Company of Saints. Prophets. Sanctification. Holiness. Guru. Spiritual Father. Monastic life.

Miracles secret and open flow from the teacher.
With reason - that's not unusual at all.
And the tiniest of these miracles
is this: everyone near a saint gets drunk with God.

Rumi, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.130.

There are those, too, whose understanding has been enlightened, whose affections have been purified; they sigh with longing for eternal life. Hearing of the worldly matters depresses them, they satisfy but reluctantly the needs of bodily existence. Men such as these are well aware what it is that the Spirit of Truth speaks within them. Thomas A Kempis, Imitation of Christ, III.4.4

The revelation which comes to the prophet and which is received by his intellect is not produced by him, but is in accord with that which has been taught to him by heaven. Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508, Spain), quoted in: Michael Shire, The Jewish Prophet, P.67.

If the parents desire the true welfare and happiness of their children, they must inspire them to seek the Holy company of Saints and the Enlightened souls right from the beginning. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 90.

Do not yearn or toil for a position or status. Serve the Saints sincerely with body, mind, and wealth; glory in life will just follow you. You need not rush after it. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 145.

Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me. Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will have a prophet's reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man because he is a holy man will have a holy man's reward. If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward. Matthew 10:40-42

(...) A broken hut of a spiritual aspirant is better than the magnificent and palatial edifice of a materialistic man. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 298.

One who lives for himself is a worldly person whereas one who lives for the Lord is a Saint. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 542.

O Lord! You are my everything - wealth, knowledge, relation and friend. Grant me the company and service of your devotees so that I too become deserving of Thy Grace along with them. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 703.

If you are in quest of the Lord, do not waste your time here and there. Go and meet those who love Him and learn the method of meeting Him. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 862.

The gift of devotion and service is bestowed only in the company of True Ones. Therefore, if you desire to achieve true happiness, seek the refuge of the Great Ones. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1031.

Do not lose courage, stop thinking aimlessly and not allowing yourself to be frustrated with life, act with patience and seek the shelter of good and noble company. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1247.

Seek holy company even if you have to make efforts in its quest, but don't keep company of the material-minded even for a moment. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1504.

The benefit which one obtains from a moment's holy company, cannot be attained from years of education and training in the world. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1570.

Those who have surrendered themselves absolutely to the Lord have attained eternal bliss and tranquility. No matter what the worldly people may think of them in their life time but after their death, it has been seen that their glory is sung by one and all. Such great souls establish an ideal be leading their lives according to the immortal preachings of the Master. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1646.

They (the saints) are a single entity, each being bound to the rest by the bonds of love; all share the same thoughts, the same desires, all love one another. (...) Carried beyond themselves, drawn forth from their love of self, they devote themselves entirely to loving me, in whom they find their rest and their fulfillment. Thomas A Kempis, Imitation of Christ, III.58.4-5

Only he shall attain honour in Lord's abode who remains meek and humble in the presence of Saints. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2037.

With the Master, there is prosperity even in the forests; without the Master, there is utter misery even in the city. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2041.

One's fortune shines when one attains the proximity of Saints. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2063.

Just as a pond gets filled up, drop by drop, a person can become a saint by earning merits one by one. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2068.

Just as a person scorched by heat enjoys rest under the cool shade of the tree, so a person scorched by the blazing flames of passion, attains peace in holy company. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2070.

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.

It is rare that one gets a chance to serve at the lotus feet of a living Realized Master, the Lord incarnate. Fortunate are those who are blessed with such an opportunity. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2102.

The Lord says: "The saints always reside in my heart and I am in the heart of the saint. The saint knows Me alone, thinks of Me alone and I know him alone who is truly devoted to me." Guru Nanak, who appeared in Punjab, was such a saint. Whatever he did, he did for the sake of humanity. The actions of great saints like Guru Nanak are aimed exclusively at the welfare of mankind as a whole - to lead men to the true goal of life. Teachings of Babaji, P. 56.

The words of the saints contain a vibration and energy that have the power to remove vice and evil from the world. The value of their words is that they inspire. This is why the scriptures say that their words have to be read again and again and to be meditated upon and put into practice. (...) Teachings of Babaji, P.56.

It is only after many years that the practical form of these teachings evolves. When preached by the saints, the words are read, meditated on and only much later are they given practical application. The time has come for the teachings of Guru Nanak to be put into practice. Teachings of Babaji, P.58.

