Sanskrit spiritual aphorisms: Slokas and Sutras

Here are some Sam’skrta (Sanskrit) spiritual aphorisms known as Slokas or Sutras. They have been used for at least 15,000 years and remain an important way of teaching spiritual truths in a form that is both condensed and potent.

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Bhaktirbhagavato sevá bhaktih premasvarupińii;
Bhaktiránandarúpá ca bhaktih bhaktasya jiivanam.

[Devotion is the spirit of service to the Supreme Entity. It is an embodiment of selfless love, an embodiment of bliss, the very life of a devotee.]


Namaste paramaḿ brahma namaste Paramátmane
Nirguńáya namastubhyaḿ sadrúpáya namo namah.

[Salutations to the Supreme Entity, I salute the Supreme Cognitive Faculty. I salute the Non-attributional Entity. Salutations to the Supreme Being.]


Shánto viniito shuddhátmá
Shraddhávána dhárańákśamah;
Samarthashca kuliinashca
Prájiṋah saccarito yatih;
Evamádi guńaeryuktah
Shishyo bhavati nányathá.


“A disciple must always be samartha (ready to carry out the instructions and commands of the master). He or she must be prájiṋa and yati – that is, must have the requisite knowledge and experience, and must have full control over the mind. One who is of noble soul, of noble conduct and of tranquil mind, who is modest and reverent, and possesses a sharp memory and perseverance, who has all-round competence and is zealous in the practice of raising the kulakuńd́alinii, and who is well-informed and self-restrained, is an ideal disciple.”


Mananát  tárayet yastu sa mantrah parikiirtitah

Mantra is defined as “That which, when contemplated upon leads to freedom from [all sorts of bondages] is called a mantra.”

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