Synopses & Reviews
"It is impossible to get to the heart of those classics unless you live them, and [Easwaran] did live them. My admiration of the man and his works is boundless." — H U S T O N S M I T H, author of The Worlds Religions (Reviewing Easwarans translation, The Bhagavad Gita)
The Bhagavad Gita, one of Indias most influential scriptures, opens with the warrior-prince Arjuna frozen in indecision on the battlefield. He turns in anguish to his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, for answers to the fundamental questions of life. For Easwaran, Arjunas dilemma represents our own human condition: torn between opposing forces and confused about how to live.
In this completely new book from the author of the best-selling translation of the Gita, Easwaran gives his clear, compelling explanation of its teachings. Based on talks with close students towards the end of his life, this publication is the culmination of forty years of teaching the Gita in the West.
The Gita needs an interpreter of Easwarans scholarship and experience to point out the meaning behind the words. He highlights the key themes, explains the terminology, and shares his favorite verses. He also reveals the Gitas startling insights into the problems threatening our modern civilization.
Like the warrior-prince Arjuna, we must each make wise choices, and in this modern, original interpretation Easwaran shows how the Gita points a way forward for us both as individuals and in our global society today.
The Bhagavad Gita opens with a crisis — Prince Arjuna despairs on the battlefield, unsure if he should fight his kinsmen in a dreadful war. For Easwaran, the Gitas epic battle represents the war in our own hearts and Arjunas anguish reflects the human condition: torn between opposing forces, confused about how to live. Sri Krishnas timeless guidance, Easwaran argues, can shed light on our dilemmas today.
Placing the Gitas teachings in a modern context, Easwaran explores the nature of reality, the illusion of separateness, the search for identity, the meaning of yoga, and how to heal the unconscious. The key message of the Gita is how to resolve our conflicts and live in harmony with the deep unity of life, through the practice of meditation and spiritual disciplines.
Sri Krishna doesnt tell Arjuna what to do. He points out the princes choices, and then leaves it to Arjuna to decide. Easwaran shows us clearly how these teachings still apply — and how, like Arjuna, we must take courage and act wisely if we want our world to thrive.
About the Author
Eknath Easwaran (1910 1999) was brought up in the Hindu tradition and learned Sanskrit from a young age. He was chairman of the English department at a major Indian university when he came to the United States on a Fulbright fellowship in 1959.
A gifted teacher and writer who settled in the West, Easwaran lived out the principles of the Gita in the midst of a busy family and community life. His translations of the Indian classics, The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, and The Dhammapada, are all best-sellers in their field, and more than 1.5 million copies of his books are in print.
Table of Contents
Preface: The Wisdom of India
1. The War Within
2. The Search for Reality
3. The Higher and Lower Mind
4. The Causes of Delusion
5. Yoga as the Way Forward
7. Yoga in Daily Life
8. Yoga in Work and Relationships
9. Healing the Unconscious
10. Death and the Continuity of Life
11. Spiritual Evolution
12. Faith and Incarnation
13. The End of Sorrow: Portraits of the Illumined Person
Favorite Verses from the Gita