The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is an intensely spiritual work that forms the cornerstone of the Hindu faith, and is also one of the masterpieces of Sanskrit poetry. It describes how, at the beginning of a mighty battle between the Pandava and Kaurava armies, the god Krishna gives spiritual enlightenment to the warrior Arjuna, who realizes that the true battle is for his own soul.Juan M...

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Title:The Bhagavad Gita
Author:Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
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Edition Language:English

The Bhagavad Gita Reviews

  • Robert

    It's our expectations that make us unhappy. As Gandhi explained, the Gita is built around the idea that we are not entitled to the fruits of our actions. It's the expectations we form from our actions that lead us astray. It's enough to act according to your yoga. Simply act, without having expectations of what our action will get us.

    We have two yogas we can practice: the yoga of action or the yoga of contemplation. Once you understand what your yoga is, then you can act accordingly within your

    It's our expectations that make us unhappy. As Gandhi explained, the Gita is built around the idea that we are not entitled to the fruits of our actions. It's the expectations we form from our actions that lead us astray. It's enough to act according to your yoga. Simply act, without having expectations of what our action will get us.

    We have two yogas we can practice: the yoga of action or the yoga of contemplation. Once you understand what your yoga is, then you can act accordingly within your nature. Our happiness should derive from the successful practice of our yoga, not from the results we think it should bring us. That stuff about a thousand noonday suns, and being Death, Shatterer of Worlds is just crazy scary to impress the great unwashed about how serious Krishna is about this shit.

    Focus on your yoga, dude.

  • Riku Sayuj

    Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,

    Some in their wealth, some in their body’s force,

    Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill,

    Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;

    And every humor hath his adjunct pleasure,

    Wherein it finds a joy above the rest.

    But these particulars are not my measure;

    All these I better in one general best.

    Thy love is better than high birth to me,

    Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost,

    Of more delight than hawks or horses be;

    And h

    Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,

    Some in their wealth, some in their body’s force,

    Some in their garments, though new-fangled ill,

    Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;

    And every humor hath his adjunct pleasure,

    Wherein it finds a joy above the rest.

    But these particulars are not my measure;

    All these I better in one general best.

    Thy love is better than high birth to me,

    Richer than wealth, prouder than garments' cost,

    Of more delight than hawks or horses be;

    And having thee, of all men’s pride I boast;

    Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take

    All this away, and me most wretched make.

    ~ Sonnet 91 - Shakespeare's Sonnets

  • Francisco

    Goodreads should have a shelf for "continually reading". I think I have about six different translations of the Bhagavad Gita but I often end up with Eknath Easwaran's for its simplicity. This is the book I re-read when I am writing a novel. It keeps everything in perspective by reminding me to offer my effort to God, to see my work as a service to others, and to not worry about what happens after that.

  • ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    Q:

    The man who sees me in everything

    and everything within me

    will not be lost to me, nor

    will I ever be lost to him.

    He who is rooted in oneness

    realizes that I am

    in every being; wherever

    he goes, he remains in me.

    When he sees all being as equal

    in suffering or in joy

    because they are like himself,

    that man has grown perfect in yoga. (c)

    Q:

    He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested. He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is th

    Q:

    The man who sees me in everything

    and everything within me

    will not be lost to me, nor

    will I ever be lost to him.

    He who is rooted in oneness

    realizes that I am

    in every being; wherever

    he goes, he remains in me.

    When he sees all being as equal

    in suffering or in joy

    because they are like himself,

    that man has grown perfect in yoga. (c)

    Q:

    He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested. He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is the goal of knowledge. He is situated in everyone's heart. (c)

    Q:

    For the senses wander, and when one lets the mind follow them, it carries wisdom away like a windblown ship on the waters. (c)

    Q:

    Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward. (c)

    Q:

    The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. There was never a time when you and I and all the kings gathered here have not existed and nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist. (c)

  • Holly

    Has a book ever literally called to you by falling off the shelf and into your hands? When the Bhagavad Gita came through the book drop while I was working at the library, I recognized the title instantly without remembering why it was familiar, at least initially. All I knew was that I was going to take it home and read it immediately. What I learned from the introduction is that Bhagavad Gita is Sanskrit for “Song of the Lord” and is India’s best known scripture. If none of that rings a bell,

    Has a book ever literally called to you by falling off the shelf and into your hands? When the Bhagavad Gita came through the book drop while I was working at the library, I recognized the title instantly without remembering why it was familiar, at least initially. All I knew was that I was going to take it home and read it immediately. What I learned from the introduction is that Bhagavad Gita is Sanskrit for “Song of the Lord” and is India’s best known scripture. If none of that rings a bell, then the name Mahatma Gandhi will. As it says in the publisher’s summary, Gandhi used it as his personal guidebook.

