A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Why did the pirate send his hot dog back at Nathan’s?"/"Because it was a salty dog.” (9/20)
“Sex is like music: for every person who pays for it, there are thousands more getting it for free” (9/20)
“Why did the pirate ask to get a mortgage with 3.142 percent interest?"/"He wanted the pi-rate!” (9/20)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/20)
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Entry from July 22, 2017
“Life is a game—play it” ("What is life?” verses)

"Life is a game—play it” is a saying that has been printed on many images. Various verses are grouped under the title “What is Life?” The verses appear to come from India, and were printed in 1959 books and in the magazine Indian Railways in 1970. In the United States, the verses were printed in an Ann Landers syndicated advice column in September 1985 newspapers.

Authorship is unknown. Mother Teresa (1910-1997) has been credited in the 2000s, but there’s no historical evidence that she wrote the verses.

Sivananda Saraswati (1887-1963) was credited in 1959 and is the most probably author.


Wikipedia: Sivananda Saraswati
Sivananda Saraswati (or Swami Sivanada) (8 September 1887 – 14 July 1963) was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in Pattamadai, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He studied medicine and served in British Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up monasticism. He lived most of his life near Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh.

Google Books
Sivananda: Day-to-Day (second series)
By Irvin Troja
Rishikesh, India: Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy
1959
Pg. 246:
WHAT IS LIFE?
Life is a battle, fight it
Life is a song, sing it
Life is a journey, complete it
Life is a voyage; finish it
Life is a mystery, unfold it
Life is an opportunity, utilise it
Life is a dream, realise it
Life is a garden, plant the flower of meditation.

Google Books
Sivananda, My Divine Father
By Swami Sivananda
Rishikesh, India: Sivananda Literature Research Institute, Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy
1959
Pg. 91:
THE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
Life is a journey, complete it.
Life is a mystery, unfold it.
Life is an opportunity, utilise it.
Life is a dream, realise it.
Life is a voyage, complete it.
Life is a mission, fulfil it.
Real life Life is meant for higher purposes.

Google Books
Indian Railways
Volume 15
July 1970
Pg. 394:
What is Life?
Life is a Challenge...Meet it.
Life is a Struggle...Accept it.
Life is a Sorrow...Overcome it.
Life is a Mystery...Unfold it.
Life is a Tragedy...Face it.
Life is a Joy...Spread it.
Life is a Love...Love it.
Life is a Duty...Perform it.
Life is a Romance...Enjoy it.
Life is a Gamble...Watch it.
Life is a Song...Sing it.
Life is a Bliss...Embrace it.
Life is a Game...Play it.
Life is a Dream...Realise it.
Life is a Beauty...Admire it.
Life is a Journey...Complete it.
Life is a Promise...Fulfill it.
Life is a Puzzle...Solve it.
Life is an Adventure...Dare it.
Life is an Opportunity...Grasp it.
Life is a God’s Gift...Cherish it.

Google Books
Social Welfare
Central Social Welfare Board
Volumes 17-18
1972
Pg. 26:
Life is a dream : Realise it
Life is a promise : Fulfil it.
Life is a bliss : Take it.
Life is a game : Play it.
Life is a challenge : Meet it.
Life is an adventure : Dare it.
Life is a sorrow : Overcome it.
Life is a song : Sing it. —R. Banumathi (13 Years)

Google Books
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba:
An Interpretation

By Vinayak Krishna Gokak
New Delhi, India: Abhinav Publications
1975
Pg. 236:
Life is a challenge: meet it.
Life is love: enjoy it.
Life is a dream: realise it.
Life is a game: play it.

Google Books
Folk-lore (India)
Volumes 18-19
1977
Pg. 339:
What is Life?
1. Life is a duty Perform it.
2. Life is an opportunity Avail it.
3. Life is a promise Fulfill it.
4. Life is a challenge Face it.
5. Life is a struggle Fight it.
6. Life is an adventure Dare it.
7. Life is a game Play it.
8. Life is a journey Complete it.
9. Life is a bliss Enjoy it.
10. Life is sorrow Overcome it.
11. Life is beauty Admire it.
12. Life is Love Love it.
If you love someone you will be loyal to him; no matter what the cost. Love goes on forever.

28 September 1985, Aberdeen (SD) American News, Ann Landers syndicated advice column, pg. 7A, col. 3:
Dear Ann Landers: I discovered this item stuck in an old book. It was written in longhand and there is no sign of an author. I hope you print it. I found it highly inspirational.—T.D. From Brookline

Dear T.D.: So did I. Here it is:

WHAT IS LIFE?
Life is a challenge..meet it.
Life is a gift...accept it.
Life is an adventure...dare it.
Life is a sorrow...overcome it.
Life is a tragedy...face it.
Life is a duty...perform it.
Life is a game...play it.
Life is a mystery...unfold it.
Life is a song...sing it.
Life is an opportunity...take it.
Life is a journey...complete it.
Life is a promise...fulfill it.
Life is a beauty...praise it.
Life is a struggle...fight it.
Life is a goal...achieve it.
Life is a puzzle...solve it.

Google Books
Gumby:
The authorized biography of the world’s favorite clayboy

By Louis Kaplan, Scott Michaelsen and Art Clokey
New York, NY: Harmony Books
1986
Pg. ?:
ART: Yeah. Life is a game: play it. That’s what Sai Baba keeps telling people.

Google Books
One Minute Thoughts:
From the Radio Program “Let’s Think for a Minute”

By Bob Shrier
Goderich, ON: Signal Books
1989
Pg. 97:
Perhaps it may seem an oversimplification, but the simplified so often says it better.

“Life is a challenge — meet it.
“Life is a gift — accept it.
“Life is an adventure — dare it.
“Life is a sorrow — overcome it.
“Life is a tragedy — face it.
“Life is a duty — perform it.
“Life is a game — play it.

OCLC WorldCat record
Life is a challenge, meet it!
Author: Joy Thomas
Publisher: India : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust, [1999]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Life is love, enjoy it!
Author: Joy Thomas
Publisher: India : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust, [1999]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Life is a game, play it!
Author: Joy Thomas
Publisher: Prasanthi Nilayam, India : The Convener, Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, approximately 2000.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Life is a dream, realize it!
Author: Joy Thomas
Publisher: India : Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 2000.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Road to Hibiscus
October 14, 2013
Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, July 22, 2017 • Permalink