Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Devotion

"The message of the Bhagavad Gita is that each human life has but one ultimate end and purpose: to realize the Eternal Self within and thus to know, finally and fully, the joy of union with God, the Divine Ground of Being (Brahman). Whereas such knowledge was traditionally sought in retreat from the world, the Gita, without omitting that option, teaches that it may be attained in the midst of the world through nonattached action in the context of devotion (bhakti) to God." - Philip Novak

"By “nationalism” I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labeled “good” or “bad.” But secondly… I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism… By “patriotism” I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality." -

"The love of beauty which exalts the poet; that devotion to the One and that ascent of science which makes the ambition of the philosopher, and that love and those prayers by which some devout and ardent soul tends in its moral purity towards perfection: these are the great highways conducting to that height above the actual and the particular, where we stand in the immediate presence of the Infinite, who shines out as from the deeps of the soul." -

"True devotion produces as of itself a song; song, in turn excites devotion, and this reciprocal action augments the value of both, like two mirrors, which, facing each other, multiply the same image even to the profondity, so to speak, of the infinite." - Joseph Pothier, fully Dom Joseph Pothier

"To study Torah is to touch the mind of God, so study becomes an act not only of knowing God but of devotion to God, and as such it is the most intimate form of love. On the other hand, in practice Torah is embodied in everyday life which is imbued with sacredness through ritualization… both these dimensions of study and ritual Torah is said to increase life, enriching and filling it with meaning, and quite literally lengthening it." - Joseph Runzo and Nancy M. Martin

"There is only one God, there is only one devotion, and there is none but one." - Sankardeva, fully Srimanta Sankardeva NULL

"Many, mistaking devotions for devotion, imagine perfection to consist in reciting a great number of prayers, in joining sundry religious societies." -

"What makes the United States special in the history of nations is our commitment to the rule of law and our carefully constructed system of checks and balances. Our national distrust of concentrated power and our devotion to openness and democracy are what have led us as a people to consistently choose good over evil in our collective aspirations." - Al Gore, Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr.,

"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen." -

"Lack of experience diminishes our power of taking a comprehensive view of the admitted facts. Hence those who dwell in intimate association with nature and its phenomena grow more and more able to formulate, as the foundation of their theories, principles such as to admit of a wide and coherent development: while those whom devotion to abstract discussions has rendered unobservant of the facts are too ready to dogmatize on the basis of a few observations." - Aristotle NULL

"The widespread modern rejection of ritual in religion is depriving people of powerful aids for spiritual development and for defense against evil... Action cannot lead beyond action, and therefore no ritual can produce Liberation... But there are many who do not specifically seek Liberation but simply greater purity, greater devotion, general spiritual betterment, or who seek Liberation as the still unseen goal of a winding path; and it is for such as these that the appropriate ritual would be a powerful armament for progress and defense." - Arthur W Osborn

"All the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and fears, his loves and beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual beyond the grave; that all the laborers of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man’s achievements must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins – all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Unreal is action without discipline, charity without sympathy, ritual without devotion." - Bhagavad Gītā, simply known as Gita NULL

"Shall we speak of the inspiration of a poet or a priest, and not for the heart impelled by love and self-devotion to the lowliest work in the lowliest way of life?" - Charles Dickens, fully Charles John Huffam Dickens

"Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature." - Chuang Tzu, also spelled Chuang-tsze, Chuang Chou, Zhuangzi, Zhuang Tze, Zhuang Zhou, Chuang Tsu, Chouang-Dsi, Chuang Tse, or Chuangtze

"We are surrounded by motives to piety and devotion, if we would but mind them... When we see good men rewarded, it confirms our hope; and when evil men are punished, it excites our fear." - Daniel Wilson

"Decency - generosity - cooperation - assistance in trouble - devotion to duty; these are the things that are of greater value than surface appearances and custom." - Dwight Eisenhower, fully Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

"Love... is mutuality of devotion forever subduing the antagonisms inherent in divided functions." -

"The secret heart is devotion's temple; there the saint lights the flame of purest sacrifice, which burns unseen but not unaccepted." - Hannah More

"The spirit can for the time pervade and control every member and function of the body, and transmute what in form is the grossest sensuality into purity and devotion." - Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

"True strength lies in submission which permits one to dedicate his life, through devotion, to something beyond himself." - Henry Miller, aka Henry Valentine Miller

"Religion indeed enlightens, terrifies, subdues; it gives faith, it inflicts remorse, it inspires resolutions, it draws tears, it inflames devotion, but only for the occasion." - John Henry Newman

"Music when thus applied raises in the mind of the hearer great conceptions. It strengthens devotion, and advances praise into rapture." - Joseph Addison

"A state of temperance, sobriety and justice without devotion is a cold, lifeless, insipid condition of virtue, and is rather to be styled philosophy than religion." - Joseph Addison

"Prayer without devotion is no prayer at all. What then is devotion? One must free his heart from all other thoughts and regard himself as standing in the presence of God." - Maimonides, given name Moses ben Maimon or Moshe ben Maimon, known as "Rambam" NULL

