This easy-to-use study guide and word index will help you understand core ideas of the Bhagavadgita. Based on the critical edition, this reference guide can be used with any translation. The arrangement is designed to be accessible by English readers who are studying the text. It is also a useful reference work for translators and teachers.
Eleven theme guides explain key ideas and list verses that can be read as a group. Each theme guide is suitable for a class discussion session or seminar meeting, making the book useful both to students and to teachers seeking lesson plans for the material. The theme guides are:
- Yoga as Spiritual Discipline
- Overcoming the Duality of Attraction and Aversion
- Karma Yoga: Action as Spiritual Practice
- Bhakti Yoga: Devotion as Spiritual Practice
- Jnana Yoga: Knowledge as Spiritual Practice
- Controlling the Lower Self by the Higher Self
- Body and the Indwelling Spirit
- The Gunas and Material Nature
- Dharma: Personal Nature and Social Justice
- The Best Type of Worship
- "Becoming" Krishna as an End to Rebirth
The book includes a concordance (word index) with over 3,000 entries covering the complete text of the Critical Edition, with definitions and verse numbers. The concordance makes it easy to look up verses that deal with specific ideas.
Over 700 footnotes give citations to how different translators have handled words and phrases that are either ambiguous or simply difficult to render into English.
Who's Who and Epithets
The Bhagavadgita is presented as a dialog between Krishna, who is an incarnation of God, and Arjuna, a great leader and warrior. Their conversation is being reported by Sañjaya to King Dhrtarastra. In addition to those four primary dramatis personæ, brief backgrounds are provided for over 50 others who are mentioned in passing or connected to the story in some way.
The Bhagavadgita makes frequent use of epithets or "nicknames" that are shorthand references that can be understood in context as referring to a specific person. Over 70 of these ephithets are explained and indexed.
About the Author
Les Morgan is the author of Croaking Frogs: A Guide to Sanskrit Metrics and Figures of Speech (2011), and Translating the Bhagavadgita: A Workbook for Sanskrit Students (2017). His Study Guide to the Bhagavadgita: With Practical Concordance (2017) is a companion volume to Ram Karan Sharma's Bhagavadgita, which he edited. Other current projects include a translation of the Ganesha Sahasranama and preparation of a study guide for the Samkhyakarika of Ishvarakrishna.
Since 2005 he has been collaborating with R. K. Sharma to produce a concordance of poetic images in the Mahabharata and Ramayana and has co-presented with R. K. Sharma on that project at the University of California and at the 15th World Sanskrit Conference in New Delhi (2012). As a technologist, he has a special interest in corpus linguistics and digital texts. He is the co-developer of the Vidyut Input Method Editor (IME), used for entry of Devanagari on Windows computers. He provides a web site where recordings of spoken Sanskrit are provided free of charge (mywhatever.com/sanskrit). He is the developer of the first bilingual software used in spaceflight by NASA on the International Space Station, with interfaces in both English and Russian.