Monday, December 30, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday Quote

"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."


Monday, December 23, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday Quote

"If there is anything besides the Self there is reason to fear? Who sees the second? First, the ego arises and sees objects as external. If the ego does not rise, the Self alone exists and there is no second."

-Ramana Maharshi

Monday, December 16, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Quote

“If you have done something meritorious, you experience pleasure and happiness; if wrong things, suffering. A happy or unhappy life is your own creation. Nobody else is responsible. If you remember this, you won’t find fault with anybody. You are your own best friend as well as your worst enemy.”

-Swami Satchidananda

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Of a knower of Brahman, the sense-organs are tranquil, the face is smiling, the mind is free from worries and happy."

-Adi Shankaracharya

Monday, December 02, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursday Quote

`A true spiritual scientist or Guru can inspire, spiritualize and divinize the whole nature of true seeker by the Self-effulgent light of His spiritual perfection. The spiritual perfection is already there in all of us, only that we have somehow forgotten it. We have become hypnotized by our self-generated lower nature. We have to dehypnotize ourselves. A perfect Master makes us absolutely conscious of it and that He does only by the spontaneous light of His own realization of the ‘Science of Oneness’.

-Sri Sri Babathakur

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Quote

Mary's Prayer

"I'm the place that God shines through. He and I are one not two. He needs me where and as I am. I need not doubt nor fear nor plan. If I but be relaxed and free, he'll work his plan of love through me."

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Music

This puja was performed for 50 couples Saturday at the HTGC.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Quote

Interviewer: “Is there any part of your work that frustrates you?”

Sri Dharma Mittra: “Yes, there is. If I notice a lack of obedience or interest on the part of the students in what I'm teaching, I feel extremely sad. At the same time, I feel pity for those that lack obedience because they are really only hurting themselves. It's so sad to see students lying down while the teacher is speaking or leading Kirtan, and most especially when the teacher is reading from the scriptures. This behavior on their part is disrespectful and unethical. Automatically, the student is blocking or avoiding a supreme relationship with the teacher and, without this connection, no real progress is made. Also, as a direct consequence, the student suffers lots of disappointments. I feel sad when this happens, but, at the same time, I don't blame them because they just can’t see that their actions and attitudes are not correct. Regardless, under these conditions, discipleship will never happen.”

Read the rest here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thursday Quote

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”

-Swami Vivekananda

Monday, November 04, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Lead a life of intense activity. Keep always a calm mind. Mentally repeat your "Mantra". Mix with all. Serve all with the feeling that all are forms of God. See God in them. Do not be afraid of difficulties and failures in the spiritual path. Difficulties will develop your will-power. Failures are the stepping stones to success. Use your intelligence, sagacity, discrimination and commonsense. You will overcome the difficulties one by one. Stand adamant. be cheerful. Dismiss fear and anxiety. March boldly on the spiritual path. Do not be discouraged. Draw courage, power and strength from within. Be cautious. Thou art invincible. Nothing can harm you. Remain serene always. Smile and rejoice in the Atman."

+ + +

"Why does man not realise the Truth easily? The scriptures say that there are three kinds of obstructions to the perception of this Truth. First is Mala (impurities), second is Vikshepa (oscillation of the mind), and the third is Avarana (veil of ignorance). Introspect and find out which of these you have got. If you find you have Mala—Kama, Krodha, Lobha,—you will have to eradicate it through the practice of Karma Yoga, or the Yoga of Selfless Service. If you have only got Vikshepa, you have to practise Upasana to steady the mind. If you have only Avarana, you will have to practise Nididhyasana or constant dwelling on the import of the Mahavakyas, till the Truth flashes within you.’

-Sri Swami Sivananda

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday Quote


”Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday Quote

You personify God's message
You reflect the King's face
There is nothing in the Universe
That you are not
Everything you want, look for it
Within yourself. You are that.
If you are in search of the place of the soul
You are the soul.
If you are in search of a morsel of bread,
You are the bread.
If you know this secret, then you know
That whatever you seek, you are that.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday Quote

"The moment you accept that this is the way it is, the transformation has begun."

-John O'Donohue

Monday, October 07, 2013

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Of all the creatures of Earth, only human beings can change their pattern. Man alone is the architect of his destiny. The greatest revolution in our generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."

