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 thatone 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 himselfwhen he suspected that the fire he set through thewhole of Lanka might perhaps have burnt Sita, too.
Who is a fool? He who thinks that the world hasany regard for him and is really in need of him.
It may be that we try to remember God when we arecomfortably placed. But the test as to whether He hasreally entered our hearts is whether we remember Himin sickness, suffering, opposition and times of temptation.
Manu Smriti says: One-fourth of one's knowledgecomes from the Teacher, one-fourth from study, one-fourthfrom co-students and one-fourth by experience in thepassage of time.
The pain generally felt at death is due to the natureof the intensity of the desires with which one continuedto live in the physical body. The more is the lovefor the Universal Being entertained in life, the lesswould be the pain and agony of departing from the body.
Dirt is matter out of place. Weed is a plant outof place. Nuisance is action out of place. Even thosethings, acts or words which are normally good and usefulbecome bad, useless and even harmful when they areout of place, time and circumstance. Knowledge ofthis fact is an essential part of wisdom.
Material amenities and economic needs and the satisfactionof one's emotional side are permissible only so longas this law and order of this eternal truth of theliberation of the Self in universality of being regulatestheir fulfilment.
The temptation from the evil one comes, first, inthe form of unsettled thinking which makes one immediatelyforget the Presence of God. This is at once followedby the implementation of the evil move, whether inthe shape of passion or anger. When the deed is doneand the matter has ended, the remembrance of God mightcome in, but it rarely appears in the presence of thingswhich we either love or hate.
"Do the best and leave the rest" is the key motto inKarma Yoga. The 'doing of the best', of course, doesnot mean being foolhardy or going headlong withoutthought on consequences, but the harnessing of one'sfull resources to the execution of a noble ideal whichis calculated to aid one in the attainment of God-realisation.To 'leave the rest' is to resign the results of thework to God, for, when even the best that one can dofalls short of the effort needed to achieve a desiredresult, the mind is likely to get upset, which is notthe spirit of Karma Yoga. All work is God's,—eventhe Sadhana that we do.
The more we try to depend on God, the more He seemsto test us with the pleasures of sense and the delightsof 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 thatwhen 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, therewould be no perception of existence. There cannot bea consciousness of relation between two things unlessthere is a consciousness relating the two terms andyet standing above them. The study of the perceptionalsituation discloses the fact that the subject and theobject are phases of a universal consciousness.
Poison is not real poison. Sense-objects are thereal poison. Poison kills one life, but sense-objectscan devastate a series of lives.
These persons do not get sleep, says Vidura to Dhritarashtra:Those who are sick, those who have been overthrownby others and are deprived of power and assistancefrom any side, those who are afflicted with lust, andthose who are scheming to deprive others of their possessions.
The Mahabharata says that the Vedas are afraid ofhim who tries to approach them without a knowledgeof the correct import of the Epics and Puranas. Hereis a covert suggestion that the Absolute of philosophyshould also include the variety and conflict of practicallife, in order to be real and not merely an objectof speculation.
The four noble truths of the Buddha that there issuffering, that there is a cause for suffering, thatthere is a way out of suffering and that there is astate beyond suffering are proof enough to show thathe was not a nihilist in the sense in which the wordis used today, but a practical man who had an eye todoing something than merely conjecturing about Truthand its realisation.
If omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence areto be pressed into one being and this being is to befocussed into a jet of action, what will be the result?This is what happened when Sri Krishna lived as a Personin this world. This is also the difficulty which peoplefeel in writing a biography of Krishna, for, to beall-comprehensive is a difficult thing for the mindto think.
The more does one become fit for the practice ofAdvaita Vedanta, the less is the consciousness of thebody and world around. Advaita and body-consciousnessdo not go together.
"Man proposes; God disposes," says an old adage. Itdoes not mean that God is perpetually opposing whateverman does. What really happens is that when man exertsthrough his egoism in a manner which violates the eternallaw of God, he naturally feels frustrated, being beatenback 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 possessionof charitable feelings, and resorting to charitablespeech, charitable demeanour, and charitable actionsthrough a general charitable temperament. This is,in short, what is called self-sacrifice, for it involvesparting with some part of the delights of the ego.
The notion of oneself being identical with the bodyis the cause of egoism. It is this egoism that entanglesall judgments of value in the preconception that knowledgeis acquired through the senses and the mind or theintellect. This prejudice of egoism is Samsara, thepersistent idea that all knowledge is in terms of space,time and externality.
When Maricha cried out: "O Lakshmana, O Sita," Sitamistook it for Rama's voice. She could not identifyRama's voice as different from that of another, thoughshe had lived with Rama for so long. So is the casewith the Jiva. It has forgotten its association withthe Absolute and cannot distinguish the call of theSpirit from the clamours of the senses. This is calleddelusion.
Krishna was a person of great enjoyments. Vasishthawas devoted to rituals. Janaka was a king. Jadabharatawas looking like an idiot. Suka was renowned for hisdispassion. Vyasa was busy in teaching and writing.But all these are regarded as equal in knowledge. Differentforms serve different purposes, but their essentialbeing is one.
Man's conscience in its essentiality is not an accompliceof harm and injury being done to anyone. It is necessaryfor the evil one intending to destroy others to destroyhis own conscience first. The self of the killer iskilled much before the act of killing takes place.
Just as, when we touch a live wire, the electricforce infuses itself into our body, when we deeplymeditate on God the power of the whole universe seeksentry into our personality.
The 'Advaita' of Sankara is not so much the assertionof oneness as the negation of duality, as the nameof his system suggests. God is not one or two or three,for He is above numerical affirmation. He is not anythingthat we can think of, but, however, He does not involvein 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 spiritualbalance throughout his life. There have been occasionalreversals though these might not have left any impressionon their minds any more than the mark left by a stickdrawn 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.