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Bhagavad Gita


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Andrew Harvey ix About the Bhagavad Gita xv About the Translation and Annotation xxi 1. The Despondency of Arjuna 2 2. The Philosophy of Discrimination: Samkhya Yoga 10 3. The Path of Action: Karma Yoga 24 4. The Path of Wisdom: Jnana Yoga 32 5. The Renunciation of Action 42 6. Meditation and Self-Control: Dhyana Yoga 48 7. Knowledge and Experience 58 8. The Supreme Spirit 64 9. The Sovereign Secret 70 10. The Divine Manifestations 78 11. The Cosmic Vision 86 12. The Path of Love: Bhakti Yoga 98 13. Matter and Spirit 104 14. The Three Qualities 112 15. The Lord God 118 16. The Divine and Demoniac Civilizations 124 17. The Threefold Faith 130 18. The Spirit of Renunciation 136 Notes 152 Suggested Readings and Resources 159 List of Special Terms 163 Credits 165

About the Author

Shri Purohit Swami (1882-1941) was an Indian monk who traveled to the West in 1930 to teach the wisdom of Hinduism. In addition to the Bhagavad Gita, he translated The Ten Principal Upanishads (in collaboration with the poet William Butler Yeats). Kendra Crossen Burroughs is a book editor whose specialty is religions of the East and West. She compiled The Essential Ken Wilber and Entering the Tao: Master Ni's Guidance for Self-Cultivation. A long-time student of the Bhagavad Gita, she lives in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Andrew Harvey is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including Son of Man. His memoir A Journey in Ladakh was praised as "one of the best books available on the Western experience of Tibetan spiritual life." His just-published memoir Sun at Midnight was praised by Deepak Chopra, who said, "for those who have gone through the dark night of the soul and for those seeking a genuine understanding of spirituality, this is a very inspiring story." Harvey is also the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Born in India, he was the youngest person ever awarded a fellowship to All Souls College, Oxford. He has devoted the past thirty years of his life to study and experiencing the world's spiritual traditions and is widely recognized as one of our greatest communicators of mysticism and contemplative living today.


This is my first encounter with SkyLight Paths. One is struck immediately by the breadth of their publishing, concentrating on various spiritual paths from around the world. The present volume is part of a series titled 'SkyLight Illuminations.' The idea is simple: take a sacred text, present excerpts from the text along with commentary by a writer familiar with the text. The sacred text itself is presented on right-facing pages; commentary appears on the left. A very attractive format, indeed.Other titles in this series include "Rumi and Islam" "The Gospel of Phillip," "The Hebrew Prophets," "The Bhagavad Gita," you get the idea- The series takes a broad look at religious traditions both east and west, paring down the texts into bite-sized pieces, with commentary by believing scholars. It's a wonderful idea. I'm glad someone has put this into printReiss opens the present volume with her personal testimony, a quick look athow she came to belief in the Book of Mormon as sacred scripture and historical record. She offers a helpful recap of how the Book of Mormon hascome into prominence since the 1980's with the strong advocacy of Pres. Ezra Taft Benson. It's an interesting historical perspective on the place of the Book of Mormon in the life of the church over the years.Her commentary is pointed and clear. She has a two-fold purpose: first she wants to tell the story of the Book of Mormon, although large portions are omitted - the Jaredites, for example, are nowhere to be seen. But second and I think more importantly, she links texts from the Book of Mormon to explain and support current and past Mormon belief and lifestyle. Her comments therefore constitute an introduction to Mormon practice and history, touching on such subjects as early Mormon polygamy the use of water instead of wine in the Sacrament service, etc.Here's an example commenting on 2 Nephi 9:10-12: (Insert Excerpt)So here, in one book is an induction not just to the Book of Mormon, but toMormon belief and practice, offered in clear, easy to understand language. It addresses the many ways in which Mormonism differs from larger Christianity, including a discussion on the doctrine of the trinity.At the same time, by its inclusion in the Skylight Illuminations series, it places Mormonism within the larger flow of religious traditions from around the world, dragging Mormonism out of the margins of religious life into the larger stream of spirituality.I gladly recommend this book not so much for members of the Church, but for those interested in getting a first look at both the body and the book. As with Reiss's previous effort "Mormonism for Dummies," the current work makes simple some very complex ideas. Members should consider using this book in their personal missionary work.--Jeffrey Needle"The Association for Mormon Letters" (08/17/2005)

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