The late Eknath Easwaran was the founder of the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Berkeley, California, and the author of over 20 books including Your Life Is Your Message and Take Your Time. In this poetic and passionate devotional work, he presents his commentary on passages from the Bhagavad Gita on the Way of Love. One of the pioneers of interfaith understanding and respect, Easwaran uses quotations from some of the world's great mystics individuals he calls "luminous figures" such as Teresa of Avila, Buddha, Gandhi, St. Francis of Assisi, and the Ba'al Shem Tov.
Love is at the core of our identity: "In every human being there is a deep need for love not only to be loved, but to give love as well. This need is written in our hearts. It is part of what we are as human beings, an inner necessity every bit as real as our need for food and drink. When we are deprived of it, we begin to die inside." Only trouble is that our grasping, self-centered conditioning often stifles this divine urge inside us. The ego demands that we put ourselves first, whereas love urges us to step aside and put others first. Easwaran presents concrete advice on ways to deepen and strengthen this capacity to love, especially in our day-to-day relationships. And he discusses ways to deal with our samskaras ("a rigid, automatic response to life") that put up roadblocks to opening our hearts to others.
In one of the most poignant comments on our culture, Easwaran observes: "Today everything is supposed to be exciting: vacations, restaurants, music, cars, even breakfast cereals. An attitude of seeking excitement is in the air today, and to me it bodes ill for our civilization if we do not learn how to change. Where people are looking for excitement everywhere, epidemic depression has to follow." Training the mind to live in the present moment and to be grateful for small pleasures is part of "The Way of Love." Here is a kind of living that eschews both excitement and depression choosing instead to revel in the Divine Presence here and now.