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The Bhagavad Gita

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  58,194 ratings  ·  2,139 reviews
The Bhagavad Gita is an early epic poem that recounts the conversation between Arjuna the warrior and his charioteer Krishna, the manifestation of God. In the moments before a great battle, the dialogue sets out the important lessons Arjuna must learn to change the outcome of the war he is to fight, and culminates in Krishna revealing to the warrior his true cosmic form, c ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published 2003 by Penguin (first published -400)
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Nov 22, 2012 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. ...more
Nandakishore Mridula
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it

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
Ahmad Sharabiani
भगवद्गीता = The Bhagavad Gita = The Song of God, Anonymous

The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as the Gita, is a 700 verse Hindu scripture in Sanskrit that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata (chapters 23–40 of the 6th book of Mahabharata).

The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna. At the start of the Dharma Yudhha (righteous war) between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is filled with moral dilemma and despair abou
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Brahma”

It’s the dawning of the Final Day - the day of Armageddon. The final confrontation between the massed forces of Good and Evil. And naturally, we are all terrified.

“I, Arjuna, am drenched in angst. I can find no meaning in life or in the cataclysmic approaching battle...

“For that battle will pit friend against friend, br
Oct 12, 2009 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

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
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
The man who sees me in everything
and everything within me
will not be lost to me, nor
will I ever be lost to him.

He who is rooted in oneness
realizes that I am
in every being; wherever
he goes, he remains in me.

When he sees all being as equal
in suffering or in joy
because they are like himself,
that man has grown perfect in yoga. (c)
He is the source of light in all luminous objects. He is beyond the darkness of matter and is unmanifested. He is knowledge, He is the object of knowledge, and He is th
Karla Becker
Apr 02, 2012 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."
Sean Barrs
Religion is a contentious topic. Many people are strongly opposed to it. This is especially so with young people in the modern world. Society has slowly been drifting away from its sacred texts for many centuries. I’m, of course, generalising very heavily here. There are still parts of the world that are devoutly religious, but the prominence of this is unmistakably reducing and will continue to reduce as time goes on. People raised by religious parents often grow up to become non-believers. Soc ...more
Alok Mishra
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, to all the readers who are baffled by the 'opinions' and 'interpretations' of the authors here, who are supposedly the translators with a 'Rudimental' knowledge of the original language in which the text is present, please read The Bhagavad Gita by the Indian sages and authors who were (and are) well-versed in Sanskrit. I would recommend the one by Sri Paramhansa Yogananda or by A C Bhaktivedanta. You will, then only, revel in the full knowledge and the depth.
And to some of the 'readers'
Jan 26, 2013 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 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 observat
Bionic Jean
This is a simplified version of the Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit: भगवद्गीता) 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”. The
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: James Franco
Shelves: 2016
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
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
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I am death, shatterer of worlds,
annialating all things"
- Bhagavad Gita, tr Stephen Mitchell


I’ll review later as it sinks deeper in.
I need some time to chew on it.
And, yes, perhaps just let go and
let the book be --
what it already is.
Brett C
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hinduism
I read this one alongside the 'Bhagavad-gita As It Is' by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Complete Edition published by the Krishna Books, Inc. This big difference with this version is that it reads as a narrative. Also this one published by Nilgiri Press mirrors the same books ('The Dhammapada' and 'The Upanishads') in structure, content layout, and book design.

There is a lengthy introduction (pgs. 7-67) and discusses various opening topics to include The Gita and Its Setting, The Upanisha
Mar 29, 2008 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
Jun 03, 2012 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
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
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 o
Aydin Mohseni
Nov 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost a decade later I re-read this and what I said below plus even more clarity. The Gita to me is a Hindu dictionary of terms, concepts, names for God, concepts of life, etc... that have their exact corollaries in everything else I've studied over the past 10 years. We're all trying to say the same thing - if we could just get past the terms we use and focus on the essence...

2011 thoughts
There are overarching themes in any of the great world traditions that can be practiced universally. In fa
Olivier Delaye
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a dense albeit intriguing read that, in all honesty, was a bit of a slog to get through. Even after listening to it twice (I know, I tend to do that to myself!), I’m not sure whether I grasped the full meaning of it with all its spiritual/religious ins and outs. And this is coming from a yoga and meditation devotee who’s read the Bible, the Quran, and the Torah. I seldom read poetry but when I do I always try to go for the crème de la crème, and even if the Bhagavad Gita is certainly th ...more
Roy Lotz
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is really remarkable. Although short, an awful lot of material is covered, laying out a whole worldview in a few pages. On a purely literary level, the Gita is marvelous—striking poetic imagery coupled with an epic frame narrative. There is even some comic-book coolness, like when Krishna reveals his universal form.

On a philosophical level, I was surprised by how familiar the ideas seemed—Krishna is the all-pervading presence from which all bounties flow, distrust sensual pleasures,
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
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
Chandan Sharma
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it

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
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Michael Finocchiaro
This is of course one of the fundamental Hindu texts and is actually an interesting read - a voyage through India with gods and goddesses, plenty of sex and violence. Kind of a literary Bollywood film on paper.
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Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyāsa, also known as Vyāsa or Veda-Vyāsa (वेदव्यास, the one who classified the Vedas into four parts) is a central and revered figure in most Hindu traditions. He is traditonally regarded as the author of the Mahābhārata, although it is also widely held that he only composed the core of the epic, the Bhārata. A significant portion of the epic later was only added in later centur ...more

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