The Bhagavad-Gita: The Sacred Song

Overview

Henry David Thoreau said:

"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial."

Mahatma Gandhi said:

"When disappoint stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad-Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there, and I immediately begin to...

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Overview

Henry David Thoreau said:

"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial."

Mahatma Gandhi said:

"When disappoint stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad-Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there, and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies."

ABOUT THIS RENDITION

This lucid rendition allows the average person and the scholar an easy entry into a vast ocean of transcendental knowledge. The important verses are printed in red for the convenience of the first time readers and concise commentaries are made only on key verses that enables a reader to get directly to the point. Simultaneously, this work is intended for advanced readers, presenting the original Sanskrit text in an easy to read format along with the Roman transliteration. The sayings of saints and sages of major religious denominations as well as world leaders and scholars are included.

Quotations from the Vedas, Upanishads, BrahmaSutra, YogaSutra, BhaktiSutras, Puranas, ManuSmriti, Ramayanas, Mahabharata, as well as other major scriptures of the world such as the Bible, Dhammapada, and Koran have been incorporated to highlight the basic unity of all religious views and help propagate the Universal Fellowship of humankind. Several mantras, a guide to meditation, and forty verses of the Holy Gita (Gita Chalisa) are included for daily reading and contemplation.

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What People Are Saying

Douglas Remington
Douglas Remington, Los Angeles, 1997
American Gita Society now offers a translation, rendering thought provoking delicacy for the scholar, and at the same time provides unbiased commentaries that can be easily understood by the layperson. This rendition does not endorse, propagate, or oppose any causes, and delivers a translation that is devoid of all personal motivation and speculation.
Dr. Phillippe De Coster
Dr. Philippe De Coster, D.D, Belgium
... every sincere translator of the Universal Gita should have Dr. Ramananda Prasad's translation for constant reference. This rendition of Gita is original and authoritative. It is a concise reference tool for every seeker, and every translator. The Eternal Truth is plainly brought forward, and, at the same time the best and most easily read translation in English ....
Gsibbery
Gsibbery, Baton Rouge, LA.
A wonderful translation. It's about time that we get a new translation of the Bhagavad-Gita. Dr. Prasad takes a much more low-key approach, simply translating the Gita to the best of his ability and allowing the reader to make sense of it rather than forcing his own opinions on others. Any time there is the possibility of confusion, Prasad defines his terms and goes to the extra effort to make sure that what Vyasa was trying to describe is clear to even ones not familiar with Indian/Eastern philosophy. More accurate than most other translations and rendered into modern prose, this makes an excellent place to start with if you're new to Eastern thought.
H.H. Swami Chidanand Sarasawati
H. H. Swami Chidanand Sarasawati (Muniji) Rishikesh, India
Dr. Prasad brings the ancient wisdom and insights of divine message into modern applicability. A beautiful blend of melodic and compelling commentary......
Ojasvi Dasa
Ojasvi Dasa, Divine Life Society of Brazil
...this translation has an excellent format. It is very simple, compact, nice, and comfortable to read. Your book is Maha Prasada. I like it very much ....
Prof. Anthony Beavers
Prof. Anthony Beavers, University of Evansville, Indiana, USA
I am currently creating a textbook on ancient world cultures on the World-Wide Web. I would like to include the translation of the Gita by Dr. Ramananda Prasad in my site. I am interested in representing India fairly, and I fear that the translation of the Gita by Sir Edwin Arnold that is distributed all over the net will do more to turn students away rather than introduce them fairly to the text.
R. Puran
R. Puran, Williamsville, Trinidad
I have read several editions of the Gita, and never have I sprung upon such a simple and lucid description of the essence of the Gita and its background......
Steven Blackwell
Steven Blackwell, New York
I want to implore your organization to continue spreading the truth found in the Gita to those who seek spiritual transcendence from the fetters of commercialism.
Vedanta Kesari
Vedanta Kesari, Calcutta, May 1997
...this rendition is a product of a meditative brooding to convey the spirit of the original. As a result, clarity and simplicity characterize the translation. The author's explanation of the verses does not suffer from any distortion of meaning or interpretation. Judicious use of Sanskrit in the translation conveys its majestic beauty to the reader. His lucid English prose style makes a pleasant reading. It is marked by terseness and clarity and is devoid of superfluity. This book is refreshingly free from any sectarian slant .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780962109928
