Ma's India Blog: The Bhagavad Gita:
The Teachings of Krishna to Arjuna Mas India

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The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the ancient Sanskrit text, The Mahabarata, containing 700 verses in 18 chapters. The Bhagavad Gita is a wonderful epic teaching poem of a dialogue between Krishna, the Supreme Being and Arjuna, his friend/devotee. The Bhagavad Gita is the story of a struggle between two great families and written in the form of a conversation between one of the warriors, Prince Arjuna and his initially disguised chariot driver, Krishna. Arjuna, like an ancient Hamlet, questions his part in the war between the families, whether to perhaps kill friends, relatives and teachers in the opposing army or in the alternative, whether he should throw down his arms and allow himself to be sacrificed. Krishna, who gradually reveals himself to be the Supreme Lord as the Bhagavad Gita progresses, tells Arjuna that he must not only adhere to his duties in the world but also surrender to his karmic role as warrior and devotee of the great Krishna. In essence, as Krishna teaches, the story of the Bhagavad Gita is about absolute, unconditional loving surrender to one’s Divine Self which frees one from all sins, brings one to complete enlightenment and enables one to eventually return to Krishna’s eternal spiritual abode. In the one sees how spiritual teachers descend to reawaken the real purpose in man’s life. The Bhagavad Gita is really the story of all who aspire to be spiritual warriors on the path and the enormity of surrendering to one’s Divine Self in order to be free from the constraints of the world. Notwithstanding over 200 translations of this core text of the Hindu tradition, Bhagavad Gita by Stephen Mitchell is a restoration of a more profound and contemporary version in this work. Known for bringing ancient texts to life such as the Tao Te Ching, Rilke and Book of Job, he brings a new quality of restoration and resurgence to this translation of the Bhagavad Gita. Huston Smith has called it “the most poetic rendition.” By the simplicity of his writing, Mr. Mitchell makes the Bhagavad Gita very readable and luminous in its understanding of the quandry all spiritual people experience in choosing between worldly and spiritual values.Bhagavad Gita by by Eknath Easwaran, as well as the Upanishads and the Dhammapada have all been critically acclaimed for their spiritually uplifting poetry and inspiration. While Mr. Easwaran has published over 200 books, he is most well known for this translation of the Bhagavad Gita and in it one is brought immediately through his poetic renderings into the essence of the devotional dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. One of the ways in which this Bhagavad Gita is unique is that Mr. Easwaran gives in his chapter introductions clear explanations of key concepts such as “Wisdom from Realization,” “The Practice of Meditation,” “Selfless Service,” and “Cosmic View, as well as many others. In this, Easwaran’s Bhagavad Gita becomes not only a translation but also a teaching manual of yoga. Gita Deck: Wisdom from the Bhagavad Gita reveals the contemporary and popular desire of people wishing to pluck a card and see the wisdom of the day. In this deck, one sees not only the wise counsel reflected on the pages by Krishna to Arjuna but the colorful and expressive illustrations of India’s best artists, Indra Sharma, B.G. Sharma, and Mahavir Swami. A beautiful and inspirational artistic rendering of the Bhagavad Gita. Gita Wisdom by Joshua Greene is a delightful rendering of an ancient text, the Bhagavad Gita. Mr. Greene, reduces the ponderousness of this mighty epic to a heart-rending soul talk between two friends about the meaning of worldly and spiritual life and the struggle between the two. His version of the Bhagavad Gita differs from the others in that it is not presented in four line stanzas. This is a wonderful introductory book for somebody who wishes to encounter the Bhagavad-Gita but has been afraid to attempt looking into this larger than life epic. We are treated here to stories of these two adventurers who reminisce about their lives on the battlefield and their shared experiences. They are seen as contemporary friends who share struggles together and to whom Krishna is related by marriage of his sister to Arjuna. There are many relationships to a guru or teacher, but friend/devotee while most unusual, is seen in this great epic poem, the Bhagavad Gita. While extremely readable, Mr. Greene also gives learned explanations of Sanskrit words, allusions to sacred texts and yogic doctrine as the story proceeds.

by: Mas India icon18_email-7781555icon18_edit_allbkg-7824300

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