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381. Mirabai (1500 - 1550)  She was born a Rajput princess, is undoubtedly India's best known saint-poetess of bhakti in the purest Vaishnava tradition. Her bhakti poetry is immortal. Mirabai was born 500 years ago in a little-known village called Kurki in Mewar. The much loved daughter of Rana Ratan Singh, Mira was nurtured by her grandfather Rao Duda in the fortress city of Merta in Mewar. According to the royal custom she was married in 1516 to Prince Bhojraj, son of Rana Sanga, ruler of the Sisodiya clan of Mewar. 

In 1521 Bhojraj died, soon followed by Rana Sanga. Mira refused to lead the secluded life of a royal widow and defied all conventions. She sang and danced with greater mystic frenzy. Her cymbals and her anklets were heard even in the temple on the outskirts of the city, a public place open to all devotees. Such insubordination had never been witnessed before. The young Rana Vikram and his mother could not treat Mira with either indifference or clemency. Her rising popularity and strong political connections made the Rana so jealous that he tried to kill her several times.. It is said that once a poisonous snake was sent to her in a flower basket, but when she opened it she found an image of Krishna; on another occasion she was given a cup of poison but drank it with Krishna's name on her lips and was miraculously saved. 

This Rajput princess's lovely songs have inspired many generations of Hindus. She sang:

"My only Lord is Giridhar Gopal
None else, none else, in this false world;
I have forsaken my family and friends,
I sit among saintly souls,
I have lost regard for worldly fame and honor,
My heart swells at the sight of the godly,
It shrinks at the sight of the worldly.
I have watered the creeper of God’s love with my own tears.
Churning the curds of life, I have taken out the butter and thrown away the rest.
The King, my husband, sent me a cup of poison:
I drank it with pleasure.
The news is now public, everyone knows now
That Mirabai has fallen in love with God!
It does not matter now: what was fated to happen, has happened."

Many stories are told of how the devotion of Mirabai for Lord Krishna led her to abandon her husband, who was the ruler of the ancient Rajput state of Mewar, and to pass life in complete dedication to the praise of her God. Once for example, her husband, hearing her talking in a closed room to a man, rushed in with drawn sword to kill her for her unfaithfulness. But it was Krishna with her, and he transformed her into a multitude of forms so that the king could not tell which one was really his wife. In response to her continual pleading for a demonstration of his love for her, Lord Krishna finally revealed himself in his glory and absorbed her soul into his. Her hauntingly lovely songs are still popular in western India and Rajasthan. In this poem, Giridhar Gopal is a name of Krishna.  


Radha-Krishna - divine love.

Watch Lost / Submerged city of DwarakaThe Learning Channel video

Refer to Meerabai Bhajans: Aisi Laagi Lagan - By Anup Jalota and



382. Walter Eidlitz (1892 - 1976) also called Vaman dasa. A Jew from Germany finds himself in an internment camp in India during the Second World War. His goal was to study Indian religion and philosophy. He had left his family in Germany in late 1930 and traveled to India in search of God. His wife loved him enough to honor his spiritual quest, the fruit of which he would share with her years later upon his return. He has written about his spiritual journey in his book Journey to Unknown India.

From India he merged from the myriad of India’s spiritual paths on the bhakti marg, the path of devotion as taught by Sri Chaitanya.  

His goal was to go Mount Kailash, the mountain of God’s revelation, and at its base Manasarovar, the lake of the divine spirit. There, says the legend, the eternal human soul glides upon the clear waves like a swan, untouched by fear, hate, or desire. 

“God himself speaks the Bhagavad Gita, the innermost God which Brahma the Creator, Vishnu, the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer are only aspects."

Hindus have a greater respect for the spoken word than do people in the West. Not only every word in a mantra, but practically every sound and every word in the language is called akshara in Sanskrit, which means “the indestructible”. Akshara is also a name for God. A true mantra should be sung not spoken. Indian scriptures call Brahma the Creator “the first singer”. Our world is said to have sprung from the mantra he sang. In the West, these ideas are probably utterly foreign, and yet there are traces of similar teachings. 

A poor man in India can have a rough conception of the fact that within himself exists an eternal atman, which wanders through the ages. He knows that he has brought about his hard fate in his life through his deeds in a former existence and that his behavior in this life determines his destiny. This teaching is known only to a few of the most profound mystics in the West.  

As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita

“Never was there a time when I, nor thou, nor these lords of men, were not, nor will there ever be a time hereafter, when we shall cease to be….As a man throweth away old garments and putteth on new; even so, the soul in the body, having quitted its old mortal frame, entereth into others which are new….The weapon divideth it not, the fire burneth it not, the water corrupteth it not, the wind drieth it not away; for it is indivisible, inconsumable, incorruptible…Therefore, knowing it to be thus, thou shouldst not grieve.”

