, TWSRM, Question 213.)

The scriptures aver that man requires a million years of normal, diseaseless evolution to perfect his human brain sufficiently to express [nirvikalpa samadhi or] cosmic consciousness. ... A yogi who dies before achieving full realization carries with him the good karma of his past ... effort; in his new life he is naturally propelled toward his Infinite Goal. (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 239.)

By deep meditation ... the student can hear the voice of cosmic sound, emanating from all atoms and sparks of cosmic energy. By listening to this omnipresent sound the consciousness of the body-caged soul begins gradually to spread itself from the limitations of the body into omnipresence. One listening to the cosmic sound will find his consciousness spreading with it to limitlessness. (Paramahansa Yogananda, SCC, 1, 15.)

Only constant practice done with great patience and enthusiasm will enable you to overcome your latent tendencies and old habits. Above all, you need the grace and loving guidance of a satguru. Don’t ever give up your spiritual practices just because of a moment’s frustration or disappointment. Whatever type of sadhana you do, the result cannot be lost. Whatever you have gained remains within you and will bear fruit at the right time. (Mata Amritanandamayi, AC, IX, 168.)

Spiritual Practice (Sadhana) - Dissenting opinions

There must be spontaneity to uncover the movements of the self, at whatever level it may be placed. Though there may be unpleasant discoveries, the movements of the Self must be exposed and understood; but disciplines destroy the spontaneity in which discoveries are made. Disciplines, however exacting, fix the mind in a pattern. The mind will adjust itself to that for which it has been trained; but that to which it adjusts itself is not the real. (Krishnamurti, COL, 1, 68.)

Disciplines are mere impositions and so can never be the means of denudation. Through self-discipline the mind can strengthen itself in its purpose; but this purpose is self-projected and so it is not the real. The mind creates reality in its own image, and disciplines merely give vitality to that image. (Krishnamurti, COL, 1, 68.)

The mind is not quiet when it is disciplined, controlled and checked; such a mind is a dead mind, it is isolating itself through various forms of resistance, and it inevitably creates misery for itself and others. (Krishnamurti, COL, 2, 32.)

Spiritual Riches

It is praiseworthy for a man to spend his worldly wealth for his spiritual welfare, for in the eyes of the Angels and Archangels the poor (man) who is innocent and wise is better than a King or rich (man) who is ignorant. (Zarathustra in GZ, 112.)

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21.)

Spiritual Spiral

Those deluded beings who are tied to the objects they experience by the strong cord of desire, so hard to break, remain subject to birth and death. They travel upward or downward, impelled by their own karma, that inescapable law. (Shankara, CJD, 43.)

[Gripped by tamas] his mind becomes perverted. His consciousness of the Atman is swallowed up by the shark of total ignorance. Yielding to the power of rajas, he identifies himself with the many motions and changes of the mind. Therefore he is swept hither and thither, now rising, now sinking, in the boundless ocean of birth and death, whose waters are full of the poison of sense-objects. This is indeed a miserable fate. (Shankara, CJD, 54-5.)

Level after level he traverses the seven spheres and comes down into the Globe of Fire, then Air, then Water, then falls on earth; after that to the Minerals, Plants....

Until he reaches the degree of human being he passes through many tribulations at every level of his descent; he meets with difficulties. Sometimes he rises; sometimes he goes low; and half a circle is completed till he is lodged with ... mankind. (Ibn Arabi, KK, 32.)

Why it is necessary for man to descend and sink into a world of matter? - so that he may clothe himself in all the enveloping sheaths, each successive one more dense, at which point the rising and acquiring of higher forms begins. During each period there is partial rise and descent in an oscillating curve. The final movement will be rising. (Beinsa Douno, “The Brother of the Samllest one,” Lecture given in Sofia, January 1917, www.beinsadouno.org., downloaded 7 March 2005. )

Spontaneity

Manipulative behavior is learned behavior which we admit is learned; spontaneous behavior is learned behavior which we don’t admit is learned. (John Enright, Cold Mountain Institute Seminar, April 15, 1976.)

Stillness – See The Mind - To know the Self, still the mind

Stages of Enlightenment - See Enlightenment – Stages

Stand Alone

If you are a true seeker of liberation you've got to be willing to stand alone. At the moment of Liberation everything falls away... everything. Suddenly the ground beneath your feet is gone, and you are alone. You are alone because you have directly realized that there is no other, there is no separation. There is only you, only Self, only limitless emptiness, pure consciousness.

