August 15

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have. ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

~ T. S. Eliot ~
To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs. ~ Sri Aurobindo (born 15 August 1872), also Independence Day of India (15 August 1947)
Call for the grandest of all earthly spectacles, what is that? It is the sun going to his rest. Call for the grandest of all human sentiments, what is that? It is that man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep. ~ Thomas De Quincey (born 15 August 1785)
The aggressive and quite illogical idea of a single religion for all mankind, a religion universal by the very force of its narrowness, one set of dogmas, one cult, one system of ceremonies, one ecclesiastical ordinance, one array of prohibitions and injunctions which all minds must accept on peril of persecution by men and spiritual rejection or eternal punishment by God, that grotesque creation of human unreason which has been the parent of so much intolerance, cruelty and obscurantism and aggressive fanaticism, has never been able to take firm hold of the Indian mentality. ~ Sri Aurobindo (date of birth, and the 60th Independence day of India)
A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root. ~ Napoleon I of France
The supreme truths are neither the rigid conclusions of logical reasoning nor the affirmations of credal statement, but fruits of the soul's inner experience. ~ Sri Aurobindo
If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks, glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. I have made all the calculations; fate will do the rest. ~ Napoleon I of France ~
True spirituality rejects no new light, no added means or materials of our human self-development. It means simply to keep our centre, our essential way of being, our inborn nature and assimilate to it all we receive, and evolve out of it all we do and create. ~ Sri Aurobindo
The supreme truths are neither the rigid conclusions of logical reasoning nor the affirmations of credal statement, but fruits of the soul's inner experience. Intellectual truth is only one of the doors to the outer precincts of the temple. And since intellectual truth turned towards the Infinite must be in its very nature many-sided and not narrowly one, the most varying intellectual beliefs can be equally true because they mirror different facets of the Infinite. However separated by intellectual distance, they still form so many side-entrances which admit the mind to some faint ray from a supreme Light. There are no true and false religions, but rather all religions are true in their own way and degree. Each is one of the thousand paths to the One Eternal.
~ Sri Aurobindo ~
Spirituality is much wider than any particular religion, and in the larger ideas of it that are now coming on us even the greatest religion becomes no more than a broad sect or branch of the one universal religion, by which we shall understand in the future man's seeking for the eternal, the divine, the greater self, the source of unity and his attempt to arrive at some equation, some increasing approximation of the values of human life with the eternal and the divine values.
~ Sri Aurobindo ~
The Flag links up the past and the present. It is the legacy bequeathed to us by the architects of our liberty. … The world is full of misunderstandings, suspicions and distrusts. In these difficult days it depends on us under what banner we fight. Here we are Putting in the very centre the white, the white of the Sun's rays. The white means the path of light … the ideal light, the light of truth … The Asoka's wheel represents to us the wheel of the Law, the wheel Dharma. Truth can be gained only by the pursuit of the path of Dharma, by the practice of virtue. ...the orange, the Bhagwa colour, represents the spirit of renunciation. All forms of renunciation are to be embodied in Raja Dharma. … Our leaders must be disinterested. They must be dedicated spirits … the green is there, our relation to the soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends. We must build our Paradise, here on this green earth... This flag tells us "Be ever alert, be ever on the move, go forward, work for a free, flexible, compassionate, decent, democratic society in which Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists will all find a safe shelter." Let us all unite under this banner and rededicate ourselves to the ideas our flag symbolizes.
~ Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ~

