Arjuna’s struggle in the Bhagavad Gita is acutely modern. He has lost his way on the battlefield of life and turns to find the path again by asking direct, uncompromising questions of his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, the Lord himself. Krishna replies in 700 verses of sublime instruction on living and dying, loving and working, and the nature of the soul.
Easwaran shows the Gita’s relevance to us today as we strive, like Arjuna, to do what is right.
“No one in modern times is more qualified – no, make that ‘as qualified’ – to translate the epochal Classics of Indian Spirituality than Eknath Easwaran. And the reason is clear. It is impossible to get to the heart of those classics unless you live them, and he did live them. My admiration of the man and his works is boundless.” – Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religions.
In this companion to his best-selling translation of the Bhagavad Gita, Easwaran explores the essential themes of this much-loved Indian scripture.
Placing the Gita in a modern context, Easwaran shows how this classic text sheds light on the nature of reality, the illusion of separateness, the search for identity, and the meaning of yoga. The key message of the Gita is how to resolve our conflicts and live in harmony with the deep unity of life, through the principles of yoga and the practice of meditation.
Easwaran grew up in the Hindu tradition and learned Sanskrit from an early age. A foremost translator and interpreter of the Gita, he taught classes on it for forty years, while living out the principles of the Gita in the midst of a busy family and community life.
In the Gita, Sri Krishna, the Lord, doesn’t tell the warrior prince Arjuna what to do: he shows Arjuna his choices and then leaves it to Arjuna to decide. Easwaran, too, shows us clearly how these teachings still apply to us – and how, like Arjuna, we must take courage and act wisely if we want our world to thrive.
How can karma help us find hope and happiness?
What we think, say, or do has consequences that are often subtler and more far-reaching than we think. The theory of karma is intellectually intriguing, but a practical understanding of how karma works can help us find hope and happiness in our lives.
Eknath Easwaran is a foremost translator and interpreter of the Indian classics (The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads and The Dhammapada), and a highly respected teacher of meditation.
This short ebook is one chapter from Essence of the Dhammapada: The Buddha's Call to Nirvana.