Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Devotion

"No religious act is properly fulfilled unless it is done with a willing heart and a craving soul. You cannot worship Him with your body if you do not know how to worship Him with your soul. The relationship between deed and inner devotion must be understood in terms of polarity. Observance must not be reduced to external compliance with the law. Agreement of the heart with the spirit, not only with the letter of the law, is itself a requirement of the law. The goal is to live beyond the dictates of the law; to fulfill the eternal suddenly; to create goodness out of nothing, as it were... All observance is training in the art of love... Every act of man is an encounter of the human and the holy." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"By giving your conscious attention and devotion to the solution of a perplexing problem, your subconscious mind gathers all the necessary information and presents it full blown to the conscious mind." - Joseph Murphy

"The greatest contentment comes from devotion alone and not from it's rewards, therefore one who has this devotion seeks nothing else." - Krishna, also Kreeshna, Krsna, Lord Krishna NULL

"One of the grat tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying. A persistent schizophrenia leaves so many of us tragically divided against ourselves. On the one hand, we proudly profess certain sublime and noble principles, but on the other hand, we sadly practise the very antithesis of these principles. How often are our lives characterised by a high blood pressure of creeds and an anaemia of deeds! We talk eloquently about our commitment to the principles of Christianity, and yet our lives are saturated with the practices of paganism. We proclaim our devotion to democracy, but we sadly practise the very opposite of the democratic creed. We talk passionately about peace, and at the same time we assiduously prepare for war. We make our fervent pleas for the high road of justice, and then we tread unflinchingly the low road of injustice. This strange dichotomy, this agonising gulf between the ought and the is, represents the tragic theme of man's earthly pilgrimage." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"If we suffer in the sufferings of others and feel happy in the happiness of others, we are loving God. If we understand and feel that the greatest act of devotion and worship to God is not to harm any of His beings, we are loving God. To love God in the most practical way is to love our fellow beings. If we feel for others in the same way as we feel for our own dear ones, we love God." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"If we understand and feel that the greatest act of devotion and worship to God is not to harm any of His beings, we are loving God." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"The most essential thing in dance discipline is devotion, the steadfast and willing devotion to the labor that makes the classwork not a gymnastic hour and a half, or at the lowest level, a daily drudgery, but a devotion that allows the classroom discipline to become moments of dancing too." - Merce Cunningham, born Mercier Philip Cunningham

"To see the universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face to face one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself. And a man who aspires after that cannot afford to keep out of any field of life. That is why my devotion to Truth has drawn me into the field of politics; and I can say without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means. Identification with everything that lives is impossible without self-purification; without self-purification the observance of the law of Ahimsa must remain an empty dream; God can never be realized by one who is not pure of heart. Self-purification therefore must mean purification in all the walks of life. And purification being highly infectious, purification of oneself necessarily leads to the purification of one's surroundings. But the path of self-purification is hard and steep. To attain to perfect purity one has to become absolutely passion-free in thought, speech and action; to rise above the opposing currents of love and hatred, attachment and repulsion. I know that I have not in me as yet that triple purity, in spite of constant ceaseless striving for it. That is why the world's praise fails to move me, indeed it very often stings me. To conquer the subtle passions seems to me to be harder far than the physical conquest of the world by the force of arms. Ever since my return to India I have had experiences of the dormant passions lying hidden within me. The knowledge of them has made me feel humiliated though not defeated. The experiences and experiments have sustained me and given me great joy. But I know that I have still before me a difficult path to traverse. I must reduce myself to zero. So long as a man does not of his own free will put himself last among his fellow creatures, there is no salvation for him. Ahimsa is the farthest limit of humility." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacriice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love." - Morihei Ueshiba

"The body is the one veil which separates a true man from God. All the other veils must be torn away. All the forces of the mind, all the miracles, must be cast off, so they can no longer deceive us and turn us into snakes, scorpions, dogs, foxes, demons, and crazy men. We must tear the veils of the mind out by the roots and throw them away. Only then can we establish the connection with God. The heart is the mirror which can help us to form that connection of devotion to God. We must see ourselves in that mirror and speak to God. " - Bawa Mahaiyadden, fully Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

"While I have not lost faith in its potentialities, my views have changed since. War can not be avoided until the physical cause for its recurrence is removed and this, in the last analysis, is the vast extent of the planet on which we live. Only though annihilation of distance in every respect, as the conveyance of intelligence, transport of passengers and supplies and transmission of energy will conditions be brought about some day, insuring permanency of friendly relations. What we now want most is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth and the elimination of that fanatic devotion to exalted ideals of national egoism and pride, which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife. No league or parliamentary act of any kind will ever prevent such a calamity. These are only new devices for putting the weak at the mercy of the strong." - Nikola Tesla

