Bhagavad-Gita As It Is

Eminent scholars, scientists and philosophers have recognised the profound wisdom that the Bhagavad-gita offers. Gandhi once commented:

“When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me. I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.”

Bhagavad-Gita As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami PrabhupadaIs it a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna on a battlefield over five thousand years ago? Well, yeah. How is that relevant to us? What did they talk about?

Arjuna had a problem. He was getting ready to fight a war, and at the last minute, when all the armies were already on the battlefield, he decided he didn’t want to fight anymore.

He had family on the other side. Friends. His teachers were over there. His grandfather was over there. All of a sudden, the idea of fighting them all to the death was the last thing Arjuna wanted to do:

"Killing is wrong. I shouldn’t be here. I should just go away, or just let them kill me..."

Sounds nice. Arjuna was a peaceful man. He didn’t want to hurt anybody. But his friend, Krishna, had a whole different perspective.

He said, "First of all, Arjuna, you’re not that body. Body and soul are different. You can’t kill the soul. None of these personalities is going to stop existing, ever - not you, not me, all these warriors...

"At the same time, it’s My plan that everyone here is going to die - at least their temporary bodies are going to come to an end - and I've already done it. it’s a done deal. All you need to do is be My instrument for getting the job done."

Then Krishna explains everything to Arjuna. The nature of the soul... How the soul is different from the body. How did all these eternal souls wind up in temporary bodies. What are we supposed to do in this world. Are we supposed to stay here forever? Who is God, and what does He have to say about all this?

Bhagavad-gita (literally, the song of God). Krishna telling it like it is. Always relevant. You got questions, at least, really good philosophical ones? Bhagavad-gita has a lot of really good philosophical answers.

Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada) is written in the tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, and the members of ISKCON consider the book authoritative and literally true (mukhya-vrtti). Like the majority of other Hindu traditions, Gaudiya Vaishnavism regards the Bhagavad Gita as the essence of the Vedic knowledge and the Upanishads.

Overview of the Bhagavad-gita by Sutapa Dasa (ISKCON, London)

What follows is a humble attempt to bring together some insights in the form of a short overview of the Bhagavad-gita. My aim is not to draw out every single philosophical point, but rather to highlight key concepts in each chapter. Hopefully this overview will assist readers in understanding the flow, context and practical application of these timeless spiritual teachings. It may also assist teachers of the Bhagavad-gita in their attempts to share this wisdom with others.

This small booklet is based on the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, translated by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. His translation has revolutionised modern thinking, and each purport elucidates the incredibly profound life lessons that Lord Krishna imparts to Arjuna. I hope this humble attempt to share some of that wisdom will inspire the reader to study Srila Prabhupada’s full translation which can answer every question, remove every doubt, and ultimately bring one face-to-face with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Above all, I undertook this exercise for my own spiritual growth, praying that someday I will genuinely live by these teachings.