As the rays of the sun differ not from the sun, so matter differs not from God. (Avadhut Gita, 2.7)

"This universe is nothing but the Self-experiencing of the Infinite." (p. 329 of the Concise Yoga Vasishtha)

"Brahman (God) - the absolute existence, knowledge and bliss is real. The universe is not real. Brahman and Atman (man's inner Self/soul) are one." (Adi Shankara c 700 C.E. For him the real implies permanent never changing existence, and the unreal implies any object or knowledge whose existence is temporary and/or subject to change).

You are Brahman (God), I am Brahman, the whole universe is Brahman. Whatever you are doing realize this truth at all times. This Brahman or the Self alone is the reality in all beings, even as clay is the real substance in thousands of pots. (Yoga Vasishtha, 6.1.49)

You should contemplate this truth again and again, from beginning to end, reflect upon it and you should march along this path now, O Noble one. Though engaged in diverse activities, you will not be bound if your intelligence is saturated with this truth; otherwise you will fall, even as an elephant falls from the cliff. Again, if you conceptualize this teaching only for your intellectual entertainment, and do not let it act in your life, you will stumble and fall like a blind man. (Guru Vasishtha's advice to the future King Rama - from Yoga Vasishtha, 6.1.1)

It moves. It moves not.
It is far, and It is near.
It is within all this,
And It is outside all this (Isha Upanishad, verse 5)

The spiritual path is for the liberal minded and the miserly ones remain only on the fringe of it. (Sri Dada of Aligarh 1854 - 1910)

Knowledge is like the bricks of which a house is built, and devotion is like the cement. You cannot build a house only with bricks, the building will collapse. The devotional aspect is the cement in between. (Swami Sathyananda of Vrindavan)

Where there is "I" there is bondage, where there is no "I" there is release. (Ashtavkra Gita 8.4)

I have not said that a Guru is not necessary. But a Guru need not always be in human form. First a person thinks that he is inferior and that there is a superior, all knowing, all powerful God who controls his own and the world's destiny and worships him. When he reaches a certain state and becomes fit for enlightenment, the same God whom he was worshipping comes as Guru and leads him on. That Guru comes only to tell him that "God is within Yourself. Dive within and realize." God, Guru and the Self are the same. (Sri Ramana Maharishi 1879 - 1950)

If the splendor of a thousand suns were to rise up simultaneously in the sky, that would be like the splendor of that Mighty Being. (Bhagavad Gita 11.12)

What is, is the sole reality - which is neither created nor destroyed. It is that infinite consciousness that is perceived by the ignorant as the universe. (Yoga Vasishtha 3.52)

A woman secretly carries on an intrigue with her lover. Live in the world like that woman, doing your many duties, with your soul secretly yearning for the Lord. She thinks of her lover all the time that she does her household duties. (Sri Ramakrishna 1836 - 1886)

He is the unseen Seer, the unheard Hearer, the unthought Thinker, the ununderstood Understander. Other than He there is no seer. Other than He there is no hearer. Other than he there is no thinker. Other than He there is no understander. He is your Soul (Atman), the Inner Controller, the Immortal. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.7.23)

As a goldsmith, taking a piece of gold, reduces it to another newer and more beautiful form, just so this soul, striking down this body and dispelling it's ignorance, makes for itself another newer and more beautiful form. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 4.4.4)

There is no greater mystery than this, that being the Reality ourselves, we seek to gain Reality. (Sri Ramana Maharishi 1879 - 1950)

"Bring hither a fig from there."
"Here it is, sir."
"Divide it."
"It is divided, sir."
"What do you see there?"
"These rather fine seeds, sir."
"Of these, please divide one."
"It is divided, sir."
"What do you see there?"
"Nothing at all, sir."
Then he said to him: "Verily, my dear, that is the finest essence which you do not perceive - verily, my dear, from that finest essence this great sacred fig tree thus arises. Believe me, my dear," said he, "that which is the finest essence - this whole world has that as it's soul. That is Reality. That is Atman. That art thou." (Chandogya Upanishad 6.12.1-3)

Grace is within you. If it were external, it would be useless. (Sri Ramana Maharishi 1879 - 1950)

