The Bhagavad-Gita for the Modern Reader

What is the Bhagavad-Gita? Is it just a religious text? When was it composed? How relevant is it to the modern world?

This book answers these foundational questions and goes beyond. It critically examines the Bhagavad-Gita in terms of its liberal, humanist and inclusive appeal, bringing out its significance for the present times and novel applications. The author elaborates the philosophy underlying the text as also its ethical, spiritual and moral implications. He also responds to criticisms that have been levelled against the text by Ambedkar, D. D. Kosambi, and more recently, Amartya Sen.

The volume proposes unique bearings of the text in diverse fields such as business & management and scientific research. Eclectic and accessible, this work will be of interest to scholars of philosophy, religion, history, business & management studies as well as the general reader.

Book Contents

1. Significance of the Gita, its date and authorship 

As a sacred text; As a part of the Mahabharata

2. Classical commentators of the Gita 

The Gita in the rest of the Mahabharata, and the Puranas; Shankara; Bhaskara; Ramanuja; Madhva; Others in the Sanskritic tradition; 

Jnaneshwari – The Gita goes to people at large; Appendix to Chapter 2 on the three Acharyas and their philosophies

3. The Gita goes global

Wilkins’s English translation, impact and reactions; Reception in Germany; Further spread

4. Makers of modern India and their interpretations of the Gita

Raja Rammohan Roy; Bankimchandra; Theosophical Society and Annie Besant; Bal Gangadhar Tilak; Swami Vivekananda; Lala Lajpat Rai; 

Mahatma Gandhi; Aurobindo Ghose; Swami Sahajananda Saraswati; Jawaharlal Nehru

5. Contemporary interpretations

Swami Ramdas; D. V. Gundappa (DVG); Swami Sivananda; K. M. Munshi; S. Radhakrishnan; Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda; Vinoba Bhave; 

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada; Swami Ranganathananda; Eknath Easwaran; Swami Chinmayananda; Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; 

Swami Dayananda Saraswati

6. Philosophy of the Gita

The Gita and the pursuit of happiness; Ethics in the Gita; God and His world; Sadhana: spiritual striving

7. Criticisms of the Gita and responses

Contradictions; Historicity; Is the Gita other-worldly? amoral? deterministic?; Is the Gita reactionary?; The Gita and its deontology; Miscellaneous criticisms

8. Novel applications

The Gita as a guide to leadership, enterprise and management; Pursuit of truth in scientific research; Success in career and life



Name index 

Subject index

The Bhagavad-Gita for the Modern Reader
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