‘God makes the rivers to flow. They tire not, nor Do they cease from flowing. May the river of my Life flow into the sea of love that is the Lord.’ -The Rig Veda-
Blue Mountain Center of Meditation (Organization founded by Easwaran)
Youtube Homepage - Eknath Easwaran Videos
Gods Makes the Rivers To Flow: An Anthology of the World’s Sacred Poetry and Prose (1982)
Eknath Easwaran
In Summary

Excerpts from the greatest spiritual writers of all time are collected into one work. While the various authors span a range of religions, timeframes and cultures, they each offer a similar message of eternal life, hope and peace.


From a young age, Eknath Easwaran was blessed with a wise spiritual mentor who would ascend every morning to the temple to worship Shiva and return with a flower for her beloved student. Placing the flower behind his ear, she would repeat, ‘May you be like Markandeya!’ Markandeya was a legendary and pious disciple of the god Shiva and had apparently even escaped an early death through his devotion. His mentor hoped the same love for the divine would shelter Easwaran throughout his life.  

That mentor was Easwaran’s grandmother and her continuous blessings seem to have paid off. After moving to the United States in 1959, Easwaran would become renowned not only for his translations of famed Eastern texts, such as the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita but also for his practice of Passage Meditations – a repetition of memorised verses from the great sacred texts.  

God Makes the Rivers to Run was written to facilitate the exercise of this practice in the hope that Easwaran might bless others with the same love for God his grandmother once bestowed upon him.  


When asked how he was able to craft the world’s greatest sculptures, Michelangelo supposedly responded that they were already complete before he ever picked up a chisel; he merely set them free from all the excess. In the same way, Easwaran argues that we are all complete in our Self, yet we require a chipping away of the false perceptions and ideas we cling to. Meditation is our chisel, and the passages in this collection aim to distil the wisdom of these texts by ‘slicing off’ all that does not belong to us, revealing our true divine nature.  


The excerpts from the spiritual masters are loosely divided into three sections. Part one, labelled ‘At the Source,’ focuses on God as the ground of our existence. Citing writers from Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish traditions, Easwaran reveals them all to have one common theme: God is our universal source and our universal goal. With focused attention, we can purify our minds from selfish desire and learn to see the divine in all.  

Part two, called ‘Deep Currents’, expands upon this theme by centring on selfless love and the yearning of our souls for unity with the divine. Songs, prayers and chants from across the ages speak about this transmuted love and call us to their higher vision of the world. The final section, ‘Joining the Sea,’ speaks further of this transformative experience of divine oneness and how it alters our perception of pain and suffering, revealing them to be necessary parts of our journey home.  


Following these inspirational passages, Easwaran offers his own message – namely, how to use these verses on a spiritual journey of your own.  

He identifies an eightfold path of growth:

  1. Set aside at least thirty minutes for daily meditation on a chosen passage.  
  1. Repeat it consistently, being sure to choose only those sections that belong to your own spiritual tradition.  
  1. Slow down your life and learning, work better to reflect and to act in freedom.
  1. Give your full mental attention to one thing at a time.  
  1. Spend time discriminating between the media and influences you will and won’t allow into your life.  
  1. Put others first: when we change self-centred ways of acting, speaking, and thinking, we become more flexible and loving.
  1. Become a part of a spiritual fellowship that can encourage you along the way.  
  1. Spend another half hour on spiritual readings, consistently challenging yourself to learn and grow further.  

While every spiritual tradition might sing in a different key, according to Easwaran, they are all part of one continuous song that melodiously comforts us and calls us along the pathway towards our heavenly goal. In other words, the work demonstrates the striking similarities of various religions without losing sight of the voices that make each one distinctive.  

Yet the work aspires to be more than merely a study of great religious texts; rather, extensive attention is given to how this chorus of voices from across the traditions can speak to your life. A large section at the end of the work is devoted to how the book ought to be used, and another separate chapter outlines the proper method of Passage Meditation – Easwaran’s greatest contribution to spiritual studies. Consequently, readers from all cultures and backgrounds can expect to find something valuable in this modern classic.  

Further Reading By This Author

Easwaran has written extensively, including translations of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Dhammapada. His original works include Passage Meditation and Mantram Handbook.

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