"Real devotion is internal. Day and night devotee thinks of nothing but God, and secretly tells him how dearly he loves Him." - Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

"One word is too often profaned For me to profane it, One feeling too falsely disdain'd For thee to disdain it. One hope too like despair For prudence to smother, I can give not what men call love: But wilt thou accept not The worship the heart lifts above And heaven rejects not: The desire of the moth for the star, The devotion of something afar From the sphere of our sorrow? " - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"It is the lover of God whose heart is filled with devotion who can commune with God, not he who makes an effort with his intellect to analyze God." - Inayat Khan, aka Hazrat Inayat Khan, fully Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

"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." - Plotinus NULL

"A woman is so made that she cannot give the tender passionate devotion of her whole nature save to the great conquering soul, stronger in its powers, though not in its aspirations, than her own, that can lead her forever & forever up and on. It is for her soul exactly as it is for her body. The strong divine soul of the man embracing hers with passionate love—so alone the precious germs within her soul can be quickened into life. And the time will come when man will understand that a woman’s soul is as dear and needful to his and as different from his as her body to his body. That was what happened to me when I had read for a few days, nay, hours, in your books. It was the divine soul embracing mine. I never before dreamed what love meant: not what life meant. Never was alive before—no words but those of “new birth” can hint the meaning of what then happened to me." - Anne Gilchrist, née Burrows

"It was my good fortune to be linked with Mme. Curie through twenty years of sublime and unclouded friendship. I came to admire her human grandeur to an ever growing degree. Her strength, her purity of will, her austerity toward herself, her objectivity, her incorruptible judgment — all these were of a kind seldom found joined in a single individual... The greatest scientific deed of her life — proving the existence of radioactive elements and isolating them — owes its accomplishment not merely to bold intuition but to a devotion and tenacity in execution under the most extreme hardships imaginable, such as the history of experimental science has not often witnessed." - Albert Einstein

"Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things." - Albert Einstein

"I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else - I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations." - Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary NULL

"If man would but realize that he is essentially a spiritual being, that his body is but the vesture of the individualized spirit, that his life is a portion of the great Spring of life which fills the world, he would at once discard the constant fear of ill-health to which he is a prey. The organs of the body are but the visible instruments whereby the spirit expresses itself, the senses are but mediums, and the brain is but a tool, and all the other processes are but messengers to carry out the injunction from the higher center of man, from his mind. Sickness in the body is a symptom of some disturbance in the mind-center ; bodily sickness is the signal of some form of mental depression, conscious or unconscious. It is the spirit in man, therefore, the invisible, the mind, which must be considered first in avoidance and treatment of illness. Spirit cannot be reached through physical channels, it must be reached through divine methods. When one fears the approach of illness, let him commune with the divine in him ; let him, in order to stimulate the flow of health and courage within him deliver himself completely to the care of God. Let him affirm with all sincerity and devotion "I am a divine being, the flow of divine health is circulating through my body," or, "The divine fountain of Health within me is yielding new strength with every hour." The stream of health will then resume its natural route through the body, and the fear of illness, like a phantom at the sight of the sun, will steal away." - Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein

"While it is true that scientific results are entirely independent from religious and moral considerations, those individuals to whom we owe the great creative achievements of science were all of them imbued with the truly religious conviction that this universe of ours is something perfect and susceptible to the rational striving for knowledge. If this conviction had not been a strongly emotional one and if those searching for knowledge had not been inspired by Spinoza's Amor Dei Intellectualis, they would hardly have been capable of that untiring devotion which alone enables man to attain his greatest achievements." - Albert Einstein

"Householders should go into solitude now and then, to practice spiritual discipline in order to cultivate devotion to God; they should renounce mentally." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"If a man leads a householder's life he must have unflagging devotion to truth. God can be realized through truth alone." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"One must not cherish any desire whatever. The devotion of a man who has any desire is selfish. But desireless devotion is love for its own sake. You may love me or not, but I love you: this is love for its own sake." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"The important thing is somehow to cultivate devotion to God and love for Him. What is the use of knowing many things? It is enough to cultivate love of God by following any of the paths. When you have this love, you are sure to attain God." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"The means of realizing God are ecstasy of love and devotion - that is, one must love God." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"The mind is like milk. If you keep the mind in the world, which is like water, then the milk and water will get mixed. That is why people keep milk in a quiet place and let it set into curd, and then churn butter from it. Likewise, through spiritual discipline practiced in solitude, churn the butter of knowledge and devotion from the milk of the mind. Then that butter can easily be kept in the water of the world. It will not get mixed with the world. The mind will float detached on the water of the world." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"The worldly man's devotion to God is momentary like a drop of water on a redhot frying-pan." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"Those who wish to attain God and progress in religious devotion should particularly guard themselves against the snares of lust and wealth. Otherwise they can never attain perfection." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"What is karma yoga? Its aim is to fix one's mind on God by means of work. That is what you are teaching. It consists of breath-control, concentration, meditation, and so on, done in a spirit of detachment. If a householder performs his duties in the world in a spirit of detachment, surrendering the results to God and with devotion to God in his heart, he too may be said to practice karma yoga. Further, if a person performs worship, japa, and other forms of devotion, surrendering the results to God, he may be said to practice karma yoga. Attainment of God alone is the aim of karma yoga." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"Work, apart from devotion or love of God, is helpless and cannot stand alone." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"Hammett was the ace performer.... He is said to have lacked heart; yet the story he himself thought the most of [The Glass Key] is the record of a man's devotion to a friend. He was spare, frugal, hard-boiled, but he did over and over again what only the best writers can ever do at all. He wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before." - Raymond Chandler, fully Raymond Thornton Chandler