(source: Journey to Unknown India - By Walther Eidlitz   p. 1 - 101).

383. Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887 - 1985) was an American Mystic, Philosopher, and Mathematician who combined an extraordinary intellect with profound mystical insight and authenticity. Born in 1887 in Pasadena, California, he was raised in San Fernando as the son of a Methodist minister. Wolff graduated from Stanford University in 1911 with a major in mathematics and minors in philosophy and psychology. He then went on to Harvard graduate school to study philosophy. 

As a result of his philosophical studies, Wolff "became convinced of the probable existence of a transcendent mode of consciousness that could not be comprehended within the limits of our ordinary forms of knowledge." Prior to completing his degree at Harvard, he returned to Stanford to teach mathematics. When it became clear to him that he must "reach beyond anything contained within the academic circles of the West" to Realize Transcendental Consciousness, he left his promising career in academia to engage in a spiritual quest. Wolff was drawn to the philosophical works of the Indian sage Shankara, who founded the Advaita Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy.

Wolff's first premonitory recognition took place in 1922, approximately 14 years prior to his transcendental breakthroughs. Wolff describes this first recognition as a noetic insight into the truth of "I am Atman". The term "Atman" is a Sanskrit term that Wolff uses to refer to the transcendental subject to consciousness (see the discussion above of the second fundamental of the philosophy).

(source: and

384. Dr. Abinash Chandra Bose (1896 -    )  was the Head of the Dept of English in Rajaram College, Kolhapur, and post-graduate Teacher, Bombay University for 25 years. He was a keen student of Sanskrit and had taken a life-long interest in the Vedas. He carried out researches in Mysticism in Poetry at the Trinity College, Dublin. His approach of the Vedas has been that of a lover of poetry and a student of India’s spiritual history and comparative religion.  

“It is usual to describe Vedic poetry as primitive. If, by 'primitive poetry' is meant tribal song or folk ballad, then nothing could be farther from the fact. No primitive poet ever sang:

Thought was the pillow of her couch,
Sight was the unguent of her eyes.

If we should call Vedic poetry primitive, we should do so with reference to its pristine purity and its freedom from the malaise of the later civilization. Our people have got a better name for the Vedic age - Satya Yuga, the Age of Truth. Because the Vedic sages loved life as well as God, every wish of theirs for the good things of the earth took the form of an ardent prayer. The Rishis (sages), including women among them, placed themselves under the discipline of Satya (Truth) and Rta (Eternal Order), as well as Tapas (spiritual ardor, superceding animal life). They were pure in their mental make-up, dedicated to a pure way of life and were transported by spiritual exaltation and what they accepted as divine inspiration. Their word (Vak) was, for them, a revelation in their souls of inner truth of reality, which they creatively received.

In their purity, austerity and power, the Vedic hymns have appeared to me like fresh, clear streams gushing out of a rocky mountain. The beautiful pictures of life and nature seem to carry some deep, hidden meaning. The very sound often makes a deep, symbolic impression. The wise men of India, from the immediate successors of the Vedic sages right down to our times, have searched for and discovered the revelation of the deepest spiritual truth in the Vedas. The visions of the beauty of life and nature in the Vedas are extremely rich in poetic value. Perhaps nowhere else in the world has the glory of dawn and sunrise and the silence and sweetness of nature, received such rich and at the same time such pure expression. The beauty of woman has been most tenderly delineated. The Vedas speak of 'gracious, smiling women' and in Usha (Dawn) with the beauty of a youthful woman in her, they find the perfect smile. Life's little things are invested with holiness and living appears to be a grand ritual.

(source: The Call of the Vedas - By A C Bose Bharati Vidya Bhawan Mumbai 1999 p. 1 - 20).

385. Graham Hancock (  ?   )   is the author of a number of bestselling investigations of historical mysteries, including The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods.

"The Vedas (a superb religious literature with no known parent) might in fact have been the work of the undeniably maritime Indus Sarasvati civilization which was long known to have possessed a script but apparently had no religious literature.' 

"What is the most amazing about these hymnodies is not so much their overall length, which is awesome, but that for most of their history it is probable that no written versions of them ever existed – and not because they could not be written down but because the priests of the Vedic religion that evolved into Hinduism believed that they should not be written down but should be kept alive instead in human memory."