Today technological progress has created atomic weapons which can destroy the world in seconds. But our great saints, with their teachings and scriptures, have created an antidote to these destructive weapons. (...) Teachings of Babaji, P.59.

What a saint says or writes is not to be measured with the intellect. The words of the saint - not the explanation given afterwards - provide the measure for right and wrong. Teachings of Babaji, P.59.

When there is an auspicious constellation of the stars in a man's life, then only can he come to a sacred place and meet saintly people. Only in the company of such people can he experience spiritual vibrations and practice the recitation of God's names. When a man's bad karmas are coming to an end, then he is naturally drawn to a sacred place and the company of good people. On the contrary, when the sins of a man reach a climax, then he is drawn to places of low vibrations and to bad company. His karma does not allow him to remain in a sacred place. This is why every man must walk the path of truth. Teachings of Babaji, P.70.

It is easy to have wealth, kith and kin and good fortune, even sinners and prostitutes can have these; but the company of great saints and the knowledge of the Lord's name are difficult things to obtain. Only great men have these. (...) Teachings of Babaji, P.85.

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.

Every soul that has reached fulfillment always perfects the general character of the world. All life is blessed through the truly enlightened ones, when they press on resolutely on their course (...)."Bokser, Ben Zion. (1978). Abraham Isaac Kook. Paulist Press, P.201-202.

The true saint goes in and out amongst the people and eats and sleeps with them and buys and sells in the market and takes part in social intercourse, and never forgets God for a single moment. Mystical Dimensions of Islam, P.243

The true man of God sits in the midst of his fellow-men, and rises and eats and sleeps and marries and buys and sells and gives and takes in the bazaar and spends the days with other people, and yet never forgets God even for a single moment. Abu Sa'id Ibn Abi'l Khayr (967-1049), a Sufi Mystic, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.324.

(...) I rejoiced greatly at the fact of how much the saints think of us and how closely we are united with them. Oh, the goodness of God! How beautiful is the spiritual world, that already here on earth we commune with the saints!(...). Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 448.

(...) O infinite eternity, you will make manifest the efforts of heroic souls, because the earth rewards their efforts with hatred and ingratitude. Such souls do not have friends; they are solitary. And in this solitude, they gain strength; they draw their strength from God alone. With humility, but also with courage, they stand firmly in the face of all storms that beat upon them. Like high-towering oaks, they are unmoved. (...) They are pillars of light along God's ways; they live in light themselves and shed light upon others. (...). Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 838.

(...) And the Lord gave me to know who it is that upholds the existence of mankind: it is the chosen souls. When the number of the chosen ones is complete, the world will cease to exist. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 926.

This firm resolution to become a saint is extremely pleasing to Me. I bless your efforts and will give you opportunities to sanctify yourself. Be watchful that you lose no opportunity that My providence offers you for sanctification. (...). Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1361.

(...) I feel that I have been totally imbued with God and, with this God, I am going back to my everyday life, so drab, tiresome and wearying, trusting that He whom I feel in my heart will change this drabness into my personal sanctity. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1363.

Now I can be wholly useful to the Church by my personal sanctity, which throbs with life in the whole Church, for we all make up one organism in Jesus. That is why I endeavor to make the soil of my heart bear good fruit. Although the human eye may perhaps never see it, there will nevertheless come a day when it will become apparent that many souls have been fed and will continue to be fed with this fruit. Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1364.

My Jesus, You know that from my earliest years I have wanted to become a great saint; that is to say, I have wanted to love You with a love so great that there would be no soul who has hitherto loved You so. (...) Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1372.

God, in his unfathomable decrees, often allows it to be that those who have expended most effort in accomplishing some work do not enjoy its fruits here on earth; God reserves all their joy for eternity. (...). Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1402.

Jesus: (...) For the sake of your love, I withhold the just chastisement, which mankind has deserved. A single act of pure love pleases Me more than a thousand imperfect prayers. (...). Faustina Kowalska, The Diary, 1489.

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.

