“This is the central principle of meditation: we become what we meditate on.”
These inspired texts from world scripture and the writings of great saints and sages have been selected for reading, study, and use in passage meditation. They come from Easwaran’s collections of inspirational passages, Timeless Wisdom and God Makes The Rivers To Flow. Click on a passage title in the right-hand column below to read and print that passage. If an audio icon is displayed next to the passage title, an audio player will be displayed with the passage; use it to hear Easwaran reading that passage.
Of those who love you as the Lord of Love,
Ever present in all, and those who seek you
As the nameless, formless Reality,
Which way is sure and swift, love or knowledge?
For those who set their hearts on me
And worship me with unfailing devotion and faith,
The way of love leads sure and swift to me.
Those who seek the transcendental Reality,
Unmanifested, without name or form,
Beyond the reach of feeling and of thought,
With their senses subdued and mind serene
And striving for the good of all beings,
They too will verily come unto me.
And slow is the path to the Unrevealed,
Difficult for physical man to tread.
But they for whom I am the goal supreme,
Who do all work renouncing self for me
And meditate on me with single-hearted devotion,
These will I swiftly rescue
From the fragment's cycle of birth and death
To fullness of eternal life in me.
Still your mind in me, still yourself in me,
And without doubt you shall be united with me,
Lord of Love, dwelling in your heart.
But if you cannot still your mind in me,
Learn to do so through the practice of meditation.
If you lack the will for such self-discipline,
Engage yourself in selfless service of all around you,
For selfless service can lead you at last to me.
If you are unable to do even this,
Surrender yourself to me in love,
Receiving success and failure with equal calmness
As granted by me.
Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice.
Better than knowledge is meditation.
But better still is surrender in love,
Because there follows immediate peace.
That one I love who is incapable of ill will,
And returns love for hatred.
Living beyond the reach of I and mine
And of pleasure and pain, full of mercy,
Contented, self-controlled, firm in faith,
With all their heart and all their mind given to me
With such people I am in love.
Not agitating the world or by it agitated,
They stand above the sway of elation,
Competition, and fear, accepting life
Good and bad as it comes. They are pure,
Efficient, detached, ready to meet every demand
I make on them as a humble instrument of my work.
They are dear to me who run not after the pleasant
Or away from the painful, grieve not
Over the past, lust not today,
But let things come and go as they happen.
Who serve both friend and foe with equal love,
Not buoyed up by praise or cast down by blame,
Alike in heat and cold, pleasure and pain,
Free from selfish attachments and self-will,
Ever full, in harmony everywhere,
Firm in faith such as these are dear to me.
But dearest to me are those who seek me
In faith and love as life's eternal goal.
They go beyond death to immortality.
Chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita, translated by Eknath Easwaran. The Bhagavad Gita ("Song of the Lord"), is India's best-known scripture, a masterpiece of world poetry on which countless mystics have drawn for daily practical guidance. The Gita is a dialogue between Sri Krishna, an incarnation of the Lord, and his friend and disciple Arjuna, a warrior prince who represents anyone trying to live a spiritual life in the midst of worldly activity and conflict.
Ansari of Herat
Baba Kuhi of Shiraz
Bahya Ibn Paquda
Native American Tradition
Rabbi Abram Isaac Kook
Rabbi Eleazar Azikri
Saint Catherine of Genoa
Saint Ignatius Of Loyola
Saint Teresa of Avila
Solomon ibn Gabirol
Sri Sarada Devi
The Amritabindu Upanishad
The Bhagavad Gita
The Chandogya Upanishad
The Isha Upanishad
The Katha Upanishad
The Kena Upanishad
The Rig Veda
The Shvetashvatara Upanishad
The Tejobindu Upanishad
Thomas a Kempis