" Almost supernatural feats of memory - Unlike in other big modern industrial nations that have long ago lost all sense of the sacred and all respect for ‘what the ancients said’, the sacred life still permeates India through and through to such an extent that an appeal to the authority of scripture can still settle all disputes. And unlike the cultures of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, China and the Americas, where only spectacular fossils of architecture and language remain, the culture of ancient India is still vibrantly alive today in the subcontinent and offers as its gift to the present a vast library of archaic rituals, dances, games, ceremonies, festivals and customs as well as an immense oral literature that has not only been preserved and continuously passed on in the memory of sadhus and rishis (sages, wise men) for thousands of years but that is also celebrated, rehearsed, admired and relished in hundreds of thousands of Hindu villages from the Himalayas to the sea. "

"In India, with its vibrant spiritual culture, its armies of ragged pilgrims and its remarkable Vedas raises the possibility that the real origins of civilization could be very different – not driven by economics but by the spiritual quest that all true ascetics of India still pursue with the utmost dedication. Such a quest does not deny that the basic material requirements of the human creature must be met but seeks to limit our attachment to material things and in general to subordinate material needs to mental and spiritual self-discipline."

"Indian thought has traditionally regarded history and prehistory in cyclical rather than linear terms. In the West time is an arrow – we are born, we live, we die. But in India we die only to be reborn. Indeed, it is a deeply rooted idea in Indian spiritual traditions that the earth itself and all living creatures upon it are locked into an immense cosmic cycle of birth, growth, fruition, death, rebirth and renewal. Even temples are reborn after they grow too old to be used safely – through the simple expedient of reconstruction on the same site. 

(source: Underground: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization – By Graham Hancock   p. 108 - 196 and 94 - 95).  For more refer to chapter on Sacred Angkor

Watch Lost / Submerged city of DwarakaThe Learning Channel video

386. Linda Johnsen  (  ? ) holds a Master's degree in Eastern studies. She is author of Daughter of the Goddess: The Women Saints of India, and The Living Goddess: Reclaiming the Tradition of the Mother of the Universe. She has published nearly 100 articles in magazines such as Hinduism Today, Yoga Journal, and Yoga International and has lectured throughout the United States on Hindu spirituality. 

In her book on Hinduism, she has written:

"Hinduism is the one world religion that reaches out to embrace other faiths with respect, a welcome change from groups who expend enormous amounts of energy condemning the sincere beliefs of others. There is no eternal damnation in Hinduism because Hindus believe absolutely no one is excluded from divine grace.

The Hindu tradition has held the culture of greater India together for thousands of years, through fair times and foul. Increasingly, we in the West are looking to Hinduism with the respect and appreciation it deserves, realizing we modern people have a great deal to learn from the oldest religion on Earth.

Today, there's a resurgence of interest in "the wisdom of the East." Many of us in the West flounder spiritually, confused by the inability of our religions to square with scientific reality and craving actual spiritual experience of which our lives seem so devoid. We're impressed by the ability of Eastern religions like Hinduism to meet science head on, agreeing in many respects about important topics, such as the age and size of the universe. 

Today, Hindu culture is one of the last remaining enclaves of a universal minded religion.

(source: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism - By Linda Johnsen - cited in introduction and p. 78).

387. Sant Jnaneshwar (1275 -    )  was born over seven hundred years ago in the village of Alandi, on the banks of the Indrayani river. The son of a sannyasi, he was shunned by the local Brahmins. Their father, after living the life of an ascetic, returned to married life, and on that account the orthodox Brahmins ostracised the whole family. They were orphaned young and their genius blazed forth while still in their teens.

He was an ardent 'Bhakta' [devotee] of Lord Krishna,  Jnandev, the greatest of them, is better known as Jnaneshwara, the 'Lord of Wisdom'. His great work, the Jnaneshwari is a monumental verse commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. Apart from this there are also his Anubhavamrita or 'Elixir of Experience'. 

Having himself attained this elixir, he says, It is said that Jnaneshwar won the right to investiture with the sacred thread by making a water buffalo recite the Vedas. Alandi is a village located fifteen kilometers from Pune, on the banks of the Indrayani River. Since ancient times, the village has been a shrine of Shiva as Siddheshwar, Lord of Spiritual Attainment. He was the disciple of Swami Ramanand

He was a poet, philosopher, mystic and saint who committed Samadhi 700 years ago in his early twenties believing his work completed. His commentary on Bhagavadgita 'Jnaneshvari' was written when he was only about 15 years old. In the eighties of the twentieth century, 'Jnaneshvari' was added to the list of world's cultural heritage by UNESCO, due to his unconventionally cosmopolitan visions, thinking and writing without regarding creed and caste.

