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Swami Ranganathananda Quotes

Swami Ranganathananda (1908-2005) was the 13th President of the Ramakrishna Order of India. Swami Ranganathananda Quotes is a collection from variou sources including books and magazines.

Differences are only on the surface, at the sensory level. Deep down there is perfect unity.

Do a whole day's honest work, then sit and meditate; then resign yourself to God. Otherwise, the meditation has no meaning or value. Meditation at the end of an active day, filled with good deeds, has meaning, and is rewarding.

Socio-political ideologies uninspired by high moral and spiritual values tend to nourish the lower self of man from which proceed selfishness and intolerance, violence, and war. The first object of every religion is to check and discipline this lower self of man.

A citizen should have a sense of national responsibility. It is only when these two values – freedom and responsibility – come together that the individual becomes a citizen, a true grihastha (householder).

Never will you find any stress on weakness in Vedanta. Always abhih, abhih, abhih. Abhih means fearless; be fearless, be fearless.

Vedanta presents human evolution as spiritual growth… When this philosophy becomes universally known and applied, we can speak in hopeful terms about the future of mankind.

Culture has a wave-like motion, going down and again coming up.

Worldliness is the negation of spiritual awareness. The animal bodies are meant for mere sense-experience; they have no experience of the subject. The world of objects comprises their sphere of awareness and of pleasure and pain. It is only in the human body that subjective awareness emerges, the awareness of self as different form the non-self.

Are you growing spiritually? Can you love others? Can you feel oneness with others? Have you attained peace within yourself? And do you radiate it around you? That is called spiritual growth, which is stimulated by meditation inwardly, and by work done in a spirit of service outwardly.

God is described as the friend of all beings. No cause for fear. The God of fear vanished from Indian religion long long ago. In its place came the God of love, and therefore, Sri Krishna says, “I am the friend of all.” Knowing Me as such, a person attains Peace.

As soon as I consider myself merely a functionary, I reduce myself to nothing. But if I know that I have got a basic being, a certain basic identity which I preserve throughout my life, then I invest every function I perform in society or in the State with the energy and grace of that fullness of being.

Wisdom has been defined as knowing what one ought to do next. Virtue is doing it.

Everything in this world moves rhythmically, and the Law of periodicity governs all phenomena.

Men are not influenced by things, but by their thoughts about things.

The religion, which is not tolerant or liberal enough to preach love, and live in peace with others, is no religion. It is simple immorality, narrow-mindedness, orthodoxy, and bigotry.

As a spider moves along the thread of the web produced by it from itself, and as from a blazing fire, tiny sparks fly in all direction, so from this Atman emanate all energies, all worlds, all devas (luminous beings), and all entities, Its mystical name is – ‘the Truth of truth.’ The cosmic energies of the world are truth; and this the Truth of those energies.

An attitude is something that one can control, that one can manipulate, that one can grow. This attitude control is an integral part of a philosophy of man which can enrich both one’s being and function.

We should be constantly aware of our primary being and allow that being to flow into and fill our functions. Then, those functions will achieve new and significant dimension, new quanta of energy and grace.

Belief with most people is simply another name for mental laziness. They cannot understand the meaning of that earnestness that proceeds from an inner spiritual hunger. No dogma, creed, or frenzied acts can satisfy this hunger of a religious heart. Its only bread is spiritual realization.

Religion is a matter of inner experience, a getting in touch with spiritual facts of the super sensory levels of experience.

Faith in ancient India did not mean a cosy belief in which to find comfort, but a torch by which to set the soul on fire with a longing for spiritual realization. In the absence of this longing and struggle, the belief of the faithful does not differ from the unbelief of the faithless.

A boy plays with a ball standing on the top stair. Inadvertently the ball slips from the hands and falls on the first stair. The ball does not stop there. . . It keeps gaining momentum in the course of its fall and does not stop until it reaches the bottom . . . Similarly, the falling mind keeps gathering momentum until it comes down crashing to a very low level of human life. This is the moral fall of man. . . Hence there is need to exercise great caution. Be alert! Be alert!

The inner journey is a spiritual journey of inward penetration, by training the psychophysical energies and raising the mind and consciousness to higher and higher levels. As the chariot gets its energy of movement from the horses, the body gets its energy of movement from the sense organs, consisting of the nervous system and the brain. The organs of perception and the organs of action convert the animal body into a center of the most dynamic activity in nature. But at the level of the senses themselves, this activity is mostly uncoordinated and, therefore not fit for purposes beyond mere organic satisfactions and survival.

