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Swami Abhedananda Lecture Series - 2018

Sister Nivedita

Breaking Barriers - Interfaith Conference

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Sayings of Holy Mother Sarada Devi


Holy Mother Sarada Devi

  • Open your grief-stricken heart to the Lord. Weep and sincerely pray, 'O Lord, draw me towards You; give me peace of mind.' By doing so constantly you, will gradually attain peace of mind.
  • Pray to God with tears in your eyes whenever you want illumination or find yourself faced with any doubt or difficulty. The Lord will remove all your impurities, assuage your mental anguish, and give you enlightenment.
  • One who makes a habit of prayer will easily overcome all difficulties and remain calm and unruffled in the midst of the trials of life.
  • We have to surrender ourselves completely to the Lord with faith and devotion in Him, serve others to the best of our capacity, and never be a source of sorrow to anybody. 
  • Such is life, here today, gone tomorrow! Nothing goes with one, except one's merit and demerit; good and evil deeds follow one even after death.
  • He who thinks always of the Lord, which way can evil come to him?
  • Certainly you will have doubts. There will be questionings and faith will return again. That is how faith is established.
  • Give up this dry discussion, this hodge-podge of philosophy. Who has been able to know God by reasoning? Even sages like Suka and Vyasa are at best like big ants trying to carry away a few grains of sugar from a large heap
  • He who has really prayed to the Master, even once, has nothing to fear. By, praying to him constantly one gets ecstatic love (Prema Bhakti) through his grace.
  • Is faith so cheap, my child? Faith is the last word. If one has faith, the goal is practically reached.
  • Does one get faith by mere studying of books? Too much reading creates confusion. The Master used to say that one should learn from the scriptures that God alone is real and the world illusory.
  • The Mother of the universe is the Mother of all. From Her have come out both good and evil.
  • Does it matter in the least to God whether you believe or not? Even the sage Suka Deva was to Him like a big ant at the most. Infinite is He. How much can you understand of Him?
  • Why do people argue? Even the wisest of men have not found God through argument! Is God a subject for argument?
  • God is one's very own. It is the eternal relationship. He is everyone's own. One realizes Him in proportion to the intensity of one's feeling for Him.
  • God cannot be realized without love. Yes, sincere love.
  • The grace of God is the thing that is needful. One should pray for the grace of God.
  • He who will pray to God eagerly will see Him.
  • If one calls upon Him repeatedly, He becomes compassionate; and so a devoted attachment comes into being. This love for love's sake should be hidden from all eyes.
  • Realization of God cannot be achieved without ecstatic love for Him.
  • The whole world is a dream; even this (the waking state) is a dream ... What you dreamt last night does not exist now.
  • Everything, husband, wife, or even the body, is only illusory. These are all shackles of illusion. Unless you can free yourself from these bondages, you will never be able to go to the other shore of the world.
  • However strong or beautiful this body may be, its culmination is in those three pounds of ashes. And still people are so attached to it. Glory be to God.
    • Context: In Hindus, when a person dies he is cremated in fire. Sarada Devi is referring to this as "three pounds of ashes".
  • What an illusion Mahamaya has conjured up! Here is this infinite world, and what one claims as his possession will be left behind at death. Still men cannot understand this simple truth.
  • The world is the Lord's. He created it for His own play. We are mere pawns in His game. Wherever He keeps us and in whatever way He does so, we have to abide by it contentedly.
  • When God first created man, He endowed him with the spirit of goodness. As a result, men were born with wisdom …. they took the Name of God and …. were liberated from the bonds of life. God thought, 'This will not do….In the end…..He mingled in profuse quantities of the spirit of materialism and that of vanity. Now the game of life went on with a swing!
  • Let me tell you one thing. There is great complexity in this creation. The Master does one thing through one man and another thing through another person. Oh, it is so inscrutable!
  • In the course of time one does not feel even the existence of God. After attaining enlightenment one sees that gods and deities are all Maya.
  • A person may have no relatives anywhere, but Mahamaya may make him keep a cat and thus make him worldly. This is how She plays!
  • One must have reverence for one's Guru. ... One's chance of salvation lies in one's reverence for him. Observe how the disciples of the Master revere him. Out of this reverence for him they revere not only all the members of his family, but even the cats from his home-district!
  • If you do a good act, it cancels the effects of your evil deeds. If one prays, takes the Name of God and thinks of Him, the effects of evil are cancelled.
  • No doubt, God alone has become all these objects, animate and inanimate, but in the relative world all beings act and suffer according to their past Karma and innate tendencies.
  • We suffer as a result of our own actions; it is unfair to blame anybody for it.
  • The creation itself is full of griefs. How can one understand joy if there is no sorrow? And how can everyone be happy at the same time?
  • No one can suffer for all time. No one will spend all his days on this earth in suffering. Every action brings its own result, and one gets one's opportunities accordingly.
  • Each has to get the results of the actions he earned for this life. A pin at least must prick where a wound from a sword was due.
  • One suffers as a result of one's own actions. So, instead of blaming others for such sufferings, one should pray to the Lord and depending entirely on His grace, try to bear them patiently and with forbearance under all circumstances.
