Commentary on the Bhagavadgita

by Swami Krishnananda

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Book Code: EK36
615 pages
ISBN: 8170522501
Book Dimensions: 9.00 x 5.80 x 1.50 inches
Shipping Weight: 840 grams

Table of Contents

Publisher’s Note 5
Preface 7
Gems by Swami Krishnananda (Inside Cover)  
List of Abbreviations 9
Discourse 1: The Colophon of the Bhagavadgita 17
Discourse 2: The First Chapter
Visada Yoga, the Yoga of the Dejection of the Spirit
Discourse 3: The Second Chapter Begins
Sankhya Yoga
Discourse 4: The Second Chapter Continues
How to Live in the World
Discourse 5: The Second Chapter Concludes
The Establishment of the Soul in Universality
Discourse 6: The Third Chapter Begins
The Relation Between Sankhya and Yoga
Discourse 7: The Third Chapter Concludes
The Knower of Reality
Discourse 8: The Fourth Chapter Begins
The Avataras of God
Discourse 9: The Fourth Chapter Continues
The Performance of Action as a Sacrifice
Discourse 10: The Fourth Chapter Concludes
Methods of Worship and of Self-Control
Discourse 11: The Fifth Chapter Begins
Knowledge and Action are One
Discourse 12: The Fifth Chapter Continues
The Characteristics of a Perfected Person
Discourse 13: The Fifth Chapter Concludes
The Characteristics of the Sage Who is Established in Brahman
Discourse 14: The Sixth Chapter Begins
The Characteristics of a Sannyasi and a Yogi
Discourse 15: The Sixth Chapter Continues
Requirements for the Practice of Meditation
Discourse 16: The Sixth Chapter Continues
Meditation on the Ishta Devata
Discourse 17: The Sixth Chapter Concludes
God’s Great Promise to Us
Discourse 18: A Summary of the First Six Chapters 217
Discourse 19: The Seventh Chapter Begins
Transcending the Sankhya
Discourse 20: The Seventh Chapter Continues
The Glory of God and His Creation
Discourse 21: The Seventh Chapter Continues
The Gospel of Universal Religion
Discourse 22: The Seventh Chapter Concludes
Worshipping Deities
Discourse 23: The Eighth Chapter Begins
The Different Facets of the Supreme Being
Discourse 24: The Eighth Chapter Continues
The Thought at the Time of Death
Discourse 25: The Eighth Chapter Continues
Types of Liberation
Discourse 26: The Eighth Chapter Concludes
The Journey of the Soul After Death
Discourse 27: The Ninth Chapter Begins
The Kingly Knowledge and the Greatness of God
Discourse 28: The Ninth Chapter Concludes
Undivided Devotion to God
Discourse 29: A Summary of the First Nine Chapters 349
Discourse 30: The Tenth Chapter Begins
The Glories of God
Discourse 31: The Tenth Chapter Concludes
God’s Special Manifestations
Discourse 32: The Eleventh Chapter Begins
Introduction to the Visvarupa Darshana

Discourse 33: The Eleventh Chapter Continues
The Visvarupa Darshana

Discourse 34: The Eleventh Chapter Continues
The Visvarupa Darshana Continues
Discourse 35: The Eleventh Chapter Concludes
Whole-souled Devotion to God
Discourse 36: The Twelfth Chapter Begins
The Best of Yogins
Discourse 37: The Twelfth Chapter Concludes
The Supreme Devotee of God
Discourse 38: The Thirteenth Chapter Begins
Consciousness and Matter
Discourse 39: The Thirteenth Chapter Continues
The Field and the Knower of the Field
Discourse 40: The Thirteenth Chapter Concludes
Understanding Purusha and Prakriti
Discourse 41: The Fourteenth Chapter
Rising Above the Three Gunas
Discourse 42: The Fifteenth Chapter Begins
The World as an Inverted Tree
Discourse 43: The Fifteenth Chapter Concludes
The Greatest Secret Revealed
Discourse 44: The Sixteenth Chapter Begins
Divine and Undivine Qualities
Discourse 45: The Sixteenth Chapter Concludes
What is Proper and What is Improper in Our Life
Discourse 46: The Seventeenth Chapter Begins
The Threefold Character of Faith
Discourse 47: The Seventeenth Chapter Concludes
The Meaning of Om Tat Sat
Discourse 48: The Eighteenth Chapter Begins
Renunciation, and Types of Action
Discourse 49: The Eighteenth Chapter Continues Types of Understanding, Determination and Happiness 573
Discourse 50: The Eighteenth Chapter Continues
Knowing One’s Duty
Discourse 51: The Eighteenth Chapter Concludes
The Bhagavadgita Concludes
Appendix: Sri Krishna—The Guru of All Gurus 610

Publisher’s Note

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita, one of the sacred scriptures of Sanatana Dharma, is considered on par with the Vedas. Adiguru Sri Sankaracharya, in his classical commentary on the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, says, dvividho hi vedokto dharmaḥ pravṛtti-lakṣaṇo nivṛtti-lakṣaṇaś ca

The Veda speaks of twofold Dharma—engaging in actions and renunciation of actions. He further says, prāṇināṃ sākṣād abhyudaya-niḥśreyasa-hetur yaḥ sa dharmo—this twofold Dharma is the tool which directly promotes the prosperity as well as the liberation of all living beings.

