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The Teaching of the Bhagavad Gita Paperback – 30 Mar 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Orient Paperbacks (30 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8170943957
  • ISBN-13: 978-8170943952
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 515,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rama Rao on 4 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
The author unfolds the teaching of Lord Krishna in a lucid and effortless manner. While retaining the profound nature of the text he discusses the inner meaning of its philosophy so that everyone can understand. He highlights the message of all relevant chapters and interprets key hymns in great detail. The author illustrates his profound understanding of one of the greatest texts ever presented to mankind. The metaphysics of Gita according to the author is summarized below;

The knowledge of the self will eliminate the sense of inadequacy in life. When one discovers oneself to be a full and complete being, all the conflicts and grief vanish: This is called Brahmavidya. The Gita teaches karma yoga as a means of eliminating likes and dis-likes which may be achieved through bhakti or devotion to the Lord, according to the author.

Everything you know is an object and you are the subject. There are only two things in creation: ksetra, the object, and ksetrajna the subject, the one who knows the object. This concept is discussed in detail in the thirteenth chapter of the Gita, but it is also unfolded in the second chapter. The subject, the knower, must be distinct from the known, the sense organs. You can rightly say that you are the knower of the deafness of your ears, the blindness of your eyes, or the congestion in your nose, but you are not the deaf ears, the blind eyes, or the blocked nose. If you are not the sense organs, who are you? Who is the knower? Through this inquiry you are able to conclude that you must be distinct from the body, sense organs, mind, knowledge, memory, and ignorance. You are none of the relative roles, like father, son, etc., because to play a particular role you have to stop playing the others. You are therefore "distinct from all of these.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great overview of the essential points of the Gita by a true scholar of Vedic literature. If you want to know the underlying message without having to trawl through endless commentary, this is what you need to read. There is a bias at times towards Shankara's non-dual interpretation, but that does not detract from the clear understanding the author has together with his ability to express this wonderful work in plain English.
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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Philosophy of Bhagavadgita: Swami Dayananda's Interpretation 3 Feb. 2011
By Rama Rao - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The author unfolds the teaching of Lord Krishna in a lucid and effortless manner. While retaining the profound nature of the text he discusses the inner meaning of its philosophy so that everyone can understand. He highlights the message of all relevant chapters and interprets key hymns in great detail. The author illustrates his profound understanding of one of the greatest texts ever presented to mankind. The metaphysics of Gita according to the author is summarized below;

The knowledge of the self will eliminate the sense of inadequacy in life. When one discovers oneself to be a full and complete being, all the conflicts and grief vanish: This is called Brahmavidya. The Gita teaches karma yoga as a means of eliminating likes and dis-likes which may be achieved through bhakti or devotion to the Lord, according to the author.

Everything you know is an object and you are the subject. There are only two things in creation: ksetra, the object, and ksetrajna the subject, the one who knows the object. This concept is discussed in detail in the thirteenth chapter of the Gita, but it is also unfolded in the second chapter. The subject, the knower, must be distinct from the known, the sense organs. You can rightly say that you are the knower of the deafness of your ears, the blindness of your eyes, or the congestion in your nose, but you are not the deaf ears, the blind eyes, or the blocked nose. If you are not the sense organs, who are you? Who is the knower? Through this inquiry you are able to conclude that you must be distinct from the body, sense organs, mind, knowledge, memory, and ignorance. You are none of the relative roles, like father, son, etc., because to play a particular role you have to stop playing the others. You are therefore "distinct from all of these. You must now say, "I am someone who is aware of my ignorance, my knowledge, my memories, my emotions, my hunger, my sense organs, and my body. All that I hear, see, smell, taste or touch are objects. I am the subject, the aware being, who is aware of all the objects, including the body and the mind." This Awareness, I, is limitless and non-dual. Any object can be limited by time, space, or another object; but Awareness, I, is not an object, and so it has no dimension, no shape, no limitation.

