- Eknath Easwaran
- (1910–1999)scholar and founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, Petaluma, California (Blue Mountain Center of Meditation)!!! dhi’s insistence on transforming oneself before trying to transform others.Easwaran earned graduate degrees in law and English from Nagpur University. In 1946 he began teaching at Amravati in Maharashtra. With articles appearing in the Times of India and the Illustrated Weekly of India, his reputation spread. He was soon promoted to full professor at Nagpur Univer-sity and won acclaim as a writer and lecturer.In February 1948, when his grandmother died, Easwaran recalled, “All my success had turned to ashes.” Meditating on passages from Bhagavad Gita gave him peace. He developed a regular med-itation practice and created a method to share his experience. He developed an Eight Point Program of meditation for solving physical and emotional problems, releasing deeper resources, and pursu-ing life’s highest goal, SELF-REALIZATION.Easwaran immigrated to America in 1959 through the Fulbright exchange program. Attend-ing the University of California at Berkeley, he lec-tured on India’s spiritual heritage and soon attracted a dedicated group of people who studied his teach-ings. Among them was his future wife, Christine, who helped him establish the Blue Mountain Cen-ter of Meditation, now in Petaluma, California.In January 1968, at Berkeley, he inaugurated a course on meditation, believed to be the first of its kind offered at any major university in the United States. In 1970 the Blue Mountain Center of Medi-tation moved to Marin County and Easwaran trans-ferred his teachings there. Nilgiri Press, a small publisher operating out of Oakland, began printing many publications including the Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living (1975), Laurel’s Kitchen (1976), and his best-selling Meditation (1978), which sold over 200,000 copies. Easwaran’s writings include 26 books about meditation and the classics of world mysticism, which have been translated into 26 lan-guages, with over 1 million copies in print.Until the end of his life, despite chronic ail-ments, Easwaran continued to hold regular retreats and deliver talks, drawing students from around the world. He taught nonviolence, concern for endangered species, and meditation. He died on October 26, 1999.The Blue Mountain Center of Meditation preserves Easwaran’s teachings through the lead-ership of Christine Easwaran. A nonprofit and nonsectarian organization, the center has a mis-sion to share Easwaran’s teachings through a quarterly journal, The Blue Mountain, Nigiri Press books, and video and audio products.Further reading: Eknath Easwaran, The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living (Petaluma, Calif.: Nilgiri Press, 1979); ———, Dialogue with Death: The Spiritual Psychology of the Katha Upanishad (Petaluma, Calif.: Nilgiri Press, 1981); ———, Gandhi, the Man (Petaluma, Calif.: Nilgiri Press, 1978); ———, The Mantram Handbook: Formulas for Transformation (Berkeley, Calif.: Nilgiri Press, 1977); ———, Meditation: Commonsense Direc-tions for an Uncommon Life (Petaluma, Calif.: Nilgiri Press, 1978).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.