The Island

The Sutta Nipata

Passages for Meditation

For those struggling in midstream,
in great fear of the flood,
of growing old and of dying –
for all those I say, an island exists
where there is no place for impediments,
no place for clinging:
the island of no going beyond.

I call it nirvana,
the complete destruction
of old age and dying.

The Sutta Nipata (like the Dhammapada) is part of the Theravada Buddhist scriptures that preserve the direct teachings of the Buddha and his main disciples. This passage is published in Easwaran’s spiritual anthologies, “God Makes the Rivers to Flow” and “Timeless Wisdom.” The audio recording is by Eknath Easwaran’s wife, Christine Easwaran.