Passages for Meditation

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

The Chandogya Upanishad

You Are That

This is the teaching of Uddalaka to Shvetaketu, his son:
 
As by knowing one lump of clay, dear one,
We come to know all things made out of clay –
That they differ only in name and form,
While the stuff of which all are made is clay;
 
As by knowing one gold nugget, dear one,
We come to know all things made out of gold –
That they differ only in name and form,
While the stuff of which all are made is gold;
 
As by knowing one tool of iron, dear one,
We come to know all things made out of iron –
That they differ only in name and form,
While the stuff of which all are made is iron –
 
So through spiritual wisdom, dear one,
We come to know that all of life is one.
 
In the beginning was only Being,
One without a second.
Out of himself he brought forth the cosmos
And entered into everything in it.
There is nothing that does not come from him.
Of everything he is the inmost Self.
He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.
You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that.
 
When a person is absorbed in dreamless sleep
He is one with the Self, though he knows it not.
We say he sleeps, but he sleeps in the Self.
As a tethered bird grows tired of flying
About in vain to find a place of rest
And settles down at last on its own perch,
So the mind, tired of wandering about
Hither and thither, settles down at last
In the Self, dear one, to whom it is bound.
All creatures, dear one, have their source in him.
He is their home; he is their strength.
There is nothing that does not come from him.
Of everything he is the inmost Self.
He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.
You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that.
 
As bees suck nectar from many a flower
And make their honey one, so that no drop
Can say, “I am from this flower or that,”
All creatures, though one, know not they are that One.
There is nothing that does not come from him.
Of everything he is the inmost Self.
He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.
You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that.
 
As the rivers flowing east and west
Merge in the sea and become one with it,
Forgetting they were ever separate streams,
So do all creatures lose their separateness
When they merge at last into pure Being.
There is nothing that does not come from him.
Of everything he is the inmost Self.
He is the truth; he is the Self supreme.
You are that, Shvetaketu; you are that!


 


From the Chandogya Upanishad, chapter 6. The refrain “You are That” (in Sanskrit, Tat tvam asi) is one of the “great utterances” that encapsulate the teachings of the Upanishads. Translated by Eknath Easwaran in The Upanishads (Petaluma, California: Nilgiri Press, 1987).



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