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The Bhagavad Gita

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  29,960 ratings  ·  659 reviews
The 18 chapters of "The Bhagavad-Gita" (c. 500 BC), encompass the whole spiritual struggle of a human soul, and the three central themes of this immortal poem - love, light and life - arise from the symphonic vision of God in all things and of all things in God.
Paperback, 122 pages
Published May 1st 1982 by Penguin (first published -500)
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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
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
Karla Becker
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

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
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
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
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
Justin Evans

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
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
Chandan Sharma

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
Rakhi Dalal
Dec 02, 2012 Rakhi Dalal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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
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,
Crisa Valadez
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
Harish Kumar Sarma Challapalli
This is considered as one of the TRIO-Epics of Indian culture.

The Bhagavad Gita occurs in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata and comprises 18 chapters from the 25th through 42nd and consists of 700 verses

The teacher of the Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna, who is revered by Hindus as a manifestation of God (Parabrahman) Himself

Personally, I feel i have no words to describe these Trio-epics!!
Cassandra Kay Silva
All this book made me want to do was read the whole Mahabharata. For what is one set of texts in a whole story of interesting characters and events? I get it. It is a religious work. I have no problem with religious works of any kind. In fact I treasure them. But the bible without the disciples or prophets? Boring! This work felt so incomplete, and that of course is because it is incomplete and frankly there is no written formal English translation of the Mahabharata in its entirety anyway so it ...more

I was born a Christian, raised a Christian, and I'll die a Christian. Nevertheless, I enjoy learning about many different religions, and one of my favorite courses in college was “World Religions.” I read portions of many sacred texts, and have since wanted to read them more extensively - starting with the Bhagavad Gita.

I am not Hindu. I have never been to a Hindu place of worship, and I have had very few conversations with practicing Hindus about their religion. Hence my understanding of
Nov 22, 2011 Lucia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people searching for spiritual within themselves, people with appreciation of beauty and poetry
This book is something more than just a simple technically correct translation of the Bhagavad Gita. The translator, being a Sanscrit scholar, mystic and a poet at the same time, managed to catch the spirit of this ancient text, giving it as much beauty of language as possible. When I read it, I see the images and feelings arising, which give me the explanation of what is being read better than any technically detailed translation could ever do.

There are no comments in this book, just the Gita
Dennis Littrell
Nikhilananda, Swami. Bhagavad Gita, The: Translated from the Sanskrit, with Notes, Comments, and Introduction by Swami Nikhilananda (1944; 6th printing 1979) *****
Fine translation with valuable commentary

This is an especially good translation for those with some knowledge of yoga or Hinduism or Vedanta. Rather than employ artificialities like "discipline" or "duty" or "the Supreme God," Nikhilananda retains in his translation many Sanskrit words like yoga, dharma, Brahman, etc. that have no real
adam prometheus
the actual scriptures have some very helpful spiritual philosophy to them, if you're into that kind of thing. the words of Krsna are indeed wise if understood in context and given some thought; but what I don't like about this edition is the interpretations that go along with each passage. This Prabhupada guy who writes the "purports" for each verse, he is supposedly the authority on what this stuff means, but I almost always disagree with his interpretations, and he seems to extrapolate much th ...more
For an epic poem (technically part of an epic poem) this was a very quick read and l liked it well enough. The issue Arjuna brings up to Lord Krishna is, for me atleast, an incredibly valid one. How can l kill if life is sacred, even if it's for God? krishna then proceeds to lay it out for the archer, explaining over and over that he, Krishna, is all and nothing. I found this to be repetitive and slightly boring. I found Krishna's point of view very similar to the Judeo-Christian God of the Old ...more
S.J. Pettersson
I was gifted this this book by Hare Krishnas in London as a teen back in the late 70's. As far as religious books go I would rate it higher than most; the Torah is a real snoozer with its infinite shopping lists of do's and don'ts. The Bible is like one of those hyper violent graphic novels (with a peace, love & understanding segment during the first part of the New Testament, then the body count, hate and intolerance picks up again for the Revelations and the prophecies. The Quran is really ...more
Jai Joshi
This one is a classic translation.

Srila Prabhupada is the founder of the Hare Krishna and it is true that his translation is dogmatic and intense in it's focus on the Gaudiya Vaishnav philosophy. Yet his sincerity cannot be denied and whenever I need to have a bit-by-bit translation of a BG verse, I head straight to my copy of this book.

Srila Prabhupada makes each part of the Sanskrit clear in his translation so that there is no confusion but also so that the best possible effort can be made to
I read this for the first when I was in high school. I have no idea how many times I have reread it over the years. It always seem so right. And, it is soothing to read.

A few months ago a friend sent me a published letter of C.S. Lewis' in which he claims the true religion has to be either Christianity or Hinduism. With my memory of the Bhagavad Gita I could understand the attraction for him. However, while rereading I kept finding ideas that sounded just like Lewis' "The Great Divorce".
Saznao sam da sam Tamas, eto. Sve se ovo moglo sazeti na 10-ak stranica, previse kontradikcija sa kojima se ne slazem (mozda sam samo previse prost kako bih povezao sve to) ali neka bude trojka zbog naucenih stvari.
David Horney
Young conflicted prince meets Krishna on a battlefiled. He is conflicted about killing friends and relatives. Krishna assures him it's alright because the soul is eternal and will just pop into another body somewhere. Krishna doesn't explain why this doesn't make it ok to eat cows.
Kate Savage
It feels hugely disrespectful to rate a founding religious text. Saying Oh, this is the most important thing in your world? I give it two stars!

So consider this a caveat that I am wholly ignorant of Hinduism, and a Content Warning: Irreligion.

Friends, warn me against taking personal advice from Krishna. That Beautiful-Haired One has some unsound suggestions. For instance:

Arjuna: I don't want to kill my family
Krishna: But it's your duty. You're a warrior. And anyway battle's fun!
Arjuna: But how w
It's a fun game of mine to jot done the clearly immoral and the not so obviously moral things every religious book says. The bhagavad-Gita did surprisingly well, on the same level as the Tao te Ching in that it said nearly as many good things as wicked things. However, it is still a long way behind the Gathas in this subjective evaluation.

When it isn't justifying war, murder, a fear of sex, a brutal caste system, large donations to temples and (worst of all) faith; some of the passages were inc
Azzam To'meh
Like the books of the other great religious traditions, the Bhagavad Gita shares in elaborating on the basic truths of life and the spiritual struggle of man. It describes explicitly and amazingly the state of the saint, and how he operates in a world of sense and sin.

It is this state of serenity when the whole world is going mad that is needed in this modern world; the state of Nirvana. However, as it states, the people of this state will always be very little.

A great read, recommended for th
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