Basics of Bhagavad Gita - A Thematic Study Bhagavad Gita
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Basics of Bhagavad Gita - A Thematic Study Bhagavad Gita

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Item Code: NAY445
Author: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Publisher: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9789386956699
Pages: 260 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details: 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 280 gm
About the Book
Unravel the philosophy of life and the spiritual essence of the Bhagavad Gita in a simplified and systemic manner with the introductory guide. Succinct text coupled with basic diagrams and colorful paintings illustrates abstruse concepts such as the soul, karma, destiny, God, Yoga, teacher and many more. This transcendental knowledge can be implemented in daily life to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.

About the Author
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada appeared in this world in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic Institutes), liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge. Srila Prabhupada became his student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple.

At their first meeting, in 1922, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad- gild, assisted the Gaudily Martha in its work, and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine. Single- handedly, Srila Prabhupada edited it, typed the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs and even distributed the individual copies. The magazine is now being continued by his disciples all over the world.

In 1950 Srila Prabhupada retired from married life, adopting the varjnaprastha (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing.

He travelled to the holy city of Vrndavana, where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic temple of Radha-Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study and writing. He accepted the renounced order of life (sannyasa) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara temple, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life's masterpiece: a multivolume commentated translation of the eighteen-thousand BASICS OF BHAGAVAD-GITA

verse Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.

After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam Srila Prabhupada came to the United States, in September 1965, to fulfill the mission of hi spiritual master. Sub equity, His Divine Grace wrote more than fifty volumes of authoritative commentated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India. When he first arrived by freighter in New York City, Srila Prabhupada was practically penniless. After almost a year of great difficulty, he established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in July of 1966. Before he passed away on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred asramas, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.

In 1972 His Divine Grace introduced the Vedic system of primary and secondary education in the West by founding gurukula school in Dallas, Texas. Since then his disciples have established similar schools throughout the United State and the rest of the world.

Preface
The Bhagavad-Gita is undoubtedly one of the greatest spiritual texts the world has known. Spoken in the dramatic background of a battlefield setting, the Bhagavad-Gita explores the most fundamental and important ideas relevant for humanity, in a dialogue format.

As the great Pandava warrior Arjuna finds himself bewildered at the onset of the war with his cousins - the Kauravas, his dear friend and guide - Krsna, dispels his illusions with a clear explanation of spiritual truths, and indeed, also of this world.

Despite the popularity of the Bhagavad-Gita and its numerous translations and editions, it remains a mysterious text, hard for most people to understand. The reason is that the e editions mostly take the reader away from the speaker of the text - Lord Krsna.

The very term "Bhagavad-Gita" meaning "Song of God" indicates that the speaker, Krsna, is God. But many commentators give some imaginary interpretation for this simple truth by saying, for example. that it is not Krsna who is speaking but rather it is "the unborn within Krsna" that is speaking, thus rendering a completely different meaning than the one stated and intended by the speaker.

The message of the book needs to be understood directly, or as it is, rather than through such speculative interpretations. A direct approach makes the text simple and the real meaning easily emerges. A speculative approach, however scholarly the commentator may be, can only take the reader away from the real meaning, thus leading to confusion.

So, when Krsna says in the Bhagavad-Gita. "I am the Supreme", there is no need for speculation. We take that statement to mean exactly what it says that Krsna is Supreme that is all? It is as simple as that.

It is based on this principle that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), wrote his translation and commentary of the Bhagavad-Gita. Deliberately and appropriately, he titled it "Bhagavad-Gita As It Is", to indicate that he followed the direct approach. This makes the book easy to understand and brings out the essence of Lord Krsna's me sage of devotion clearly.

This book, "Basics of Bhagavad-Gita" is based on the "Bhagavad-Gita As It Is" in particular and the teachings of Srila Prabhupada in general. We have preferred to adopt a thematic approach in this book that you now hold in your hands. What exactly is this 'thematic approach'? It is an approach where the subject matter is presented concept-wise, rather than chapter-wise.

There are many concepts given in the Bhagavad-Gita and it is essential to understand them properly and clearly. However, these concepts are spread throughout the book with Lord Krsna referring to them according to the questions Arjuna asks. To make it easier for the reader, we have, thus put together these concepts, drawing from different sections of the book.

As you read the Table of Contents, you will see how this categorization of concepts has been done.

We have also, from time to time, made references to certain ideas and theories that are prevalent in the modern age and analyzed them from the perspective of the Bhagavad-Gita.

Introduction
1.1 WHAT IS THE BHAGAVAD-GITA?

• Bhagavad-Gita is a classic of timeless wisdom, the summumbonum of spiritual truth. It has deeply influenced the thinking of generations of philosophers, theologians, educators, scientists and authors all over the world.

• Bhagavad-Gita was spoken five thousand years ago by Lord Krsna to His friend and devotee, Arjuna. This great historical event occurred before the onset of the Mahabharata war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, in northern India.

• Bhagavad-genii originally appears in the form of 700 Sanskrit verses, as an episode of the Mahabharata, a great historical epic, in which it occupies chapters 25 through 42 in the Bhima Parva. The author of Mahabharata is the great sage Vyasadeva, "the literary incarnation of God". Vyasadeva, after completing the four principal Vedas, the Upanishads and the Vedanta-sutra, decided to compile the Purar.tas and the Mahabharata for the benefit of common people who could not sufficiently assimilate the lofty philosophical teachings of the earlier works.

• Bhagavad-Gita is the essence of all Vedic knowledge and is one of the most important Upanisads in Vedic literature.

of his prescribed duties as a katriya (warrior), whose duty is to fight for a righteous cause in a holy war, decides, for personally motivated reasons (illusion), not to fight.

Lord Krsna, who has agreed to act as the charioteer of Arjuna's chariot, sees His friend and devotee in illusion and perplexity. He then proceeds to enlighten Arjuna regarding his immediate ocial duty (Varna dharma) as a warrior and more importantly, his eternal duty or nature (Sanatana-dharma) as a spiritual soul.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages








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