By Carrie VanVleet
Table of Contents
Original Story.............................................................................................................. 3
The Full Story .................................................................................................................. 4
BHAGAVADGITA ARJUNA ............................................................................ 4
THE DESPONDENCY OF ARJUNA............................................................... 5
The Bhagavad gita ("Lord's Song") ................................................. 6
Author ............................................................................................................................. 7
W Q Judge biography ................................................................................... 8
By Sri Swami Sivananda............................................................................ 15
BIRTH AND BOYHOOD ........................................................................................... 16
by Dr. Ramanada Prasad ........................................................................ 23
BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD ........................................................................................ 26
Gita Artwork ............................................................................................................. 28
Other Gita Stuff........................................................................................................ 46
Work Cited .................................................................................................................... 47
The purpose of this project was to find information about the following text.
The flight of arrows was now to begin,
And Arjuna took up his bow, and spoke these words to Krishna:
Drive my chariot, Krishna immortal, and place it between the two armies
That I may see those warriors who stand there eager for battle,
With whom I must now fight at the beginning of this war.
When Arjuna saw his kinsmen face to face in both lines of battle,
He was overcome by grief and despair, and he spoke with a sinking heart:
When I see all my kinsmen, Krishna, who have come here on this field,
Life goes from my limbs and they sink, and my mouth is sear and dry;
A trembling overcomes my body, and my hair shudders in horror;
My great bow falls from my hands, and the skin of my flesh is burning;
I am no longer able to stand, because my mind is whirling and wandering,
And I see forebodings of evil, Oh Krishna.
I cannot foresee any glory, if I kill my own kinsmen in the sacrifice of battle.
Because I have no wish for victory, nor for a kingdom, nor for its pleasures
How can we want a kingdom, or its pleasures or even life,
When those for whom we want these goods,
Are here in this field of battle about to give up their wealth and their life?
Oh day of darkness! What evil spirit moved our minds when for the sake of an earthly
kingdom we came to this field, ready to kill our own people?
The Full Story
My story is about a battle that involves a chariot and friends.
The main part of the story that was most easily found in a snippet was ”Drive my
chariot, Krishna immortal, and place it between the two armies. That I may see those
warriors who stand there eager for battle, with whom I must now fight at the beginning of
this war.” I will use this snippet to find other information on the web about the snippet.
The first similar text was found on an Indian site. Below are a couple of paragraphs that
are similar to the one above. The title of the work is called
Paragraph Before: Then seeing the people of Dhritarashtra's party all set in array,
the son of Pandu, whose standard is the ape, raised his bow, after the discharge of
missiles had commenced, and, O king of the earth, 5 spoke these words to Krishna:
Paragraph from Original Text:"O undegraded one! station my chariot between the
two armies while I observe those, who stand here eager to engage in battle, and with
whom, in the labors of this struggle, I must do battle; I will observe those who are
assembled here and who are about to engage in battle, wishing to do service in battle to
the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra." 6
Paragraph After: Thus addressed by Arjuna, O descendant of Bharata, 7 Krishna
stationed that excellent chariot between the two armies, in front of Bhishma and Drona 8
and of all the kings of the earth, and said: (Kashinath)
Another similar text from a different site:
THE DESPONDENCY OF ARJUNA
.Paragraph Above: Then Arjuna, whose crest was Hanuman, perceiving that the
sons of Dhritarashtra stood ready to begin the fight, and that the flying of arrows had
commenced, having raised his bow, addressed these words to Krishna:
Paragraph from Original:"I pray thee, Krishna, cause my chariot to be placed
between the two armies, that I may behold who are the men that stand ready, anxious to
commence the battle; with whom it is I am to fight in this ready field; and who they are
that are here assembled to support the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra in the battle."
Paragraph Below: Krishna being thus addressed by Arjuna, drove the chariot,
and, having caused it to halt in the space between the two armies, bade Arjuna cast his
eyes towards the ranks of the Kurus, and behold where stood the aged Bhishma, and
Drona, with all the chief nobles of their party. Standing there Arjuna surveyed both the
armies, and beheld, on either side, grandsires, uncles, cousins, tutors, sons, and brothers,
near relations, or bosom friends; and when he had gazed for awhile and beheld all his kith
and kin drawn up in battle array, he was moved by extreme pity, and, filled with
despondency, he thus in sadness spoke: (Judge)
Yet another text similar to the original was found on The Lords Song web page. Title:
The Bhagavad gita ("Lord's Song")
Paragraph Above: Just as the battle is about to start, Arjuna falters at the sight of
his relatives and teachers, now his sworn enemies. He breaks down and refuses to fight.