This Sanatana Dharma has many scriptures: The Veda, the Vedanta, the Gita, the Upanishads, the Darshanas, the Puranas, the Tantras, nor could it reject the Bible or the Koran, but its real, the most authoritative scripture is in the heart in which the Eternal has his dwelling.
~ Sri Aurobindo ~
All religions have some truth in them, but none has the whole truth; all are created in time and finally decline and perish. Mahomed himself never pretended that the Koran was the last message of God and there would be no other. God and Truth outlast these religions and manifest themselves anew in whatever way or form the Divine Wisdom chooses. You cannot shut up God in the limitations of your own narrow brain or dictate to the Divine Power and Consciousness how or where or through whom it shall manifest; you cannot put up your puny barriers against the divine Omnipotence. These again are simple truths which are now being recognised all over the world; only the childish in mind or those who vegetate in some formula of the past deny them.
~ Sri Aurobindo ~
Whatever plans we may make, we shall find quite useless when the time for action comes. Revolutions are always full of surprises, and whoever thinks he can play chess with a revolution will soon find how terrible is the grasp of God and how insignificant the human reason before the whirlwind of His breath. That man only is likely to dominate the chances of a Revolution, who makes no plans but preserves his heart pure for the will of God to declare itself. The great rule of life is to have no schemes but one unalterable purpose. If the will is fixed on the purpose it sets itself to accomplish, then circumstances will suggest the right course; but the schemer finds himself always tripped up by the unexpected.
~ Sri Aurobindo ~
The highest spirituality indeed moves in a free and wide air far above that lower stage of seeking which is governed by religious form and dogma; it does not easily bear their limitations and, even when it admits, it transcends them; it lives in an experience which to the formal religious mind is unintelligible.
~ Sri Aurobindo ~
Indian religion has always felt that since the minds, the temperaments and the intellectual affinities of men are unlimited in their variety, a perfect liberty of thought and of worship must be allowed to the individual in his approach to the Infinite.
~ Sri Aurobindo ~
What are we? What is the future? What is the past? What magic fluid envelops us and hides from us the things it is most important for us to know? We are born, we live, and we die in the midst of the marvelous.
~ Napoleon I of France ~
It is the nature of human institutions to degenerate, to lose their vitality, and decay, and the first sign of decay is the loss of flexibility and oblivion of the essential spirit in which they were conceived. The spirit is permanent, the body changes; and a body which refuses to change must die. The spirit expresses itself in many ways while itself remaining essentially the same but the body must change to suit its changing environments if it wishes to live.
~ Sri Aurobindo ~
Those who oppose the novel most vociferously today are of the opinion that intermingling with a different culture will inevitably weaken and ruin their own. I am of the opposite opinion. The Satanic Verses celebrates hybridity, impurity, intermingling, the transformation that comes of new and unexpected combinations of human beings, cultures, ideas, politics, movies, songs. It rejoices in mongrelization and fears the absolutism of the Pure. Melange, hotchpotch, a bit of this and a bit of that is how newness enters the world. It is the great possibility that mass migration gives the world... The Satanic Verses is for change-by-fusion, change-by-conjoining. It is a love song to our mongrel selves.
~ Salman Rushdie ~
  • proposed by Kalki; in regard of the recent physical attack upon him.
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India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only. ~ Mark Twain in honour of the India independence day

This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man's laws, not God's — and if you cut them down — and you're just the man to do it — d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ~ Robert Bolt (born August 15, 1924)

—This unsigned comment is by BD2412 (talkcontribs) .
  • 3 Kalki 16:31, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:28, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 15:35, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 DanielTom (talk) 10:54, 13 January 2018 (UTC) but I would extend this to include the immediately preceding dialogue leading up to "And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you—where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?"

Since one must take sides, one might as well choose the side that is victorious, the side which devastates, loots, and burns. Considering the alternative, it is better to eat than to be eaten. ~ Napoleon I of France (born August 15)

  • 3 because it is always the victor who smiles and the vanquished who remains guilty. Truly, enigmatically, it is better to eat than be eaten, complete ideology of darwinism defined and a very militant persona to embody, which I myself believe holds powerful enthralling magnetism and high moral standards. Zarbon 06:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 00:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 17:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 20:47, 10 August 2009 (UTC) As I said for a quote on the 14th, "The same sentiment has been stated much more "pleasingly" (for grievous lack of a better word)."

A king is sometimes obliged to commit crimes; but they are the crimes of his position. ~ Napoleon I of France (born August 15)

  • 3 because the rank of king in itself is characterized as a crime. Very magnificent explanation of blame toward the highest rank. Zarbon 06:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 00:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 17:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 20:47, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

A picture is worth a thousand words. ~ Napoleon I of France (born August 15)

  • 3 because actions are always speak louder than words, and as such, similarly, an image speaks a thousand words in a thousand ways. Zarbon 06:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki (talk · contributions) 19:42, 12 August 2010 (UTC) * 3 Kalki 00:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC) reduced ranking, as this is likely the paraphrasing of an expressed thought with the modern english proverb; would prefer to use: "A good sketch is better than a long speech." which I have suggested below.
  • 1 InvisibleSun 17:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • ~ Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 20:47, 10 August 2009 (UTC) Is this, in fact, originally Napoleon's quote? It's unsourced in his article, and I think it's slightly inappropriate and POV as QOTD to ascribe an ancient / anonymous quote to a particular historical figure.

