God Notes Archives
One God Note #558. 2013/01/06.
Followers of the Way [of Chán], if you want to get the kind of understanding that accords with the Dharma, never be misled by others. Whether you're facing inward or facing outward, whatever you meet up with, just kill it! If you meet a buddha, kill the buddha. If you meet a patriarch, kill the patriarch. If you meet an arhat, kill the arhat. If you meet your parents, kill your parents. If you meet your kinfolk, kill your kinfolk. Then for the first time you will gain emancipation, will not be entangled with things, will pass freely anywhere you wish to go.
Ascribed to Linji (died 866 CE). Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linji_Yixuan on 6 January 2013.
More on Linji can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linji_Yixuan
One God Note #559. 2013/01/13.
Until all things become one for you, traced to One source and seen in One act of vision, you cannot find anchorage for the heart, or rest calmly in God.
Thomas A Kempis (1380-1471), Imitation of Christ, I.3.2
More on Thomas A Kempis can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_%C3%A0_Kempis
One God Note #560. 2013/01/20.
Then Honen said: (...) It is because of the presence of others that our vanity is awakened within our hearts, and so we fail to attain that Birth (ojo) after death. And though that is so true, none of us can live absolutely alone. So how then is it possible to practice the nembutsu (repetition of the sacred name of Amida Buddha – P.R.) with a sincere mind (shijoshin) and not with a mind which tries to do things that will please the eyes of others? Someone who is always living with other people and takes no time for quiet reflection is forever living a feigned life. Now if there’s no one to see or hear him and he still quietly rises from his bed in the middle of the night to practice the nembutsu a hundred or a thousand times to his heart's content - this is the kind of nembutsu which is not practiced for show but is in harmony with the mind of the Buddha and definitely leads to Birth in the Pure Land. As long as one practices it with a mind like this, it doesn’t matter whether or not it is done in the night time or in the morning, at noon or at twilight. We must always do it as if no one were listening.”
Honen Shonin (1133-1212). Retrieved from: http://jsri.jp/English/Honen/LIFE/teaching/poor/poor.html on 20 January 2013.
More on Honen Shonin can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%8Dnen
One God Note #561. 2013/01/27.
Plurality of faiths simply reflects divine revelation in different lands to different people in the language, idiom and metaphor best suited for them. Supreme faith consists of remembering God and being pure in conduct. God pervades all creation and all act in accordance with His will. A Sikh is always conscious of the nearness of God and believes in universal brotherhood. This realization can only come through love. Hatred has no place in Sikhism. A Sikh is self-reliant and believes in honest living and sharing the fruits of his labour with others. Service in humility is a basic principle. Men of God see God in everyone, their hearts are filled with love, and they do not see anyone as bad or evil.(...).
Ranbir S. Sandhu Quoted in: Potter Jean, Braybrooke Marcus (Eds.).(1997). All in Good Faith. A Resource Book for Multi-faith Prayer. The World Congress of Faiths, Oxford, UK.
More on Ranbir S. Sandhu can be found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ranbir-s-sandhu-phd
One God Note #562. 2013/02/03.
(...) If your happiness depends on money you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Tao Te Ching 44, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom. P.163.
More on Tao Te Ching can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao_Te_Ching
One God Note #563. 2013/02/10.
My body is meant to dry up one day (...). This body is nothing; it is here only to serve people. (…) Even my own body has come only to perform a duty to serve all human and all living things.
Haidakhan Babaji, The Teachings of Babaji. 2 February 1983.
More on Haidakhan Babaji can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haidakhan_Babaji
One God Note #564. 2013/02/17.
