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Essence of the Upanishads: A Key to Indian Spirituality [Format Kindle]

Eknath Easwaran

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Through his interpretation of one important Upanishad, an ancient wisdom text, Eknath Easwaran shows how the timeless Indian tradition offers guidance on how to live today. Lyrical, dramatic, and inspiring, the Katha Upanishad presents the core ideas of Indian mysticism in a mythic story all can relate to — the adventure of a young hero, Nachiketa, who passes into the kingdom of Death in search of immortality. The King of Death tests his resolve, but the teenager stands firm, demanding answers to the age-old questions, "What is the purpose of life? What happens to me when I die?" Death emerges as the perfect spiritual guide — direct, uncompromising, and challenging. Easwaran’s approach to the Katha is both practical and universal. He explains key Sanskrit terms like karma and prana, illustrating them through everyday anecdotes and entertaining analogies while placing Indian spirituality into the broader context of world mysticism.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1071 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 252 pages
  • Editeur : Nilgiri Press (1 juillet 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00BSEQOR0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°216.924 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999) is respected around the world as one of the twentieth century's great spiritual teachers and an authentic guide to timeless wisdom. Although he did not travel or seek large audiences, his books on meditation, spiritual living, and the classics of world mysticism have been translated into twenty-six languages. More than 1.5 million copies of Easwaran's books are in print.

His book Meditation, now titled Passage Meditation, has sold over 200,000 copies since it was first published in 1978. His Classics of Indian Spirituality - translations of The Bhagavad Gita, The Dhammapada, and The Upanishads - have been warmly praised by Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions, and all three books are bestsellers in their field. The Nilgiri Press editorial team, under the supervision of Easwaran's wife, Christine Easwaran, continues to publish new books and talks, drawing on the vast archive of Easwaran's unpublished transcripts.

A gifted teacher who lived for many years in the West, Easwaran lived what he taught, giving him enduring appeal as a teacher and author of deep insight and warmth.

Easwaran's mission was to extend to everyone, "with an open hand," the spiritual disciplines that had brought such rich benefits to his own life. For forty years he devoted his life to teaching the practical essentials of the spiritual life as found in every religion. He taught a universal message that although the body is mortal, within every creature there is a spark of divinity that can never die. And he taught and lived a method that any man or woman can use to reach that inborn divinity and draw on it for love and wisdom in everyday life.

Whenever asked what religion he followed, Easwaran would reply that he belonged to all religions. His teachings reached people in every faith. He often quoted the words of Mahatma Gandhi, who influenced him deeply: "I have not the shadow of a doubt that every man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith."

Eknath Easwaran (1910-1999) was born into an ancient matrilineal family in Kerala state, South India. There he grew up under the close guidance of his mother's mother, Eknath Chippu Kunchi Ammal, whom he honored throughout his life as his spiritual teacher. From her he learned the traditional wisdom of India's ancient scriptures. An unlettered village woman, she taught him through her daily life, which was permeated by her continuous awareness of God, that spiritual practice is something to be lived out each day in the midst of family and community.

Growing up in British India, Easwaran first learned English in his village high school, where the doors were opened to the treasure-house of English literature. At sixteen, he left his village to attend a nearby Catholic college. There his passionate love of English literature intensified and he acquired a deep appreciation of the Christian tradition.

Later, contact with the YMCA and close friendships within the Muslim and Christian communities enriched his sense of the universality of spiritual truths. Easwaran often recalled with pride that he grew up in "Gandhi's India" - the historic years when Mahatma Gandhi was leading the Indian people to freedom from British rule through nonviolence. As a young man, Easwaran met Gandhi and the experience of sitting near him at his evening prayer meetings left a lasting impression. The lesson he learned from Gandhi was the power of the individual: the immense resources that emerge into life when a seemingly ordinary person transforms himself completely.

After graduate work at the University of Nagpur in Central India, where he took first-class degrees in literature and in law, Easwaran entered the teaching profession, eventually returning to Nagpur to become a full professor and head of the department of English. By this time he had acquired a reputation as a writer and speaker, contributing regularly to the Times of India and giving talks on English literature for All-India Radio.

At this juncture, he would recall, "All my success turned to ashes." The death of his grandmother in the same year as Gandhi's assassination prompted him to turn inward.

Following Gandhi's inspiration, he became deeply absorbed in the Bhagavad Gita, India's best-known scripture. Meditation on passages from the Gita and other world scriptures quickly developed into the method of meditation that today is associated with his name.

Eknath Easwaran was Professor of English Literature at the University of Nagpur when he came to the United States on the Fulbright exchange program in 1959. Soon he was giving talks on India's spiritual tradition throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. At one such talk he met his future wife, Christine, with whom he established the organization that became the vehicle for his life's work. The mission of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, founded in 1961, is the same today as when it was founded: to teach the eight-point program of passage meditation aimed at helping ordinary people conquer physical and emotional problems, release creativity, and pursue life's highest goal, Self-realization.

After a return to India, Easwaran came back to California in 1965. He lived in the San Francisco Bay Area the rest of his life, dedicating himself to the responsive American audiences that began flowing into his classes in the turbulent Berkeley of the late 1960s, when meditation was suddenly "in the air." His quiet yet impassioned voice reached many hundreds of students in those turbulent years.

