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Bhagavad-Gita: As It Is

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  960 ratings  ·  108 reviews
The Bhagavad-gita is the main source-book on yoga and a concise summary of India's Vedic wisdom. Yet remarkably, the setting for this best-known classic of spiritual literature is an ancient Indian battlefield. At the last moment before entering battle, the great warrior Arjuna begins to wonder about the real meaning of his life. Why should he fight against his friends and ...more
Paperback, 1047 pages
Published January 1st 1989 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (first published 1968)
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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'. But, we kn
...more
Brad Byers
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
...more
Andrew
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.
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
...more
Rose Fuller
I've only read the translations and purports of the book, so I can't really understand the sanskrit. I was determined to read this book after reading The Science of Self Realization by the same author. Its the central text used by Krishna devotees in temples. The author founded the ISKCON movement which flourished in the 60's and 70's in the UK and USA. The books message is that Bhakti Yoga is the best way to unite with God, who is Krishna, and that chanting the maha-mantra is the most important ...more
Kshitij
EDIT: The five stars are for only for Gita (I'd recommend reading any normal translation) and not for this translation by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of ISKCON who has mixed the nonsensical spices of Krishna-bhakti into an excellent book such as this.

Geeta Saar or Summary of Geeta:

"Whatever happened, it happened for good.
Whatever is happening, is happening for good.
Whatever will happen, will happen for good.
What has slipped away from you, for which you are shedding tears?
What have you brought
...more
Costa
Classic book interpreted by a guru from the old tradition of swamis in India. I did enjoy the book at the time, although my current world view interprets this book quite differently than when I first read it many years ago. Still, it's a great story about courage and commitment. It does have lots of superstitious and metaphysical aspects to it. I would not necessarily recommend this particular version of the book though. If you wanted to read classic version, do a search and it's easy to find. R ...more
Volmarr
Apr 07, 2014 Volmarr rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Only people following Gaudiya Vaishnavism
The Bhagavad-Gita itself is an incredibly important powerful Hindu yogic holy text filled with very important core knowledge useful for anyone on the spiritual path. But this translation and commentary of it is bias towards a dualistic philosophy, thus making this not a good version of the Bhagavad-Gita to read, unless you are someone following the particular tradition this version is biased towards, Gaudiya Vaishnavism aka the Hare Krishna tradition.
Brian
Here are some of my favorite passages:
2:47 - You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.

2:48 - Perform your duty equiposed, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachement to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.

5:20 - A person who neither rejoinces upon achieving something
pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unple
...more
Brian Reagan
It is an enjoyable read, as is most of what Prabhupada wrote. This text demonstrates some of the fundamental differences in Indian and Western thought, and why the two are somewhat irreconcilable. Overall, the text, translation, and exposition are helpful to first-time readers.

The goal of the book is to produce converts to KRNSA and readers should be told that in advance.

Artwork in the text is beautiful, and has an entrancing quality in itself. Among great religious texts the BG is in the top
...more
Kevin Bello
People who do not understand that this particular Gita translation is under the context of Gaudiya Vaishnavism have a more difficult time appreciating this Gita.

The translation in itself is beautifully done, made simple for people to understand. They are translated towards the slant of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, and thus are to be appreciated for this age-old philosophy of bhakti-yoga, or loving devotion to Lord Krishna.

The purports, however, are the ones that are considered controversial, especially
...more
Leah
One cannot live happily without applying the philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is translated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada founder and acarya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Srila Prabhupada is divinely eloquent and pure without a trace of material contamination. He circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours. He is dear to Krishna, dear to Lord Caitanya for propagating the movement, and he is dear
...more
Brooke
May 15, 2010 Brooke added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Hinduism, the Vedic texts, yoga origins, the study of yoga
I picked this older edition up in a used bookstore on Church Street, and I chose this author's translation over several others.

The Bhagavad Gita is a sacred scripture in Hinduism and is a required text for a lot of yoga teacher trainings. It's actually really wonderful to read so far, although I have had to sort of make some notes as I go so I don't get lost in the names and places. I'll review more when I'm done :)
Zach
To give something like the Bhagavad-Gita a review in terms of stars seems grossly inadequate, so I will refrain from that measure. For the Gita is neither good nor bad, it does not exist to entertain or comment on society. It is, to those of the Hindu tradition, the word of God himself.

I will go as far as to say I had an excellent and enlightening time with the Gita. Prabhupāda's commentary is (more often than not) redundant, but the occasional useful analogies are welcome in making meanings cl
...more
Vivek Misra
The Bhagavadgita (“Song of the Lord”) is an influential Indian religious text. In quasi-dialogue form, it is relatively brief, consisting of 700 verses divided into 18 chapters. A book revered by 950 million people, the Bhagavad-gita explores the themes of harmony and purpose, work and attitude, love and reciprocation.

The purpose of Bhagavad-gita is to deliver mankind from the nescience of material existence. Every man is in difficulty in so many ways, and in the same way Arjuna also was in dif
...more
Vijay Dhameliya
Well, many people asks "Does the Bhagvad Gita have a solution to every problem?" Here is the answer you'd agree with after reading this book:

Bhagavad-Gita doesn't contain how do fusion and fission work, but it does tell the person to use these to address world's energy issues rather than destructing it with weapons.

