The Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit in Devanagari script: भगवद्गीता, in transliteration: Bhagavad Gītā) is a 700-verse, 18-chapter religious text within the Mahabharata, located in the Bhisma Parva chapters 25–42. A core text of Hinduism and Indian philosophy, often referred to simply as "the Gita", it is a summation of many aspects of the Vedic, Yogic, Vedantic and Tantric philosophies. The Bhagavad Gita, meaning "Song of the Lord", refers to itself as an 'Upanishad' and is sometimes called Gītopanişad. During the message of the Gita, Krishna proclaims that he is an Avatar, or a Bhagavat, an appearance of the all-embracing God. To help Arjuna believe this, he reveals to him his divine form which is described as timeless and leaves Arjuna shaking with awe and fear.
Chapter 1 (Arjuna–Visada yoga)Edit
- On the field of justice, the Kuru-field, my men and the sons of Pāndu too [stand] massed together ready for the fight. What, Sanjaya, did they do?
- Now seeing the armies
of the Pandavas arrayed
in battle formation,
approaching his teacher,
spoke these words:
Behold these mighty warriors
of the sons of Pandu,
O Revered Teacher,
by the son of Drupada,
your own skillful student.
- [Duryodhana said:]
guarded by Bhishma
although this force,
of theirs –
guarded by Bhima,
- Hrishikesha blew the conch shell named Panchajanya and Dhananjaya blew the conch shell named Devadatta. Vrikodara, whose deeds give rise to fear, blew the giant conch shell named Poundra.
- all those
for whom i'd want
to live it up
are here to die
- And even if, because their minds are overwhelmed by greed, they cannot see the evil incurred by destroying one's own family, and the degradation involved in the betrayal of a friend,
How can we be so ignorant as not to recoil from this wrong? The evil incurred by destroying one's own family is plain to see, Janardana.
- Arjuna; Chapter 1, verses 38–39; W. J. Johnson translation
- What is this crime
I am planning, O Krishna?
Murder most hateful,
Murder of brothers!
Am I indeed
So greedy for greatness?
- If me unresisting,
Weaponless, with weapons in their hands
Dhritarāshtra's men should slay in battle,
That would be a safer course for me.
- Thus speaking Arjuna in the battle
Sat down in the box of the car,
Letting fall his bow and arrows,
His heart smitten with grief.
- Sanjaya; Chapter 1, verse 47 (the last verse in the chapter); Franklin Edgerton translation
Chapter 2 (Sankhya yoga)Edit
- My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy. O son of Prtha, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy.
- My Lord! How can I, when the battle rages, send an arrow through Bheeshma and Drona, who should receive my reverence?
- You grieve for those who should not be grieved for;
yet you speak wise words.
Neither for the dead nor those not dead do the wise grieve.
Never was there a time when I did not exist
nor you nor these lords of men.
Neither will there be a time when we shall not exist;
we all exist from now on.
As the soul experiences in this body
childhood, youth, and old age,
so also it acquires another body;
the sage in this is not deluded.
- Krishna; Chapter 2, verses 11–13; Sanderson Beck translation
- The senses, moving toward their appropriate objects, are producers of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, which come and go and are brief and changeable; these do thou endure, O son of Bharata!
- As you put on fresh new clothes and take off those you've worn,
You'll replace your body with a fresh one, newly born.
- Krishna; Chapter 2, verse 22; Carl E. Woodham translation
- Swords cut him not, nor may fire burn him, O son of Bharata, waters wet him not, nor dry winds parch.
He may not be cut nor burned nor wet nor withered; he is eternal, all-present, firm, unshaken, everlasting.
He is called unmanifest, unimaginable, unchanging; therefore, knowing him thus, deign not to grieve!
- Krishna; Chapter 2, verses 23–25; Charles Johnston translation
- One sees This as a wonder; another speaks of This as a wonder; another hears of This as a wonder; yet, having heard none understands This at all!
- Either slain thou shalt go to heaven; or victorious thou shalt enjoy the earth. Therefore arise, O Son of Kuntī (Arjuna), resolved on battle.
- You are only entitled to the action, never to its fruits. Do not let the fruits of action be your motive, but do not attach yourself to nonaction.
