Bhagavad Gita As It Is

Bhagavad Gita As It Is

The Bhagavad-gita (“Song of God”), which forms eighteen chapters in the epic Mahabharata, presents the core of the Vedic philosophy in a relatively brief seven hundred verses. Celebrated and revered for its profound message, it is the one book turned to by philosophers, yogis, and transcendentalists of nearly all paths of Vedic spirituality. In the West it early inspired, among others, the American Transcendentalists Emerson and Thoreau and has been looked to ever since for its perennial wisdom. It is the essential Vedic text for spiritual realization.

Just on the verge of the historic Battle of Kurukshetra, the warrior Arjuna loses his nerve. Totally distraught and ready to give up on life, he turns to his friend and charioteer, Krishna, for advice, “What should I do?” The conversation that follows effectively deals with humanity’s crucial questions: what is the purpose of life? What happens when we die? Is there a reality beyond this time-bound, physical plane? What is the ultimate cause of all causes? Krishna comprehensively answers all these (and more) and then reveals His own identity as none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing on earth to usher in a new era of spiritual understanding.

Throughout the Gita Krishna teaches that the essence of all human pursuit – and the ultimate goal of all pious work, meditation, and austerity – is to develop an attitude of loving service to the Supreme Person. His ultimate instruction, “surrender to Me,” challenges Arjuna – and any reader of the Bhagavad-gita – to transcend religion and belief and to enter the realm of bhakti – devotional service – which alone can fully satisfy the self.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is is unique among Gita commentaries; the author, Srila Prabhupada, represents a line of teachers coming in disciplic succession from Krishna Himself. Prabhupada’s clarity, wit, and faithfulness to the original Sanskrit text make the teachings of the Gita easily accessible to the Western reader.

Since its publication in 1970, Bhagavad-gita As It Is has become the most widely read edition of the Gita in the world.

Episodes playlist 612 – 831

One of My Favorite Quotes

I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.

Bhagavad Gita 15.15

If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.

Bhagavad Gita 18.58

When Lord Caitanya was in Benares promulgating the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, thousands of people were following Him. Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, a very influential and learned scholar in Benares at that time, derided Lord Caitanya for being a sentimentalist. Sometimes Māyāvādī philosophers criticize the devotees because they think that most of the devotees are in the darkness of ignorance and are philosophically naive sentimentalists. Actually that is not the fact. There are very, very learned scholars who have put forward the philosophy of devotion. But even if a devotee does not take advantage of their literatures or of his spiritual master, if he is sincere in his devotional service he is helped by Kṛṣṇa Himself within his heart. So the sincere devotee engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be without knowledge. The only qualification is that one carry out devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Bhagavad Gita 10.11 Purport