From his royal throne in Persian’s capital city of Susa, King Xerxes ruled 127 provinces all the way from India to Sudan. (...) the king gave a banquet for all the men in the capital city of Susa, rich and poor alike. (...) Drinks were served in gold cups, no two of them alike, and the king was generous with the royal wine. There were no limits on the drinks; king had given orders that everyone could have as much as he wanted. (...) On the seventh day of his banquet the king was drinking and feeling happy, so he called his servants to bring in Queen Vashti. The queen was a beautiful woman and the king wanted to show off her beauty to the officials and all the guests. (But) she refused to come. This made the king furious. (Expert) Memucan declared (...): “Queen Vashti has insulted not only the king but also his officials – in fact, every man in the empire! Every woman in the empire will start looking down on her husband as soon as she hears what the queen has done. (...) give her place as a queen to some better woman.” (So the king) sent message to each of the royal provinces (...) saying that every husband should be the master of his home and speak with final authority.
So some of the king’s advisers (...) suggested, “Why don’t you make a search to find some beautiful young virgins? (...)” When the king had issued his new proclamation and many girls were being brought to Susa, Esther was among them. (Eunuch Heggai) lost no time in beginning her beauty treatment of massage and special diet. (...) The regular beauty treatment for the women lasted a year – massages with oil of myrrh for six months and with oil of balsam for six more. (...) The time came for Esther to go to the king. (...) The king liked her more than any of the other girls (...). He placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti. Then the king gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor and (...) proclaimed a holiday for the whole empire (...).
The Book of Esther, fragments of chapters 1 and 2. Today’s English Version.
More on Purim can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purim
More on the Book of Esther can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Esther
One God Note #565. 2013/03/03.
Ha’aheo ka ua i na pali
Ke nihi a’ela i ka nahele
E uhai ana paha i ka liko
Pua ‘ahihi lehua o uka
Aloha ‘oe, aloha ‘oe
E ke onaona noho i ka lipo
One fond embrace,
A ho’i a’e au
Until we meet again.
Proudly swept the rain by the cliffs
As it glided through the trees
Still following ever the bud
The ‘ahini lehua of the vale
Farewell to you, farewell to you
The charming one who dwells in the shaded bowers
One fond embrace, ‘Ere I depart
Until we meet again.
Aloha Oe (Song of Farewell) attributed to Queen Lili’uokolani (1838-1917), the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
More on Queen Lili’uokolani can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liliuokalani
You can listen to one of the interpretations of this famous Hawaiian song at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXOzNiKceps
One God Note #566. 2013/03/10.
Shri Babaji teaches us about the unity of creation. We are all made from the five elements; we are all of one spirit. In all respects, we are one humanity, one human family. Limitations arise from political beliefs and world leaders who hold thinking to time, place and culture, thereby creating differences and separateness. The birthright of all mankind is to love and follow God. Limitations arise from erroneous human beliefs. Shri Babaji has appeared to illumine the minds and hearts of mankind, so that all may know unity and harmony. OM NAMAH SHIVAYA.
Haidakhan Babaji. The Teachings of Babaji. 30 October 1982.
More on Mahashivaratri can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maha_Shivaratri
More on Haidakhan Babaji can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haidakhan_Babaji
One God Note #567. 2013/03/17.
What is important is that you attend to your own calling and do not discuss or judge God's designs in the lives of others. (...) Be at peace in your own calling. (...)
The Book of Privy Counseling, P.178.
More on the anonymous writings such as The Book of Privy Counseling and The Cloud of Unknowing can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing
More on St. Patrick’s Day can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick%27s_Day
One God Note #568. 2013/03/24.
Jesus answered, “I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting.”
More on the Gospel of Luke can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Luke
More on Palm Sunday can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Sunday
One God Note #569. 2013/03/31.
“I am the resurrection. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
More on the Gospel of John can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John
More on Easter can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter
One God Note #570. 2013/04/07.
May His great name be exalted and sanctified is God’s great name in the world, which He created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom and may His salvation blossom and His anointed be near, during your lifetime and during your days, and during the lifetimes of all the House of Israel, speedily and very soon! And say, Amen.
First part of Kaddish, Jewish prayer, often recited at the time of loss to show that the mourners, despite their loss, have not lost their faith in God.
More on Yom HaShoah can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yom_HaShoah
More on Kaddish can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaddish
One God Note #571. 2013/04/14.
