September 19th, 2014

Narsinha Mehta: The Real Lovers of God

Narsinha Mehta (1414-1481)
The Real Lovers of God

They are the real lovers of God
Who feel others’ sorrow as their own.
When they perform selfless service,
They are humble servants of the Lord.
Respecting all, despising none,
They are pure in thought, word, and deed.
Blessed is the mother of such a child;
And in their eyes the Divine Mother
Shines in every woman they see.
They are always truthful, even-minded,
Never coveting others' wealth,
Free from all selfish attachments,
Ever in tune with the Holy Name.
Their bodies are like sacred shrines
In which the Lord of Love is seen.
Free from greed, anger, and fear,
These are the real lovers of God.

Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite hymn from his own Hindu tradition, representing the highest ideal of the community to which he was born. This is a free rendering from the Gujarati of Narsinha Mehta (1414–1481) by Eknath Easwaran
Narsinha Mehta: The Real Lovers of God | Blue Mountain Center of Meditation & Nilgiri Press

The Katha Upanishad; Part One, Canro 2 (Fragment): Perennial Joy

The all-knowing Self was never born,
Nor will it die. Beyond cause and effect,
This Self is eternal and immutable.
When the body dies, the Self does not die.
If the slayer believes that he can kill
And the slain believes that he can be killed,
Neither knows the truth. The eternal Self
Slays not, nor is ever slain.

Hidden in the heart of every creature
Exists the Self, subtler than the subtlest,
Greater than the greatest. They go beyond
All sorrow who extinguish their self-will,
And behold the glory of the Self
Through the grace of the Lord of Love.

The Katha Upanishad: Perennial Joy | Blue Mountain Center of Meditation & Nilgiri Press

Sutta Nipata: Discourse on Good Will

Discourse on Good Will

May all beings be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
The great and the small,
The mean and the powerful,
The short and the long,
The subtle and the gross:

May all beings everywhere,
Seen and unseen,
Dwelling far off or nearby,
Being or waiting to become:
May all be filled with lasting joy.

Let no one deceive another,
Let no one anywhere despise another,
Let no one out of anger or resentment
Wish suffering on anyone at all.

Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.

Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.

Then, as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.

From the Metta Sutta, part of the Sutta Nipata, a collection of dialogues with the Buddha said to be among the oldest parts of the Pali Buddhist canon.

Sutta Nipata: Discourse on Good Will | Blue Mountain Center of Meditation & Nilgiri Press