When grace draws a man to contemplation it seems to transfigure him even physically so that though he may be ill-favored by nature, he now appears changed and lovely to behold. His personality becomes so attractive that good people are honored and delighted to be in his company, strengthened by the sense of God he radiates. (...) He will even be able to discern the character and temperament of others when necessary. He will know how to accommodate himself to everyone, and (to the astonishment of all) even to inveterate sinners, without sinning himself. (...) His countenance and conversation will be rich in spiritual wisdom, fire, and the fruits of love, for he will speak with a calm assurance devoid of falsehood and the fawning pretense of hypocrites. The Cloud of Unknowing, P.117-118.

Persons of unflinching devotion to austerities and perfect knowledge, yogins and ascetics deserve holy worship since they quell others' sins. Sivapurana, Vidyesvarasamhita, 14:13.

For me to be a saint means to be myself.  Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self. Trees and animals have no problem.  God makes them what they are without consulting them, and they are perfectly satisfied. With us it is different.  God leaves us free to be whatever we like.  We can be ourselves or not, as we please.  We are at liberty to be real, or to be unreal.  We may be true or false, the choice is ours.  We may wear now one mask and now another, and never, if we so desire, appear with our own true face.   But we cannot make these choices with impunity.  Causes have effects, and if we lie to ourselves and to others, then we cannot expect to find truth and reality whenever we happen to want them.  If we have chosen the way of falsity we must not be surprised that truth eludes us when we finally come to need it! Merton, Thomas.  New Seeds of Contemplation. Pp.31-32 Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn

I desire to lead you on the way to holiness. Our Lady of Medjugorie, October 9, 1986. Words from Heaven, P.63.

I call you each one of you to consciously decide for God and against satan. I am your Mother and, therefore, I want you to lead you all to complete holiness. I want each one of you to be happy here on earth and to be with me in Heaven. That is, dear children, the purpose of my coming here and it's my desire. Our Lady of Medjugorie, May 25, 1987. Words from Heaven, P.64.

Today I am calling you to holiness. Without holiness you cannot live. Therefore, with love overcome every sin and with love overcome all the difficulties which are coming to you. Dear children, live love within yourselves. Our Lady of Medjugorie, July 10, 1986. Words from Heaven, P.69.

… daily change your life in order to become holy. Our Lady of Medjugorie, November 13, 1986. Words from Heaven, P.70.

This long time that I am with you is a sign that I love you immeasurably and that I want each individual to become holy. Our Lady of Medjugorie, October 9, 1986. Words from Heaven, P.79.

(…) let your family be a place where holiness is born. Help everyone to live in holiness but especially your own family. (…). Our Lady of Medjugorie, July 24, 1986. Words from Heaven, P.234.

Dear children, God wants to make you holy. Therefore, through me He is calling you to complete surrender. (…) Come and pray! Neither look to others nor slander them, but rather let your life be a testimony on the way of holiness. (…) Our Lady of Medjugorie, April 25, 1988. Words from Heaven, P.249.

(…) Satan wishes to destroy everything which is holy in you and around you. (…) Our Lady of Medjugorie, September 25, 1992. Words from Heaven, P.268.

For the religious man is forever bringing all affairs of the first level down into the Light, holding them there in the Presence, reseeing them and the whole of the world of men and things in a new and overturning way, and responding to them in spontaneous, incisive and simple ways of love and faith.  Facts remain facts, when brought into the Presence in the deeper
level, but their value, their significance, is wholly realigned.  Much apparent wheat becomes utter chaff, and some chaff becomes wheat.  (...)For faith and hope and love for all things are engendered in the soul, as we practice their submission and our own to the Light Within, as we humbly see all things, even darkly and as through a glass, yet through the eye of God.
Kelly, Thomas R. A Testament of Devotion. PP.36-37.

Not many hear of Him, and of those not many reach Him. Wonderful is he who can teach about Him; the wise is he who can be taught. (...) He cannot be taught by one who has not reached Him, and He cannot be reached by much thinking. Katha Upanishad, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.12.

What brings happiness? The friendship of the holy. Shankara, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.41.

(...) 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.

Therefore the master takes action by letting things take their course. He remains as calm at the end as at the beginning. He has nothing, thus has nothing to lose. What he desires is non-desire; what he learns is to unlearn. He simply reminds people of who they have always been. He cares about nothing but the Tao. Thus he can care for all things. Tao Te Ching 64, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.155.