To the mind, the ego, this appears terrifying. When the mind looks at limitlessness and infinity, it projects meaninglessness and despair. To the ego Absolute Freedom can look terrifying. But when the mind is let go of, the view changes from meaningless despair and fear to the unending joy and wonder of Liberation.

In Liberation, you stand alone. You stand alone because you need no supports of any kind. You need no supports because you have realized that the very notion of a separate you no longer exists; that there is nothing to support; that the whole ego experience was a flimsy illusion. So you stand alone but never, never lonely because everywhere you look, all you see is That, and You are That. (Adyashanti, “Stand Alone,” 1997, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

States and Non-States

Silence and stillness are not states and therefore cannot be produced or created. Silence is the non-state in which all states arise and subside. Silence, stillness and awareness are not states and can never be perceived in their totality as objects. Silence is itself the eternal witness without form or attributes. As you rest more profoundly as the witness, all objects take on their natural functionality, and awareness becomes free of the mind's compulsive contractions and identifications, and returns to its natural non-state of Presence.

The simple yet profound question, "Who Am I ?," can then reveal one's self not to be the endless tyranny of the ego-personality, but objectless Freedom of Being - ”Primordial Consciousness in which all states and all objects come and go as manifestations of the Eternal Unborn Self that YOU ARE. (Adyashanti, “True Meditation,” 1999, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

Most people fret about losing this state or that state. They get caught up in what's not present anymore. That which comes and goes is not real; quit chasing it. It doesn't matter. What haven't you lost? That is what's important. What always is? What is there in bliss and misery? Who you are is always present and is always the same. That which doesn't come and go is real. That is where Freedom is found.

Bliss and misery are but two aspects of an ego-created diversion whose purpose is the validation of our non-existent self. Dead to self, diversions cease to exist; gone is pain and sorrow, bliss and misery, right and wrong.... All that's left is peace and freedom.

That's a nice trade-off.(Adyashanti, Downloaded from http://www.thedailyinspiration.com/cgi/daily.php?id=486, 12 March 2006.)

Enlightenment has nothing to do with states of consciousness. Whether you are in ego consciousness or unity consciousness is not really the point. I have met many people who have easy access to advanced states of consciousness. Though for some people this may come very easily, I also noticed that many of these people are no freer than anyone else. If you don't believe that the ego can exist in very advanced states of consciousness, think again. The point isn't the state of consciousness, even very advanced ones, but an awake mystery that is the Source of all states of consciousness. It is even the Source of presence and beingness. It is beyond all perception and all experience. I call it "awakeness." To find out that you are empty of emptiness is to die into an aware mystery, which is the Source of all existence. It just so happens that that mystery is in love with all of its manifestation and non-manifestation. You find your Self by stepping back out of yourself. (Adyashanti, “Selling Water by the River,” Inner Directions Journal, Fall/Winter, 1999, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

Strength
The goodness of God assured him He would not forsake him utterly, and … He would give him strength to bear whatever evil He permitted to happen to him; and therefore … he feared nothing, and had no occasion to consult with anybody about his state. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 17.)

Suffering

The restless, busy nature of the world, this, I declare, is the root of pain. Attain that composure of mind which is resting in the peace of immortality. Self is but a heap of composite qualities, and its world is empty like a fantasy. (The Buddha in GB, 60.)

Ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. (1) (John 16:20.)

(1) On the day on which Self-Knowledge is attained.

The sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (St. Paul in Romans 8:18.)

Your body and mind are the field. Suffering is the seed, wisdom the sprout and buddhahood the grain. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 31.)

Every suffering is a buddha-seed. Because suffering impels mortals to see wisdom. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 31.)

Mortals liberate buddhas and buddhas liberate mortals. ... Mortals liberate buddhas because affliction creates awareness. And buddhas liberate mortals because awareness negates affliction. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 34.)

If not for affliction, there would be nothing to create awareness. And if not for awareness, there would be nothing to negate affliction. When you're deluded, buddhas liberate mortals. When you're aware, mortals liberate buddhas. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 34.)

God does not want us to be burdened because of sorrows and tempests that happen in our lives, because it has always been so before miracles happen. (Julian of Norwich in MJN, 63.)

It is an ancient law that suffering is part of love. No one can be a suitor unless he is a sufferer, nor can anyone be a lover unless he is a martyr. Hence it is to be expected that a person encounter occasional hardships if he chooses such a lofty object to love [as Wisdom, the Holy Spirit]. Just imagine all the unhappiness and unpleasantness worldly lovers have to endure whether they want it or not. (Wisdom to Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 68.)

