God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita. Royal Science of God-Realization

God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita. Royal Science of God-Realization

by Parahmahansa Yogananda
Self Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles, 1996; Two·volume slipcased hardcover, 1,224 pages.

This monumental translation and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, by one of India's illustrious saints, breaks new ground as a revelation of its deepest spiritual, psychological, and metaphysical truths.

One of the most beloved of India's sacred texts, the Gita is considered to embody the essence of the four Vedas, 108 Upanishads, and six systems of Hindu philosophy. A pivotal episode of the great Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata, the Gita takes place on the eve of a cataclysmic war in ancient India. Allegorically depicting the moral and spiritual struggle that leads to God-realization, it presents a dialogue in which the Lord Krishna, symbolizing the omnipresent Spirit, imparts counsel to the warrior-prince Arjuna, the soul.

In an illuminating commentary, Yogananda explores the science of yoga encrypted in the Gita, its time-honored tradition of meditation, and the way this ancient discipline makes possible the direct experience of God. In simple but eloquent language, he sets forth a sweeping chronicle tracing the soul's journey to enlightenment. He considers issues of great interest today, including the origin, evolution, and nature of the cosmos; karma and reincarnation; the phenomenon of death and life after death; and the eternal laws of righteousness. Extensive footnotes show striking correlations between the Vedic view of reality and the discoveries of modern science, as well as parallels between the teachings of the Gita and those of the Bible.

Born in northern India, Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952) lived and taught in the United States for more than thirty years, after coming here in 1920 as India's delegate to an international congress of religious leaders. His landmark Autobiography of a Yogi, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, is widely regarded as a spiritual classic.

A preliminary serialization of his translation and commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita first began appearing in 1932 in Self-Realization Fellowship's magazine. Toward the end of his life, Yogananda devoted considerable time to revising and expanding this work, and gave instructions to two close disciples regarding editing and annotation for eventual publication in book form. His complete translation and commentaries are now available for the first time in this elegantly designed and illustrated edition, which includes a 37-page index and twelve original color paintings by contemporary Indian artists.


Summer 1996