This seemingly endless stream of ignorance can be crossed over only by the constant company of the holy ones. From such company there arises wisdom concerning what is worth seeking and what is to be avoided. Then there arises the pure wish to attain liberation. This leads to serious inquiry. Then the mind becomes subtle because the inquiry thins out the mental conditioning. (Yoga Vasishtha 3.122)

Some people say the mind is an enemy within us. The mind is a friend also. Both are there. That is why they say "Mind is the cause of bondage and also of liberation." If you put it in contact with the sense objects it will make for bondage. If you put it in contact with realized souls it will make for liberation. (Swami Athananda of Vrindavan)

To the Brahmin who has known the Self, all the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) are of so much use as a reservoir is when there is a flood everywhere. (Bhagavad Gita 2.46)

There is not spiritual peace for the ignorant, because they desire and seek it in the external world. (Ashtavakra Gita 18.39)

Even as a man casts off worn-out clothes and puts on others which are new, so the embodied casts off worn-out bodies, and enters into others which are new. (Bhagavad Gita 2.22)

(From The Concise Yoga Vasishtha)

"That Self is empty like space; but it is not nothingness, since it is consciousness. It is: yet because it cannot be experienced by the mind and senses, it is not. It being the Self of all, it is not experienced (as the object of experience) by anyone. Though one, it is reflected in the infinite atoms of existence and hence appears to be many. This appearance is however unreal... But the self is not unreal. It is not a void or nothingness: for it is the Self of all...

That Self or infinite consciousness is, from the ordinary point of view, the creator, the protector and the overlord of all; and yet from the absolute point of view, in reality, being the Self of all, it has no such limited roles." (p. 101-102)

"It does nothing, yet It has fashioned the universe. Sustaining the entire universe, It does nothing at all. All substances are non-different from It, yet It is not a substance; though It is non-substantial It pervades all substances. The cosmos is It's body, yet it has no body... that infinite consciousness is and is not. It is even what it is not. All these statements about what is and what is not are based on logic, and the infinite consciousness goes beyond truth, beyond logic." (p. 377-378)

"In my vision, It is pure and supreme peace. In this there are infinite potentialities like figures in an uncut marble. Thus the supreme self is at the same time diverse and non-diverse. It is when you do not have direct self-knowledge that there arises in you doubt concerning this." (p. 540)

"The whole universe is filled with this infinite and undivided consciousness." (p. 494)

"Even as in a collection of a thousand pots there is space within and outside of all the pots, undivided and indivisible, even so the self exists pervading all beings in the three worlds." (p. 400)

"Because the substratum (the infinite consciousness) is real, all that is based on it acquires reality, though the reality is of the substratum alone... To me you are real, and to you I am real; even so the others are real to you or to me. And, this relative reality is like the reality of dream-objects." (p. 71)

"He sees the truth who sees that he is the omnipresent infinite consciousness which encompasses within itself all that takes place everywhere at all times. He sees the truth who knows that the Self, which is as subtle as the millionth part of the tip of a hair divided a million times, pervades everything. He sees the truth who sees that there is no division at all between the self and the other, and that the one infinite light of consciousness exists as the sole reality. He sees the truth who sees that the non-dual consciousness which indwells all beings is omnipotent and omnipresent." (p. 163)

"Spreading the net of worldly objects of pleasure, it is this egotism that traps living beings. Indeed, all the terrible calamities in this world are born of egotism... When I am under the influence of egotism, I am unhappy; when I am free from egotism I am happy. Egotism promotes cravings; without it they perish." (p. 10)

"Regard your body and senses as instruments for experiencing, not as Self." (p. 474)

"The self is neither this nor that; it transcends whatever is the object of experiencing here. In the unlimited and unconditioned vision ... all this is but the one Self, the infinite consciousness, and there is nothing which can be regarded as the not-Self. The substantiality of all substance is none other than the Self or the infinite consciousness." (p. 295)

"Consciousness becomes embodied though it is truly like space, incapable of being contained." (p. 561)

"O Rama, you are not born when the body is born, nor do you die when it dies. To think that the space within the jar came into being when it was made and the space perishes with the jar is sheer foolishness..." (p. 294)

"... when the inner light, kindled by a proper study of the scriptures and inquiry into their truth, illumines both knowledge and the experience of it, their total identity is realized. This inner light itself is regarded as self-knowledge by the holy ones: and the experience of it is an integral part of self-knowledge and non-different from it. He who has self-knowledge is for ever immersed in the experience of it." (p. 321)

"... abandon the false and fanciful notion of the ego-sense within your own heart. When this ego-sense is dispelled the supreme light of self-knowledge will surely shine in your heart." (p. 211)

"He who sees the Lord, the sun, in one's heart, sees the truth." (p. 357)

Rama: "Lord, what is the heart that is spoken of by you?"

