The Bhagavad Gita, also called The Song of the Lord, is a 700-line section of a much longer Sanskrit war epic, the Mahabharata, about the legendary conflict between two branches of an Indian ruling family. Framed as a conversation between Krishna, an incarnation of the god Vishnu, and a general of one of the armies, the Gita is written in powerful poetic language meant to be chanted. Equally treasured as a guide to action, a devotional scripture, a philosophical text, and inspirational reading, it remains one of the world’s most influential, widely read spiritual books.
The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi is based on talks given by Gandhi between February and November 1926 at the Satyagraha Ashram in Ahmedabad, India. During this time—a period when Gandhi had withdrawn from mass political activity—he devoted much of his time and energy to translating the Gita from Sanskrit into his native Gujarati. As a result, he met with his followers almost daily, after morning prayer sessions, to discuss the Gita’s contents and meaning as it unfolded before him. This book is the transcription of those daily sessions.
About the Author
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) entered the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, following his conversion to Catholicism and was ordained Father M. Louis in 1949. During the 1960s, he was increasingly drawn into a dialogue between Eastern and Western religions and domestic issues of war and racism. In 1968, the Dalai Lama praised Merton for having a more profound knowledge of Buddhism than any other Christian he had known. Thomas Merton is the author of the beloved classic The Seven Storey Mountain.
John Strohmeier is the coauthor, with Peter Westbrook, of Divine Harmony: The Life and Teachings of Pythagoras. He lives in Richmond, CA.