"The distinction between liberated, aspirant and bound subsists only so long as this Elixir of Experience is unknown to one. The enjoyer and the enjoyed, the seer and the seen, are merged in the non-dual, which is indivisible. The devotee has become God, the Goal has become God, the Goal has become the path; this indeed is solitude in the universe.'

This magnificent achievement was completed by the age of 22, when he declared that his life's work was finished and ceremoniously entered into samadhi in a specially prepared crypt, having given instruction that it was to be bricked up. This was in the village of Alandi in Poona district. There is a beautiful atmosphere of sanctity and serenity there. It contains a tree under which an unending chain of recitation of the Jnaneshwari has gone until the present day. Jnaneshwara has remained a perennial fount of inspiration for Maharashtra. He was at once the foundation and crown of this amazing dynasty.

(source: The mystic poets of

388. Robert C. Priddy (  ?  )   who formerly lectured in philosophy & social science at the University of Oslo (1968-1984) has written:

"All agree that the ancient Indians already operated with a time span of truly astronomical proportions long before the earliest signs of natural science in ancient Greece. It is undeniable that ancient Indian texts present some astonishingly exact scientific calculations even by today's latest scientific standards, such as the speed of light, exact size of the smallest particles and the age of the universe."


Nataraja: Lord of the Dance. His spinning motions are the orbits of subatomic particles and the rotation of the galaxies.

"It is undeniable that ancient Indian texts present some astonishingly exact scientific calculations even by today's latest scientific standards, such as the speed of light, exact size of the smallest particles and the age of the universe."

For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor


"The likelihood is that Indian civilization existed in times far more ancient than historians can witness by scientifically-based methods. Yet this is ignored due to the limitations of the current assumptions (or pre-judgmental beliefs) that direct the minds of historians who themselves belong to a civilization which in many vital respects may still be inferior in many important respects."

"The age of the Vedas of ancient India, the first scriptures known to mankind, may be much greater than supposed by 'scientific historians'. In the West, it is hardly questioned at all that the Bible's Old Testament by and large refers to events that - though probably inaccurately described - actually must have taken place, at least from the time of Abraham and Ur onwards... more than 5,000 years ago. Hebrew scribes are reckoned to have put sacred oral traditions into writing centuries after the events. The same liberality of belief is not accorded to the doubtless yet more ancient Vedas, which the evidence shows were much more firmly based in oral traditions and preserved by a complex cross-checking system of memorizing. Yet some historians even date certain Vedic scriptures only from the earliest extant manuscripts, sometimes even as late as 1400 A.D.

It has been held by some shastris and pundits that Western historians have vastly underrated the age and authenticity of ancient Indian scriptures and handed-down accounts of the past. In the West, it is hardly questioned at all that the Bible's Old Testament...The same liberality of belief is not accorded to the doubtless yet more ancient Vedas, which the evidence shows were much more firmly based in oral traditions and preserved by a complex cross-checking system of memorizing. Yet some historians even date certain Vedic scriptures only from the earliest extant manuscripts, sometimes even as late as 1400 A.D.

It is frequently said, especially by Western academics, that the Greeks were the first to introduce natural philosophy, to speculate on the four (or five) elements, to think of the atom, to conceive of the heliocentric system, and so on. The evidence about India's distant past shows that this is most certainly not the case. That it has been available for a long time, too, reflects very badly on the scope or the historical competence of academic Western philosophers, who continue to stare too much at their European navels.

Great epics of good and evil, of individual conscience and will versus fate had been developed in India long before Homer or the classical European period of the dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes by well over a millennium. On only has to consider the Mahabharata, which describes the catastrophic armed conflict that took place according to widespread tradition about 3000 years BC The date calculated by various Indian shastris and Brahmins from Sanskrit sources is equivalent to 3138 BC. "

(source:  On India's Ancient Past - By Robert C Priddy).

389. Balbir K Punj (1949 -  ) Member of Parliament and a Rajya Sabha member and convenor of the BJP's think-tank.

"Hinduism doesn’t breed exclusivism, intolerance of other religions and disavowal of the pre-Hindu past. Unfortunately, the same is not true about proselytising religions."

"Exclusivism and intolerance in matters of faith are features of Semitic religions—Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Islam, in fact, had an empire-building agenda from day one. Contrary to these desert-born religions, intolerance and persecution were alien to Hinduism.

It's also not correct to say that pre-Muslim India was not predominantly Hindu, that Buddhism was the dominant religion for many centuries, and that Jainism has an equally long history. By Hinduism one perhaps implies the Vedic faith. Otherwise, Buddhism and Jainism, like Sikhism, Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, are equally Hindu. Their respective founders as well as their patrons and subscribers were Hindus. 

