The Bhagavad Gita In Plain and Simple English (Digital Download)
Journey to Spiritual Clarity: The Timeless Wisdom of the Gita

Embark on a profound journey with "The Bhagavad Gita", a cornerstone of Hindu literature that has enlightened and influenced countless souls, from renowned artists to iconic leaders. But this isn't just any text—it's a compelling dialogue between Prince Arjuna and his guide, Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, unraveling deep philosophical insights and spiritual wisdom.

Yet, the nuances and depths of this sacred scripture can often be daunting in its traditional form.

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Excerpt From the Bhagavad Gita In Plain and Simple English

Chapter 1 - Visada Yoga 
The Distress of Arjuna

Dhritirashtra: Ranged thus for battle on the sacred plain-- On Kurukshetra--say, Sanjaya! say What wrought my people, and the Pandavas?

Dhritirashtra: Sanjaya! What did my people and the Pandavas do, grouped together for battle on the sacred land of Kurukshetra?

 Sanjaya: When he beheld the host of Pandavas, Raja Duryodhana to Drona drew, And spake these words: "Ah, Guru! see this line, How vast it is of Pandu fighting-men, Embattled by the son of Drupada, Thy scholar in the war! Therein stand ranked Chiefs like Arjuna, like to Bhima chiefs, Benders of bows; Virata, Yuyudhan, Drupada, eminent upon his car, Dhrishtaket, Chekitan, Kasi's stout lord, Purujit, Kuntibhoj, and Saivya, With Yudhamanyu, and Uttamauj Subhadra's child; and Drupadi's;-all famed! All mounted on their shining chariots! On our side, too,--thou best of Brahmans! see Excellent chiefs, commanders of my line, Whose names I joy to count: thyself the first, Then Bhishma, Karna, Kripa fierce in fight, Vikarna, Aswatthaman; next to these Strong Saumadatti, with full many more Valiant and tried, ready this day to die For me their king, each with his weapon grasped, Each skilful in the field. Weakest-meseems- Our battle shows where Bhishma holds command, And Bhima, fronting him, something too strong! Have care our captains nigh to Bhishma's ranks Prepare what help they may! Now, blow my shell!" 

Sanjaya: When he saw the army of the Pandavas, King Duryodhana went to Drona and said to him, “Guru! See the line of Pandu warriors, made ready for war by the son of Drupada who is brilliant in war. Among them are great archers, equal to Arjuna and Bhima chiefs of old, like Virata, Yuyudhan, and Drupada who rides a chariot. Other famed men include Dhrishtaket, Chekitan the King of Kasi, Purujit, Kuntibhoj, Saivya, as well as Yudhamanyu, Subhadra’s son Uttamauj, and the Drupadi’s. They all ride upon their shining chariots. And on our side, we have the best Brahmans – excellent chiefs and commanders. To name them: you are the first, and then there is Bhishma, Karna, the fierce Kripa, Vikarna, Aswatthaman, as well as strong Saumadatti, and many other brave, battle-ready men, all of whom are prepared to die today for me, their king. Each has his weapon ready, and each is skillful in fighting. On our side, Bhishma’s unlimited power will over come Bhima, fighting for the Pandavas. Make certain your men know to protect Bhishma and offer whatever help they can! Now, blow the horn for battle!” 

 Then, at the signal of the aged king, With blare to wake the blood, rolling around Like to a lion's roar, the trumpeter Blew the great Conch; and, at the noise of it, Trumpets and drums, cymbals and gongs and horns Burst into sudden clamour; as the blasts Of loosened tempest, such the tumult seemed! Then might be seen, upon their car of gold Yoked with white steeds, blowing their battle-shells, Krishna the God, Arjuna at his side: Krishna, with knotted locks, blew his great conch Carved of the "Giant's bone;" Arjuna blew Indra's loud gift; Bhima the terrible-- Wolf-bellied Bhima-blew a long reed-conch; And Yudhisthira, Kunti's blameless son, Winded a mighty shell, "Victory's Voice;" And Nakula blew shrill upon his conch Named the "Sweet-sounding," Sahadev on his Called"Gem-bedecked," and Kasi's Prince on his. Sikhandi on his car, Dhrishtadyumn, Virata, Satyaki the Unsubdued, Drupada, with his sons, (O Lord of Earth!) Long-armed Subhadra's children, all blew loud, So that the clangour shook their foemen's hearts, With quaking earth and thundering heav'n.