-William James

Monday, September 30, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Quote

"It's too easy to blame the past for the present. We don't have to be victims of our conditioning. We just have to be willing to do the work of reprogramming ourselves. Only when I started answering questions [the therapist] carefully posed could I see what disaster there was in my wake -- and also how I was cooperating with the disaster, recreating it every day of my life without any idea how to change. That seems to me what each of us must learn: how to let go of our habitual ways of being and give birth to our entelechy - our realized potential."

-Ellen Burstyn

Monday, September 23, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday Quote(s)

Nisargadatta Maharaj: You can have for the asking all the peace you want.
Questioner: I am asking.
Nisargadatta: You must ask with an undivided heart and live an integrated life.
Questioner: How?
Nisargadatta: Detach yourself from all that makes your mind restless. Renounce all that disturbs its peace. If you want peace, deserve it.
Questioner: Surely everybody deserves peace
Nisargadatta: Those only deserve it, who don't disturb it.
Questioner: In what way do I disturb peace?
Nisargadatta: By being a slave to your desires and fears.
Questioner: Even when they are justified?
Nisargadatta: Emotional reactions, born of ignorance or inadvertance, are never justified.
Seek a clear mind and a clean heart. All you need is to keep quietly alert, inquiring into the real nature of yourself. This is the only way to peace.
All these sufferings are man-made and it is within man's power to put an end to them.
God helps by facing man with the results of his actions and demanding that the balance be restored. Karma is the law that works for righteousness; it is the healing hand of God.
Use your mind. Remember. Observe.
You are not different from others. Most of their experiences are valid for you too.
Think clearly and deeply, go into the structure of your desires and their ramifications. They are a most important part of your mental and emotional make-up and powerfully affect your actions.
Remember, you cannot abandon what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself.
Purify yourself by a well-ordered and useful life. Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. This will clear your vision.

* * * 21.

Questioner: Well, you told me that I am the Supreme Reality. I believe you. What next is there for me to do?
Nisargadatta: I told you already. Discover all that you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space, being and not-being, this or that - nothing concrete or abstract you can point out to is you. A mere verbal statement will not do - you may repeat a formula endlessly without any result whatsoever.

You must watch yourself continuously - particularly your mind - moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the Self from the not-self.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Music

appearing Friday night at Millennium Park with violinists Dr. L. Subramaniam and Ambi Subramaniam.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Quote


Once some very learned Sanskrit scholars were sitting in the old hall discussing portions of the Upanishads and other scriptural texts with Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi]. Bhagavan was giving them proper explanations and it was a sight to remember and adore!

At the same time, I felt genuinely in my heart, ‘Oh, how great these people are and how fortunate they are to be so learned and to have such deep understanding and be able to discuss with our Bhagavan. Compared with them, what am I, a zero in scriptural learning?’ I felt miserable. After the pundits had taken leave Bhagavan turned to me and said, “What?”, looking into my eyes and studying my thoughts. Then, without even giving me an opportunity to explain, he continued, “This is only the husk! All this book learning and capacity to repeat the scriptures by memory is absolutely no use. To know the Truth, you need not undergo all this torture of learning. Not by reading do you get the Truth. BE QUIET, that is Truth, BE STILL, that is God”.

"Then very graciously he turned to me again and there was an immediate change in his tone and attitude. He asked me, “Do you shave yourself?”

Bewildered by this sudden change, I answered, trembling, that I did.

“Ah, for shaving you use a mirror, don’t you? You look into the mirror and then shave your face; you don’t shave the image in the mirror. Similarly all the scriptures are meant only to show you the way to realization. They are meant for practise and attainment. Mere book learning and discussions are comparable to a man shaving the image in the mirror”.

From that day onwards the sense of inferiority that I had been feeling vanished once and for all.

-A. R. Natarajan

Monday, September 09, 2013

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Desire is the cause of action, because it urges one to action.

"Those who have obtained the fruit of all their desires are free from desires; therefore they are established in the Self and cannot feel any urge to action. When one cherishes the desire for the Self, all one's desires are fulfilled. The Self is Brahman.... the knower of Brahman attains the Supreme Goal. Therefore when, after cessation of ignorance, a person dwells in the Self, he realizes the Supreme Goal. For the scriptures say: 'When a man [knows the Self] he has then obtained fearlessness.' 'He... attains the Self which consists of bliss.'"

