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The Song of God Bhagavad Gita

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  37,892 Ratings  ·  1,310 Reviews
“The most important, the most influential, and the most luminous of all the Hindu scriptures.” —R.C. ZAEHNER

Vivid literature, lofty philosophy — the Bhagavad Gita distills the finest in India’s vast and varied culture. • On the morning of battle, facing Armageddon, prince Arjuna loses his nerve and refuses to fight. Krishna knows better: “Your very nature will drive you to
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Paperback, 179 pages
Published July 1st 1987 by Vedanta Press (first published -500)
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Daniel I'm sure he has some answer stored away for this which goes something like "any translation is an interpretation since the person has to choose what…moreI'm sure he has some answer stored away for this which goes something like "any translation is an interpretation since the person has to choose what words to use in place of others," but ultimately, I think he just has this idea that he can rewrite books to say what he wants them to say under the guise of "translation".

For some reason, there is no real outrage over this, even though he does it over and over. For instance, Tao Te Ching is another example of a book he 'translated' while not knowing any of the language he translated it from.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Francisco
Nov 22, 2012 Francisco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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):

- O Kesava! Take me to the middle of the battlefield, between the opposing armies of Authors and Reviewers, so that I may see who I am fighting against.

And Krishna did so.

But Arjuna, seeing all his favourite authors arrayed against him, was suddenly loath to fight. - O Krishna! he said. How will I use my cruel pen to tear into these d
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Sanjay Gautam
Bhagavada Gita is a text when you read it in Sanskrit produces an effect that resonates somewhere deep in your heart. I know this because as a child I used to hear my grand father recite Gita as it is in Sanskrit (he knew it by heart), and that had some kind of celestial experience inside me.

It was a very big book which needed patience to finish. I read from cover to cover. Since I didn't know Sanskrit I had to depend on a translated version. The translation is said to be 'as it is', however, I
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Michael
Oct 12, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hey, how pretentious am I? I just gave a four-star review to a fucking holy text. And now I'm going to review it. And I will swear in my review. I'm just asking for it, aren't I?

When comparing this one to the other holy books I've read and/or skimmed, I found this one quite insightful. As a professed athiest, this one probably speaks to me the most. The Bhagavad Gita is actually a section of the Mahabharata, which is, to simplify (because that's all I have researched enough to do), the story of
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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
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Holly
Jul 14, 2013 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Karla Becker
Apr 02, 2012 Karla Becker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
Einstein said, "When I read the Bhagavad Gita and reflect about how God created this universe, everything else seems so superfluous." I can read this book over and over and still gain so much from it.
Riku Sayuj
Nov 30, 2015 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

How to Read The Ancient Texts

To know how we should approach the great Classical works of antiquity, we can look to Ben Jonson’s formulation in "Discoveries":

"I know nothing can conduce more to letters, than to examine the writings of the ancients, and not to rest in their sole authority, or take all upon trust from them; provided the plagues of judging, and pronouncing against them, be away; such as are envy, bitterness, precipitation, impudence, and scurrile scoffing.

For to all the observatio
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Brad
Jul 10, 2008 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Bhagavad Gita. It offers something for everyone, no matter what your religous/spritual persuasion might be.

However, I had mixed feelings about this version which made me debate between three and four stars for this book.

This is Prabhupada's translation. He is best known as the Founder and/or person who brought the Hare Krishna form of Vasinavism to the United States. The only issue I take with it is that at times he can be rather controversial in his interpretive purports of the vers
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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
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Robert
Mar 29, 2008 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Andrew
Nov 13, 2007 Andrew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Bhagavad is one of the greatest works of literature. Here it is tenderly and lovingly mangled from its original by a sectarian and abusive translator who, while offering the "original" sanskrit, still departs wildly from it in his purports. What the book gains from is an immense popularity due it's publishers fervent marketing of the book, free copies, etc.
Kris
Jun 08, 2012 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this teaching in one long, lovely sitting...after having practiced the Ashtanga Yoga Primary series, sitting in a cafe with my jasmine tea while a thunderstorm pounded outside. A powerful read/lesson. I've tried to read other translations before, but Mitchell's really resonated with me.

