Author Topic: Eknath Easwaran  (Read 1262 times)


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Eknath Easwaran
« on: September 02, 2010, 01:43:26 PM »

Eknath Easwaran (December, 1910 – October 26, 1999) is known as a spiritual teacher and the author of books on meditation and how to lead a fulfilling life, as well as a translator and interpreter of Indian literature.

In 1961 Easwaran founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation and Nilgiri Press, based in northern California. Nilgiri Press publishes over two dozen books he authored.

Eknath Easwaran was influenced by Gandhi, whom Easwaran met when he was a young man. Easwaran developed a method of meditation — silent repetition in the mind of memorized inspirational passages from the world's great religions— which later came to be known as Passage Meditation.

Eknath Easwaran was born in 1910 in a village in Kerala, British India. Eknath is his surname, Easwaran his given name. Brought up by his mother, and by his maternal grandmother whom he honored as his spiritual teacher, he was schooled in his native village until the age of sixteen, when he went to attend a Catholic college fifty miles away. Here he acquired a deep appreciation of the Christian tradition. He graduated at the University of Nagpur in English and law. He served as Professor of English literature at the University of Nagpur.

In 1959, he came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.

From 1960 he gave classes on meditation in the San Francisco Bay Area.

His first major work was his 3-volume commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, the Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living, the first volume of which was printed in 1975 and the last in 1984. His book Meditation on the program of meditation and allied discplines that he developed first appeared in 1978.

Essence of the Upanishads, originally entitled Dialogue with death: The spiritual psychology of the Katha Upanishad, and explains how the Katha Upanishad embraces the key ideas of Indian spirituality within the context of a powerful mythic quest – the story of a young hero who ventures into the land of death in search of immortality. "Essence of the Upanishads is a westerner's guide to this vitally important Indian text and its modern relevance to the Indian mindset and spirituality."

The 3 volumes of the Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living are conceived as handbooks for applying the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita to lives today. End of Sorrow concentrates on the individual – how one can discover one's innermost nature, and transform one's life through self-realization, selfless service, and meditation. Like a Thousand Suns addresses relationships – how one can heal divisions in society, within one's relationships, and within oneself, and realize the unity governing all creation. To Love is To Know Me gives a global view, describing what individual readers can do to make a difference in the world today, and ends with a description of bhakti yoga, the path of devotion.

Gandhi the Man traces how Mohandas Gandhi transformed himself into one of the world's great spiritual leaders.

Easwaran's program for spiritual growth consists of eight points was introduced with his 1978 book Meditation. Each point had a dedicated chapter:

Meditation: Silent repetition upon memorized inspirational passages from one of the world's great religions. Practiced for one-half hour each morning.

The Mantram: silent repetition of a mantram, holy name or hallowed phrase from one of the world's great religions.

Slowing Down: set priorities to reduce stress and hurry

One-Pointed Attention: give full concentration to whatever matter is currently at hand

Training the Senses: enjoy simple pleasures in order to avoid craving for unhealthy excess

Putting Others First: denounce selfishness and cultivating altruism

Spiritual Companionship: practice meditation in the company of others

Reading the Mystics: draw inspiration from the writings of the scriptures of all religions.