-Adi Shankaracharya (introduction to the Taittiriya Upanishad)

Monday, September 02, 2013

Monday Music

Navaratri (the nine nights of the goddess) is October 5-13

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Quote

"....On August 28th, 1963, the nation's capital was in a state of emergency. Thousands of troops surrounded the city. Workers was told to stay home that day, liquor stores were closed, but the march was so orderly, so peaceful, it was filled with dignity and self-respect because we believe in the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. People came that day to that march just like they were on their way to religious service. As Mahalia Jackson sang, how we got over, how we got over, she drew thousands of us together in a strange sense. It seemed like the whole place started rocking.

"We truly believe that in every human being, even those who -- violent -- who were violent toward us, there was a spark of the divine.

"And no person had the right to scar or destroy that spark. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. He taught us to have the power to forgive, the capacity to be reconciled. He taught us to stand up, to speak up, to speak out, to find a way to get in the way....

"People were inspired by that vision of justice and equality, and they were willing to put their bodies on the line for a greater cause greater than themselves. Not one incident of violence was reported that day. A spirit had engulfed the leadership of the movement and all of its participants.

"The spirit of Dr. King's words captured the hearts of people not just around America but around the world. On that day, Martin Luther King, Jr. made a speech, but he also delivered a sermon. He transformed these marble steps of the Lincoln Memorial into a modern day pulpit. He changed us forever....

"Fifty years later we can ride anywhere we want to ride, we can stay where we want to stay. Those signs that said "white" and "colored" are gone. And you won't see them anymore -- (cheers, applause) -- except in a museum, in a book, on a video.

"But there are still invisible signs buried in the hearts in humankind that form a gulf between us. Too many of us still believe our differences define us instead of the divine spark that runs through all of human creation.

"The scars and stains of racism still remain deeply embedded in American society, whether it is stop and frisk in New York or injustice in Trayvon Martin case in Florida, the mass incarceration of millions of Americans, immigrants hiding in fear in the shadow of our society, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, hunger or the renewed struggle for voting rights....

"And the dean of the civil rights movement once said, we may have come here on different ships, but we all are in the same boat now. So it doesn't matter whether they're black or white, Latino, Asian- American or Native American, whether we or gay or straight -- we are one people, we are one family, we are all living in the same house -- not just the American house, but the the world house.

"And when we finally accept these truths, then we will be able to fulfill Dr. King's dream to build a beloved community, a nation and a world at peace with itself."

-Rep. John Lewis, from his speech yesterday marking the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's march on Washington.

Read the complete transcript here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Music

Lord Krsna's birthday is Wednesday, August 28.
Celebrate locally here and here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Oh Lord, make me fit to love Three now, as I have loved sin in the past."

-from the 8th prayer in the Morning Prayers of The Lay Prayer Book of the Russian Church

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Yoga as a spiritual practice is only possible for the soul, for a person who has awakened his or her spiritual aspiration and longs to go beyond the cycle of rebirth. Yoga as spiritual practice is not possible for the unawakened or immature ego, which will use it for purposes of self-aggrandizement or personal enjoyment. To awaken at the level of the soul is the first step of genuine yoga practice and precedes even the yamas and niyamas, which require a soul awareness to be able to practice. If you wish to practice yoga, you must ask yourself: 'Is the soul awake within me and ready to return to divinity?'"

-Vamadeva Shastri (Dr David Frawley)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Consider a deer wandering in the garden. It has found a mate and the garden is full of green grass on which it can live for its entire lifetime. The flowers growing there and the gentle breeze wafting across the garden make the deer so happy that the thinks there is nothing which can ever spoil his bliss and his contented life there. But all the while, the dread wolf which is bent in eating it up, is standing there, in front of it. In its preoccupation with its mate and the beauty of the garden, the heavenly taste of grass, and the wonderful breeze which is blowing across the garden, the poor deer does not see the wolf. Nor is it aware of a hunter who is even now aiming his dread arrows at it from behind. Man's life on earth is even like that of the unfortunate, careless deer.

"The pleasures of the world are as evanescent as the scent of the flowers in the garden. Man and woman wander around in this little garden in search of the fleeting pleasure found in each other. All the while, Time, in the form of a wolf, is waiting there in front of him and he does not notice it. Behind him is Death with a thousand diseases in the form of arrows. He sends the arrows one by one and yet man does not understand the message - does not heed the warning."

