There’s no value in digging shallow wells in a hundred places. Decide on one place and dig deep. Even if you encounter a rock, use dynamite and keep going down. If you leave that to dig another well, all the first effort is wasted and there is no proof you won’t hit rock again. (52)
The same thing can be both good and bad. Whenever you speak of good, bad is also present. The world is a mixture of both. There is not good without bad. They are both sides of the same coin. Both are necessary. We have been given free will and discriminating capacity to select what is beneficial to us and to avoid what is detrimental to us. Even Cobra poison can be used as medicine.
There is one Cosmic Essence, all-pervading, all-knowing, all-powerful. This nameless formless essence can be approached by any name, any form, any symbol that suites the taste of the individual. Follow your religion, but try to understand the real purpose behind all of the rituals and traditions, and experience that Oneness.
. . . I feel we don’t really need scriptures. The entire life is an open book, a scripture. Read it. Learn while digging a pit or chopping some wood or cooking some food. If you can’t learn from your daily activities, how are you going to understand the scriptures? (233)
Devotion gradually progresses to higher levels. . . . One type goes to God and asks Him to remove his suffering. Another one will ask for money or material things. A third will request liberation or release from his bondage. And the fourth will not ask for anything. He will just enjoy praying and praising his Lord. That is the highest form of prayer. (Beyond Word, 119)
We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing? (136-137)
The five points of yama, together with the five points of niyama, remind us of the Ten Commandments of the Christtian and Jewish faiths, as well as of the ten virtues of Buddhism. In fact, there is no religion without these moral or ethical codes. All spiritual life should be based on these things. They are the foundation stones without which we can never build anything lasting. (127)
[O]ur own bodies are changing every second. Yet we take the body to be our Self; and, speaking in terms of it, we say, “I am hungry” or “I am lame”; “I am black” or “I am white.” These are all just the conditions of the body. We touch the truth when we say, “My body aches,” implying the body belongs to us and that therefore we are not that. (87)
Yoga says instinct is a trace of an old experience that has been repeated many times and the impressions have sunk down to the bottom of the mental lake. Although they go down, they aren’t completely erased. Don’t think you ever forget anything. All experiences are stored in the chittam; and, when the proper atmosphere is created, they come to the surface again. When we do something several times it forms a habit. Continue with that habit for a long time, and it becomes your character. Continue with that character and eventually, perhaps in another life, it comes up as... Read more »
If you do not pour water on your plant, what will happen? It will slowly wither and die. Our habits will also slowly wither and die away if we do not give them an opportunity to manifest. You need not fight to stop a habit. Just don’t give it an opportunity to repeat itself. (67)
Temples and churches have become social centers. They have lost their original purpose because the minds of the people are more attracted to worldly things than to prayer. The lips repeat the prayer mechanically like a phonograph record, but the mind wanders to other places. (23-24)