Guru Vasishtha: "O Rama, two aspects of the "heart" are spoken of here: one is acceptable and the other is to be ignored. The heart that is part of this physical body and is located in one part of the body may be ignored! The heart which is acceptable is of the nature of pure consciousness. It is both inside and outside and it is neither inside nor outside. This is the principal heart and in it is reflected everything which is in the universe, and it is the treasure-house of all wealth. Consciousness alone is the heart of all beings, not the piece of flesh which people call the heart!" (p. 302)

"He who sees the universe, without the intervention of the mind and therefore without the notion of a universe, he alone sees the truth. Such a vision is known as nirvana." (p. 455-456)

"Liberation is but a synonym for pure mind, correct self-knowledge and a truly awakened state. The complete absence of all desires and hopes is liberation. Until one reaches this true inner awakening or self-knowledge, one considers oneself bound and strives for liberation. Abandon these wrong notions of bondage and liberation and become a man of supreme renunciation." (p. 296)

"The knowers of truth rest in the infinite consciousness alone: but that is indescribable and indefinable. Even expressions like "that alone is" are inadequate and misleading... For one who rests in his own Self and rejoices in the Self, in whom cravings have ceased and egosense is absent, life becomes non-volitional and there is perfect purity. One in millions, however, is able to reach this unconditioned state of pure being." (p. 705)

"Liberation is to realize that all this is pure consciousness." (p. 61)

"The enlightened one lives a non-volitional life engaging himself spontaneously in appropriate action... He lives for the sake of others, with a heart full of compassion for all beings." (p. 597-598)

"The enlightened sage lives in a state of realization of the truth even while he engages himself in diverse activities. In diversity he experiences unity; he rejoices even in unpleasant situations. Though he lives in the world he is really not in it. What more does an enlightened person have to gain? Just as ice is ever cool, the sage lives a natural life, doing what is natural to him, without aspiring {to} or abandoning anything. The characteristic of the ignorant man is that he strives to be other than what he is." (p. 671)

"He is silent in useless arguments, he is deaf to useless talk, he is a corpse in relation to unrighteous actions, he is very much alive in righteous actions, he is brilliant in exposing what is auspicious and in a moment he reveals the greatest truth. All this is natural to the wise man. He does not have to strive to acquire these qualities." (p. 669)

"As long as there is the body, so long shall pain be painful, and pleasure pleasant: but the wise are not attached to either." (p. 155)

(From The Concise Yoga Vasishtha - Vasishtha was the future King Rama's Guru as detailed in the epic Ramayana which predates the Mahabharata/Bhagavad Gita)

The supreme Self is neither born nor dies. He cannot be burned, moved, pierced, cut, nor dried. Beyond all attributes, the supreme Self is the eternal witness, ever pure, indivisible, and uncompounded, far beyond the senses and the ego... He is omnipresent, beyond all thought, without action in the external world, without action in the internal world. Detached from the outer and the inner, This supreme Self purifies the impure. (Atma Upanishad. 3)

Though all the galaxies emerge from him, He is without form and unconditioned. (Tejabindu Upanishad. 6)

Meditate and realize this world is filled with the presence of God. (Shvetashvatara Upanishad. 1:12)

You are the supreme Brahman, infinite, yet hidden in the hearts of all creatures. You pervade everything. (Shvetashvatara Upanishad. 3:7)

The Lord of Love is one. There is indeed no other. He is the inner ruler in all beings. He projects the cosmos from himself, maintains and withdraws it back into himself at the end of time. His eyes, mouths, arms, and feet are everywhere. Projecting the cosmos out of himself, he holds it together. He is the source of all the powers of life. He is the lord of all, the great seer who dwells forever in the cosmic womb. May he purify our consciousness!
(Shvetashvatara Upanishad. 3:2-4)