Rama (said): My brother, when we set out on this expedition, I too was full of anger and bitterness. But on our journey to Lanka, I have come to see that all of us have received the precious gift of life from the Gods, and that it is more important to be a good human being than to be just a good Kshatriya (warrior – P.R.). Have we not, all of us, sprung from the same source? Rakshas, vanas, man, beast, the birds of the air, the fish of the ocean? Yet some of us, in ignorance, draw their bows and swords against their fellow creatures. Many have fallen on this battlefield today, and many more shall die before the war is done. And as a Kshatriya, I shall continue to fight my battles. But when I burn the dead, I will pray for a world free from all wars, where a man does not raise his hand in anger against his own brother.
Ramayana, retrieved from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ramayana:_The_Legend_of_Prince_Rama on 14 April 2013.
More on Lord Rama can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama
More on Ramayana can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramayana
One God Note #572. 2013/04/21.
He is sweet that way, trying to coax the world to dance. Look how the wind holds the trees in its hands helping them to sway. Look how the sky takes the fields and the oceans and our bodies in its arms, and moves all beings toward His lips. God must get hungry for us; why is he not also a lover who wants His lovers near? Beauty is my teacher helping me to know He cares for me.
Rabia (c.717-801), quoted in: Ladinsky Daniel (2002). Love Poems from God. Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. P.26.
More on Rabia can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabia_al-Adawiyya
More on Earth Day can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day
One God Note #573. 2013/04/28.
Today I saw an unusual russet bird gliding effortlessly for all the time I could see it. I thought of it as of myself in this time, gliding effortlessly on the mercy and love of God, free from all care and effort, just moving along with his grace. It seems almost too good to be true. The trouble is with us that we don't accept and believe that wonderful bargain that the good Jew, our Saviour, struck for us - a hundredfold in this life and life eternal, too.
Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.25.
More on Basil Pennington can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Pennington
More on Mount Athos can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Athos
One God Note #574. 2013/05/05.
(...) Inasmuch as the same holy faith bids us love our neighbours, we owe to all persons, of whatever persuasion, peace in their faith and the protection of the government, and therefore we guarantee freedom to all rites and religions in the Polish lands, in accordance with the laws of the land.
Polish May 3rd Constitution proclaimed in 1791. Retrieved from http://www.polishconstitution.org/index1.html on 5 May 2013.
More on May 3rd Constitution can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_May_3,_1791
One God Note #575. 2013/05/012.
Without Goodness (jen) a person cannot for long endure adversity, and cannot for long enjoy prosperity.
Confucius, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.128.
More on Confucius can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius
One God Note #576. 2013/05/19.
When we sit down to do Centering Prayer and form our intention, we know the divine presence is already there. We do not create it. All we have to do is consent. The divine energy flows into us and through us. In its purest form it is available twenty-four hours a day at maximum strength. By consenting, we open to God as God is, without trying to figure who or what God is. We consent to the divine presence without depending on a medium to express it, translate it, or interpret it in terms of our personal history, cultural conditioning, and temperamental bias. God communicates himself on only one condition. Our consent. Visions, consolations, experiences, psychological breakthroughs, all have value but only a limited value, pointing us to the maximum value, which is the whole of God in pure faith. This faith, once it is established as a conviction, changes our perspective of who we are and who God is. It operates appropriately through the theological virtues and the Seven Gifts of the Spirit, enabling us to respond to the realities and routines of daily life and to perceive the divine presence in the ordinary, the insignificant, and even in suffering.
Keating, Thomas. Intimacy With God. P. 103.
More on Thomas Keating can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Keating
More on Centering Prayer can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centering_Prayer
One God Note #577. 2013/05/26.
When you see the world you see God. There is no seeing God, apart from the world. Beyond the world to see God is to be God. The light by which you see the world, which is God, is the tiny little spark: ‘I am,’ apparently so small, yet the first and the last in every act of knowing and loving.
Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.61-2.
More on Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisargadatta_Maharaj
One God Note #578. 2013/06/02.
