My Guru and His Disciple is a sweetly modest and honest portrait of Isherwood’s spiritual instructor, Swami Prabhavananda, the Hindu priest who guided Isherwood for some thirty years.
It is also a book about the often amusing and sometimes painful counterpoint between worldliness and holiness in Isherwood’s own life. Sexual sprees, all-night drinking bouts, a fast car ride with Greta Garbo, scriptwriting conferences at MGM, intellectual sparring sessions with Berthold Brecht alternated with nights of fasting at the Vedanta Center, a six-month period of celibacy and sobriety, and the pious drudgery of translating (in collaboration with the Swami) the Bhagavad-Gita.
Seldom has a single man been owed with such strong drives toward both sensuality and spirituality, abandon and discipline; out of the passionate dialectic between these drives, My Guru and His Disciple has been written.
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