Summary of the Bhagavad Gita

Krishna and Arjuna

The Bhagavad-gita opens with blind King Dhritarashtra requesting his secretary, Sanjaya, to narrate the battle between his sons, the Kauravas, and their cousins, the Pandavas. Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, out of affection for His devotee, the Pandava prince Arjuna, has agreed to drive his chariot. As Arjuna takes up his bow and prepares to fight, he sees the sons of Dhritarashtra drawn in military array and requests infallible Krishna to draw his chariot between the two fighting forces. There in the midst of both armies, Arjuna’s mind reels as he foresees the imminent death of his teacher, relatives, and friends. He throws down his bow and arrows and decides not to fight.

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Introduction to Bhagavad Gita

Krishna and Arjuna

om ajnana-timirandhasya
jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah

“I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.”

Bhagavad-gita is also known as Gitopanishad. It is the essence of Vedic knowledge and one of the most important Upanishads in Vedic literature. Of course there are many commentaries in English on the Bhagavad-gita, and one may question the necessity for another one. This present edition can be explained in the following way. Recently an American lady asked me to recommend an English translation of Bhagavad-gita. Of course in America there are so many editions of Bhagavad-gita available in English, but as far as I have seen, not only in America but also in India, none of them can be strictly said to be authoritative because in almost every one of them the commentator has expressed his own opinions without touching the spirit of Bhagavad-gita as it is.

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