"The Hindu is inclined to revere the divine in every manifestation, whatever it may be, and is doctrinally tolerant.... A Hindu may embrace a non-Hindu religion without ceasing to be a Hindu...he tends to believe that the highest divine powers complement each other for the well being of the world and the mankind."

"The clear-cut and exclusive religious identities of Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism and perceiving them as separate religions are recent phenomena. Otherwise, they were overlapping and mutually inclusive throughout. Most of the Jains and several Sikhs even today consider themselves Hindus. Many Hindus worship Buddha as a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, visit Jain and Buddhist temples with devotion and pay obeisance at gurudwaras. Small wonder then that the all-India convenor of Bajrang Dal, bugbear of secularists, is Surendra Jain."

(source: The Hindu Soul In Search Of Its Body - 



Lord Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles.

"Neo-Platonism and Christian Gnosticism owe much to India. The Gnostic ideas in regard to a plurality of heavens and spiritual worlds go back directly to Hindu sources."

Watch Ganapati Om Kirtan - By Dave Stringer.


390Hajime Nakamura (1912 - 1999) Was a Japanese scholar. His field of research was exceedingly broad, encompassing Indian philosophy, Buddhist studies, historical studies, Japanese thought, comparative thought. He was the author of The History of Early Vedānta Philosophy an epoch-making study in four volumes. 

“Indians conducted far more elaborate speculations than the Westerners of antiquity and the Middle Ages with respect to the theory of numbers, the analysis of psychological phenomena, and the study of linguistic structures. The Indians are highly rationalistic, insofar as their ideal is to recognize eternal laws concerning past, present, and future. The thought represented by Tertullian’s aphorism, “credo quia absurdum,” or “I believe because it is absurd,” had no receptivity in India. 

  The Indians are, at the same time, logical since they generally have a tendency to sublimate their thinking to the universal; they are at once logical and rationalistic. On the contrary, many religions of the West are irrational and illogical, and this is acknowledged by the Westerners themselves. For example, Albert Schweitzer, a pious and most devoted Christian, says, “Compared to the logical religions of Asia, the gospel of Jesus is illogical.” 

It is often contended that in contrast to Western thought the spirit of tolerance and mutual concession is a salient feature of Eastern thought. The religion of the West at times is harsh and even emphasizes struggle for the sake of keeping the faith and condemning unbelievers:  

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke, 14.26).

Such aggressive thoughts as expressed here did not appear at all in the religions of East Asia. Throughout the religious world of India a more tranquil and peaceful atmosphere has prevailed from time immemorial. Gotama and Mahavira ended their lives in peace.

"The idea of tolerance and concession is based on admitting the compatibility of many different philosophical views of the world. The Indians are prone to tolerate the co-existence of philosophical thoughts of various types from the metaphysical viewpoint. Interference with religions on the part of the state was not found in India, but in China it occurred to a considerable degree.”  

(source: Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India-China-Tibet-Japan- By Hajime Nakamura  p. 16 – 19). 

He firmly believed that:

“Without Indian influence Japanese culture would not be what it is today.” 

(source: Japan and Indian Asia - By Hajime Nakamura   p. 1). For more on Japan refer to chapter on Glimpses XVII

391. Friedrich Heiler (1892 – 1967) born in Muenchen, Germany.  He was a professor of history of religions. 

He is the author of Mysticism of the Upanishads, Christian faith and Indian thought and Das Gebet and Die Religionen der Menschheit pointed out that Greek mysticism was borrowed from India. 

He wrote:

" India is our motherland  of speculative theology."

“There runs in unbroken chain from the Atman-Brahman mysticism of the Vedic Upanishads to the Vedanata of Sankara on the one side and on the other through the mystical technique of the Yoga system to the Buddhist doctrine of salvation.  

Another line of development equally continuous leads from the Orphic-Dionysiac mysticism to Plato, Philo and the later Hellenistic mystery cults to the Neoplatonic mysticism of the Infinite of Plotinus which is in turn is the source of the “mystical theology” of the pseudo-Dionysius the Areioagute…..Perhaps this second chain is only an offshoot from the first, since the Elatic speculations and the cryptic doctrine of redemption have possibly  borrowed essential elements from early Indian mysticism.”

(source: Prayer: A Study in the History and Psychology of Religion - By Frederic Heiler p. 135 and Eastern Religions & Western Thought - By. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan  p. 248 – 249).