So find a teacher (...) who extends his light and virtue with equal ease to those who appreciate him and those who don't. Shape yourself in his mold, bathe in his nourishing radiance, and reflect it out to the rest of the world. Hua Hu Ching 75, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom. P.170.

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.

The true master understands that enlightenment is not the end but the means. Realizing that virtue is her goal, she accepts the long and often ardous cultivation that is necessary to attain it. She doesn't scheme to become a leader, but quietly shoulders whatever responsibilities fall to her. Unattached to her accomplishments, taking credit for nothing at all, she guides the whole world by guiding the individuals who come to her. She shares her divine energy with her students, encouraging them, creating trials to strengthen them, directing the streams of their lives toward the infinite ocean of the Tao. Hua Hu Ching 80, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom. P.174.

Company has the greatest influence on will. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.36.

The wise teacher will give you but one instruction: think of God. (...) And share Him; there is no form of service greater than to speak of God. (...) Money is perishable, but realization of God will go with us beyond the portals of the grave. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.49.

One moon dispels the darkness of the heavens. So is one soul who is trained to know God, a soul in whom there is true devotion and sincere seeking and intensity; and wherever he will go he will dispel the spiritual darkness of others. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.52.

Saint or sinner, unless you have attained final redemption there is a great desire to reincarnate again on earth. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.64.

A real teacher possesses more than book knowledge; and in spiritual life it is necessary to learn wisdom from such a teacher; one who knows, and knows that he knows, because he has experienced - not merely read about - truth. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.

A qualified spiritual teacher knows and loves the Lord; his supreme interest is in God. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.115.

(...) even a few moments of deep meditation, or the company of a saint, will be a raft of inspiration to carry you across this ocean of delusion to the shores of God. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.129.

Wherever you meditate you will leave behind a fragrance of smiles, and whoever will come there will also be moved to smile with God. You can smile all the time when you dwell in His ineffable bliss. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.129.

The zaddikim are the channels through which the sparks of the Schechinah [the divine Presence] pass, that they might scatter to the world. Ba'al Shev Tov, first of the hasidic zaddiks, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.170.

This outpouring from heaven to man is called (...), shefa, and may be likened to the rays which emanate from the sun, ceaselessly reaching out to brighten the darkness of the world. To receive the spiritual outpouring which endlessly and lovingly flows from heaven and to transmit it to his people is the task of the zaddik. In this sense the zaddik is spoken of as a "channel" (...). The zaddik is called the heart of the body, for he is a channel which draws the bounty of life from the Life of all Life to all the other limbs, which are the people of his generation. Samuel Dresner, The Zaddik, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.170

(...) even when the zaddik is fixed in the earth, with the lowly, common people of the earth, among scoffers and gossips and the like, nevertheless his head, his thoughts, reach the heavens, joining his thoughts to his Creator. For the Divine Name is before him. (...) Samuel Dresner, The Zaddik, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.171.

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.

There may be a zaddik somewhere who has the key that will unlock the hidden caverns of pain and doubt which destroy a man. That zaddik is the spirit to his body. Samuel Dresner, The Zaddik, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.184.

Powerful currents of life-energy emanate from a Saint and surcharge the surrounding atmosphere (...) The mere presence of a Saint awakens souls and redeems them (...). Rays of purity constantly radiate from him. He is full of wonderful light and kindness. He has an indescribable influence on others. He has magnetic attraction. By his words, which are full of mystical meaning, he pulls the souls upwards. He produces an experience of bliss which defies description (...). There is peace and evenness within a perfect Master. As a result of being in his company, a current of bliss runs through us. We feel happy on meeting him. All our doubts are removed and we feel certain that out ultimate destination will be attained (...). The perfect Master is an incarnation of the Lord. Just as the Lord communicates his teachings to the Saints without the agency of speech, similarly the Saints impart their messages to their disciples by means of internal experiences, and without the use of speech. Maharaj Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.185.

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.

When the soul of the disciple is "joined" to the Master, there is a flow of the Word, the Name, the Shabd, the divine energy, between the two. This relationship is one of devekut, as the Hasidim called it - "attachment or cleaving to God, in which a double process is set into motion: man's life and work (...) flows back to its own divine source, and man in turn becomes the recipient of a fresh influx of divine energy from the divine realm."  Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.188.

Once the disciple is in communion with the Guru, all the gates of bliss and happiness are open to him. Maharaj Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.189.