    I read the Penguin Classics edition translated by Juan Mascaro first and while I found his language rich and beautiful at times, I prefer this edition by Ekneth Easwaran, which is clear and straightforward. My favorite chapter is probably chapter 12 “The Way of Love” because of its parallels to Christianity. Just as Paul does in 1 Corinthians 13:8 (“Charity/Love never faileth”), the Gita places love above knowledge and miracles. The last chapter, “Freedom and Renunciaton,” is also satisfying. I identify strongly with the idea of becoming closer to God by renouncing the rewards of work and self-will. Overall, reading the Gita has inspired me to seek the truth in all religions and spiritual philosophies. Finding the principles in the Gita that are common to my own beliefs was enlightening. Any recommendations of what to read next would be appreciated. I’ll end this review with my favorite verses:

    “That devotee who looks upon friend and foe with equal regard, who is not buoyed up by praise nor cast down by blame, alike in heat and cold, pleasure and pain, free from selfish attachments, the same in honor and dishonor, quiet, ever full, in harmony everywhere, firm in faith – such a one is dear to me.” (12:18,19)

    “Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life.” (16:1)

    “Make every act an offering to me; regard me as your only protector. Relying on internal discipline, meditate on me always. Remembering me, you shall overcome all difficulties through my grace.” (18: 57, 58)

    “Be aware of me always, adore me, make every act an offering to me, and you shall come to me; this I promise; for you are dear to me.” (18:65)

  • Nandakishore Varma

    On the battlefield of GoodReads, the mighty reviewer Arjuna picked up his trusty pen, Gandeeva, and addressed his charioteer (who was none other than Lord Krishna):

    -

    And Krishna did so.

    But Arjuna, seeing all his favourite authors arrayed against him, was suddenly loath to fight.

    he said.

    On the battlefield of GoodReads, the mighty reviewer Arjuna picked up his trusty pen, Gandeeva, and addressed his charioteer (who was none other than Lord Krishna):

    -

    And Krishna did so.

    But Arjuna, seeing all his favourite authors arrayed against him, was suddenly loath to fight.

    he said.

    And he threw his pen down.

    Krishna smiled and stood up.

    -

    Hearing this, Arjuna was heartened. He picked up his pen, and started to review with renewed vigour.

  • Foad

    در روز جنگ، "اَرجونا"ى پهلوان سوار بر ارابه اى كه "كريشنا" مى راند به ميان معركه مى رسد، و درست هنگامى كه بايد سرنوشت جنگ را يكسره كند، دلش از اين همه خونريزى به درد مى آيد و مى گويد: اگر مرا بكشند بهتر از آن است كه من ايشان را بكشم.

    در اين هنگام كريشنا، كه در حقيقت ايزد "ويشنو" است كه در قالب انسانى تجلّى يافته، ارجونا را با والاترين اسرار برهمايى آشنا مى كند:

    در روز جنگ، "اَرجونا"ى پهلوان سوار بر ارابه اى كه "كريشنا" مى راند به ميان معركه مى رسد، و درست هنگامى كه بايد سرنوشت جنگ را يكسره كند، دلش از اين همه خونريزى به درد مى آيد و مى گويد: اگر مرا بكشند بهتر از آن است كه من ايشان را بكشم.

    در اين هنگام كريشنا، كه در حقيقت ايزد "ويشنو" است كه در قالب انسانى تجلّى يافته، ارجونا را با والاترين اسرار برهمايى آشنا مى كند:

    در نتیجه ارجونا نباید از کشتن بیزار باشد.