- Krishna; Chapter 2, verse 47; Lars Martin Fosse translation
- When your intellect transcends the mire of delusion, then you will attain to disgust of what has been heard and what is yet to be heard.
When, perplexed by what you have heard, you stand immovable in samadhi, with steady intellect, then you will attain yoga.
- Krishna; Chapter 2, verses 52–53; Jeaneane D. Fowler translation
- When one's mind dwells on the objects of Senses, fondness for them grows on him, from fondness comes desire, from desire anger.
Anger leads to bewilderment, bewilderment to loss of memory of true Self, and by that intelligence is destroyed, and with the destruction of intelligence he perishes
- Krishna; Chapter 2, verses 62–63
- To him [the Sage], what seemeth the bright things of day to the mass, are known to be the things of darkness and ignorance—and what seemeth dark as night to the many, he seeth suffused with the light of noonday.
Chapter 3 (Karma yoga)Edit
- If thou deemest that (the path of) understanding is more excellent than (the path of) action, O Janardana (Krishna), why then dost thou urge me to do this savage deed, O Kesava (Krishna)?
- Arjuna; Chapter 3, verse 1; Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan translation
- Not by not acting in this world
does one become free from action,
nor does one approach perfection
by renunciation only.
Not even for a moment does
someone exist without acting.
Even against one’s will, one acts
by the nature-born qualities.
- From food come forth beings; from rain food is produced; from sacrifice arises rain, and sacrifice is born of action.
Know you that action comes from BRAHMAJI (the Creator) and BRAHMAJI come from the Imperishable. Therefore, the all-pervading BRAHMAN (God-principle) ever rests in sacrifice.
- Krishna; Chapter 3, verses 14–15; Swami Chinmayananda commentary
- not for me, partha, is there any duty in the three
nor anything to attain that is unattained; and i am
always at work.
- All actions are performed by the gunas of prakriti.
Deluded by identification with the ego, a person
thinks, "I am the doer."
- One's own duty, even if imperfectly performed, is better than being done by other even if well performed. Death in (performance of) one's own duty is preferable. (The adoption of) the duty of another carries fear (with it).
Chapter 4 (Gyaana–Karma-Sanyasa yoga)Edit
- I explained this eternal science of yoga to Vivasvān. Vivasvān shared it with Manu, then Manu imparted it to Ikṣvāku.
This science was taught and handed down in succession, but in time it was broken and the science of yoga seems to be lost.
- Whensoever there is the fading of the Dharma and the uprising of unrighteousness, then I loose myself forth into birth.
For the deliverance of the good, for the destruction of the evil-doers, for the enthroning of the Right, I am born from age to age.
- However men try to reach me,
I return their love with my love;
whatever path they may travel,
it leads to me in the end.
- The four divisions of human order were created by me according to differences in quality, activities, and aptitude; although the creator of this, know me as the non-doer being immutable.
- Krishna; Chapter 4, verse 13; Bhagavad-Gita Trust translation (1998)
- Variant translations:
- Depending upon the distribution of the three attributes or guṇas and actions, I have created the four castes. Yet, I am to be known as the non-doer, the unchangeable.
- Works do not stain me, nor in me is there longing for fruit of works; who recognizes this to be my state, he is not bound by works.
- Krishna; Chapter 4, verse 14; W. Douglas P. Hill translation
- For verily (the true nature) of 'right action' should be known; also (that) of 'forbidden (or unlawful) action' and of 'inaction'; imponderable is the nature (path) of action.
He who recognises inaction in action and action in inaction is wise among men; he is a YOGI and a true performer of all actions.
- Krishna; Chapter 4, verses 17–18; Swami Chinmayananda commentary
- Kill therefore with the sword of wisdom the doubt born of ignorance that lies in thy heart. Be one in self-harmony, in Yoga, and arise, great warrior, arise.
Chapter 5 (Karma–Sanyasa yoga)Edit
- You commend, O Krishna, the renunciation of action and you also praise yoga. Tell me definitely which is the better of the two.
- Arjuna; Chapter 5, verse 1; B. Srinivasa Murthy translation
- Both renunciation and the yoga of action lead to the supreme good. But of these two, performance of action is superior to the renunciation of action.