Truly, the God-fearing shall dwell amid gardens and fountains – “Enter therein in peace and security!” We shall cleanse their hearts of all traces of ill-will; they will be like brethen seated on couches facing one another. They will not be affected by any weariness there, and they will never be made to leave. Tell My servants that I alone am the Forgiving, the Merciful One (...) But the chosen servants of God shall have known provision – fruit of various kinds, and they shall be honoured, in the Garden of Bliss, seated on couches, facing one another. A drink will be passed round among them from a flowing spring: white and delicious to those who drink it, causing no headiness or intoxication. With them will be spouses – modest of gaze and beautiful of eye – like closely guarded pearls. (...) The righteous shall have a good place to return to: the Gardens of eternity with gates thrown wide open to them. They will be comfortably seated; reclining, they will call for abundant fruit and drink; with them, they will have pure, modest women of equal age. (...)
The Prophet Muhammad's visions of heaven as narrated in Quran: 15:45-49; 37:40-49; 38:49-52.
More on Mi-raj al-Nabiy can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lailat_al_Miraj
One God Note #579. 2013/06/09.
On this Father’s Day we affirm the fealty of the Heavenly Father. While the human father’s love is not always unconditional, still his love is guided by wisdom, regard for law, and the will to protect others. (...) A father should remember he is not just a human parent; he is the representative of the Heavenly Father. (...) Each father should therefore realize that he has a responsibility to behave properly (...). He must keep himself pure, for it is through him and through all the fathers that the Heavenly Father looks after the children of earth. (...) To produce offspring is not a unique accomplishment; the animals do that too. But to produce children on the plane of divine love and in a spiritual consciousness is an important achievement. (...) Character building should be taught in schools and colleges, but fathers should realize that the example is more important than schooling. (...) If you want a child to be mild and noble of speech, you should not talk to your wife impatiently (...). Let every father remember, when tempted to speak to a child with dictatorial harshness, “(...) I should always guide my children with the loving persuasiveness of truth. My mind should be a transparent glass through which shines the Heavenly Father’s light of wisdom.”
Paramahansa Yogananda’s speech on Father’s Day, 18 June 1944, quoted in: Paramahansa Yogananda (1975, 1982, 2000). Man’s Eternal Quest. Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship.
More on Paramahansa Yogananda can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogananda
One God Note #580. 2013/06/16.
Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Piyadasi, desires that all religions should reside everywhere, for all of them desire self-control and purity of heart. But people have various desires and various passions, and they may practice all of what they should or only a part of it. But one who receives great gifts yet is lacking in self-control, purity of heart, gratitude and firm devotion, such a person is mean.
King Piyadasi (Beloved of the Gods) was one of the titles used by King Ashoka (304-232 BCE). Edicts of Ashoka, retrieved from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ashoka on 16 June 2013.
More on King Ashoka can be found at: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ashoka
One God Note #581. 2013/06/23.
It is not what you are nor what you have been that God sees with His all-merciful eyes, but what you desire to be.
The Cloud of Unknowing, P.146.
More on The Cloud of Unknowing can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing
More on Bahai calendar can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahai_calendar
One God Note #582. 2013/06/30.
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
More on Canadian Anthem can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Canada
More on Canada Day can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Day
One God Note #583. 2013/07/07.
Fasting (sawm) carries a two-fold meaning - two seemingly opposing definitions combined into a single word. (...) The primary meaning is to hold back, to refrain from, to abstain - the further meaning is to rise beyond, to move past former limits. The month of Ramadan is a time in which we hold our bodily compulsions and instincts under strict control, together with our thoughts and our mental states, our moods and desires. (...) The body and it's appetites are held back and through this holding back an elusive and subtle but profound awakening begins. We are provided the means by which to alter our reality, to shape what we ourselves are. (...) moments of stillness, of silence, are obtained - moments in which self-perception sharpens and deepens and spirit awakens and the (spiritual) form with which God created man begins to unfold itself.
Irshaad Hussain – “And fast until the onset of night” – retrieved from: http://www.islamfrominside.com/Pages/Articles/Fast%20until%20the%20night%20%28Ramadan%29.html on 7 July 2013.
