Skip to main content


Swami Parthasarathy Thoughts and Quotes

A collection of quotes and teachings of Swami Parthasarathy of Vedanta Cultural Foundation

One person smokes a cigarette and finds pleasure in it. Another person detests it. One lady divorces her husband. Another craves for and marries the same man. Therefore, pleasure and pain are not inherent in objects and beings of the world. It is how you relate to them.

The root cause of suffering is that people do not look within. They hardly investigate the truth of life nor exercise their own judgment. They rely on outside forces to do their thinking. And they function predominantly on blind faith and mechanical ritual. This is spiritual suicide.

Desire for anything increases with restriction and prohibition.

You are the architect of your fortune. You are the architect of your misfortune

You believe work tires you? Work can never tire you! What tires you are your worries about the past and anxiety for the future.

The undisciplined mind too easily slips into the past and future, veering toward likes and dislikes that prevent you from staying focused on your present objectives.

A calm intellect is a more productive intellect.

If you cannot manage yourself you cannot manage anything around you.

Dynamism in action, peace of mind, clarity in thinking. This is Vedanta.

You get what you deserve, not what you desire.

The role of Vedanta is to free you from infatuation to celebrities and educate you on the Eternities.

You are the architect of your fortune. You are the architect of your misfortune.

Desire and ego are the root cause of most of the problems that we face. We need to overcome them, if we want to make the world a better place to live. This can be done by performing selfless service to society.

Yagna means performing one's duties without ego or egocentric desires. It means pursuing the Self rather than losing oneself in the quagmire of illusions caused by the senses.

For the most part, people live their lives selfishly, acting merely to fulfil their desires and craving for the fruits of actions. They try to achieve their own personal goals and cling to them. The philosophy of right action envisages working for a greater cause, a higher ideal. The highest ideal that one can aspire for is Self-realisation. To work towards it, you have to first choose an activity that suits your nature. Fix an ideal that you are capable of attaining. Pursue the ideal; make sure that your personal likes and dislikes do not interfere with your higher pursuit. Do not waste your energy in brooding over the past or worrying about the future.

Action is the insignia of life. The law of life proclaims that none can remain without performing activity. Everyone is made to act according to one’s own inner temperament. If you choose to remain idle, you lead yourself to destruction. Look at Nature. Observe the stagnant pool and the running brook. Where water stagnates it turns filthy and dirty, whereas running water is clear and pure.

If you are to succeed in life, if you wish to be prosperous and peaceful, you must adopt the principle of running waters. Follow their line of action. The river keeps moving, overcoming all obstacles, ever-progressing. It never stops until it reaches the ocean. So must you pursue the path of action until you reach the abode of Truth.

Swami A Parthasarathy Thoughts on the Ultimate Origin

Did the tree precede the seed or seed precede tree? Did hen succeed egg or egg succeed hen? What is the origin of all living creatures? What is the origin of the world? Whence this universe? That is the question. The answer to this question seems to be held in utmost secrecy, obscurity, mystery. Did the cause appear first or the effect? What is the primeval cause? Can there be a causeless cause. To appease the agitated mind religious people gave a name to that causeless cause. The name was god.
The causation hunting is the favorite pastime of the evolving human intellect – trying to trace everything to its ultimate origin. That which is beyond the point at which the intellect gets stalled is ‘GOD.’

Swami Parthasarthy on Mind

The mind is replete with desires which scatter it everywhere for their fulfillment. It moves restlessly in all directions like the wind over the earth. When the passions of the mind rise higher and higher, the mind becomes turbulent, violent.

A mind in that state can cause heinous crimes. It is like a turbulent wind which, on land, can uproot trees and on sea can cause shipwrecks.

The mind and wind are both insubstantial, yet both have great strength. Though not concrete in form they can manifest powerfully. When a person’s mind changes so does his entire personality.

Like the wind, the mind can be most unyielding and obstinate. The wind tries to force itself through any opening in an obstacle…

The mind’s desires are insatiable and pursuit of them relentless.

Swami Parthasarathy Thoughts on True Charity

True charity emanates from sound judgment of the intellect rather than a weak emotion of the mind. In its purest form, charity has the distinction of benefiting the receiver as well as the donor.

Light is constituted of seven colors. When an object is bathed in light the seven colors impinge upon it. An object appears blue when it actually gives away blue and takes in the other six. It appears in the color it parts with. An object gains the color it gives away! You gain what you give away, what you sacrifice. Not what you take. Develop the spirit of dispassion, renunciation in life. You turn pure, divine. And when you amass wealth you turn impure, demonic.

Charity is a synonym for prosperity. So is sacrifice for success. The more you run after wealth, the more it recedes. You crave for it, and it eludes you. Leave it alone, and it follows you. Work earnestly, dispassionately; the reward of work shall court you.

Swami Parthasarathy of Vedanta Cultural Foundation