Once, when he had entered a state of withdrawal from his external senses, it seemed to him in a vision that he was led to a place where there were many of the angelic community and one of them who was closest to him said to him, "Hold out your hand and look!" He held out his hand, and looking, he saw in the middle of his hand a beautiful red rose spring up with tiny green leaves. … With great amazement in his heart he said, "Dear friend, what is the meaning of this sight?" The young man said, "It means suffering and more suffering, and then some more suffering and still more suffering that God wishes to give you. These are the four roses on both hands and feet." The servant sighed and said, "Gentle Lord, that suffering causes men so much distress and yet at the same time should make them so beautiful spiritually, this is certainly a strange dispensation from God." (Angel to Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 106-7.)

I have chosen him for myself, that through such suffering he be formed according to my only-begotten Son. (The Lord to a friend of Blessed Henry Suso in a vision, speaking of SUSO, HSU, 110.)

This is how it is [for me]: I desire from the boundless abyss of my heart that all the sufferings and grief that I have ever experienced, and, in addition, the painful suffering of all hearts, the pains of all wounds, the groans of all the sick, the sighs of all sad people, the tears of all weeping eyes, the insults suffered by all those oppressed, the needs of all poor indigent widows and orphans, the dire wants of all the thirsty and hungry, the blood spilled by all the martyrs, the breaking of their selfish wills by all the joyful and blossoming youth, the painful practices of all the friends of God, and all the hidden and open suffering and sorrow that I or any other afflicted person ever experienced with regard to their bodies, possessions, reputation, friends and relatives, or depression, or whatever any man shall suffer up to the last day--I desire that all this may praise you eternally, heavenly Father, and honor your only-begotten suffering Son from eternity to eternity. And I, your poor servant, desire to be today the devoted substitute for all suffering people who do not know how to bear their suffering in patient and thankful praise of God, so that I might offer up to you in their place today their sufferings, however they may have suffered. (Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 127.)

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

Suffering - The reward of the patient sufferer

Once, on a joyous Easter Day, when the servant was in a jubilant mood, … he asked God to tell him what reward people receive on earth who for his sake have undergone much suffering. And in a state of contemplation this enlightenment came from God: "Rejoice in your hearts, all you suffering forsaken men, for your patience shall be highly praised. And just as on earth there are many people to be pitied, so are there many who will eternally rejoice in God in the possession of worthy praise and eternal glory. They have died with me; in joy they shall also arise with me. Three special gifts I shall give them which are so precious that no one can estimate their value. The first is that I shall give them the power of wishing in heaven and on earth so that everything they wish for comes true. Second, I shall grant them my divine peace that neither angels nor devils nor men nor any other creature can take from them. Third, I shall kiss them so intimately and embrace them so lovingly that I am they and they are me, and we two shall remain a single one forever and ever. And since long waiting causes pain to restless hearts, this joy shall not be put off at the present time for a single moment. It shall begin now and be enjoyed eternally to the degree that mortal men, each according to his capacity, can bear more or less of it." (The Lord to Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 129.)

A liberated spirit has God and peace always present to it both in repugnant and in pleasant situations because God is truly there doing everything and being everything. How can the sight of suffering be difficult for them when they see God in it, find God in it, carry out God's will, and know nothing of their own will I will say nothing about the dazzling consolation and heavenly enjoyment with which God often secretly supports his suffering friends. These people are somehow just as though they were in heaven. Whatever happens to them or doesn't happen, whatever God does in his creatures or doesn't do, all works for the best in them."" And so a person who knows how to suffer well is partly rewarded for his suffering on earth because he attains peace and joy in all thing. And for him following upon death is eternal life. (Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 131.)

Sometime afterward, when it seemed time to God, the sufferer was compensated for all the suffering that he had endured by interior peace of heart, calm repose and radiant grace. … God clearly let him know that he had been more nobly removed from self and placed into God by this misfortune than from all the many different sufferings (1) that he had endured from his youth to that time. (Blessed Henry SUSO, HSU, 157.)

(1) That is, The self-mortification practices that the Blessed Henry Suso had voluntarily engaged in.

Suicide

Suicide is a heinous sin, undoubtedly. A man who kills himself must return again and again to this world and suffer its agony.

But I don't call it suicide if a man leaves his body after having the vision of God. There is no harm in giving up one's body that way. After attaining Knowledge some people give up their bodies. After the gold image has been cast in the clay mould, you may either preserve the mould or throw it away.

