Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas & Best Quotations.

Via on Aug 8, 2010

It’s really quite enlightening (so to speak) to read the Bhagavad Gita by major theme instead of in the order it’s written.  I’ve made that easier for you by matching up the big ideas of the Gita with the best quotations and the related Gita Talks.

Whatever aspect of the Gita you want to explore or review, you can look for the topic below and click to find the most powerful passages on that topic.  (My own favorite stanzas for each theme are in bold italics.)

Or you may prefer to open up your Mitchell Gita (or any other version of the Gita), and see where the stanzas appear in context.

Please join our Facebook group for the latest information about our ongoing Gita Talk discussion series on Elephant.

(Gita in a Nutshell was originally the concluding blog in the first run of the popular Gita Talk discussion series, which is still available in its entirety as a self-paced online seminar.  I worked on this challenging project throughout Gita Talk. Spurred on by our provocative Gita Talk discussions, I read the Gita over and over again, experiencing, thinking, absorbing, sifting, experiencing again, sifting again, etc.  It has truly been its own reward—the Gita helps me lead a better life every day.  If my work here helps you “get” the Gita, so much the better.)

Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations

~

The Main Message

LIVE AND ACT WITH LOVE AND PURPOSE,
DETACHING EGO FROM RESULTS (GN #1)
2.48, 2.50, 3.7, 3.19, 3.25, 3.30, 4.18-24, 5.23-25, 6.1-4, 7.28, 11.55, 12.13-14, 18.53

EXPERIENCE INFINITE WONDER IN ALL THINGS (GN #2)
6.29-32, 9.4-6, 10.7-8, 10.41-2, 11.5-7, 11.11-13, 11.16, 11.37-40, 18.77-78

FOCUS THE MIND (GN #3)
5.26-28, 6.10, 6.12,  6.15, 6.35, 8.9, 9.22, 9.34, 12.2, 12.8, 12.14, 18.57

~

EACH OF US IS ALREADY
INFINITELY WONDROUS (GN #4)

Each of us is already infinitely wondrous—
miraculous, awe-inspiring, unfathomable
(divine if you prefer).

Our wondrous nature is the same as the infinite wonder of the universe.
We experience this infinite wonder by waking up to reality.

6.29-32, 7.2, 7.6-7, 7.10, 7.28, 8.3, 9.2, 10.4-5, 10.7-8, 10.20, 10.39, 11.40

~

Overcoming Obstacles

Initial Turn-offs
Why Is the Gita So Upsetting At First? (GN #5)

The Battlefield Setting
Gandhi’s Bible or a Call to War? (GN #6)

Is the Gita Asking Us to Repress Our Emotions? (GN #7)
“Witness Consciousness”
13.0-2, 13.22, 13.24-30, 13.33-34

Where Do We Fit In?
Does the Infinitely Wondrous Universe
Give a Damn About You and Me? (GN #8)

~

Different Yoga Strokes for Different Yoga Folks (GN #9)

Yoga of Understanding (GN #10)
4.33, 4.37-39, 4.42, 5.4-5, 6.29-32, 7.2, 9.2, 9.15, 10.7-8, 10.10-11, 18.55, 18.70

Yoga of Meditation (GN #11)
6.10-12, 6.15, 6.18-22, 6.35, 8.9, 9.22, 9.34, 12.2, 12.8, 18.57

Yoga of Love (GN #12)
8.22, 9.13-14, 9.29, 10.7-8, 10.10, 11.54-55, 12.2, 12.17-20

Yoga of Action (GN #13)
3.7, 3.9, 3.25, 3.30, 4.19-24, 4.42, 6.1-3, 11.55, 12.10, 18.56-7

~

Yoga is Universal, Loving, and Direct

Yoga is Universal Truth,
Embracing All Gods and All Paths (GN #14)

4.11
, 4.32, 7.21, 9.15, 9.23, 9.29-32, 10.2

Is Love Itself the Overriding Theme of the Bhagavad Gita? (GN #15)
4.11, 8.14, 9.13-14, 9.18, 10.7, 11.55, 12.2, 12.17-20, 18.65

Yoga calls for direct experience & straight-forward wisdom
(over scripture, dogma, and ritual) (GN # 16)

2.40, 2.44-46, 2.52-53, 4.33, 4.38, 6.46, 7.2, 8.14, 9.2, 11.53, 18.55

~

See also:

Yoga Demystified: The Six Big Ideas

Yoga Demystified: Poems and Articles

Gita Talk: Self-Paced Online Seminar
on the Bhagavad Gita. (Round 2)

The Original Sixteen Session Gita Talk
(Self-Paced Online Seminar)

~

Top 10 Reasons to Read the Bhagavad Gita
(#1 You were supposed to read it during teacher training, but you
only got through 20 pages, and have felt guilty ever since.)

~

What a wonderful road this has been.  What started as a small experiment turned into the thriving online Gita Talk forum, which has in turn, led to this Gita in a Nutshell.  Thanks to all of you who have participated by reading, commenting and supporting.  I am always here anxious to talk Gita with anyone who’s interested.

