By Steven J. Rosen

Rosen deals Westerners an easy-to-read advent to a sacred textual content, demystifying its massive philosophy in a common manner. this isn't another translation, basically reiterating what the Gita itself has to claim. it is vitally an try and culturally translate the textual content, applying thoughts and different types to which Western readers are accustomed. by means of attractive usual motifs—such as problems with modernity, pop-culture icons, and famous philosophers within the West—the writer brings the Gita into concentration for non-specialists and students alike. via a sequence of latest information references and insightful summaries, readers will eventually comprehend the evidence and personalities that make up the Bhagavad Gita.Using his decades of Gita-centered examine, Rosen unlocks the mysteries of the text's religious underpinnings. He presents an outline of the Gita's narrative and teachings along documentation of its conventional software and extra sleek ways that the textual content might be understood. scholars and students alike will have a good time in how good this e-book lays naked the tradition and the context of the Gita, leading to a reader's deep familiarity with this so much sacred of all of the world's knowledge texts.

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Extra resources for Krishna's Song: A New Look at the Bhagavad Gita

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The Mahabharata begins with a detailed genealogy that helps answer the question of why the war took place: While reading the intricate “who’s who,” we learn that demons incarnated to take over the world and devas (demigods) took birth to stop them. Clearly, to understand the underpinnings of the war, we must delve into the theological background of the larger story. ” If we study the book with this in mind, the story’s otherworldly dimensions will make sense and the Mahabharata’s internal perspective on war will come through.

Kshatriyas like Arjuna were compared to gardeners. It was understood that they were to take care of “the field” in ways that the common man could not, keeping the garden healthy by plucking out weeds and other plants that were detrimental to the overall health of the garden. As Srila A. C. 11 The gardener analogy is not meant to make light of Kshatriya violence. In fact, it was conceived in a Brahminical setting to acknowledge that Kshatriyas must sometimes do harm. A Kshatriya is a defender, a protector—a person who will resort to physical means to cultivate the field of life.

Consequently, in Arjuna’s world, war was seen as the proper sacrifice for the warrior (kshatriya), a sacrifice that potentially included the loss of one’s life on the battlefield. It is this notion of unattached action (in contrast to the Vedantic renunciation of action itself) that distinguishes the teaching of the Gita. From here it becomes clear how all people can sacrifice their work to God, as opposed to sacrificing work altogether. Ultimately, all human activities—in any of the four varnas—could become a type of yoga, or sacrifice, provided that the fruits are dedicated to the pursuit of the spirit.

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