A Passage for November


We loved hearing about all your book recommendations last week! So many of you mentioned enjoying Easwaran's translation and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita that we thought we should choose a passage from the Gita for November.

We've chosen "What Is Real Never Ceases" as our passage for November. In the past, we've suggested we all memorize the passage of the month and use it in our meditation. We were all set to do the same for November and then we realized. . . this passage is long. 

We thought about picking a different passage but decided to hold firm. This made us curious about how to balance shorter and longer passages and so we've got a few questions for you. We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

  1. How do you choose new passages to meditate? By topic? By length? By source?
  2. Do you use different techniques to memorize or maintain long passages? 
  3. Do you notice a difference using a longer passage versus a shorter passage? 

What Is Real Never Ceases  – The Bhagavad Gita

The Self dwells in the house of the body, which passes through childhood, youth, and old age. So passes the Self at the time of death into another body. The wise know this truth and are not deceived by it.

When the senses come in contact with sense-objects they give rise to feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, which come and go. Accept them calmly, as do the wise.

The wise, who live free from pleasure and pain, are worthy of immortality.

What is real never ceases to be. The unreal never is. The sages who realize the Self know the secret of what is and what is not.

Know that the Self, the ground of existence, can never be destroyed or diminished. For the changeless cannot be changed.

Bodies die, not the Self that dwells therein. Know the Self to be beyond change and death. Therefore strive to realize this Self.

Those who look upon the Self as slayer or as slain have not realized the Self. How can the Self be killed or kill when there is only One?

Never was the Self born; never shall it cease to be. Without beginning or end, free from birth, free from death, and free from time, how can the Self die when the body dies?

Who knows the Self to be birthless, deathless, not subject to the tyranny of time, how can the Self slay or cause to be slain?

Even as we cast off worn-out garments and put on new ones, so casts off the Self a worn-out body and enters into another that is new.

Not pierced by arrows nor burnt by fire, affected by neither water nor wind, the Self is not a physical creature.

Not wounded, not burnt, not wetted, not dried, the Self is ever and everywhere, immovable and everlasting.

The Self cannot be known by the senses, nor thought by the mind, nor caught by time. If you know this, you will not grieve.

Even if you mistake the Self to be subject to birth and death, you must not grieve. For death is certain for those who are born, as rebirth is certain for those who die. Why grieve over what cannot be avoided?

We perceive creatures only after birth, and after they die we perceive them not. They are manifest only between birth and death. In this there is no cause for grief.

Some there are who have realized the Self in all its wonder. Others can speak of it as wonderful. But there are many who don't understand even when they hear.

Deathless is the Self in every creature. Know this truth, and leave all sorrow behind.