392. Shirdi Sai Baba (  - 1918) Sai Baba was a Brahmin from Pathri. His parents had handed him over to a Muslim fakir and his wife for reasons unknown. It is also known that after some years that fakir died and before his death he asked his wife to hand over the child to a petty chieftain of Selu in the Nizam’s dominions who was called Gopal Rao Deshmukh. It is believed that Baba must have been eight years old then. Deshmukh, a Brahmin who was also called Venkatesa (Venhusa as Baba called him) worshipped Venkatachalapathi of Thirumala and had developed siddhis. He became Baba’s guru and Baba served him with Bhakti and devotion. 

He has said: 

“The creator God is one and the same for both communities, Hindus and Muslims. This is a mere verbal difference. Sadhakas should not attach importance to it. But see one God, Sat Chit Ananda in everything. He that is called Allah Ilahi by Muslims is the same as Seshasayee for the Hindus. In your Puranas you have the story of Chokia Mahar who became hundred times dearer than his pujari to Pandarinath. He who is pure in heart is pure and holy wherever he is.” 

Baba soon moved on to the dilapidated and crumbling mosque and made himself comfortable there. The place which was later called Dwaraka Mayi was to be his home till his death. He dug a pit and started a fire which was called the dhuni and it was kept burning day and night and it continues to burn even today at Shirdi. 

He taught:

“I am the attributes of Absolute Nirguna. I have no name and no residence. 

“I am embroiled myself in Karma and got this body. Brahman is my father and Maya is my mother. I am formless and in everything. I fill all space and am omnipresent. I am water, in land, in crowds and also in solitary wilderness. I am in the fire and in ether.”

(source: God who Walked On Earth - By Rangaswami Parthasarathy p. 20 - 23 and Great Indian Saints - By Pranab Bandyopadhyay  p. 224 - 225).

393. General George S. Patton (1885-1945) He came from a long line of soldiers who fought and often died in many conflicts, including the American Revolution and, in particular, the Confederate side in the American Civil War. 

Remembered for his fierce determination and ability to lead soldiers, General S. Patton, Jr. is considered one of the greatest military figures in history. 

He believed that he had acquired his military skills on ancient battlefields.

He was a staunch believer in reincarnation. One of his favorite topics, he would offer up as evidence pertinent bits of The Bhagavad Gita:

"For sure is the death of him that is born, and sure the birth of him that is dead"

He used to point out that the poet William Wordsworth also shared his belief in reincarnation. It is impossible for a person familiar with Indian thought not to see the reflection of Vedanta in Wordsworth poem - Tintern Abbey written in 1798.  

(source: and Coming Back: The Science of Reincarnation - By ISCKON p. 9).



"Suppose a thousand suns should rise together into the sky; such is the Glory of the Shape of Infinite God." 

Lord Krsna expounds the unique philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. He then appears before him in his Awe-inspiring Majesty.

(Artwork courtesy of The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.

Watch Lost / Submerged city of DwarakaThe Learning Channel video. Watch Maha Vishnu Das of ISKCON - lecture on The Bhagavad Gita.  Refer to Refer to Bhaja Govindam -


394. Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) He was a French author, designer, and artist. He was possibly the most important of the Romantic authors in the French language. His major works include the novels Notre Dame de Paris and Les Misérables, and a large body of poetry.

Victor Hugo’s respect and awe for the literary masterpieces of India were born of his perception of the immensity of the universe described in the epics. In ‘Supremate,’ a poem in his Legend of the Ages, he versified the narrative portion of the Kena Upanishad in 1870.

He imitated the Kena Upanishad in his poem, Suprematie (The Legend of the Centuries) in 1870. 

He gathered his information from G. Pautheir’s Les Livres Sacres de l’Orient

Vayou - is Vayu (God of Wind), Agni (God of Fire) and Indra (God of space):

"Lorsque les trois grands dieux eurent dans un cachot
Mis les démons, chassé les monstres de là-haut,
Oté sa griffe à l'hydre, au noir dragon son aile,
Et sur ce tas hurlant fermé l'ombre éternelle,
Laissant grincer l'enfer, ce sépulcre vivant,
Ils vinrent tous les trois, Vâyou le dieu du Vent,
Agni, dieu de la Flamme, Indra, dieu de l'Espace,
S'asseoir sur le zénith, qu'aucun mont ne dépasse,
Et se dirent, ayant dans le ciel radieux
Chacun un astre au front : " nous sommes les seuls dieux!"

Tout à coup devant eux surgit dans l'ombre obscure
Une lumière ayant les yeux d'une figure.

Ce que cette lumière était, rien ne saurait
Le dire, et, comme brille au fond d'une forêt
Un long rayon de lune en une route étroite,
Elle resplendissait, se tenant toute droite.
Ainsi se dresse un phare au sommet d'un récif.
C'était un flamboiement immobile, pensif,

Et les trois dieux s'étonnèrent.
Ils dirent : "Qu'est ceci?"
Tout se tut et les cieux attendirent.