- Krishna; Chapter 5, verse 2; B. Srinivasa Murthy translation
- He is unaffected by Karma, although engaged in action, who has yoked himself to the way of Yoga, whose mind is purified, whose self has triumphed and whose senses have been subdued, and whose self has, indeed, become the self of all beings. Although acting he remains unaffected by Karma.
- As enjoyments, born of contacts (with external objects), have a beginning and an end, they become the cause of unhappiness. The wise man, O Kaunteya! does not find happiness in them.
Chapter 6 (Dhyan yoga or Atmasanyam yoga)Edit
- To the sage who wishes to rise to devotion, action is said to be a means, and to him, when he has risen to devotion, tranquillity is said to be a means.
- Use the atman to raise the atman. Do not lower the atman. The atman is the atman’s friend and the atman is the atman’s enemy.
The atman, which has been used to conquer the atman, is the atman’s friend. For someone who has failed to control the atman, the atman harms like an enemy.
- Krishna; Chapter 6, verses 5–6; Bibek Debroy translation
- Who sees Me everywhere, and sees all in Me, him I lose not, nor will he lose Me.
- Krishna; Chapter 6, verse 30; Charles Johnston translation
- O Madhusūdana, the mind is an unsteady thing. Hence it is unrealistic to expect evenness out of it as your system of yoga demands.
O, Keśava, it is easier to control the wind than to try and control the fickle, unsettling, dominant, and stubborn mind.
- Arjuna; Chapter 6, verses 33–34; The Times of India translation
- o strong armed arjuna
no doubt the mind's moves are hard to stay
you get a grip by practice &
- Krishna; Chapter 6, verse 35; Mani Rao translation
- The yogin is greater than the ascetic; he is considered to be greater than the man of knowledge, greater than the man of ritual works, therefore do thou become a yogin, O Arjuna.
- Krishna; Chapter 6, verse 46; Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan translation
Chapter 7 (Gyaana–ViGyaana yoga)Edit
- Among thousands of men hardly one strives after perfections; among those who strive hardly one knows Me in truth.
- This divine illusion of Mine, caused by the qualities, is hard to pierce; they who come to Me, they cross over this illusion.
- Men without wisdom consider Me, the Unmanifest, as assuming embodiment (like a mortal being taking a form)—not understanding My unsurpassable state, My unchangeable unutterable nature.
- I am not plain to all, being cloaked by my yogamaya;
this foolish world does not know me: un-born, immortal.
- Krishna; Chapter 7, verse 25; Ramesh Menon translation
- I know all past and all present and future existences, O Arjuna, but Me none yet knows.
Chapter 8 (Aksara–Brahma yoga)Edit
- Yogis not yet free from the world revolve back again (to the world) even from the high sphere of Brahma (union with God in samadhi). But on entering into Me (the transcendental Spirit) there is no rebirth, O son of Kunti (Arjuna)!
- Krishna; Chapter 8, verse 16; Paramahansa Yogananda translation
Chapter 9 (Raja–Vidya–Raja–Guhya yoga)Edit
- As an eon ends, all creatures
fold into my nature, Arjuna;
and I create them again
as a new eon begins.
Gathering in my own nature,
again and again I freely create
this whole throng of creatures,
helpless in the force of my nature.
- But those acts do not affect Me, Arjuna –
I am neutral, unattached.
- For Nature while I supervise
gives birth to moving and unmoving,
and as this motive-force applies
the cosmos is revolving.
- Fools scorn me when I dwell in human form: my higher being they know not as Great Lord of beings.
- Krishna; Chapter 9, verse 11; W. Douglas P. Hill translation
- I take upon Myself the concern for the welfare of those who worship Me with undistracted mind, and have thereby yoked themselves permanently to Divine Spirit.
- Krishna; Chapter 9, verse 22; C. Rajagopalachari translation
- For even if the greatest sinner worships me with all his soul, he must be considered righteous, because of his righteous will.
And he shall soon become pure and reach everlasting peace. For this is my word of promise, that he who loves me shall not perish.
- Krishna; Chapter 9, verses 30–31; Juan Mascaró translation
Chapter 10 (Vibhuti–Vistara–yoga)Edit
- Worlds of flesh and spirit both originate with Me.
Sages understand this well and serve me earnestly.
My devotees think of Me and serve Me all the time.
Speaking of Me makes their lives delightful and sublime.
