The Bhagavad-gita As It Is Study Guide

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Macmillan Edition

The following is a Study Guide for the Bhagavad Gita As It Is 1972 Edition which was developed by some of the disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This is a definitive guide that takes the student through the Bhagavad-gita step by step and first was formulated by Srila Prabhupada.

This Study Guide begins with the full Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and then proceeds with chapter by chapter analysis, Q & A etc. This arrived this morning as a Word Doc and required some slight editing to upload it as a post.

Study Guide
Presented by the Disciples and Followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

…One cleanses himself daily by taking a bath in water, but one who takes his bath only once in the sacred Ganges water of the Bhagavad-gita cleanses away all the dirt of material life. Because Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one need not read any other Vedic literature. One need only attentively and regularly hear and read Bhagavad-gita. In the present age, mankind is so absorbed with mundane activities that it is not possible to read all of the Vedic literatures. But this is not necessary. This one book, Bhagavad-gita, will suffice because it is the essence of all Vedic literatures and because it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is said that one who drinks the water of the Ganges certainly gets salvation, but what to speak of one who drinks the waters of Bhagavad-gita? Gita is the very nectar of the Mahabharata spoken by Visnu Himself, for Lord Krsna is the original Visnu. It is nectar emanating from the mouth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Ganges is said to be emanating from the lotus feet of the Lord.
Of course there is no difference between the mouth and the feet of the Supreme Lord, but in our position we can appreciate that the Bhagavad-gita is even more important than the Ganges.

The Bhagavad-gita is just like a cow, and Lord Krsna, who is a cowherd boy, is milking this cow. The milk is the essence of the Vedas, and Arjuna is just like a calf. The wise men, the great sages and pure devotees, are to drink the nectarean milk of Bhagavad-gita.
In this present day, man is very eager to have one scripture, one God, one religion, and one occupation. So let there be one common scripture for the whole world–Bhagavad-gita. And let there be one God only for the whole world–Sri Krsna. And one mantra only–Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And let there be one work only–the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
(from Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī

Sukadeva Goswami

…those who are really anxious to get out of this material existence may take shelter of this Bhāgavatam because it is uttered by the liberated Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. It is the transcendental torchlight by which one can see perfectly the transcendental Absolute Truth realized as Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. (from purport to SB 1.1.4)

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Attaining the Supreme

Plate 27

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 8

Attaining the Supreme

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Transcendental Knowledge

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 4

Transcendental Knowledge

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The Purpose of Lord Kapila’s Advent

…The purpose of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to inform everyone that no one is superior to Kṛṣṇa, God. Because many young Americans and Europeans are fortunate and know nothing of any hodgepodge god, they have taken this bona fide Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement seriously. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam: Bhagavān, God, means Śrī Kṛṣṇa. We have simply presented this information, saying, “Here is God. Śrī Kṛṣṇa.” Because they have taken this seriously, many young Americans and Europeans are advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Consequently many people are surprised to see how Americans and Europeans have become such great devotees and are dancing in ecstasy. How is it they are so advanced? They have taken the information seriously: kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. Whether one touches fire blindly or knowingly, fire will burn. It is not that because the fire is touched by a child, fire will not burn. These young Westerners have touched fire, and consequently it is acting as fire.

…If we hear about Kṛṣṇa, we become purified. Hearing about Kṛṣṇa means associating with Kṛṣṇa. In this way we may perfect our lives.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter One

The Purpose of Lord Kapila’s Advent

TEXT 1

śaunaka uvāca
kapilas tattva-saṅkhyātā
bhagavān ātma-māyayā
jātaḥ svayam ajaḥ sākṣād
ātma-prajñaptaye nṛṇām

TRANSLATION

Śrī Śaunaka said: Although He is unborn, the Supreme Personality of Godhead took birth as Kapila Muni by His internal potency. He descended to disseminate transcendental knowledge for the benefit of the whole human race.

