Love the Lord & Be Free

The Shvetashvatara Upanishad

Passages for Meditation

To know the unity of all life leads
To deathlessness; to know not leads to death.
Both are hidden in the infinity
Of Brahman, who is beyond both.

He is the One who presides over all
And rules over everyone from within.
He sows the golden seed of life when time begins
And helps us know its unity.

He is the Lord who casts the net of birth
And death and withdraws it again,
The supreme Self who governs the forces of life.

Even as the sun shines and fills all space
With light, above, below, across, so shines the Lord
Of Love and fills the hearts of all created beings.

From him the cosmos comes, who teaches
Each living creature to attain perfection
According to its own nature. He is
The Lord of Love who reigns over all life.

He is the supreme creator, hidden
Deep in the mystery of the scriptures.
By realizing him the gods and sages
Attained immortality.

Under the hypnotic spell of pleasure
And pain, we live for ourselves and are bound.
Though master of ourselves, we roam about
From birth to birth, driven by our own deeds.

The Self, small as the thumb, dwelling in the heart,
Is like the sun shining in the sky.
But when identified with the ego,
The Self appears other than what it is.

It may appear smaller than a hair’s breadth,
But know the Self to be infinite.
Not female, male, nor neuter is the Self.
As is the body, so is the gender.

The Self takes on a body, with desires,
Attachments, and delusions. The Self
Is born again and again in new bodies
To work out the karma of former lives.

The embodied self assumes many forms,
Heavy or light, according to its needs
For growth and the deeds of previous lives.
This evolution is a divine law.

Love the Lord and be free. He is the One
Who appears as many, enveloping
The cosmos, without beginning or end.
None but the pure in heart can realize him.

May Lord Shiva, creator, destroyer,
The abode of all beauty and wisdom,
Free us from the cycle of birth and death.

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.