More on Ramadan can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan
One God Note #584. 2013/07/14.
A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712 – July 2, 1778) was a Franco-Swiss philosopher of Enlightenment whose political ideas influenced the French Revolution. Retrieved from: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Jean-Jacques_Rousseau on 14 July 2013.
More on French Revolution can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution
More on Bastille Day, or La Fete Nationale of 14 July can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastille_Day
More on Nelson Mandela International Day can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandela_Day
One God Note #585. 2013/07/21.
Holy words, full of nectar, coming out of the mouths of the true Gurus vibrate throughout the world. (...) From every pore of their bodies blessings are pouring forth to all beings. Teachings of Babaji, P.23.
The spiritual influence that a person of higher stature exerts on the environment, which comes about through the constant encounter, purifies the environment. It lends the graces of holiness and freedom on all who come in contact with him. And this nobility of a holy grace returns after a while with stronger force and acts on the person himself who exerted the influence and he becomes sociable, abounding in spirituality and holiness. This is a higher attribute than the holiness in a state of withdrawal. Bokser, Ben Zion. (1978). Abraham Isaac Kook. Paulist Press. P.232.
Chosen souls are, in My hand, lights which I cast into the darkness of the world and with which I illuminate it. As stars illumine the night, so chosen souls illumine the earth. And the more perfect a soul is, the stronger and the far-reaching is the light shed by it. It can be hidden and unknown, even to the closest to it, and yet its holiness is reflected in souls even to the most distant extremities of the world. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1601.
(...) there are truly moral people who unconsciously live a life in entire harmony with the universal moral order and who live unknown to the world and unnoticed by others without any concern. It is only people of holy, divine natures who are capable of this (....). Confucius, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.120.
(...) the master by residing in the Tao, sets an example for all beings. Because he doesn't display himself, people can see his light. Because he has nothing to prove, people can trust his words. Because he doesn't know who he is, people recognize themselves in him. Because he has no goal in mind, everything he does succeeds. Tao Te Ching 22, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.153.
People find it difficult to understand why one must travel to the master in order to hear the teaching from his lips (...). There is a great difference between hearing the truth from the master directly, and hearing it quoted by others (...) and reading it in a book. Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (1772-1810), quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.172-3.
The Hasid, the individual disciple, must seek to be continually in touch with the rebbe. He spends certain holy days in his court, within the radius of his direct influence (...). The radiance of the rebbe's influence is elicited especially by being within the range of his vision and the touch of his hands (...). The rebbe is in sense a redeemer - a redeemer of the holy sparks imprisoned in the world. He helps effect the reunion between God and His creation. Ben Zion Bokser, The Jewish Mystical Tradition, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.186.
The soul can only receive impulses from another soul, and from nothing else. We may study books all our lives, we may become very intellectual; but in the end we shall find that we have not developed at all spiritually (...). This inadequacy of books to quicken spiritual growth is the reason why, although almost every one of us can speak most wonderfully on spiritual matters, when it comes to action and the living of a spiritual life, we find ourselves awfully deficient. To quicken the spirit, the impulse must come from another soul. The person from whose soul such an impulse comes is called the guru, the teacher; and the person to whose soul the impulse is conveyed is called the sishya, the student. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.189.
Of one hundred people who take up the spiritual life, eighty turn out to be charlatans, fifteen insane, and only five, maybe, get a glimpse of the real truth. Therefore, beware. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.30.
The world is full of half-enlightened masters. Overly clever, too "sensitive" to live in the real world, they surround themselves with selfish pleasures and bestow their grandiose teachings upon the unwary. Prematurely publicizing themselves, intent upon reaching some spiritual climax, they constantly sacrifice the truth and deviate from the Tao. What they really offer the world is their own confusion. Hua Hu Ching 80, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom. P.174.
Stay in the company of lovers.
Those other kinds of people, they each
want to show you something.
A crow will lead you to an empty barn,
A parrot to sugar.
Rumi, Furuzanfar #630, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.181.