    گفتگو به موضوعات مختلف عرفانی مى کشد و با يك كشف و شهود به پايان مى رسد: ارجونا از كريشنا مى خواهد چهره ى حقيقى خود را بنمايد، و كريشنا به صورت ايزد ويشنو در مى آيد، با هيئتى عظيم، با صدهزار دست و صدهزار چشم و صدهزار دهان، همه ى شكل هاى جهان در او جمع شده. ارجونا از هيبت او به خاك مى افتد و تقاضا مى كند به همان صورت انسانى برگردد، زيرا طاقت ديدن چهره ى حقيقى او را ندارد.

    رنه گنون، در کتاب

    توضیح می دهد که فرهنگ های شرقی از جمله فرهنگ هندی، بر خلاف غربیان، اصالت را نه به عمل بلکه به درون نگری و مراقبه می دهند. زیرا عمل مربوط به جنبۀ ظاهری و گذرا و در نتیجه فناپذیر جهان است، اما مراقبه و درون نگری مربوط به جنبۀ باطنی و ناگذرا و فناناپذیر جهان است. اما با این وجود از اهمیت عمل نیز غافل نیستند. هر چند آن را تابع مراقبه می داند، همان طور که ظاهر را تابع باطن می دانند، و تنها به واسطۀ مراقبه، ضرورت عمل را اثبات می کند. گنون سپس برای نمونه به کتاب گیتا اشاره می کند، که در آن کریشنا، ارجونا را به جنگیدن (به عمل کردن در دنیا) تحریک می کند، اما دلیلش دلیلی کاملاً عرفانی است.

    آغاز اين عالم منم و انجام آن نيز من،

    جز من، اى ارجونا، چيزى نيست:

    طعم آب منم،

    روشناى ماهتاب و آفتاب منم،

    بوى خوش خاك منم،

    پرتوى سرخ فام آتش منم،

    زندگى زندگانم من،

    من، اى سرور بهارانان، ذات جاويد تمامى موجوداتم.

  • Warwick

    I read the Bhagavad Gita with the same mixture of moral unease and as it were anthropological delight that all great religious books excite in me. I find it so fascinating to gain these direct insights into how our species has, for millennia, grappled with the same questions of existential purpose and ethic responsibility; but the answers put forward by most pre-modern societies were, though beautiful, astounding and imaginative, also often cruel and inflexible and governed by values that now se

    I read the Bhagavad Gita with the same mixture of moral unease and as it were anthropological delight that all great religious books excite in me. I find it so fascinating to gain these direct insights into how our species has, for millennia, grappled with the same questions of existential purpose and ethic responsibility; but the answers put forward by most pre-modern societies were, though beautiful, astounding and imaginative, also often cruel and inflexible and governed by values that now seem completely alien. Most of all, of course, they are fundamentally authoritarian (and if the word ‘fascistic’ were not so inflammatory I might use that).

    Culturally, religious texts really benefit from their longevity. Much as I object to a lot of Biblical content, the cadences of Tyndale and the Authorized Version are a part of my linguistic DNA; Bible translations are prime among the literary masterpieces of the language I've inherited. If you speak an Indic language then the same may be true for you of the Bhagavad Gita, in which case I can only apologise for the crass analysis that is about to follow, which is based on my completely uninformed encounter with Juan Mascaró's 1962 translation.

    So the thing is: on the face of it, the story of the Bhagavad Gita is really quite unpleasant. We join the action

    (the poem is just one small part of the vast

    ), and Prince Arjuna is surveying the battlefield ahead of what promises to be a bloody clash against an enemy force made up of his own family members and beloved friends. He asks advice from the god Krishna, and over several philosophical verses the two of them have what amounts to the following conversation:

    Now, this is presented primarily as a handbook for overcoming internal tensions – a lesson on how to deal with crippling doubt and indecision. And much of it is indeed quite moving and thought-provoking; but I just found the context chilling. I was completely on Arjuna's side, I didn't

    him to be won over by Krishna's arguments, and part of me kept fantasising about a humanist rewrite where Arjuna told Krishna to get stuffed and the Kurukshetra War never happened.