It doesn't tell you how to learn calculus for your exam, but it does tell you to prepare with full dedication and hardwork, thinking how you would use your future career to do good fo
...more
Somya
This is Bhagavad Gita. Spoken by Lord Krishna to his dear devotee Arjuna. For all the people who have criticized this particular Bhagavad Gita by Swami Prabhupada are clearly not interested in either Krishna or Arjuna, in God, what God has to say, the simple instruction of Gita that one is supposed to be surrendered and not try to be the master, the fact that God himself is speaking, and to whom he is speaking to (Arjuna) is a devotee of Krishna. Krishna is speaking to Arjuna as a Guru, for the ...more
Yileen
Its hard to write a review on this book as it is considered religious text, but I'm going to have a go at being a rebel despite warnings to not comment or question this knowledge and to take it as it is.

In all honesty, I have nothing against the religious text itself, but rather with the 'purports' (interpretation of the text) by the author. Some of his explanations of the text come across as a bit prideful with the use of the word 'unintelligent' towards non-believers. There is also constant re
...more
Neill Tumulac
This book clearly describes what psychedelics feel like, and can induce transcendental states of mind. However if one finds themselves sober, this book serves as a great reminder for the things one has experienced in their greatest moments of eternal truth. Being a deist I find that this book is somewhat command-like, the idea of a vegetarian diet for example, and the length of one's sleep, however there are some gold truths in this book that one will find and can easily compare and contrast wit ...more
Tripti Chouhan
Considered to be the best treatise on Dharma, Bhagvad Gita embodies the philosophy necessary for a righteous action (karma) and balanced life. The beauty of Bhagvad Gita lies in its objectivity as it is a philosophical text and not a religious one. It does not advocate suppression or relinquishment of desires but fulfilment of them by acting in a balanced manner. It emphasizes on cleansing the mind and the heart of ill-thoughts and vices. Furthermore, like most philosophical texts, it is neither ...more
Acid
Aug 02, 2008 Acid rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone....
ralph waldo emerson, mahatma ghandi, henry david thoreou?, all studied this book with a passionate mind...In the company of greatness...this book beyond all that surrounds the hare krishna movement is a classic the world over, and can lead a person into deeper knowledge of action, inaction, thought, philosophy of the human condition, and is a great narrative about the struggles that go on inside the human heart....I have learned that this book is the type of book that can grow as the reader grow ...more
Ryan
A Hinda/Hare Krishna book of scriptures, called the Bhagavad Gita. It is a translation from the original Sanskrit. This version has commentary also. Transcendentalists like Henry David Through and Ralph W. Emerson used to read this book. I was given a copy as a gift by an itinerant monk on the USU campus. The Gita promotes spirituality by devoting one's life to God, (whom practicers of Krishna Consciousness call, "Krishna"). It is an inspiring, good book to read. Just like other books of scriptu ...more
K. Hari Kumar
Took a long time to actually have the patience to sit through this self proclaimed 'authoritative scripture', primarily because the skeptic in me could not really accept everything written by the writer. Therefore, I had to keep aside all prejudices I held against the author and his society, to get another interpretation of the Holy Book.
If you ignore the Manipulative purports of the author and try to form meanings by the glossary that follows every stanza, the book would be worth the read. But
...more
Harshan Antony
This is a really good book to study gita, It has both Sanskrit version and English version also have word by word meaning and interpretation of verse.

The only thing I don't like is the interpretation which is heavily focused on bhakthi and sometimes key words are interpreted blindly (eg: Dharma is interpreted as Religion when it has a different contextual meaning). So I would say to buy one more book (which I am trying to find out) that provides a better interpretation, because reading only this
...more
Mahesh Kondapuram
No matter how much i describe about this epic, it will be very less. This book has everything one needs (not in a relegious way).

About this particular version, It has a nice translation of the verses with some nice pictures here and there. It also has a small tinge of Sri Prabhupadas flavor of translation, which does not change the true meaning of the content.

I also read another version of Gita in my native language and would recommend reading this book in one's native language versions (if po
...more
Austin
The Bhagavad Gita teaches us that we only have the right to our labors, and not to the fruits of them. In this Hindu classic, the manifestation of the "Supreme personality of Godhead" joins a young prince Arjuna during a great battle. During the battle the supreme Krisna tells Arjuna reasons why it is morally correct to fight. Arjuna does not wish to take life in any form. The commentaries here are a nice supplement, but I suggest a personal interpretation to this timeless work.
DissidentCat
I think this is the best edition of the Gita because it has :

a. sanskrit
b. translitteration of sanskrit
c. interlinear sanskrit-english
d. translation in english
e. purport (exegesis)

All of this in one single book. As a non-hindu, the exegesis was essential to understand the meanings. The only thing i dislike is that the book is pocket size and the font is small. Just 1 star less because of the font problem.
4/5
Krishna
This book is a brilliant tour de force of spiritual realisation. Brightly illuminating the deepest meanings of the text, and making it very clear what Krishna was saying when he first spoke the Gita to Arjuna, Prabhupada takes us by the hand and leads us to realms of unlimited bliss. The evidence speaks for itself. Prabhupada himself said that before he presented this translation and commentary there were over fifty English versions of the Gita available in the West, and not a single person had ...more
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was born in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent devotional scholar and the founder of sixty-four branches of Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes), liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teach ...more
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“My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding.” 4 likes
“Such deluded persons, symptomatically, dwell in dualities of dishonor and honor, misery and happiness, woman and man, good and bad, pleasure and pain, etc., thinking, "This is my wife; this is my house; I am the master of this house; I am the husband of this wife." These are the dualities of delusion. Those who are so deluded by dualities are completely foolish and therefore cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” 3 likes
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