'The Teachings of Guru Dev - The Roots of TM'
Quotations of Shankaracharya Swami Brahmananda Saraswati
Compiled by Paul Mason
© Paul Mason 2006, 2007

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Miscellaneous Quotations of Guru Dev

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- Guru Dev -
Shankaracharya Swami Brahmananda Saraswati

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'What is the difference between Jiva and Brahman?

The difference is the same as the difference between rice and paddy. Remove the skin of the paddy and it is rice. Similarly, remove the covering of Maya, and the Jiva will become Brahman.'

[Bharatiya Darshana-Parishhad (All-India Philosophical Association), Calcutta, December 1950]

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'One should know as to how to live in the world and he will be happy. Your body and wealth is useful in the world and your mind is useful on the path to God. Do not apply too much mind in the world than necessary otherwise it would be a waste and a loss to both material and spiritual aspects of life. Just like putting more than necessary gum to paste the envelope. The gum will be wasted and the envelope will be spoiled.

Either live and leave yourself at the entire mercy of God or act according to the dictates of the Shastras. The kitten will not move from its place unless the mother cat removes it, even though the male cat may kill it. In this case the mother cat takes care and hides it from the male cat. The young one of a monkey on comprehending danger at once runs to the mother and she takes it to the place of safety! If it runs to some other side than the mother then it would be a risk of its life. Similarly if people act according to their mind and not according to the Shastras then they will be mislead and again fall in the circle of birth and rebirth.'
[quoted in Shankaracharya ashram publicity material, 1952]

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'The dawn comes to dispel the darkness of night,
allowing us to enjoy the light of the sun
(which is self-illuminating).

shastras destroy ignorance
and therefore remove darkness,
but they cannot throw light on the inner Self,
for the Self is Light.'

[ref: 'A course of lectures is of course calculated to throw light on the student's knowledge of the knowable, but in matters of abstract knowledge and invisible soul, it is the soul itself that must throw its own light.' YV 6.41.14
'No explanation of the shastras, nor the lectures of the preceptor, are calculated to give light on spiritual knowledge, unless it is understood of the spirit itself.'
YV 6.41.15
- 'Yoga-Vāsistha of Vālmīki' (trans. Mitra / Arya - Parimal 1998)]

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'One day a man who was considered to be very wealthy came to Gurudev. He said to him:

"I have been so happy whenever I have come to you. Would you allow me to donate something for your ashram?"

"No", said Gurudev, "I do not want your money but I want from you what is dearest to you!"

"Do you want my estates?"

"No, your estates do not belong to you, you have so many debts."

Now the man was deeply frightened! Gurudev continued quietly:

"You have a little box in your pocket, what is in it, that is what I want, for that is dearest to you! For that cocaine you have been spending all your money and have made your family unhappy. If you have to make an offering, offer not your money but your defects, so that you are redeemed and made whole."

Trembling the man took out of his pocket a little box and handed it to Gurudev. He prostrated before the master for a long time and then thanked him from the deepest bottom of his heart for having been cured of his addiction.

Gurudev said: "Now go and work and make your family happy!"'


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