- Krishna; Chapter 10, verses 8–9; Carl E. Woodham translation
- Of the Vrishnis, I am Vasudeva; of the sons of Pandu, Arjuna; of the sages, moreover, I am Vyasa; of poets, the poet Ushana.
Chapter 11 (Visvarupa–Darsana yoga)Edit
- Arjuna said: My illusion is dispelled by Your profound words, that You spoke out of compassion towards me, about the supreme secret of the Self. (11.01)
- O Krishna, I have heard from You in detail about the origin and dissolution of beings, and Your imperishable glory. (11.02)
- O Lord, You are as You have said, yet I wish to see Your divine cosmic form, O Supreme Being. (11.03)
- O Lord, if You think it is possible for me to see this, then O Lord of the yogis, show me Your imperishable Self. (11.04)
- The Supreme Lord said: O Arjuna, behold My hundreds and thousands of multifarious divine forms of different colors and shapes. (11.05)
- See the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Ashvins, and the Maruts. Behold, O Arjuna, many wonders never seen before. (11.06)
- O Arjuna, now behold the entire creation; animate, inanimate, and whatever else you like to see; all at one place in My body. (11.07)
- But, you are not able to see Me with your physical eye; therefore, I give you the divine eye to see My majestic power and glory. (11.08)
- Sanjaya said: O King, having said this; Lord Krishna, the great Lord of (the mystic power of) yoga, revealed His supreme majestic form to Arjuna. (11.09)
- (Arjuna saw the Universal Form of the Lord) with many mouths and eyes, and many visions of marvel, with numerous divine ornaments, and holding divine weapons. (11.10)
- Wearing divine garlands and apparel, anointed with celestial perfumes and ointments, full of all wonders, the limitless God with faces on all sides. (11.11)
- If the splendor of thousands of suns were to blaze forth all at once in the sky, even that would not resemble the splendor of that exalted being. (11.12)
- Arjuna saw the entire universe, divided in many ways, but standing as (all in) One (and One in all) in the body of Krishna, the God of gods. (11.13)
- Then Arjuna, filled with wonder and his hairs standing on end, bowed his head to the Lord and prayed with folded hands. (11.14)
- Tell me who are You in such a fierce form? My salutations to You, O best of gods, be merciful! I wish to understand You, the primal Being, because I do not know Your mission. (11.31)
- The Supreme Lord said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world, out to destroy. Even without your participation all the warriors standing arrayed in the opposing armies shall cease to exist. (11.32)
- Thou seest Me as Time who kills, Time who brings all to doom,
The Slayer Time, Ancient of Days, come hither to consume;
Excepting thee, of all these hosts of hostile chiefs arrayed,
There shines not one shall leave alive the battlefield! Dismayed
No longer be! Arise! obtain renown! destroy thy foes!
Fight for the kingdom waiting thee when thou hast vanquished those.
By Me they fall—not thee! the stroke of death is dealt them now,
Even as they stand thus gallantly; My instrument art thou!
Strike, strong-armed Prince! at Drona! at Bhishma strike! deal death
To Karna, Jyadratha; stay all this warlike breath!
’Tis I who bid them perish! Thou wilt but slay the slain.
Fight! they must fall, and thou must live, victor upon this plain!
- Saying thus to Arjuna, Krishna revealed again his own familiar form. Having thus assumed that gentle form, the Exalted One comforted the awe-struck Arjuna over again.
- This My form, which you have seen, is very difficult to see. Even the gods always desire to see this form.
It is not possible for any one to see Me, as you have seen Me, whether by Vedas, or by austerity, or by charity, or by Yajnās.
O Arjuna! only by exclusive devotion, is it possible to thus acquire knowledge of Me, and O Parantapa! to enter Me essentially.
- Krishna; Chapter 11, verses 52–54; Bal Gangadhar Tilak translation
Chapter 12 (Bhakti yoga)Edit
- Which is considered to be more perfect, those who are properly engaged in Your devotional service, or those who worship the impersonal Brahman, the unmanifested?
- Arjuna; Chapter 12, verse 1; A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada translation
- He whose mind is fixed on My personal form, always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith, is considered by Me to be most perfect.
- Krishna; Chapter 12, verse 2; A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada translation
Chapter 13 (Ksetra–Ksetrajna Vibhaga yoga)Edit
- This body, O Kaunteya, is called the Field; he who knows it
is called knower of the Field by those who know.
