The Bhagavad Gita 101
Ancient Hindu Enlightenment Series, Book 4
The Bhagavad Gita (or “Song of God”) is one of the richest, most complete, and most important spiritual works ever composed.
Its teachings have been a timeless source of inspiration, wisdom, and guidance for over a thousand years.
The Gita (as it is affectionately known) is laid out as the story of a regular person, Arjuna, who has become despondent after coming to see life as a meaningless, pointless, and never-ending struggle. Arjuna is ready to quit. Sound familiar?
Krishna (a mysterious friend and hero of the story) comes to Arjuna in his time of need and counsels him on the meaning of life as well as the path that leads to purpose and deliverance.
What does Arjuna find at the end of his journey? Meaning. Tranquility. Enlightenment.
Because the struggles Arjuna faced and suffered from are the same as those we face today, the teachings of the Gita are every bit as pertinent in our era as they were over a thousand years ago when it was first recorded.
I designed my version of this enduring classic to be concise, modern, and accessible to all readers, even those with no prior knowledge of Hindu philosophy.
“We behold what we are, and we are what we behold.”
-The Bhagavad Gita
Excerpt from Chapter One:
Krishna, Arjuna’s friend, and confidant sensed Arjuna’s desperation and asked, “What is wrong? What in the world has made you so upset?”
“What good is it? Any of it?” Arjuna answered. “Life is nothing but an endless struggle and one that can’t be won. What is the point of continuing? If there is one, I cannot see it. All that I have desired or loved has passed away in the end, or will. All happiness is fleeting. It is just not worth the effort. Life is … pointless.”
Krishna smiled. “I have been waiting a long time, Arjuna, to hear such words. I believe you are finally ready ... ”
Arjuna looked up at Krishna quizzically. “You are a good friend, Krishna, but I see no point in you trying to persuade me to go on. No matter how hard I struggle, I seem to get nowhere. You have been my friend for years, you know all I have been through. I have given it all I have within me and have no more to give. I am exhausted. I am miserable, and I feel that I have made almost no headway at all. The battle is without end. The only logical decision is to quit. Life has no point—in the end, it is empty. It can’t be won. It seems as unfulfilling to me as a corpse.” He hung his head in defeat.
“You have finally made it, my friend,” Krishna said, beaming gently. “You have finally reached the point where I may be able to step in and help.”