COMPLETE EDITION with original Sanskrit text, Roman transliteration, English equivalents, translation and elaborate purports.
Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra. When the battle is about to begin, Arjuna sees his intimate relatives, teachers and friends in both armies ready to fight. Overcome by grief and pity, he fails in strength, his mind becomes bewildered, and he decides not to fight.
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Arjuna submits to Lord Krishna as His disciple. Krishna explains to Arjuna the difference between the material body and the spiritual soul. Then the Lord explains the process of transmigration, the nature of selfless service to the Supreme & the characteristics of a self-realized soul.
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No one can refrain from work in this world. But actions can either bind one to this world or liberate one from it. By acting only for the pleasure of the Supreme, one can be liberated from the law of karma and attain transcendental knowledge of the self & the Supreme.
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The spiritual knowledge of the soul, of God, and their relationship is both purifying and liberating. It is the fruit of selfless devotional action. The Lord explains the history of the Gita, His periodic descents to the material world, and the necessity of approaching a realized teacher.
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Karma-yoga - Action in Krishna Consciousness. Outwardly performing all activities but inwardly sacrificing their fruits to the Supreme Lord, the wise man, purified by the fire of transcendental knowledge, attains peace, detachment, forbearance, spiritual vision and bliss.
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Astanga-yoga, a mechanical meditative practice is a means to control the mind and the senses in order to focus our concentration on Paramatma (the Supersoul, the form of the Lord situated in the heart). The ultimate stage of this yoga is samadhi, full consciousness of the Supreme.
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Lord Krishna is the Supreme Truth, the supreme cause and sustaining force of everything, both material and spiritual. Advanced souls knowing Him to be everything and the supreme cause surrender unto Him in devotion, whereas impious souls divert their minds to other objects of worship.
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One’s state of consciousness at the time of death decides one’s next destination. By remembering Lord Krishna in devotion throughout one's life, and especially at the time of death, one can attain His supreme abode. Having reached there, one never returns to this temporary miserable world.
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Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the supreme object of worship. The whole cosmic creation rests within Him. The soul is eternally related to Him through transcendental devotional service (bhakti). By reviving one's pure devotion one returns to Krishna in the spiritual realm.
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All wondrous phenomena showing power, beauty, grandeur or sublimity in the material and spiritual worlds are but partial manifestations of Krishna's divine energies and opulence. As the cause of all causes and the support and essence of everything, Krishna is the supreme object of worship.
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Lord Krishna grants Arjuna divine vision and reveals His spectacular unlimited form as the cosmic universe, thus establishing His divinity. Krishna explains that His own all-beautiful humanlike form is the original form of Godhead. One can perceive this form only by pure devotional service.
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Bhakti-yoga or pure devotional service to Lord Krishna is the highest and most expedient means for attaining pure love for Krishna, which is the highest end of spiritual existence. Those who follow this supreme path with faith develop divine qualities and they are very dear to the Lord.
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Lord Krishna explains prakrti (material nature), purusha (the enjoyer), kshetra (the field), kshetra-jna (the knower of the field), jnana (knowledge), and jneya (the knowable). One who understands the difference between the body, the soul and the Supersoul beyond them both attains liberation.
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All embodied souls are under the control of the three modes or qualities of material nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance. Lord Krishna explains what these modes are, how they act upon us, how one transcends them and the symptoms of one who has attained the transcendental state.
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The ultimate purpose of Vedic knowledge is to detach oneself from the entanglement of the material world and to understand Lord Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who understands Krishna's supreme identity surrenders unto Him and engages in His devotional service.
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Those who possess demoniac qualities and who live whimsically, without following the regulations of scripture, attain lower births and further material bondage. But those who possess divine qualities and regulated lives, abiding by scriptural authority, gradually attain spiritual perfection.
Click to Download Chapter 16 Slokas and Translation.
There are three types of faith, corresponding to and evolving from the three modes of material nature. Acts performed by those whose faith is in passion and ignorance yield only impermanent, material results. But acts performed in goodness in accord with scriptural injunctions lead to devotion to Lord Krishna.
Click to Download Chapter 17 Slokas and Translation.
Krishna explains renunciation and the effects of the modes of nature on consciousness and activity. He explains Brahman realization, the glories of the Gita and its essence: by absolute, unconditional loving surrender unto Lord Krishna, one returns to Krishna's abode, being freed from all sins.
Click to Download Chapter 18 Slokas and Translation.
Albert Einstein, the famous German-born theoretical physicist, who developed the General Theory of Relativity and received the Nobel Prize for Physics in the year 1921 for the discovery of photo-electric effect, has published more than 300 scientific papers and over 150 non-scientific works. He marvelled at the wonder called Bhagavad-gita and said:
"When I read the Bhagavad-gita and reflect about how God created this universe, everything else seems so superfluous. He also mentioned: I have made the Bhagavad-gita as the main source of my inspiration and guide for the purpose of scientific investigations and formation of my theories."
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet and philosopher whose books, articles, essays, journals and poetry total over 20 volumes. This famous 19th century philosopher admitted:
"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial."
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time. He wrote:
"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."
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. Jung created some of the best known psychological concepts. He saw the human psyche as "by nature religious" and made this religiousness the focus of his explorations. He considered that the Bhagavad-gita had “a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions."
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1500 public lectures across the United States. He said:
"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 age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us."
Herman Hesse was a German poet, novelist and painter who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. He said:
"The marvel of the Bhagavad-gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life’s wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion."
Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, was very fond of Bhagavad-gita. He always carried a copy with him. He said:
"When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day."
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru wrote: "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."
How can the knowledge contained in the Bhagavad-gita help us overcome our problems? What actually happens when we read this Vedic literature?
In his short talk, Sri Amitasana Dasa, Vice President of ISKCON Bangalore, reveals the power of the Gita and answers the above questions.
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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the Founder-Acharya of the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness and the most prominent spiritual revolutionary in modern times.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is with his translations and commentaries is the most widely read edition of the Gita in the
world. It holds a unique position among other commentaries on the Gita, as the only authoritative version carrying
the true spirit of the teachings of Lord Krishna.
Scholars worldwide have appreciated its authenticity, depth and clarity.
Thousands of people have been spiritually inspired by its teachings.
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