The Bhagavad Gita: A Guide to Navigating the Battle of Life

Shambhala Publications (April 17, 2017)
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Sample Excerpt

This conflict of various levels of dharma is what bewildered the legendary warrior Arjuna in the middle of the two armies, para­lyzing him into inaction. A resolution of his dilemma could only come from deep within himself; he turns to Krishna, his own deep­est self, for illumination (2.4–9). In a summary way it can be said that Krishna’s response to Arjuna’s crisis about action is that no ac­tion can be right unless the actor is right; and if the actor is right, the action is right however terrible it may appear externally. Then Krishna teaches Arjuna how to be the right actor. That is what turns the Gita into a classical text of yoga and Krishna into Yogeshvara, Lord of Yoga. Dharma is concerned with right action, whereas yoga is the science par excellence of the transformation of a person into the right actor. Arjuna needs to be transformed by the multifaceted yoga taught by Krishna; only then can he understand what dharma truly is at all levels, from the personal to the cosmic, and struggle for itsestablishment.

To carry out the right action required by dharma requires the right actor disciplined by yoga. However, as Krishna teaches, yoga cannot be accomplished without yajña, an activity involving a collaborationbetween human beings and the devas, subtle energies inside and out­side ourselves, requiring a sacrifice of the attachment to one’s usual level of being.

--Ravi Ravindra

Excerpts from Reviews

"This engaging new rendition of one of the world's most venerated works opens up many of its dimensions that have usually been hidden. Ravindra's version brought me closer to the actual experience behind the meaning of the text than any other translations that I've read."
—Richard Smoley, author of The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe.

"This is a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita that is in a class of its own.Without labouring it, the background story from the Mahabharata and itscharacters come alive, even while the focus remains on the Gita. Almostno commentary on this ancient scripture emphasizes an historical battlebut rather, all take pains to point to it as a metaphor for the battlewithin. However none so superbly take us within, to the very place of thebattle raging within each one of us, as Ravi Ravindra's does. In so doinghe truly makes alive the promise of Krishna in Chapter Six that, Yoga isbreaking the bond with suffering."
—Swami Ambikananda Saraswati, Author, Founder of Traditional Yoga Association, UK.

"Ravindra's book speaks so splendidly (yes, with a radiant splendor) to the heart-mind or the mind-heart of the student: he hassurely listened so well to Krishna that the words fairly sing (after all, it is a "song") in one's being, touching both heart and mind! I particularly appreciated too the several footnotes that opened up the fullness of meaning of so many of the Sanskrit words in the original text. His is a work to be lived with, to be turned to again and again, as it speaks to the core of one's being. "
—Joy Mills, ex President of the Theosophical Society in America and Australia, and Vice-President of the International Theosophical Society.

"Ravi Ravindra's translation of the Bhagavad Gita allows these sacred teachings to penetrate our hearts, open our minds and call us to action. His commentary on this classic text of yoga invites a sincere and practical engagement with the text and raises many questions for our lives. Ravindra's intimacy with the spiritual traditions of both the east and the west brings a richand fertile look into the meaning of these teachings."
—Kira Sloane, Director of Yoga Anytime.