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A Messenger of Peace and Wisdom
A Souvenir released on Swami Krishnananda's 75th Birthday

Quotes by Swami Krishnananda

  • "He who knows, knows not; he who knows not, knows." This is a statement in the Upanishad, meaning that one who has realised the Truth has no personality-consciousness, and one who has it knows not the Truth.
  • Our prosperity, our friends, our bondage and even our destruction are all in the end rooted in our tongue," says a famous adage.
  • When senses trouble you, remember the sages Narayana and Nara. They are the supreme masters over the senses, before whom Indra had to bow his head in shame.
  • "He is called a 'man' who, when anger rises forciblywithin, is able to subdue and cast it out as a snakecasts away its slough with ease," said Hanuman to himself when he suspected that the fire he set through the whole of Lanka might perhaps have burnt Sita, too.
  • Who is a fool? He who thinks that the world has any regard for him and is really in need of him.
  • It may be that we try to remember God when we are comfortably placed. But the test as to whether He has really entered our hearts is whether we remember Himin sickness, suffering, opposition and times of temptation.
  • Manu Smriti says: One-fourth of one's knowledge comes from the Teacher, one-fourth from study, one-fourthfrom co-students and one-fourth by experience in the passage of time.
  • The pain generally felt at death is due to the nature of the intensity of the desires with which one continued to live in the physical body. The more is the love for the Universal Being entertained in life, the less would be the pain and agony of departing from the body.
  • Dirt is matter out of place. Weed is a plant out of place. Nuisance is action out of place. Even those things, acts or words which are normally good and useful become bad, useless and even harmful when they are out of place, time and circumstance. Knowledge of this fact is an essential part of wisdom.
  • Material amenities and economic needs and the satisfaction of one's emotional side are permissible only so long as this law and order of this eternal truth of the liberation of the Self in universality of being regulates their fulfilment.
  • The temptation from the evil one comes, first, in the form of unsettled thinking which makes one immediately forget the Presence of God. This is at once followed by the implementation of the evil move, whether in the shape of passion or anger. When the deed is done and the matter has ended, the remembrance of God might come in, but it rarely appears in the presence of things which we either love or hate.
  • "Do the best and leave the rest" is the key motto in Karma Yoga. The 'doing of the best', of course, does not mean being foolhardy or going headlong without thought on consequences, but the harnessing of one's full resources to the execution of a noble ideal which is calculated to aid one in the attainment of God-realisation. To 'leave the rest' is to resign the results of the work to God, for, when even the best that one can do falls short of the effort needed to achieve a desired result, the mind is likely to get upset, which is not the spirit of Karma Yoga. All work is God's,—even the Sadhana that we do.
  • The more we try to depend on God, the more He seems to test us with the pleasures of sense and the delights of the ego. Finally, the last kick He gives is, indeed, unbearable. Those who bear it are themselves gods.
  • The teaching of the Yoga-Vasishtha emphasises that when there is perception of an object by the seer orobserver, there has to be pre-supposed the existenceof a consciousness between the subject and the object. If this conscious connecting link were not to be, there would be no perception of existence. There cannot be a consciousness of relation between two things unless there is a consciousness relating the two terms and yet standing above them. The study of the perceptional situation discloses the fact that the subject and the object are phases of a universal consciousness.
  • Poison is not real poison. Sense-objects are the real poison. Poison kills one life, but sense-objects can devastate a series of lives.
  • These persons do not get sleep, says Vidura to Dhritarashtra: Those who are sick, those who have been overthrown by others and are deprived of power and assistance from any side, those who are afflicted with lust, and those who are scheming to deprive others of their possessions.
  • The Mahabharata says that the Vedas are afraid of him who tries to approach them without a knowledge of the correct import of the Epics and Puranas. Here is a covert suggestion that the Absolute of philosophy should also include the variety and conflict of practical life, in order to be real and not merely an object of speculation.
  • The four noble truths of the Buddha that there is suffering, that there is a cause for suffering, that there is a way out of suffering and that there is a state beyond suffering are proof enough to show that he was not a nihilist in the sense in which the word is used today, but a practical man who had an eye to doing something than merely conjecturing about Truth and its realisation.
  • If omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence are to be pressed into one being and this being is to be focussed into a jet of action, what will be the result? This is what happened when Sri Krishna lived as a Person in this world. This is also the difficulty which people feel in writing a biography of Krishna, for, to be all-comprehensive is a difficult thing for the mind to think.
  • The more does one become fit for the practice of Advaita Vedanta, the less is the consciousness of the body and world around. Advaita and body-consciousness do not go together.
  • "Man proposes; God disposes," says an old adage. It does not mean that God is perpetually opposing whatever man does. What really happens is that when man exerts through his egoism in a manner which violates the eternal law of God, he naturally feels frustrated, being beaten back by the law of Truth.
  • It is difficult to live in society with mental peace, because it is difficult to be charitable in nature. Charity of things is of less consequence than possession of charitable feelings, and resorting to charitable speech, charitable demeanour, and charitable actions through a general charitable temperament. This is, in short, what is called self-sacrifice, for it involves parting with some part of the delights of the ego.
  • The notion of oneself being identical with the body is the cause of egoism. It is this egoism that entangles all judgments of value in the preconception that knowledge is acquired through the senses and the mind or the intellect. This prejudice of egoism is Samsara, the persistent idea that all knowledge is in terms of space, time and externality.
  • When Maricha cried out: "O Lakshmana, O Sita," Sita mistook it for Rama's voice. She could not identify Rama's voice as different from that of another, though she had lived with Rama for so long. So is the case with the Jiva. It has forgotten its association withthe Absolute and cannot distinguish the call of the Spirit from the clamours of the senses. This is called delusion.
  • Krishna was a person of great enjoyments. Vasishtha was devoted to rituals. Janaka was a king. Jadabharata was looking like an idiot. Suka was renowned for his dispassion. Vyasa was busy in teaching and writing. But all these are regarded as equal in knowledge. Different forms serve different purposes, but their essential being is one.
  • Man's conscience in its essentiality is not an accomplice of harm and injury being done to anyone. It is necessary for the evil one intending to destroy others to destroy his own conscience first. The self of the killer is killed much before the act of killing takes place.
  • Just as, when we touch a live wire, the electric force infuses itself into our body, when we deeply meditate on God the power of the whole universe seeks entry into our personality.
  • The 'Advaita' of Sankara is not so much the assertion of oneness as the negation of duality, as the name of his system suggests. God is not one or two or three, for He is above numerical affirmation. He is not anything that we can think of, but, however, He does not involve in any difference; hence He is 'Advaita', non-dual. Such is the cautious name of Sankara's system of philosophy.
  • No saint has been able to maintain the spiritual balance throughout his life. There have been occasional reversals though these might not have left any impressionon their minds any more than the mark left by a stick drawn on water. But the mark is there when it appears. Such is the difficulty of leading the spiritual life.The case of immature seekers is much more precarious, indeed.