Change in religious rule is necessary

A smriti (set of rules) that sustained society in one age may choke it in another age. As socioeconomic conditions change, laws and regulations need to be recast and reinterpreted. Otherwise, they result in strangling the social organism.

 If the bark that protects the tree fails to grow and expand along with the growth of the tree, it will choke the tree; and if it is a living tree, it will shed that bark and grow a new living bark for itself. (Source: The message of the Upanishads by Swami Ranganathananda (page 9)

Inspirational quotes from Swami Ranganathananda

Whatever may be the current maladies, whatever may be the dismal social situation around us, we may assure ourselves that these are only passing phases. There is enough wisdom and inspiration available in the world to take humanity on the road of man's spiritual growth…

Vedanta says: Do not stagnate. That is the only warning it gives to man; do not convert wayside rest and sleep to death, but recoup and move on.

Let the current of water flow; stagnant water is unhealthy; flowing water is pure and healthy. Human life must be a continuous unfoldment. Arrested and made stagnant at the sensate level, life ceases to be life and becomes death.

Today's human life all over the world shows the evils of such stagnation. We have to stir up the waters of life, remove the clogging materials, and make it flow on as a healthy stream of human energy, revealing greater and greater dimensions of truth, beauty, and goodness.

Swami Ranganathananda Quotes on Upanishads

A study of the Upanishads reveals that the subject of religion was approached in ancient India in an impersonal and dispassionate manner. The aim of the study was neither to hug pleasing fancies and illusions nor to idolize tribal passions and prejudices but to get at the truth.

Ever since the time of the Upanishads, which goes back long before the Christian Era, India has tenaciously held to a view of religion that makes it a high adventure of the spirit, a life endeavor to realize and grasp the hidden meaning of existence. Faith in India did not meant a cozy belief in which to find comfort, but a torch by which to set the soul on fire with a long for spiritual realization. In the absence of this longing and struggle, the belief of the faithful does not differ from the unbelief of the faithless.

Because of the strength of the spirit of the Upanishads, no all-powerful church, therefore, arose in India to organize the faithful on the basis of dogma and creed, claiming divine authority for its opinions and judgments. No such authority could thrive where religion was expounded as a quest and not a conformity. (Source: A scientific approach to religion by Swami Ranganathananda (page 7 – 8)

On the relationship of Men and Women in Hindu Culture – Swami Ranganathananda

Hindu culture has behind it a profound philosophy, the Vedanta, which is the product of a penetrating scientific study of nature and man. Among the values that this philosophy has placed before all humanity, the most significant is the truth of the innate divinity of man.

Men and women and all beings are divine in their essential nature, and men and women have been endowed by nature with the organic capacity to inquire into and realize this great truth. Hindu culture views all social evolutions the process of the incorporation of this truth into the texture of human relationships. From it are derived the values of freedom, equality, and the dignity and sacredness of the human personality.

Men and women are essentially the ever-pure, ever-free, ever-illumined Atman, the sexless Self. Associated with body and mind, this Atman becomes conditioned as male and female.

In the realization of the manhood of man by men and the womanhood of woman by women, in the context of the equality of the marriage relationship, Hindu culture recognizes a significant experience of spiritual education. It points out that there is no real independence in this sphere for either man or woman; here, inter-dependence is the law; it alone leads to happiness and fulfillment for both. But true inter-dependence cannot come if man is free and woman un-free. (Source: Excerpts from ‘Women in the modern age’, published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai.)

Swami Ranganathananda on the Significance of River Ganga to Hindus

A special object of reverence in India is the River Ganga, whose water is treated as the symbol of God Himself. No river in the world is treated with such reverence as the Ganga in India, and this from pre-Buddhistic times.

Millions of Hindus bathe in it every year and carry its water in brass pots and jars to their homes, even to foreign countries, to sip a few drops every drop or on special occasions.

A few drops of the sacred water of the Ganga are put into the mouth of dying persons by their relatives. On its banks, thousands of people practice meditation and austerity, getting the stimulation of its holy atmosphere. (Source: Eternal values for a changing society)