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Swami Tejomayananda Quotes and Teachings - Chinmaya Mission

Swami Tejomayananda quotes and teachings are on various topics and are from numerous sources including books, newspaper, articles, videos and speeches. (Swami Tejomayananda, a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda, is the Chairman and spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide.)

Swami Tejomayananda quotes and teachings

One can either be a master of circumstances or a victim of them. If one says that he has the inspiration but has no opportunities, then that person is not sufficiently inspired. A truly inspired person will create the opportunities and charge ahead. I heard a joke recently that illustrates what I am saying. It is said that one must learn from Noah. He floated his company when the world was in liquidation!

If you are truly inspired by your work or job, then you will be totally absorbed in it, and things or events around you will not distract you. So, most importantly, you have to find that work or job which truly inspires you. Also realize that someone else cannot live your life and you cannot live someone else’s life. You must remind yourself of this and therefore commit yourself to taking charge of your life. This way you will remain focused.

Swami Tejomayananda Quotes and Teachings - Chinmaya Mission

All evils are only expressions of the ignorance of spiritual knowledge. Just as doctors begin with symptomatic treatment of diseases, but slowly work to eradicate the very cause of diseases, we must eradicate spiritual ignorance to treat all our social ills. It is the vision that makes all the difference. A narrow vision is divisive, a broad vision is expansive, but a spiritual vision is all inclusive.

Spirituality does not lie in doing something special. Its essence is in being one’s own true divine Self. In short, spirituality is your feeling of oneness with all beings.

The single quality of a genuinely spiritual soul is Humility – because he realizes that the real doer of all things is God, and he is merely an instrument.

Torrential waters fall on mountains with force, but the mountains withstand them unmoved, just as saints endure harsh words of the wicked.

It is said that the physical wounds caused by weapons can be healed, but the wounds left by scathing words don’t heal so easily. We have to learn to endure and remain unaffected like the mountains.

In the rainy season small streams rush forth full of water, causing flash floods. Once the rains are over, the streams dry up. This is like a wicked person who comes by sudden fortune and flaunts newfound money.

When a person has concentration, but no mental purity, he or she can obtain great powers. But without purity of mind and nobility of thoughts that power will only be used for the destruction of himself and others.

All the scientific discoveries of the modern age, instead of helping to make our lives more happy and wonderful, are now becoming a curse for us, because science has fallen into the hands of people with perverted and crooked minds.

Consequently, although our life has become much more comfortable, there is still so much fear and insecurity not knowing when and where someone will blast a nuclear bomb.

Fear will continue to exist as long as our minds remain impure, for the money, power and other sources of strength that we acquire will be utilized for our own destruction.

Knowledge of Advaita, or Oneness of Self, is dharmika, as it leads to the full integration of society. To love and serve all is the very basis of Self Knowledge and in its light alone can we determine what is dharma.

If you work for someone you love, then again the work becomes a joy.

People complain that their mind keeps wandering while doing japa, but when it comes to counting money, the mind is very attentive and does not wander, because there is love for money!

How can we learn to love God? When you love something or someone, you spend more time with that thing or person. The reverse process is also true - when you start spending time on something like music, you discover subtle joys in it. When you spend time with someone, you develop attachment for that person.

If you spend time with God, you will learn to love Him.

When the water pours down, it is pure; on the earth, it gets mixed with mud and becomes slushy and turbid; even as the jiva (soul), basically pure and of the nature of bliss, becomes clouded by maya (illusion) at birth. We may feel sorrowful now, but we are essentially of that nature.

Contentment is good, but it is not good to be content with one's spiritual practices. We are often satisfied with our spiritual progress, but our greed for worldly possessions is insatiable; this is where contentment is a vice. We should have very few physical needs and put most of our effort into spiritual matters.

Walking would be a constant falling forward. However, we walk because we have faith that we will not fall. The first step we took as a small child was entirely on faith. Man progressed from the time he was dwelling in the caves to the modern era of computers because of his faith in the observation of the world and in the laws governing it. This faith in his own sense organs and intelligence made him experiment with nature and discover her various secrets.

Yes, God is motionless, because there isn't any place where He is not. When a child is sitting in his mother's lap, he can cry for a million things, but he cannot cry for his mother to come. We are all in the lap of the infinite Truth. It is nearer than your own eyelashes. There is no distance between you and It.

Happiness is a serious matter. A superficial approach to anything leads one to trouble. Only deeper enquiry will take us to the truth.

We consider what we experience with our sense organs as real. No wonder, we find the world enchanting with its infinite variety and matchless beauty. But when we try to understand the same world a little deeply, it becomes very mind-boggling.

