New Edition of “The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living”


Easwaran’s deep love for the spiritual wisdom in the Bhagavad Gita shines through his books and talks. “Addressed to everyone,” he writes, “of whatever background or status, the Gita distills the loftiest truths of India’s ancient wisdom into simple, memorable poetry that haunts the mind and informs the affairs of everyday life.” The Gita played a key role in Easwaran’s own spiritual journey – for him, as for Gandhi, it  was a reference book he turned to time and again.

Easwaran has published more than 30 books, but there is nothing quite like The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living, his verse-by-verse commentary on the entirety of the Bhagavad Gita. Written in three volumes, Easwaran’s magnum opus covers the full expanse of his teachings. The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living  is considered to be part of the core canon of his books that his students turn to again and again for spiritual wisdom.

To bring this book to a new, modern audience the BMCM is publishing a new edition of all three volumes, available on November 10, 2020. This edition will be available in hardback and paperback, and as a single ebook containing all three volumes. We’ll be releasing an audiobook to accompany the ebook in a few months’ time.

To celebrate this exciting new offering, we’ll share below some history and context for these wonderful books as well as more details about the new editions.

A Practical Manual for Daily Living

Easwaran saw the Bhagavad Gita as a roadmap for everyday life. He had a deep desire to share its wisdom with the world, and so the first volume of The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living was also the very first book printed by Nilgiri Press, in 1975. The next two volumes followed in 1979 and 1984.

There is no significant problem in life which cannot be referred to the Bhagavad Gita for a perfect solution. The Gita is one of the most powerful of the Sanskrit scriptures of ancient India, but in my eyes it is neither philosophy nor theology, metaphysics nor poetry. It is a practical manual for daily living in any age, in any religious tradition, and my commentary is an attempt to apply its teachings specifically to the problems facing us in modern life.  –Eknath Easwaran

In The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living Easwaran gives his translation of each verse followed by his commentary,  showing us how to bring this deep wisdom into our lives, wherever we are. As with all of Easwaran’s writing, the books are lively, warm, and accessible, full of stories from Easwaran’s own life and from the lives of saints and mystics of all traditions throughout the ages.

In Volume 1, The End of Sorrow, Chapters 1–6 of the Gita explore the concept of the innermost Self and source of wisdom in each of us. Easwaran explains how we can begin to transform ourselves through spiritual practice, even as householders engaged in busy lives.

In Volume 2, Like a Thousand Suns, Chapters 7–12 go beyond the individual Self and investigate the Supreme Reality that underlies all creation. Easwaran addresses the themes of selfless service and devotion, and explains how the concept of the unity of life can help us in all our relationships.

In Volume 3, To Love Is to Know Me, Chapters 13–18 put forth an urgent appeal for us to begin to see that all of us are one. Global in scope, the emphasis is on what we can do to make a difference to heal our environment and establish peace in the world.

We hope you’ll read all three volumes to explore Easwaran’s commentary on the whole of the Gita and discover the full range of his teachings. Each volume also includes Easwaran’s explanation of the verses that form a key passage for meditation from the Gita. If you love meditating on those passages, then chapters 2, 12, and 18 will be real gems for you! Each book also features an extensive index, which is an invaluable resource for finding Easwaran’s teachings on specific topics.

“The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living” for 2020

Easwaran writes:

Today there is an urgent need for such a manual. We see this reflected in our newspapers, magazines, books, movies, and television programs, but most of all in our daily living. Life has never seemed more futile. In spite of all our technological advances and material prosperity, we have no peace of mind and live in fear and anger in the midst of increasing violence. We are caught in the lurid dream that the pursuit of pleasure will lead us to joy, the pursuit of profit will lead us to security, and most of us have no other purpose in life than this driving urge to bring about our own private fulfillment even if it is at the expense of other persons, races, or countries.

The Bhagavad Gita shows us how we can awaken from this dream.

With this latest release the Press Team is offering a modern edition for 2020 of Easwaran’s magnum opus. The newly designed  covers will hopefully attract the attention of a broad readership for Easwaran, and at the same time they honor his classic, timeless style. The text includes some minor revisions in line with the instructions that Easwaran left for his editors.

The printed copies of the books are available in both hardback and paperback. The Press Team were able to find a way to print the books so that the hardbacks are not much more expensive than the paperbacks, so readers will hopefully find both versions to be financially accessible. For readers who prefer to read on their devices, the ebook contains all three volumes.

Readers sometimes ask us where they should order their books. It doesn't matter to the BMCM whether you buy from your favorite online or local bookstore. For a book which has not yet been released, it does help that book's online visibility if you decide to pre-order the book from an online retailer.

If you haven’t yet explored all three of these volumes, you may like to know that many of Easwaran’s students have found that, each time they read these books, they gain new understanding and insight as they read this commentary through the lens of their current lives.

Visit the book pages on the BMCM website to find more information about the books. The new editions will be available on the BMCM website starting November 9, and are available now for pre-order from major online booksellers.

BMCM Bookstore

Learn more about Easwaran's book, audio talks, and more.

We’ll leave you with these words from Easwaran about the Gita:

I am a believer in ordinary people and do not look to governments and corporations to set the world right. In India, the tropical sun dries up almost all vegetation during the hot season, and a shade tree is a precious shelter from the deadening heat. The leaves of the tamarind tree are very small, but they are packed so closely together that they give better shade than the large leaves of the banana tree. My grandmother, my spiritual teacher, used to point to the tamarind tree and remind me that a large number of little people, working together closely, can accomplish much more than a few big people. The Lord within, whether we call him Krishna, Christ, the Buddha, or Allah, is the source of all power, and when we live for others in accordance with the unity of all life this power flows into our hands, enabling us to take on the biggest problems facing the modern world. In Hindu mythology, Ganesha, the elephant god, is the symbol of the Lord’s power. The elephant is a huge, strong creature, but very gentle. Often he does not know his own strength. His eyes are so small that in India we say he thinks he is only a small creature, not capable of much. He never knows his own size. My Gita commentary is aimed at ordinary men and women who think they are small, who do not realize their real stature.

Even if it takes us a whole lifetime to learn to practice the teachings of the Gita, we shall have made a valuable contribution in life.