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Essence of the Upanishads

A Key to Indian Spirituality
Written by: Eknath Easwaran
Narrated by: Paul Bazely
Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

But the insights of the Katha are scattered, hard to understand. Easwaran presents them systematically, and practically, as a way to explore deeper and deeper levels of personality, and to answer the age-old question, “Who am I?”

Easwaran grew up in India, learned Sanskrit from a young age, and became a professor of English literature before coming to the West. His translation of The Upanishads is the best-selling edition in English.

For students of philosophy and of Indian spirituality, and readers of wisdom literature everywhere, Easwaran’s interpretation of this classic helps us in our own quest into the meaning of our lives.

©2009 Blue Mountain Center of Meditation (P)2017 Blue Mountain Center of Meditation

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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The ken of Kathopanishad

The subject of the purpose of life and the deeper questions related to death comes to each one of us at some point or the other. Eknath Easwaran has expounded the practical application of the Katha Upanishad in a lively manner, based on his own first hand experience, which he lived through out his life. The dialogue between the young boy Nachiketa and Yama, the god of death, has been related to everyday life and how we can progress on the path to ultimately get out of the cycle of birth and death. Paul Beasley has brought the dialogue live in a befitting manner. A pleasure to listen to it on Audible.

2 people found this helpful

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must read. lot to take away from the book.

absolutely amazing book, a great story from Katha Upanishad and the author does a really good job in explaining the Upanishad and the orator does a very good job of narrating it so well. overall a must read (oops, I meant must listen)

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it!

The narrator was great, he really grasped me into the text. The content was just what I needed to move onto the next level of development. I'm really grateful I found this book when I did. My heartfelt gratitude to Eknath and all those who helped in publishing this book.

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It's really an essence of Upanishad

Well written book. Narration is really good. Read in interval so to get time to absorb the essence of book.

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Truly essence of Upanishads

To all true seekers, here is nectar of ancient Vedic wisdom. Truly awesome. Go grab and discover your ever wandering self.

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Kathopnishad-the guide of the journey within

Shri Eknath Easwaran has comprehended the verses of Yama-Nachiketa conversation in Kathopanishad in a wonderful way. This audiobook would help the seekers and travelers of inward journey of self-realisation to identify various stages and empower them to grow relentlessly. Om Shanti!

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Very meaningful and insightful. Well narrated

Found it very insightful. The narration was good and simple to follow. Worth the time spent.

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superb

loved it. bit repetitive but drives the point home. could have given more on techniques for yog Sadhana to make it more like implementable.

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Insightful and impactful

some of the quotes are so powerful that you start to reflect upon your own behaviour .. whenever you feel directionless then come back to this book

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Excellent presentation of Katha Upanishad

Eknath Easwaran has this beautiful ability to simplify difficult concepts and present it with practical examples. This book is no exception. The presentation had a profound impact on me. Narrator did a great job. Worth investing time and energy.

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  • Eric
  • 26-03-18

Not a Summary

The content of the book, writing style, and narrators performance are all 5 stars; it’s really profound and inspiring. However, it far from summarizes the Upanishads, but more just explores the general ideas. The only thing i disliked was how often the author talked about christian religious, citing jesus and other christian/Catholic spiritual people. I understand why the author did this, but would have preferred a less comparative approach and a stricter focus on the title content. I was hoping to learn about the Upanishads within the historical context and get an understanding of the content of the text, but this book does not provide either. Still, the ideas are so well communicated and impactful this book is easily 5 stars all around and I am grateful the author created it.

32 people found this helpful

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  • simz singh
  • 02-09-17

So much wisdom.

Loved it, good narration. Will listen over and over. I have owned it for a couple of months and have listened to it twice already.

11 people found this helpful

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  • nydr
  • 18-04-18

Profound & Timeless

Listened to this audio book after Easwaran’s other books (The Bhagavad Gita & Passage Meditation). Once again Paul Bazely’s narration is lively and brings out the meaning wonderfully. Highly recommend this book for those who have begun or trying embark on a journey of meditation.

7 people found this helpful

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  • blueberryd
  • 16-02-18

WONDERFUL

Wonderful synthesis of one of the Upanishads. Bazely is THE best narrator on audible in my opinion! i’ve already recommended this audiobook to 2 people! Passage Meditation by same author and narrator is my next read.

5 people found this helpful

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  • P N Pillai
  • 12-11-17

Simple Laws of Life

to know the explanation of life it's seemingly complex web of repeating thoughts and what death teaches and help us re-establish so we may learn

3 people found this helpful

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  • SEED7ROBI
  • 06-08-17

beautiful will listen to over and over

I can listen to meditating I can listen to sleeping I can listen to walking meditation I can listen to awake beautiful. ONENESS RESPECT.🙏

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-06-18

Tansformative!!

Took me to a differnt world of realization. That which reveals - tranforms. Must read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 23-12-17

It's all connected. We are all connected

An excellent, very clear, insightful and inspiring presentation of the core teachings of a global spiritual classic. Highly recommended!

2 people found this helpful

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  • AMfrenzy
  • 27-05-19

Not many reference to Upnishada

Had very high hope after listening to Gita by same author and narrator. This book does not provide clear references to upnishada. Author focused too much on death related topics and painted by his own experience. I would not recommend this book if you are looking for a true essence of Upnishada. Specially, not interesting enough to listen for young minds.

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  • Mark Vogt
  • 05-03-18

Well "composed" AND well "perfomed"!

I liked enjoyed this duet of author & performer SO much that I purchsed this book afyer purchasing the Bagavsd Gita...

Go see my review of the Gita and you'll understand why I value this duet SO much...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-07-17

Loved this book

This book is a great insight into Hindu culture. The first chapter had me hooked, I also enjoyed the voice of the narrator. The style that the book is written in makes it very easy to understand. I recommend this book and will listen to it again I am sure.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dezza
  • 21-08-17

Commentry on the Upanishads rather than the story

Any additional comments?

I got this book wanting to listen to the Upanishads - It starts off with the story and gives interpretation which is useful, however the interpretation then seemed to take up the majority of sections rather than focusing on the story. This is where it was probably my mistake with the title 'Essence of...' as the book takes the essence of the teachings and explains them. I only listened to 6 chapters so cannot comment on the book as a whole but as I wanted to hear the original teachings I will seek another source and this book was not for me.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Tarun
  • 16-04-18

Only general commentary by the author

What disappointed you about Essence of the Upanishads?

i have read some interpretations and I also studied 12 years in a Vedic school. Howevever, this particular way of commentary on Upanishads felt derogatory to me. I did not get any knowledge of Upanishads from this book. But, I got to know a lot about the frustration of the author with the world that we live in.

This is definitely not a book to be read by someone who respects Upanishads and want to learn more about the oldest philosophy on this planet.

this can be taken as a good self-help book based on just the Author`s state of mind.

Regards,

Would you ever listen to anything by Eknath Easwaran again?

na

How did the narrator detract from the book?

don`t know

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Essence of the Upanishads?

all the commentary which is 99% of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Miss Kelly J Oram
  • 22-03-18

I love this book. I have listened 3 times now!

An excellent listen on every level. I have listened 3 t8mea now and each listen was like the first. I know it is one I will come back to time and again. So much wisdom so beautifully shared .

2 people found this helpful

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  • Riya
  • 26-12-18

Essential view of enlightenment

Through the impenetrable verses of Kata upanishad Eknath Easwaran lays out the map to self realisation. Anecdotal, entertaining, challenging, inspiring narration of a journey every human being should know about and take upon. It sums up everything Eknath Easwaran as the guru of modern times would want to tell us. Last two chapters stores the literal translation of the original work whose compactness fails most humans unpack it there much needed commentary in the previous 26 chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rosie Edmonds
  • 16-08-18

wonderfully portrayed

very easy to follow version of the upanishads, I am going to listen all over again

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  • Mirrodin
  • 30-07-18

Powerful. Critical. Judgemental. Deep. Shallow.

The headline sums it up. You can't really go wrong with the Unpanishads but you can with someone else's reading of them.

The author, which one I'm not sure, makes powerful and deep revelations and simultaneously misses deeper perceptions.

Still an enjoyable listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-18

There is no higher truth

This is the best experience of the higher truth of the world within. A perfect harmony of both the author and the reader.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-03-18

Excellent messages from the Upanishads

This is really a dissertation on the teachings of the Upanishads. It doesn't reproduce the Upanishads to any degree but passes on the messages beautifully.

1 person found this helpful

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  • raz
  • 13-02-18

Beautiful book

Very deep beautiful book beautifully narrated full of spiritual insights very easy to understand but hard to apply

1 person found this helpful

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  • Trevor
  • 12-01-20

A disappointing purchase

The story was full of obvious observationss, little stories and not representative of the Upanishads

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-12-19

Brilliant from beginning to end.

So useful and so entertaining. A must have in you evolution.
I’ve listened three times in succession and going in for the fourth.