Hinduism: quotes and teachings from the
Who knows this truly, and who will now declare it, what paths
lead together to the gods? Only their lowest aspects of existence
are seen, who exist on supreme, mystical planes.
Hinduism. Rig Veda 3.54.5
Eye cannot see him, nor words reveal him;
by the senses, austerity, or works he is not known.
When the mind is cleansed by the grace of wisdom,
he is seen by contemplation--the One without parts.
Hinduism. Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.8
The door of the Truth is covered by a golden
disc. Open it, O Nourisher!
Remove it so that I who have been worshipping
the Truth may behold It.
O Nourisher, lone Traveler of the sky! Controller!
Hinduism. Isha Upanishad 15-16
O Sun, offspring of Prajapati! Gather Your rays;
withdraw Your light. I would see, through Your grace,
that form of Yours which is the fairest.
He, that Person who dwells there--is I myself!
Known by the name of Protectress
Hinduism. Atharva Veda 10.8.31
is the Goddess girt by Eternal Law;
by her beauty are these trees green
and have put on their green garlands.
For each and every form He is the Model;
it is His form that is to be seen everywhere;
Indra moves multiform by His creative charm;
The bay steeds yoked to His car are a thousand.
Hinduism. Rig Veda 6.47.18
He is the one God, hidden in all beings, all-pervading, the Self
within all beings, watching over all works, dwelling in all beings,
the witness, the perceiver, the only one, free from qualities.
Hinduism. Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.11
Just as light is diffused from a fire which is confined to one
spot, so is this whole universe the diffused energy of the supreme
Brahman. And as light shows a difference, greater or less, according
to its nearness or distance from the fire, so is there a variation
in the energy of the impersonal Brahman. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva
are his chief energies. The deities are inferior to them; the
yakshas, etc. to the deities; men, cattle, wild animals, birds, and
reptiles to the yakshas, etc.; and trees and plants are the lowest
of all these energies....
Vishnu is the highest and most immediate of all the energies of
Brahman, the embodied Brahman, formed of the whole Brahman. On him
this entire universe is woven and interwoven: from him is the world,
and the world is in him; and he is the whole universe. Vishnu, the
Lord, consisting of what is perishable as well as what is
imperishable, sustains everything, both Spirit and Matter, in the
form of his ornaments and weapons.
Hinduism. Vishnu Purana 1
If you think that you know well the truth of Brahman, know that you
know little. What you think to be Brahman in your self, or what you
think to be Brahman in the gods--that is not Brahman. What is indeed
the truth of Brahman you must therefore learn.
I cannot say that I know Brahman fully. Nor can I say that I know
Him not. He among us knows Him best who understands the spirit of
the words, "Nor do I know that I know Him not."
He truly knows Brahman who knows Him as beyond knowledge; he who
thinks that he knows, knows not. The ignorant think that Brahman is
known, but the wise know Him to be beyond knowledge.
Hinduism. Kena Upanishad 2.1-3
The eye cannot see it; the mind cannot grasp it.
Hinduism. Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.6
The deathless Self has neither caste nor race,
Neither eyes nor ears nor hands nor feet.
Sages say this Self is infinite in the great
And in the small, everlasting and changeless,
The source of life.
As long as there is duality, one sees "the other," one hears "the
other," one smells "the other," one speaks to "the other," one
thinks of "the other," one knows "the other"; but when for the
illumined soul the all is dissolved in the Self, who is there to be
seen by whom, who is there to be smelled by whom, who is there to be
heard by whom, who is there to be spoken to by whom, who is there to
be thought of by whom, who is there to be known by whom? Ah,
Maitreyi, my beloved, the Intelligence which reveals all--by what
shall it be revealed? By whom shall the Knower be known? The Self is
described as "not this, not that" (neti, neti). It is
incomprehensible, for it cannot be comprehended; undecaying, for it
never decays; unattached, for it never attaches itself; unbound, for
it is never bound. By whom, O my beloved, shall the Knower be known?
Hinduism. Bhrihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.5.15
The Self is one. Ever still, the Self is
Swifter than thought, swifter than the senses.
Though motionless, he outruns all pursuit.
Without the Self, never could life exist.
