Swami Narayanananda (12 April 1902 – 26 February 1988) was a teacher of the Vedanta philosophy. Born in India, he wrote extensively and founded ashramas (monasteries) and centres in India, Denmark, Germany, the United States and other countries. He was a founder of what he called The Universal Religion, implying independence of race, nationality, sect, sex, etc.
- The Ultimate Truth is called God. This one can realize in the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. A circle can have only one centre but it can have numerous radii. The centre can be compared to God and the radii to religions. So, no one sect, no one religion or book can make an absolute claim of It. He who works for It gets It.
- Selected Articles 1933-1986, p. 301 (2002)
- Religion is another name for the realization of Truth. It consists in becoming and being one with the Supreme Being. Doctrines and dogmas are only details of a secondary nature.
- A Practical Guide to Samadhi (Spiritual Teachings), p. 143 (2001, 1st ed. 1957)
- There are three kinds of fools in this world, fools proper, educated fools and rich fools. The world persists because of the folly of these fools.
- Revelation, No. 190, p. 168 (2001, 1st ed. 1951).
- Every discord is a harmony not understood. Happiness is a disease, and pain, a medicine.
- The Way to Peace, Power and Long Life, p. 121 (2001, 1st ed. 1945)
- Thought of tomorrow is the cause of much worry and anxiety. Commentary:—The thought of tomorrow such as "Where shall I go? What shall I eat?" etc., brings about planning. This planning and such thoughts rob a man of his peace of mind and make him restless and uneasy. The best thing to do is to depend fully upon God and to avoid planning, i.e., not to live either in the things of the past or of the future and to be indifferent to the things of the present. Contentment alone can give a man peace of mind and happiness.
- Revelation, No. 165, p. 147 (2001, 1st ed. 1951)
- There is an inborn tendency to be Free. Every being is struggling to be Free. No one wants bondage. No one wants misery. The very idea of disease and death is appalling to all. Still, a being thinks that it will be happy by sense-pleasures. Can these sense-pleasures make one happy? No. Any amount of sense-pleasures will not make one really happy. Sense-pleasures will bring momentary satisfaction and then make one unhappy. Then comes the question: Where does this real happiness lie? It lies in knowing the True Nature. To know your True Nature, you have to control your mind. In order to control your mind, you have to live a true life. You must be a man of good character. That is why all the Scriptures ask their followers to be good, kind, gentle, noble, charitable, truthful, etc. In fact, moral and ethical codes of good conduct are the starting points of all Religions. They start with moral and ethical codes and end with God-realization or Self-realization.
- The Essence of Life, in Minor Works II, p. 131f. (2001, 1st ed. 1980)
- The one Reality takes manifold names and forms as a result of human ignorance. It is one and the same Thing that a Bhakta calls God, a Jnani calls Brahman, a Shakta calls Shakti, an Atheist calls Nature, a Scientist calls Force or Energy, a Christian calls Father in Heaven, a Mussulman calls Allah, some others call Infinity or Truth and a Vedantin calls Atman or Self. Whatever different names there may be, the fact remains that the Thing is one and the same. The difference is only in names. The Absolute Thing, which is beyond name and form, is birthless, growthless, decayless, deathless, sexless, All-pervading, All-knowing, All-blissful, without beginning, without end, changeless, beyond time, space and causation. The One Thing or the Ocean of Consciousness by Itself is ever the same—One only without a second.
- A Practical Guide to Samadhi (Spiritual Teachings), p. 166 (2001, 1st ed. 1957)
- Love is not lust. The two (love and lust) are poles apart. Love liberates while lust binds.
- A Practical Guide to Samadhi (Spiritual Teachings), p. 144 (2001, 1st ed. 1957)
- The sex-energy is the greatest power of the mind and the body. This is the supreme strength in the human body, embodying all powers and assuming all forms. The mind and the body receive their strength and life from this sex-energy. Instead of allowing this Shakti or energy to become the gross seminal fluid, it is to be conserved, it is to be converted into a form of subtle energy called “Ojas” and thus made a source of spiritual life instead of the cause of physical death. With the extinction of sexual desires, the mind is released of its most powerful bond. Sex-energy moves towards two main directions, viz., one is downward and the other is upward. It takes the downward course in the form of gross sexual enjoyment; but when one tries to observe Brahmacharya (celibacy) in thought, word and deed, it takes the upward course. When the sex-energy always takes the downward course in a person, such a person becomes weak mentally and physically. From such a man or woman we cannot expect anything great and original. Sexual life dissipates the powers of the mind and the body.
- The Mysteries of Man, Mind and Mind-Functions, p. 483f. (2001, 1st ed. 1951)
- Very often people do not seem to understand the difference between control and suppression of an emotion. Say, one has a strong desire to enjoy a certain thing but there is no possibility to fulfil that desire. Here the desire is suppressed. On the other hand a desire for a certain enjoyment comes. The man can easily fulfil that desire, but he knows that the desire is bad for his growth and he discriminates and decides not to have that low desire. Here, it is called control. Suppression is bad and to discriminate, decide and to control an emotion is very good and there is a great need for it in this so-called scientific age.
- Brahman and the Universe, in Minor Works II, p. 62 (2001, 1st ed. 1978)