“It is not your passing thoughts or brilliant ideas so much as your plain everyday habits that control your life. Live Simply. Don’t get caught in the machine of the world— it is too exacting. By the time you get what you are seeking your nerves are gone, the heart is damaged, and the bones are aching. Resolve to develop your spiritual powers more earnestly from now on. Learn the art of right living. If you have joy you have everything, so learn to be glad and contented… Have happiness now.” ~Paramahansa Yogananda
“The disciple thinks as follows: ‘I have taken shelter of the guru and been initiated by him. I have now embarked on the road to pure devotion. If my behavior is faulty, then people will not stop at criticizing only me, but will also find fault with my spiritual master, my worshipable deity, the devotional path, the entire Vaishnava Sampradaya, the previous acaryas, even religion itself. They will disparage the scriptures, the great authorities who wrote them, and everyone who follows their injunctions. In the end, they will criticize belief in God itself and all doctrines leading to a higher, transcendental goal in life. They will even condemn my father and mother and their families. As a result, I will have become blameworthy before all these people and end up in hellish existence for many births with nothing to say in my defense. …If I fall from the standards of behavior expected of a saintly person and Vaishnava, then immediately all the generations of my family will fall into hell. Can I fall down in this way and become the shame and misfortune of my entire family?’
“Just as a drop of ink on a white cloth is clearly visible, the misbehavior of a person who has taken to the religious life stands out and attracts the criticisms of all.”
~Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja, from Art of Sadhana
I’ve been reading the Ashtavakra Gita a lot lately. It’s one of the more accessible Hindu holy texts, and a nice translation by John Richards has been released to the public domain and is available from WikiSource, HERE.
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“It is easy. You complicate it! It is simple. Don’t make any effort, stay quiet and the noisy surface dialogues will cease. Then the substratum will rise up to the top. It is simple. Follow this.” ~Sri H. W. L. “Papaji” Poonja