Your own self is your ultimate teacher (sadguru). The outer teacher (Guru) is merely a milestone. It is only your inner teacher, that will walk with you to the goal, for he is the goal. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.51.
More on Guru Purnima can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Purnima
One God Note #586. 2013/07/28.
Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better or happier. Be the living expression of kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile; kindness in your warm greeting.
Ascribed to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Submitted by: Barb.
More on Mother Teresa of Calcutta can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa
More on International Day of Friendship can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Friendship_Day
One God Note #587. 2013/08/11.
"Nature has done well and wisely, in not permitting a man to live forever and in bringing into the world ever new generations. An old person is a used-up machine [... He] has too many dogmas to [...] easily [...] believe in a new truth [...]; too many sympathies and antipathies [...] for him to come to love something unfamiliar; [...] too many habits to be able to settle on new ways. Let us add suspiciousness — the fruit of bitter experiences; a pessimism inseparable from all manner of disappointments; and finally, a general decline of powers from exhaustion [...]."
Bolesław Prus, "Oda do młodości" ("Ode to Youth"), 1905. Quoted after: Wikiquote.
More on Boleslaw Prus can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boles%C5%82aw_Prus
More on International Youth Day can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Youth_Day
One God Note #588. 2013/08/18.
(…) Devotion to your goal makes you live a clean and orderly life, given to search for truth and to helping people, and realization makes noble virtue easy and spontaneous, by removing for good the obstacles in the shape of desires and fears and wrong ideas. (...) The entire purpose of a clean and well-ordered life is to liberate man from the thralldom of chaos and the burden of sorrow. (…) What is wrong with a life which is free from problems? Personality is merely a reflection of the real. (…) Once you realize that the person is merely a shadow of the reality, but not reality itself, you cease to fret and worry. You agree to be guided from within and life becomes a journey into the unknown.
Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.31, 33.
More on Sri Nisargadatta can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisargadatta_Maharaj
One God Note #589. 2013/08/25.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic, not he who lights no fire and performs no work.
More on Lord Krishna can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna
More on Bhagavad-Gita can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavad_Gita
One God Note #590. 2013/09/02.
"No work is low or bad in this world if it is done in the right spirit. (…) That is why a man should never hesitate to do any work. Whether it is high or low, big or small, no work is bad. Work is work."
Haidakhan Babaji. The Teachings of Babaji, 1 February 1984.
More on Haidakhan Babaji can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haidakhan_Babaji
One God Note #591. 2013/09/08.
Q: (...). What is wrong with suicide?
M: Nothing wrong, if it solves the problem. What, if it does not? Suffering caused by extraneous factors — some painful and incurable disease, or unbearable calamity — may provide some justification, but where wisdom and compassion are lacking, suicide can not help. A foolish death means foolishness reborn. Besides there is the question of karma to consider. Endurance is usually the wisest course.
Q: Must one endure suffering, however acute and hopeless?
M: Endurance is one thing and helpless agony is another. Endurance is meaningful and fruitful, while agony is useless.
Q: Why worry about karma? It takes care of itself, anyhow.
M: Most of our karma is collective. We suffer for the sins of others, as others suffer for ours. Humanity is one. Ignorance of this fact does not change it. We could have been much happier people ourselves, but for our indifference to the sufferings of others.
Maharaj: Yes, miracles often take place. But there must be the will to live. Without it the miracle will not happen. (...) Fundamentally, nobody can compel another to live. Besides, there were cultures in which suicide had its acknowledged and respected place.
Q: Is it not obligatory to live out one’s natural span of life?
M: Natural — spontaneously — easy — yes. But disease and suffering are not natural. There is noble virtue in unshakable endurance of whatever comes, but there is also dignity in the refusal of meaningless torture and humiliation.
Nisargadatta Maharaj (on the subject of suicide), quoted from: I Am That, PP. 485-6, 491
More on Nisargadatta Maharaj can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisargadatta_Maharaj
One God Note #592. 2013/09/15.
Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons (November 11, 1947); in Robert Rhodes James, ed., Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963 (1974), vol. 7, p. 7566.
