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Bhagavad-Gita As It Is

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,997 ratings  ·  326 reviews
A translation of the short Sanskrit text with EXTENSIVE commentary from a Hare Krishna standpoint.
Hardcover, 883 pages
Published 1997 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (first published January 1st 1968)
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Shashidhar No, it is not for Hindus. It's similar to a manual of life. There is no implied restrictions, somewhere it is even stated all human beings regardless…moreNo, it is not for Hindus. It's similar to a manual of life. There is no implied restrictions, somewhere it is even stated all human beings regardless of differences, should take advantage of this book. Pick yourself up one, but I have to warn you, the teachings are open to multiple interpretations, if you seriously want to practice then you would have to find a legit master. For now just start reading it, it is not for Hindus, it is for humans.

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Sanjay Gautam
May 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 28, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Nov 13, 2007 rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 06, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a way to live life..hence will be reading it forever...
Dec 12, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Edit, 29.09.2019: I had posted a review for this book back when I [partially] read it in December 2016. In retrospect, the review seems pretty childish to me. I completely disregarded the fact that the Gita was written in a period when women and men were - by and large - not considered to be equals.

What had annoyed me from the very outset was how Krishna-centric this translation was*, but I had soldiered through anyway. Later, when I came across this women-are-of-low-birth bit, it offended me
Richard Houchin
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
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
Arun Mahendrakar
Dec 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'll begin by saying that my intention of reading Bhagavad Gita was not to find god, but to gain a better understanding of life.

Unfortunately, most part of the book is just blind following of Krsna - "DO THIS; DON'T DO THAT because Krsna said so". The primary goal of the book was to provide enlightenment to the ignorant and those in suffering. Instead all it does is to drive people in believing that 'follow Krsna and all your problems will go away'. Hmm.. I don't think so.

In 9:23, it says:
Tushar Tyagi
Mar 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
I have read some Hindi versions of the text. This is the first English version that I am reading. The author has done a nice job in translating the verses from Sanskrit to English and pointing out the meanings of tough Sanskrit words. But everything good ends there. The explanation or "Purport" written here have some faults according to me.

In Hindu scriptures, God is treated as an entity having no shape, no figure; it is omnipresent and has no name nor any gender. But in this text, Lord Krishna
Kshitij Joshi
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church
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
Spencer Rich
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I am kind of reluctant to give this particular translation more than two stars. It has many, many issues. It is particularly ironic that the phrase "as is" is part of the title, as I find the translator's introduction and commentary both contradictory and extremely redundant. It is not unlike the mind that wanders during meditation. I also find it absurd that he claims the superiority of his translation compared to others because others have ulterior motives, when it's clear that he is on a ...more
Brett C
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hinduism
I read this version of the Gita alongside the Eknath Easwaran's translation published by Nilgiri Press in 2007. This version differs as it gets in-depth as a whole. The book gives the Sanskrit text, the transliteration, a correlating lexicon, the translation, and then a purport which summarizes and interprets the Sanskrit passage.

From what I have read and visually compared to the Eknath Easwaran text both books are the same and include the entire Gita. I could be wrong as this is my first rodeo
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
According to this book I am definitely a demon. Very mixed feelings about this one, a love hate relationship. Did a lot of cherry picking of the good stuff and ignoring a lot of the garbage. But overall this is a really great piece of literature and worth reading. The two big take aways for me are abandoning materialism and how everything including us as humans are just temporary forms of energy. Also very suprised on how much of this seemed to be hijacked and adopted into Christianity, many ...more
Kevin Bello
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 11, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly what surprised me about this is how much is was like other religious texts, telling you that in order for you to understand, you first have to believe, and that god is everything etc. A lot of the language seemed very old testament-ish.

It was repetitive, like any religious texts, meant to brainwash you. The biggest difference between this and other religious texts is how much it talked about transcendentalism and compassion. All that can be addressed without a deity. What is a
Linda McKenzie
Aug 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sectarian, fundamentalist dogma. Although I read it cover to cover, my advice is, don't bother with it.

And as Hayagriva Dasa has documented, Prahbupadha did not do the translation, as is claimed. He used Sarvapelli Radhakrishnan's translation, unacknowledged, and added his own purports.

But then the cult of ISKCON seems to believe that the end justifies the means if the end is "for Krishna."
Vijay Dhameliya
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May 2017. I don't know why but I've been wanting to read this again. I'm a Christian but I love this beautiful story.
Sai Kishore
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the greatest,best scripture,most profound books ever written.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book.
This book can be read all the time.
Rose Fuller
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tanmay Tathagat
What is the Bhagavad Gita, really? A great poetic masterpiece? Of course. A majestic philosophy of life? Definitely. Is it a perfect book? Is it the book to live one's life by? Is it the book? Sadly, no. This is a book filled with misogyny, hatred (only towards the one who does not believe in Krishna, of course) and bigotry. The translation is competent, I'm sure. The commentary is, quite frankly, sort of stupid and small-minded. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada is no different from the priest or the ...more
Brian Reagan
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May 23, 2008 added it
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
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a great book as a summery of "Hindu" ways of living. Moreover, it is a comprehensive epitome of East Indian vision towards life and spirituality. I personally strongly recommend not to go through the commentaries given by Mr. Prabhupada over shlokas as each shloka in the book needs to be understood at own personal level and tested in the real life by each individual. In short Bhagwat Geeta reflects all the possible spiritual paths out there for the seekers of "truth", which can be ...more
May 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would say "half of the book is the patronizing drivel of the dancing Swami", but it's actually more than half. Each verse of the Gita is opposed by another page of his commentary, which is longer than the text it recaps with numbing monotone.

At least they give it out free and you can ignore the pages on the right.
Britta Stumpp
Re-reading the Gita before my visit to the temple next weekend ;0)
Saru (Queen of Bookland)
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014

Reading this for religious reasons :)
Dev N. Samal
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People Might Perceive This Book As A Religious Practice When They See The Cover. But It's Totally Not About Religious Practices. This Book Is All About One's Duties, Human Natures, Achieving Happiness And Strengthening Your Character. Here Are Some Great Reviews Of This Book By Famous Peoples:

Albert Einstein: When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was
Krishna Kumar
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Krishna Kumar by: a Hare Krishna devotee distributing in New Zealand
This particular edition of the holy book really helps one understand how the material nature and spiritual nature works, the science of God, our relationship with the Divine, different stages of spiritual growth, the purpose of life and finally the message of Lord Krishna to humanity. The author, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Founder-Acharya of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (the Hare Krishna Movement) has presented the words of Krishna as it is with the purport ...more
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His Divine Grace Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (अभय चरणारविनद भकतिवेदानत सवामी परभुपाद)was born as Abhay Charan De on 1 September 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
“One whose happiness is within, who is active within, who rejoices within and is illumined within, is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.” 17 likes
“The cause of the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of his relationship with God.” 13 likes
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