How many lives are frittered away, age after age, in endless coming and going. Find out who you are!

Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), Bengali saint

We may talk and reason all our lives, but we shall not understand a word of truth, until we experience it ourselves. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Bondage and Liberation are of the mind alone. Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886)


When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. John Muir(1838-1914), American Environmentalist

Hinduism stands like a huge banyan tree spreading its far-reaching branches over hundreds of sects, creeds and denominations and covering with innumerable leaves all forms of worship, the dualistic, the qualified non-dualistic and monistic worship of the one Supreme God, the worship of the Incarnation of God and also hero worship, saint worship, ancestor worship and the worship of the departed spirit. It is based on the grand idea of universal receptivity. It receives everything. Swami Abhedananda (1866-1939), a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna

An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Madhva said, “Man is the servant of God,” and established his Dvaita philosophy. Ramanuja said, “Man is a ray or spark of God,” and established his Vishishtadvaita philosophy. Sankara said, “Man is identical with Brahman or the Eternal Soul,” and established his Kevala Advaita philosophy. Swami Sivananda (1887-1963)

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. Confucius (551-479bce), founder of Confucianism

Success or achievement is not the final goal. It is the spirit in which you act that puts the seal of beauty upon your life. Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission

Know yourself and you shall know the Gods. Egyptian Proverb

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be. Maya Angelou (1928-2014), American poet

In enjoyment, there is the fear of disease; in social position, the fear of losing status; in wealth, the fear of kings; in honor, the fear of humiliation; in power, the fear of enemies; in beauty, the fear of old age; in scriptural erudition, the fear of opponents; in virtue, the fear of traducers; in body, the fear of death. All the things of this world pertaining to man are attended with fear; renunciation alone stands in fearlessness. Vairagya Shatakam 31

Be careful when reading health books; you may die of a misprint. Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. Nikola Tesla (1856-1943)

By the erection of a fire altar, Agni is made present and communication with the world of the Gods is ensured; the space of the altar becomes a sacred space. But the meaning of the ritual is far more complex; and if we consider all of its ramifications, we shall understand why consecrating a territory is equivalent to making it a cosmos, to cosmicizing it. For, in fact, the erection of an altar to Agni is nothing but the reproduction—on the microcosmic scale—of the Creation. Jordan B. Peterson,Canadian psychologist and author

The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. Charles Darwin (1809-1882), English naturalist

“Practice makes perfect” applied to efforts in our spiritual life takes on a different meaning. Our inner essence, our soul nature, is already perfect. Our practice, or self effort, is to bring that inner perfection into our outer intellectual, emotional and instinctive nature. Thus we could modify the adage to be “practice manifests perfection.” Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami,publisher of Hinduism Today

The Hindu fosters humility and shuns arrogance, seeks to assist, never to hinder, finds good in others and forgets their faults. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

DID YOU KNOW?

Snakes and Ladders

THE WESTERN CHILDREN’S GAME SNAKES AND LADDERS, OR CHUTES and Ladders, comes from the Indian game for adults called Gyan Chaupar, the “Game of Knowledge.” Gyan Chaupar teaches the Hindu spiritual path to moksha, which is liberation from reincarnation. There are 72 numbered squares on the board listing various virtues, vices, states of consciousness and planes of existence. The ladders start from squares with virtues, such as devotion, and move the player up the board. Snakes are found on squares of vices, such as jealousy, and take the player back down the board.

Play begins at square one in the lower left corner. In the old days, the player threw six cowrie shells on the floor. The number of shells that landed upright indicated the number of squares to move forward. Nowadays dice are used. If the player lands on a ladder, he jumps to the square at the top of the ladder. If he lands on the head of a snake, he slides back down the snake to a low square. The object of the game is to land exactly on square 68, the center of the top row. This square represents liberation from rebirth and entry into heavenly realms. If he lands past 68, he continues to play until he reaches 72, which takes him back to 51 for another try. The game is an entertaining way to learn about making progress on the spiritual path. By cultivating a virtue, such as devotion, one advances. By falling prey to a vice, such as egotism, one goes backwards.

MANIVELU

Play today: Download the board and full instructions at http://www.hinduismtoday.com/resources/snakesandladders.

BASICS

The Possession of Self-Control

Verses from the Tirukural, by Saint Tiruvalluvar

Verse 121: Self-control will place one among the Gods, while lack of it will lead to deepest darkness.

122: Guard your self-control as a precious treasure, for there is no greater wealth in life than this.

123: Comprehending and acquiring self-control confers upon one the esteem of wise men.

124: More imposing than a mountain is the greatness of a man who, steadfast in domestic life, has mastered self-control.

125: Humility is a precious quality in all people, but it has a rare richness in the rich.

126: Like a tortoise withdrawing five limbs into its shell, those who restrain the five senses in one life will find safe shelter for seven.

127: Whatever you may fail to guard, guard well your tongue, for flawed speech unfailingly invokes anguish and affliction.

128: The goodness of all one’s virtues can be lost by speaking even a single word of injury.

129: The wound caused by fire heals in its time; the burn inflicted by an inflamed tongue never heals.

130: Virtue will wait in the streets to meet a man possessed of learning and self-discipline, his anger subdued.

S. RAJAM