The largest-selling edition of the Gita in the Western world, 'Bhagavad-gita As It Is' is more than a book. It is alive with knowledge and devotion; thus it has the power to change your life for the better.
Bhagavad-gita is knowledge of five basic truths and the relationship of each truth to the other: These five truths are Krishna, or God, the individual soul, the material world, action in this world, and time. The Gita lucidly explains the nature of consciousness, the self, and the universe. It is the essence of India's spiritual wisdom, the answers to questions posed by philosophers for centuries.
In translating the Gita, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has remained loyal to the intended meaning of Krishna's words, and thus he has unlocked all the secrets of the ancient knowledge of the Gita and placed them before us as an exciting opportunity for self-improvement and spiritual fulfillment.
The Gita is a conversation between Krishna and His dear friend Arjuna. At the last moment before entering a battle between brothers and friends, the great warrior Arjuna begins to wonder: Why should he fight? What is the meaning of his life? Where is he going after death?
In response, Krishna brings His friend from perplexity to spiritual enlightenment, and each one of us is invited to walk the same path.
Dr. Elwin H. Powell, a professor of sociology at the State University of New York, wrote: "If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people."
Vinyl cover, compact size (4.25 by 6 inches), 1047 pages, no illustrations. ISBN 0-89213-268-X
About the Author:
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was born in 1896 in Calcutta, India. He first met his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, in Calcutta in 1922. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, a prominent religious scholar and the founder of sixty-four Gaudiya Mathas (Vedic institutes) in India, liked this educated young man and convinced him to dedicate his life to teaching Vedic knowledge.
Srila Prabhupada became his student and, in 1933, his formally initiated disciple. At their first meeting Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Srila Prabhupada to broadcast Vedic knowledge in English. In the years that followed, Srila Prabhupada wrote a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, assisted the Gaudiya Matha in its work, and, in 1944, started Back to Godhead, an English fortnightly magazine. Single-handedly, Srila Prabhupada edited it, typed the manuscripts, checked the galley proofs, and even distributed the individual copies. The magazine is now being continued by his disciples.
In 1950 Srila Prabhupada retired from married life, adopting the vanaprastha (retired) order to devote more time to his studies and writing. He traveled to the holy city of Vrindavana, where he lived in humble circumstances in the historic temple of Radha-Damodara. There he engaged for several years in deep study and writing.
He accepted the renounced order of life ( sannyasa ) in 1959. At Radha-Damodara, Srila Prabhupada began work on his life's masterpiece: a multivolume commentated translation of the eighteen-thousand-verse Srimad-Bhagavatam ( Bhagavata Purana ). He also wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.
After publishing three volumes of the Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada came to the United States, in September 1965, to fulfill the mission of his spiritual master. Subsequently, His Divine Grace wrote more than fifty volumes of authoritative commentated translations and summary studies of the philosophical and religious classics of India.
When he first arrived by freighter in New York City, Srila Prabhupada was practically penniless. Only after almost a year of great difficulty did he establish the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in July of 1966. Before he passed away on November 14, 1977, he had guided the Society and seen it grow to a worldwide confederation of more than one hundred ashramas, schools, temples, institutes, and farm communities.
Srila Prabhupada also inspired the construction of several large international cultural centers in India. The center at Sridhama Mayapur is the site for a planned spiritual city, an ambitious project for which construction will extend over many years to come. In Vrindavana are the magnificent Krishna-Balarama Temple and International Guesthouse, a school, and Srila Prabhupada Memorial and Museum. There is also a major cultural and educational center in Bombay. Major centers are planned in Delhi and in a dozen other important locations on the Indian subcontinent.
Srila Prabhupada's most significant contribution, however, is his books. Highly respected by scholars for their authority, depth, and clarity, they are used as textbooks in numerous college courses. His writings have been translated into over seventy languages. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, established in 1972 to publish the works of His Divine Grace, has thus become the world's largest publisher of books in the field of Indian religion and philosophy.
In just twelve years, despite his advanced age, Srila Prabhupada circled the globe fourteen times on lecture tours that took him to six continents. Yet this vigorous schedule did not slow his prolific literary output. His writings constitute a veritable library of Vedic knowledge, philosophy, religion, literature, and culture.