About Bob Weisenberg

Bob Weisenberg: Editor, Best of Yoga Philosophy / Former Assoc. Publisher, elephant journal / Author: Yoga Demystified * Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell * Leadership Is Like Tennis, Not Egyptology / Co-editor: Yoga in America (free eBook) / Creator: Gita Talk: Self-paced Online Seminar / Flamenco guitarist: "Live at Don Quijote" & "American Gypsy" (Free CD's) / Follow Bob on facebook, Twitter, or his main site: Wordpress.

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51 Responses to “Bhagavad Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas & Best Quotations.”

  1. Jenny says:

    Wow, Bob, what a great resource you have summarized here.

  2. [...] Gita Talk #16: In a Nutshell: The Big Ideas and Best Quotations Gita Talk #16: In a Nutshell: The Big Ideas and Best Quotations [...]

  3. Saraswati says:

    Love it! Thank you!

  4. integralhack says:

    I look forward to digging in some more, Bob. Again, I love what you've done with GitaTalks! I also appreciate all the contributors.

  5. Ramesh says:

    Bob, as I have said in several other places on EJ today: With your Gita post you have shown that the lest sexy of subjects can be the most interesting and rewarding to read and comment upon. Thousands of years after Krishna, the Gita is still alive and well–in America! Thanks for all your hard work of love, Bob!

    • Thanks, Ramesh. Your warm appreciation means a lot to me, especially coming from someone as experienced as yourself. I love the way you and I come at Yoga from completely different angles and backgrounds (i.e. you have a background and I don't!), and yet we find so much commonality in our core philosophical viewpoints. To me that just again proves how universal Yoga can be.

      Bob W.

  6. paramsangat says:

    Agreeing with above comments!! :))) Thank you for doing what you do, awesome Talk!

  7. Thanks for being here, Carolina.

  8. Thank you so much for this guide/overview. I really appreciate the thematic approach and will refer to this often and share widely – I'm booking marking it now. Bob, you are ever inspiring. Thank you does not express adequately my appreciation and respect for all you do.

  9. [...] interspersed with the usual hilarity and good-natured laughter. Each day interwove lessons in the Bhagavad Gita. As we moved chapter by chapter, eavesdroppers on the famous conversation between Krishna (the [...]

  10. [...] people will know about all their choices.  (I personally want more people to know about the Bhagavad Gita, which is my Yoga [...]

  11. [...] honestly, I don’t foresee there being much of a challenge to the  Diamond Sutra or the Bhagavad Gita since it’s rare for them to be placed in the children’s section of the library or [...]

  12. [...] the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that “It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than [...]

  13. Claudia Azula Altucher Claudia says:

    Bob, thanks for your tweet, I know I said I was in at the beginning of your Gita talks and then disappeared, sorry about that been dealing with big life issues like death of my dad etc… But have to admit your posts inspired me to get more into it, so thank you.

    Since you said you wanted me to share with you, i will say that to me the big message of the Gita is that that we need to live every moment dedicating it to the Divine, in hopes of feeling what real love is, because love or devotion is what Krishna tells Arjuna in chapter 11 is the only way to “get” what he showed Him… Arjuna got really scarce when Krishna showed him how things are… And I suppose so would we, so there, living every moment as a dedeication to the divine.

    Oh, and another really good one is that we must live our own dharma, not somebody elses, so if we are into yoga then that is our path, lucky us

  14. Jenny says:

    Looking forward to the NutShell…

  15. beckyoga says:

    This is great, thank you for posting! I have always been intimidated by The Gita and have never found a study group or workshop on it that could help break the ice for me. I'm excited to follow the discussions!

  16. Paloma says:

    As always….Bob, you are an excellent guide and a resourceful teacher. For me, I am completely new to Gita and foreign to it. I shall be a part as much as I can. Looking forward to it.

    • Thanks, Paloma. Please let me know if this works for you as we get into it. I appreciate any feedback I can get, especially from the new readers out there like yourself. Does this help? What else would be useful? Let me know how it goes, and I hope you'll always feel free to ask new reader questions.

      I'll be posting a notice for each new blog on Yoga Journal Community.

      Bob W.

  17. [...] contents at Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations. For notice of each weekly blog, please join our Facebook [...]

  18. [...] contents at Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations. For notice of each weekly blog, please join our Facebook [...]

  19. [...] contents at Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations. For notice of each weekly blog, please join our Facebook [...]

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  22. [...] contents at Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations. For notice of each weekly blog, please join our Facebook group.) Another major difficulty many [...]

  23. [...] #8: Does the Infinitely Wondrous Universe Give a Damn About You and Me? (Complete contents at Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations. For notice of each weekly blog, please join our Facebook [...]

  24. [...] contents at Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations. For notice of each weekly blog, please join our Facebook [...]

  25. [...] Gita Talk #16: Gita in a Nutshell: Big Ideas and Best Quotations [...]

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  30. BrajaSorensen says:

    Just begun reading through your postings and already loving it; synched :)

  31. sumit says:

    http://agniveer.com/caste-system/
    there is no caste system in ancient indian religious texts
    ???
    @Rajesh ,

  32. sumit says:

    http://www.hinduism.co.za/caste.htm
    in geeta lord wt lord krishna say's about caste system
    checkout the above link

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