He is fire and the sun, and the moon and the stars. He is the air and the sea, and the Creator, Prajapati. He is this boy, he is that girl, he is this man, he is that woman, and he is this old man, too, tottering on his staff. His face is everywhere. He is the blue bird, he is the green bird with red eyes; he is the thundercloud, and he is the seasons and the seas. He has no beginning, he has no end. He is the source from which the worlds evolve. From his divine power comes forth all this magical show of name and form, of you and me, which casts the spell of pain and pleasure. Only when we pierce through this magic veil do we see the One who appears as many.
(Shvetashvatara Upanishad. 4:2-5)

The Lord of Love is before and behind. He extends to the right and to the left. He extends above; he extends below. There is no one here but the Lord of Love. He alone is; in truth, he alone is. (Mundaka Upanishad. Part 2, 2:12)

There are two selves, the separate ego and the indivisible Atman. When one rises above I and me and mine, the Atman is revealed as one's real Self. (Katha Upanishad. Part 2, 3:13)

Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree, intimate friends, the ego and the Self dwell in the same body. The former eats the sweet and sour fruits of the tree of life while the latter looks on in detachment. As long as we think we are the ego, we feel attached and fall into sorrow. But realize that you are the Self, the Lord of life, and you will be freed from sorrow. When you realize that you are the Self, supreme source of light, supreme source of love, you transcend the duality of life and enter into the unitive state. (Mundada Upanishad. 3:1-3)

When identified with the ego, the Self appears other than what it is. It may appear smaller than a hair's breadth. But know the Self to be infinite. (Shvetashvatara Upanishad. 5:8-9)

What the sages sought they have found at last. No more questions have they to ask of life. With self-will extinguished, they are at peace. Seeing the Lord of Love in all around, Serving the Lord of Love in all around, they are united with him forever. (Mundaka Upanishad. 3:2:5)

As the rain on a mountain peak runs off the slopes on all sides, so those who see only the seeming multiplicity of life run after things on every side. As pure water poured into pure water becomes the very same, so does the Self of the illumined man or woman, Nachiketa, verily become one with the Godhead. (Katha Upanishad. 1:14-15)

The separate self dissolves in the sea of pure consciousness, infinite and immortal. Separateness arises from identifying the Self with the body, which is made up of the elements; when this physical identification dissolves, there can be no more separate self. This is what I want to tell you, beloved. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Chapter 2, 4:12)

As the rivers flowing east and west
Merge in the sea and become one with it,
Forgetting they were ever separate rivers,
So do all creatures lose their separateness
When they merge at last into pure Being.
(Chandogya Upanishad. 10:1-2)

... the beginningless Brahman, ... can be called neither being nor nonbeing. It is both near and far, both within and without every creature; it moves and is unmoving. In its subtlety it is beyond comprehension. It is indivisible, yet appears divided in separate creatures. Know it to be the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer. Dwelling in every heart, it is beyond darkness. It is called the light of lights, the object and goal of knowledge, and knowledge itself.
(Bhagavad Gita 13:12)

Just as a reservoir is of little use when the whole countryside is flooded, scriptures are of little use to the illumined man or woman who sees the Lord everywhere. (Bhagavad Gita 2:46)

After many births the wise seek refuge in me, seeing me everywhere and in everything. Such great souls are very rare. (Bhagavad Gita 7:19)

(Those who follow the path of spiritual wisdom) see that where there is One, that One is me (God); where there are many, all are me; they see my face everywhere. (Bhagavad Gita 9:15)

But those who worship me with love live in me, and I come to life in them. He who knows me as his own divine Self breaks through the belief that he is the body and is not reborn as a separate creature. Such a one is united with me. Delivered from selfish attachment, fear, and anger, filled with me, surrendering themselves to me, purified in the fire of my being, many have reached the state of unity in me. (Bhagavad Gita 4:9-10)

And this Self, who is pure consciousness is Brahman. He is God, all gods: the five elements - earth, air, fire, water, ether; all beings great or small, born of eggs, born from the womb, born from heat, born from soil: horses, cows, men, elephants, birds; everything that breathes, the beings that walk and the beings that walk not. The reality behind all these is Brahman who is pure consciousness. All these while they live, and after they have ceased to live, exist in him. (Aitareya Upanishad)

From The Gospel Of Sri Ramakrishna:

"It is the unwavering conviction of the Jnani (one of knowledge and understanding) that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory. All these names and forms are illusory, like a dream. What Brahman is cannot be described. One cannot even say that Brahman is a Person. This is the opinion of the Jnanis, the followers of Vedanta philosophy.