“How can any good come from killing one’s own relatives? What value is victory if all
our friends and loved ones are killed? … We will be overcome by sin if we slay such
aggressors. Our proper duty is surely to forgive them. Even if they have lost sight of
dharma due to greed, we ourselves should not forget dharma in the same way.” (KD 544-
Paragraph in Middle: Arjuna fears that acting out his own dharma as warrior will
conflict with universal dharma: how can killing family members be good, and not disrupt
the social order? Herein lies an unresolved conflict in Hinduism between universal
dharma and svadharma (an individual's duty according to caste and station in life). A
warrior must kill to fulfill his duty, whereas a brahmin must avoid harming any living
creature. Even demons have their own castes and svadharma, which may run counter to
human morality. One person's dharma may be another's sin. This doctrine distinguishes
Hindu thought from religions such as Judeo-Christianity and Islam which teach universal
or absolute moral codes.
Paragraph below: His charioteer Krishna addresses him as they pause in the no-
man's land between the two armies. This passage is the celebrated Bhagavad Gita, the
guide to firm and resolute action. (Brown)
I couldn't find an author. I did however find several translators. The first translator
is Kashinath Trimbak Telano, and I could not find any information an him. The second
translator W. Q. Judge, and I found information on this translator. The third text didn't
name a translator or an author. On the next couple of pages I introduce the translators in
place of the author.
W Q Judge biography
William Quan Judge ( W Q Judge ) was born in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13,
1851, to Frederic H. Judge and Alice Mary Quan. His mother died giving birth to her
seventh child, and his father decided in 1864 to emigrate to New York with six children.
Judge studied law while living with his father, who soon died. At 21 Judge became a US
citizen and in May 1872 was admitted to the bar. He married Ella M. Smith, a school
teacher, in 1874 and they lived in Brooklyn until 1893 when they moved to New York
Judge had an interest in Mysticism and Spiritualism and wrote to H. S. Olcott,
author of "People of the Other World" seeking advice about consultation with a medium.
This letter led to Judge being invited to call upon Madame Blavatsky in 1874. In 1875, at
the age of 24, Judge was a co-founder of the Theosophical Society with H. P. Blavatsky
and H. S. Olcott, He continued to work ardently for its cause for the next 20 years, until
his death in 1896. As the leading theosophical official in America from 1886 to 1896, he
guided the Section so that it became the most vigorous in the Society, with the largest
effective membership. He relentlessly pursued his high vision for the Society's work in
the world: humanity's great need for a new perspective on itself and the universe.
When Madame Blavatsky and H. S. Olcott left for India late in 1878, Judge was
most disappointed that family obligations prevented his accompanying them. In efforts to
provide himself with a fortune sufficient to allow him to persue his Mystical and
Theosophical interests whilst also providing for his family Judge became involved with
mining schemes in Venezuela and Mexico. Unfortunately these schemes proved most
unsuccessful, Judge fell deeply into debt, his Law practice fell into decay and he also
caught a debilitating disease known as Chagas Fever that continued to affect his health
for many years.
In 1883, he picked up his theosophical work again, and was instrumental in
founding the Aryan Theosophical Society of New York City (the word Aryan in Judge's
time was in good repute, having reference to the people of Aryavarta [India], a Sanskrit
word meaning "abode of the noble ones.")
By 1884 Judge was somehow able to contain his financial obligations and felt
able to move to India, although just how he adjusted his financial problems and provided
for his wife's support is not known. Early in that year he went to England where he
visited the Sinnetts, Arundales, and other London members, then joined H P Blavatsky
and Olcott in Paris. At this time a scandal irrupted centered on allegations made by
sometime employees of the Theosophical Society headquarters at Adyar, Madras, India.
Fraud charges, eventually shown to be unfounded, were made against Madame Blavatsky
and Judge was given sweeping powers of Attorney by H. S. Olcott to make decisions on
the spot in India in efforts to resolve the crisis.
Judge started the American monthly, The Path, in 1886, and thereafter wrote for it
unceasingly until the time of this death in 1896.