Always a writer, Easwaran started a small press in Berkeley to serve as the publishing branch of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation. Nilgiri Press was named after the Nilgiris or "Blue Mountains" in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where Easwaran had maintained a home for some years. The press moved to Tomales, California, when the Center bought property there for a permanent headquarters in 1970. Nilgiri Press did the preproduction work for his first book, Gandhi the Man, and began full book manufacturing with his Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living in 1975.

In thousands of talks and his many books Easwaran taught passage meditation and his eight-point program to an audience that now extends around the world. Rather than travel and attract large crowds, he chose to remain in one place and teach in small groups - a preference that was his hallmark as a teacher even in India. "I am still an educator," he liked to say. "But formerly it was education for degrees; now it is education for living." His work is being carried forward by Christine Easwaran, who has worked by his side for forty years, by the students he trained for thirty years, and by the organization he founded to ensure the continuity of his teachings, the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  25 commentaires
23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Masterful interpretation 6 juin 2010
Par A reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I can honestly that this book, under its earlier title _Dialogue with Death_, changed my life. I have reread it many times. Easwaran has a wonderful way of opening up texts that initially seem forbidding, and, through humor and deep wisdom, helping the reader connect with the timeless wisdom they contain. I have read all of Easwaran's books, but this is the one I find myself returning to most often. It really changed the way I look at myself and my place in the world, as well as the way I view others. Highly recommended!
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 GOING BEYOND DEATH 25 mars 2011
Par PFli - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
"None else can know the omnipresent Self, whose glory sweeps away the rituals of the priest and the prowess of the warrior and puts death itself to death." So ends Part I of the Katha Upanishad, as translated by Eknath Easwaran in this recent work, from an earlier edition entitled "Dialogue with Death." These profound teachings or scriptures of Ancient India are in great part highly metaphysical, esoteric, often hermetic and off-putting to the western mind. But Easwaran, schooled in both eastern and western traditions, excellent Sanskrit scholar as well, places easily within our grasp some of the world's greatest wisdom literature, such as the "Upanishads." His easy-going but incisive, lucid, and gently humorous style draws us here into the story of the feisty teenager Natchiketa who, a seeker by nature, engages Yama, the King of Death, to ask him a "few" questions. The dialogue that follows constitutes the entire Katha Upanishad and allows Easwaran to explain to us, along the way, life's great questions in the light of Indian spirituality. Who am I? What am I here for? Where do I go after I die?
And if you want to understand clearly some of the more refined concepts such as moksha or nirvana, that is, what nirvana really means; prana (energy); preya (instant gratification) vs. shreya (taking the long view); or the real meaning of yoga (p.19), misunderstood today as it is, Easwaran's presentation here will satisfy beyond the beyond. But most of all it risks giving you a deeper, more positive understanding of just what death is really all about, debunking it of the misconceptions heaped upon it over the centuries. You may just come away from a reading of this wonderful work feeling a bit like sixteen year-old Natchiketa did when he took on the Grim Reaper himself, that there is more to death than the ending of things, that it is possible, as the Katha and Easwaran suggest, to go beyond it.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 What a great author 6 juin 2010
Par H. D. Vuyk - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Easwaran has a clear, precise, yet simple approach to Indian wisdom.

His explanations are steeped in his native up bringing but geared to western perception.

The Upanishads, considered the pinnacle of human wisdom by Schopenhauer are brought to us in an unparalleled translation and explanation. I am deeply gratefull for this book.

Hade Vuyk
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Best Eight dollars I have spent 1 janvier 2013
Par Dog Lover - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This is my first book written by Easwaran. I loved the contemporary writing style to explain ancient wisdom, demonstrating timelessness of truths. There are so many mental models and highly visual metaphors that describe life. What was striking was the absence of organized religion. These truths can be read by followers of any faith and mapped to their own religious writings. The book further demonstrates what the great men and women of the world have been trying to tell us, through different religions and metaphors. A must read for anyone in the quest for what is beyond this everyday humdrum of life.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The perennial philosphy made accessible 12 mai 2012
Par James S. Bedingfield - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
In all his books Eknath Easwaran is able to engage the reader in the most profound truths of our existence by making them accessible to our current era and applicable to our daily lives. As the title suggests, this volume distills and illuminates the universal meaning of what are the most penetrating spiritual texts created in any human civilisation - the Upanishads. Easwaran does this through a conversational commentary on a story told in the Katha Upanishad of a young man who confronts Death with the courage and uncompromised clarity of youth. This is not an academic treatise on an ancient Hindu text, or a contemporary discussion of spiritual concepts. This book, drawing upon the spiritual giants of all religious traditions, is a window on the the challenges and immense rewards of a life devoted to realizing the deepest meaning and fullest vision of what it is to be human from the perspective of a humble man who lived that life.
Eknath Easwaran moved to he U.S. in 1959 from India as a Fullbright exchange scholar in English literature, and taught what may have been the first accredited meditation class in this country at the University of California at Berkeley.
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