Do not be put off by capital letters in the middle of words. They are there for a reason. This site is an attempt at providing an easy and structured online introduction to the philosophy of advaita vedAnta, as taught by SankarAcArya and his followers. It is not meant for religious propaganda. This website represents a serious attempt at exploring philosophical issues in advaita vedAnta, as handled by the leading philosophers themselves, and in the context of their times. At the end, I think it should be obvious that the core of the teaching has a timeless quality to it, making it relevant to all humankind even today.
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It is a dialogue between Lord Krishna and the warrior Arjuna. It consists of verses divided into eighteen chapters and is a part of the great epic, the Mahabharata. At the heart of the Gita is the all-too-human quan- dary of its central character Arjuna, who, on the eve of the great battle of the Mahabharata, faces an existential dilemma: Should he fight with members of his own clan in order to combat a great evil or should he refrain from action because of family loyalty and aversion to conflict?
The author of this book, Professor K. He was greatly influenced by the great philosopher and statesman Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Part One of the book provides a scholarly translation of the Bhagavad Gita, including Devanagari Sanskrit text and transliteration along with the English translation, and the author has elaborated the verses where ever needed.
Radha Soami Satsang Beas RSSB , a spiritual society, exists to support seekers of spiritual truth through regular discourses held at its centres in India and abroad and also through its pub- lications on spiritual subjects.
These activities of RSSB focus on the spirituality that forms the core of all religious endeavour and on the spiritual energy or divine power that is the source of the entire creation. The Society promotes the understanding that we all share the same divine source and that personal experience and realization of this Truth bring liberation of soul. As commu- nication around the world becomes easier and faster and people of different cultures and creeds find themselves living closer to one another, it is our sincere hope that this book will contribute to the understanding of the spiritual essence that links humanity and builds a universal fellowship.
It is basically a dialogue between Krishna, the well- known teacher, the very embodiment of divinity, and his disciple, Arjuna, a hero and a representative man of his age deeply beset with doubt, delusion and difficulty. The occasion of their dialogue also is a most crucial one when, at the critical juncture of the commencement of the great Mahabharata war, Arjuna is anguished and dismayed to see himself on the verge of shedding the blood of his own family members, relatives and respectable elders standing in the opposing army.
Considering his action to be apparently incompatible with moral norms and spiritual ideals, he feels dejected and earnestly requests his teacher, Krishna, to guide him and help him determine the right course of conduct in light of the proper spiritual perspective.
The Gita has an assured place among the great scriptures of the world along with the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas, and others. But unlike them, it is not an independent work by itself. It is only a part of the great epic, the Mahabharata. Again, in the Gita, unlike in any other scripture, the divine message is imparted not in solitude or in peaceful surroundings, but amid the turbulence of the war when Arjuna, the seeker of the truth, is deeply perplexed to visualize the horror of the impending war.
Consisting of only verses divided into eighteen chapters, the Gita constitutes chapters twenty-three to forty of the Bhishma Parva the book of the warrior Bhishma of the Mahabharata. It is said of this great epic that "whatever pertaining to righteousness, wealth, worldly happiness and salvation the four objectives of human life is found here in this epic is found elsewhere, but whatever is not found here is nowhere else to be found. Although this epic is not an historical work, still it is supposed to be based on historical events of the time around the end of the Copper Age Dvapara Yuga when the Divinity descended to this earth in the form of Krishna.
The Gita constitutes the very heart of the Mahabharata. It encapsulates the chief moral and spiritual teachings of the Mahabharata, which lie strewn here and there all through its extensive text but are nowhere else so clearly and candidly articulated. The message that the Gita brings out is simple and succinct, yet sublime and profound. The method that it adopts to convey its message is a dialogue, which imparts a dramatic interest to the text and adds to its popularity.
This dialogue is, by any measure, a momentous one in which the human disciple stands face to face with the divine teacher, an embodiment of infinite power, wisdom and love.
Although the Gita is not formally reckoned as a revealed scrip- ture shruti and is considered as a part of the traditional wisdom smriti , it claims to represent the essence of the Upanishads, which are regarded as the culmination of the wisdom of the revealed scriptures.
As the popular verse of the Vaishnaviya Tantrasara beautifully puts it. The author of the Gita clearly designates it as an Upanishad, as is indicated in its colophon. Early Indians seem to have been more interested in the thought than in the thinker. Likewise, Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa is mentioned as the poet author of the entire Mahabharata, including the Gita.
But, in any case, it is clear that the author of the Gita is a great sage who speaks with the fullness of his wisdom and love, awakens people to rise above the dejection of spirit and inspires them to seek the Truth and realize the unsurpassed sweetness of divine union.
Gita Makaranda by Swami Vidyaprakashananda