"Dieu Vâyou, dit Agni, dieu Vâyou, dit Indra,
Parle à cette lumière. Elle te répondra.
Crois-tu que tu pourrais savoir ce qu'elle est?

- Certes,
Dit Vâyou. Je le puis." 


Agni: God of Fire.

For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor


Agni, dit Indra; frère Agni, mon compagnon,
Dit Vâyou, pourrais-tu le savoir, toi?

Sans doute",
Dit Agni.

Le dieu rouge, Agni, que l'eau redoute,
Et devant qui médite à genoux le Bouddha,
Alla vers la clarté sereine et demanda :
"Qu'es-tu clarté?

(source: India and World Civilization - By D. P. Singhal Pan Macmillan Limited. 1993 p. 241).

395. Prof. Raimundo Panikkar (1918 -  ) Born in two major religious traditions, he has been striving towards the harmony of religion in a pluralistic world. Speaking of the The Cosmology Hymn/ Hymn of Creation in the Rigveda, he wrote:

"The vision of this hymn comes out of a profound insight into the mystery of reality. It is the product of a mystical experience that far transcends the limits of logical thinking; it is a religious chant - for only in music or poetry can such a message be conveyed - invoking in splendid verses the Primal Mystery that transcends all categories, both human and divine....." 

(source: The Vedic Experience - By  Prof. Raimundo Panikkar  p. 54  Mantra-manjari Pub. Motilal Banarasidas).

"The Vedic experience may perhaps disclose, not an alternative to the modern view of life and the world....but an already existing, although often hidden, dimension of Man himself."

(source: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism - By Linda Johnsen  p. 54).

The Bhagavad Gita uses the same expression, gati, to express both the way toward the goal and the goal itself, often called the parama gati, the supreme goal. As the word itself suggests, gati (from the root gam-, to go, to move) means a going, a movement, motion in general. In the Bhagavad Gita it has the connotation of the pilgrimage that constitutes human life, a connotation that allows the text to say that he who is on the path has, in a certain sense, already reached the end of it, because the end is not another place outside or after the way itself, but is already contained in it. Like other parts of the Vedic Revelation, this truth can be grasped only by personal experience. The pilgrimage that is life may lead us to its goal, which in the Bhagavad Gita is described as union with the Lord. The Lord comes down to earth and manifests himself to Man in order to proclaim his message of love and salvation. The Lord is not only the powerful ruler, the mighty God, the just judge, but also the Savior."


396. Sir William Temple (1628 -1699) English statesman and diplomat, in his Essay upon the Ancient and Modern Learning (1690) he wrote:

"From these famous Indians, it seems most probable that Pythagoras learned, and transported into Greece and Italy, the greatest part of his natural and moral philosophy, rather than from the Aegyptians...Nor does it seem unlikely that the Aegyptians themselves might have drawn much of their learning from the Indians..long before..Lycurgus, who likewise traveled to India, brought from thence also the chief principles of his laws." 

Temple's ideas remained in isolation in his period until they were revived in the middle of the 18th century when a battle raged between the 'believers' and the 'infidels' on the question of the value of Mosaic interpretation of history.

(source: Much Maligned Monsters: A History of European Reactions to Indian Art - By Partha Mitter p. 191).

397. S Gurumurthy (  ?   )  a chartered accountant, acclaimed writer, columnist and founder of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch has written eloquently about Indic Civilization:

"In the East, more specifically in India, there prevailed a society and a social mind which thrived and happily grew within a multiplicity of thoughts. "Ano bhadrah kratavo yantu visatah" ("let noble thoughts come in from all directions of the universe") went the Rigvedic invocation

We, therefore, welcomed all, whether it was the Parsis who came fleeing from the slaughter of Islamic theocratic marauders and received protection here for their race and their religion, or the Jews who were slaughtered and maimed everywhere else in the world. They all found a secure refuge here along with their culture, civilization, religion and the book. "

"There is continuity in Indian civilization today. It is not a frozen continuity. It is change and continuity. It is changeless India and yet changing India. It can interface with modern world, holding tradition in one hand. This is the civilizational assert that India has been able to preserve in spite of thousands of years of onslaught, with a stateless situation, with hostile ruling situation, which tried to destroy the society of India, the ethos of India, the lifestyle of India, the traditions and faith of India. This capacity to survive seems unique to Indian civilization. In Europe, the erosion of culture, family values and trivializing of marriage as mere biological relationship, all resulted in the decline of Europe so much, that they say, that in the next fifty years, there may be no Scandinavian nations. "

Global Positioning of India - By S Gurumurthy - and Semitic Monotheism: The Root of Intolerance in India - By S Gurumurthy).