The Self seems to move, but is ever still.
He seems far away, but is ever near.
He is within all, and he transcends all.
The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self,
Hinduism. Isha Upanishad 4-8
Indivisible, untouched by sin, wise,
Immanent and transcendent. He it is
Who holds the cosmos together.
"In what does the Infinite rest?"
"In its own glory--nay, not even in that. In the world it is said
that cows and horses, elephants and gold, slaves, wives, fields, and
are man's glory--but these are poor and finite things.
How shall the Infinite rest anywhere but in itself?
"The infinite is below, above, behind, before, to the right, to the
left. I am all this. This Infinite is the Self. The Self is below,
behind, before, to the right, to the left. I am all this. One who
meditates upon, and realizes the truth of the Self--such a one
the Self, rejoices in the Self. He becomes master of himself, master
all worlds. Slaves are they who know not this truth."
Hinduism. Chandogya Upanishad 7.23-25
The Supreme Being (Purusha) is thousand-headed,
thousand eyed, thousand footed;
and, pervading the earth on all sides,
He exists beyond the ten directions.
The Supreme Being, indeed, is all this,
what has been and what will be,
and the Lord of immortality
as well as of mortal creatures.
Such is His magnificence, but
the Supreme Being is even greater than this;
all beings are a fourth of Him,
three-fourths--His immortality--lie in heaven.
Three-fourths of the Supreme Being ascended;
Hinduism. Rig Veda 10.90.1-4
the fourth part came here again and again,
and, diversified in form, it moved
to the animate and the inanimate world.
My material world is eightfold,
Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 7.4-7
divided into earth, water,
Fire, air, ether, mind, the faculty of meditation,
This is the lower nature. My higher
nature is different.
It is the very life
that sustains the world.
Do not forget that this is the source
of all existence.
I am the genesis and the end
of the entire world.
There is nothing higher than I am,
O Conqueror of Wealth!
The world is strung on me
like pearls on a string.
Thou art the sun
Thou art the air
Thou art the moon
Thou art the starry firmament
Thou art Brahman Supreme;
Thou art the waters--thou, the Creator of all!
Thou art woman, thou art man,
Thou art the youth, thou art the maiden,
Thou art the old man tottering with his staff;
Thou facest everywhere.
Thou art the dark butterfly,
Hinduism. Svetasvatara Upanishad 4.2-4
Thou art the green parrot with red eyes,
Thou art the thunder cloud, the seasons, the seas.
Without beginning art Thou,
Beyond time and space.
Thou art He from whom sprang
The three worlds.
Brahman shines forth, vast, self-luminous,
inconceivable, subtler than the subtle. He is far beyond what is
far, and yet here very near at hand. Verily, He is seen here,
dwelling in the cave of the heart of conscious beings.
Hinduism, Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.7
The supreme Self is without a beginning,
undifferentiated, deathless. Though it dwells in the body,
Arjuna, it neither acts nor is touched by action. As radiation
pervades the cosmos but remains unstained, the Self can never be
tainted though it dwells in every creature.
Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 13.32
In the golden city of the heart dwells
The Lord of Love, without parts, without stain.
Know him as the radiant light of lights.
There shines not the sun, neither moon nor star,
Hinduism. Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.10-11
Nor flash of lightning, nor fire lit on earth.
The Lord is the light reflected by all.
He shining, everything shines after him.
I am the nucleus of every creature, Arjuna; for
without Me nothing can exist, neither animate nor
inanimate.... Wherever you find strength, or beauty, or
spiritual power, you may be sure that these have sprung
from a spark of My essence.
Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 10.39, 41
At whose behest does the mind think? Who bids the
body live? Who makes the tongue speak? Who is that
effulgent Being that directs the eye to form and color
and the ear to sound?
The Self (Atman) is ear of the ear, mind of the mind,
speech of speech. He is also breath of the breath, and
eye of the eye. Having given up the false identification
of the Self with the senses and the mind, and knowing
the Self to be Brahman, the wise, on departing this
life, become immortal.
Hinduism. Kena Upanishad 1.1-2
The great, unborn Self is undecaying, immortal,
undying, fearless, infinite.