And understand Me to be, O Bharata, the knower of the
Field in all the Fields; and the knowledge of the Field and the
knower of the Field, I hold, is true knowledge.
- Krishna; Chapter 13, verses 1–2; Mahatma Gandhi translation
- O Arjuna! The Supreme Self, having no beginning, (no ending,) and no attributes, even though it dwells in a body (as a realized master), neither acts nor is touched by any action.
Chapter 14 (Gunatraya–Vibhaga yoga)Edit
- Those who live in Sattva go upwards; those
in rajas remain where they are. But those
immersed in tamas sink downwards.
The wise see clearly that all action is the work
of the gunas. Knowing that which is above
the gunas, they enter into union with me.
- Krishna; Chapter 14, verses 18–19; Eknath Easwaran translation
Chapter 15 (Purusottama yoga)Edit
- There is a fig tree
In ancient story,
The giant Aswattha,
Rooted in heaven,
Its branches earthward:
Each of its leaves
Is a song of the Vedas,
And he who knows it
Knows all the Vedas.
- Krishna; Chapter 15, verse 1; Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood translation
- It is I who remain seated in the heart of all creatures as the inner controller of all; and it is I who am the source of memory, knowledge and the ratiocinative faculty. Again, I am the only object worth knowing through the Vedas; I alone am the origin of Vedānta and the knower of the Vedas too.
- There are two Beings (Purushas) in the cosmos, the destructible and the indestructible. The creatures are the destructible, the Kutastha is the indestructible.
But there exists Another, the Highest Being, designated the "Supreme Spirit"—the Eternal Lord who, permeating the three worlds, upholds them.
- Krishna; Chapter 15, verses 16–17; Paramahansa Yogananda translation
- Since I am wholly beyond the perishable world of matter or Ksetra, and am superior even to the imperishable soul, Jivatma, hence I am known as the Purushottama, the Supreme Self, in the world as well as in the Vedas.
- Krishna; Chapter 15, verse 18; Gita Press translation
Chapter 16 (Daivasura–Sampad–Vibhaga yoga)Edit
- These cruel and wretched haters, the vilest of men, I continually cast into demoniac wombs in mortal worlds.
Fallen into demoniac wombs, deluded birth after birth, O son of Kunti, they, instead of attaining to Me, tread the lowest path.
- Krishna; Chapter 16, verses 19–20; Jogindranath Mukharji translation, first published in 1900 under the title Young Men's Gita.
- Hell has three gates – lust, anger, and greed;
for your own sake, Arjuna, give up these three.
- Krishna; Chapter 16, verse 21; Purushottama Lal translation
Chapter 17 (Sraddhatraya-Vibhaga yoga)Edit
- Pure men worship the Shining Ones; the passionate the gnomes and giants; the others, the dark folk, worship ghosts and troops of nature-spirits.
- Krishna; Chapter 17, verse 4; Annie Besant translation
Chapter 18 (Moksha–Sanyasa yoga)Edit
- what's the nature
of asceticism, i want to know
- Arjuna; Chapter 18, verse 1; Mani Rao translation
- asceticism is giving up
as poets know
& the wise declare
renunciation is giving up
fruits of action
- Krishna; Chapter 18, verse 2; Mani Rao translation
- Acts of sacrifice, charity and austerity should not be abandoned, but should be performed; worship, charity, and also austerity, are the purifiers of even the 'wise'.
But even these actions should be performed leaving aside attachment and the fruits, O Partha; this is my certain and best belief.
- Krishna; Chapter 18, verses 5–6; Swami Chinmayananda commentary
- Better is one's own duty though performed faultily than another's duty well-performed. Performing the duty prescribed by (one's own) nature, one incurreth no sin. One must not abandon, O son of Kunti, one's natural duty though tainted with evil, for all actions are enveloped by evil like fire by smoke.
- Krishna; Chapter 18, verses 47–48; Kisari Mohan Ganguli translation
- If, having recourse to self-conceit, thou thinkest--I will not fight,--that resolution of thine would be vain, (for) Nature will constrain thee. That which, from delusion, thou dost not wish to do, thou wilt do involuntarily, bound by thy own duty springing from (thy own) nature.
