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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The Three Modes of Material Nature

Plate 34

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

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Lecture on Bhagavad-gita

Srila Prabhupada Laughing

This is a very nice, intimate, lecture on the Bhagavad-gita, given by Srila Prabhupada in the early days. He is obviously in a very good mood, and is challenging his students to use their intelligence.

Vīrabhadra: And my fourth and last question is, are you in this world?

Prabhupāda: Hm? (laughter)

Vīrabhadra: Are you in this world?

Prabhupāda: I am?

Vīrabhadra: Are you in this world? I mean you, are you…?

Prabhupāda: I’m not in this world, yes.

Vīrabhadra: You’re not in this world.

Prabhupāda: No.

Jaya-gopāla: I thought I heard it said that you are in this world without being a part of it. You are in the world without being a part of it, being a part of it, like the lotus flower which floats on the water.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the way. That is the way of understanding. Just like I am in America. It is very easy to understand. I am not adopting any ways of life as the Americans do. So I am not in America. Not only myself, all my disciples who are following me, they are also not Americans. They’re different from American behavior, American ways of life. In that sense I’m not in America. I am in Vṛndāvana because wherever I go in my apartment or in my temple I live with Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I don’t accept any consciousness of America. And I teach my disciples also to take to that consciousness. So one who takes to that consciousness, he is also not in America, not in this world. It is… I have given this example many times. Just like a king and a bug is sitting on the same throne. The bug is biting and the king is ruling. It is not that because the bug is there on the throne, he is king, or the king is sitting with the bug, he is bug. Why this difference? Difference of consciousness. The king knows his duty. He is working in his duty; therefore he’s king. And the bug knows his business, to bite; therefore he’s bug. But sitting on the same place. But because due to different consciousness, one is bug, one is king. So if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and if you remain in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you don’t belong to this world. You are no more bug, you are king. Change this consciousness. Even apparently you may seem to remain with the bug, you are no more bug. Is it clear?

Lecture on Bhagavad-gītā 2.46-62
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Recorded December 16, 1968, Los Angeles

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The Great Mystery; Bhagavad-gita

Battlefield of Kurukstra

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…The Bhagavad-gītā should be taken up in a spirit of devotion. One should not think that he is equal to Kṛṣṇa, nor should he think that Kṛṣṇa is an ordinary personality or even a very great personality. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, at least theoretically, according to the statements of Bhagavad-gītā or the statements of Arjuna, the person who is trying to understand the Bhagavad-gītā. We should therefore at least theoretically accept Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and with that submissive spirit we can understand the Bhagavad-gītā. Unless one reads the Bhagavad-gītā in a submissive spirit, it is very difficult to understand Bhagavad-gītā because it is a great mystery.

Although I have read and re-read the introduction to the Bhagavad-gita many times now, every time it seems fresh, and new realizations are evident. For instance this morning I was reading how one should accept the Bhagavad-gita in a ‘submissive spirit’. This instruction just jumped out at me because recently I was having a discussion with one devotee friend who was describing from Srila Prabhupada’s letters that Krishna Consciousness cannot be achieved

Krishna Consciousness is a transcendental science which can be revealed to a sincere devotee who is prepared to render service to the Lord. Krishna Consciousness is not achieved by dry arguments or by academic qualifications. (Letter to Subala – Delhi 29 September, 1967)

…but rather is received, through the mercy of the spiritual master and Krishna.

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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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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 2

Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 2
Translation & Purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

TRANSLATION

Devotional service manifests as the most elevated, pure love for God.

PURPORT

As stated before, after attaining the highest stage of self-realization, one becomes situated in devotional service to the Lord. The perfection of devotional service is to attain love of God. Love of God involves the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotee, and the process of devotional service. Self-realization, the brahma-bhūta stage, is the beginning of spiritual life; it is not the perfectional stage. If a person understands that he is not his body and that he has nothing to do with this material world, he becomes free from material entanglement. But that realization is not the perfectional stage.
The perfectional stage begins with activity in the self-realized position, and that activity is based on the understanding that a living entity is eternally the subordinate servitor of the Supreme Lord. Otherwise, there is no meaning to self-realization. If one is puffed up with the idea that he is the Supreme Brahman, or that he has become one with Nārāyaṇa, or that he has merged into the brahmajyoti effulgence, then he has not grasped the perfection of life. As the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.2.32) states,

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