The Asatoma is an ancient prayer from India. In Sanskrit, it prays for guidance to grow from darkness to light, to distinguish the real from the unreal, and to be guided from death of the physical to the immortality of the Spirit. This ancient, non-sectarian prayer from the Upanishads is not a prayer for things or food or wealth. It does not ask for a mate, for name and fame, for a new house or car. It is a humble recognition of self-limitations and an invitation to the Divine to bring in Light and wisdom where it is lacking.

The prayer goes like this:

From the unreal lead me to the Real

From the darkness, lead me to the Light

From death, lead me to Immortality.


In Sanskrit, the words are:

Asatoma Sadgamaya

Tamasoma Jyotri Gamaya

Myritorma Amritam Gamaya

This prayer seeks out the Truth beneath the ever-changing and shifting reality of the physical world. It aims to connect with the eternal, ever-blissful and peaceful nature that resides within us at the deepest level. According to philosophy, this reality is obscured by the layers of ignorance that we eventually penetrate as we grow through experiences in the physical world.

If you’d like to hear the mantra this is the link: Asatoma Prayer at Awake in the World

I’ve found it soothing and beneficial. It has a softness and a beauty that touches the spirit and expands the heart.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011) She’s a world traveler and longtime student of the world’s oldest spiritual traditions. An instructor at the Sophia Institute, Debra leads workshops on spirituality in the U.S. and Europe, writes for publications around the world. Visit her at: and

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