The Upanishads are among the oldest of the Indian wisdom texts, the records of teaching sessions of illumined sages and their students, who were asking the fundamental questions of life. Easwaran's translation of these classic texts has been highly acclaimed, and in these informal talks to close students he draws out the main themes of eleven Upanishads - themes such as strengthening willpower, mastering our senses, reducing self-will, developing lasting, loving relationships, exploring the deeper levels of consciousness, and overcoming the fear of death. He illustrates his typically penetrating insights with analogies, entertaining anecdotes, references to mystics and spiritual teachers from East and West.
Easwaran explains that the Indian scriptures express one supreme, eternal law: if we live for others, in complete harmony with all life, in our homes, at work, and in our communities, we will find abiding happiness and fulfilment. To erase all selfishness from our hearts requires more courage and endurance, Easwaran says, than climbing the Himalayas - and he conveys vividly the joy and exhilaration of the spiritual life.
Meditation and the repetition of the mantram (or mantra) are essential for those who choose to take on these challenges, and Easwaran refers to these disciplines frequently. Anyone who is new to these spiritual practices might find it helpful to listen first to Easwaran's talk Meditation.