Hidden in the Heart

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad

Passages for Meditation

Brahman, attributeless Reality,
Becomes the Lord of Love who casts his net
Of appearance over the cosmos and rules
It from within through his divine power.
He was before creation; he will be
After dissolution. He alone is.
Those who know him become immortal.

The Lord of Love is one. There is indeed
No other. He is the inner ruler
In all beings. He projects the cosmos
From himself, maintains and withdraws it
Back into himself at the end of time.

His eyes, mouths, arms, and feet are everywhere.
Projecting the cosmos out of himself,
He holds it together.
He is the source of all the powers of life.
He is the lord of all, the great seer
Who dwells forever in the cosmic womb.
May he purify our consciousness!

O Lord, in whom alone we can find peace,
May we see your divine Self and be freed
From all impure thoughts and all fear.
O Lord, from whom we receive the mantram
As a weapon to destroy our self-will,
Reveal yourself, protector of all.
You are the supreme Brahman, infinite,
Yet hidden in the hearts of all creatures.
You pervade everything. Realizing you,
We attain immortality.

I have realized the Lord of Love,
Who is the sun that dispels our darkness.
Those who realize him go beyond death;
No other way is there to immortality.

There is nothing higher than him, nothing other
Than him. His infinity is beyond great
And small. In his own glory rooted,
He stands and fills the cosmos.

He fills the cosmos, yet he transcends it.
Those who know him leave all separateness,
Sorrow, and death behind. Those who know him not
Live but to suffer.

The Lord of Love, omnipresent, dwelling
In the heart of every living creature,
All mercy, turns every face to himself.

He is the supreme Lord, who through his grace
Moves us to seek him in our own hearts.
He is the light that shines forever.

He is the inner Self of all,
Hidden like a little flame in the heart.
Only by the stilled mind can he be known.
Those who realize him become immortal.

He has thousands of heads, thousands of eyes,
Thousands of feet; he surrounds the cosmos
On every side. This infinite being
Is ever present in the hearts of all.
He has become the cosmos. He is what was
And what will be. Yet he is unchanging,
The lord of immortality.

His hands and feet are everywhere; his heads
And mouths everywhere. He sees everything,
Hears everything, and pervades everything.

Without organs of sense, he shines through them.
He is the lord of all, inner ruler,
Protector and friend of all.

He resides in the city with nine gates,
Which is the body. He moves in the world
Enjoying the play of his countless forms.
He is the master of the universe,
Of animate and inanimate.

He runs without feet and holds without hands.
He sees without eyes and hears without ears.
He knows everyone, but no one knows him.
He is called the First, the Great, the Supreme.

The Lord of Love is hidden in the heart
Of every creature, subtler than the subtlest,
Greater than the greatest. Through his grace
One sheds all selfish desires and sorrow
And becomes united with the Self.

I know this Self, sage Shvetashvatara said,
To be immortal and infinite.
I know this Self who is the Self of all,
Whom the sages call the Eternal One.

The Upanishads are the ancient mystical documents of the Vedas, the center of India's scriptural canon. This passage has been translated for meditation by Easwaran and is published in his spiritual anthology, “God Makes the Rivers to Flow.” The audio recording is by Eknath Easwaran’s wife, Christine Easwaran.