• The greatest teacher of the Vedanta philosophy was Shankaracharya. By solid reasoning, he extracted from the Vedas the truths of Vedanta, and on them built up the wonderful system of Jnana that is taught in his commentaries. He unified all the conflicting descriptions of Brahman and showed that there is only one Infinite Reality. He showed too that as man can only travel slowly on the upward road, all the varied presentations are needed to suit his varying capacity.
  • "God is true. The universe is a dream. Blessed am I that I know this moment that I [have been and] shall be free all eternity; … that I know that I am worshipping only myself; that no nature, no delusion, had any hold on me. Vanish nature from me, vanish [these] gods; vanish worship; … vanish superstitions, for I know myself. I am the Infinite. All these—Mrs. So-and-so, Mr. So-and-so, responsibility, happiness, misery—have vanished. I am the Infinite. How can there be death for me, or birth? Whom shall I fear? I am the One. Shall I be afraid of myself? Who is to be afraid of [whom]? I am the one Existence. Nothing else exists. I am everything.”
  • I was once travelling in the desert in India. I travelled for over a month and always found the most beautiful landscapes before me, beautiful lakes and all that. One day I was very thirsty and I wanted to have a drink at one of these lakes; but when I approached that lake it vanished. Immediately with a blow came into my brain the idea that this was a mirage about which I had read all my life; and then I remembered and smiled at my folly, that for the last month all the beautiful landscapes and lakes I had been seeing were this mirage, but I could not distinguish them then. The next morning I again began my march; there was the lake and the landscape, but with it immediately came the idea, “This is a mirage.” Once known it had lost its power of illusion. So this illusion of the universe will break one day. The whole of this will vanish, melt away. This is realisation.
  • Shankara says: God is to be reasoned on, because the Vedas say so. Reason helps inspiration; books and realised reason or individualized perception both are proofs of God. The Vedas are, according to him, a sort of incarnation of universal knowledge. The proof of God is that He brought forth the Vedas, and the proof of the Vedas is that such wonderful books could only have been given out by Brahman. They are the mine of all Knowledge, and they have come out of Him as a man breathes out air; therefore we know that he is infinite in power and knowledge. Shankara further affirms that obedience to ceremonial is not knowledge. Knowledge of God is independent of moral duties or sacrifice or ceremonial, or what we think or do not think, just as the stump is not affected when one man takes it for a ghost and another sees it as it is.
  • It was Shankara who first found out the idea of the identity of time, space, and causation with Maya, and I had the good fortune to find one or two pages in Shankara's Commentaries. ...
  • Shankaracharya had caught the rhythm of the Vedas, the national cadence. Indeed I always imagine that he had some vision such as mine when he was young and recovered the ancient music that way. Anyway, his whole life’s work is nothing but that, the throbbing of the beauty of the Vedas and the Upanishads.
  • Shankara declares that "all works, good and bad, are against Knowledge. Actions tending to ignorance are sins, not directly, but as causes because they tend to increase Tamas and Rajas. With Sattva only, comes wisdom. Virtuous deeds take off the veil from knowledge, and knowledge alone can make us see God.
  • Knowledge can never be created, it can only be discovered, and every man who makes a great discovery is inspired. Only, when it is a spiritual truth he brings, we call him a prophet; and when it is on a physical plane, we call him a scientific man, and we attribute more importance to the former, although the source of all truth is one. Shankara says Brahman is the essence, the reality of all knowledge, and that all manifestations as knower, knowing, and known are mere imaginings in Brahman
  • Did India ever stand in want of reformers? Do you read the history of India? Who was Ramanuja? Who was Shankara? Who was Nanak? Who was Chaitanya? Who was Kabir? Who was Dadu? Who were all these great preachers, one following the other, a galaxy of stars of the first magnitude?
  • If there have been sages and Rishis in the past, be sure that there will be many now. If there have been Vyasas and Valmikis and Shankaracharyas in ancient times, why may not each one of you become a Shankaracharya?