“Asana is distinctly a sign of transcending the human condition… [it] is the first concrete step taken for the purpose of abolishing the modalities of human existence. What is certain is that the motionless, hieratic position of the body imitates some other condition than the human; the yogin in the state of asana can be homologized with a plant [or animal] or a sacred statue; under no circumstances can he be homologized with man qua man, who, by defintion, is mobile, agitated, unrhythmic…”  ~ Mircea Eliade in Yoga, Immortality and Freedom

“Ahimsa can be practiced only to those that are inferior to you in every way” – Gandhi

“Ahimsa is a comprehensive principle. We are helpless mortals caught in the conflagration of himsa. The saying that life lives on life has a deep meaning in it. Man cannot for a moment live without consciously or unconsciously committing outward himsa. The very fact of his living – eating, drinking and moving about – necessarily involves some himsa, destruction of life, be it ever so minute. A votary of ahimsa therefore remains true to his faith if the spring of all his actions is compassion, if he shuns to the best of his ability the destruction of the tiniest creature, tries to save it, and thus incessantly strives to be free from the deadly coil of himsa. He will be constantly growing in self-restraint and compassion, but he can never become entirely free from outward himsa” – Mahatma Gandhi

“The mind should never forced to accept something that feels unnatural. When it comes spontaneously, there will be no suppression. If you force yourself to do something that is going against your nature, you’ll develop all sorts of psychological complications. Keep the yamas and niyamas in mind and let them develop naturally”. Attributed to Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

“I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man” – Mahatma Gandhi

“What we most need to do is to hear within us the sound of the Earth crying” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“Harm no other beings.  They are just your brothers and sisters” – Buddha

“He is closest to God who harms no living creature” – Bhagavad Gita

“Avoiding harm… and working towards the happiness of all living creatures is the duty of everyone” – Bhagavata Purana 11:17:21

“One is considered the best yogi who regards every being like oneself, and who can feel the pain and pleasures of others as one’s own” – Bhagavad Gita, 6.32

“Compassion for all things which have life” – Mahabharata

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

“Animals and Gods are two closely related communities poised like guardians on either side of the threshold of our human community” – Wendy Doniger of Animals in Four Worlds.

“The aim of Yoga is to realise that we are all connected. We share one heart, one consciousness, and one Divine Source. Yoga’s method is to provide us with experiences that help us grasp this” – Sharon Gannon and David Life, Jivamukti Yoga

“We best find ourselves by losing ourselves in the service of others” – attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

“He was only following his dharma, his nature. It is the dharma of a scorpion to sting, and it is the dharma of a saint to save its life. He is following his dharma and I am following mine. Everything is in its proper place. That is why I am so happy” – The Saint & the Scorpion Dharma Story

“One is considered the best yogi who regards every being like oneself, and who can feel the pain and pleasures of others as one’s own” – Bhagavad Gita: 6,32

“It ill becomes us to invoke in our daily prayers the blessings of God, the Compassionate, if we in turn will not practice elementary compassion towards our fellow creatures” – Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)

“In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948)

“To forgive and accept injustice is cowardice” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948)

“One is dearest to God who has no enemies among the living beings, who is nonviolent to all creatures”
– Bhagavad Gita,

“Non-injury, truthfulness, freedom from theft, lust, anger and greed, and an effort to do what is agreeable and beneficial to all creatures – this is the common duty of all castes. … To be non-violent to human beings and to be a killer or enemy of the poor animals is Satan’s philosophy. In this age there is always enmity against poor animals and therefore the poor creatures are always anxious. The reaction of the poor animals is being forced on human society and therefore there is always the strain of cold or hot war between men, individually, collectively or nationally” – Srimad Bhagavatam 1.10.6

“The mind should never be forced to accept something which feels unnatural. When it comes spontaneously, there will be no suppression. If you force yourself to do something that is going against your nature, you’ll develop all sorts of psychological complications. Keep the yamas and niyamas in mind and let them develop naturally” – Hatha Yoga Pradipika

“For one with an open heart, the whole world is one family” – Swami Satyananda Saraswati

“We must balance all of the energies in every region of the body” – Iyengar

“Unless we live with non-violence and reverence for all living beings in our hearts, all our humaneness and acts of goodness, all our vows, virtues, and knowledge, all our practices to give up greed and acquisitiveness are meaningless and useless.” “He who harms animals has not understood or renounced deeds of sin… Those whose minds are at peace and who are free from passions do not desire to live at the expense of others” – Mahavira (Founder of Jainism) (599-527 BC)