- Krishna; Chapter 18, verses 59–60; Kisari Mohan Ganguli translation
- O Arjuna, God resides in the hearts of all beings, directing their wanderings by the magical power of Māyā, on which they are seated as if it were a machine.
- Krishna; Chapter 18, verse 61; The Times of India translation
- In him alone seek refuge with all thy being, Bharata; by his grace shalt thou win to peace supreme, the eternal resting place.
- Krishna; Chapter 18, verse 62; W. Douglas P. Hill translation
- all duty abandoning, to me, the sole refuge, come;
i will liberate you from every sin, do not grieve.
- Krishna; Chapter 18, verse 66; Ramesh Menon translation
- Never share these truths with one who is without self-control or devotion, nor with one who won't share with others in a spirit of service, nor give them to one who is indifferent to them, or who finds fault with Me.
- Krishna; Chapter 18, verse 67; Swami Kriyananda edition
- Krishna, my delusion is destroyed,
And by your grace I have regained memory;
I stand here, my doubt dispelled,
ready to act on your words.
- Arjuna; Chapter 18, verse 73; Barbara Stoler Miller translation
- I heard by grace of Vyasa
of Krishna’s highest mystery,
Yoga from the Lord of Yoga
- Sanjaya; Chapter 18, verse 75; Geoffrey Parrinder translation
- Where Krishna is the Master of combinations, where Partha is the wielder of the bow, there, I am convinced, would be glory, victory, growth and firm morality.
- Sanjaya; Chapter 18, verse 78 (the last verse in the Bhagavad Gita); Jogindranath Mukharji translation
Quotes about the Bhagavad GitaEdit
- The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization.
- Sri Aurobindo, "Sacred Jewels of Yoga: Wisdom from India's Beloved Scriptures, Teachers, Masters, and Monk"
- The thought of the Gita is not pure Monism although it sees in one unchanging, pure, eternal Self the foundation of all cosmic existence, nor Mayavada although it speaks of the Maya of the three modes of Prakriti omnipresent in the created world; nor is it qualified Monism although it places in the One his eternal supreme Prakriti manifested in the form of the Jiva and lays most stress on dwelling in God rather than dissolution as the supreme state of spiritual consciousness; nor is it Sankhya although it explains the created world by the double principle of Purusha and Prakriti; nor is it Vaishnava Theism although it presents to us Krishna, who is the Avatara of Vishnu according to the Puranas, as the supreme Deity and allows no essential difference nor any actual superiority of the status of the indefinable relationless Brahman over that of this Lord of beings who is the Master of the universe and the Friend of all creatures. Like the earlier spiritual synthesis of the Upanishads this later synthesis at once spiritual and intellectual avoids naturally every such rigid determination as would injure its universal comprehensiveness. Its aim is precisely the opposite to that of the polemist commentators who found this Scripture established as one of the three highest Vedantic authorities and attempted to turn it into a weapon of offence and defence against other schools and systems. The Gita is not a weapon for dialectical warfare; it is a gate opening on the whole world of spiritual truth and experience and the view it gives us embraces all the provinces of that supreme region. It maps out, but it does not cut up or build walls or hedges to confine our vision.
- That the spiritual man need not be a recluse, that union with the divine Life may be achieved and maintained in the midst of worldly affairs, that the obstacles to that union lie not outside us but within us—such is the central lesson of the Bhagavad-Gītā.
- Annie Besant, "The Bhagavad Gita: The Lord's Song", The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Preface
- The subject matter of the Gita ranges from vast universal cosmology to our innermost life. We learn to see the world around us from the perspective of sages who saw the beauty of God reflected in every aspect of nature – the rivers, the mountains, the sky, the ocean, the plants, the animals. And we then learn how to move from appreciation of the reflected beauty of God to contemplation of the original beauty of God Himself. We learn that the journey of life did not begin with birth and will not end with the death of the body—for the soul there is neither birth nor death. We learn how we can become modern yogis, satisfied with the pleasure that comes from within, undisturbed by the turbulence of life in even the fastest lanes of third millenium society.
- The Gita does not present a system of philosophy. It offers something to every seeker after God, of whatever temperament, by whatever path. The reason for this universal appeal is that it is basically practical: it is a handbook for Self-realization and a guide to action.
