Quotes to Live By: Your Guide to Yogic Wisdom In Bite-Size Form for Further Reflection, Peace of Mind, and Inner Clarity

There are many reasons why Master Sivananda is considered a veritable sage by those in India and abroad. Beyond his exemplary behavior, cheery attitude, and the uplifting impression he left on everyone that met him, there is the sheer volume of writing produced by Swami Sivananda during his life: over 300 books! These books are, thankfully, still accessible to us today and consist of many pearls of wisdom.

Following Swami Sivananda’s footsteps, Swami Vishnudevananda, our founder and beloved teacher, wrote the classics Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga, Meditation and Mantras and his many lectures and talks were transcribed and turned into books full of wisdom and inspiration.

We have taken the time here to gather only a select few of said pearls of wisdom for your perusal and further rumination. We highly suggest using these quotes as one would any positive affirmation or inspiring saying -- adding the quote to several visible places and returning to the words time and time again to further ponder their meaning. By doing so, one can use the insight gained from reflection to establish peace of mind, gain inner clarity, and help illuminate the events unfolding in one's own life.

"Eat a little, drink a little
Talk a little, sleep a little
Mix a little, move a little
Serve a little, rest a little
Work a little, relax a little
Study a little, worship a little
Do Asana a little, Pranayama a little
Reflect a little, meditate a little
Do Japa a little, do Kirtan a little
Write Mantra a little, have Satsang a little
Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize
Be good, Do good; Be kind, Be compassionate
Enquire 'Who am I?', Know the Self and be Free"

- Yoga of Synthesis by Swami Sivananda

Positive Affirmations

"The divine within you is stronger than anything that is without you. Therefore, be not afraid of anything." - Swami Sivananda

"There is something good in all seeming failures. You are not to see that now. Time will reveal it. Be patient." - Swami Sivananda

Quotes on Yoga

"Bear insult, bear injury, highest yoga." - Swami Sivananda

"Health is wealth, peace of mind is happiness, yoga shows the way." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"The infinite power is with you. Only when you understand that are you going to be a Yogi." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"When the energy is moving properly, you are bound to become healthy, strong and peaceful, radiating strength and vitality to others." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"One-sided development is not commendable. Religion and Yoga must educate and develop the whole man - his heart, intellect and hand. Then only he will have integral development." - Swami Sivananda

"A little practice of Hatha Yoga (Asanas and Pranayamas) will give you good health. Raja Yoga will steady your mind. Upasana and Karma Yoga will purify your heart and prepare you for the practice of Vedanta. Sankirtan will relax your mind and inspire you. Meditation will take you to liberation." - Swami Sivananda

"To behold the one Self in all beings is Jnana, wisdom; to love the Self is Bhakti, devotion; to serve the Self is Karma, action." - Swami Sivananda

Quotes on Human Nature, Failure, and Destiny

"Man is a strange complex mixture of will, feeling and thought. He is a triune being. He is like a tricycle or a three-wheeled chariot. He wills to possess the objects of his desires. He has emotion; and so he feels. He has reason and so he thinks and ratiocinates. In some the emotional element may preponderate, while in some others the rational element may dominate. Just as will, feelings and thought are not distinct and separate, so also, work, devotion and knowledge are not exclusive of one another. He must, therefore develop his heart, intellect and hand. Then alone can he attain perfection." - Swami Sivananda

"Man has made his own destiny by his own thinking and acting. He can change his destiny. He is the master of his own destiny. There is no doubt of this. By right thinking and strong exertion, he can become the master of his destiny." - Swami Sivananda

"Desire nothing, give up all desires and be happy." - Swami Sivananda

"Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future." - Swami Sivananda

"Let each man take the path according to his capacity, understanding and temperament. His true guru will meet him along that path." - Swami Sivananda

"In this very life, seek the summit. Pray. Surrender. Our will needs God’s grace, because our will is only a drop.  God’s grace is like the ocean." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"If you want to see your face clearly in a mirror, you must remove the dirt in the mirror, keep it steady, and remove the covering also. You can see your face clearly in the bottom of a lake only if the turbidity is removed, if the water that is agitated by the wind is rendered still, and if the moss that is lying on the surface is removed." - Swami Sivananda

"Action, emotion and intelligence are the three horses that are linked to this body-chariot. They should work in perfect harmony or unison. Then only the chariot will run smoothly. There must be integral development. You must have the head of Sankara, the heart of Buddha, and the hand of Janaka." - Swami Sivananda

Quotes on Love and World Peace

"Live in love. Breath in love. Sing in love. Eat in love. Drink in love. Talk in love. Pray in love. Meditate in love. Think in love. Move in love. Die in love. Purify your thoughts, speech and action in the fire of love. Bathe and plunge in the sacred ocean of love. Take the honey of love and become an embodiment of love." - Swami Sivananda

"Your duty is to treat everybody with love as a manifestation of the Lord." - Swami Sivananda

"Just as a mother who has lost nine children loves the only surviving son so dearly, so also you will have to develop boundless love for all beings." - Swami Sivananda

"All are called to develop Love and Compassion through repetition of the mantra Om Namo Narayanaya for your own peace and happiness, and to bring light to the world." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"For there to be peace, each person must go within to find that 'peace that passeth all understanding'." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"Let us not fight. Let us bring this essay of TWO: world brotherhood, unity in diversity. We should allow everyone to develop their religion, their language, their culture, their way of life. We can have beauty by having all these things." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"If we want to live peacefully, respecting others' wishes, others' religions and others' philosophies, and yet sticking to our own philosophy, our own religion, our faith, our own way of life, this is beauty. This is called 'unity in diversity'." - Swami Vishnudevananda