At the old king’s signal, the trumpeter blew the horn loudly, as if to wake the blood, and it sounded like a lion’s roar. At its sound, other horns, drums, cymbals, and gongs burst into a noisy sound, as if a storm had been unleashed. Then, riding on a chariot of gold pulled by white steeds, blowing their battle horns, appeared Krishna the God, riding with Arjuna at his side. The terrible Bhima and Yudhisthira, Kunti’s perfect son, also blew upon their horns, as did Nakula, Sahadev, and the Prince of Kasi. Sikhandi on his chariot, and Dhrishtadyumn, Virata, Satyaki the Unbeaten, Drupada and his sons, the sons of Subhadra all blew on their trumpets so that the noise shook the hearts of the Kauravas, the enemies of the Pandavas, moving the earth and thundering heaven.

 Then 'twas- Beholding Dhritirashtra's battle set, Weapons unsheathing, bows drawn forth, the war Instant to break-Arjun, whose ensign-badge Was Hanuman the monkey, spake this thing To Krishna the Divine, his charioteer: "Drive, Dauntless One! to yonder open ground Betwixt the armies; I would see more nigh These who will fight with us, those we must slay To-day, in war's arbitrament; for, sure, On bloodshed all are bent who throng this plain, Obeying Dhritirashtra's sinful son."

Thus, as he watched Dhritirashtra’s men unsheathe their weapons and draw their bows,  as war was about to break out, Arjun, who bears the flag of the god Hanuman, spoke to Krishna the Divine as Krishna drove the chariot. He said, “Drive, Brave One, to the middle ground between the armies. I wish to see those who will fight against us, whom we must slay. Truly, everyone who has filled this place is intent on shedding blood to obey King Duryodhana, Dhritirashtra’s evil son.”

 Thus, by Arjuna prayed, (O Bharata!) Between the hosts that heavenly Charioteer Drove the bright car, reining its milk-white steeds Where Bhishma led,and Drona,and their Lords. "See!" spake he to Arjuna, "where they stand, Thy kindred of the Kurus:" and the Prince Marked on each hand the kinsmen of his house, Grandsires and sires, uncles and brothers and sons, Cousins and sons-in-law and nephews, mixed With friends and honoured elders; some this side, Some that side ranged: and, seeing those opposed, Such kith grown enemies-Arjuna's heart Melted with pity, while he uttered this:

Arjuna prayed this, and his heavenly Charioteer Krishna drove the bright chariot between the armies, halting the white horses in front of Bhishma and Drona. “See where they stand, those of the Kuru dynasty,” said Krishna to Arjuna. Prince Arjuna looked out and saw kinsmen, grandfathers and fathers, uncles and brothers and sons, cousins and son-in-laws and nephews. He saw friends and elders, some on one side and some on the other. Seeing such men opposed to each other, Arjuna’s heart melted with pit and compassion, and he spoke.

 Arjuna. Krishna! as I behold, come here to shed Their common blood, yon concourse of our kin, My members fail, my tongue dries in my mouth, A shudder thrills my body, and my hair Bristles with horror; from my weak hand slips Gandiv, the goodly bow; a fever burns My skin to parching; hardly may I stand; The life within me seems to swim and faint; Nothing do I foresee save woe and wail! It is not good, O Keshav! nought of good Can spring from mutual slaughter! Lo, I hate Triumph and domination, wealth and ease, Thus sadly won! Aho! what victory Can bring delight, Govinda! what rich spoils Could profit; what rule recompense; what span Of life itself seem sweet, bought with such blood? Seeing that these stand here, ready to die, For whose sake life was fair, and pleasure pleased, And power grew precious:-grandsires, sires, and sons, Brothers, and fathers-in-law, and sons-in-law, Elders and friends! Shall I deal death on these Even though they seek to slay us? Not one blow, O Madhusudan! will I strike to gain