Many years ago a young man of about twenty used to come to this temple garden from Baranagore; his name was Gopal Sen. In my presence he used to experience such intense ecstacy that Hriday had to support him for fear he might fall to the ground and break his limbs. That young man touched my feet one day and said: 'Sir, I shall not be able to see you any more. Let me bid you good-bye.' A few days later I learnt that he had given up his body. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 164.)

On another occasion I asked Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] about suicide. I had been cycling around [Arunachala] Hill and on meeting a bus the thought had come into my head: “Why should I not concentrate on the Self and throw myself in front of the bus, so that in this way I may attain Moksha!” I told this to Bhagavan, but he said that it would not work. Thoughts would spring up involuntarily as I fell, fear and the shock would cause them, and thoughts coming, life would continue so that I would have to take another body. If I could still my mind sufficiently so that such a thing would not happen, then what was the need of suicide. (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick] in SRRM, 76.)

Killing the innocent body is certainly wrong. Suicide must be committed on the mind, where the suffering is deposited, and not on the body, which is insentient and feels nothing. The mind is the real culprit, being the creator of the anguish which tempts to suicide, but by an error of judgment, the innocent, insentient body is punished for it. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 43.)

Suicide is nothing but a foolish attempt to escape one's karma. It only retards further spiritual progress. (Sri Ananadamoyi Ma in LTSAM.)

Superconsciousness - See Consciousness, States of – Superconsciousness

Supramental Plane - Intuition - The thinking mind discarded

The Arhats who have attained tranquillity and the Samapatti of perfect emancipation from desires and suffering ... have long ago discarded the use of their thinking minds, which if clung to only serve to develop the arbitrary conception of an ego-self. They are perfectly intelligent but they apprehend knowledge, not by means of their thinking minds, but directly by intuition. (The Buddha in BB, 208.)

Ananda, if you are now desirous of more perfectly understanding Supreme Enlightenment and the enlightening nature of pure Mind-Essence, you must learn to answer questions spontaneously, with no recourse to discriminating thinking. For the Tathagatas in the ten quarters of the universes have been delivered from the ever returning cycle of deaths and rebirths by this same single way, namely, by reliance upon their intuitive minds. (The Buddha in BB, 112-3.)

Finally [St. John of the Cross] pronounces the word which all the illuminati utter each in his own way. He says this profound wisdom consists in a sense of the essence of God. It is the Cosmic Sense - a sense, intuition, or consciousness of the Cosmos. [This marks] the birth of the faculty which can alone comprehend God. It is that new birth through which only can a man see the kingdom of God. (Maurice Bucke in CC, 152.)

Intellectual thought is in itself inadequate and is not the highest thinking; the highest is that which comes through the intuitive mind and from the supramental faculty. So long as we are dominated by the intellectual habit and by the lower workings, the intuitive mind can only send its messages to us subconsciously and subject to a distortion more or less entire before it reaches the conscious mind; or if it works consciously, then only with an inadequate rarity and a great imperfection in its functioning. In order to strengthen the higher knowledge-faculty in us we have to effect the same separation between the intuitive and intellectual elements of our thought as we have already effected between the understanding and the sense-mind; and this is no easy task, for not only do our intuitions come to us incrusted in the intellectual action, but there are a great number of mental workings which masquerade and ape the appearances of the higher faculty. The remedy is to train first the intellect to recognize the true intuition, to distinguish it from the false and then to accustom it, when it arrives at an intellectual perception or conclusion, to attach no final value to it, but rather look upward, refer all to the divine principle and wait in as complete a silence as it can command for the light from above. (Sri Aurobindo, SOY, 301.)

Supramental Plane - Intuition - The enlightening nature of the intuition

The Essential Intuitive Mind [possesses] its own mysterious Enlightening Nature, and ... the attainment to this Essential Intuitive Mind unveils this mysterious Enlightening Nature. ... The Essential Nature of Intuition is naturally enlightening by itself. ... Intuitive Mind is not enlightened by something else -- it is self-enlightening. As soon as it is supposed to be enlightened by something else, there rises false conceptions as to this something else.... From this arises conceptions of likes and unlikes ... and the mind is thrown into a medley of bewildering puzzles which in time become attached to the mind and contaminate it. (The Buddha in BB, 182-3.)

When objects of sense experience are all ignored, then the transcendental brightness of Intuition will shine forth mysteriously, and you will have found the true source of cognition and tranquility. (The Buddha in BB, 209.)

Supramental Plane - After enlightenment, all knowledge is supplied through the intuition

After attaining God, there is no lack of knowledge. Then the Divine Mother supplies it without fail. (1) (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 200.)

