An ancient classic that can become a companion for your own spiritual journey.
Millions of people turn daily to India's most beloved holy book, the Bhagavad Gita ("Song of the Lord"), to instruct their spiritual practice. A Hindu classic, it has universal appeal for people of all faith traditions who turn to its inspirational support in the struggles of life, its consolation in times of grief, and its deeply moving promise of God's love and guidance.
Composed in Sanskrit verse thousands of years ago, this timeless text tells the story of a distraught warrior on the verge of battle and the compassionate counsel he receives from Krishna—God in human form. In just seven hundred lines, the Gita presents concise teachings on such topics as the immortality of the soul, meditation and yoga, worship and sacrifice, the ideal of selfless action, and the oneness of all life in the Divine.
Now you can read and understand the Gita with no previous knowledge of Hinduism required.
This SkyLight Illuminations edition offers insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that explains references and philosophical terms; shares the inspiring interpretations of famous spiritual teachers; and addresses questions such as the inner meaning of India's caste system and why this sublime discourse on inner peace is set against the background of a violent civil war.
About the Author
Shri Purohit Swami (1882-1941) was an Indian monk who traveled to the West in 1930 to teach the wisdom of Hinduism. In addition to the Bhagavad Gita, he translated The Ten Principal Upanishads (in collaboration with the poet William Butler Yeats).
Kendra Crossen Burroughs is a book editor whose specialty is religions of the East and West. She compiled The Essential Ken Wilber and Entering the Tao: Master Ni's Guidance for Self-Cultivation. A long-time student of the Bhagavad Gita, she lives in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Andrew Harvey is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including Son of Man. His memoir A Journey in Ladakh was praised as "one of the best books available on the Western experience of Tibetan spiritual life." His just-published memoir Sun at Midnight was praised by Deepak Chopra, who said, "for those who have gone through the dark night of the soul and for those seeking a genuine understanding of spirituality, this is a very inspiring story." Harvey is also the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Born in India, he was the youngest person ever awarded a fellowship to All Souls College, Oxford. He has devoted the past thirty years of his life to study and experiencing the world's spiritual traditions and is widely recognized as one of our greatest communicators of mysticism and contemplative living today.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Andrew Harvey ix
About the Bhagavad Gita xv
About the Translation and Annotation xxi
1. The Despondency of Arjuna 2
2. The Philosophy of Discrimination: Samkhya Yoga 10
3. The Path of Action: Karma Yoga 24
4. The Path of Wisdom: Jnana Yoga 32
5. The Renunciation of Action 42
6. Meditation and Self-Control: Dhyana Yoga 48
7. Knowledge and Experience 58
8. The Supreme Spirit 64
9. The Sovereign Secret 70
10. The Divine Manifestations 78
11. The Cosmic Vision 86
12. The Path of Love: Bhakti Yoga 98
13. Matter and Spirit 104
14. The Three Qualities 112
15. The Lord God 118
16. The Divine and Demoniac Civilizations 124
17. The Threefold Faith 130
18. The Spirit of Renunciation 136
Suggested Readings and Resources 159
List of Special Terms 163