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Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati Quotes and Teachings

Quotes and Teachings of Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati associated with Chinmaya Mission.

The recognition and development of good qualities will lead one to moksha and freedom from bondage and pain. Negative qualities on the other hand lead one into bondage, resulting in sorrow and dependency.



The positive and the negative are present everywhere and in all time periods. Even in the worst possible scenario, one could find something good. If a tragedy like an earthquake happens, it reveals how there are those who help total strangers even at personal risk. We also come across those who take advantage by looting and robbing.

The Scriptures speak of the One Reality which is of the nature of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss). Very simple stated, Satyam ekam vipra bahuda vadanti (The Truth is one but the wise speak of it differently). 

This Reality has certain innate, inherent powers, which can be broadly termed as shakti. It has the power to project, sustain and withdraw the world. The Upanishads explain this with the example of the spiders web. The spider has the ability to project or create its own web out of itself, stay in it or sustain it and in the end take it back into itself or swallow it.

The Sanskrit word srishti is normally understood as creation. But strictly speaking the word is not created it is projected, like the dance of the dancer. The dance though not separate from the dancer remains with her in an unmanifest form, when she is not dancing. She has the ability to project the dance at will, very much like the spider weaves its web. Similarly the world is created through Shiva's dance of creation. Shiva or the Supreme Reality has the power to project, sustain and withdraw the dance of creation. We say dance because dance conveys movement, fluidity and change. Like the dance, the world is constantly changing. The dancer goes through various movements, while she herself remains unchanged. So too, the Lord remains unchanged through the whole process of creation.

Since both the good and bad tendencies exist in us, we are both potentially divine as well as devilish. Environment, association and circumstances might exercise a major influence. For spiritual progress, satsang is a good option. This means not only the company of the wise but also the company of good people, good books, good literature, good food and good television programs leave an impact. It is important, therefore, to avoid what is negative and encourage the positive.

Everything is interconnected. You cannot pluck a blade of grass without disturbing the distant star.

Sharing of knowledge is far more empowering than giving of material wealth.

As human beings we are governed by emotions that are both negative and positive. Pride is a negative quality Pride manifests in us as feelings and thoughts that proclaim that we are better than others in terms of wealth, appearance, status, popularity, youthful looks, religion and country.

The journey towards perfection is not easy and each living being takes its own unique path to reach perfection. Every experience — good, bad and neutral — helps us in our evolutionary progress.

Thoughts on Success by Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati

Success can be measured from two standpoints: External and the internal. Externally it is the measure of a job well done and recognition. Internally it is a feeling of achievement and wholeness derived from the completion of a task or the fulfillment of a desire.

Our goals are based on our desires and aspirations. When we fulfill a desire or achieve a goal we feel happy and successful. But shortly another desire arises and we feel incomplete and begin to strive again.

Modern management philosophy says that if a person is satisfied there is a lack of motivation and this works against the interest of the corporation. This is a negative approach. When people are positively satisfied, they want to share their feelings with others... Their motivational levels get higher. They want to work more and also efficiently.

Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati Thoughts on Anger

For anger to be eliminated it must be resolved, otherwise it remains in the subconscious in a dormant form. Anger does not remain in the conscious mind all the time. We notice that incidents producing angry reactions against someone, with time are lost in memory. The memory becomes weaker and we even forget the incident but unless the anger is resolved it remains. It is somewhat similar to the toxins of our body. The toxins come out in the form of disease – a rash on the body, white heads, constipation, sore throat. Unresolved issues create constipation in the body. When we are not ready to give up old habits and emotions, it causes constipation. Mental constipation leads to physical constipation.

Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati Teachings on Prayer

To fully understand the power of prayer we should know what prayer is. Is  prayer only supplication or entreaty or is it reaching out to a higher power?

Prayer is the tuning of our mind, our personality, our understanding, our Self, to God or the divinity within us. It is not about how to fulfil our list of never ending wishes and desires. It is channel through which we understand God in his vast, eternal oneness.

Our mind is like a receiving set and the Teacher is the one who moves the knobs to the required radio station. A good radio, sensitive to the touch of the tuner, will tune into the radio station and ‘hear’ the sounds being transmitted. Tune your mind so that you come to understand your Teacher, yourself and God.

We must understand that at a deep level we are all connected. Even the movement of a tiny sand grain influences the whole universe. If we know the secret of the sand grain, we will in turn understand the secret of the entire cosmos.