Title: Bhagavad-gita As It is
Author: Krishna-dwaipayana Vyasa, translation and purports by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Synopsis: This is the equivalent of the Bible in Vedic literature. It contains the conversation between Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His dear friend and cousin Arjuna. During Lord Krishna’s time on earth, some five thousand years ago, there was a great war that took place on the battlefield of Kurkshetra between the families of cousin-brothers, the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The Pandavas were the rightful heir to the throne held by the Kauravas at the time. Arjuna, one of the five principles Pandava brothers and their most skilled warrior, was preparing for battle but suddenly had a weakness of heart. Since he had close ties with many of the warriors on the Kaurava side, Arjuna was hesistant to fight. Lord Krishna, acting as Arjuna’s charioteer and spiritual master, gave him a discourse on the meaning of life and the constitutional position of the soul. This conversation makes up the bulk of the Gita. Though originally only a small chapter in the much larger book, the Mahabharata, the Gita has become the most famous and widely read Vedic doctrine since it was first delivered by Krishna.
The Gita has been studied by scholars, theologians, and great spiritual leaders for thousands of years. Many English translations exist but mostly they are tainted with the commentator’s personal views on religion. This version, by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhuphada, is translated and commented on without any adulteration to the original meaning of the text. The ultimate conclusion of the Bhagavad-gita is to surrender everything unto Krishna, or God, and become His devotee, and Prabhupada’s translation and commentary remains true to that message. This is a must-read for anyone interested in a higher form of knowledge.