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The Self in All Brahman, The Lord of LoveThe One Becomes ManyControl, Compassion, Generosity

Upanishads/Brahman, The Lord of Love

Meditation and Reading taken from The Upanishads, translated by Eknath Easwaran
All other text is by Cynthia Stewart

For a historical introduction to this sacred text, see Leader Resource 1 - Historical Introduction -
Today's Themes

Tales of gods and demons inform, enthrall and instruct, but they are mere signs and signals pointing beyond themselves to a reality vaster and yet simpler than anything that can be imagined. Everything, we are told throughout the Upanishads, is Brahman. The vast pantheon of gods worshipped in Hinduism are merely manifestations of this one Reality. Brahman is identified with the true Self that humans in their subjection to illusion so often do not understand, but Brahman is also the dog, the cat, the tree, the driveway, the cause, the effect, the illusion and the truth. Nor is Brahman merely that which we honor and hold up as worthy: as our reading today tells us, death is also one of his manifestations. Nothing is outside the scope of Brahman.

Call To Worship

The sacred scriptures tell us the Brahman is in all,
that nothing can exist
except that it is a manifestation of Brahman.
So let our gathering here today remind us
that the divine is everywhere,
that the human is holy,
that the face of each friend and stranger that we see
is the face of Brahman before us.
Let us honor the divine in one another as we worship here together.

Meditation

The Lord of Love is above name and form.
He is present in all and transcends all.
Unborn, without body and without mind,
From him comes every body and mind.
He is the source of space, air, fire, water,
And the earth that holds us all.

Fire is his head, the sun and moon are his eyes,
The heavens his ears, the scripture his voice,
The air his breath, the universe his heart,
And the earth his footrest. The Lord of Love
Is the innermost Self of all.

          Mundaka Upanishad II.1.2-4
          (Eknath Easwaran translation)

Reading

The cosmos comes froth from Brahman and moves
In him. With his power it reverberates,
Like thunder crashing in the sky. Those who realize him
Pass beyond the sway of death.

In fear of him fire burns; in fear of him
The sun shines, the clouds rain, and the winds blow.
In fear of him death stalks about to kill.

If one fails to realize Brahman in this life
Before the physical sheath is shed,
He must again put on a body
In the world of embodied creatures…

Above the senses is the mind,
Above the mind is the intellect,
Above that is the ego, and above the ego
Is the unmanifested Cause.
And beyond is Brahman, omnipresent,
Attributeless. Realizing him one is released
From the cycle of birth and death.

          Katha Upanishad 3.2-4, 7-8
          (Eknath Easwaran translation)

Benediction

If you wish to find Brahman, you must search the scriptures.
If you wish to understand scriptures, you must seek a teacher.
If you wish to find a teacher, you must look for wisdom.
If you wish to encounter wisdom, you must recognize truth.
If you wish to perceive truth, you must look within yourself.

And there you will find Brahman.

OM shanti shanti shanti