Arjuna: Krishna! I look out here at everyone who has come in order to shed blood of their kinsmen, and my body fails, my tongue dries in my mouth, I shake and shudder, and my hair stands on end in horror. My bow, Gandiv, slips from my weak hand and a fever is burning my skin – I can barely stand. My life seems to leave my body, and I feel faint: I see nothing except woe and misfortune! O Krishna, destroyer of the Kesi demon, nothing good can come from such mutual slaughter! I loathe the triumph and wealth that are won through such sad means! Oh! What victory can bring happiness, what richness can come as a profit, what kingdom can rise, and what life can lengthen and seem worth living from this bloodshed, O Govinda? All these things can only be good for men, the same kind of man who stands here ready to die, the grandfathers, fathers and sons, brothers, fathers-in-law and sons-in-law, the elders and friends! Is it right to kill these men, even though they seek my own life? O Madhusudan, you who maintain the world, I will not strike them with a single blow, even if doing so would give me

 The rule of all Three Worlds; then, how much less To seize an earthly kingdom! Killing these Must breed but anguish, Krishna! If they be Guilty, we shall grow guilty by their deaths; Their sins will light on us, if we shall slay Those sons of Dhritirashtra, and our kin; What peace could come of that, O Madhava? For if indeed, blinded by lust and wrath, These cannot see, or will not see, the sin Of kingly lines o'erthrown and kinsmen slain, How should not we, who see, shun such a crime-- We who perceive the guilt and feel the shame-- O thou Delight of Men, Janardana? By overthrow of houses perisheth Their sweet continuous household piety, And-rites neglected, piety extinct-- Enters impiety upon that home; Its women grow unwomaned, whence there spring Mad passions, and the mingling-up of castes, Sending a Hell-ward road that family, And whoso wrought its doom by wicked wrath. Nay, and the souls of honoured ancestors Fall from their place of peace, being bereft Of funeral-cakes and the wan death-water.[FN#1] So teach our holy hymns. Thus, if we slay Kinsfolk and friends for love of earthly power, Ahovat! what an evil fault it were! Better I deem it, if my kinsmen strike, To face them weaponless, and bare my breast To shaft and spear, than answer blow with blow.

the rule of three entire worlds – so I certainly will not for the rule of a single earthly kingdom! To kill these men must only be sadness, Krishna! If they are indeed guilty, then killing them will only make us guilty: their sins will become ours if we slay them, these sons of Dhritirashtra, our kinsmen. What peace could possibly come of that, you who are wedded to the goddess of good fortune? Even if the enemy, blinded by greed and evil, cannot or will not see the horrors of this crime, of overthrowing a kingly line and slaying their kinsmen, then shouldn’t we would do see clearly, who feel the guilt and shame of murder, shouldn’t we still avoid this crime of killing? If one destroys the elders of a home, then the morality and religious devotion of that household is also destroyed, and the rites are neglected. Soon the house becomes immoral, the women become impure and given over to their lusts, and they marry men from other castes, mingling the population and sending that family, as well as whoever caused it to sin in these ways, to Hell. The honored souls of the family’s ancestors also suffer, as the rites of giving funeral-cakes and death-water no longer are done. We must continue to teach the holy hymns. So, if we slay our kinsmen and friends, all for our love of earthly power – what evil that would be! It would be better if I were to drop my weapons and face my enemies weaponless, with my chest open to shaft and spear, than to return their attacks blow for blow.

 So speaking, in the face of those two hosts, Arjuna sank upon his chariot-seat, And let fall bow and arrows, sick at heart.

Arjuna spoke this in the middle of the battlefield, dropped his weapons, and sank down into the chariot, overwhelmed with grief.

 I. OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, Entitled "Arjun-Vishad," Or "The Book of the Distress of Arjuna."
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