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You may read the Bhagvad Gita online by clicking on the chapter numbers above, and/or download it in pdf using the above download file link.
The Bhagvad Gita
The Gita (Bhagvadgita) has 18 chapters. It is a conversation between Krsna and Arjun on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, where Arjun initially refuses to fight the battle. Krsna explains to Arjun why he has to do his duty and fight.
Encapsulated into this dialogue are all the elements of the Hindu philosophy - hence the importance of this book. Reading the Gita requires one to stop and think about each paragraph. It does not tell you what you must do in each possible circumstance. It does give you the tools to make your own decisions. This strategy achieves two aims:
The teaching is relevant for all ages, as it is not bogged down by the culture of the day We are taught to think, and not follow anything blindly -- this is one of the unique characteristic of Hinduism (the other key one is the fact that the ultimate goal in not just the heaven, but oneness with God)
Hints when reading the Gita: In the text below, the colors are meant to distinguish between the speakers. Change in color means the speaker is changed. Chapter 1 mentions many names. The reader need not memorize the names, as most do not reappear. Chapter 1 is the only chapter where Arjun gives his opinions. In subsequent chapters he asks questions. This is important to note so as not to confuse Arjun's opinions with Krsna's teachings There are many translations of Gita, readily available in most bookstores. Most contain commentary & interpretations by the authors of those books. It is important (in the opinion of this writer) that in the first reading of the Gita, one should avoid reading these commentaries and interpretations, so as not to be swayed by others' opinions. After all, Krsna wants us to use our minds. The version provided here is a translation only, without any commentary.
Acknowledgement: This translation if from a 1949 edition of the Gita from Gita Press, Gorakhpor, India. It is an English translation based on a Hindi rendering by Syt. Jayadayal Goyandka.