The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita

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Author: Swami Nikhilananda
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Swami Nikhilananda
Publisher: Advaita Ashram
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 386
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8175053070


The Bhagavad Gita, an important Hindu scripture, is one of the outstanding religious classics in the world. Its unique feature is the emphasis given to the discharge of duties, irrespective of their nature, as an effective discipline for the realization of god. The stage set for the vision of the Universal Spirit. The teacher was Sri Krishna, the Lord Himself incarnated in a human body. The Lord teaches through the Gita that if a man performs his duties, surrendering the fruit to God and discarding all selfish motives, he gains purity of heart and achieves ultimate liberation.

It is the knowledge of God that gives man the strength to face calmly and cheerfully the duties of life. The Gita show the way to spiritualize life and illumine even its drab and grey phases with the radiance of the Spirit. The book also treats of such metaphysical problems as the nature of the universe, God, the soul, the hereafter. It lays down practical spiritual disciplines which can be followed by all, irrespective of faith and creed.

The teachings of the Gita determined the spiritual culture of India during the many centuries from the close of the Upanishad period to the rise of Buddhism. Even today its influence on the spiritual; life of India remains undiminished. The Gita inspires millions of Hindus in their search after God and Truth, and shows the way to the realization of peace and blessedness. The present translation, it is hoped, will help make this universal teaching available to Western readers in this time of confusion and spiritual need.


“The Bhagavad Gita is one of the great documents of the human spirit. Indofar as an outsider can judge, this translation of Swami Nikhilananda and his introduction make it a more communicable and intelligible vehicle of the great Hindu tradition than to a Western reader it generally appears.”
- Irwin Edman, Professor of Philosophy in Columbia University.

“I was deeply moved by the noble insistence upon spiritual inwardness that runs through the book.”
- Samuel H. Goldenson, Robbi, Congregation Emanu-El, New York.

“I have found your introduction and the translation of Sankara’s preface extremely interesting and your synopsis of the story of the Mahabharata seems to me very useful in preparing the reader and setting him clear on the scene….I am convinced that this edition of yours will be valuable to all students of that extraordinary book.”
- W. Somerset Maugham

“The first really readable, authoritative English translation of one of the world’s oldest and greatest religious classics.
- Time

“Never in our time has this important work been made so accessible to the Western reader as in the present admirable translation by Swami Nikhilananda.”
- Denver Lindley, Asia and the Americas

“Here is a translation which seems to meet every test of literature and learning. I have been reading it with ease and unflagging delight. At last I seem to have found the Gita, and to know why it is so great. Swami Nikhilananda is to be congratulated and thanked for his great achievement. Every student of religion and lover of the spirit stands in his debt.”
- John Haynes Holmes, Unity


Note on Pronunciation
Analysis of Chapters
The Story of the Mahabharata
Introduction by Sankaracharya

1. Arjuna’s Grief
2. The Way of Ultimate Reality
3. The Way of Action
4. The Way of Knowledge
5. The Way of Renunciation
6. The Way of Meditation
7. the Way of Realization
8. The Way to the Imperishable Brahman
9. The Way of the Sovereign Wisdom and Sovereign Mystery
10. The Divine Manifestations
11. The Vision of the Universal Form
12. The Way of Divine Love
13. The Discrimination between Matter and Spirit
14. The Discrimination of the Three Gunas
15. The Way to the Supreme Self
16. The Division of Divine and Demoniac Treasures
17. The Threefold Division of Faith
18. The Way to Liberation through Renunciation