"Devotion (Bhakti) includes Sentimental Devotion (Bhav Bhakti) and Devotion through action (Kruti Bhakti)." - Pandurang Shastri Athavale, fully Pandurang Vaijnath Shastri Athavale

"Devotion does not mean only Chanting praise and singing glory of God, nor fasting and offerings made to God. Devotion is a specific attitude towards life and existence." - Pandurang Shastri Athavale, fully Pandurang Vaijnath Shastri Athavale

"Knowledge, Action and Devotion are complementary to each other." - Pandurang Shastri Athavale, fully Pandurang Vaijnath Shastri Athavale

"You remember that from the first the Clarion crowd and the Hardie crowd were out of harmony...I loathe the “top-hatted, frock-coated magnolia-scented” snobocracy as much as you do; but I cannot away with the Keir Hardies and Arthur Hendersons and Ramsay MacDonalds and Bernard Shaws and Maxtons. Not long ago you told me in a letter of some trade union delegates who were smoking cigars and drinking whisky at the House of Commons at the expense of their unions. You liked them not. Nor do I like the Trade Union bigots who have cheated J. H. Thomas of his pension...I am glad the Labour Party is defeated because I believe they would have disrupted the British Empire. I dreaded their childish cosmopolitanism; their foolish faith that we could abolish crime by reducing the police force. ... The England of my affection and devotion is not a country nor a people: it is a tradition, the finest tradition the world has ever produced. The Labour Party do not subscribe to that tradition; do not know it; could not feel it." - Robert Blatchford, fully Robert Peel Glanville Blatchford

"Repentant eyes are the cellars of angels, and penitent tears their sweetest wines, which the savor of life perfumeth, the taste of grace sweeteneth, and the purest colors of returning innocency highly beautifieth. This dew of devotion never falleth, but the sun of justice draweth it up, and upon what face soever it droppeth it maketh it amiable in God's eye.... No, no, the angels must still bathe themselves in the pure streams of thy eyes, and thy face shall still be set with this liquid pearl, that as out of thy tears were stroken the first sparks of thy Lord's love, so thy tears may be the oil, to nourish and feed his flame. Till death dam up the springs, they shall never cease running: and then shall thy soul be ferried in them to the harbor of life, that as by them it was first passed from sin to grace, so in them it may be wafted from grace to glory." - Robert Southwell, also Saint Robert Southwell

"`Confound Romance!' . . . And all unseen / Romance brought up the nine-fifteen." - Rudyard Kipling

"There are no galley-slaves in the royal vessel of divine love -- every man works his oar voluntarily!" - Saint Francis de Sales NULL

"God says: Herein lies the wisdom of the wise and the acumen of the intelligent, that in this very life they attain Me, the Real and Immortal, by means of that which is unreal and mortal." - Shrimad Bhagavatam, or the Bhâgavata Purâna, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, or Bhāgavata NULL

"In deep meditation aspirants may See forms like snow or smoke. They may feel A strong wind blowing or a wave of heat. They may see within them more and more light: Fireflies, lightning, sun, or moon. These are signs That one is far on the path to Brahman." - Shvetashvatara Upanishad

"The work of art which I do not make, none other will ever make it." - Simone Weil

"Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast." - Compton Mackenzie, fully Sir Edward Montague Compton Mackenzie

"Each being is sacred -- meaning that each has inherent value that cannot be ranked in a hierarchy or compared to the value of another being." - Starhawk, born Miriam Simos NULL

"But I am convinced that those Jews who stand aside today with a malicious smile and with their hands in their trousers' pockets will also want to dwell in our beautiful home." - Theodor Herzl, born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl

"We live in a great and free country only because our forefathers were willing to wage war rather than accept the peace that spells destruction." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"A man's silence is wonderful to listen to. Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened." - Thomas Hardy

"Philosophy is a science about the reasons or about why?." - Thomas Hobbes