Bhagavad-gita is universally renowned as the jewel of India's spiritual wisdom. Spoken by Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to His intimate devotee Arjuna, the Gita's seven hundred concise verses provide a definitive guide to the science of self-realization. Indeed, no work even compares in its revelations of man's essential nature, his environment and, ultimately, his relationship with God.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the world's foremost Vedic scholar and teacher, represents an unbroken chain of fully self-realized spiritual masters beginning with Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. Thus, unlike other editions of the Gitä, his edition conveys Lord Kṛṣṇa's profound message as it is without the slightest taint of adulteration or personally motivated change.
Originally I wrote Bhagavad-gitä As It Is in the form in which it is presented now. When this book was first published, the original manuscript was, unfortunately, cut short to less than 400 pages, without illustrations and without explanations for most of the original verses of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. In all of my other books-Srimad- Bhagavatam, Śri isopanisad, etc.-the system is that I give the original verse, its English transliteration, word-for-word Sanskrit-English equivalents, translations and purports. This makes the book very authentic and scholarly and makes the meaning self-evident. I was not very happy, therefore, when had to minimize my original manuscript. But later on, when the demand for Bhagavad-gitä As It Is considerably increased, I was requested by many scholars and devotees to present the book in its original form. Thus the present attempt is to offer the original manuscript of this great book of knowledge with full parampara explanation in order to establish the Krsna consciousness movement more soundly and progressively.
Our Krsna consciousness movement is genuine, historically authorized, natural and transcendental due to its being based on Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is gradually becoming the most popular movement in the entire world, especially amongst the younger generation. It is becoming more and more interesting to the older generation also. Older gentlemen are becoming interested, so much so that the fathers and grandfathers of my disciples are encouraging us by becoming life members of our great society, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. In Los Angeles many fathers and mothers used to come to see me to express their feelings of gratitude for my leading the Krsna consciousness movement throughout the entire world. Some of them said that it is greatly fortunate for the Americans that have started the Krsna consciousness movement in America. But actually the original father of this movement is Lord Krsna Himself, since it was started a very long time ago but is coming down to human society by disciplic succession. If have any credit in this connection, it does not belong to me personally, but it is due to my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakācārya 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvāmi Mahārāja Prabhupada.
If personally have any credit in this matter, it is only that have tried to present Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any adulteration. Before my presentation of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, almost all the English editions of Bhagavad-gitá were introduced to fulfill someone's personal ambition. But our attempt, in presenting Bhagavad-gita As It is, is to present the mission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Our business is to present the will of Krsna, not that of any mundane speculator like the politician, philosopher or scientist, for they have very little knowledge of Krsna, despite all their other knowledge. When Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mám namaskuru, etc., we, unlike the so-called scholars, do not say that Krsna and His inner spirit are different. Krsna is absolute, and there is no difference between Krsna's name, Krsna's form, Krsna's qualities, Krsna's pastimes, etc. This absolute position of Krsna is difficult to understand for any person who is not a devotee of Krsna in the system of parampara (disciplic succession). Generally the so-called scholars, politicians, philosophers, and svamis, without perfect knowledge of Krsna, try to banish or kill Krsna when writing commentary on Bhagavad-gita. Such unauthorized commentary upon Bhagavad-gita is known as mayavada-bhasya, and Lord Caitanya has warned us about these unauthorized men. Lord Caitanya clearly says that anyone who tries to understand Bhagavad-gita from the Mäyävädi point of view will commit a great blunder. The result of such a blunder will be that the misguided student of Bhagavad-gitä will certainly be bewildered on the path of spiritual guidance and will not be able to go back to home, back to Godhead.
Our only purpose is to present this Bhagavad-gita As It Is in order to guide the conditioned student to the same purpose for which Krsna descends to this planet once in a day of Brahmá, or every 8,600,000,000 years. This purpose is stated in Bhagavad-gità, and we have to accept it as it is, otherwise there is no point in trying to understand the Bhagavad-gita and its speaker, Lord Krsna. Lord Krsna first spoke Bhagavad-gitáto the sun-god some hundreds of millions of years ago.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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