Better to have a known enemy than a hidden ally. ~ Napoleon I of France (born August 15)

  • 4 because this is very true and holds high moral value...the hidden is always more dangerous than that which we can see. Zarbon 06:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki (talk · contributions) 02:55, 12 August 2011 (UTC) 2 Kalki 00:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC) tactical reduction — though there is merit to the observation, I am not inclined to rank it among the best of the quotes available, and would rank many others by Napoleon far higher.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 17:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 20:47, 10 August 2009 (UTC) I definitely don't think this is "very true." I could give some examples, but this isn't the place for discourse. There's definitely a problem with quotes that seem to have "lyrical validity" and are thus accepted, when in fact, in the real world it is rather obvious that the opposite is true. There may be some "wisdom" gained in looking at the world in such a way for a moment, but often upon realistic observation, they prove absurd. I choose the guardian angel....

Cruelty can only be justified by necessity. ~ Napoleon I of France (born August 15)

  • 3 because this is very true, where cruelty has become a standardized rationale for human behavior and necessity has been entangled as one of its most dominating excuses. Zarbon 06:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 00:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 17:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 20:47, 10 August 2009 (UTC) This would be a really good quote if Napoleon then said something about the epistemological uncertainty and dubious nature of necessity.

In victory, you deserve Champagne; in defeat, you need it. ~ Napoleon I of France (born August 15)

  • 3 because sometimes a drink can truly calm one in a moment of defeat. Zarbon 06:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 00:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 17:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • ~ Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 20:47, 10 August 2009 (UTC) Perfect (text-book) addictive mindset! I'm not sure what to give this one, it's important for a much different reason that Zarbon posits.

Speeches pass away, but acts remain. ~ Napoleon I of France (born August 15)

  • 3 because actions truly speak louder than words. Zarbon 06:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 00:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 17:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 20:47, 10 August 2009 (UTC) There are quite a few ancient figures that we have fragments extant of what they said, but know little, if anything, of what they did. That doesn't, in any way, defeat the idea "actions speak louder than words," but it is related.

The bullet that will kill me is not yet cast. ~ Napoleon I of France (born August 15)

  • 3 because perseverence and dominating are very admirable qualities, and believing that nothing will topple you is key to determination. Zarbon 06:38, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 00:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 17:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 20:47, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

If all the world must see the world
As the world the world hath seen,
Then it were better for the world
That the world had never been. ~ Charles Godfrey Leland

More glorious to merit a sceptre than to possess one. ~ Napoleon I of France

Those who are free from common prejudices acquire others. ~ Napoleon I of France

The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know. ~ Napoleon I of France

Whatever misanthropists may say, ingrates and the perverse are exceptions in the human species. ~ Napoleon I of France

Destiny urges me to a goal of which I am ignorant. Until that goal is attained I am invulnerable, unassailable. When Destiny has accomplished her purpose in me, a fly may suffice to destroy me. ~ Napoleon I of France

I am the instrument of providence, she will use me as long as I accomplish her designs, then she will break me like a glass. ~ Napoleon I of France

War is becoming an anachronism … There are two systems, the past and the future. The present is only a painful transition. Which must triumph? The future, will it not? Yes indeed, the future! That is, intelligence, industry, and peace. The past was brute force, privilege, and ignorance. Each of our victories was a triumph for the ideas of the Revolution. Victories will be won, one of these days, without cannon, and without bayonets. ~ Napoleon I of France

The fool has one great advantage over a man of sense — he is always satisfied with himself. ~ Napoleon I of France

A good sketch is better than a long speech. ~ Napoleon I of France

It is not that addresses at the opening of a battle make the soldiers brave. The old veterans scarcely hear them, and recruits forget them at the first boom of the cannon. Their usefulness lies in their effect on the course of the campaign, in neutralizing rumors and false reports, in maintaining a good spirit in the camp, and in furnishing matter for camp-fire talk. The printed order of the day should fulfill these different ends. ~ Napoleon I of France

In order not to be astonished at obtaining victories, one ought not to think only of defeats. ~ Napoleon I of France

Nothing is so contrary to military rules as to make the strength of your army known, either in the orders of the day, in proclamations, or in the newspapers. ~ Napoleon I of France

There is nothing so imperious as feebleness which feels itself supported by force. ~ Napoleon I of France

It is not necessary to prohibit or encourage oddities of conduct which are not harmful. ~ Napoleon I of France

Courage cannot be counterfeited. It is one virtue that escapes hypocrisy. ~ Napoleon I of France