PURPORT

The word ātma-prajñaptaye indicates that the Lord descends for the benefit of the human race to give transcendental knowledge. Material necessities are quite sufficiently provided for in the knowledge given in the Vedic literatures, which offer a program for good living and gradual elevation to the platform of sattva-guṇa, the mode of goodness. Once one is situated in sattva-guṇa, one’s knowledge expands. On the platform of passion there is no knowledge, for passion is an impetus to enjoy material benefits. On the platform of ignorance there is neither knowledge nor enjoyment but simply animalistic living.

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Krsna Is the Source of All Incarnations


Krsna Is the Source of All Incarnations
Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 3, Text 1
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TEXT 1

sūta uvāca
jagṛhe pauruṣaṁ rūpaṁ
bhagavān mahad-ādibhiḥ
sambhūtaṁ ṣoḍaśa-kalam
ādau loka-sisṛkṣayā

SYNONYMS

sūtaḥ uvāca—Sūta said; jagṛhe—accepted; pauruṣam—plenary portion as the puruṣa incarnation; rūpam—form; bhagavān—the Personality of Godhead; mahat-ādibhiḥ—with the ingredients of the material world; sambhūtam—thus there was the creation of; ṣoḍaśa-kalam—sixteen primary principles; ādau—in the beginning; loka—the universes; sisṛkṣayā—on the intention of creating.

TRANSLATION

Sūta said: In the beginning of the creation, the Lord first expanded Himself in the universal form of the puruṣa incarnation and manifested all the ingredients for the material creation. And thus at first there was the creation of the sixteen principles of material action. This was for the purpose of creating the material universe.

PURPORT

The Bhagavad-gītā states that the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa maintains these material universes by extending His plenary expansions. So this puruṣa form is the confirmation of the same principle. The original Personality of Godhead Vāsudeva, or Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is famous as the son of King Vasudeva or King Nanda, is full with all opulences, all potencies, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. Part of His opulences are manifested as impersonal Brahman, and part of His opulences are manifested as Paramātmā. This puruṣa feature of the same Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Paramātmā manifestation of the Lord. There are three puruṣa features in the material creation, and this form, who is known as the Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, is the first of the three. The others are known as the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, which we shall know one after another. The innumerable universes are generated from the skin holes of this Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and in each one of the universes the Lord enters as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also mentioned that the material world is created at certain intervals and then again destroyed. This creation and destruction is done by the supreme will because of the conditioned souls, or the nitya-baddha living beings. The nitya-baddha, or the eternally conditioned souls, have the sense of individuality or ahaṅkāra, which dictates them sense enjoyment, which they are unable to have constitutionally. The Lord is the only enjoyer, and all others are enjoyed. The living beings are predominated enjoyers. But the eternally conditioned souls, forgetful of this constitutional position, have strong aspirations to enjoy. The chance to enjoy matter is given to the conditioned souls in the material world, and side by side they are given the chance to understand their real constitutional position. Those fortunate living entities who catch the truth and surrender unto the lotus feet of Vāsudeva after many, many births in the material world join the eternally liberated souls and thus are allowed to enter into the kingdom of Godhead. After this, such fortunate living entities need not come again within the occasional material creation. But those who cannot catch the constitutional truth are again merged into the mahat-tattva at the time of the annihilation of the material creation. When the creation is again set up, this mahat-tattva is again let loose. This mahat-tattva contains all the ingredients of the material manifestations, including the conditioned souls. Primarily this mahat-tattva is divided into sixteen parts, namely the five gross material elements and the eleven working instruments or senses. It is like the cloud in the clear sky. In the spiritual sky, the effulgence of Brahman is spread all around, and the whole system is dazzling in spiritual light. The mahat-tattva is assembled in some corner of the vast, unlimited spiritual sky, and the part which is thus covered by the mahat-tattva is called the material sky. This part of the spiritual sky, called the mahat-tattva, is only an insignificant portion of the whole spiritual sky, and within this mahat-tattva there are innumerable universes. All these universes are collectively produced by the Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, called also the Mahā-Viṣṇu, who simply throws His glance to impregnate the material sky.

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