"Property is a divine trust. Things are tools, not prizes. Life is not for self-indulgence, but for self-devotion. When instead of saying, “The world owes me a living,” men shall say, “I owe the world a life,” then the kingdom will come in power. We owe everything to God but our sins... So live, that when thy summons comes to give an account of thy stewardship, it may be done with joy, and not with grief!" - Maltbie Babcock, fully Maltbie Davenport Babcock

"Ideas come when we do not expect them, and not when we are brooding and searching at our desks. Yet ideas would certainly not come to mind had we not brooded at our desks and searched for answers with passionate devotion." - Max Weber, formally Maximilian Carl Emil Weber

"Progress is slow, retrogression is swift... Progress is the fruit of devotion." - Moses ibn Ezra, fully Rabbi Moses ben Jacob ibn Ezra, known as ha-Sallah "Writer of penitential prayers"

"The word “prayer” is applied to at least four distinct procedures - petition, intercession, adoration, contemplation. Petition is the asking of something for ourselves. Intercession is the asking of something for other people. Adoration is the use of intellect, feeling, will and imagination in making acts of devotion directed towards God in his personal aspect or as incarnated in human form. Contemplation is that condition of alert passivity, in which the soul lays itself open to the divine ground within and without, the immanent and transcendent Godhead." - Mother Teresa, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu NULL

"Sentiment and nobility and love are immortal... Tenderness and loyalty, and patience, and self-sacrifice, and devotion to duty - these are life’s natural aspirations." - Norman Vincent Peale

"Let us learn the meaning of economy. Economy is a high human office, a sacrament when its aim is grand, when it is the prudence of simple tastes, when it is practiced for freedom or for love or devotion." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things." -

"Devotion is really neither more or less than a general inclination and readiness to do that which we know to be acceptable to God. To be truly devout, we must not only do God’s will, but we must do it cheerfully." - Saint Francis de Sales NULL

"It is ignorance that causes us to identify ourselves with the body, the ego, the senses, or anything that is not the Atman. He is a wise man who overcomes this ignorance by devotion to the Atman." - Adi Shankara, aka Śaṅkara Bhagavatpādācārya and Ādi Śaṅkarācārya

"Fanaticism is idolatry; and it has the moral evil of idolatry in it; that is, a fanatic worships something which is the creation of his own desire, and thus even his self-devotion in support of it is only an apparent or his mind, which he least values, offer sacrifice to that which he most values." - Thomas Arnold

"Place not thine amendment only in increasing thy devotion, but in bettering thy life." - Thomas Fuller

""Psychological modernism," an uncritical acceptance of the values of the modern world. It includes blind faith in technology, inordinate attachment to material gadgets and conveniences, uncritical acceptance of the march of scientific progress, devotion to the electronic media, and a life-style dictated by advertising. This orientation toward life also tends toward a mechanistic and rationalistic understanding of matters of the heart." - Thomas Moore

"When love became devotion instead of possession, marriage reached the climax of its slow ascent from brutality." - Will Durant, fully William James "Will" Durant

"To pretend to devotion without great humility and renunciation of all worldly tempers is to pretend to impossibilities. He that would be devout must first be humble, have a full sense of his own miseries and wants and the vanity of the world, and then his soul will be full of desire after God. A proud, or vain, or worldly-minded man may use a manual of prayers, but he cannot be devout, because devotion is the application of an humble heart to God as its only happiness." - William Law

"Doubt the man who swears to his devotion." - Colette, pen name of Sidonse Gabriele Colette

"Love... is mutuality of devotion forever subduing the antagonisms inherent in divided functions. " - Erik Erickson

"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen. " - Frank Lloyd Wright, born Frank Lincoln Wright

"By “nationalism” I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labeled “good” or “bad.” But secondly… I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism… By “patriotism” I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality. " - George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair

"It requires more than a day's devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day." - Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

"Granted that ritual in any realm from courtesy to worship can become formal, empty, and stiff. Nevertheless, with all its dangers it is an absolute necessity. We cannot… train children in the spirit of religion if the appropriate activities of worship and devotion are forgotten." - Harry Emerson Fosdick

"A devotion to humanity... is too easily equated with a devotion to a Cause, and Causes, as we know, are notoriously bloodthirsty... Freedom is not something anybody can be given, freedom is something people take. " - James Baldwin, fully James Arthur Baldwin

"This grace (purity of intention) is so excellent that it sanctifies the most common actions of our life and yet is so necessary that without it, the very best actions of our devotion are imperfect and vicious." - Jeremy Taylor

"There is no treasure but Truth, there is no Truth but Wisdom. There is no Wisdom, but from Learning, and Learning is won by the devotion of hours, years, days and nights to the works of Nature and the Treasures of Truth that others have gathered." - John Dickinson, pen name Fabius

"One who lacks a sense of justice lacks certain fundamental attitudes and capacities included under the notion of humanity. Now the moral feelings are admittedly unpleasant, in some extended sense of unpleasant; but there is no way for us to avoid a liability to them without disfiguring ourselves. This liability is the price of love and trust, of friendship and affection, and of devotion to institutions and traditions from which we have benefited and which serve the general interests of mankind…by understanding what it would be like not to have a sense of justice–that it would be to lack part of our humanity too–we are led to accept our having this sense." - John Rawls, fully John Bordley Rawls