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Bhagavad Gita, Ansari, Tao Te Ching, Swami Sivananda, Ephesians, Prophet Muhammad, Angelus Silesius, Hermes and Shakespeare: On Conquering the Self

Bhagavad Gita, Ansari, Tao Te Ching, Swami Sivananda, Ephesians, Prophet Muhammad, Angelus Silesius, Hermes and Shakespeare: On Conquering the Self
Photo: Bedouin youth with long hair in style of Absalom in Qasr el Azraq, Jordan; 1926.



He who conquered himself by Self, he is the friend of himself; but he whose self is unconquered, his self acts as his own enemy like an external foe.

(Bhagavad Gita, VI.6)

Fasting only means the saving of bread,
Formal prayer is the business 
Of old men and women,
Pilgrimage is a pleasure of the world.
Conquer the heart,
Its subjection is conquest indeed.


He who conquers others is strong,
He who conquers himself is mighty.

(Tao Te Ching XXXIII)

Be a hero on the battlefield of the Absolute (adhyatma). Be a fearless soldier of the spirit. The inward battle against the mind, the senses, the subconscious impregnations (vasanas) and the residues of anterior states (samskaras) is more terrible than outward battle.

(Swami Sivananda)

Put on the whole armour of God. that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

(Ephesians, VI, 11-12)

Paradise lies in the shadow of swords.

(Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)

The devil by prayer, the flesh by chastisement,
The world, if one renounces it, is easy to conquer.

(Angelus Silesius)

The soul must begin by warring against itself, and stirring up within itself a mighty feud; and the one part of the soul must win victory over the others, which are more in number. It is a feud of one against two, the one part struggling to mount upward, and the two dragging it down; and there is much strife between them. And it makes no small difference whether the one side or the other wins; for the one part strives towards the Good, the other make their home among evils; the one yearns for freedom, the other are content with slavery. And if the two parts are vanquished, they stay quiet in themselves, and submissive to the ruling part; but if the one part is defeated, it is carried off as a captive by the two, and the life it lives on earth is life of penal torment. Such is the contest about the journey to the world above. You must begin, my son, by winning victory in this contest, and then, having won, mount upward.


When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage,
Or in th' incestuous pleasure of his bed,
At game a-swearing, or about some act
That has no relish of salvation in ’t--
Then trip him, that his heels may kick at heaven,
And that his soul may be as damned and black
As hell, whereto it goes. 

(Shakespeare; Hamlet, III, iii, 89)


Recommended Reading:

'Complete Works of William Shakespeare'
By William Shakespeare  (Author)

Purchase Book:



"I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed."
(William Shakespeare)

Arm yourself with this volume from the Knickerbocker Classic series, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, including 16 comedies, 10 histories, 12 tragedies and all the poems and sonnets of the world's most influential writer. This collection includes poems and plays that were not included in Shakespeare's First Folio of 1623 to make one complete, authentic collection. For Shakespeare fans worldwide, this stunning gift edition has a full cloth binding, foil blocking on the spine, ribbon marker, and is packaged neatly in an elegant slipcase. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare contains essential reading like Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, King Lear, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Henry V alongside many lesser-known gems for a complete Shakespearean education.
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