It is like the elixir of life. The Guru by his sight turneth a stone into a ruby (...). Such is the divine effect of his look. Ascribed to Maulana Rum, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.189.

The Master is a window to God's radiance. The eyes of the Master reveal His divine power, light, and love. When we look into the Master's eyes, we get a glimpse of the extraordinary source from which he draws his divine qualities. It is not just what the Master says that instructs, but by being in the presence of the Master we become transformed. Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.189.

"I did not go to the 'Maggid' [Sage] of Mezherich to learn Torah from him but to watch him tie his bootlaces." Unnamed Jewish mystic, quoted by Gershom Scholem, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.190.

Bees rush to flowers for their fragrance and honey; similarly, the seekers go to the Master to partake of his wealth of spirituality and righteousness. No one returns empty-handed from the bountiful Master. Maharaj Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.190.

Once the Master initiates a disciple into the practice of the Name, the disciple is reborn; he begins a new life with a new goal - God-realization. Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.191.

Even those who are remote from the zaddik receive vitality and illumination from the zaddik. He shelters them, like a tree, which has branches, bark and foliage, and all draw their sustenance from the tree. (...) Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.191.

Cool as sandalwood, serene as the moon are Saints; serene as the moon, the feverish heat of the world do they cool. Their sweet words soothe the wordly people all aflame. Infinite is their patience, boundless their love and compassion. Kind, tender, and merciful, their sweet and loving words melt even stones. The way they live, the way they smile, lends fragrance to their knowledge sublime. The maladies physical, mental, and spiritual, all the three flee when the eye beholds a Saint. Even the fire of hunger, O Paltu, is quenched in no time. Cool as sandalwood, serene as the moon are Saints. Ascribed to Paltu, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.192.

Perfect Masters are universal; they have come at all times, in different nations, cultures, religions, and social classes. Their teachings apply to everyone and do not depend on race, country, creed, time, caste, or religion. But when they die, we arrest their teachings into narrow compartments and forget their universal essence. Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.197.

The perfect Master is the crystallization on the physical plane of the Lord's love and mercy. Actually, if the Master were not present on earth, constantly generating love with his being, the whole world would dissolve in chaos. Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.198.

He who gives the message of Shabd is the true Guru: for Shabd is the real truth. He who practices Shabd is the perfect Guru, be thou as dust beneath his feet; look not for any other marks, care not for any other qualities. (...) Soami Ji of Agra, quoted after: Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.199.

As a man, the perfect Master is a perfect man. He embodies all the moral and ethical virtues taught by religion and civilization. (...) True or perfect Masters are never a burden on society. (...) Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.200.

This is the great paradox of the zaddik, says Dresner. It is "a paradox of solitude and communion," for while zaddik is among the people he is also "standing in the presence of God." Miriam Bokser Caravella, The Holy Name. P.203.

When the Carthusian monk retires to his cell or the anchorite to his cave, he does so on behalf of his fellow-men.  If he decides to take part in building the earthly city or to concern himself with what is going on in the world, then his renunciation is in their name and for their sake.  Most men are too heedless, or else too preoccupied - and legitimately so - with external affairs, to find time and the necessary freedom of mind for gathering their thoughts within and for dwelling consciously in 'the cave of the
heart'.  The hermit is therefore called on their behalf to abide for them in that depth which belongs to us all.  He might well say: 'In them I am also engaged on building the city of men; while in me they are also silently watching in the Presence.'
Abhishiktananda, Saccidananda-A Christian Approach to Advaitic Experience. PP.151-2.

Every saint who has come on earth has contributed toward the fulfillment of God's desire for the spiritual upliftment of all His human children. The great ones come with two purposes: to inspire and enlighten a certain number or a large mass of people; and to train real disciples, those who pattern their lives after the master's. (...) Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.234.

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.

(...) for the salvation of his soul and for the good and happiness of many, a sannyasin is born in the world. To sacrifice his own life for others, to alleviate the misery of millions rending tha air with their cries, to wipe away tears from the eyes of widows, to console the hearts of bereaved mothers, to provide the ignorant and depressed masses with ways and means for the struggle for existence and make them stand on their own feet, to broadcast the teachings of the scriptures to one and all, without distinction, for their material and spiritual welfare, to rouse the sleeping lion of Brahman in the hearts of all beings by the knowledge of Vedanta - a sannyasin is born in the world. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.124.

