The Lord of Life

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad

Passages for Meditation

May we harness body and mind to see
The Lord of Life, who dwells in everyone.
May we ever with a one-pointed mind
Strive for blissful union with the Lord.
May we train our senses to serve the Lord
Through the practice of meditation.

Great is the glory of the Lord of Life,
Infinite, omnipresent, all-knowing.
He is known by the wise who meditate
And conserve their vital energy.

Hear, O children of immortal bliss!
You are born to be united with the Lord.
Follow the path of the illumined ones
And be united with the Lord of Life.

Kindle the fire of kundalini deep
In meditation. Bring your mind and breath
Under control. Drink deep of divine love,
And you will attain the unitive state.

Dedicate yourself to the Lord of Life,
Who is the cause of the cosmos. He will
Remove the cause of all your suffering
And free you from the bondage of karma.

Be seated with spinal column erect
And turn your mind and senses deep within.
With the mantram echoing in your heart,
Cross over the dread sea of birth and death.

Train your senses to be obedient.
Regulate your activities to lead you
To the goal. Hold the reins of your mind
As you hold the reins of restive horses.

Choose a place for meditation that is
Clean, quiet, and cool, a cave with a smooth floor
Without stones and dust, protected against
Wind and rain and pleasing to the eye.

In deep meditation aspirants may
See forms like snow or smoke. They may feel
A strong wind blowing or a wave of heat.
They may see within them more and more light:
Fireflies, lightning, sun, or moon. These are signs
That they are well on their way to Brahman.

Health, a light body, freedom from cravings,
A glowing skin, sonorous voice, fragrance
Of body: these signs indicate progress
In the practice of meditation.

As a dusty mirror shines bright when cleansed,
So shine those who realize the Self,
Attain life’s goal, and pass beyond all sorrow.

In the supreme climax of samadhi
They realize the presence of the Lord
Within their heart. Freed from impurities,
They pass forever beyond birth and death.

The Lord dwells in the womb of the cosmos,
The Creator who is in all creatures.
He is that which is born and to be born;
His face is everywhere.

Let us adore the Lord of Life, who is
Present in fire and water, plants and trees.
Let us adore the Lord of Life!
Let us adore the Lord of Life!

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 who is reading an earlier translation of the passage.