  • Publisher: American Gita Society
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,422,275
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Review comments i
Aims and objectives of the Gita Society iv
Preface vii
Message of solace in the Gita xiii
List of Abbreviations xv
Introduction xvii
1. Arjuna's Dilemma 1
Arjuna wants to inspect the army
Arjuna's dilemma
Arjuna gets deluded
2. Transcendental Knowledge 14
The spirit is eternal, body is transitory
Death and transmigration of soul
The science of selfless action
Theory and practice of KarmaYoga
Marks of a Self-realized person
Dangers of unrestrained senses
Peace through sense control and Self-knowledge
3. Path of KarmaYoga 49
Why one should serve others?
The first commandment of Hinduism
Leaders should set an example
What should the wise do to the ignorant?
All works are the works of nature
Two stumbling blocks on the path
Origin and control of sin or lust
4. Path of Renunciation with Knowledge 71
Why God incarnates?
Path of worship and prayer
Division of labor is based on the aptitude
Attached, detached, and forbidden action
A KarmaYogi is not bound by Karma
Different types of sacrifices
The gift of knowledge is the best gift
A KarmaYogi obtains Self-knowledge
Need for both Self-knowledge and Seva
5. Path of Renunciation 92
Both paths lead to the Supreme
A KarmaYogi works for God
Marks of an enlightened person
The path of meditation and contemplation
6. Path of Meditation 103
A KarmaYogi is a renunciant
Mind is both a friend and an enemy
Techniques of meditation
Who is a Yogi?
Two methods to subdue the mind
Destination of unsuccessful yogi
Who is the best yogi?
7. Self-knowledge and Enlightenment 128
Seekers are very few
Matter, consciousness, and spirit
Supreme spirit is the basis of everything
Who seeks God?
Everything is a manifestation of God
God can be seen in any desired form of worship
8. The Eternal Being (Brahma) 144
Spirit, individual soul, and Karma
Theory of reincarnation and Karma
A simple method of God-realization
How to attain salvation
The creation is cyclic
Paths of departure from world
Self-knowledge leads to salvation
9. Supreme Knowledge and Big Mystery 160
The theory of evolution and involution
The ways of the wise and of the ignorant
Everything is a manifestation of God
Attaining salvation by devotional love
The Lord accepts the offering of love
There is no unforgivable sinner
The path of devotional love is easier
10. Manifestation of the Absolute 178
God gives Self-knowledge to His devotees
Nobody can know the Reality
Everything is His manifestation
Creation is a small fraction of the Absolute
11. Vision of the Cosmic Form 194
The vision of God is the aim of a seeker
Lord Krishna shows His cosmic form
We are only a divine instrument
Arjuna's prayers to the cosmic form
One may see God in any form
Lord can be seen by devotional love
12. Path of devotion 217
Worship a personal or impersonal God?
Four paths to God
KarmaYoga is the best way
The attributes of a devotee
One should develop divine qualities
13. Creation and the Creator 231
The theory of creation
The fourfold noble truth and Nirvana
God can be described only by parables
The faith alone can lead to Nirvana
Attributes of the spirit
14. Three Modes of Nature 248
Three modes bind the soul
Three modes are the vehicles of transmigration
How to rise above the three modes
Cut the bonds of modes by devotional love
15. The Supreme Person 260
Creation is like a tree of Maya
How to attain salvation
The embodied soul is the enjoyer
Spirit is the essence of everything
The supreme spirit, spirit, and the soul
Descent of the Supreme Being
16. Divine and the Demonic Qualities 274
A list of major divine qualities
There are only two types of human beings
Three gates to hell
One must follow the scriptural injunctions
17. Threefold Faith 288
Three types of food
Three types of sacrifices
Austerity of thought, word, and deed
Three types of charity
18. Liberation Through Renunciation 301
Definition of renunciation and sacrifice
The four goals of human life
Three types of pleasure
The ultimate path to God
The highest service to God
The Grace of Gita
Epilogue 339
Forty Verses of the Gita 341
Index 355
About the Author 362
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2005

    Wonderful Translation

    It's about time that we get a new translation of the Bhagavad Gita. The most popular version nowadays seems to be Swami Prabhupada's version, but unfortunately, he seems to think he is god. Prasad takes a much more low-key approach, simply translating the Gita to the best of his ability and allowing the reader to make sense of it rather than forcing his own opinions on others. Any time there is the possibility of confusion, Prasad defines his terms and goes to the extra effort to make sure that what Vyasa was trying to describe is clear to even ones not familiar with Indian philosophy. More accurate than most other translations and rendered into modern prose, this makes an excellent place to start with if you're new to Eastern thought. Few terms are left in Sanskrit other than those that are necessary (Dharma, Karma, etc.). A wonderful addition to any seeker's library.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2009

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