(1) Jesus said the Holy Spirit, which Sri Ramakrishna calls the Divine Mother, would bring all things to remembrance. (John 14:26.)

How can a man who has the grace of God lack knowledge? Look at me. I am a fool. I do not know anything. Then who is it that utters these words? The reservoir of the Knowledge of God is inexhaustible. ... No sooner are [my words] about to run short than the Divine Mother sends a new supply from Her inexhaustible storehouse of Knowledge. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 890.)

Surrender - Total surrender is required for Liberation

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

If you cannot become absorbed in me, then try to reach me by repeated concentration. If you lack the strength to concentrate, then devote yourself to works which will please me. For, by working for my sake only, you will achieve perfection. If you cannot even do this, then surrender yourself to me altogether. Control the lusts of your heart, and renounce the fruits of every action." (Sri Krishna in BG, 98.)

All that he does
Is offered before me
In utter surrender:
My grace is upon him,
He finds the eternal,
The place unchanging.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 128.)

Sattwa, when mixed with the other gunas, has these characteristics: absence of pride, purity, contentment, austerity, a desire to study the scriptures, self-surrender to God, harmlessness, truthfulness, continence, freedom from greed, faith, devotion, longing for liberation, aversion to the things of this world, and other virtues that lead toward God. (Shankara in CJD, 51.)

As he was conscious of his readiness to lay down his life for the love of God, he had no apprehension of danger. … Perfect resignation to God was a sure way to heaven, a way in which we had always sufficient light for our conduct. (Attributed to Brother Lawrence, PPG, 17.)

I engaged in a religious life only for the love of God, and I have endeavoured to act only for Him; whatever becomes of me, whether I be lost or saved, I will always continue to act purely for the love of God. I shall have this good at least, that till death I shall have done all that is in me to love Him. (Brother Lawrence, PPG, 8.)

He who has surrendered his body, mind, and innermost self to God is surely a holy man. He who has renounced “woman and gold” is surely a holy man. He is a holy man who does not regard woman with the eyes of a worldly person. He never forgets to look upon a woman as his mother, and to offer her his worship if he happens to be near her. The holy man constantly thinks of God and does not indulge in any talk except about spiritual things. Furthermore, he serves all beings, knowing that God resides in everybody’s heart. These, in general, are the signs of a holy man. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 327.)

Grow as the flower grows, unconsciously, but eagerly anxious to open its soul to the air. (Ascended Master, probably the Master Hilarion, channelling through Mabel Collins, LOP, 9.)

The ‘I’ casts off the illusion of ‘I’ and yet remains as ‘I.’ This appears to be a paradox to you; it is not so to the Jnani. Take the case of the Bhakta. His ‘I’ prays to the Lord to unite it with Him, which is to surrender. What remains as residuum after this surrender, is the eternal ‘I,’ which is God the Absolute, Paramatman Himself. What has happened to the ‘I,’ which originally prayed. Being unreal, it simply vanished. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 55.)

To be complete, surrender must be unquestioning; the devotee cannot bargain with the Lord or demand favours at His hands. Such entire surrender comprises all: it is Jnana and Vairagya, Devotion and Love. (Sri Ramana Maharshi, MG, 26.)

D. Cannot Grace hasten ripeness in the seeker? M. Leave it all to the Master. Surrender to Him without reserve. One of two things must be done; either surrender yourself, because you realize your inability and need a Higher Power to help you; or investigate into the cause of misery, go into the Source and so merge in the Self. Either way, you will be free from misery. God or Guru never forsakes the devotee who has surrendered himself. (Sri Ramana Maharshi, MG, 39.)

Worship of the Divine Mother with intense faith and perfect devotion and self-surrender will help you to attain Her grace. Through Her grace alone you can attain the knowledge of the Imperishable. (Swami Sivananda Sarasvati in KYW, 25-30.)

We cannot take from you your freewill, nor rob you of your experience; we cannot free you from your karmic debts. You must accept for payment debts that you have incurred, and sweetly surrender yourselves to the infinite love of God. But we can assure you that your karma can be softened by the love of the Lord Christ. You can work out your lessons joyfully. (White Eagle, QM, 77.)

Total surrender to God alone is itself the easiest way. Either imagine "I am Brahman. I am everything," or think "I am nothing. I am God's child, His servant, etc." (Mata Amritanandamayi, AC, I, 59-60.)

