Often called the “Bible” of Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita is found in households throughout India and has been translated into every major language of the world. Literally billions of copies have been handwritten and printed.
The clarity of this translation by Abbot George Burke makes for easy reading, while the rich content makes this the ideal “study” Gita. As the original Sanskrit language is so rich, often there are several accurate translations for the same word, which are noted in the text, giving the spiritual student the needed understanding of the fullness of the Gita.
What is the appeal of the Gita?
- It is totally practical, free of any vague or abstract philosophy.
- It is not dogmatic. At the very end Krishna says to Arjuna: “Now I have taught you that wisdom which is the secret of secrets. Ponder it carefully. Then act as you think best.” No threats, no promises, no coercion. It is all in the reader’s hands.
- The Bhagavad Gita tells us that we can attain a Knowing beyond even what it tells us. And it shows us the way.
For those unable to make a spiritual journey to India, a greater pilgrimage can be made by anyone anywhere in the world by simply reading The Holy Song of God, the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. It will be a holy pilgrimage of mind and spirit.
“I started reading Swami Nirmalananda Giri’s translation with a sense of apprehension. I have read several other English translations over the years and found them to be quite confusing, however, I found this book enjoyable to read and it made sense to me. I am sure this will prove to be a most valuable resource to people for whom English is their primary or only language.”
—David, Amazon reviewer
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Excerpts from The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God
From Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita
You have been mourning for those who should not be mourned for, though you speak words of wisdom. The wise mourn neither the living or the dead. (2:11)
Truly there never was a time when I was not, nor you, nor these lords of men–nor in the future will there be a time when we shall cease to be. (2:12)
As to the embodied person childhood, youth and old age arise in turn, so he gets another body–the wise are not deluded by this. (2:13)
Truly, material sensations produce cold, heat, pleasure and pain. Impermanent, they come and go; you must endeavor to endure them. (2:14)
Truly, the man whom these sensations do not afflict, the same in pain and pleasure, that wise one is fit for immortality. (2:15)
It is known that the unreal never comes to be, and the real never ceases to be. The certainty of both of these principles is seen by those who see the truth. (2:16)
Know indeed that That by which all this universe is pervaded is indestructible. There is no one whatsoever capable of the destruction of the Eternal. (2:17)
These bodies inhabited by the eternal, indestructible, immeasurable, embodied Self are said to come to an end. Therefore, fight! (2:18)
He who thinks the Self is the slayer and he who thinks the Self is slain: neither of the two understands. The Self slays not, nor is it slain. (2:19)
Neither is the Self slain, nor yet does it die at any time; nor having been will it ever come not to be. Birthless, eternal, perpetual, primeval, it is not slain whenever the body is slain. (2:20)
From Chapter 6 of the Bhagavad Gita
The yogi should fix his awareness constantly on the Self, remaining in solitude, alone, with controlled mind and lower self, without desires or possessiveness. (6:10)
Establishing for himself a firm seat in a clean place, not too high and not too low, covered with kusha grass, an antelope skin and a cloth, (6:11)
There, having directed his mind to a single object, controlling thought and activity of the senses, sitting on the seat he should practice yoga for the purpose of self-purification. (6:12)
Holding the body, head and neck erect, motionless and steady, looking toward the origin of his nose and not looking around, (6:13)
With mind quieted, banishing fear, firm in the brahmachari’s vow, controlling the mind, with thoughts fixed on me, steadfast, he should sit, devoted to me. (6:14)
Always disciplining himself thus, the yogi whose mind is subdued goes to the supreme peace of nirvana, and attains to union with me. (6:15)
From Chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Gita
The constantly steadfast who worship you with devotion, and those who worship the eternal Unmanifest–which of them has the better understanding of yoga? (12:1)
The Holy Lord said:
Those who are ever steadfast, who worship me, fixing their minds on me, endowed with supreme faith, I consider them to be the best versed in yoga. (12:2)
But those who worship the Imperishable, the Undefinable, the Unmanifested, the All-pervading, Inconceivable, Unchanging, Unmoving, the Constant– (12:3)
Controlling all the senses, even-minded everywhere, happy in the welfare of all beings–they attain to me also. (12:4)
Greater is the effort of those whose minds are set on the Unmanifest, for the Unmanifest as a goal is truly difficult for the embodied ones to reach. (12:5)
But those who, renouncing all actions in me, intent on me as the highest goal worship me, meditating on me with single-minded Yoga– (12:6)
Of those whose consciousness has entered into me, I am soon the deliverer from the ocean of mortal samsara. (12:7)
Keep your mind on me alone, causing your intellect to enter into me. Thenceforward, without doubt, you shall dwell in me. (12:8)
If you are unable to fix your mind on me steadily, then seek to attain me by the constant practice of yoga. (12:9)
If you are unable to practice yoga, be intent on acting for my sake. Even by performing actions for my sake, you shall attain perfection. (12:10)
If you are unable to do even this, then relying upon my yoga power, relinquishing all the fruits of action, act with self-restraint. (12:11)
Knowledge is indeed better than practice; meditation is superior to knowledge; renunciation of the fruit of action is better than meditation; peace immediately follows renunciation. (12:12)
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