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.

Get the mercy of God and of His greatest children. These are the two chief ways to God. The company of these children of light is very hard to get; five minutes in their company will change a whole life, and if you really want it enough, one will come to you. The presence of those who love God makes a place holy, such is the glory of the children of the Lord. They are He; and when they speak, their words are scriptures. The places where they live are filled with their vibrations, and those going there feel them and tend to become holy also. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.189.

You are a monk if upon awakening your first thought is of God. Wayne Teasdale.

There are those who set their thought to work to attain perfection in the divine science, turn wholly towards God and direct all acts of the intellect towards an examination of God and God's beings. This is the rank of the prophets. Moses Maimonides (1135-1204, Spain, Egypt), Guide of the Perplexed, III, 51; quoted in: Michael Shire, The Jewish Prophet, P.64.

The only thing that can save us is an army of saints (...). Where will they come from? Nobody can really say. (...) the saints will come from the poorest of the laity, from the depths of slums, from the concentration camps and the prisons, from the places where people are starving, bombed, machinegunned and beaten to death. Because in all these places Christ suffers most. Thomas Merton, Run to the Mountain, P.221.

At no other time or place has the spirit been served in the human world with such militancy, generation after generation, as it was by the prophets of Israel. Here the men of spirit took upon themselves to actualize the affirmation of civilization in the reality of the historical hour. Their fight was directed against all those who evaded the duty of actualizing the divine truth in the fulness of everyday life but sidestepping into the merely formal, the merely ritual. To fully appreciate the significance of prophetic religion for mankind and its civilization, we must ask ourselves why it was precisely in Israel that the normative principle voiced its great protest. In answer, we must point to that religious realism peculiar to Israel which has no room for a truth remaining abstract, hovering self-sufficiently above reality, but for which every truth is bound up with a demand which man, the people, Israel are called upon to fulfill integrally on earth. Men, especially the possessors of power and property, naturally resist the demand for the integral fulfillment of divine truth and justice; they therefore try to limit the service of God to the sacral sphere and in all other spheres recognize his authority merely by words and symbols. This is where the prophetic protest sets in. Martin Buber (1878-1965), Address to the World Union For Progressive Judaism, London, July 1951, quoted in: Michael Shire, The Jewish Prophet, P.110.

And don't be astonished by a man whose flesh
    has longed for wisdom and prevailed;
he's soul encircling the physique,
    and a sphere in which all is held.

And Don't be Astonished by Gabirol (11th Century). Quoted after: Cole, Peter (Trans.) (2001). Selected Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol. Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press. P.99

Always search for your innermost nature in those you are with.
As rose oil imbibes from roses.
Even on the grave of a holy man, a holy man lays his face
and hands and takes in light.

Rumi, Mathnawi IV, 2992-3008, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.8.

(...) Now, man also has an inner capacity for discernment; and when it falls ill, whatever his internal senses see or say is contrary to actuality. In this case, the saints are the physicians who help to straighten his essence, and his heart and religion to be strenghtened. "Show me things as they are!" (a prophetic hadith, arina 'l-ashya')

Rumi, Fihi Ma Fihi #11, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.78.

Consider how wool is turned into an elegantly designed carpet by coming into contact with an intelligent person. See how dirt can be turned into a fine palace by coming into contact with an intelligent person. If association with the intelligent has such an effect on inanimate objects, think what effect there will be when one seeker of God associates with another ... God's saints have witnessed heavens beyond the heavens we know. (...) The sheik is the root of spiritual joy. The oceans of joy are with him.

Rumi, Fihi Ma Fihi #63, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.123.

Companionship with the holy makes you one of them.
Though you're rock or marble, you'll become a jewel
when you reach the man of heart.

Rumi, Mathnawi I, 717, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.126.

Now some men have so followed their highest intelligence that they have become totally angelic and pure light. These are the prophets and saints who are free of fear and hope (...). There are others whose intellects have been so overcome by their lust that they have become totally bestial. Still others remain in the struggle. (...) The saints stand waiting to bring them to their own station and make them like themselves. The devils also lie in wait to pull them down to their level at the lowest depth.

Rumi, Fihi Ma Fihi #17, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.164.

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.