There cannot be any distance between the moon and space because the moon is in space and space is in and through the moon. Distance itself is the space between two objects in space, but between space and space there is no distance. Similarly, the sun, the sky, the stars all exist Within Awareness. Your body exists within Awareness. Space exists within Awareness. There can be no distance. You are Awareness, and in Awareness are the stars above. Between Awareness and the stars there is no distance. You are Awareness, he is Awareness, she is Awareness, I am Awareness. How many awareness's are there? There is one, all-pervasive Awareness in which all objects exist. And this Awareness is not limited by time, because I, the Awareness being aware of time. Anything that is born in time can be destroyed in time; but Awareness, the very basis of time, is beyond the realm of time. Further, because Awareness is formless, it cannot be destroyed by dividing it into parts. An object can be destroyed, but Awareness is the subject to the basis of everything. Thus all agents of destruction are incapable of destroying I-Awareness. Lord Krishna says in verses 2.23-24, "Weapons cannot cut it; fire cannot burn it; water cannot wet it; even wind cannot dry it. It is not subject to being cut, burned, wet or dried. It, is beyond time, all-pervasive, Immovable, and immutable." In sleep, neither time nor space, nor the mind (which objectifies the world) exists; but I exist in and through waking, dream, and sleep. Therefore I am not circumscribed by space or time: I am sarvagata, all-pervasive and nitya, free from the limitation of time. In Awareness are space and time, and in time-space alone is the whole creation. Therefore, I am free from all limitations. Talking about Awareness, Lord Krishna says in verse 2.25: "This is not manifest (cannot be perceived), nor can this be thought of (as one thinks of an object); not subject to mutation either (because it is not born). Therefore knowing this Awareness to be thus you have no cause or grief." Eternity is a concept that is timeless, because anything that is material must change with time, but eternity is unaffected by time, and I, awareness is beyond time and hence not subject to death. Therefore, Lord Krishna says in verse 2.21, killing or causing others to be killed is totally immaterial to the one who knows this Self to be indestructible, eternal, unborn, and not subject to decline

The Self is the reason for awareness of your emotions, your thoughts, and all the objects of the world. Happiness is manifest only in a satisfied mind, a mind that desires nothing, because the Self is the source of happiness. Verse 2.55 states that "when one completely renounces all the desires entertained by the mind, satisfied in the Self, by the Self, one is called a person of steady wisdom." The one who recognizes that the Self is sat-cit-ananda - existence, Awareness, and ful1ness is wise. That person is cal1ed sthitaprajna, well rooted in wisdom. The one into whom al1 desires enter, as waters flow into the ocean, which remains unchanged and ever full, that one gains peace, and not the one who desires objects (verse 2.70). Verse 2.71 states, `having given up al1 desires, the man who moves about without attachment, who has no thought of ''I'' or "my", gains peace." In the next verse the Lord goes on to state that; with limitless space, you will no longer feel limited. This knowledge is cal1ed here the Brahmi state, a state of Brahman,

In verse 2.47, Krishna states that "Work alone is your privilege, never its results." Many interpreters take this to mean that one should perform action without expecting a result, but no one performs action without expecting some result. This verse really means that you have a choice in your action, but never in the results. The results of action are governed by physical laws. It is through His laws that one gets a particular result.

If the Brahman associated with Maya is the cause of everything, how is it that everyone is not similar? When the cause is One, why should the effects be varied? The body-mind complex of a human being is nothing but Prakriti, matter, vivified by caitanya, consciousness. Prakriti and Caitanya being the same in everyone why should one person be contemplative, another ambitious, and a third dull? The fourteenth chapter, called Gunatraya-vibhaga-yoga accounts for these differences. All the constituents of creation can be classified into three categories called gunas (qualities): sattva, related to knowledge; rajas related to activity; and tamas, related to inactivity. So that everything that comes from Prakriti including the psychological disposition of a given individual is characterized by these three gunas. The Lord says that everyone is a mixture of these three gunas, but the predominance of one guna over the other accounts for the dissimilarities observed among people.

1. Modern Indian Interpreters of the Bhagavadgita (Suny Series in Religious Studies)
2. Philosophy of the Gita (American University Studies Series V, Philosophy)
3. The Philosophy of the Bhagavadgita
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Spellbound 2 May 2012
By Prashant Parikh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was the first book by SwAmiji that I read, and it is one of the best things I've done.