“Because he has pity on every living creature, therefore is a man called holy”- Dhammapada

“One may smile about the fact that around Cambay in Gujarat, the peasant folk disregard the official rules for getting rid of the strays (dogs), which are rampant, on the contrary, every household donates a roti on a daily basis for these curs” – Ludwig Alsdorf

“Kathiawar peasants refused to kill the locusts, instead preferring to transport them by cart and set them free in the next village” – Ludwig Alsdorf

“They extend it even to vermin. I have witnessed myself how a poisonous centipede that had bitten a monk, was put in  brass pot and set free in a field” – Ludwig Alsdorf

“Jainism teaches what may be called total animism: all of nature is animated, not only animals and plants but the elements: earth, air, fire and water consist of countless elementary individual souls. As for the monk, ahimsa is extended to these with prohibitions on splashing and heating water, handling fire and using a fan, as this could hurt the arial souls” – Ludwig Alsdorf

“There is no higher piety than the non-violation of living beings” – Jajali (Ludwig Alsdorf)

“There is nothing so small and subtle as the atom nor any element so vast as space. Similarly, there is no quality of soul more subtle than non-violence and no virtue of spirit greater than the reverence for life” – Mahavira (“founder” of jainism)

“All beings fear danger, life is dear to all. When a person considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill” – The Buddha Dhammapada, 129.

“Animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends” – Venerable Master Jetsuma Tenzin Palmo (practiced in cave for 12 years)

“I undertake the training to refrain from harming all living beings” – Buddhism

“Think that all beings are to be loved as if they are an only child” – Buddhism

“If we work for the freedom of others, we will ourselves become free” – Patanjali (summed up by Sanskrit word “pratishthayam”)

“The most important part of yoga practice is a vegetarian diet” – K. Pattabhi Jois

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all” – translates as: Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu

“Those who are wise and humble treat equally the Brahmin, cow, elephant, dog and dog-eater” – Bhagavad Gita

“Kindness to the ant seen as the ultimate form of benevolence” – Nanditha Krishna

“I have seen in my wanderings great temples and shrines, but none are as blissful as my own body” – Mahasiddha Saraha, 8th century

“Birth, sickness, ageing and death flow ever onward, a river without ford or bridge… Have you prepared yourself a boat?” – Mah-asiddha Padampa Sangye, 11th century

Yoga Master Sivananda says in his book, Bliss Divine: “If you want to stop taking mutton, fish, etc., just see with your own eyes the pitiable, struggling condition of the animals at the time of killing. Now mercy and sympathy will arise in your heart. You will determine to give up flesh-eating. If you fail in this attempt, just change your environment and live in a vegetarian hotel where you cannot get mutton and fish, and move in that society where there is only vegetable diet. Always think of the evils of flesh-eating and the benefits of a vegetarian diet. If this also cannot give you sufficient strength to stop this habit, go to the slaughterhouse and the butcher’s shop and personally see the disgusting, rotten muscles, intestines, kidneys and other nasty parts of the animals which emits bad smell. This will induce Vairagya (dispassion) in you and a strong disgust and hatred for meat-eating. All slaughter-houses should be abolished, and the use of animal flesh as food should be absolutely given up. Flesh-eating is unnecessary, unnatural, and unwholesome. The countless instances of reputed philosophers, authors, scholars, athletes, saints, Yogins, Rishis who lived on vegetable diet conclusively prove that vegetarian diet produces supreme powers both of mind and body, and is highly conducive for divine contemplation and practice of Yoga.“

“Some are bound by renouncing things. Others by these same things gain unsurpassable enlightenment” – Mah-asiddha Saraha, 8th century

“To realise the essence of consciousness… approach what you find repulsive. Help whoever you think you cannot help. Let go of anything you are attached to. Go to places that scare you, such as cemeteries… be mindful! Discover the Buddha within yourself” – Mah-asiddha Machig Lhabdron, 11th century

“Having meditated on gentleness and on compassion, I have forgotten the difference between myself and others” – Milarepa, 11th century

“Let the dissolution with pain be called yoga” – Lord Krishna

The impermanence of the body
Should give us great clarity,
Deepening the wonder in our senses and eyes
Of this mysterious existence we share
And are surely just traveling through. (Hafiz)