With the flux of time, this Dharma got corrupted and the Supreme Lord incarnated as Vasudev to re-establish it. The compassionate Lord taught the Dharma to Arjuna through his immortal song the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, which was later on brought out by Sage Vedavyasa in his monumental work, the Mahabharata. Sage Vedavyasa testifies to the authenticity of this sacred Gita, saying:

gita sugita kartavya kim anyah shastra vistaraih
ya svayam padmanabhasya mukha-padmad vinihsrita

What is the need of studying other scriptures when we have the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, which has directly come from the sacred lips of Lord Sri Krishna? Therefore, one should engage oneself in the study of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita.

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is read all over the world, and has also been translated into many languages. Signifying the supreme glory of this divine scripture, Sadgurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj says, “Just as the dark, unfathomed depths of the ocean contain the most precious pearls, so also the Gita contains spiritual gems of incalculable value.” Worshipful Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj, the scholarly saint of our Ashram, dived deep into the ocean of this sacred scripture and culled sublime and soul-stirring spiritual truths. Sri Swamiji Maharaj most graciously shared his wisdom treasure with all through a series of talks given in 1989, and made seekers eternally indebted to him.

We are immensely happy to bring out the book Commentary on the Bhagavadgita by Pujya Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj as our worshipful offering on his 13th Punyatithi Aradhana. We hope that earnest seekers and students of philosophy will be benefited by this book.

May the blessings of Lord Krishna and Sadgurudev be ever upon all.

—The Divine Life Society


Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Glory to Lord Krishna, the World Teacher, who gave the immortal teachings of the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in the middle of a battlefield.

The Bhagavad Gita is a universal gospel which has been translated into many modern languages. It is a “Song Celestial” in seven hundred verses. Numerous commentaries have been written on this book, which are studied all over the world. The teachings are practical. They can be applied in all circumstances in one’s life.

Bharatavarsha is held in high esteem the world over due to the Bhagavad Gita. Mahatma Gandhi once asked the librarian in one of the biggest libraries in London: “What spiritual book do you most often issue?” The librarian replied, “The Gita.”

Mahatma Gandhi himself said, “I lost my mother when I was young, but the Gita has been a mother to me. In all moments of sorrow and dejection, whenever I opened the Gita and read one or two verses here or there, it consoled me.”

Worshipful Sri Swami Krishnanandaji, who was a leading disciple of His Holiness Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji, served Gurudev’s institution as General Secretary for almost forty years. Originally he gave a series of talks on the Gita in the early seventies, some of which I had the privilege of attending. Then in 1989, at the request of many devotees from both the East and West, Pujya Swamiji gave the 51 discourses included in this book.

Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj expounded this Great Book in a very easy way that even a layman can understand. In his discourses he gave numerous interesting incidents and brief stories which created great interest among the listeners. This wonderful book throws a flood of light on the subject and illumines our path. When the path is illumined you can walk steadily towards the goal. Therefore, study these discourses regularly and make your life sublime.

It is my sincere hope that this book has a wide circulation and that a large number of people will read these discourses of Pujya Swami Krishnanandaji and derive immense benefit.

May the choicest blessings of Lord Krishna ever be upon all.

Swami Vimalananda
The Divine Life Society Hqs.

Sri Krishna Janmashtami
August 17, 2014

List of Abbrevations

Anu Gita Anu
Bilvashtaka Stotra Bilva
Brahma Sutra B.S.
Brahma Vaivarta Purana B.V.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad B.U.
Isavasya Upanishad Isa
Katha Upanishad Katha
Mahabharata M.B.
Mandukya Upanishad Ma.U.
Munduka Upanishad M.U.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras Y.S.
Purusha Sukta P.S.
Rigveda R.V.
Siksastakam Siksa
Sri Caitanya Caritamrta C.C.
Srimad Bhagavata S.B.
Taittiriya Upanishad T.U.
Yoga Vasishtha Y.V.

Unless otherwise specified, all the verses quoted in this book are from the Bhagavadgita.

Gems by Swami Krishnananda

Yoga is a process of rejoicing. It is not a suffering. It is a movement through happiness. From one state of joy, we move to another state of joy.

All the procedures of meditation are, in the end, ways of awakening the Soul-consciousness which, in its depth, is, at once, God-consciousness. What is apparently extraneous and outside one’s body gets vitally woven up into the fabric of one’s being in rightly practised meditation. In brief, meditation is the art of uniting with Reality.

Every speck of space, every atom of matter, can be regarded as a vehicle which reflects one face of God. To think God would be to drown one’s self in an indescribable completeness whereby one loses one’s presence, the individuality evaporates like mist before the blazing Sun.

By some mystery of the workings of Nature, as it were, divine hands begin to operate and grace descends and we are brought in contact with a proper Guru or a teacher. That itself is a great blessing; contact with a proper Guru is really coming in contact with God Himself.

When we try to understand things in terms of the Spirit, we will realise that all things assume a uniform meaning, even as the sunlight is equal to all objects.

If the gods want to help us, they do not come to protect us with a stick in their hands like a shepherd protecting sheep. Their help always comes in the form of an enhanced understanding, a blessing which they pour upon us in the form of an increased insight into the nature of things. This is because knowledge is the greatest blessing, insight is the greatest power, and there is nothing in this world equal to illumination. Objects, property, wealth, social status—none of them can stand before illumination and insight into the true nature of things, with which God blesses those who are eternally, perpetually, united with Him.

The Absolute is the only Reality. Everything is everywhere at every time.

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