    Setting the plot aside, of course, there is a huge amount of rewarding meditation here on how people should think and behave in order to achieve some measure of calm in their lives, especially when they know they have to go through with something unpleasant. A lot of this can still be read with profit now – and this focus on how to deal with things mentally seems very unusual to me. After all, every religion stresses the importance of submission to a deity, but I can't think of comparable passages from other faiths which offer so much guidance on (for want of a better term) the mental-health implications of this for believers. So it really is a very interesting text, despite how off-putting I found the initial set-up.

    There is also a lot of quite beautiful poetry here, which makes me very curious to read some other parts of the Mahabharata. I particularly loved Krishna's long riff on his own glory and omnipresence, which runs through flora, fauna, vocabulary, geography and much more besides…

    Yes, but unfortunately also – as with all religions – the badness of those who are bad.

  • Bookdragon Sean

    Religion is a contentious topic. Many people are strongly opposed to it. This is especially so with young people in the modern world. Society has slowly been drifting away from its sacred texts for many centuries. I’m, of course, generalising very heavily here. There are still parts of the world that are devoutly religious, but the prominence of this is unmistakably reducing and will continue to reduce as time goes on. People raised by religious parents often grow up to become non-believers. Soc

    Religion is a contentious topic. Many people are strongly opposed to it. This is especially so with young people in the modern world. Society has slowly been drifting away from its sacred texts for many centuries. I’m, of course, generalising very heavily here. There are still parts of the world that are devoutly religious, but the prominence of this is unmistakably reducing and will continue to reduce as time goes on. People raised by religious parents often grow up to become non-believers. Society is moving on.

    In the western world, at least as far as I have seen in England, people with faith are slightly ridiculed, again often at the expense of the young and immature. The Christian bible and its churches are seen as kooky and outdated. Jehovah Witness’ are practically hated because of their canvasing techniques. The Muslim faith with its Mosques and The Koran are seen as distinctively foreign by those that do not follow Islam. There are huge knowledge gaps about faiths such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Judaism within the general population. I don’t recall ever being taught much about them, perhaps just one lesson at school on each faith whilst the rest of the time we learnt about Christianity and a little bit about the Muslim faith. I honestly think I learnt more about different religions from watching The Simpsons as a child.

    I am an agnostic. I will never have faith (I lean towards Buddhism, though I don’t consider it a religion: it’s more a way of life, a philosophy.) I consider myself fairly educated, but my education on matters of faith is rather poor. I think it would be rather ignorant to presume that there is not some wisdom in faith even if you are an atheist. So here I am reading a book of Hindu scripture. I’ve started reading Mahatma Ghandi’s autobiography and this popped up very early on. And to my shame I’d never even heard of it. So I had to buy a copy and see what it was all about. I thought it might allow me some insight into the formation of his early character.

    He spoke of being inspired by the story when he was very young, though he later lost his faith in the story. The Gita is a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna before a great battle. Krishna gives some sage advice, advice about life, death and everything in between. There are some real pieces of wisdom in here, ideas of karma and non-attachment. But herein lies the rub, acceptance is the key; acceptance of the place of God in the life of man. Krishna says:

    (

    That’s seems slightly (how shall we put it?) odd. Essentiality, Arjunja is having a moral crisis. He does not want to kill his brothers, his friends, his teachers and his countryman. Such a thing is nasty and evil, Arjunja says. Krishna excuses such a thing on the basis that it is his will for the battle to occur. But is that a good thing?

    This is a clear debate between man and god, of man’s morals being sacrificed for the acceptance of a higher power. Arjunja, ethically speaking, made the wrong decision. But, spiritually speaking, at least, according to this text, such actions are excusable. Dare I say it, but this text felt like a tool for cultural brainwashing. Soldiers and generals who read this would care less about the horrors of war if they knew it would not affect their chances of reincarnation. They would shed blood with little to no remorse. Krishna achieves his aims.

    Such a thing is beyond terrible, and such ideas have been used by men in power for centuries to justify countless wars across many faiths. As a student of literature, I have an invested interest in all literature. But I also have a very critical mind. The most convincing parts about this book were the reasons Arjunja proposed for not going to war. I’m glad I read this religious text, and I will be reading more in the future but I will be aprroaching them like I would any other story.

    An article on the reduction of faith in England:

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