- For, as we have now abundantly seen, the Gītā makes no attempt to be logical or systematic in its philosophy. It is frankly mystical and emotional. What we may, if we like, call its inconsistencies are not due to slovenliness in reasoning; nor do they express a balanced reserve of judgment. This is sufficiently proved in several cases by the fact that the Gītā deliberately brackets two opposing views and asserts the validity of both. It is only in the realm of logic that we must choose between yes and no, or else confess ignorance. The Gītā finds no difficulty in saying both yes and no, at the same time. For its point of view is simply unrelated to logic. Even what it calls "knowledge" is really intuitional perception; it is not, and is not intended to be, based on rational analysis. And, as we have seen, "knowledge" is not the Gītā’s favorite "way of salvation." To the Gītā, as to the Christian mystics, reason is an uncertain and flickering light. The truly "wise" man should abandon it wholly and follow the "kindly Light," the lux benigna, of God’s grace.
- I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books’ it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another rage and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.
- When doubts haunt me and disappointments stare me in the face and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to the Bhagavad Gita and find a verse to comfort me; I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow.
- Mahatma Gandhi, "The Bhagavad Gita: According to Gandhi" (2011), Orient Publishing
- As a scripture, the Gītā embodies the supreme spiritual mystery and secret. It contains the essence of all the four Vedas. Its style is so simple and elegant that after a little study a man can easily follow the structure of its words; but the thought behind those words, is so deep and abstruse that even a lifelong constant study does not show one the end of it. Everyday the book exhibits a new facet to thought; hence the Gītā remains eternally new.
- Gita Press, "Śrīmad Bhagavadgītā", code 1658, Glory of the Gītā.
- The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of lifes wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion.
- Herman Hesse, "Indic Visions: In An Age of Science", p. 162
- The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity.
- Aldous Huxley, "Sacred Jewels of Yoga: Wisdom from India's Beloved Scriptures, Teachers, Masters, and Monk"
- The Bhagavad-Gita is perhaps the most systematic scriptural statement of the Perennial Philosophy. To a world at war, a world that, because it lacks the intellectual and spiritual prerequisites to peace, can only hope to patch up some kind of precarious armed truce, it stands pointing, clearly and unmistakably, to the only road of escape from the self-imposed necessity of self-destruction.
- The Bhagwat Gita Is the most revered religious book in Hinduism. It is a acceptable to people of many different religious denominations. It has been translated into many different languages. It is considered to be a book not only of religion but also of ethics, espousing eternal moral values. … According to Ambedkar, the Bhagwat Gita is neither a book of religion nor a treatise on philosophy. What the Bhagwat Gita does is to defend certain dogmas of religion on philosophic grounds. It is a philosophic defence of the counter-revolution.
- In a very clear and wonderful way, under the guise of physical warfare, the Gita describes the dual that perpetually goes on in the hearts of each one of us; a fight of dharma, justice, against adharma, evil, injustice. The battle takes place not only on the fields of Kurukshetra but also on the elusive dharmakshetra 'field of dharma', a spiritual field within each of us where all moral struggles are waged.
- I believe that in all the living languages of the world, there is no book so full of true knowledge, and yet so handy as the Bhagawad Geeta..... It brings to men the highest knowledge, the purest love and the most luminous action. It teaches self-control, the threefold austerity, non-violence, truth, compassion, obedience to the call of duty for the sake of duty and putting up a fight against unrighteousness (Adharma)... To my knowledge, there is no book in the whole range of the world's literature so high above all as the Bhagawad Geeta which is treasure-house of Dharma not only for Hindus but for all mankind.
- Madan Mohan Malaviya, as quoted in "The Holy Geeta", Commentary by Swami Chinmayananda, Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, 1996, The Geeta as others see it.
- In the Bhagavad Gita we have faith, a faith based on spiritual vision. In this vision we have Light. Shall we see? This Song calls us to Love and Life. Shall we hear?
- I believe that the Bhagavad Gita contains the voice of God and that it speaks to each of us, to every mind and heart—individually. This intimate communion transcends the merely intellectual: sarvaśah, in every way.
- The Bhagavad-gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe.
