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 Isha Upanishad

The Inner Ruler

The Lord is enshrined in the hearts of all.
The Lord is the supreme reality.
Rejoice in him through renunciation.
Covet nothing. All belongs to the Lord.
Thus working may you live a hundred years.
Thus alone can you work in full freedom.
Those who deny the Self are born again
Blind to the Self, enveloped in darkness,
Utterly devoid of love for the Lord.
The Self is one. Ever still, the Self is
Swifter than thought, swifter than the senses.
Though motionless, he outruns all pursuit.
Without the Self, never could life exist.
The Self seems to move, but is ever still.
He seems far away, but is ever near.
He is within all, and he transcends all.
Those who see all creatures in themselves
And themselves in all creatures know no fear.
Those who see all creatures in themselves
And themselves in all creatures know no grief.
How can the multiplicity of life
Delude the one who sees its unity?
The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self,
Indivisible, untouched by sin, wise,
Immanent and transcendent. He it is
Who holds the cosmos together.
In dark night live those
For whom the world without alone is real;
In night darker still, for whom the world within
Alone is real. The first leads to a life
Of action, the second of meditation.
But those who combine action with meditation
Go across the sea of death through action
And enter into immortality
Through the practice of meditation.
So have we heard from the wise.
In dark night live those for whom the Lord
Is transcendent only; in night darker still,
For whom he is immanent only.
But those for whom he is transcendent
And immanent cross the sea of death
With the immanent and enter into
Immortality with the transcendent.
So have we heard from the wise.
The face of truth is hidden by your orb
Of gold, O sun. May you remove the orb
So that I, who adore the true, may see
The glory of truth. O nourishing sun,
Solitary traveler, controller,
Source of life for all creatures, spread your light,
And subdue your dazzling splendor
So that I may see your blessed Self.
Even that very Self am I!
May my life merge in the Immortal
When my body is reduced to ashes!
O mind, meditate on the eternal
Brahman. Remember the deeds of the past.
Remember, O mind, remember.
O God of fire, lead us by the good path
To eternal joy. You know all our deeds.
Deliver us from evil, we that bow
And pray again and again.
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti


This is the whole of the Isha Upanishad which Mahatma Gandhi said contains the summit of human wisdom. Translated by Eknath Easwaran in The Upanishads (Petaluma, California: Nilgiri Press, 1987).