Crossing the Waters

“Crossing the Waters is symbolic of salvation. The waters represent the painful existence in the world, a continual passing from life to death in samsara. Tossed about on the turbulent sea, the traveler finds rest only on the other shore, the firm ground of nirvana. “

Carry us across, as by a boat,
Across the sea, for our good.
Shining bright, drive away our sin.                                                             -Hinduism

Man’s life is a poison-laden ship, tossed into the ocean;
The shore is not visible as it floats in the midst of the waters.
Neither is there oar in hand, nor is there a pilot in this terrible vast sea.
Friend! The world is caught in a mighty snare,
Only by Divine grace and meditating on the holy Name,
May man remain afloat. God is the ship; the holy Word the pilot.
Where there is God’s Word, neither wind nor fire, nor waves,
Nor any frightful forms have power.
There the holy eternal Name alone abides,
Which carries man across the ocean of worldliness.
Those going over it, by divine grace reach the other shore.
Engrossed in devotion to the Eternal;
Their transmigration is ended;
Their light is merged into the light of the infinite.                                                      -Sikhism

Awake, awake, put on strength,
O arm of the Lord; Awake, as in days of old,
The generations of long ago.
Was it not you that dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
That made the depths of the sea a way
For the redeemed to pass over?
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing;
Everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.                                          -Judaism and Christianity

Few are there among men who go across to the further shore;
the rest of mankind only runs about on the bank.
But those who act rightly according to the teaching, as has been well taught,
will cross over to the other shore,
for the realm of passions is so difficult to cross.                                 -Buddhism

The rocky stream flows on: Hold you all together,
Quit you like heroes, and cross over, my friends!
Leave here all those that are evil-minded,
Let us cross to powers who are undiseased.
Stand erect, and cross you over, my comrades!
This rocky river flows on before us.
Abandon here all those that are malicious,
Let us cross to powers, benign and pleasant.                                                       -Hinduism

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