In late 2009, just days before I left from India for USA, I was given this book by an elderly gent who felt it might be of use to me someday. I politely accepted the book, while in my mind, I impolitely brushed the thought of ever reading it away. To set the record straight, I had no intention of reading it to begin with. I had a long flight ahead, and as an enthusiastic Jain, I had supposedly packed a Jain scripture to read on the airplane. Through some twist of fate- less romantcally my good karma fructifying- the books got mixed up presumably while packing, and I ended up carrying SwAmiji's 'Teaching of the Bhagavad GitA' instead.

Having little choice, and no one interesting to talk to, I opened up the book to kill time. No sooner had I started reading, than I realized it was nothing short of extraordinary. For the next few hours I was entirely fixated. The exposition was brilliant, and the sheer perfection involved in giving meaning to the verses of the Gita was not to be found elsewhere.

Unlike what most authors/interpreters would have you believe, the Bhagavad GitA is not a work focusing on the personality 'Krishna', but rather the truth of Krishna, which is the non dual, all pervading, unchanging, ever-lasting, limitless self- the AtmA.

The Upanishads describe AtmA as sat chit Anandam- existence, consciousness, limitlessness. This very teaching clearly establishes the fact that the self cannot be two, or many, but it is one alone, and it is this self that vivifies not only you and I, but also Lord Krishna. Swami VidyAranya ji, the famous 13th century ShankarAchArya of Sringeri Peetham says that the consciousness that enlivens BrahmAji, is the same consiousness also enlivening this blade of grass.

Our scriptures carefully make the distinction between information and knowledge. Knowledge- jñAnam, is not what we are used to referring in common parlance. Only information that is well assimilated in the mind can be termed as 'jñAnam'. This knowledge of the self emancipates the individual from the shackles of ignorance, and thereby all limitations we superimpose upon the limitless self. Take a transparent crystal and place it to a red flower, it will appear to share the same colour. This is adhyAsA, or superimpostion. A person may not be wary of the fact that the red-ness is only an appearance, and he may be called 'ignorant' with regard to the nature of the crystal. Similarly, to a person ignorant about his real nature, the self "appears" to take up the qualities of the non self- the manifold world of variegated objects- and will thereby also accept their limitations.

Moksha is a freedom from limitations that comes from the removal of self ignorance through knowledge of the self. This is the essence of not only the Bhagavad GitA, but the entire Canon of Vedic literature. SwAmiji plays the role of a perfect Guru, as he unfolds the same.

Two years down the line- and hopefully wiser- I am blessed to have read this book, and doubly blessed to have listened to his lectures in person. May the teachings of Krishna bhagwAn be kept ever alive through such mahAtmAs.

hariH Om tat sat.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
a very good companion for a very great book 30 Oct. 2012
By Orva Schrock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Bhagavad Gita [Song of God], is one of the very greatest books in all of world religions and spiritual writings. Here the excellent teacher and Vedanta Master, Swami Dayananda, has published this companion, or book of commentary, to help anyone get the most out of their Gita reading and study.
Even if you've never read the Bhagavad Gita itself, this book will still serve as a very good introduction to the Gita's awesome and universal spiritual teachings. That is to say this book stands on its own as a source of learning and instruction and inspiration for the spiritual seeker. Although familiarity with the Gita would no doubt enhance your reading experience.
i would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in 'the ancient Eastern wisdom',or Advaita Vedanta, or Monistic Idealism, or Non-duality, or if simply interested in furthering one's own innermost search for Truth and learning of one's own absolute participation in the One Self.

There are quite a number of fine Gita translations available. My own favorite of the half dozen or more i have read, would be the Prabhavananda-Isherwood edition; This one is forever and always on my very short list of absolute must-have books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful overview 11 April 2012
By Frank Skinner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a great overview of the essential points of the Gita by a true scholar of Vedic literature. If you want to know the underlying message without having to trawl through endless commentary, this is what you need to read. There is a bias at times towards Shankara's non-dual interpretation, but that does not detract from the clear understanding the author has together with his ability to express this wonderful work in plain English.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Teaching of the Bhagavad Gita 27 Jun. 2009
By Asha Parikh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
excellent book. very concise and target to main part of Hindu holy book Bhagavad Gita. written in very simple English with correlation to today's life. a must read. if one get chance should definitely read this book.
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