Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quote of the Week 106 - The Path to Truth

The path to truth or the path of truth is a contradiction in terms. Truth is not distant. How can there be a path to it then? Truth is with you already; it is your Self already. You are in it already; nay, you are truth. You are that. So it is wrong to make use of the words “path of truth”. Your realization of God consciousness, realization of divinity, is not a thing to be accomplished; it is not a thing to be achieved. It is not a thing to be done; it is done already. You are that already. You have simply to break through the cocoons of desires which imprison you; you have simply to undo what you have done.

This undoing of what has been done is to some a very hard task, and thus with reference to the path to truth we shall discuss the process of undoing. There is some effort to be made in undoing your snares. What are these snares, these chains and shackles which bind you? …The truth is that all your attachments, all your loves and hatreds, all your desires are shackles and chains. These bind you. These do not allow you to see God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve mammon and God at the same time. You cannot be a slave of the flesh and at the same time the master of the universe. To realize the truth is to become the master of the universe, and to entertain desires is to acknowledge bondage, thralldom and slavery of the things of this world…

Rama says, take up your duty or work with no notice or desire on your part. Do your work; enjoy your work, because your work by itself is pleasure, because work is the other name of realization. Take to your work because you have to do. Work leads you to realization. Do not take to work on any other ground. Come to your work in an independent spirit…so come to your work because pleasure or happiness lives in the garb of work. Independent we feel, not bound by a thing.

People say duty, duty, duty. Why should duty lord it over you? Feel no responsibility to anybody; you are your own Lord. Have no fear. We say you will have to work, but when your hands are not employed, when your hands are free and you are sitting in your room, enjoy your godhead, relish your divinity. That is the finest work. There throw aside all attachment you own. People say that attachment is necessary, motives are necessary, to make us work. A false idea. Give up all attachment; free yourself of all desires and the very second you find yourself free, you feel no responsibility or burdens thrown on your shoulders. All the burdens on your shoulders are placed there by yourself. Nobody is required to come and relieve you of the burdens. When you find all the objects of love are with you, when you live this Vedanta, your whole being is light. Being the Light of lights, to whom are you to pray for light? This is the secret. Free you become. Who puts you in bondage? Who is it that enslaves you? Your own desires, nothing else. All the magnetism of the world, all the powers of the world, flow from you; all the miracles of the world are your abject slaves, nothing more. Get rid of these desires; free you become this moment, and when you get rid of all desires, what immense joy should it not bring you? No responsibility, no fear. Why should you fear? You are afraid lest this thing should be lost. You fear this man; you fear that; you fear ridicule; because you desire this good name, you are attached to good name. All fear and anxiety is the result of desires; headaches and heartaches are the consequences of desires. You cringe and sneak before the president or king because you desire his good grace. You become the Lord of lords, the King of kings when you are free of desires, when one by one these desires are thrown off. How free and happy you become that moment! Thus Rama says that the path of truth is not a thing to be accomplished or brought about. By your exertions and efforts you will have to undo simply the bondage and thralldom which you have already done through your desires.

--Swami Rama Tirtha, March 1, 1903, from The Practical Vedanta of Swami Rama Tirtha, Edited by Brandt Dayton

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Quote of the Week 381 - Heaven

Heaven is all round,

Translated to sound.

--Michael Hedges



Announcing Publication of New Book, DIMENSIONS: Navigation the Spiritual Spectrum

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum, now available at Amazon, in paperback print and Kindle versions. It is easily found by searching my name, or by searching the full title and subtitle. You can also click on the image of the book in the right hand column of this blog.

What a great way to start the New Year, cozying up to a fire, real or imagined, and reading a new spiritually inspiring book, sure to become a classic!

DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum

Grounded in the traditions of Torah and Veda, Steven J. Gold takes us on an oceanic tour of the depth and breadth of spiritual consciousness. Sharing personal stories and insights into various traditional scriptures as examples, he urges us to adopt a spiritual worldview, to “ponder infinity, awake and arise,” to “find your inspiration and follow it.”

“The chapters…are records of what happens when Steve’s right mind, and heart, are given full freedom to wander where they wish. As discoveries and correlations are made, his well-trained left mind and sharp wit give his observations shape and form…” – Brother Shankara, Resident Minister, Vedanta Center of Atlanta

“Universal Ice Cream: Dive deep into Steve’s wonderful book to help find your favorite flavor on the Spiritual Spectrum.” – Rabbi Mitch Cohen, Spiritual Leader, Congregation Shalom B’Harim, Dahlonega, GA

“Steven J. Gold’s Dimensions is an exploration of spirituality from the inside out. If you are looking for a guide through the pathless land of truth, read this book.” – Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of The World Wisdom Bible

Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Groups

Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest: