Words on Conduct from three spiritual teachers  •  

Paramahansa Yogananda:  Don’t depend on death to liberate you from your imperfections. You are exactly the same after death as you were before. Nothing changes; you only give up the body. If you are a thief or a liar or a cheater before death, you don’t become an angel merely by dying. If such were possible, then let us all go and jump in the ocean now and become angels at once! Whatever you have made of yourself thus far, so will you be hereafter. And when you reincarnate, you will bring that same nature with you. To change, you have to make the effort. This world is the place to do it.

Norman Paulsen:  Self-discipline arises from commitment to the vision you seek: knowing what you want and dedicating your life to bringing it forth into being. To walk the spiritual path, the utmost discipline is required. Threefold development must be pursued: physical, mental, and spiritual. Through the attainment of virtue, the ego-centered consciousness must abdicate the throne to the pure Self. This is the crowning achievement of the spiritual athlete.
       Helping you to achieve this goal of virtue is Spirit, I Am That I Am, existing within your soul. Yes, we all have this energy nearby, and centered deep within.
It has to be identified and brought forth.
Meditation alone will not take you home. Without practicing virtue and walking the a balanced path, you may see the goal, but you will not be able to hold onto it.
       By attempting to live the virtue every day, whether you succeed or not, you plant positive seeds in the field of power. The law of cause and effect has no choice but to return these efforts toward virtue to you.

Swami Guru-Bhaktananda:  All beings are manifestations of God alone. This is the vision of the great Indian scriptures, the Vedas. The worship mentioned is also unusual. God in the form of each being is worshipping God in the universal form! Life takes on a completely new meaning when lived in accordance to what this verse implies. This vision creates the right feeling in us in all our daily activities. Every act becomes an act of worship.
       The fact that we do not feel in this way is due only to one single factor: Our Ego steps in between and tries to snatch away all the glory for itself!

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