Essence of the Upanishads

A Key to Indian Spirituality

Easwaran invites you to address the age-old questions: Who am I? What is life for? How can I live life to the fullest of my capacity?

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The Katha Upanishad embraces the key ideas of Indian mysticism in a mythic story we can all relate to – the quest of a young hero, Nachiketa, who ventures into the land of death in search of immortality. 

Nachiketa’s faith and courage impel the King of Death to act as his spiritual teacher and show him the deepest levels of his personality. 

Easwaran explains the lofty insights of this ancient text, to help you understand your world and yourself today.


The audiobook (unabridged) is read by Paul Bazely, a professional actor and longtime student of Easwaran. Music is by Yann Stoneman, also an Easwaran student.

Publisher’s Note

The Essence of the Upanishads is a revised edition of Dialogue with Death. Easwaran describes his book as “a personal exploration of the fundamental ideas of the Upanishads, and the light they throw on how to live today.”

This book is highly recommended for spiritual seekers, young and old alike. The revisions to the original book include a new series preface and an introduction taken from transcripts of Easwaran’s talks.

“I can honestly [say] 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!”


“He has given us a clear, almost controversial book that draws on the text and teachings of an ancient mystical faith and applies them to the concerns of contemporary life. His insights into the use of meditation to overcome the fear of death are comforting, reassuring, invigorating.”