This proves that the visible is immaterial, and the invisible is more significant. What is visible is only an appearance and we all know that appearances are deceptive. The one truth that is not visible is subtle, and it is this truth that will solve all problems. To see this truth, we need a pure mind and subtle intellect. This is why we need a noble vision. It helps us perceive that one “Truth” which pervades the multiple and diverse world of names and forms. Such a vision can make all the difference. It can help us see oneness in the midst of variety; it can protect us in the face of temptation, frustration and fear.

Therefore, this answers the question of what fun or happiness is. It is nor in merely gratifying our senses. The happiness experienced as a result of such a noble vision alone can be called true and lasting happiness.

Children need your presence, not your presents.

Some people will applaud and some will criticize. Cheers and jeers will always be there. If there are opponents, there will be many supporters also. You be determined and convinced. You march toward your goal. 

Life is how you look at it and how you label it. If life is viewed as a problem, you have to keep solving it. If life is taken as a challenge, then meet it. If you see life as a dream, then realize it. If you take life as a sport, then play it. If you see life as a joy, then enjoy it. And If you think life is a test, then prepare yourself and pass the test. It is all in your hands. Whichever way you look at life, you will have to face it accordingly. 

Happiness in a household is possible only if the members have a common vision. If the family members have conflicting views, how can we have happiness and peace at home?

One has to trust the world in order to make one's life more peaceful and harmonious.

The journey begins with faith and culminates in the realization of the Truth.

Faith is a very important virtue in various aspects of our lives. Faith brings us closer to the secret which makes the whole world move in a wonderful clockwise precision. Have faith in Faith - for it is the real wealth of man.

We have divided the world into the 'haves' and 'have-nots' and continue to honor those that have. As long as we persist in doing this there will be the degradation, because we are not looking at what man 'IS' but what he 'HAS'.

Just because something is not seen, does not mean that it does not exist. Similarly, some think that God does not exist because He is not perceived by the senses. Fire is immanent in a piece of wood. Even though wood is cold to the touch and does not shine, the subtle form of fire is present in the wood.

God or Truth is always present within us, even though we do not see Him. He can be directly realized by regular practice of meditation.

A sattvic person may experience the joy of peace; a person with devotion experiences the joy of all encompassing love; but only by diligent practice can one abide in the bliss of our true nature.

God or Truth is present in the body and is symbolized as Aum, and therefore, meditation can help us realize God or Truth.

Some are destined to succeed, some are determined to succeed.

Love and Forgiveness go together. If we can't forgive, it means we can't love sufficiently.

God is not just your wish fulfiller, But also your well wisher.

When vision and action come together, transformation occurs.

Be tender towards the faults of others, be strict towards your own.

Duties come to us unasked according to our status, position, station in life etc. The firm abidance in their performance without expectations, insistence, laziness and with love, dedication and sincerity makes our mind strong and pure. We must remember that we are not obliging others by performing our duties and hence we should not wait for appreciation, encouragement or reward for doing them.

To appreciate the meaning of freedom we have to understand the meaning of bondage.

Bondage is dependence on things without which one feels one cannot function.

Bondage is also caused in the mind due to our likes and dislikes.

Beautiful, ugly, joy, sorrow…are nothing but our own mental projections.

Bondage at the subtlest level is to identify ourselves with something that is not our true nature.

Ego is a sense of individuality arising from one’s identification with one thing or the other.

A narrow vision is divisive. A broad vision is expansive. But the supreme vision is all-inclusive.

Life is a series of experiences and at every moment we are required to make a choice. Most of us are not always certain which is the right action to take and therefore there is a conflict.

Sometimes we decide on an action, but when it comes time to carry it out, we begin to doubt. This inner conflict of how to make the right choice in every situation is common to all. An in order to resolve it, we need to be able to think clearly. For those who have clarity of thought life is simple and uncomplicated. Thus the most important thing is to learn the art of right thinking.

Knowing how to think is more important than knowing what to think.

Do not grieve over the past, nor fear the future. Certain events just happen in life and it is up to us to accept them. Life, at every moment demands decisions and actions from us.

Grief over any matter is born of ignorance.

If we grieve over the past and worry about the future, we are not able to deal effectively with what is presently before us. Therefore, the only true choice give to us is how to deal with the present moment.

Our experiences and moods change according to the contact with the sense objects. Experiences come and go. Therefore it is of no use to complain about anything; instead we should endure all that we encounter in life bravely.

Swami Tejomayananda
(Swami Tejomayananda, a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda, is the Chairman and spiritual head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide.)