More on Winston Churchill can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill
One God Note #593. 2013/09/22.
O our Father, do Thou cause the divine light of thy face to shine upon every one of us, for by the divine light of thy face, O Lord our God, hast Thou revealed to us the Torah, which sustains life, which teaches the love of kindness, righteousness, blessing, mercy, life, and peace.
Jewish prayer. Quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.107.
More on Simhat Torah can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simchat_Torah
One God Note #594. 2013/09/29.
Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.
A list closing an article in Young India (22 October 1925); Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol. 33 (PDF) p. 135
More on Mahatma Gandhi can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi
One God Note #595. 2013/10/06.
Gahambars / gahanbars are six seasonal festivals or high feasts when Zoroastrians assemble to eat and share food communally. They are joyous occasions at which rich and poor met together, new friendships are formed and old disputes resolved. While each gahambar traditionally spans five days, nowadays it is the last day that is usually observed. The Gahambars are the only festivals mentioned in the Zoroastrian scriptures, the Avesta. (...)
Gahambars are a demonstration of beliefs, principles and
values in action and are an expression of piety in thought, word and deed. Next
to Nowruz, gahambars are
festivals of special significance for Zoroastrians.
The food stuffs are contributed anonymously according to a person or family's means. Many community members volunteer to prepare the food, prepare for the occasion and serve the meals - without regard to status. During the meal, everyone sits together and partakes of the same food. The customs are an expression of egalitarian communal togetherness. The free and equal sharing of food with everyone, the environment of togetherness, goodwill and sharing - all serve to help build and strengthen the community.
Retrieved from http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/gahambar/ on 6 October 2013.
More on Gahambars can be found at: http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/gahambar/
One God Note #596. 2013/10/14.
All men are created equal, but nowhere more so than in a sauna.
More on sauna can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauna
One God Note #597. 2013/10/20.
The 21st century is a time of rapidly developing technology, increasing wealth and consumer driven lifestyles. We are focusing tremendous energy and attention on acquiring and consuming an endless variety of things. This pursuit is endless and through focusing 100% of our energy on this our lives have become overwhelmingly busy. Despite improving external conditions many people are exhausted, overwhelmed, and unable to find peace.
Our demanding schedules give us little time to rest our minds and analyze what is at the root of our unhappiness. Our inability to pause and examine our lives increases our anxiety, fear and stress and when we are mentally exhausted our physical health also suffers. When our emotions overwhelm us then naturally we lose patience, lack compassion, have no tolerance and are unable to forgive others. From the power of these negative thoughts we lose our positive attitude, forget about our potential for goodness, and our negative mental states increase.
Western medicine has done a great deal of research and innovation to improve health outcomes but the prevalence of diseases connected with stress continues to increase. Now doctors are taking a new approach to health; they are investigating the roots of wellbeing and have confirmed that one of the major sources of good health is reducing stress through meditation. They are recognizing the benefits of these practices and undertaking studies that are providing clear scientific proof of the effectiveness of meditation practice in improving physical and mental health. As a result, many doctors are now recommending that we include meditation in our daily lives.
Kushok Lobsang Dhamchöe. From the introduction to his seminar: FREEDOM FROM STRESS - WISDOM FROM THE ROOF OF THE WORLD. Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 7:00pm - 8:00pm. University of Alberta, Telus Centre (111 Street & 87 Avenue), Room 150.
More on Buddhist meditation can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_meditation
One God Note #598. 2013/10/27.
Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and is known to have pre-Christian roots. (...). It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. As at Beltane, special bonfires were lit. These were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers and there were rituals involving them. Samhain (...) was seen as a liminal time, when the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí) could more easily come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. It was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink were left for them. The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, and involved people going door-to-door in costume (or in disguise), often reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way of imitating, or disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí. Divination rituals were also a big part of the festival and often involved nuts and apples.
Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain on 27 October 2013.
More on Samhain can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain
One God Note #599. 2013/11/03.
