The Bhagavad Gita by Annie Besant

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Item Code: IDG537
Author: Annie Besant
Language: English
Edition: 2019
ISBN: 9788170592907
Pages: 513
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.2" X 5.0"
Weight 590 gm
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Book Description

About the Book:

The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most important basic texts for the study of Hinduism, and has attracted the attention and admiration of thinkers throughout the world. The first edition of this great world scripture with the English translation and notes by Annie Besant and Bhagavan Das was Published in 1905; since then many other excellent editions and expositions of the text have come out; still the Bhagavad Gita by Annie Besant and Bhagavan Das hold a unique place.



The Bhagwad Gira is one of the most important basic texts for the study of Hinduism, and has attracted the attention and admiration of thinkers throughout the world. The first edition of this great world scripture with the English translation and notes by Annie Besant and Bhagavan Das was published in 1905; since then many other excellent editions and expositions of the text have come out; still the Bhagaved Gita by Annie Besant and Bhagavan Das holds a unique place.

The English translation combines accuracy and clarity, and preserves to a remarkable degree the emotional content of the original. The section dealing with the Grand Vision is rendered in verse form. The words in each verse are taken one by one in the prose order, and their literal meaning explained, pointing out the derivation of all difficult world and compounds. The major variations in the text are given in footnotes and Appendix I discusses the relative importance of the different readings. Some parallel passages from other world scriptures are pointed out in Appendix II Which also contains some expository notes and references for further study of the problems raised. The Introduction gives a brief outline of grammar of the Samskrt language. The detailed 'Table of Contents' sets forth succinctly the argument of the Gita, pointing out the connection and appropriateness of the aphorisms. At the end there is a complete word-index. Thus this edition carries within itself practically all the help needed for a preliminary 'literary' study of the text.

In this fifth edition we have adopted the system of transliteration that is now being followed universally. Some minor changes have also been made in the punctuation of the Samskrt Portion, to bring it in line with current practice. We are thankful to Dr. K. Kunjunni Raja for making the necessary revision.



THIS edition of Bhagavad Gita, the Lord's Song, has been prepared for use of those who, while studying this Indian scripture mainly for sake of its priceless teach- ings, wish, being a little acquainted with Samskrit, to utilise the text, thus gaining a fuller insight into the meaning than can be gained through a translation, and incidentally acquiring a better knowledge of that langu- age also. A brief note on the grammar of Samskrt, putting before the reader a few salient features thereof, is therefore added here. It tries to give a bird's-eye view of the subject and thus some idea of how one part is connected with another. Details, if desired, should be looked up in a regular work on Samskrt grammar. A complete Index-Glossary of all words used in the work is given at the end, which constitutes a dictionary of some 3000 words.

I. Alphabet: A complete alphabet would comprise hundreds, perhaps thousands, of single sounds. Out of these, each human race or sub-race uses a comparatively small number, selected in accordance with the constitu- tion of its vocal organs and of other aspects of its physi- cal and superphysical being. There is correspondence between all parts of an organism; and the means and instruments of manifestation possessed by a race or nation, as by an individual, are, generally speaking, in correspondence with the 'ruling passion,' the ' main idea,' which that race or nation embodies and has to express. These' ideas,' , passions,' , emotions,' , glories, ' , aspects,' , modifications,' of the Universal Self, Spirit, or Consciousness, are infinite; the World-Process which endeavours to express them is infinite. One main idea (others being subordinate) is expressed by one individ- ual, or one race, in anyone time and space. One stands for 'beauty,' another represents' strength,' a third is an exponent of' harmony' and' peace,' a fourth re- presents' war,' another embodies' science,' or' law,' or ., duty,' 'right,' 'pity,' or 'devotion,' and so on. The various members of a race, which is the embodiment and exponent of anyone such main idea, have to use means of communication with each other to intensify that exposition, to make their lives fuller and deeper. This means, during the present cycle of evolution, is mainly sound-language. In other cycles it may be sight-language, or touch-language, or smell-language, etc.; as even among us to-day, ants have touch-language through antennae, moths and dogs have smell-language through nose, birds, rabbits, deer have sign-language through colours and lifts up-and-down of tail, wing, etc.; while all have sound-language as well, of course. This sound-language is made up of single sounds, which, as said before, are in accordance with the' body,' physical constitution, of the race, which, again, is in accordance with its 'spirit,' its ruling idea. A race embodying sweetness and gentleness would unconsciously select soft and sweet sounds for its language; another manifesting martial strength and spirit, harsher and more definite ones.