398 Col. Henry S Olcott (1832 – 1907) American author, attorney, philosopher, and cofounder of the Theosophical Society in a lecture in Allahabad, in 1881.

“The ancient Hindus could navigate the air, and not only navigate it, but fight battles in it like so many war-eagles combating for the domination of the clouds. 

To be so perfect in aeronautics, they must have known all the arts and sciences related to the science, including the strata and currents of the atmosphere, the relative temperature, humidity, density and specific gravity of the various gases...”

(source: Chapter on Vimanas).

399. Goswami Tulsi Das (1532 – 1623) the greatest and most famous of Hindi poets, and philosopher was a Sarwariya Brahmin. His fathers name was Atma Ram Dived, his mother is said to have been Hulasidevi. He was named ‘Rambola’, as to everyone’s astonishment, the child cried with the word ‘Rama’ as soon as he was born. The name ‘Rambola’ meant one who uttered Rama. Tulsidas wrote twelve books. The most famous book is his Ramayan—Ram-charit-manas - Lake of Rama's deeds—in Hindi. He wrote this book under the directions of Hanuman. This Ramayan is read and worshipped with great reverence in every Hindu home in Northern India. It is an inspiring book. It contains sweet couplets in beautiful rhyme. Vinaya Patrika is another important book written by Tulsidas.

He first made Ayodhya his headquarters, frequently visiting distant places of pilgrimage in different parts of India. During his residence at Ayodhya the Lord Rama is said to have appeared to him in a dream, and to have commanded him to write a Ramayana in the language used by the common people. He began this work in the year 1574 and had finished the third book (Aranyakanda), when differences with the Vairagi Vaishnavas at Ayodhya to whom he had attached himself, led him to migrate to Benares.

In the 16th century, the beloved Hindu poet Tulsi Das composed a new, Hindi version of the Ramayana called the Rama Charita Manasa. An updated version was necessary because most people could no longer understand Sanskrit, the language of the original poem. Mahatma Gandhi considered the Rama Charita Manasa the single greatest book in the world.

This book has immortalized Tulsidas as a great poet, philosopher, and devotee of Lord Ram. He was hailed as a great sage of his times. It is said that Raja Man Singh and Raja Todar Mal waited on him. 

"Keep the name of Rama always in your mind, remembering it with love. It will feed you when you're alone. bless you when you feel cursed, and protect you when you're abandoned. To the crippled it's another limb. To the blind it's another eye. To the orphaned it's a loving parent. Whenever I remember Rama's name, the desert of my heart blooms lush and green."

One day some thieves came to Tulsidas’s Ashram to take away his goods. They saw a blue-complexioned guard, with bow and arrow in his hands, keeping watch at the gate. Wherever they moved, the guard followed them. They were frightened. In the morning they asked Tulsidas, "O venerable saint! We saw a young guard with bow and arrow in his hands at the gate of your residence. Who is this man?" Tulsidas remained silent and wept. He came to know that Lord Rama Himself had been taking the trouble to protect his goods. He at once distributed all his wealth among the poor.

(source: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism - By Linda Johnsen p. 61 - 62 and for more refer to Goswami Tulsidas

400. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami (1942 -  ) When Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami attained mahasamadhi, his great departure, on November 12, 2001, he designated Bodhinatha Veylanswami, a disciple for 37 years, as his successor.  

American born editor of Hinduism Today has observed:

"Hindus the world over, while following unique and varied paths, are united by their belief in karma, dharma, the all-pervasiveness of God, the sanctity of the Vedas, reincarnation, noninjuriousness, enlightenment, yoga, the illumined guru's centrality and the mysticism of worship."

"The social, political power of the family of faiths we call Hinduism is based on its spiritual, mystical power, which abides in its many individual sects and sampradayas, each with its enlightened guru lineages, dynamic temples, noble traditions and profound scriptural canons. This sectarian diversity is the real power of the Hindu faith and must be preserved."

"From the Hindu perspective, all of life is sacred, and performing our duty is dharma. Dharma is a rich term that means "way of righteousness, religion and fulfillment of duty." From this lofty view, every deed is a part of our religious practice. Everything we do is an act of worship and faith. There are no purely secular activities. Our worship in the temple is part of our dharma, and our work or occupation is part of our dharma.'

(source: Hinduism Today - Jan/Feb/March 2005 and July/August/September, 2004).


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