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The Living Gita: The Complete Bhagavad Gita - A Commentary for Modern Readers

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  465 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The Bhagavad Gita tells the story of how Arjuna, the great warrior, is seated in his chariot about to engage in battle, when he sees his own kinsmen and his revered teacher arrayed in battle against him, and feels that he cannot fight. It is then that Krishna, the Cosmic Lord, comes to counsel him. Arjuna represents the human soul seated in the chariot of the body and Kris ...more
Paperback, 1st Edition, 326 pages
Published January 15th 1997 by Integral Yoga Publications (first published January 15th 1988)
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4.39  · 
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 ·  465 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is not a book you read in once. Everyday I red a few pages and thought about it, wrote about it and talked about it. It was part of my yoga teacher training and I got a questionnaire with it that made me think even more and deeper about it. This book changed my way of living in a very positive way. I also often use it as a reference for my philosophical theme.
Brieanne Tanner
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Swami Satchidananda's commentary provides an almost cliffnote like feel. Having visited Yogaville in 2010, I felt connected to this version and needed some of the overexplaining as a Westerner. My favorite line in the book is Chapter 4:23. "When you let go of all attachments and experience liberation, your mind becomes absorbed in the truth. Then everything you do becomes a sacrifice and all your karmas melt away." Highly Recommended to any yoga practitioners seeking to decode the real Bhagavad ...more
Nov 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Arjuna, you ask so many questions!
Jul 12, 2007 added it
Shelves: yoga
the war is in your mind.
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
The Gita is perhaps my all-time favorite book, but I am not a fan of Satchidananda's commentary. His style reminds me somewhat of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in that his insight comes across as vague and "airy fairy." I prefer academic translations, as I've noticed western college professors remain keenly neutral when translating the original texts while also providing little to no subjective commentary. After all, it seems to me, when reading such an epic text as the Gita, the "true meaning" within ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it
In a language where the word for "yesterday" - "kal" - is the same as the word for "tomorrow," reading the Gita is certainly a window into the Hindu world view.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
Wow, I made so many highlights in this text and look forward to referencing it for many years to come. This version of the Bhagavad Gita is illuminated with a fantastic and very engaging commentary. I found the commentary so engaging because it's fairly opinionated. I'm reconciling the yogic philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita with the humanist point of views I've primarily investigated. They have tons of overlap and seem to deviate with how far they go past "dynamic individual will" into "divine wi ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book to always look back at and review. Small sections at a time to better understand.
Kaspars Laizans
Gīta for the West?

Got this version, because wanted some background info, otherwise specific terms and phrases are impossible to understand. What i got instead was a teacher telling his interpretation of the text. with poorly phrased examples and loads of misunderstood physics on his end
Jenny Edwards
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Living your yoga

This books is wonderful. It's true to the essence of yoga, which is finding bliss or the peace within all of us. Yoga is ultimately about connecting with The Divine that resides within all beings. Namaste
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best translation and interpretation of Bhagavad-Gita. The stories and examples make the verses easy to understand. The author added his own philosophy. Some of them are inspiring, but some do not make much sense.
Anyway it is an amazing book for yogis.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great version of the BG - not only do you get the actual text of the BG, but great explanation in between. This is so excellent - will prob buy this one to keep for my collection.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely Useful in understanding Bhagvad Gita.
Christina Laureen
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books that I have ever read and will read again and again. It is truly beautiful and enlightening.

I believe that no matter what your religion or belief, everyone should read this book. It's a book on personal growth.

Easy to follow, understand and connect with. Sri Swami Satchidananda did a great job breaking down the text.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I had been meaning to read the Bhagavad Gita for a while, and chose this particular version because it was required for my yoga teacher training. I'm glad I started with this one, because the translation and commentary was extremely approachable. Swami Satchidananda does a great job passing down this ancient wisdom while putting it in terms of life in today's society. It doesn't feel distant or irrelevant to our current world. Swami Satchidananda tells us how to apply this to our lives, and brin ...more
Shreyas Saxena
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
I have been meaning to read Bhagavad Gita from my high-school. It is the holy book of Hindu religion. People generally confuse it with something highly mystic, and something involving blind faith in god. However, this one is different from the rest.

In Gita, there is conversation between Krishna and Arjuna. Arjuna is in a battle-field but having second thoughts about fighting a war against his brothers. In this dilemma he approaches Krishna, who then gives him the distilled knowledge about life a
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
(the person who originally posted this book on good reads misspelled Bhagavad Gita)

Though a bit verbose and overly poetic in his explanations of the verses of the epic poem, Satchidananda is very good at making a very eastern philosophy accessible to the western mind. I would recommend this book to anyone who is unfamaliar with the BhagavadGita and would like a gentle, easy introduction to the philosophies and spiritual beliefs presented in this ancient and beautiful text.
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"The one who knows what is to be known, doesn't need scriptures. That's the essence of the 46th sloka. But that doesn't mean scriptures are unnecessary. They are something like a ladder. The one who has gone up doesn't need a ladder anymore. But what about the others still on the ground? They have to go up, too. So at least for their sake, keep the ladder."
Sri Swami Satchidananda

.....I'm still on the ground.
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a beginner in this literature I'm finding it very helpful. The author makes it easy to understand with his commentary.
Jun 28, 2008 added it
If you have not read these teachings, it is worth the time. Beautifully translated and a book where you should take your time to read.
Ruby Gonzalez
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great life lessons learned through each and every chapter. I must read for someone that has a hard time doing good and being good.
hoping a session this weekend will provide a little more insight!
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One man's interpretation of one of the holy books of Hinduism. Very positive and enriching.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great interpretation of an ancient text. Loved the stories and personal details to make it relevant to modern times.
Vikram Shah
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing…Will change your life for the better… :-)
Jun 16, 2014 rated it liked it
is it sacrilegious to give this only three stars? i'm sorry, krishna, but you need an editor.
Laura Warner
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Challenging, but so worthwhile.
Apr 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Another required book for my yoga teacher training. Classic foundational text for yogis. The commentary from Satchidananda is very good as well, deepening the meaning of the slokas.
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So clear and well explain , love the analogies in it ... Satchidananda was an amazing writter that captures your attention and stimulate your thinking in the most simple way .. LOVE IT !!!!!
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
excellent commentary according to the modern reader understanding
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H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda (Sri Gurudev) born C. K. Ramaswamy Gounderis respected worldwide as one of the major pioneers of the interfaith movement and as one of the most respected Yoga Masters of our time. Sri Gurudev's teachings and spirit guide us toward a life of peace and to religious harmony among all people. Invited to come to the West in 1966, Sri Gurudev was quickly embraced by young A ...more
“When your intelligence is shaken by the conflicting opinions of others don’t get upset over it, because you know the truth. Just accept their opinions as mere words. You simply feel, “Yes, that’s what they feel. Let them feel that way.” It may appear to be conflicting, but you give the freedom to others to think the way they want and say what they want. The enlightened person is not affected by that.” 6 likes
“I am the same toward all beings. Before me, no one is hateful and no one is more or less cherished. However, those who lovingly worship me will realize that they are actually part of me and I live in them.” 3 likes
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