Hinduism. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.25
The One who, himself without color, by the manifold
application of his power
Distributes many colors in his hidden purpose,
And into whom, its end and its beginning, the whole
He is God!
Hinduism. Svestasvatara Upanishad 4.1
Who knows the Eternal's day
Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 8.17-21
and the Eternal's night,
Each lasting a thousand ages, truly
knows day and night.
At daybreak all things are disclosed;
they arise from the unmanifest.
At dusk they dissolve into
the very same unmanifest.
Again and again, the whole multitude
of creatures is born, and when night falls,
Is dissolved, without their will,
and at daybreak, is born again.
Beyond that unmanifest is
another, everlasting unmanifest
Which has no end, although
every creature perish.
This is called the imperishable
unmanifest and the highest goal.
Who reaches it does not return.
It is my supreme abode.
The impermanent [objects of the senses] have no reality;
reality lies in the eternal. Those who have seen the
boundary between these two have attained the end of all
knowledge. Realize that which pervades the universe and is
indestructible; no power can affect this unchanging,
Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 2.16-17
At first was neither Being nor Nonbeing.
There was not air nor yet sky beyond.
What was its wrapping? Where? In whose protection?
Was Water there, unfathomable and deep?
There was no death then, nor yet deathlessness;
of night or day there was not any sign.
The One breathed without breath, by its own impulse.
Other than that was nothing else at all.
Darkness was there, all wrapped around by darkness,
and all was Water indiscriminate. Then
that which was hidden by the void, that One, emerging,
stirring, through the power of ardor (tapas), came to be.
In the beginning Love arose,
which was the primal germ cell of the mind.
The Seers, searching in their hearts with wisdom,
discovered the connection of Being in Nonbeing.
A crosswise line cut Being from Nonbeing.
What was described above it, what below?
Bearers of seed there were and mighty forces,
thrust from below and forward move above.
Who really knows? Who can presume to tell it?
Whence was it born? Whence issued this creation?
Even the gods came after its emergence.
Then who can tell from whence it came to be?
That out of which creation has arisen,
Hinduism. Rig Veda 10.129
whether it held it firm or it did not,
He who surveys it in the highest heaven,
He surely knows--or maybe He does not!
As the web issues out of the spider
And is withdrawn, as plants sprout from the earth,
As hair grows from the body, even so,
The sages say, this universe springs from
The deathless Self, the source of life.
The deathless Self meditated upon
Himself and projected the universe
As evolutionary energy.
From this energy developed life, mind,
The elements, and the world of karma,
Which is enchained by cause and effect.
The deathless Self sees all, knows all. From him
Hinduism. Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.7-9
Springs Brahma, who embodies the process
Of evolution into name and form
By which the One appears to be many.
My shape is unmanifest, but I
pervade the world.
All beings have their being in me,
but I do not rest in them.
See my sovereign technique:
creatures both in me and not in me.
Supporting beings, my person brings
beings to life, without living in them.
I am omnipresent as the storm wind
which resides in space.
All beings exist in me.
All creatures enter into my nature
at the end of an eon.
In another beginning
I send them forth again.
Establishing my own nature,
time after time I send them forth,
This host of beings, without
their will, by dint of that nature.
This activity does not
imprison me, O Fighter for Wealth!
I appear as an onlooker, detached
in the midst of this work.
Nature gives birth to all moving
and unmoving things. I supervise.
That is how the world keeps turning,
Son of Kunti!
Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 9.4-10
Hinduism. Srimad Bhagavatam 11.10
Nothing whatsoever exists without me or beyond me. The atoms
of the universe may be counted, but not so my
manifestations; for eternally I create innumerable worlds.
To love is to know Me,
Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 18.55
My innermost nature,
The truth that I am.
Love is the firstborn, loftier than the gods, the
Fathers and men.
You, O Love, are the eldest of all, altogether mighty.
To you we pay homage!
Greater than the breadth of earth and heaven, or of
waters and Fire,
You, O Love, are the eldest of all, altogether mighty.
To you we pay homage!
In many a form of goodness, O Love, you show your
Grant that these forms may penetrate within our hearts.
Send elsewhere all malice!
Atharva Veda 9.2.19-20, 25
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