There is more to freedom than awakening from identification with form. There is a deeper freedom and realization, which is a death into life. This is where formlessness and form meet, merge, and are known and experienced to be nothing other than your own self. To surrender all resistance to birth, life, and death, is the ultimate freedom and the completion of all that I teach. (Adyashanti, Downloaded from http://www.members.shaw.ca/adyashanti/, 16 May 2004.)

As long as you perceive that anyone is holding you back you have not taken full responsibility for your own liberation. Liberation means that you stand free of making demands on others and life to make you happy. When you discover yourself to be nothing but Freedom, you stop setting up conditions and requirements that need to be satisfied in order for you to be happy. It is in the absolute surrender of all conditions and requirements that Liberation is discovered to be who and what you Are. Then the love and wisdom that flows out of you has a liberating effect on others. (Adyashanti, “How You Treat Others,” 1998, downloaded from www.adyashanti.org, 2004.)

Surrender - Surrender selfishness and self-importance – See The Ego – Renounce it

Surrender - Surrender to God and allow Him to shape you

While clearly we aspire to have integrity, many of us do not feel either complete or undivided. We feel discouraged when we look within and our search for happiness with others exacerbates our deepest wounds.

There are no magical fixes for this condition. It is the raw material of life which has been given to us to transform. We must mold it and craft it into a work of art. That is what our life is: an opportunity to create ourselves.

It would be easy for the potter to reject the clay as inferior and unworthy of him. But were he to do so, his life would have no meaning. He is not defined by the clay, but by what he chooses to do with it.

What do we choose to do with the hand we have been dealt?

How can we work with the challenges life has provided us to come to peace in our hearts and in our relationships?

The answer is a simple one, but it may not be the one you expect. The answer is that you don't have to do anything.

"Well," you ask, "how does the clay get molded if we don't have to do anything?"

The clay gets molded by our willingness to stay with and in our process. In our struggle, and in our surrender, the clay gets molded. The work of art is offered, torn apart, and offered once again. At some point, we know it is finished and we can work on it no more.

And then we walk away from it. Then, before we realize it, more clay is given into our hands. It has a different consistency, a different potential. It brings new challenges.

We do not have to mold the clay. Just being in our life is the molding process. Even when it seems that we are resisting our lives or denying what is happening, the clay is still being worked.

In other words, you can't be alive and not be engaged in creating a work of art. "What about the criminal," you ask. "Has he created a work of art with his life?"

Yes, he has. His life is the record of his journey through his fears, just as your life is your record. Each of you has told your story. If you look into his heart, you will see that his story is not that different from your own.

There are no failures on this planet. Even the homeless, the Prostitutes, the drug dealers are molding the clay that was given to them.

Because you do not like a particular piece of artwork does not mean that it ceases to be a work of art. There are no boring stories out there. Each tale is a gem. Each sculpture has genius. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 16-7.)

Surrender - Surrender to God and let Him supply your every need; be satisfied with what comes unsought

What God's Will gives
He takes and is contented.
(Sri Krishna in BG, 52.)

Persons who worship Me without any other thought, to them thus absorbed, I carry what they lack and preserve what they already have. (Sri Krishna cited in Budhananda, RAM, 19.)

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (Psalm 9:10.)

Know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him. (Psalm 4:3.)

Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them. (Psalm 5:11.)

For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12.)

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

Better is an handful with quietness, than both hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. (Ecclesiastes 4:6.)

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Jesus in Matthew 6:24-34.)

I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (St. Paul in Phillipians 4:11.)

One day when [Abba Bessarion and I] were walking beside the sea I was thirsty and I said to Abba Bessarion, "Father, I am very thirsty." He said a prayer and said to me, "Drink some of the sea water." The water proved sweet when I drank some. I even poured some into a leather bottle for fear of being thirsty later on. Seeing this, the old man asked me why I was taking some. I said to him, "Forgive me, it is for fear of being thirsty later on." Then the old man said, "God is here, God is everywhere." (Abba Doulas in SDF, 40.)

To go from mortal to buddha, you have to put an end to karma, nurture your awareness, and accept what life brings. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 17.)

People of this world are deluded. They're always longing for something, always, in a word, seeking. But the wise wake up. ... They fix their minds on the sublime and let their bodies change with the season. All phenomena are empty. They contain nothing worth desiring. Calamity forever alternates with Prosperity. To dwell in the three realms is to dwell in a burning house. To have a body is to suffer. ... Those who understand this detach themselves from all that exists and stop imagining or seeking anything. (Bodhidharma in ZTB, 2.)