-Narad, in the Srimad Bhagavatam

Monday, August 05, 2013

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Thursday Quote

"One must learn to call upon the name of God, even more than breathing - at all times, in all places, in very kind of occupation. The Apostle says, 'Pray without ceasing.' That is, he teaches us to have the remembrance of God in all times and places and circumstances. If you are making something you must call to mind the Creator of all things, if you see the light, remember the Giver of it, if you see the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, wonder and praise the Maker of them. If you put on your clothes, recall whose gift they are and thank the one who provides for your life. In short, let every action be a cause of your remembering and praising God and lo! you will be praying without ceasing and therein your soul will always rejoice."

-Peter the Damascene in The Philokalia

Monday, July 29, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday Quote

"The guru will guide and share his wisdom with the student and eventually show the location and how to get in direct contact with the Supreme Guru that resides within the student. The spiritual preceptors or gurus are always alert and radiating love and peace 24 hours a day, every day."

-Sri Dharma Mittra

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Music

Have you made your sankalpa for Guru Purnima 2013? Learn more here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday Quote

"There are three kinds of devotees: superior, mediocre, and inferior. The inferior devotee says, ‘God is out there.’ According to him God is different from His creation. The mediocre devotee says: ‘God is the Antaryami, the Inner Guide. God dwells in everyone’s heart.’ The mediocre devotee sees God in the heart. But the superior devotee sees that God alone has become everything; He alone has become the twenty-four cosmic principles. He finds that everything, above and below, is filled with God."

-Sri Ramakrishna

Click here to lead about Ramakrishna Mission monks bringing aid to areas of flood-stricken Uttarakhand that officials have not been able to reach.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday Quote

Prajapati had three kinds of offspring: gods, men and demons. They lived with Prajapati, practising the vows of brahmacharins. After finishing their term, the gods said to him: "Please instruct us, Sir." To them he uttered the syllable da [and asked]: "Have you understood?" They replied: "We have. You said to us, 'Control yourselves (damyata).'" He said: "Yes, you have understood."

Then the men said to him: "Please instruct us, Sir." To them he uttered the same syllable da [and asked]: "Have you understood?" They replied: "We have. You said to us, 'Give (datta).'" He said: "Yes, you have understood."

Then the demons said to him: "Please instruct us, Sir." To them he uttered the same syllable da [and asked]: "Have you understood?" They replied: "We have. You said to us, 'Be compassionate. (dayadhvam)'" He said: "Yes, you have understood."

That very thing is repeated [even today] by the heavenly voice, in the form of thunder, as "Da," "Da," "Da," which means: "Control yourselves," "Give," and "Have compassion." Therefore one should learn these three: self-control, giving and mercy.

-Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Monday, July 08, 2013

Thursday, July 04, 2013


"Yoga can be called dharmic spiritual practice, Yoga Dharma [dharma refers to the laws of truth that govern the universe]. Yoga is a dharmic approach to the spiritual life, which is the way of Self-realization. It instructs us to follow our higher dharma, which is to give up outer seeking and strive to know our true nature. All the methodologies of yoga are dharmic in nature, helping us harness natural law and the spiritual forces in nature to transform our consciousness from ignorance to enlightenment.

"Ayurveda can be called dharmic medicine. Ayurveda represents a dharmic approach to health and everyday living - natural healing based upon natural law, conscious healing following the laws of consciousness. Ayurveda is the science of health based upon dharmic principles, which seeks to uphold the dharma both in treatment and in its lifestyle regimens. Dharmic living gives us health and happiness, putting us in contact with cosmic forces of beneficence. Adharmic living, life contrary to dharma, brings pain and disharmony to all. A dharmic life is the basis of all ayurvedic treatment and all ayurvedic lifestyle regimens. Most psychological problems and emotional disorders are rooted in adharmic living, living out of harmony with the universe. Most physical diseases are based on it as well."

-David Frawley (Vamdeva Shastri)

Monday, July 01, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Know and realize that your faculty is intended for the good of others. Learn lessons from nature. The various and innumerable products, roots, fruits, silver, gold, all lay themselves bare for the use of man. But man always absorbs but never gives. Let all learn and emulate form nature and resolve that life is to give and not to take."

-Swami Sivananda

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Music

Swami Adhyatmananda will lead hatha yoga classes June 30 to July 3 and give a lecture June 30 at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday Quote

"One succeeds in all Yogas through energetic practice—even if one is young, old, very old, sick, or weak."

~Svatmarama, in The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Brian Dana Akers translation)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Music

....appearing 7/14 as part of the Eye on India Festival.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday Quote

“How often does a man ruin his disciples* by remaining always with them! When men are once trained, it is essential that their leader leave them, for without his absence they cannot develop themselves. Plants always remain small under a big tree.”

― Swami Vivekananda

*and, may we add, how often does a disciple ruin his chances at reaching The Goal by remaining too long with the guru (and expecting him/her to do their work for them).

Monday, June 10, 2013

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Thursday Quote(s)

"Honor your Self, Worship your Self, Meditate on your Self; God dwells within you as you."

"See God in Each Other."

-Swami Muktananda

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Seven. Hours. at. LaGuardia

What does one do when the 8:55pm flight is repeatedly delayed, until it becomes apparent that it will leave LaGuardia after 2am - or not at all?


* * *

Text updates from airline: 10
Conflicting updates from gate: 8
Air ticket: 283.80
Taxis: 100
Parking: 42
Hotel: 150.67
Tuition: 160
12.5 hours with the Guru:


Monday, June 03, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Quote

"As a lump of salt dropped into water becomes dissolved in water and cannot be taken out again, but wherever we taste [the water] it tastes salt, even so, my dear, this great, endless infinite Reality is Pure Intelligence alone. [This Self] comes out [as a separate entity] from these elements and with their destruction [this separate existence] also is destroyed. After attaining [oneness] it has no more consciousness. This is what I say, my dear."

-Yajnavalkya to Maitreyi, in the Upanishads

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Over my years with Swam Radha's teachings, I have come to understand that my own life with its particular set of circumstances taken as a whole presents an extraordinary opportunity for evolving into Awareness. When I entered her field of Light, I took the first step towards a more conscious cooperation with that evolution."

-Swami Gopalananda (David Foresee)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday Quote

"I had rambled like a mad chap caring little for bodily comforts for God and guru (master). God never descended for a moment to assist me. The day I traced my guru and received His blessings, things turned in my favour. Prior to that although I had undertaken various practices they did not yield any result. As soon as I came under the guidance of my gurudev (master) whatever practices I followed, I got success in each of them. It is therefore very important that a blessing of guru is very essential for success in spiritual sadhana."

- Swami Nigamananda

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Music

The Divine Mother prayer*

Oh, Divine Mother
May all my speech and idle talk be mantra
All actions of my hands be mudra
All eating and drinking be the offering of oblations unto Thee
All lying down prostrations before Thee
May all pleasures be as dedicating my entire self unto Thee
May everything I do be taken as Thy worship.

Om Shanti shanti shanti

*from Swami Radha

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Thursday Quote

“Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.”

~ Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

Monday, May 06, 2013

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Thursday Quote

"One year of yoga [asana] costs less than a single day in the hospital."

-Suza Francina, in The New Yoga for Healthy Aging

Context: this is Francina's response when "People sometimes tell me, 'But not everyone can afford to go to a yoga class or purchase those expensive yoga bolsters.' One reader even accused me of being 'elitist,' arguing that many older people cannot afford to attend classes at fully equipped yoga centers and that they don't have the money to purchase props for home use."

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday Quote

"A man practicing brahmacharya for 12 years develops a special power. Special power to know and understand everything seen and unseen. He gets to know God."

-Sri Ramakrishna

Monday, April 22, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Take the word 'trying' out of your vocabulary and replace it with the word 'doing'. This way you will always be in the process of doing instead of trying to do. This also gives you experience rather than talking about something you thought of doing but only got round to talking about. Now you are living and not just trying to live."

-Yogi Cameron

Monday Music

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday Quote

"Any man at any time can realize Brahman by controlling his interest in outer things."

-Swami Nikhilananda

Friday, April 05, 2013

As a man abandons worn-out clothes and acquires new ones, so when the body is worn out a new one is acquired by the Self, who lives within.

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat

We Meditate on the Three-eyed reality
Which permeates and nourishes all like a fragrance.
May we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality,
Even as the cucumber is severed from bondage to the creeper.

Jai Roger Ebert!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Thursday Quote

"The wise know that all that is not the Self is merely a movement of the mind; being liberated, they live as a child lives."

-Ashravakra Gita