Tips for Happy and Joyful Living – Swami Tejomayananda

Once we choose our course in life, there is no point in complaining about situations, difficulties or problems that we may have to face. A householder’s life has its ups and downs.

Adopt the ways of Nature. Her method is one of Patience.

Learn to be flexible in your everyday living.

Whatever goal you have chosen to pursue in life, Be Firm and Determined in your efforts to realize it!

Never believe in anything unless it happens.

Conflicts in the mind arise due to dual and contradictory purposes in life. Surrender and insistence on one’s will cannot go together.

It is we who carry the load of all due to our sense of doership, possessiveness or ignorance and then, when tired, blame others. Do your best to please the Lord and not any man.

A principle in Spiritual Living is: ‘Remember the rights others have over you, and forget the rights you have over others!’ We have duties, no rights or demands.

Do not hesitate to act.

No one can give you rest. You will have to learn to take it.

Have faith in the inherent goodness of others.

Expect that tragedy can happen any moment. Do not be surprised when misfortune comes into your life.

Swami Tejomayananda on real goodness

If someone is good to you and you reciprocate, that is common courtesy. But if someone harms you and despite that you continue to wish that person well without expecting anything in return, it is real goodness.

A Sadhu bathing in the river saw a drowning insect. He saved it from drowning and was strung in return.

Again, the insect fell back into the river and the Sadhu pulled it out of the water.

On seeing this, a person asked the Sadhu, “Why did you do that?”

Sadhu replied, “The insect did not give up its nature, so why should I?”

In Sanskrit, Sadhu is the word used to describe a good person. Sadhu comes from ‘Sadh’ meaning ‘to accomplish.’

Swami Tejomayananda Thoughts on Realization

People are happy when God is far away because His proximity poses a problem. Whether we know, we believe or we understand it or not, God is the power that exists in us. So there is no question of not realizing God; we just have to shed certain notions about ourselves. We talk of realization without understanding the meaning of the word “realization”. We imagine some strange experience, like seeing white or ethereal lights. Also realization is not an idea that we have to understand later. Neither does it have to materialize nor manifest. We have to accept that it exists.

There are different stages to realisation. The first is to accept the existence of God and know that He is there within us. The second stage is an appreciation of His nature, which becomes clearer through the words of the scriptures and the teacher. At the third stage, you realise that God is your own Self. God is not some material thing or person, it is our very existence. This is the realisation of one’s own essence, tattvabhava.

Swami Tejomayananda Thoughts on Tamasika Knowledge

Education can only be imparted, whereas knowledge has to be discovered or found. Education prepares one for only some aspects of life. It may get one a job, provide one with material comforts, but only knowledge prepares one to face life squarely and bring about the transformation that makes him/her a new person.

“Knowledge” in Sanskrit is called jnana. The Bhagavad Gita classifies knowledge into three different categories — sattvika, rajasika and tamasika.

People, who are under the influence of Tamasika Jnana, mistake a part for the whole and get attached to that part alone. All thoughts and actions reflect this baser vision. The feeling that my path alone is right and yours is wrong is one example. People with such a vision can become intolerant and fanatic. For one who thinks in a narrow and petty way, there are always conflicts. This is tamasika jnana.

Swami Tejomayananda Teachings on Overcoming Stress

Worry and anxiety arise from our inability to face a particular situation and to deal with it effectively. This is the kind of stress that we feel most often and we try to relieve it in many different ways.

For instance, we become anxious when we are unprepared. If a student has studied well, the examination is not a problem for him because he is well prepared!

If a student who has studied well goes to the examination and is still anxious, there may be other reasons, such as personal ambition or high expectations from his parents which make him think: “I must do really well, I must get an A.” The stress and anxiety he experiences comes from an insistence upon a particular fruit of action, “this and this alone should happen.” Thus expectation, ambition, or desire, instead of being a motivating force, can become a dissipating factor.

Stress can be created by expectation. Desire and ambition should inspire us to work, but if too strong, they cause only perspiration, not inspiration!

Professional insecurity, emotional insecurity, strained relationships within the family, or any type of insecurity will cause stress. All the time there is fear. The only certain thing about the world is that everything is uncertain. Accepting the fact that nothing is certain, that all is unstable, itself relieves tension and stress.

The most effective method of avoiding such stress is to have faith, call it faith, devotion or surrender. Faith is the clear understanding that the one Lord is taking care of us. Is he not running everything? And still we are worried?

Deities in temples smile because they are amused by our prayers – Swami Tejomayananda

We see many people going to temple and performing rituals, but it is rare to find people who are uncompromising in righteousness and prepared to give up their lives in the performance of dharma.

