Author Eknath Easwaran grew up in Gandhi's India and was deeply influenced by the way he brought spiritual values into daily life. In this reading, British-based actor Paul Bazely captures the quiet passion of Easwaran's recollections of Gandhi's impact on India - "the human alchemy he wrought". For Easwaran, Gandhi's lasting contribution was not just as an outstanding exponent of selfless service and nonviolence, but above all as a mystic who gave us a higher image of ourselves. In this essay, written as the preface to the Vintage Spiritual Classics edition of The Essential Gandhi, Easwaran describes the cultural and historical setting in which Gandhi lived, and the key elements of Gandhi's spiritual transformation. He also recounts his visit to Gandhi's ashram, where he watched the Mahatma rapt in meditation on the Indian scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, an experience which later helped to shape Easwaran's development of his method of passage meditation. (See also Eknath Easwaran's audio recordings entitled Meditation: A Complete Audio Guide to a Practical Eight Point Program, and Following the Inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi).Paul Bazely has worked in film, TV, theater, and radio for many companies including the BBC and the Royal National Theatre. His family is originally from India and he has been an avid reader of Easwaran's books for many years.More
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