I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty: You do not see that the Real is in your home, and you wander from forest to forest listlessly! Here is the truth! Go where you will, to Benares or to Mathura; if you do not find your soul, the world is unreal to you.
Songs of Kabir, XLIII, P.91.
More on Kabir can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabir
One God Note #600. 2013/11/11.
In the battle the cowardly, from fear of their
have chosen their means of escape.
But heroes are borne forward by their fear and pain.
From fear, too, the weak soul dies within itself.
Tribulations and fear for one's life are touchstones
to distinguish the cowardly from the brave.
Rumi, Mathnawi IV, 2881, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.77.
Don't be afraid of death, nor of the storm of water and fire. This life itself is water and fire. Don't try to stop it, but rather become like lions.
Haidakhan Babaji. Teachings of Babaji, P.9.
More on Rumi can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi
More on Haidakhan Babaji can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haidakhan_Babaji
One God Note #601. 2013/11/17.
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.
Ascribed to Tecumseh. Quoted in: A Sourcebook for Earth's Community of Religions (1995) by Joel Diederik Beversluis
One God Note #602. 2013/11/24.
In parts of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia and Romania, superstitious belief exists that the night before St. Andrew's Day is especially suitable for magic that reveals a young woman's future husband or that binds a future husband to her. Many related customs exist: for example, the pouring of hot lead into water (in Poland, one usually pours hot wax from a candle through a key hole into cold water), divining the future husband's profession from the shape of the resulting piece (...).
In some areas in Austria, young women would drink wine and then perform a spell, called Andreasgebet (Saint Andrew's prayer), while nude and kicking a straw bed. This was supposed to magically attract the future husband. Yet another custom is to throw a clog over one's shoulder: if it lands pointing to the door, the woman will get married in the same year.
In some parts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, young women would write down the names of potential husbands on little pieces of paper and stick these into little pieces of dough, called Halusky. When cooked, the first one to float to the surface of the water would reveal the name of their future husband.
In Poland, the holiday is celebrated on the night of the 29th through 30th of November. Traditionally, the holiday was only observed by young single girls, though today both young men and women join the party to see their futures. Some women put pieces of paper (on which they have written potential husbands) under the pillow and first thing in the morning they take one out, which allegedly reveals their future husband.
In Romania, it is customary for young women to put 41 grains of wheat beneath their pillow before they go to sleep. If they dream that someone is coming to steal their grains that means that they are going to get married next year. Also in some other parts of the country the young women light a candle from the Easter and bring it, at midnight, to a fountain. They ask St. Andrew to let them glimpse their future husband (...).
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Andrew%27s_Day on 24 November 2013.
More on St. Andrew’s Day can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Andrew%27s_Day
One God Note #603. 2013/12/01.
But truly, Ananda, it is nothing strange that human beings should die. Digha Nikaya (DN) 16
This is deathless, the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging. Majjhima Nikaya (MN) 106
Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely. As quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006) edited by Larry Chang, p. 193
All quotes attributed to Buddha. Retrieved from: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Buddha on 1 December 2013.
More on Buddha can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha
One God Note #604. 2013/12/08.
There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
Attributed to Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). Submitted by Julia Armat on Facebook.
More on Nelson Mandela can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela
One God Note #605. 2013/12/22.
"The uniqueness and the universality of Jesus Christ are neither absolute nor relative. We have called them 'constitutive' insofar as the Christ-event has a universal impact: in it God has brought universal salvation; Christ's risen humanity is the guarantee of God's indissoluble union with humankind."
Dupuis, Jacquis (1997). "Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism." Orbis Books, Maryknoll, NY. P.303.
More on Jacques Dupuis can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Dupuis_(priest)
One God Note #606. 2013/12/29.
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. It sees man, a feeble speck, surrounded by unfathomable depths of silence; yet it bears itself proudly, as unmoved as if it were lord of the universe. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
Russell, Bertrand. (1917). Why Men Fight: A Method of Abolishing the International Duel, pp. 178-179. Retrieved from: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell on 29 December 2013.
More on Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell