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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 listeners say about Essence of the Upanishads

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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.

43 people found this helpful

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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.

13 people found this helpful

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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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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.

6 people found this helpful

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Tansformative!!

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

3 people found this helpful

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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

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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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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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One of the greatest scriptures ever given to man

Elucidated with broad knowledge. He brings the scripture alive for modern man with humor and eloquent use of language...a true devotee, a jnani. The voice of narration is excellent. Avail yourself!

5 people found this helpful

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Life Changing

Wisdom of Upanishads cannot be doubted. Eashwaran's translation is simple to understand. The narrator has done a great job. Absolute Bliss !!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-27-17

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
  • 08-21-17

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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Tarun
  • 04-16-18

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
  • 03-22-18

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
  • 12-26-18

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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  • Willie
  • 08-26-21

Decent translation with lengthy paraphrase

Translation at the end was good, the commentary strayed off the topic at times and was more like a very loose paraphrase.

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  • Linda Thorpe
  • 07-25-21

Upanishads

Deep, beautiful and mind opening narrative translated with full understanding and read with great clarity .

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  • craig walsh
  • 06-05-21

Fascinating ideas well read. Life changing?

The Upanishads is well summarised by the author and much can be learnt about the elements that make up the human psyche and its desirous nature.

The narrator is excellent and communicates very well with great pitch and inflection that delivers the author’s sense of humour too. I believe the book will change your perceptions and add to your evolution as a human being if it’s contents are put into practice.

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  • Andy B
  • 01-30-21

Genuinely Inspirational

Whatever your level of interest in Indian religion or meditation there is something in this wonderfully constructed book that will inspire you to live a better life.
Paul Bazely’s narration of Eknath Easwaran’s texts surely provide the perfect illumination of the spiritual path for all seekers. This one is a must listen. They all are.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • prince srivastava
  • 10-16-20

calming

This audiobook narrates one of the famous mythological stories in india mentioned in upanishads and so wonderfully relates with our day to day life's struggle and advices us how to deal with them.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-13-18

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • raz
  • 02-13-18

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
  • 01-12-20

A disappointing purchase

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-06-19

Brilliant from beginning to end.

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