But the Bhaktas (those on the path of devotion and worship) accept all the sates of consciousness. They take the waking state to be real also. They don't think the world to be illusory, like a dream. They say that the universe is a manifestation of God's power and glory. God has created all these - sky, stars, moon, sun, mountains, ocean, men, animals. They constitute His glory. He is within us, in our hearts. Again, He is outside. The most advanced devotees say that He Himself has become all this - the twenty-four cosmic principles, the universe, and all living beings. The devotee of God wants to eat the sugar, and not to become the sugar. (All laugh).

The yogi seeks to realize the Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. His ideal is the union of the embodied soul and the Supreme Soul. He withdraws his mind from sense-objects and tried to concentrate on the Paramatman...

But the Reality is one and the same; the difference is only in name. He who is Brahman is verily Atman, and again, He is the Bhagavan. He is Brahman to the followers of the path of knowledge, Paramatman to the yogis, and the Bhagavan to the lovers of God." (p. 191-192)

"Think of Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, as a shoreless ocean. Through the cooling influence, as it were, of the Bhakta's love, the water is frozen at places into blocks of ice. In other words, God now and then assumes various forms for His lovers and reveals Himself to them as a Person. But with the rising of the Sun of Knowledge, the blocks of ice melt. Then one doesn't feel any more that God is a Person, nor does one see God's forms. What He is cannot be described. Who will describe Him? He who would do so disappears. He cannot find his I any more." (p. 209)

"Brahman (god) with attributes is meant for the Bhaktas (those on the path of love and devotion). In other words, a bhakta believes that God has attributes and reveals Himself to men as a Person, assuming forms. It is He who listens to our prayers. The prayers that you utter are directed to Him alone. It doesn't matter whether you accept God with form or not. It is enough to feel that God is a Person who listens to our prayers, who creates, preserves, and destroys the universe, and who is endowed with infinite power. It is easier to attain God by following the path of devotion." (p. 209-210)

"He who is attributeless also has attributes. He who is Brahman is also Shakti (active energy/life force). When thought of as inactive, He is called Brahman, and when thought of as the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, He is called the Primordial Energy, Kali. Brahman and Shakti are identical, like fire and its power to burn. When we talk of fire, we automatically mean also its power to burn. Again, the fire's power to burn implies the fire itself. If you accept the one you must accept the other." (p. 161)

"As Consciousness, (God) pervades the entire universe of the living and the non-living." (p. 272)

"In the Vedas creation is likened to the spider's web. The spider brings the web out of itself and then remains in it. God is the container of the universe and also what is contained in it." (p. 194)

"God dwells in all beings. But you may be intimate only with good people; you must keep away from the evil-minded. God is even in the tiger; but you cannot embrace the tiger on that account (Laughter.) You may say, "Why run away from a tiger, which is also a manifestation of God? The answer to that is: Those who tell you to run away are also manifestations of God; why shouldn't you listen to them?" (p. 131-132)

"A man cannot live on the roof a long time. He comes down again. Those who realize Brahman in samadhi (state of meditation) come down also and find that it is Brahman that has become the universe and its living beings... The ego does not vanish altogether. The man coming down from samadhi (union with God during meditation) perceives that it is Brahman (God) that has become the ego, the universe, and all living beings. This is known as Vijnana." (p. 156)

"There are three classes of devotees. The lowest one says, "God is up there," and he points to heaven. The mediocre devotee says that God dwells in the heart as the "Inner Controller." But the highest devotee says: "God alone has become everything. All things that we perceive are so many forms of God." (p. 292-293)

(From The Gospel Of Sri Ramakrishna)