Essence of the Dhammapada: The Buddha's Call to Nirvana

Essence of the Dhammapada: The Buddha's Call to Nirvana

Paperback Wisdom of India

By (author) Eknath Easwaran

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  • Publisher: Nilgiri Press
  • Format: Paperback | 302 pages
  • Dimensions: 119mm x 206mm x 18mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 1 October 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Tomales
  • ISBN 10: 1586380974
  • ISBN 13: 9781586380977
  • Sales rank: 576,118

Product description

Eknath Easwaran, translator of the best-selling edition of the Dhammapada, sees this powerful scripture as a perfect map for the spiritual journey. Said to be the text closest to the Buddha's actual words, it is a collection of short teachings memorized during his lifetime by his disciples. Easwaran presents the Dhammapada as a guide to spiritual perseverance, progress, and ultimately enlightenment -- a heroic confrontation with life as it really is, with straight answers to our deepest questions. We witness the heartbreak of death, for instance -- what does that mean for us? What is love? How does karma work? How do we follow the spiritual life in the midst of work and family? Does nirvana really exist, and if so, what is it like to be illumined? In his interpretation of Buddhist themes, illustrated with stories from the Buddha's life, Easwaran offers a view of the concept of Right Understanding that is both exhilarating and instructive. He shares his experiences on the spiritual path, giving the advice that only an experienced teacher and practitioner can offer, and urges us to answer for ourselves the Buddha's call to nirvana -- that mysterious, enduring state of wisdom, joy, and peace.

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Author information

Eknath Easwaran (1910--1999) grew up in India and studied both Sanskrit and Pali, the simplified version of Sanskrit that was spoken by the Buddha. He was chairman of the English department at a major Indian university when he came to the United States on a Fulbright fellowship in 1959. In 1961 Easwaran founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in California, and in 1967, at the University of California, Berkeley, he taught the first academic course on meditation ever offered for credit at a major American university. From the mid 1970s onwards, Easwaran held classes on the core Buddhist scripture, the Dhammapada, in addition to his talks on meditation, world mysticism, and spiritual living. A gifted teacher, he was able to anticipate the problems that Western readers may have with the concepts underlying the classics of Indian spirituality, and to explain them in fresh and profoundly simple ways. Easwaran's translations of the Indian classics, the Dhammapada, The Bhagavad Gita, and The Upanishads, are all best-selling editions in English. His books have been translated into 25 languages, and more than 1.5 million copies are in print.

Review quote

"Our favorite translation is Eknath Easwaran's The Dhammapada. His Indian heritage, literary gifts, and spiritual sensibilities here produce a sublime rendering of the words of the Buddha. Verse after verse shimmers with quiet, confident authority." -- Huston Smith & Philip Novak, [Reviewing Easwaran's translation, The Dhammapada, in Buddhism]

Back cover copy

"Our favorite translation is Eknath Easwaran's "The Dhammapada." His Indian heritage, literary gifts, and spiritual sensibilities here produce a sublime rendering of the words of the Buddha. Verse after verse shimmers with quiet, confident authority." - Huston Smith & Philip Novak, [Reviewing Easwaran's translation, "The Dhammapada, " in "Buddhism"] Eknath Easwaran, translator of the best-selling edition of the Dhammapada, presents this scripture as a guide to the spiritual journey for seekers of all traditions - a heroic confrontation with life as it really is, with straight answers to our deepest questions. Does nirvana really exist? Can we get there in the midst of family and work? An experienced teacher and practitioner of meditation, Easwaran offers his interpretation of the teachings of the Buddha and urges us to answer for ourselves the Buddha's call to nirvana - that mysterious, enduring state of wisdom, joy, and peace.

Flap copy

Front Flap: The Dhammapada is practical, free from speculation and theory. It's suitable for people living in the world, with a family, a career, and all the problems of daily life. Most of the Buddhist scriptures are addressed to monks and nuns, but the Dhammapada is addressed to all, and if we look at the Buddha's life, we see that those attracted to him were often ordinary men and women like you and me. In later centuries the body of Buddhist scripture grew to be more voluminous than the Bible, but I would say that we need nothing more than the Dhammapada to answer the Buddha's call to nirvana. It is the perfect map for the spiritual journey. - Eknath Easwaran Back Flap: Eknath Easwaran (1910 - 1999) grew up in India and brings to this volume a knowledge of Sanskrit and Pali. He became a professor of English literature before settling in the West, where he taught the Indian spiritual classics and meditation for over forty years. A gifted writer who lived what he taught, he explained the concepts underlying Indian spirituality to Western readers in fresh and profoundly simple ways. His translations of the Indian classics, "The Dhammapada, The Bhagavad Gita, " and "The Upanishads, " are all best-selling editions in English. His books have been translated into twenty-five languages, and more than 1.5 million copies are in print.