"...The undisciplined have no wisdom,
no one-pointed concentration;
with no concentration, no peace;
with no peace, where can joy be?

When the mind constantly runs
after the wandering senses,
it drives away w
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Bruce
May 10, 2011 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gita, a part of the much larger Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, was no doubt based on ancient oral tradition, much recent scholarship concluding that the approximate date of written composition was the first century CE. The immediate story involves an extended philosophical conversation between the Pandava general, Arjuna, and his charioteer Krishna, who is in actuality the Supreme Being Himself, immediately before a monumental battle, a battle that Arjuna is hesitant to wage because it involve ...more
Wordsmith
If you did happen to read this sacred text, that has been around for centuries longer than some acknowledge as even a possible thing, then may I suggest the Rig Vedas. The Rig Veda Awesome reading. Such perfection.

Also, many people are familiar with Autobiography of a Yogi But the book by Paramanhansa Yogananda that I always found inspiring, both awe and heart wise was:
Where There is Light: Insight and Inspiration for Meeting Life's Challenges. Along with the The Tao of Physics by Fritjov Capra
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Aydin
Nov 20, 2010 Aydin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
What struck me most about the Bhagavad Gita in comparison to the other religious texts with which I'm familiar, inter alia, the Bible and the Qur'an, was two-fold:

Firstly that the Gita was written frankly for a more sophisticated audience (as the intricacy of the ontological explanations demonstrates).
That is to say, where as the Old and New Testaments could be said to have been written for
a semi-literate nomadic tribe, and the lowest-rung on the ladder of Roman society respectively, and the Qur
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Sidharth Vardhan
'Just do it and don't hope.'

Rarely can we call a religious book over rated while being sympathetic to the religion itself (all religious books are by definition over rated, that is in their nature); but if there ever was one book that was most over rated it would be this one. The book gained popularity only during British rule.

The book in its narrative smashes together glorifying accounts of Krishna and a wide array of Indian philosophies. With so much of subjects covered, the philosophy of
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Justin Evans
Friends,

why do you love this book? This book is awful. It's very smart, yes, and of course a great classic. But I want you to imagine a dialogue between Jesus and Charlemagne in which Charlemagne says he doesn't want to kill all the Germans because, well, they're his relatives, and it seems a bit silly. And Jesus counters this by saying I AM FREAKING GOD DO WHAT THE F*** I TELL YOU YOU HAVE NO OPTION ANYWAY LOOK I HAVE STARS IN MY BELLY!!!! and follows it up by saying that he, Jesus, determines
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TAB
Sep 10, 2012 TAB rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me explain, I hate writing in books. I think it sullies the text, I think it mires the next reader's experience and I think it aesthetically just doesn't look good. But never have I written more in a book then in this one. Written notes, underline, bracketed, I went off the rails on this one and why? Because I had to just to keep up? Partially but more than that; I think it was because I wanted to grow along with Arjuna in the book as Krishna dropped his wisdom on the both of us and to disti ...more
Fostergrants
As arrogant as it seems to review an ancient text, I gave this book 2 stars because I'm being honest about how much I did or did not enjoy reading it. If I were a religious person and believed in a Man-God, I may have enjoyed it more...but I think my main issue was my awareness that so much of the poetry that must have been there in the original language is 'lost in translation' and my Western brain is wired to be tone-deaf to the ideas that can, at best, only be guessed at or mimicked by modern ...more
Abdulla Awachi
Jan 16, 2016 Abdulla Awachi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
" هبني عقلك و هبني قلبك ، و تضحيتك و إخلاصك و كلمة وعد أقولها لك : ستأتي إليّ حقاً؛ لأنك عزيز علي"

بهذه الكلمات يختتم "كريشنا" حواره مع " أرجونا" في القصة المثيرة في الأدب و الثيولوجيا الهندية.

