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.
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.
Would you like better concentration, more vitality and creativity, more patience and inner strength?
Daily meditation can help you develop these qualities. Easwaran taught meditation for over forty years, and his instructions are practical and clear. He shows you how to choose a spiritual text, or passage, from the world’s great traditions that embodies your highest ideals. With regular practice, meditation becomes your lifeline, taking you to the source of wisdom deep within and guiding you through all the challenges of daily life.
Easwaran is one of the twentieth century's great spiritual teachers and an authentic guide to timeless wisdom. His class at the University of California, Berkeley was the first accredited course on meditation at any Western university. He is the author of the best-selling translation in English of the Bhagavad Gita, India’s best-known scripture.
This short ebook is the first chapter "Meditation on a Passage" from the book Passage Meditation – A Complete Spiritual Practice by Eknath Easwaran.
Said to be the text closest to the Buddha’s actual words, The Dhammapada is a collection of short teachings that his disciples memorized during his lifetime. Easwaran presents The Dhammapada as a guide to spiritual perseverance, progress, and ultimately enlightenment — a heroic confrontation with life as it really is, with straight answers to our deepest questions. We witness the heartbreak of death, for instance — what does that mean for us? What is love? How does karma work? How do we follow the spiritual life in the midst of work and family? Does nirvana really exist, and if so, what is it like to be illumined?
In his interpretation of Buddhist themes, illustrated with stories from the Buddha’s life, Easwaran offers a view of the concept of Right Understanding that is both exhilarating and instructive. He shares his experiences on the spiritual path, giving the advice that only an experienced teacher and practitioner can offer, and urges us to answer for ourselves the Buddha’s call to nirvana — that mysterious, enduring state of wisdom, joy, and peace.
Take your fate into your own hands by facing death, not fleeing from it.
Easwaran is one of the twentieth century's great spiritual teachers and an authentic guide to timeless wisdom. Understand death, Easwaran writes, and you’ll live more wisely – you’ll learn more, love more, and contribute more to all around you. By facing death, not fleeing from it, you take your fate into your own hands.
With stories from East and West, and quotes from the world’s mystics, Easwaran explains the meaning of death, the process of dying, and how to use simple spiritual practices to find the source of abiding joy and security within us all.
This essay has been excerpted from Easwaran’s book "The Undiscovered Country".
Just as a fitness routine can create a strong, supple body, spiritual disciplines can shape a secure personality and a resilient, loving mind. Writing as an experienced, friendly coach, Easwaran takes the timeless teachings of the Buddha and other mystics and shows how we can train the mind not just during meditation but throughout the day.
Working with difficult colleagues, choosing what to eat, and listening to a child’s needs are all opportunities to try out different, wiser responses. Easwaran shows how training the mind is a glorious challenge – one that brings joy and purpose to life.