God … shall supply his friends’ … mortal bodies, with their needs. And what they lack in one area he shall make up in another. (Angel to Blessed Henry Suso in a vision, HSU, 153.)

One should be satisfied with what comes unsought. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 896.)

A true devotee has no desire. He does not care for money. Money comes to him of itself. The Gita describes such a devotee as “content with what comes to him without effort.” A good Brahmin, without any personal motive, can accept food even from the house of an untouchable. He does not desire it; it comes of its own accord. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 336.)

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

By God’s grace help comes of its own accord. (Ramana Maharshi, MLSR.)

Money and presents came to the Ashram; well, that was all right, the management needed them to be able to carry on, but there was no need for them to worry about it or ask people to give. God would provide. (Sadhu Arunachala [A.W. Chadwick] of Sri Ramana Maharshi in SRRM, 22.)

"The divine order arranges our future more wisely than any insurance company." The [master Bhaduri's] concluding words were the realized creed of his faith. "The world is full of uneasy believers in an outward security. Their bitter thoughts are like scars in their foreheads. The One who gave us air and milk from our first breath knows how to provide day by day for His devotees." (Paramahansa Yogananda, AY, 61-2.)

Surrender – Do your work but surrender the result to God

Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender. Seek refuge in the knowledge of Brahman. They who work selfishly for results are miserable.

In the calm of self-surrender you can free yourself from the bondage of virtue and vice during this very life. Devote yourself, therefore, to reaching union with Brahman. To unite the heart with Brahman and then to act: that is the secret of non-attached work. In the calm of self-surrender, the seers renounce the fruits of their actions, and so reach enlightenment. Then they are free from the bondage of rebirth, and pass to that state which is beyond all evil. (Sri Krishna in BG, 41.)

All, without exception, perform work. Even to chant the name and glories of God is work, as is the meditation of the non-dualist on 'I am He'. Breathing is also an activity. There is no way of renouncing work altogether. So do your work, but surrender the result to God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 113-4.)

Surrender – Surrender to your longing for God

I have not written for the experts, unless they have forgotten and put behind them all those things that belong to the world; unless now they are eager to surrender to a longing for God.

To achieve this however they must, first, fly from every worldly honour; they must hate all vainglory and the parade of knowledge. And, then, conditioned by great poverty, through prayer and meditation they can devote themselves to the love of God. It will not be surprising if then an inner spark of the uncreated charity should appear to them and prepare their hearts for the fire which consumes everything that is dark, and raises them to that pitch of ardour which is so lovely and pleasant. Then will they pass beyond the things of time, and sit enthroned in infinite peace. (Richard Rolle, FOL, 46-7.)

Surrender – Surrender to contemplation

Fasting is effective in the control of the desires of carnal lust, and in the mastery of a wild and wayward mind. But in him who attains the heights of contemplation with joy and ardent love, the desires of the flesh now lie virtually dead. It means death to evil longings for the man who surrenders himself to contemplation, whose inner self is being changed to a glory and pattern that is different. Now it is no longer he who lives, but Christ who lives in him, and as a result he is overwhelmed by love and longing for him. (Richard Rolle, FOL, 78.)

Surrender – Avatars teach surrender

God incarnates Himself as man and … exhorts people to cultivate self-surrender to God. (Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 355.)

Surrender - Total surrender is a high stage of consciousness

There are three stages in the development of human consciousness. The first stage is Subconscious Knowledge. Driven by instinct and emotions, this is the stare of ancient man, or man as animal. The second stage is Conscious Knowledge. It is characterized by the quest for information, which builds the intellect but ultimately comes up spiritually empty. This is the state of modern man, or man as thinker. The third stage is Super-Conscious Knowledge. It is the state of total surrender of all intellectual solutions, all need to control or plan. It is characterized by conscious unknowing. It is the state of the divine person, or co-creator. You are living at a time when stage two is coming to closure and stage three is being born.

The entrance into stage three calls for a different way of living individually and collectively. It calls for a repudiation of the controlling mind. It calls for a thorough investigation of that mind, the fears on which it is based, and the utter futility of its creations. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 23-4.)

Many of you are hearing the teaching as it was originally intended. You are in communion with me (1) in your daily lives. You constantly ask for my guidance and my support. You are coming to the realization that you know nothing, that practically everything you have been taught about me or my teaching is false and must be rejected. You know that the only way in which you can hear me is through your own heart and through the complete embrace of your experience. This is the essence of your surrender to me.