الباغفاد غيتا واحدة من أهم المعارف في الديانة الهندوسية و هي خلاصة "الفيدا" ذات المجلدات العملاقة و الابيات الشعرية غير المحصورة.

تدور أحداث الباغفاد غيتا حول تجلي "كريشنا" الذي هو الإله الأعظم و رب كل الالهة حسب الاعتقاد الهندوسي ، ل"أرجونا" المؤمن المبارك و الذي نال هذا الشرف العظيم و ما كان ليناله غيره حس
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Chandan Sharma
Sep 14, 2013 Chandan Sharma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
http://youreadireview.blogspot.in/



THE BACKGROUND: There is no specific story of ‘The Gita’; the different teachings of Lord Krishna to Arjuna have been assembled into a separate book from the Hindu epic ‘Mahabharata’. Krishna, who was considered as the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, acted as the charioteer of his best friend and cousin ‘Arjuna’ (who has been addressed as ‘Partha’). While biggest armies ever stood ready to fight each other, Arjuna was haunted by the guilt of killing his own rela
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Byron
Aug 23, 2007 Byron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Led to this book when reading the introduction to Leaves of Grass by Whitman.

Personal Summary:
Very easy to read - and relatively short (200 short pages) for a sacred text (though my current only comparison is the Bible which is incredibly long).

Basic themes are:
- Renounce the fruit of your actions. To me this means you should still plan for positive outcomes in what you attempt to do but whatever the outcome you should continue as if it never happened. If you do something and things go well a
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Falguni78
Apr 06, 2009 Falguni78 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a way to live life..hence will be reading it forever...
Erik Graff
Dec 22, 2010 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Mohandas Gandhi
Shelves: religion
Being raised an atheist and being prejudiced against Christianity owing to the conservative face it presented in my hometown, I was first drawn to "religion" by the experience of altered states of consciousness and by arguments with friends who pointed me towards Eastern traditions. Being already an admirer of Gandhi and given his recommendation of the Bhagavad Gita, I read it as probably my first primary text in the Hindu tradition.

I was not impressed. The story is basically about a prince bein
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Caroline
I thought that this was an excellent introduction to the Bhagavad Gita for a Western reader. The material is covered three times in the audio version I listened to. After Easwaran’s general overview, he proceeds through the Gita chapter by chapter, first giving an explication, then [the narrator] reading the chapter itself. After he works his way through the entire Gita in this fashion, he offers another full reading from start to finish so that you can get the flow as well as try one more time ...more
Richard Houchin
I'm surprised at the extreme hostility to atheism in this text. Hinduism is certainly on the same level as Christianity in regards to its vicious hatred of the wholly other.

In text 4.7-4.8, Krisna reveals that whenever there's a rise in atheism, God himself descends to annihilate the demonic non-believers and to reestablish religious belief:

Text 4.7-8,
Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend myself.

To deliver the
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Rakhi Dalal
Dec 02, 2012 Rakhi Dalal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Rakhi by: My Grandmom
Shelves: moral-guide
Having read it many times,I still think that there is a lot that I still have to understand about this. But I do hope, I'll be able to write about it and do justice to my reading.
Blake
In the spirit of Krishna, I plan to devote the best part of this review to speaking of many particulars about myself and myself simply.

That I read this at all is owed less to some "spiritual quest" I'm on than an error in shipping out a book of Alice Munro's short stories that found me with this in my hands instead. After the initial confusion and a refund I got to keep the Gita, so read a little of its history prior to sitting down with it and then finally engaged.

I expected poetry and nirvana,
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Crisa Valadez
Nov 29, 2012 Crisa Valadez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's honestly a little hard to fully explain this book. I'm probably going to re-read a few parts to fully grasp the concepts. The Bhagavad-Gita is a sacred religious text, a brilliant collection of life philosophy, and an enthralling story. I actually purchased this book from a group of transcendentalist poets that I met at an art show. After reading the back cover and seeing quotes from Thoreau, Emerson, and Gandhi, this book highly intrigued me.

Being a Buddhist, I wasn't completely sold on al
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