On the way, he explores the nature of reality, the illusion of separateness, the search for identity, the meaning of yoga, and how to heal the unconscious. Ultimately, as Easwaran writes, the dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna is “a searching of the soul – the heart’s appeal for wisdom, answered, as it only can be, from within.”
The Gita is couched
as a dialogue between a warrior-prince named Arjuna and his charioteer and
spiritual guide, Sri Krishna. It opens with a crisis — Prince Arjuna despairs
on the battlefield, unsure if he should fight his kinsmen in a dreadful war.
For Easwaran, the Gita’s epic battle represents the war in our own hearts and
Arjuna’s anguish reflects the human condition: torn between opposing forces,
confused about how to live. Sri Krishna’s timeless guidance, Easwaran argues,
can shed light on our dilemmas today.
Like Mahatma Gandhi, Easwaran sees the Gita as “a sure guide to human affairs – one that could throw light on the problems I faced in my own times of crisis.” A foremost translator of the Gita, he taught classes on it for over forty years.
book is Easwaran’s distillation of the Gita’s teachings from the end of his
life, based on talks given to his close students and published here for the
In his last editorial planning meeting, in 1998, Easwaran gave instructions about the books in progress that he wanted completed from his unpublished transcripts, outlines, and notes. Essence of the Bhagavad Gita was the first of those posthumous projects to be published, Easwaran’s final distillation of the Gita’s teachings. It is something rare and precious: the legacy of a gifted teacher sharing a lifetime’s immersion in a sacred text, conveyed in his talks and informal sessions with some of his closest students.