Back of the Book:
"The Vedas, the Upanisads, and the Gita can be seen as the main literary supports for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world." (Thomas Merton)
The oldest Indian scriptures are the four Vedas (Rg-, Yajur-, Sama-and Atharva-Veda). The essence of the Vedas are their philosophical statements, the Upanisads. But, for people in general, these Upanisads are not easy to understand. Therefore the sage Srila Vyasadeva compiled the epic Maha-bharata ('Greater Bharata'), in which he presented those same teaching in the chapters 25-42 of the Cento Bhisma-Parva as Srimad-Bhagavad-gita.
"I have offered thanks to God that I have been allowed to live long enough to read the Bhagavad-gita."(W.v. Humboldt)
"I owed a magnificient day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
"When I read the Bhagavad-gita and reflect about how God created this universe, everything else seems so superfluous." (Albert Einstein)
"In the morning I bathe my intellect in stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trival." (Henry David Thoreau)
"The Bhagavad-gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions." (Albert Schweitzer)
"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; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow." (Mohandas K. Gandhi)
"In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-gita with full understanding, it is necessary to attune our should to it." (Rudolph Steiner)
"The marvel of the Bhagavad-gita is its truly beautiful revelation of Life's wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion." (Herman Hesse)
"No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because not is better loved in the West then Bhagavad-gita." (Geddes MacGregor)
(1) Arjuna-visada-yoga -'The Yoga of Arjuna's Despondence': Observing the armies.
(2) Snakhya-yoga- The Yoga of Discrimination: The Lord raises His devotee Arjuna, who has fallen into the mire of despondency, by instructing him in the Yoga of wisdom.
(3) Karma-yoga- The Yoga of Work: Worshiping whom with devotin though the performance of their duties, the wise have attained liberation, that Lord should be worshiped through all acts.
(4) Jnana-karma-sannyasa-yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge and Renunciation of Work: The Lord teaches the twofold faith of activity and knowledge according to differences in conditions etc. amongst men.
(5) Karma-sannyasa-yoga - The Yoga of Renunciation of Work: He removes the doubt about an option between knowledge and selfless work and prescribes their combination in sequence.
(6) Atma-samyama-yoga - The Yoga of Self-control: He teaches the Yoga of the Self to Arjuna.
(7) Jnana-vijnana-yoga - The Yoga of Knowledge and Realization: The knowledge of Brahaman is attained without effort by the devotees of Krsna.
(8) Aksara-braham-yoga - The Yoga to the Supreme: A n easy attainment of the desired abode through the ascertainment of the meanings of eight specially desired questions is explicitely declared.
(9) Rajavidya-rajaguhya-Yoga - The Yoga of supreme Knowledge and Secret: The Lord speaks out of His grace about his own transcendental glory and the wonderful greatness of devotion.
(10) Vibhuti-Yoga- The Yoga of Meditation on Divine Glories: Even though the mind runs after external objects through the gates of the senses, to enjoin seeing God in everything, the Lord states His glories.
(11) Visvarupa-darsana-yoga- The Yoga of seeing the Universal Form: He shows to His devotee the universal form which is very difficult even for the gods to see or with millions of penances and sacrifices.
(12) bhakti-yoga- The yoga of Devotion: The way of the Unmanifest is difficult and is attained with many obstacles: therefore the wise man should take to the easier and noble path of devotion.
(13) Kestra-Kestrajna-vibhaga-yoga- The Yoga of Discrimination Between Body and Soul: The prakrti and purusa, which are mixed up, are accurately distinguished.
(14) gunatraya-vibhaga-yoga-The Yoga of Discerning the Three Modes: The ocean of relative existence, which results from the attachment to the gunas, which are subservient to the Lord, is easily crossed by His devotees.
(15) Purusottama-yoga- The Yoga to the Lord: Heaving cut the mundane tree, the Lord teaches the supreme state.
(16) Daivasura-sampad-vibhaga-yoga- The Yoga of Discerning Divine and Demoniac Attributes: By differentiating between the divine and demoniac attributes, it is shown that the pure-souled alone are fit for the knowledge of Truth.
(17) Sraddha-traya-vibhaga-yoga- The Yoga of Discerning Three Kinds of Faith: One who renounces rajasika and Tamasika Faith and takes recourse to sattvika faith, is fit for realization of the Truth.
(18) Moksa-sannyasa-yoga - The Yoga of Renunciation: He who is devoted to the Lord easily attains freedom from bondage by means of the knowledge of th self attained through His grace.
Brahma Sutras (81)
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