Purer Lives

Achariya Fritz Kramer
Speaks on "Purer Lives"
Sunday, January 10. 2016 at 11:00am

As we enter the initial weeks of a New Year, it is natural for our minds to be attracted to the subjects of transformation and resolution. Yet, at the core of that desire to change exists an underlying principle. Let us consider the first stanza of a hymn we often sing together, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind:

"Dear Lord and Father of mankind,"
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind, In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

This Sunday morning we will join in the Temple to meditate on the subject of purity. Whether outer or inner, purification plays a critical role in spiritual practice and thought. Great souls from all times and lands have encouraged and guided us to distill our existence to it's truest essence. In these first days of 2016, may we lift our hearts and minds to this ideal as we strive to live purer lives. 

—Achariya Fritz

From the Gurus and Swamis: AUM

"Purity in body and mind — cleaning the body externally and internally from all foreign matters which, being fermented, create different sorts of diseases in the system, and clearing the mind from all prejudices and dogmas that make one narrow."
—Swami Sri Yuketswar

"Purity of heart means transparency to truth. One's consciousness should be free from the distortions of attachment and repulsion to sense objects." 

—Swami Yogananda Paramhansa

"Let men have light, let them be pure and spiritually strong and educated, then alone will misery cease in the world, not before."

—Swami Vivekananda

Noble Thoughts: "Let Noble Thoughts come to us from every side."

—Rig Veda

"Make thine own self pure by good thoughts, good words,
good deeds."

— "Avesta"

"God can never be realized by one who is not pure of heart. . . . The path of self-purification is hard and steep. To attain 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."

—M. K. Gandhi, "An Autobiography"

"This purity of heart brings at least momentary deliverance from images and concepts, from the forms and shadows of all the things men desire with their human appetites. . . . In the vivid darkness of God within us there sometimes come deep movements of love that deliver us entirely, for a moment, from our old burden of selfishness, and number us among those little children of whom is the Kingdom of Heaven."

—Thomas Merton, "New Seeds of Contemplation"

"When the heart is pure, you are always happy. Concentration of the mind comes automatically without your even trying. Only an impure mind runs here and there, forcing us to bring it back again and again. All the senses are controlled, too, and then comes Atma darsana yogyatvani, fitness for Self-realization or the vision of the Atma. . . . 

Just be pure in thought, word and deed."

—"The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali," commentary by Swami Satchidananda