- We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
- Robert Oppenheimer, in an interview about the Trinity nuclear explosion, first broadcast as part of the television documentary The Decision to Drop the Bomb (1965), produced by Fred Freed, NBC White Paper; Oppenheimer is quoting from the 1944 Vivekananda-Isherwood translation of the Gita (ch. XI verse 32). The line is spoken to Arjuna by Krishna, who is revered in Hindu traditions as one of the major incarnations of Vishnu; some assert that the passage would be better translated "I am become Time, the destroyer of worlds."
- The Bhagavad Gita... is the most beautiful philosophical song existing in any known tongue.
- Robert Oppenheimer, "Sacred Jewels of Yoga: Wisdom from India's Beloved Scriptures, Teachers, Masters, and Monks"
- Through the centuries, the Gita has remained a relevant text, inspiring militant revolutionaries, non-violent truth-seekers and renouncers of the world. It has enlightened German philosophers such as Schopenhauer and Heidegger; it has inspired Victorian poets such as Sir Edwin Arnold; and it has grounded post-Independence philosophers such as Sarvapelli Radhakrishnan. It has become a literary 'site' which decision-makers turn to to understand their dilemmas, whether they be Indian women and men leading Gandhi's satyagraha, twenty-first-century South Asian-American officers deciding to go to war in the Gulf, or London housewives with their children deciding how to organize their day.
- The Bhagavadgītā is more a religious classic than a philosophical treatise. It is not an esoteric work designed for and understood by the specially initiated but a popular poem which helps even those 'who wander in the region of the many and variable'.
- The Bhagavad-Gita professes to give nothing new beyond what has previously been taught by the Upanishads. It contents itself with a synthesis of the older teachings.
- The Bhagvad-Gita is the fountainhead of Eastern psychology.
- Time and time again in the Gita, Krishna declares love for the devotee, and seems to long for the devotee's wisdom and love. The Gita is not only a poem, it is a love poem. May fidelity, then, be deep, complex, and lively.
- If the Upanishads are the textbooks of philosophical principles discussing man, world and God, the Geeta is a handbook of instructions as to how every human being can come to live the subtle philosophical principles of Vedanta in the actual work-a-day world.
- In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it.
- In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat-Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions. I lay down the book and go to my well for water, and lo! there I meet the servant of the Bramin, priest of Brahma and Vishnu and Indra, who still sits in his temple on the Ganges reading the Vedas, or dwells at the root of a tree with his crust and water jug. I meet his servant come to draw water for his master, and our buckets as it were grate together in the same well. The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges.
- The Gītā was not preached either as a pastime for persons tired out after living a worldly life in the pursuit of selfish motives nor as a preparatory lesson for living such worldly life; but in order to give philosophical advice as to how one should live his worldly life with an eye to Release (mokṣa) and as to the true duty of human beings in worldly life.
- It is not a book teaching you how to worship God. Many other texts do the same. It focuses more on the eternal quest to reach Godhead.
- The message of the Gita is the message of courage, heroism and atmashakti. The Gita teaches us that weakness is a sin, while shakti is a spiritual virtue.
- The Geeta is a bouquet composed of the beautiful flowers of spiritual truths collected from the Upanishads.
- In summation, the sublime essence of the Bhagavad Gita is that right action, nonattachment to the world and to its sense pleasures, and union with God by the highest yoga of pranayama meditation, learned from an enlightened guru, constitute the royal path to God-attainment.
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- Srimad Bhagavad-Gita Overview by Jagannath Das
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- Bhagavad Gita with Commentaries by Vladimir Antonov
- Gita Supersite Multilingual Bhagavadgita with translations, classical and contemporary commentaries and much more.
- Gita excerpt from the Mahabharata by Kisari Mohan Ganguly (published between 1883 and 1896), the most comprehensive English translation to date
- Online Bhagavad Gita by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
- Translation and commentary by Swami Chinmayananda
- Translation by Sir Edwin Arnold
- Translation by Kashinath Trimbak Telang
- Translation by Dr. Ramanand Prasad
- Translation by Sanderson Beck
- Translation by Swami Tapasyananda
- Translation by William Quan Judge
- Ambedkar and the "Bhagwat Gita" by Nalini Pandit
- Dr.Ambedkar, Dr.Elst and Bhagavad Gita by Aravindan Neelakandan
- The Bhagavad Gita Revisited by Namit Arora