"Across the Universe" as written by John Winston Lennon and Paul James Mccartney....
Words are flowing out like
Endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me.

Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Images of broken light, which
Dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe.
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.

Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me.
Limitless undying love, which
Shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai Guru Deva, om.
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world
Nothing's gonna change my world

Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Across the Universe" as written by John Winston Lennon, Paul James Mccartney

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Across the Universe song meanings
Add your thoughts

194 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +7
    General CommentHere is what i found: "The line "jai guru deva om" is a mantra of John's designed to help him concentrate while meditating, something he was into at the time. It means roughly "Glory to the spiritual master" and has the focusing sound "omm" at the end. (Translation varies according to particular level of Sanskrit used for divination.)"

    I found that here recmusicbeatles.com/public/files/faqs/… i hope that helps. :)
    aniotaon January 29, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI really love to listen to this song. I'm quite sure what he is actually referring to when the song was written, but my interpretation would be the following: Perhaps there is hope for peace or love through words and thoughts. Maybe such words of joy, happiness and even sorrow are contagious. "Words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup,
    They slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe." I think these words encourage the belief that such words of meaning and feeling, when spoken, can be passed on from person to the next just by the very sound of them and thoughts of them. The very idea that love or sorrow exists, allows for love or sorrow to actually be. Pass it on, those feelings and thoughts. "Sounds of laughter shades of earth are ringing
    Through my open views inciting and inviting me.
    Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns,
    It calls me on and on across the universe" -here it is explained how he is surrounded by words of feeling and hope. encouraged by words of all people around the world. not just a certain race or religion....just the kindness of humanity across all of the universe.
    blakeraeon March 07, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think this song is, most of all about about achieving a state of mind where you no longer need to think, where your thoughts, your words and your concerns go away. It's about our lack of importance in relation to our world, our universe. It ridiculizes earthly worries, and urges us to open our senses and feel. Just feel everything around us, below us and above us. Become one with the universe and everything around us, lose our individuality and become unviversal.
    The images in the first lines of the song represents this lack of importance of word, talking and worrying in general, “Words like endless rain into a paper cup”, paper cups can never keep rain inside of them, they are uncapable of holding them as we are uncapable to hold onto words, so he let's them go, “Slip away across the universe”, through meditation, that feeling of your head going “blank”.
    The next verses are about the feelings that fill overwhelm him, when he achieves that state. About letting everything into you, the good and the bad, and at the same time letting nothing affect you.
    Embrace everything but remain unmoved, loving everything and accepting this things as inevitable and almost neccesary. “Pools of sorrow waves of joy are drifting through my open mind, Possessing and caressing me”, opening your mind is the key element here. Then there's the mantra, it doesn't matter what it means, for me it's related to the way of getting into that state. “Nothing's gonna change my world” may sound a little selfish, arrogant and close-minded at first (at least for me) and even more if you look at it as a sentence on its own.
    But if you relate it with the context of the song (buddhist meditation) nothing's gonna change my world is really about accepting the world and the universe as it is, feeling happy and calm about it, wanting nothing more and nothing less of it. For me, it's more about not WANTING to change the world, not needing to do it, than not LETTING anyone change it, as a way of defending it or blinding ourselves. It's the same sense of peace, tranquility, conformity and of communion with the self and the world of the entire song. It really embodies the entire concept. It's almost the inverse of being selfish, it's about abandoning one self and becoming whole with everything that's outside of us, achieving inner peace.
    The verses that follow this chorus, "Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes,", in my opinion are much more open to interpretation. For me, these images are a metaphor of the stars, of the open universe in it's literall meaning, the one we think about when we hear the word universe. It's about a calling to it's beauty, and later, the star's call for us to join them across the universe, these are just beautifull images that add to the song’s mood of mysticism. It is a literal image of us elevating through meditation and joining the stars, our universe.
    The lines that follows, continues with the idea of the lack of importance of our tribulations here on earth, and the our need to let them go. Once again our attempts of getting ahold of them are ridiculized by the image of the wind inside a letter box, another impossible attempt. The quick passing of our problems here on earth is emphasized, they are put in perspective in relation with that that is more important, finding peace and love. Our need to focus on more important matters.
    "Sounds of laughter shades of earth are ringing Through my open views inciting and inviting me." This relates once again with the lines about opening your mind and senses and letting the world in. "Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns” is another metaphor of the way he feels the love of the world surrounding him. “It calls me on and on across the universe", the same structure is repeated. This verses are another sublimation of the state of mind achieved through meditation.
    Most of all is the call for us to be there, to reach for that eternal love, to becoming one with ourselves, our universe, our gods, with our love, with our joy, with our sorrow, with everything. Embracing not only the good but the bad in order to feel everything and love as we are loved inconditionally by the world.
    Love is once again (as its common in the amazing world of the Beatles songs), the main theme of this song, love for everything on earth. This idea is related to the desire of losing individuality, and the frustration this individuality carries (trying to hold on to things, and the immposibilty to do so), and the almost neccesary search for something that is superior to us, in order to be at peace with ourselves and with our universe.
    I hope this is useful! It’s my way of seeing this incredible song.
    nn10000on June 08, 2007   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationIt's a description of nascent attempts to meditate and become one with the universe.
    Jai Guru Deva is just some thing to help the process and has no significant meaning.
    This is how most new comers to meditation feel what it would be like.
    Mind is trying to let go.. and the soul is trying to become.. but the Mind is vicious and it doesn't let go so easily.. But when's it does .. 'Nothing can change your world.' Not the World Not yourself, Your thoughts.
    isandesh7on September 09, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIf you ever sit and close your eyes and exist in your own head you are just a small piece in everything that exists, like the universe. When our mind is open its as big as the universe. Everything we’ve ever seen, said, imagined, light, all the people we’ve ever known, mixes of words and letters, our memories, they all exist in our minds, and they float around there undisturbed but in relation to each other, moving in harmony with each other and accepting and being thankful to this giant place they have to exist and be apart of because it is so magnificent. When we go into our mind everything in that universe is accepting they want to share their happiness with everything else, it’s true happiness and comfort. Something people should be in search of in their lives in the real universe where people have become greedy of the objects that were so friendly and loving to us in our mind, when we treat parts of this universe badly things are not balanced, they are not in harmony. But when we find our own universe in our mind its so powerful it’s so inviting, it’s so attractive, and we love it just like every other piece of the universe does. And the truth is no one can take the universe we have in our mind, no one. No one can ruin or change our universe like they can change the world we live in, and nothing could hurt it anyway because there is so much love to a limitless extent that nothing could disturb the peace. The feeling when we are loved and we give love is one we should never forget in order to make the real world more peaceful. To the people who complain about people who don’t know who wrote the song, remember the meaning of the song first, because in the end the lyrics of the song and the sound that comes from the song are what matters most, because we share these words and sounds with the universe. We shouldn’t be obsessed with the idea of ownership. Do you think the lyrics in this song want to be captured by a person? No, they want to be in harmony with the rest of the world. With any song, with any music there is harmony between the words and the singer, the notes and the player. When anyone sings this song it is just harmony it is the musician and the song harmonizing together giving each other love, thanks, and giving care for each other. As long as we give love to people in this world we are not wasting the time we have in this world. It would be nice if one day things can be in harmony as they are when we fall into our minds, I do hope that eventually all people won’t be so greedy as to take away happiness from others, but to give it. Because I love being apart of my universe as John Lennon loves being apart of his universe, and as a lot of people and words and memories, and songs love being apart of their universe. So maybe someday we can share our minds with others and they share with us, to bring our own universes to the universe we live in.
    avsrocketon October 30, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song is OBVIOUSLY about psychedelics. if you've done them then the song speaks for itself, you should be able to pick it up within the first stanza. yes some of the lyrics may have deeper meanings, but this is pretty much just harrison trying to describe the psychedelic experience, which can never be fully emphasized in words. little tip for you guys. take some shrooms, listen to this song, and you will instantly understand EVERYTHING.
    rampagesk8aon February 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind
    Possessing and caressing me"

