A Glimpse of Humanity

Srimati Carrie
Speaks on “A glimpse of humanity”
Sunday, February 5, 2017

What does it mean to be human?  Immediately, experiences of the physical and mental challenges we face in life come to mind. How we meet those challenges often reveals the ways of human imperfection. 

We have come to believe that, “To err is human.” Yet, we also believe that to “forgive is divine.” To be humane toward other living beings is to have compassion. To be inhumane, is to be cruel and to act without compassion.

We express our humanity when we reveal divinity.  The so-called “man’s inhumanity to man” reflects the fact that we human beings often resort to our baser instincts.  But we know and we have seen countless examples of that spark of divinity in human life that brings love and wisdom amidst the darkness of ignorance and fear. And this gives us hope even in a world full of strife.

We are reminded to live in the world but not of the world.  To move in the world of duality but live in the transcendental realm of the Divine Self is the path of spiritual unfoldment.  This is the path of Yoga.  And even a small step on this path will offer a glimpse of humanity, enlightened by divinity.

—Srimati Carrie


“In my life, especially during my spiritual ministry, I have come in close contact with people of virtually all categories. In my association with my fellowmen I often experienced a disturbing note in my friendship, love and devotion. It is true that I have received abundantly the spiritual blessings of fellowship, joy and happiness from kind and loving hearts. But what I wish to emphasize here is that experiences of pain and agony have come to my life from those whom I have endeavored to serve, aid and assist. Nevertheless I am not embittered by these untoward experiences. And the reason for this I want to reveal to you in order that you also under similar circumstances will be able to rise above all negative thoughts, desires and feeling within yourself.”

—Swami Premananda

“The consciousness of duality is not the life meant for man. According to dualism, human life exists in a fragment of time between birth and death of the physical being. But this is not human life. It is the mere animal existence. In the case of the animal which has not the same destiny in the cosmic scheme, happiness can be found in the immediate—in self-preservation, self-perpetuation and shelter. Its happiness is immediate, individual and earthbound. For the human being it is the opposite. The immediate is a stage in the grander attainment beyond the mortality of dualism, the world of change. True human life is a process of sacrifice of the immediate, the individual and the apparent for a realization of life that is eternal, infinite and formless. That process of resolution of duality’s contradictions, separation and incomprehension is yoga.” 

— Swami Kamalananda


“Reason and love define the demands of human nature… The demands of reason and love must not be subordinated to the demands of habit … but on the contrary [one] must ascertain on the basis of the demands of reason and love what is to be habitual.” 

— Leo Tolstoy

“Hatred ever kills; love never dies. Such is the vast difference between the two. What is obtained by love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred proves a burden in reality, for it increases hatred. The duty of a human being is to diminish hatred and to promote love.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

“The development of intelligence and physical power is equally necessary in animals and men for their purposes of living; but what is unique in man is the development of his consciousness which gradually deepens and widens the realization of his immortal being, the perfect, the eternal. It inspires those creations of his that reveal the divinity in him—which is his humanity—in the varied manifestations of truth, goodness and beauty, in the freedom of activity which is not for his use but for his ultimate expression.” 

— Rabindranath Tagore

“The varied nature of human society in this world is the result of man’s three states of consciousness, physical, mental and spiritual. But all these three are transcended by merging with consciousness of him who is the preserver of all, who is bliss and who is absolute wisdom. From him emanate life, the power of mind and the potencies of all sense-faculties. From him are born space, air, light, water and earth which is the support of all existence. He is the absolute Brahman, the self of all, the basic source and substance of this world, subtler than the subtle and eternal: That thou art; Thou art That.” 

— Kaivalya Upanishad, Translated by Swami Premananda