Swami Turiyananda Quotes

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Turiyananda or “Hari Maharaj” as he was popularly known as, was a direct monastic disciple of Ramakrishna, the 19th-century saint.  He was one of the earliest missionary to be sent by his leader and brother disciple Vivekananda to United States of America to preach the universal message of Vedanta to the western audience from 1899–1902.


Swami Turiyananda was renowned for his fearlessness. Once when was harassed by the British police in Northern India, a high ranking police officer asked him whether he was afraid of police. He responded, I do not even fear death, why should I fear any human being?” His work was based upon individual character building. He preferred the style of an inward, meditative and contemplative life. He seemed to be of the opinion that with large organisations, spiritual work is apt to suffer. “Lectures,” he used to say, “are to reach the public, but the real work can be done only through close personal contact, yet both are necessary. His method of teaching was through conversation with quotations from holy scriptures. “There are two ways of answering a question,” he said. “One is to answer from intellect, the other is to answer from within. I always try to answer from within . Even though he was not actively involved in philanthropic activity of the Ramakrishna Mission, he held it in high regard. He used to say, If one serves the sick and distressed in the right spirit, in one single day one can get the highest realisation. He sympathised with the masses, and encouraged philanthropy and work for the poor and distressed.

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Rather then smearing the body with mud and then undergoing the trouble of washing…is it not better to keep at a safe distance from mud?

— Swami Turiyananda, Precepts for Perfection

Spirituality depends solely on continence…When there is no continence,the mind becomes restless.When the mind is restless,it does not reflect the vision of the Chosen Ideal…Therefore,one should always be on the alert to keep one’s senses under control.

— Swami Turiyananda, Precepts for Perfection

Mere suppression of passions helps little.There must be a high ideal along with self-restraint.Whitout a high ideal the passions will find another outlet.You must give them a new direction;then you will automatically be rid of them.

— Swami Turiyananda, Precepts for Perfection

Lust,anger,and avarice-these are but different forms of the same thing.They are the eternal enemies of the jnani,and destroyers of knowledge and wisdom.Join the senses to the Lord.That is the way to teach the senses a lesson.

— Swami Turiyananda, Precepts for Perfection

Love and lust are two things very closely allied…It is lust if you have the idea of man,and love if you have the idea of God in your beloved.

— Swami Turiyananda, Precepts for Perfection
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