Bhagavad Gita

Discussion in 'COOL Books' started by BlackBillBlake, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    The Bhagavad Gita or 'Song of God' probably needs no intoduction to many.
    It is thought of as the crowning jewel of Hindu scriptures. It is part of the epic 'Mahabharata' and it relates the conversation between Sri Krishna and his faltering disciple Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
    It is like a compendium of spiritual knowledge.
    Unlike the major western scriptures such as the Bible and the Koran, the Gita points to a pluralistic approach to spirituality. Krishna tells Arjuna about many different paths and ways to the Divine.
    These range from works, rituals,through knowledge, to devotion and realization of the Divine Consciousness.

    There are many translations of the Gita available - Three I would recommend are the versions of Prabhavananda/Isherwood - a poetic translation that is very easy to read, and has an excellent intro by Aldous Huxley.
    'Bhagavad Gita as it is' by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is another popular version - the 'in house' translation used by ISKCON. Gives the traditional interpretation of the Vaishnava school - this is a bit slanted, but the translation is good.
    For a more in depth and philosophical view, Sri Aurobindo's version and commentary is IMO unsurpassed.

    BG Chapter 11.
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  2. Scholar_Warrior

    Scholar_Warrior Be Love Now

    I have always wanted to delve into this work, but for one reason or another, I have yet to do so.

    For a short time (when I was still married), my Wife and I visited New Goloka in Chapel Hill, NC and found the people there to be beautiful and pleasant. None-the-less, I couldn't escape the feeling that the "Hare Krishnas" were more than a bit cultish. What I really had a problem with tho' was the fact that they prayed to porcelain dieties.

    We enjoyed the people, the chanting, the dancing and the delicious vegetarian (lacto-vegetarian, of course) food emensely!

    I will keep the trans. by Sri Aurobindo in mind for the future. And thank you for the suggestion.

    Faith Love Hope
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  3. BlackBillBlake

    BlackBillBlake Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    The Hare Krishnas are only one school within the huge range of different teachings that is Sanatana Dharma (the Eternal Teaching or Law) or Hinduism. They are practicing Bhakti, the yoga of devotion - they don't worship the material 'doll' or deity, but the spirit of God they believe it represents. Just as Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe that Christ is actually present in the eucharist, so Vaishnavas, as worshipers of Krishna are called, believe that He is present in the deity to recieve their love and devotion.
    At a later stage, the deity isn't necessary, God is seen in the heart of the devotee, and later still in everything and everyone.

    Millions of Hindus look to the Gita - Ghandi for instance said it was a great inspiration to him.
    Please don't make the mistake of judging the whole of Hinduism, or the Gita on the basis of the ISKCON people. It would be just like judging all of Christianity on the basis of fundamentalist Baptists.

    The Gita is really about the science and art of Yoga. Yoga being the way to union with the Divine. It is in Gurdjieff's terms a way of 'conscious labour', but different people are at different stages of the path, and so many different methods and approaches are necessary.

    The over-riding message is Love.:)
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  4. Scholar_Warrior

    Scholar_Warrior Be Love Now


    I was not put off by the Hare Krishnas at all, and didn't mean it to sound like that. I didn't judge all Hindus by this one group. I love the Hare Krishnas that I met, but I didn't feel it was my path. I only meant that I was unaware of the other translations, busy as I have been with martial art, chi gung, Tao, and, of course, Gurdjieff.

    I appreciate your sharing.
  5. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

  6. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    I suggest the Penguin Books version translated by Macaro. Quick read of the text itself (70-odd pages) w/o side commentary. then read a commentary!
  7. SvgGrdnBeauty

    SvgGrdnBeauty only connect

    I personally enjoy the Penguin version, myself. A lot of their translations of Hindu books are v. good. :)
  8. raysun

    raysun D4N73_666 4861786f72

    the Bhagavad Gita is a interesting book to read it has been a while since I read a spiritual book the last one I read was yogi Ramacharaka THE HINDU YOGI Science of Breath which is good for reading, you learn good breathing techniques which can also be used for meditation.....
  9. The Bhagavad Gita is the best book I have ever read. It opened my eyes to so many things. I always read it when I'm tripping.
  10. AK Bones

    AK Bones Member

    There is a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita called "Perennial Psychology of The Bhagavad Gita" By Swami Rama, published by the Himalayan Institute, that I would highly recommend.

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