There is only one favorable moment in war; talent consists in knowing how to seize it. ~ Napoleon I of France

In a battle, as in a siege, the art consists in concentrating very heavy fire on a particular point. ~ Napoleon I of France

It is only by prudence, wisdom, and dexterity, that great ends are attained and obstacles overcome. Without these qualities nothing succeeds. ~ Napoleon I of France

The man fitted for affairs and authority never considers individuals, but things and their consequences. ~ Napoleon I of France

Parties weaken themselves by their fear of capable men. ~ Napoleon I of France

The superior man is never in anyone's way. ~ Napoleon I of France

One must indeed be ignorant of the methods of genius to suppose that it allows itself to be cramped by forms. Forms are for mediocrity, and it is fortunate that mediocrity can act only according to routine. Ability takes its flight unhindered. ~ Napoleon I of France

The laws of circumstance are abolished by new circumstances. ~ Napoleon I of France

One can lead a nation only by helping it see a bright outlook. A leader is a dealer in hope. ~ Napoleon I of France

It is often in the audacity, in the steadfastness, of the general that the safety and the conservation of his men is found. ~ Napoleon I of France

Imagination governs the world. ~ Napoleon I of France

Lead the ideas of your time and they will accompany and support you; fall behind them and they drag you along with them; oppose them and they will overwhelm you. ~ Napoleon I of France

All great events hang by a hair. The man of ability takes advantage of everything and neglects nothing that can give him a chance of success; whilst the less able man sometimes loses everything by neglecting a single one of those chances ~ Napoleon I of France

The whole world yearns after freedom, yet each creature is in love with his chains; this is the first paradox and inextricable knot of our nature. ~ Sri Aurobindo

None can reach heaven who has not passed through hell.

This too the traveller of the worlds must dare. ~ Sri Aurobindo

All can be done if the god-touch is there. ~ Sri Aurobindo

All things are real that here are only dreams,
In our unknown depths sleeps their reserve of truth,
On our unreached heights they reign and come to us
In thought and muse trailing their robes of light.

~ Sri Aurobindo ~

Even soul-force, when it is effective, destroys. Only those who have used it with eyes open, know how much more destructive it can be than the sword and the cannon; and only those who do not limit their view to the act and its immediate results, can see how tremendous are its after-effects, how much is eventually destroyed and with that much all the life that depended upon it and fed upon it. Evil cannot perish without the destruction of much that lives by the evil, and it is no less destruction even if we personally are saved the pain of a sensational act of violence. ~ Sri Aurobindo

What I cannot do now is the sign of what I shall do hereafter. The sense of impossibility is the beginning of all possibilities. Because this temporal universe was a paradox and an impossibility, therefore the Eternal created it out of His being. ~ Sri Aurobindo

Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature. As man emerged out of the animal, so out of man the superman emerges. ~ Sri Aurobindo

Thought is not essential to existence nor its cause, but it is an instrument for becoming; I become what I see in myself. All that thought suggests to me, I can do; all that thought reveals in me, I can become. This should be man's unshakable faith in himself, because God dwells in him. ~ Sri Aurobindo

There are two allied powers in man; knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is so much of the truth seen in a distorted medium as the mind arrives at by groping, wisdom what the eye of divine vision sees in the spirit. ~ Sri Aurobindo

If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose. ~ Sri Aurobindo

Spirituality is not necessarily exclusive; it can be and in its fullness must be all-inclusive. ~ Sri Aurobindo

Do not be afraid of obstacles in your path, it does not matter how great the forces are that stand in your way.... Do not think that anything is impossible when miracles are being worked on every side. If you are true to yourself there is nothing to be afraid of. There is nothing unattainable by truth, love and faith. ~ Sri Aurobindo

It is hardly necessary to say that August 15 was hailed with joy all over India, and no words can adequately describe the tumultuous scenes of wild rejoicings witnessed in every city and every village. Lord and Lady Mountbatten, driving in state, were greeted with resounding cheers by the enthusiastic crowds that lined the streets. This heralded a new era of goodwill between India and Britain. Stories of many hard and bitter struggles between India and Britain, and of animosities between the Indians and the British fill the pages of this work. Let it end with a note of goodwill, trust, and confidence which manifested itself on the streets of Delhi on 15 August, 1947.
~ R. C. Majumdar ~
  • 3 -- (talk) 11:20, 20 May 2023 (UTC)