Nowadays, people resort to wrong deeds and then pray that God should protect them from the enquiry commission. The deities in our temples smile, because they are amused by our prayers.

A boy was heard to pray that Mumbai should be made the capital of India. When his mother asked him the reason for this strange prayer, he said that in the school examination, in his answer sheet, he had written that Mumbai was the capital of India.

How do we make the right choice? – Swami Tejomayananda

You will notice that among all your interests, the subject in which you have an aptitude will fascinate you. You will find that interest in this subject overshadows all other interests and you are easily able to sacrifice other interests in its favor. The question of what to do will not bother you. Consistency and determination will automatically come. You will have to discover this for yourself.

Now suppose you are not able to find out what your real interests are, then what to do? Follow this simple technique: note down all your interests and just choose anyone of them. Once you have chosen a field, make it a point to develop interest and grow in it. In fact, you will find every subject interesting if you take interest in it!

Swami Tejomayananda Thoughts on Expectations

The most difficult thing to do is to live in peace and harmony with people. It is, perhaps, easier to live with birds and animals. Why is living with people a problem?

We find it difficult to live with people because we have too many expectations of them. If I expect something of another, that person may also expect something of me. Furthermore, I am unable to fulfill my own expectations of myself. I want to do so many things, but I am unable to do them. Thus, we feel disappointed and frustrated with ourselves, and aggrieved or upset with others when they fail to satisfy our expectations.

I saw a sticker that said, “Don’t try to change me. Accept me as I am”.

It is important to understand the message clearly and completely. The message is that one should accept the fact as it is. Then if a change is necessary, try to make that change, but do not insist on it.
When one is living with people it may not be possible to have no expectations at all, so one should have reasonable expectations. Expectations should be reasonable and based on knowledge and wisdom.

Swami Tejomayananda Thoughts on Parenting

To understand our true potential, we need to study skills in depth and consciously improve them to maximize our performance. Human beings are sensitive creatures. Through caring we will be able to help children express themselves better and in the process take the initiative for their own performance. Every human being invariably wants to be loved and cared for.

A child learns a lot of things primarily at home, from his parents. The child invariably looks upon his parents, for reassurance, protection and support. If the parents argue loudly and quarrel with each other, fear and uncertainty develops in the child’s mind. It affects the entire personality of the child.

Swami Tejomayananda on Does God Exist

The Upanishads refer to God as Ishvara, Bhagavan, Brahman and so on. The Taittiriya Upanishad says, “That from which all beings are born, that by which all beings are sustained and that unto which they merge back is Brahman”.

This beautiful statement means that if there is a creation, a product or effect, the effect must have a cause. Everyone has to accept this. There may be a dispute about the nature of the cause. Something cannot come out of nothing. So if the whole creation is the effect, there has to be something in the origin, a cause. Something exists and that self-evident being has to be accepted. It is this existence or pure being which is God.

Every person has infinite potential. Despite this we find that some people succeed and some fail. The reason is that they do not work to their potential. What is this potential? Do we know the potential of the earth, the water, the sun or other energies? Their potential is infinite. That infinite potential is called God.

Swami Tejomayananda Thoughts on Success

True abiding success is that in which lies the welfare and well being of all people. When all are happy, then our happiness is automatically included. When we strive selfishly only for our own happiness, we can make many people miserable.

True success is that in which lies prosperity for all; steady inner growth, and firm and abiding spiritual values (dharma).

For true success we should see whether it is gained through noble of ignoble means. Both the goal and the means are important. Even if the goal is good but gained through unfair means, then the gain is not glorious.

Swami Tejomayananda on Marriages

Marriages are also of different types. When people ask me whether an arranged marriage or a love marriage is best, I say, “A successful marriage is best!” Successful marriages have nothing to do with being arranged because there are examples of success and failure in both types of marriages. The main point is that there should be mutual love, respect and readiness to sacrifice for each other. This is the ideal in mind, the marriage is successful; but if each person is only demanding from the other there will always be a problem.

In those houses where the women are honored and respected, the gods dwell there. Where the women are not respected and honored, whatever one does is futile. In other words, if the lady of the house is unhappy or abused in anyway, no work will bring fulfillment or prosperity to that house.

The husband must see that the wife is happy and the wife must see that the husband is happy. When both are making each other happy, there will be auspiciousness and welfare for all in that house.

This is the ideal for the householder’s life and if this ideal is not held by both husband and wife, there will only be fighting between them.

Problems exist as long as a person is only demanding from the other.

Source – Book – Advice to Householders