The sufi opens his hands to the universe
and gives away each instant, free.
Unlike someone who begs on the street for money to survive,
a dervish begs to give you his life.

Rumi, Furuzanfar #686, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.182.

The intellect of the solitary is hard for the demon to catch, for it shelters in the land of gentleness. There is scarcely any other virtue which the demons fear as much as gentleness. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.46

It is right to pray not only for your own purification, but also for that of all your fellow men, and so to imitate the angels. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.60.

The monk becomes equal to the angels through prayer, because of his longing to 'behold the face of the Father who is in heaven' (cf. Matt. 18:10). St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.68.

A man can be harmed by another only through the causes of the passions which lie within himself. It is for this reason that God, the Creator of all and the Doctor of men's souls, who alone has accurate knowledge of the soul's wounds, does not tell us to forsake the company of men; he tells us to root out the causes of evil within us and to recognize that the soul's health is achieved not by a man's separating from his fellows, but by his living the ascetic life in the company of holy men. St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.87.

(Abba Moses said): We should learn from examples provided by human arts and sciences. If we cannot accomplish anything in them by ourselves - in spite of the fact that they deal with things we can touch with our hands, see with our eyes and hear with our ears - but still need someone who will instruct us well and guide us, how can it be anything but foolish to think that the spiritual art, the most difficult of all the arts, has no need of a teacher? It is an invisible, hidden art which is understood only through purity of heart, (...). St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.104.

For it is dangerous to isolate oneself completely, relying on one's own judgment with no one else as witness; (...) Thus a man should try to live with those who possess spiritual knowledge, or at least to consult them continually, (...). St. Mark the Ascetic (4th Century C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.158.

There is another thing which in my opinion is truly disgraceful, and for which with good reason we are ridiculed by all. When someone has just entered the monastic life and has learnt merely about the outward practices of asceticism - how and when monks pray, what they eat and how they dress - at once he claims to teach others concerning things he has not mastered himself. He goes about with a bevy of disciples, although himself still needing instruction; he thinks is easy to be a spiritual guide, not realizing that the care of other men's souls is of all things the most difficult. For men must first be purified from old defilements, and then with close attention must learn about holiness. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.215.

Experience shows that the task of guiding others should be undertaken by someone who is equable and has no personal advantage in view. For such a person, having tasted stillness and contemplation, and begun in some measure to be inwardly at peace, will not choose to entangle his intellect with bodily cares; he will not want to turn it away from knowledge and drag it down from the spiritual to the material. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.218.

For if he is going to purify the actions of those who come to him, he must to some degree himself share their defilement, just as a basin of water, while cleaning the hands of those who wash, itself receives their dirt. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.220.

The same happens to those who try to teach on the basis of what they have wrongly understood from others, and who cannot complete the task because they do not speak from personal experience. Half-way through they are discovered to be contradicting themselves; and then they admit their ignorance, finding themselves in trouble because their teaching is merely borrowed. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.221.

First, let him examine himself carefully, to see whether he can teach them through his actions rather than his words, setting his own life before them as a model of holiness. He must take care that, through copying him, they do not obscure the beauty of holiness with the ugliness of sin. He should also realize that he ought to work as hard for his disciples' salvation as he does for his own; for, having once accepted responsibility for them, he will be accountable to God for them as well as for himself. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.223.

Under the influence of self-esteem, a man may perhaps enter the priesthood or the life of monastic perfection; and because many come to him for help, his self-esteem makes him think highly of himself thanks to what he says and does. So, by beguiling him with such thoughts, self-esteem draws him far away from the inner watchfulness that he should possess. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.227.

In order to escape such vice, the saints fled from the towns and avoided meeting a large number of people, foe they knew that the company of corrupt men is more destructive than a plague. This is why, indifferent to gain, they let their estates become sheep-pastures, so to avoid distractions. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.240.

They fled from the sophisticated wickedness of men and from all the unnatural things of which the towns are full, not wishing to be swept off their feet and carried along with all the others into the whirlpool of confusion. They were glad to live with the wild beasts, judging them less harmful than their fellow men. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.241.

All of us, the, who long to make spiritual progress should strive to imitate the holiness of the saints. Let us rid ourselves of enslavement to the body's demands and pursue freedom. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.241.