Quotes on Meditation, Concentration, and Thought Power

"Dive deep into that Silence. Stop the oscillating mind. Become free from any waves. Look within that Silence and you'll enjoy that peace, the music of your soul, that echoing Silence, your Self - I am." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"There is no limit to the power of human thought." - Swami Sivananda

"Failure is a stranger to work done with perfect attention." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"Balance of mind brings about real lasting happiness to a disciplined man. It is not a commodity which can be purchased on the market." - Swami Sivananda

"What limits the individual soul's vision? It is only the mind." - Swami Sivananda

"Mind is nothing but a collection of impressions. It is a bundle of habits. It is a collection of desires arising from contact with different objects. It is a collection of feelings aroused by worldly botherations; of ideas gathered from different objects. These desires, ideas and feelings change constantly." - Swami Sivananda

"Mind alone is the whole world, with its pains, old age, death, sin, earth, water, fire, air and ether, and all the internal organs. Mind binds man. He who has controlled his mind is a veritable god on earth. We live in a world of thoughts. First there is the thought and then there is the expression of that thought through the organ of speech." - Swami Sivananda

"Man has a mind. But mind is not man. Mind is a good servant. It is an instrument only. Utilise it tactfully and properly." - Swami Sivananda

"Every thought has an image, form, dimension, weight, shape, colour, etc. Thought is as much matter as a piece of stone. A table is a mental image plus some external something. Whatever you see outside has a counterpart in the mind." - Swami Sivananda

Quotes on the Goal of Life

"The true goal of life is to get back to the source from which we came." - Swami Sivananda

"To become one with the Infinite, and to serve God in all creation, should be the goal of life." - Swami Sivananda

"Please see that you surrender your life and do whatever you can to bring God’s energy to this universe so that there will be some peace here." - Swami Vishnudevananda

Quotes on Practice, the Spiritual Path and Spiritual Progress

"So remember practice everything and then God will give you more strength. Walk one step and God will walk two steps to you." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"The real spiritual progress of the aspirant is measured by the extent to which he achieves inner tranquility." Swami Sivananda

"Delight in good. Make up your mind to tread the spiritual path. Be patient. Go slowly. Go ahead. Be deliberate. Assert. Recognize. Realise: I am the immortal Soul. This is the discipline. This is Siva's message." - Swami Sivananda

"To cultivate sublime thoughts always keep yourself occupied in doing virtuous deeds and in the study of religious books. Destroy random thinking. Think of only one subject and its different aspects. When you do this never allow any other thought to enter the conscious mind. Again and again withdraw the mind to the subject on hand. Then take up another thought when you have exhausted the previous one. By this practice you will develop organised thinking. The mental images will gain intense strength and force; they will become clear-cut and well defined. In ordinary persons the mental images are undefined." - Swami Sivananda

Quotes on Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Selfless Action

"He who is travelling within you can see your actions. Then you can go ahead and He will take care of everything. Offer all to Him. Every action you perform, evening you do, do it for His sake. In this way, there will be no sin and neither negative actions nor positive actions can affect you. You will be ever free from all duality and attain eternal peace and harmony." - Swami Vishnudevananda

"By doing service you purify your heart. Egoism, hatred, jealousy, the idea of superiority and all the kindred negative qualities will vanish. Humility, pure love, sympathy, tolerance and mercy will be developed. The sense of separateness will be annihilated. Selfishness will be eradicated. You will get a broad and liberal outlook on life. You will begin to feel oneness and unity. Eventually you will obtain knowledge of the Self." - Swami Sivananda

"Develop keen enthusiasm for disinterested, selfless service. Be kind to all. Love all. Serve all. Be tolerant and generous towards all. Serve the Lord in all. That is the way to reach the goal." - Swami Sivananda

"A Karma Yogi who does all work in the form of worship of God in the beginning, who surrenders his body, mind, soul and all his actions as flowers or offerings at the Lotus Feet of the Lord, who is ever absorbed in the Lord by constant thought of God, loses himself in God-consciousness by total self-surrender. He gets absorbed in God. His will becomes one with the Cosmic Will." - Swami Sivananda

Quotes on Unity

"One Soul abides in all. There is one humanity. There is one brotherhood. There is one Atmanhood. None is high. None is low. All are equal. Vain are the distinctions. Man-made barriers should be ruthlessly broken down. Then alone there will be peace in this world." - Swami Sivananda

"You will realise "One in all" and "all in One". You will feel unbounded joy. What is society after all? It is nothing but a collection of units or individuals. The world is nothing but a manifestation of God. Service of humanity and the country is, in fact, nothing short of service of God. Service is worship." - Swami Sivananda

"I have seen God in my own Self. I have negated name and form, and what remains is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute and nothing else. I behold God everywhere. There is no veil. I am One. There is no duality. I rest in my own Self. My bliss is beyond description. The world of dreams has gone. I alone exist." - Swami Sivananda

Quotes on Kirtan and Satsanga

"Kirtan is singing the Lord's Name. It is the easiest, surest, and safest way for attaining God." - Swami Sivananda

One thought on “Quotes to Live By: Your Guide to Yogic Wisdom In Bite-Size Form for Further Reflection, Peace of Mind, and Inner Clarity

  1. Maria

    “Remember: All your talents, all your wealth, all
    your possessions are gifts from God. God has given
    you all these to serve the poor, the destitute and the suffering.”
    “What pleases God is your pure and sincere love or Prem and not
    any amount of material offerings.”

    -Swami Sivananda

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