The dialogue, which takes place on the eve of an historic battle, probes the nature of God and what man should do to reach him. As 'The Bhagavad Gita' unfolds, this majestic poem provides a fascinating synopsis of the religious thought and experience of India through the ages. This book offers the classic English verse translation by Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904), long admired for its evocation of the true feeling of the original poetry.
(The Bhagavad Gita by Sir Edwin Arnold, 9789380914275)
First published in 1879, the book has become a classic and has been published in many editions and many languages. Not only is it deeply philosophical in nature, but because of its poetic form and its narrative of the dramatic incidents in Siddhartha's life, it is delightful and absorbing reading.
The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Lord Krishna. Facing the duty as a warrior to fight the Dharma Yudhha or righteous war between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is counselled by Lord Krishna to "fulfill his Kshatriya (warrior) duty as a warrior and establish Dharma." Inserted in this appeal to kshatriya dharma (chivalry) is "a dialogue ... between diverging attitudes concerning methods toward the attainment of liberation (moksha)". The Bhagavad Gita was exposed to the world through Sanjaya, who senses and cognises all the events of the battlefield. Sanjaya is Dhritarashtra's advisor and also his charioteer.
The Bhagavad Gita presents a synthesis of the concept of Dharma, theistic bhakti, the yogic ideals of moksha through jnana, bhakti, karma, Raja Yoga and Samkhya philosophy.