Love Is the Only Path – Quotes by Swami Kripalu, Founder of Kripalu Yoga

Swami Kripalu (1913–1981) was a renowned yoga master, who came to America in 1977 and spent the last four years of his life in residence at the original Kripalu Center. He maintained his schedule of 10 hours of yoga and meditation daily, along with teaching a small group of disciples. Kripalu yoga, as taught at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires, is still informed by this teachings.

“To read uplifting books or listen to spiritual discourses is good. But to practice even a little is of the utmost importance. The profound meaning of yoga is understood only by those who study it through regular and systematic practice. The day you start to practice, your true progress will begin.”

“The body is stimulated by proper exercise, which both strengthens and relaxes. We all must travel a long distance in this physical body. If we do not care for it,how can we reach our goal?”

“Asanas performed with a deep sensitivity to the breath are ten times more beneficial than those without breath awareness.”

“The body benefits most when the postures are performed consciously and with full understanding. It takes time to accomplish difficult postures. Avoid forcing the body into them prematurely. Work into them gradually. Otherwise, the body can be harmed.” 

“It is proper to welcome struggle. Its arrival is always auspicious. Struggle changes a sub-human into an ideal person. It transforms an ordinary human into a spiritually awake person respected by the world. Struggle is a subtle sculptor who shapes the life of every great spiritual master into a unique and unparalleled work of art.”

“Seekers who believe they must practice yoga only in the meditation room are under a great illusion. They must practice yoga in society as well. Practicing yoga in the meditation room is easy because there are no external disturbances. But one encounters many disturbances while practicing yoga in society, which makes it very difficult. The true yogi is one who can successfully protect his mental steadiness while in society.”

“A significant number of earnest spiritual seekers take up the practice of yoga. Unfortunately many stop because exactly the right things happen.”

“Self-observation brings us closer to truth. When the mind is steady, we can see a little truth. When the mind is disturbed, we can’t see anything. Growth allows a portion of the mind to remain an objective witness even in a disturbed state. The witness is always there, if one can keep a wakeful attitude in one’s self.”

The major characteristic of love is the absence of conflict. When conflict is born and increases daily, true love gradually diminishes. Where conflict finds fault, love sees virtue. When love increases daily, its flower blossoms fully, spreading its sweet fragrance everywhere.” 

“Truly, the wise proclaim that love is the only path, love is the only God, and love is the only scripture. Only love can bring unity and remove the separation between all living beings. Only love purifies the body and mind. Love is not far away; it is as close as your heart. You can find it living there without walking a single step.”

“Love is the seed, surrender the bud, and service the fruit. Serving others is such an effective method for attaining personal growth that it excels any other means that may be employed.

Serve with a full heart. By making others happy, you make yourself happy. The key to your heart lies hidden in the heart of another.”

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