Gita-mahatmyam-Greatness of Gita as described in Varahapurana xli-xlvi
Gita-karadi-nyasah-Tantra way 'practising' Gita xlvii-xlix
Gita-dhyanam- 'Throught-Form " of Gita for purposes of meditation l-liii
I. Arjunavisada-yoga.-Arjuna inspects the rival forces. He experiences a sudden surge of overwhelming grief at the awful prospect and speaks to Krsna of evil consequent on the war of kinsfolk. 1-22
II. Samkhaya-yoga.-Arjuna refuses to fight. Krsna counsels Arjuna not to grieve over mere destruction of transient bodies, because the inner Self can never be slain-or even because bodies must die in any case-and so to perform the duty of Ksttriya with untroubled mind-thereby gaining fame in this and happiness in the other world, incidentally-though duty should be performed for its own sake and not for any ulterior reward, as it is performed by sages of steady mind. Arjuna asks for a more particular description of such. Krsna complies, laying stress on attainment of wisdom, Right Understanding, Right Knowledge, Buddhi, and absence of selfish desire. 23-56
III. Karma-yoga.-Arjuna asks how these are compatible with such terrible action as that of slaughter. Krsna sets forth a preliminary reconciliation of the tow: 'Perform the action that is duty, but without attachment' , and makes an allusion to the system of the World-Wheel, which gives rise to various Dharma-s, duties. Arjuna enquires why men fail in duty. Krsna replies, cursorily as yet 57-75
IV. Inanavibhaga-yoga.-Krsna again lays stress on need for wisdom, Right-Thought, Right-Reason, by light of which alone can duties be ascertained which have to be performed without further consideration of consequences; and in this connection describes many forms of Yoga. He adverts to His own previous incarnations, in reply to a question of Arjuna's (and so incidentally strengthens the allusion, made before, to world-cycles, without an understanding of which true enlightenment in not possible) 76-94
V. Karma-samnyasa-yoga.-Arjuna respects his question as to the inconsistency between ' renunciation' and ' action '. Krsna answers (indirectly), by describing the happy condition of those who renounce fruits of action but continue to perform it as duty, knowing that all proceeds from the Supreme Self 95-107
VI. Adhyatma-yoga.-Krsna continues his description of the Yogin. Arjuna asks how the condition may be attained. Krsna answers : 'By dispassion and perseverant practice.' Arjuna asks: 'What are the consequences of failure in Yoga?' Krsna replies: 'A better birth, greater opportunity, devotion to the Supreme Self, and final attainment of Moksa' 108-129
VII. Janana-yoga.-Krsna describes natures of Wisdom and Unwisdom, and Glories of the Self (knowledge of which constitutes that Wisdom whereby the possessor thereof performs his duty unflinchingly) 130-143
VIII. Aksara-Brahma-Yoga.-(Subject-matter of previous chapter is continued.) Arjuna asks what is the nture of Brahama, of Adhyatma, Adhibuta, and Adhidiva. Krsna describes these, and also incidentally mentions how Brahama may be rached by living as well as departing Jiva 144-157
IX. Rajavidya-rajaguhya-yoga.-Krsna continues his statement of 'The Royal Secret, Final Wisdom,' possession of which confers Immortality, viz., recognition of and devotion to the Supreme Self as Oneself, and also describes the results of devotion to minor personal gods (Isvara-s of systems, etc.) 158-173
X Vibhuti-yoga.-Glories of Superme Self 174-191
XI. Visuarupadarsans-yoga.-Krsna compresses into one illuminating vision all the results of long explanations, and makes Arjuna see directly that He and all he fellow-beings are part of the Life of Isvara, that theyare what they are by His gift (in the personal aspect of the Supreme Self, manifesting as an Individual Isvara), that it is their duty to endeavour, feebly as they may, to repay this great debt by obeying His will, and that His will, in the present instance, is d estruction of militarist Ksttriya-s 192-222
XII. Bhakti-yoga.-Arjuna, perceiving the difference between Unmanifested Eternal and manifested Isvara, incidentally asks which is the better method, fixing the mind on the one or the other. Krsna answers: 'The former is more difficult, and by that method too, Jiva-s have to pass to the stage and state of a personal Isvara.' He thereby stimulates deeper enquiry, to which He leaves the discovery that the two systems are really not distinct, that the one system is to fix mind on the Eternal, and, in subordination to that supreme fact, to work by the will of the Isvara to whose cosmic system we belong 223-232
XIII. Kestraksetrajnvibhaga-yoga.-Krsna expounds the difference between Purusa and Prakrti as part of the supreme science, the wisdom, which raises the Jiva above doubt and makes him steady in action as Arjuna should be 233-248
XIV Gunatrayavibhaga-yoga.-Subject of preceding chapter is continued and the three guna-s of Prakrti are dealt with 249-261
XV. Purusttama-yoga.- Krsna carries on the subject of the 13th discourse, and deals specially with Purusa, in the aspect of Abstract Self as well as of manifested Isvara 262-271
XVI. Daivasurasampadvibhaga-yoga.- Krsna goes on to describe, as another essential part of the highest science, and having, further, an immediate bearing on the issue before Arjuna, dual nature of all creatures of Isvara, divine and demoniac, good and evil. He tell how the former class, to which Arjuna belongs, necessarily perform their duty, in accordance with Sastra, spiritual science, (and battle against the latter to prevent them from harming the innocent) 272-283
XVII. Sraddhatrayavibhaga-yoga.-Arjuna asks and Krsna describes, what is the essence of all true action and what is not, also what characterizes all true, untrue, and mixed action according as predominant motive-nature is Sattvika, Rajasa, or Tamasa 284-296
XVIII. Samnyasa-yoga.-Krsna sums up, finally, the whole teaching regarding combination of renunciation fo fruit of action with performance of duty (as assigned by a social organization, based on difference of human temperament, in accordance with the predominance of one or other of the three guna-s), which is the only means of securing ultimate happiness. Arjuna's doubts are solved ; he is convinced and satisfied, and expresses his readiness to do his duty of battling with the unrighteous 297-330
APPENDIX I 331-336
INDEX   373-460


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