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The Song of Krishna: The Illustrated Bhagavad Gita

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4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  41,473 Ratings  ·  1,290 Reviews
The Song of Krishna: The Illustrated Bhagavad Gita is next in Abrams’ ongoing series of classic spiritual and philosophical texts.

As part of the Mahâbhârata, one of the two great Hindu epics, the Gita takes the form of a conversation between Krishna, the many-formed deity, advising Arjuna, his kinsman, as the pair go into battle against a rival clan. Krishna’s moral counse
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Harry N. Abrams (first published -400)
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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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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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Karla Becker
Apr 02, 2012 Karla Becker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can read this book over and over and still gain so much from it. It contains such timeless truths, especially in light of today, such as,

"They alone see truly who see the Lord the same in every creature, who see the deathless in the hearts of all that die. Seeing the same Lord everywhere, they do not harm themselves or others. Thus they attain the supreme goal."
Ahmad Sharabiani
سرود خدایان هندو Bhagvad - gita, Anonymous,
عنوان: بهاگاواد- گيتا - كتاب مقدس هندوان همراه با مقدمه ای در باره مبانی فلسفه م مذاهب هندی؛ مترجم: محمدعلی موحد؛ تهران، ترجمه و نشر کتاب، 1344؛ در 202 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، خوارزمی، 1374؛
نامهای فارسی: بگودگیتا، باگاوادگیتا
مهمترین و اسرارآمیزترین بخش از حماسه ی هندی، موسوم به ماهابهاراتا ست؛ که از دو کلمه ی بهَگَوان به معنی خداوند، و گیتا به معنی سرود و نغمه تشکیل شده؛ و شامل 18 فصل (فصلهای بیست و پنج تا چهل و دوم بخش ششم ماهابهاراتا) و حدود 700 بیت است،
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Holly
Jan 26, 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
Riku Sayuj
Jan 15, 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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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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Alex
Sep 21, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: James Franco
Shelves: 2016, 2016-bingo
The Bhagavad Gita is the most famous part of The Mahabharata, India's national epic. It's a dialogue between the warrior Arjuna and the god Krishna. They're standing between two armies; Arjuna has friends and relatives on both sides, and he asks Krishna whether he should fight. Their conversation immediately veers wildly off course, resulting in them talking philosophy for what must be hours right in the middle of a battlefield while all the other soldiers are probably like wtf dude, is this ser ...more
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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Kris
Jun 03, 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 09, 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
Foad
در روز جنگ، "اَرجونا"ى پهلوان سوار بر ارابه اى كه "كريشنا" مى راند به ميان معركه مى رسد، و درست هنگامى كه بايد سرنوشت جنگ را يكسره كند، دلش از اين همه خونريزى به درد مى آيد و مى گويد: اگر مرا بكشند بهتر از آن است كه من ايشان را بكشم.

در اين هنگام كريشنا، كه در حقيقت ايزد "ويشنو" است كه در قالب انسانى تجلّى يافته، ارجونا را با والاترين اسرار برهمايى آشنا مى كند: كشتن و كشته شدن هر دو مربوط به "مايا" و جهان نمودهاست، اما به جهان بود مرگ راه ندارد، ذات واحد همه ى موجودات نه نابود مى شود، نه تغيير مى
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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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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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Maria
Jun 23, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
بهاگاواد گيتا به معنای «سرود خداوند»، اسرارآمیزترین بخش از حماسه هندی ماهابهاراتا، مقدسترين كتاب آيين هندو و ومهمترین متن تاریخی ادبی و فلسفی جهان میباشد.
این کتاب نایاب و بسيار كهن، حاوی شرح گفتگوی کریشنا(بزرگترين خدای آيين هندو) و كمانگيری اساطيری به نام آرجونا را نقل میکند. اين گفتگوها پيش از جنگ بزرگ "کوروشـِترا" انجام يافته و افزون بر رويدادهای مربوط به اين جنگ، مسائلی بنیادی همچون آفرینش جهان، سرنوشت انسان، سرشت ایزدی، راههای رسیدن به آسمان، گونههای مختلف یوگا، آرامش ذهن وعدم تعلق به اشیاء
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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
TAB
Aug 14, 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
Jean
This is a simplified version of the Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit: भगवदगीता) or “Song of the Lord”. The work is often referred to simply as the “Gita”. Prashant Gupta begins,

“Here is the “Song Divine” or “Bhagwad Gita” for our young readers who resemble Arjuna in so many respects. It will serve them as a permanent and trustworthy companion in performing their various vocations and duties in life. It will lift them up in moments of depression.”

The Bhagavad Gita is a commentary on the “Upanishads”. Ther
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Chandan Sharma
Jun 09, 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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Manab
Feb 24, 2017 Manab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
সেদিন এক ধারমিক মুসলমান বনধু আমারে একগাদা জঞান দিয়ে গেলো, কেনো কাজ করে যেতে হবে ইতংবিতং, এই বই খুলে দেখি, এ মাঃ, এখানেও ত তাই লেখা।

বারো টাকা মূলয দিয়ে ইঁদুরে কাটা এ বই কিনতে হইলো। কিনতেই হইত, কারণ ইশারউডের অনুবাদ বাঁধায়ে রাখার মত সুনদর। এই লোকের কিছু গলপ পড়ার ভাগয হইছিলো এককালে, কিনতু এইখানে তার কাজ চমকে দেয়ার মতন। গীতার কিছু অংশ আমার ভালো লাগে না, লাগবার কথাও ছিলো না, এই যেমন অরজজুনের বিশবরূপ দরশন। তারপরেও, কাজ করে যা না বাবা, এসব কথা অনেকে বলবেন আরে মিয়া এইসব ত জানা কথা, মানি যে এসব জানা কথা,
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Abdulla Awachi
Jan 15, 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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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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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.
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
Erik Graff
Dec 22, 2008 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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Liam
Dec 12, 2016 Liam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual, yoga
My first reading, but certainly not my last. I disliked my particular translation (Penguin Classics 2008 by Laurie Patton). I figured this edition would be less pedantic and more coherent and accessible given it being translated in modern day New York. I felt I was hampered by:
1. Key terms and small details left in the text without nearby references
2. Unrewardingly unspecific footnotes
3. Vagueness imposed by trying to incorporate multiple interpretations at once
4. Strict verses and words chosen
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Matt
May 06, 2012 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
PREFACE

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
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Max Maxwell
Jul 05, 2009 Max Maxwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Eastern spirituality
Recommended to Max by: Harold Bloom; my younger brother; my friend Shawn
I wanted to give this a higher star rating, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

In several respects, this book is an absolute classic, not least of which that in which it is, first and foremost, the flagship book of the Hindu religion. (I had tried to tackle a religious edition ( Bhagavad Gita: As It Is , that with commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, which my younger brother gave me, it having in turn been given to him by the bass player of the hardcore band Glassjaw) but found
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  • The Upanishads: Translations from the Sanskrit
  • The Yoga Sutras
  • Ramayana
  • The Analects
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
  • Speaking of Siva
  • How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali
  • Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India
  • Hatha Yoga Pradipika
  • The Lotus Sutra
  • The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism
  • The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice
  • The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā
  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead
  • Light on the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali
  • The Diamond Sutra and the Sutra of Hui-Neng
  • An Introduction to Hinduism
  • The Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha
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Sir Edwin Arnold CSI CIE was an English poet and journalist who is most known for his work, The Light of Asia.

More about Edwin Arnold...

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