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The Bhagavad Gita

The Gita is one of the favorite Advaita-related texts of all time. Taken from a larger work, this excerpt tells the story of the warrior Arjuna and his charioteer and spiritual teacher, Krishna, an incarnation of the Absolute. Shankara wrote an extensive commentary on the Gita. Taken together, the Gita and Shankara's commentary are a rich source of insightful spiritual teaching. We recommend any of the following editions:

Recommended Books

The Geeta

(translated by Shri Purohit Swami): A poetic and approachable translation of the Gita in less than 100 pages, this version is a great place to start. English-only. This book is out of print and in the public domain, so you may download a copy.

The Bhagavad Gita

(with the commentary of Sri Sankaracharya, translated by A.Mahadeva Shastry): One of the most literal translations, this version has the original Sanskrit, an English translation of the verse and Shankara's commentary in English. A good all-purpose study and reference version in about 525 pages. First edition 1897, republished by Samata Books 1977 and thereafter. No ISBN. Available at Samata Book House.

Bhagavad Gita Bhashya of Sri Shankaracharya

(translated by Dr. A.G. Krishna Warrier): Another excellent English translation, with the original Sanskrit verse and translation — Shankara's commentary in the original Sanskrit and a careful English translation. About 650 pages. Includes an index to the verses by first words. Published in 1983 by the Ramakrishna Math, ISBN 81-7120-269-1. Available from Vedanta Press and Catalog.

Bhagavad Gita

(with the commentary of Sri Sankaracharya, translated by Swami Gambhirananda): A flowing English translation, this version has the original Sanskrit, an English translation of the verse and Shankara's commentary in English with transliterated Sanskrit words. An easier version for general reading than Shastry's in about 800 pages. Includes a word index. First edition 1984 by the Advaita Ashrama, ISBN 81-7505-150-7 (paperback) or 81-7505-041-1 (hardcover). Available occasionally from Amazon.

The Bhagavad Gita

(translated by Winthrop Sargent): For the linguist and Sanskrit scholar, this translation gives the Sanskrit verse and simultaneous word-by-word translation, with short grammatical and definitional notes for each word, all followed by a poetic translation of the verse. No commentary, about 740 pages. Published in 1994 by the SUNY Press, ISBN 0-87395-830-6 (paperback). Generally available from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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