It is true that one's spiritual feelings are awakened by looking at the picture of a sadhu. It is like being reminded of the custard-apple by looking at an imitation one, or like stimulating the desire for enjoyment by looking at a young woman. Therefore I tell you that you should constantly live in the company of holy men.
Nothing whatsoever is achieved in spiritual life without yearning. By constant living in the company of holy men, the soul becomes restless for God. This yearning is like the state of mind of a man who has someone ill in the family. His mind is in a state of perpetual restlessness, thinking how the sick person may be cured.
One finds peace of mind in the company of holy men.
One must live in holy company and pray unceasingly. One should weep for God. When the impurities of the mind are thus washed away, one realizes God. The mind is like a needle covered with mud, and God is like a magnet. The needle cannot be united with the magnet unless it is free from mud. Tears wash away the mud, which is nothing but lust, anger, greed, and other evil tendencies, and the inclination to worldly enjoyments as well. As soon as the mud is washed away, the magnet attracts the needle, that is to say, man realizes God.
Prayer and the company of holy men. You cannot get rid of an ailment without the help of a physician. But it is not enough to be in the company of religious people only for a day. You should constantly seek it, for the disease has become chronic. Again, you can't understand the pulse rightly unless you live with a physician. Moving with him constantly, you learn to distinguish between the pulse of phlegm and the pulse of bile.
What are the spiritual disciplines that give the mind its upward direction? One learns all this by constantly living in holy company. The rishis of olden times lived either in solitude or in the company of holy persons; therefore they could easily renounce 'woman and gold' and 'fix their minds on God. They had no fear nor did they mind the criticism of others.
When the Kundalini rises to the Sahasrara and the mind goes into samadhi, the aspirant loses all consciousness of the outer world. He can no longer retain his physical body. If milk is poured into his mouth, it runs out again. In that state the life-breath lingers for twenty-one days and then passes out. Entering the 'black waters' of the ocean, the ship never comes back. But the Isvarakotis, such as the Incarnations of God, can come down from this state of samadhi. They can descend from this exalted state because they like to live in the company of devotees and enjoy the love of God. God retains in them the 'ego of Knowledge' or the 'ego of Devotion' so that they may teach men. Their minds move between the sixth and the seventh planes. They run a boat-race back and forth, as it were, between these two planes.
Whenever you have leisure, go into solitude for a day or two. At that time don't have any relations with the outside world and don't hold any conversation with worldly people on worldly affairs. You must live either in solitude or in the company of holy men.
A good cause has to be careful of the company it keeps.
Theories are more common than achievements in the history of education.
There is no virtue in being uncritical nor is it a habit to which the young are given. But criticism is only the burying beetle that gets rid of what is dead, and, since the world lives by creative and constructive forces, and not by negation and destruction, it is better to grow up in the company of prophets than of critics.
Apply thy minde to be a vertuous man. Auoyd ill company (the spoyle of youth;) To follow Vertues Lore doo what thou can, (Whereby great profit vnto thee ensuth;) Reade Bookes, hate Ignorance; (the Foe to Art, The Damme of Errour, Enuy of the hart).
This great oracle of the East India Company himself admits that, if there is no power vested in the Court of Directors but that of the patronage, there is really no government vested in them at all.
All love and associations that are not begun on good terms will end in hatred. We should take heed with whom we join in league and amity. Before we plant our affections, consider the persons what they are; if we see any signs of grace, then it is good; but if not there will be a rent. Throughout our whole life this ought to be our rule; we should labor in a company either to do good or receive good; and where we can neither do nor receive good we should avoid such acquaintance. Let men therefore consider and take heed how they stand in combination with any wicked persons.
The July Revolution took place; with one bound I became a revolutionist, and acquired the conviction that every decently active being ought to occupy himself with politics exclusively. I was only happy in the company of political writers, and I commenced an Overture upon a political theme. Thus was I minded, when I left school and went to the university: not, indeed, to devote myself to studying for any profession
Homer himself must beg if he want means, and as by report sometimes he did "go from door to door and sing ballads, with a company of boys about him."
I say to thee be thou satisfied. It is recorded of the hares that with a general consent they went to drown themselves out of a feeling of their misery; but when they saw a company of frogs more fearful than they were, they began to take courage and comfort again. Confer thine estate with others.
After prayer, on working days, I must go presently about some work or exercise that may be of some profit, and of all other things take heed of idleness, the mother of all vices. Towards eleven (if company and other more weighty causes will permit) I may meditate a little and call to mind how I have spent the morning, asking God grace to spend the afternoon better.
Almighty God, on lofty throne
In wisdom Thou didst build the world,
Thy might the firmament unfurled
And Thou wast King ere kings were known.
Sole King, who hung the earth on naught,
In great assemblies I will cry,
For every soul must testify,
The Lord of hosts rules all He wrought.
His seat is hid in mystery,
Myriads of holy ones in dread,
His ministers in lowlihead,
Surround His awful Majesty.
His praises in set order sing,
Although all praise He hath outsoared,
Declare the Kingdom of the Lord,
Proclaiming that the Lord is King.
The depths of sky His mercy planned,
The waters are His footstools. He
Their measures gave to stream and sea
And poured them in with royal hand.
The sea unto His bounds submits,
Our King and God, so great and high,
His glory covers all the sky
When that upon His throne He sits.
Sole King, He spreads for curtain Space,
The sun uprises from the east
To draw from earth a dainty feast,
A strong man glad to run a race.
O glorious Sovereign whom I sing,
Be gracious unto us and kind,
For Thine own sake, if but I find
Grace in Thine eyes, my Lord and King.
We have now become pretty well acquainted with the sugar-growing part of Texas. The life of a planter who has a fair start in the world is one of the most independent imaginable. We here find the pleasures of fashionable life without its tyranny. I doubt, however, whether a person of Northern education could so far forget his home-bred notions and feelings as ever to be thoroughly Southern on the subject of slavery. We have seen none of the horrors so often described, but on the other hand I have seen nothing to change my Northern opinions.