Live from the Heart
Deepen your relationship with the Divine
BHAGAVAD GITA ESSENTIALS
Become a living and walking Bhagavad Gita
About The Book
A Road Map for Your Spiritual Advancement & Practice
More than philosophy, the Gītā provides instruction on how to attain true happiness and live from the Heart. It gives real, practical teachings on yoga, self-mastery, and attaining perfection. Because of Swami Vishwananda’s commentary, the perennial discourse of Lord Kṛṣṇa is unraveled and delivered straight to the heart of the reader.
Each page radiates with the wisdom of a Master who lives the Gītā with every breath.
Each page shifts us closer to that Divine loving relationship with God, making this seemingly ‘material’ book so much more than it appears.
Simple and profound, Bhagavad Gītā Essentials has the potential to become a lifelong companion for spiritual seekers. Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda’s exquisite commentary allows the teachings in this scripture to be distilled to their essentials, adding a deeper dimension to these verses and giving insights that are very much applicable today.
“Every time I read it I find something new. This is even more powerful because since it is a small book it is more manageable. It’s something you can have in your life every day.”
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Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda
While an embodiment of the highest, Paramahamsa Vishwananda is humble and humorous, bringing the highest and subtlest truths down to earth so that a path traditionally pursued by the few can now be pursued by the many.
“Be in constant remembrance of love.”
- Practical teachings delivered in a loving, comprehensive way.
- Crystal clear meanings of the timeless verses.
- Easy to comprehend and implement in everyday living.
- Small and easy to carry with you.
THE LAMENTATION OF ARJUNA
The Gītā begins with a vivid description of the scene on the Kurukṣetra battlefield. Key warriors on both sides are named. The blowing of conches and the beating of drums signal the start of this terrible war. It is at this point that the focus shifts to Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa. Eager to assess the enemy ranks, Arjuna asks Kṛṣṇa to take him to the middle of the battlefield so he can take a closer look at those he is about to fight.
Amongst the opposing army, he sees relatives, friends and revered elders. The sight of those who were once so dear to him causes Arjuna to lose his resolve. He can no longer see the point in engaging in this battle which will inevitably destroy his family. Confused about his duty and overwhelmed with compassion for his enemies, he begins to pour out his heart to Kṛṣṇa. Surely, he argues, this war cannot be based on righteousness. He repeatedly makes the point that killing one’s own family for the sake of a kingdom will only produce dire consequences for the future. After making his case, the chapter ends with Arjuna casting aside his bow in grief.
“VERSE 1: DHṚTARĀṢṬRA’S ENQUIRY
dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ | māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāścaiva kim akurvata sañjaya || 1 || Dhṛtarāṣṭra says: O Sañjaya, after they gathered on the holy field of Kurukṣetra, being eager for battle, what did my sons and the Pāṇḍavas do? (1)
11 BHAGAVAD GĪTĀ Essentials
12 ‘This verse starts with the word “dharmakṣetra.” “Dharma” means righteous, “kṣetra” means the field – so this is the field of righteousness.’
‘One of the meanings of this war is life, where the “good” side fights with the “not good” side. This war is not outside, it is also happening inside the human body. Your physical body is the dharmakṣetra. You have incarnated to do your dharma (duty) in this field.’
‘Life is also a dharmakṣetra. You have come to fulfil your divine purpose. When you are in tune with your true Self, you realise your purpose in life…and that’s what the word “dharmakṣetra” is reminding you of. Do your dharma! Awaken! This dharma can be done with the greatest gift which God has given: this field, this body. And when you start doing your dharma, you’ll get good merit! But, if you run away from your dharma, then you turn towards the dark side.’ 1
‘This blind king, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, represents the mind – the mind which is blind and wants to always stay blind. The mind is hanging on to the outside so much that it has power only when it is focused on something exterior: on the material, on relationships, on gaining this or that. This is the nature of the mind. The mind is blind.’
‘Both families were from the Kuru dynasty. But the king refused to recognise the Pāṇḍavas. The mind doesn’t recognise the good qualities which are present in oneself. The mind can only look towards the senses, looking always towards the outside. The Self, and the positive qualities which are present inside, are not comprehended by it.’ 2
Chapter 1 Arjuna-viśāda-yoga” VERSES 2-13: THE WARRIORS ARE INTRODUCED
sañjaya uvāca dṛṣṭvā tu pāṇḍavānīkaṁ vyūḍhaṁ duryodhanas tadā | ācāryam upasaṅgamya rājā vacanam abravīt || 2 || Sañjaya says: O king! Duryodhana, seeing the Pāṇḍavas’ army in military formation, approached his teacher, Droṇa, and said these words: (2)
paśyaitām pāṇḍu-putrāṇām ācārya mahatīṁ camūm | vyūḍhāṁ drupada-putreṇa tava śiṣyeṇa dhīmatā || 3 || Duryodhana says: O Master, behold this mighty army of the Pāṇḍavas, led by the son of Drupada, who is your intelligent disciple. (3)
atra śūrā maheṣvāsā bhīmārjuna samā yudhi | yuyodhāno virāṭaśca drupadaśca mahārathaḥ || 4 || In that army are heroes and great archers like Bhīma and Arjuna; there are mighty warriors like Yuyudhāna, Virāṭa and Drupada. (4)
dhṛṣṭaketuś-cekitānaḥ kāśi-rājaśca vīryavān | purujit-kunti-bhojaśca śaibyaśca nara-puṅgavaḥ || 5 || There is Dhṛṣṭaketu, Cekitāna, and the valiant king of Kāśī, Purujit, Kuntibhoja, and Śaibyā, all of whom are the best among men. (5)
yudhāmanyuśca vikrānta uttamaujāśca vīryavān | saubhadro draupadeyāśca sarva eva mahārathāḥ || 6 || There is the valiant Yudhāmanyu and the strong Uttamaujas. There is also the son of Subhadrā, as well as the sons of Draupadī. All of them are mighty chariot-warriors. (6)
asmākaṁ tu viśiṣṭā ye tān-nibodha dvijottama | nāyakāḥ mama sainyasya saṁjñārthaṁ tān bravīmi te || 7 || O best of brahmanas, let me now familiarise you with our principle warriors who are the commanders of my army. I shall name them to refresh your memory. (7)
The Bhagavad Gītā is not a novel. It’s not just a book which you read whenever you have time. You have to soak your mind with it. Not only reading it one time. You have to dive into it, because each line of the Bhagavad Gītā, each phrase which Kṛṣṇa has uttered, has a deeper meaning in your life. It’s not outside of your life. He didn’t say something alien to you. Actually, what He has spoken 5000 years ago is still relevant to now. If you see what Arjuna went through, everybody goes through the same thing. That’s why you have to dive into it. Read it one time, two times, three times, hundreds of times. Become a living and walking Bhagavad Gītā.”