You are asking now very simply and directly for a way without fear. You are asking how to stay in the present moment. You are willing to practice what you preach. You are willing to be participants as well as observers, role models as well as teachers. There are many apostles now, far more than there were when I was physically present in your experience. Now, together, we can move to stage three and experience the big letting go -- the ending of the past -- and establishment of grace as the guide in our lives. (Paul Ferrini, SOH, 25.)

(1) Paul Ferrini speaks here allegedly channeling Jesus.

Surrender – One final “Yes!”

The whole idea is to get to the point where it is no longer a minute-to-minute choice. Of course it may be a continual minute-to-minute choice, but the problem is that choosing takes effort. It's always a decision; at each moment you're never sure which way you're going to go. However, there can, and must, come a point when one simply says "yes." Period. You know inside, that choice has been made because choice falls away. It ultimately comes down to a black and whiteness that most people have a great amount of difficulty with. Whatever is left of the me always seeks the gray areas. As long as we're seeking gray areas, it means we haven't really come to a reckoning inside with the love which seeks only itself. (Adyashanti, http://charityfocus.org/insp/clubs/tow/?pg=26#page315, delivered 12 January 2004, 16 May 2004.)

All you have to do is say "yes." You’ll never know what it means to say "yes," but you do it anyway. (Adyashanti, Downloaded from http://charityfocus.org/insp/clubs/tow/?pg=26#page315, delivered 12 January 2004, 16 May 2004.)

For the humanness to lay itself down - your mind, your body, your hopes, your dreams, everything - to lay itself down in the same unconditional manner in which awareness is ever present, only then is there the direct experience of unity, that you and the highest truth are really one thing. It expresses itself through your humanity, through openness, through love. The divine becomes human and the human becomes divine-not in any "high and mighty" sense, but just in the sense of reality. That's the way it is. The only price is all of our positions. The only price is that you stop paying a price. (Adyashanti, Downloaded from http://www.members.shaw.ca/adyashanti/, 16 May 2004.)

Surrender – Examples of surrender

On this extraordinary night I sat at my desk until it was very late. I had exhausted my seeking, so that it seemed there were no more books to read, nor any possible kind of experience that could radically exceed what I had already embraced. ... I was drawn into the interior tension of my mind that held all of that seeking, every impulse and alternative, every motive in the form of my desiring. I contemplated it as a whole dramatic force, and it seemed to move me into a profound shape of energy, so that every vital center in my body and mind appeared like a long funnel of contracted planes that led on to an infinitely regressed and invisible image. I observed this deep sensation of conflict and endlessly multiplied contradictions, so that I seemed to surrender to its very shape, as if to experience it perfectly and to be it.

Then, quite suddenly, in a moment, I experienced a total revolution of energy and awareness in myself. An absolute sense of understanding opened and arose at the extreme end of all this consciousness. And all of the energy of thought that moved down into that depth appeared to reverse its direction at some unfathomable point. The rising impulse caused me to stand, and I felt a surge of force draw up out of my depths and expand, filling my whole body and every level of my consciousness with wave on wave of the most beautiful and joyous energy. I felt absolutely mad, but the madness was not of a desparate kind. There was no seeking and no dilemma within it, no question, no unfulfilled motive, not a single object or presence outside myself.

I couldn't contain the energy.... I ran out of the building and through the streets. I thought, if I could only find someone to talk to, to communicate this thing. The energy in my body was overwhelming, and there was an ecstacy in ever cell that was almost intolerable in its pressure, light, and force. (Da Free John, KOL, 13-14) It would take many years to understand the revolution in my being. It marked the rise in me of fundamental and unqualified life, and it removed every shadow of dilemma and ignorance from the mind, on every level, and all its effects in the body. But I would have to pass through many years of trial before that understanding could become the stable constant and premise of my being. (1) (Da Free John in KOL, 13.)

(1) I.e., after spiritual union.

Over a period of many months there took place a ripening, a deepening and unfolding of this experience which filled me with wonder and gratitude at every moment. The foundations had fallen from my world. I had plunged into a numinous openness which had obliterated all fixed distinctions including that of within and without. A Presence had absorbed the universe including myself, and to this I surrendered in absolute confidence. ... The whole world seemed to have reversed itself, to have turned outside in. Activity flowed simply and effortlessly, and to my amazement, seemingly without thought. Instead of following my old sequence of learning, thinking, planning, then acting, action had taken precedence and whatever was learned was surprisingly incidental. Yet nothing ever seemed to go out of bound; there was no alteration between self-control and letting go but rather a perfect rightness and spontaneity to all this flowing activity. (Flora Courtois, EE, 48-9.)

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