If, therefore, you want to acquire all these virtues, be detached from every man, flee from the world and sedulously follow the path of the saints. Dress shabbily, behave simply, speak unaffectedly, do not be haughty in the way you walk, live in poverty and let yourself be despised by everyone. Abba Philimon (VI-VII Century C.E.), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.345.

(...) we talked about the Spiritual Father. To have one is an awesome gift, yet one that every monk truly needs. This man is to be entrusted with one's whole self in the Lord. He should be a man who is always in the presence of God, never in the way, allowing God's gifts to flow through, seeing all the need of his disciple and applying the Word of God to it. The Spiritual Father must be a man with a pure heart. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.35.

The saintliness of a life is transmitted from him who has achieved it to those who come within his circle; for there is truth in the Prophet's saying, that one who lives with a man who is holy and clean and elect will become such himself. Gregory of Nyssa, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.35.

We talked about the Spiritual Father. If the disciple gives himself fully to the Father, the Father must give himself fully. He must seek within to see if this relation is wanted by God. His own heart must be very pure - no human motivation or seeking of personal gain or fame. The Father must stand before God for his son pouring out prayers for him, making good for all his son's sins, bringing him forth through pain and suffering. He best teaches him the way of prayer by his own love of prayer, evoking in him desire to pray without ceasing. By obedience to the Spiritual Father, the son learns to be in submission to God and to humble himself. He must obey in all that is not immoral or heretical. If the Father is wrong, God will win out. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.42.

(..) a good Spiritual Father has no desire for power - although in fact he may have considerable - the power of love; his only concern is for the good and peace and growth of his sons. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.77.

The monk here may never heard about the psychological school of affirmation (...). But they know it in practice. They learn it from the Gerontas (elder - P.R.) whose whole person affirms. And the goodness they affirm really radiates from themselves. They are men of love and joy, truly seeking God with most generous hearts. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.86.

I think I have to ask myself constantly, Do I really want to be a monk? Then I have to be monos – alone – with God alone. That means the letting go of everything and everyone else. (…) When I give up things and even loved ones for Christ’s sake, I receive a hundredfold even in this life! And that happens quite literally. (…) Why? So that I might give up even more. It leads to more and more purity of heart, a more and more total choice of God. (…) To want to be a monk and yet to want to hang on to things, people, my own will, is to want a fiction, to want to make my life a fiction. (…) If I really need to hang on to people, to things, then I had best stop hanging on to the idea of being a monk. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.147-8.

(…) “May a just man chasten me with justice and reprove me.” What a blessing it is to have someone in our lives who cares enough for us that he actively helps us to stay on the straight and narrow. This is part of the role of the Spiritual Father. It is something one can hope to receive from his brothers when he joins a Christian community – what Aquinas calls the “alms” of fraternal correction. It is something worth of praying for and seeking. A tremendous help to progress; I might say, an almost absolute need if one hopes to avoid all self-delusion and to progress steadily in the ways of Christian holiness. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.179.

The Gerontas replied that the monk has to be left to face God. The Spiritual Father’s role is to encourage (…) and not get between God and the monk. He is to help the monk in discernment so that he will not take sensible feelings or imagination as being the work of the Spirit and miss the true movement or leading of the Spirit. (…) Leaving the world by entering the monastery, he has no reason to go back to it in thought or imagination. If he does, he can lose all. He quickly quiets down and finds the interior silence so he can hear God. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.183.

“A single reprimand does more for a man of intelligence than a hundred lashes for a fool.” Proverbs 17:10. Quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.192.

The important thing is not to neglect the opportunity to become a saint. That is more the Lord’s doing. But I tend to think up my own programs and get rather attached to them, rather than letting him work his way. This is the delicate area of freedom, purity, and discernment. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.244.

The man who stands before God, drawing his presence into the world, letting it reflect and dance in our midst as sun upon water, letting it enter in, such a man is more important than all the ecclesiastical programs and activities. (…) he must remain behind, be hidden. If he stands out it is not good. It is the beginning of a fall. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.256.

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.


That which sees all this, and the nothing too, is the inner teacher. He alone is, all else appears to be. He is your own self (swarupa), your hope and assurance of freedom, find him and cling to him and you will be saved and safe. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.51.


Last updated: 2013/05/25

See the related subjects: Holiness, Humanism, Mystical Union, Service, Strive for God