Shrimad Bhagvadgita

Writer: Eknath Easwaran

📖Short Summary

Shrimad Bhagvadgita is a timeless book. Eknath Easwaran brings to us one of the most read interpretation of the beautiful song of God. No matter how many times you read it, you will find something new to read and think about. It happens on the battlefield of Kurukshetra where Arjun is hesitant to take up weapons to fight his own people while Lord Krishna is trying to convince him to perform his duties. The dialogue between the two unfolds which is the Bhagvadgita.

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🌤️Few Notable Thoughts

  1. Your destiny is in your own hands.
  2. Those who are established in wisdom live in continuous, unbroken awareness that they are not the perishable body but the Atman (higher self).
  3. You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. Never engage in action for the sake of reward.
  4. Only the person who is utterly detached and utterly dedicated is free to enjoy life.
  5. Attachment is pleasant at first but bitter as poison in the end because of the painful bondage of conditioning.
  6. When the will is led astray by the desire of pleasure, the mind becomes confused and scattered.
  7. When you keep thinking about sense objects, attachment comes. Attachment breeds desire, the lust of possession that burns to anger. Anger clouds the judgement. You can no longer learn from past mistakes. The power to choose between what is wise and what is unwise is lost, and you life is utter waste.
  8. We cannot hope to escape karma by refraining from our duties. Even to survive the world, we must act.
  9. Fulfill all your duties, action is better than inaction.
  10. Selfless action imprisons the world. Act selflessly, without any thought of personal profit.
  11. The law of karma states that though we can't see the connections, we can be sure that everything that happens to us, good and bad, originated once in something we did or thought.
  12. The divine qualities lead to freedom, the demonic to bondage.
  13. When we act out of selfish attachment, we must fully partake of the result. In this life we can never be sure that things will turn out as planned.

😇Whom It Can Benefit

  1. People who are looking for a spiritual anchor in their life.
  2. For those who are curious about life.
  3. For people who are searching for answers.
  4. For young people (Right from young adults to people well into their 30s and 40s) who are struggling to get a hold of reality.

3️⃣ Actionable Insights

  1. Practicing detachment from material possessions. Own things but don't let the things own you.
  2. Fight with all your strength. Control your sense and conquer your enemy, the destroyer of knowledge and realization.
  3. It's better to strive in your own dharma than to succeed in someone else’. Nothing is ever lost in following ones own dharma, but competition in another's dharma breeds fear and insecurity.
  4. To live in freedom, go beyond the dualities of life. Compete with no one, be neutral in success and failure alike. Be content with whatever comes to you.

🥰What I Loved in This Book

  1. The interpretation by the author is amazing and really easy to understand. He introduces the chapter and explains the terms in detail before proceeding with the actual verses.
  2. Many of the Sanskrit terms do not have a concluding word in English vocabulary. The author has done a great job in explaining such terms to the reader.
  3. I loved the translation of the verses.
  4. How Lord Krishna convinces Arjuna to perform his duties and not run away from the battleground despite his inner battles. I guess, we all deserve a friend like Lord Krishna in our lives. Maybe, Shrimad Bhagvadgita is my friend itself.
  5. Chapter 11 (The Cosmic Vision) is my most favourite where the divine lord reveals his true form. I was at a loss of words reading this chapter, imagining how it must be. The artist's interpretation of that scene is still my wallpaper to this day. It's simply marvellous. The verses in this chapter are also the inspiration behind Robert Oppenheimer's reaction after the explosion of the first atomic bomb test in 1945.

🏗️How I’m implementing the thoughts

  1. Practicing detachment.
  2. Doing meditation whenever I can get time. I'm not a regular but want to do it everyday.
  3. After reading Bhagvadgita, I've become more aware that every action and their consequences are my own choice alone. This helps in accepting the outcome.
  4. The concept of being neutral also helps me in trading. I try to be calm in both profits and losses. Follow the process, not the profits - My trading gurus: The Malkans regularly say this.

🌇Concluding thoughts

The Shrimad Bhagvadgita is too large and too deep to be concluded on just one page. In fact, you will have to re-read the book several times to grasp even a small part of it in the real sense. There are many terms like Bramhan, Atman, Dharma, etc. that do not have an exact English word. You will need to read the book in detail to understand such concepts. The book has intrigued everyone alike since ages. Many great scientists have also mentioned the book in their public addresses.

That being said, it is a beautiful experience re-reading it again and again. This book is totally recommended for everyone. I have experienced positive changes in my life since I started reading the book. I believe, this book is essentially a guide on how to live life.


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