• Eknath Easwaran

    “The widest possibilities for spiritual growth lie in the give-and-take of everyday relationships.”
    EKNATH EASWARAN
    (1910–1999)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 Katha Upanishad

The Razor's Edge

In the secret cave of the heart, two are
Seated by life's fountain. The separate ego
Drinks of the sweet and bitter stuff,
Liking the sweet, disliking the bitter,
While the supreme Self drinks sweet and bitter
Neither liking this nor disliking that.
The ego gropes in darkness, while the Self
Lives in light. So declare the illumined sages,
And the householders who worship
The sacred fire in the name of the Lord.
 
May we light the fire of Nachiketa
That burns out the ego, and enables us
To pass from fearful fragmentation
To fearless fullness in the changeless Whole.
 
Know the Self as lord of the chariot,
The body as the chariot itself,
The discriminating intellect as
The charioteer, and the mind as the reins.
The senses, say the wise, are the horses;
Selfish desires are the roads they travel.
When the Self is confused with the body,
Mind, and senses, they point out, he seems
To enjoy pleasure and suffer sorrow.
 
When a person lacks discrimination
And his mind is undisciplined, his senses
Run hither and thither like wild horses.
But they obey the rein like trained horses
When a person has discrimination
And the mind is one-pointed. Those who lack
Discrimination, with little control
Over their thoughts and far from pure,
Reach not the pure state of immortality
But wander from death to death; while those
Who have discrimination, with a still mind
And a pure heart, reach journey's end,
Never again to fall into the jaws of death.
With a discriminating intellect
As charioteer, a well-trained mind as reins,
They attain the supreme goal of life
To be united with the Lord of Love.
 
The senses derive from objects of sense-perception,
Sense-objects from mind, mind from intellect,
And intellect from ego; ego from undifferentiated
Consciousness, and consciousness from Brahman.
Brahman is the first Cause and last refuge.
Brahman, the hidden Self in everyone,
Does not shine forth. He is revealed only
To those who keep their minds one-pointed
On the Lord of Love and thus develop
A superconscious manner of knowing.
Meditation empowers them to go
Deeper and deeper into consciousness,
From the world of words to the world of thought,
Then beyond thoughts to wisdom in the Self.
 
Get up! Wake up! Seek the guidance of an
Illumined teacher and realize the Self.
Sharp like a razor's edge is the path,
The sages say, difficult to traverse.
 
The supreme Self is beyond name and form,
Beyond the senses, inexhaustible,
Without beginning, without end,
Beyond time, space, and causality, eternal,
Immutable. Those who realize the Self
Are forever free from the jaws of death.
 
The wise, who gain experiential knowledge
Of this timeless tale of Nachiketa
Narrated by Death, attain the glory
Of living in spiritual awareness.
Those who, full of devotion, recite this
Supreme mystery at a spiritual
Gathering, are fit for eternal life.
They are indeed fit for eternal life.


 


The Katha Upanishad, part 1, canto 3. The Katha begins with the story of Nachiketa, a daring teenager who goes to the King of Death, Yama, to get the secret of life. The rest of the Upanishad gives Yama's teaching. This translation is by Eknath Easwaran, adapted for meditation from the version in his Dialogue with Death: The Spiritual Psychology of the Katha Upanishad (Petaluma: Nilgiri Press, 1981)


Abu Sa'id

If You Want to Draw Near to God

Ansari of Herat

Invocations

Baba Kuhi of Shiraz

Only God I Saw

Bahya Ibn Paquda

Duties of the Heart

Brother Lawrence

The Practice of the Presence of God

Cardinal Newman

Shine Through Us

Eknath Easwaran

The Setu Prayer

Kabir

Simple Union
The Unstruck Bells and Drums
The Fruit of the Tree
Weaving Your Name

Lao Tzu

The Best
Mother of All Things
Finding Unity

Mahatma Gandhi

The Path
In the Midst of Darkness

Meera

The Path to Your Dwelling
Come, Beloved
Life of My Life

Narsinha Mehta

The Real Lovers of God

Native American Tradition

Let Me Walk In Beauty

Psalm 100

Serve the Lord with Gladness

Psalm 23

The Lord Is My Shepherd

Psalm 24

The Earth Is the Lord's

Rabbi Abram Isaac Kook

Radiant Is The World Soul

Rabbi Eleazar Azikri

Beloved of the Soul

Saint Anselm

Teach Me

Saint Augustine

Entering into Joy

Saint Catherine of Genoa

The Way of Peace

Saint Francis

The Prayer of Saint Francis

Saint Ignatius Of Loyola

Just Because You Are My God

Saint Matthew

The Sermon on the Mount

Saint Patrick

Christ Be With Me

Saint Teresa of Avila

You Are Christ's Hands
I Gave All My Heart
Let Nothing Upset You
Her Heart Is Full of Joy

Seng Ts'an

Believing in Mind

Shantideva

The Miracle of Illumination

Solomon ibn Gabirol

Adon Olam

Sri Ramakrishna

Songs of Sri Ramakrishna

Sri Sarada Devi

The Whole World Is Your Own

Sutta Nipata

Discourse on Good Will
The Island

Swami Omkar

Prayer for Peace

Swami Ramdas

The Central Truth

The Amritabindu Upanishad

The Hidden Self

The Bhagavad Gita

Living in Wisdom
The Way of Love
What Is Real Never Ceases
Whatever You Do
Be Aware of Me Always

The Chandi

Hymn to the Divine Mother

The Chandogya Upanishad

The City of Brahman
You Are That

The Dhammapada

The Blessing of a Well-Trained Mind
The Brahmin
Twin Verses

The Isha Upanishad

The Inner Ruler

The Katha Upanishad

Perennial Joy
The Razor's Edge
The Tree of Eternity
The Ruler Within

The Kena Upanishad

The Self

The Rig Veda

Prayer

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad

The River of God
The Lord of Life

The Tejobindu Upanishad

The Shining Self

The Torah

The Shema

The Upanishads

Invocations

Thomas a Kempis

The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love
Lord That Giveth Strength
Four Things that Bring Inward Peace

Tukaram

The One Thing Needed

Yoga Vasishtha

The Lamp of Wisdom


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