  • You see, my son, it is not a fact that you will never face dangers. Difficulties always come, but they do not last forever. You will see that they pass away like water under a bridge.
  • Don't be afraid. Human birth is full of suffering and one has to endure everything patiently, taking the Name of God. None, not even God in human form can escape the sufferings of the body and mind.
  • Even Avataras, saints, and sages have to undergo the ordeal of suffering, for they take upon themselves the burden of sins of omission and commission of ordinary human beings and thereby sacrifice themselves for the good of humanity.
  • People complain about their griefs and sorrows and how they pray to God but find no relief from pain. But grief itself is a gift from God. It is the symbol of His compassion.
  • My son, forbearance is a great virtue; there's no other like it.
  • One must be patient like the earth. What iniquities are being perpetrated on her! Yet she quietly endures them all. Man, too, should be like that.
  • The happiness of the world is transitory. The less you become attached to the world, the more you enjoy peace of mind.
  • There is no treasure equal to contentment and no virtue equal to fortitude.
  • My child, I bless you from my heart that you live long, attain devotion, and enjoy peace. Peace is the principal thing. One needs peace alone.
  • Even the impossible becomes possible through devotion.
  • The world is going on because not all can be free of desires. People with desires are born again and again.
  • As long as a man has desires there is no end to his transmigration. It is the desires alone that make him take one body after another. There will be rebirth for a man if he has even the desire to eat a piece of candy.
  • Desire may be compared to a minute seed. It is like a big banyan tree growing out of a seed, which is no bigger than a dot.
  • Rebirth is inevitable so long as one has desires. It is like taking the soul from one pillow-case and putting it into another. Only one or two out of many men can be found who are free from all desires.
  • The body means the existence of desire, otherwise it would not have existed. It all ends when one no longer has any desires. 
  • This world is moving around like a wheel. That indeed is the last birth in which one gets completely rid of all desires.
  • It is best therefore to surrender all desires at the feet of God. He will do whatever is best for us. But one may pray for devotion and detachment. These cannot be classed as desires.
  • In one word, one should desire of God desirelessness. For desire alone is at the root of all suffering. It is the cause of repeated births and deaths. It is the obstacle in the way of liberation.
  • Do you notice this human body? Today it is and tomorrow it is not. And the world is full of misery and pain. Why should one be eager to have another birth? The body is never free from its attendant troubles.
  • The difference between a great soul and an ordinary man is this: the latter weeps while leaving this body, whereas the former laughs. Death seems to him a mere play.
  • Whether you jump into water or are pushed into it, your cloth will get drenched. Is it not so? Meditate every day, as your mind is yet immature. Constant meditation will make the mind one-pointed.
  • If you do not pray to God, what is that to Him? It is only your misfortune.
  • The conjunction of the day and the night is the most auspicious time for calling on God. The mind remains pure at this time.
  • The mantra purifies the body. Man becomes pure by repeating the name of God. So repeat His name always.
  • Practise meditation, and by and by your mind will be so calm and fixed that you will find it hard to keep away from meditation.
  • One cannot escape from the effects of one past karma. But if a person lives a prayerful life, he gets off with only the prick of a thorn in the leg where he was to suffer from a deep cut.
  • You should work, no doubt. Work saves the mind from going astray. But prayer and meditation also are necessary. You must sit for meditation at least once in the morning and once in the evening. That will be like the helm of a boat. When one sits in meditation in the evening, there is self-examination in respect of the work done in the course of the day.
  • Ordinary human love results in misery. Love for God brings blessedness.
  • Many take the name of God after receiving blows in life. But he who can offer his mind like a flower at the feet of the Lord right up from childhood is indeed blessed.
  • An unmarried person is half free whether he prays to God or not. He will advance towards Him with rapid strides when he feel a little drawn towards Him.
  • You can practise pranayama a little, but no much, otherwise the brain will get heated. If the mind becomes calm of itself, what is then the necessity of practising pranayama? The practise of pranayama and asana often brings occult powers, and occult powers lead one astray.
  • First offer to God whatever you eat. One must not eat unoffered food. As your food is, so will be your blood. From pure food you get pure blood, pure mind, and strength. Pure mind begets ecstatic love (prema-bhakti).
  • The goal of life is to realize God and to be always immersed in thought in Him.
  • Everything depends on the mind. Nothing can be achieved without purity of mind. It is said, "The aspirant may have received the grace of the guru, the Lord and the Vaishnavas; but he comes to grief without the grace of 'one' ". That 'one' is the mind. The mind of the aspirant should be gracious to him.
  • What else does one obtain by realization of God? Does one grow two horns? No, the mind becomes pure, and through a pure mind one attains knowledge and awakening.
  • The mind is everything. It is in the mind alone that one feels pure and impure. A man, first of all, must make his own mind guilty and then alone can he see another man's guilt.
  • As clouds are blown away by the wind, the thirst for material pleasures will be driven away by the utterance of the Lord's name.
  • Don't puzzle the mind with too many inquiries. One finds it difficult to put one single thing into practising, but dares invite distraction by filling the mind with too many things.