    that is the single most important line in this song because it helps us to truly understand what Lennon was thinking, nothing. to have an open mind is to be completely open to the world around him and to experience life as it was meant to be experienced. to receive that "limitless undying love" one must be open to it and not be held back by the minds own ramblings.

    "Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letterbox
    They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe"

    his thoughts are there and he is aware of them, but he pays them no mind. he locks them away and puts them inside a box. he knows that all negativity is an illusion created by the mind. the only real in his life was what he could actually experience and this song is about how wonderful it is when you stop letting your thoughts rule you.
    selfevidenttruthon August 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnyone know what "Jai Guru De Va Om" means? thanks.
    slashesson January 23, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI was always curious about the line in Sanscrit and never knew the words, let alone their meaning :) Now thanks to this site I do :)
    Novartzaon February 11, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe literal translation of Jai Guru Deva would be something as follows:- Jai implies Glory; Guru means Master and Deva is God. Om is a sanskrit word which Hindus use liberally at work, at the beginning of any event, festivals and prayers.
    Be that as it may, this is a lovely song; I especially love the sound of the sitar at the beginning. Since George was crazy about sitars, perhaps a lot of fans thought that this song was written by him. Moreover, George was completely immersed in Hinduism and the lyrics of this song are more or less in keeping with the teachings of the Geeta - the holy book of the Hindus.
    milindmkon March 18, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain