Mahatma Gandhi

Passages for Meditation

Our existence as embodied beings is purely momentary; what are a hundred years in eternity? But if we shatter the chains of egotism, and melt into the ocean of humanity, we share its dignity. To feel that we are something is to set up a barrier between God and ourselves; to cease feeling that we are something is to become one with God. A drop in the ocean partakes of the greatness of its parent, although it is unconscious of it. But it is dried up as soon as it enters upon an existence independent of the ocean. . .

As soon as we become one with the ocean in the shape of God, there is no more rest for us, nor indeed do we need rest any longer. Our very sleep is action. For we sleep with the thought of God in our hearts. This restlessness constitutes true rest. This never-ceasing agitation holds the key to peace ineffable. This supreme state of total surrender is difficult to describe, but not beyond the bounds of human experience. It has been attained by many dedicated souls, and may be attained by ourselves as well.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian spiritual and political leader known for satyagraha, his systematic method for resolving conflict through nonviolence. This passage is published in Easwaran’s spiritual anthology, “God Makes the Rivers to Flow.” The audio recording is by Eknath Easwaran’s wife, Christine Easwaran.