This book (Theosophical Articles by William Q. Judge) presents the bulk of his
contribution to the Path, and articles written for the Theosophist, founded by H P
Blavatsky in 1879 in India, for Lucifer (i.e. Light Giver), begun by H P Blavatsky in
1887 in England and for one or two other journals. As a result of his efforts, the
Theosophical Society grew to major proportions in the United States. A biographer has
said of this work:
"He lectured all over the States, and did the work of several men. Every spare
moment was given to Theosophy, and taken from his meals and his rest. Finally, when
the New York Headquarters were bought, and when the work had increased to large
proportions, Mr. Judge relinquished his profession and gave his entire life and time to the
On his return to New York, Judge joined the law firm for which Olcott's brother
worked. He continued to earn his living until the last two years of his life, when his
health became so poor that he was supported by the American Theosophical Society.
Once re-established in law, Judge put his energies into promoting theosophy. He
revitalized the New York work, reorganizing it under its original Charter and name, "The
Aryan Theosophical Society of New York," held regular meetings, started a theosophical
lending library, and launched the printing of inexpensive literature.
In April 1886 Arthur Gebhard and Judge founded The Path magazine, with Judge
as editor and Gebhard as business manager. This later became the official organ of the
American Section of the Theosophical Society. Practicing law during the day, he worked
at home far into the night, as at first he had to write almost every article himself under
various pen names.
Under Judge's guidance, moves were made to unite in thought and action the
membership scattered across the United States. With himself at first as primary speaker,
he eventually placed three full-time traveling lecturers in the field to aid struggling
groups and to support established centers. The Path leaflets, and specialized small
magazines were regularly circulated among the membership, keeping them in touch with
one another and with the headquarters in New York. Local speakers were encouraged to
start new centers in nearby communities. With only about a dozen Branches in 1886, by
1896 there were over one hundred.
In H P Blavatsky's letter to Judge as General Secretary of the American Section,
dated April 3, 1888, to be read to the American Convention at her request, she called
Judge "the heart and soul" of the Theosophical Society in America, saying that "It is to
you chiefly, if not entirely, that the Theosophical Society owes its existence in 1888."
By 1887 members had asked Judge if esoteric work might become more formally
established, and he wrote H P Blavatsky in May suggesting such a move. She said to
wait. Sometime early in 1888 or perhaps late 1887 H P Blavatsky had a conversation with
one of her own teachers (Master KH - an Eastern Master), she greatly respected, about
the general state of the Theosophical Society. This Eastern Master told H P Blavatsky
that although the Theosophical Society as established by H S Olcott at Adyar ran like a
machine, it was "a soulless corpse" and that matters had reached such a point that the
Eastern Masters' influence upon the Theosophical Society was not possible, and they had
largely discontinued their own efforts in its support.
(Letters from the Masters of the Wisdom, First Series, transcribed and compiled
by C. Jinarajadasa, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India; 5th ed., 1973, Letter
47, pp. 100-103 [6th ed., 1988, Letter 60, pp. 125-7].)
H P Blavatsky's response in 1888 was to propose an Esoteric Section based on the
original lines set forth by the Masters. When Olcott learned of H P Blavatsky's intention
to found an inner section of the Theosophical Society, he hastened to London to keep her
from doing so at any cost, leaving Bombay August 7. If it had not been for the
intervention of Master KH, perhaps the Society would have divided at that time. One day
out of Brindisi on board the steamer Shannon, Olcott received a letter from Master KH
covering the following points:
To help you in your present perplexity: H P Blavatsky has next to no concern with
administrative details, and should be kept clear of them, so far as her strong nature can be
controlled. But this you must tell to all: -- With occult matters she has everything to do.
We have not abandoned her; she is not "given over to chelas." She is our direct agent. I
warn you against permitting your suspicions and resentment against "her many follies" to
bias your intuitive loyalty to her....
I have also noted, your thoughts about the "Secret Doctrine." Be assured that what
she has not annotated from scientific and other works, we have given or suggested to her.
Every mistake or erroneous notion, corrected and explained by her from the works of
other theosophists was corrected by me, or under my instruction. It is a more valuable
work than its predecessor, an epitome of occult truths that will make it a source of
information and instruction for the earnest student for long years to come.
-- Ibid., Letter 19, pp. 46-7 (6th ed., 1988, Letter 19, pp. 48-9).
In London H P Blavatsky and Olcott issued a joint announcement about the
formation of an Esoteric Section in the October and November issues of Lucifer, 1888, to
the effect that an inner section of the work was to be started under H P Blavatsky's
direction, "to be organized on the ORIGINAL LINES devised by the real founders of the
After The Secret Doctrine was published in November, H P Blavatsky invited
Judge to London (Olcott was again at Adyar). Together they drew up the Preliminary
Memorandum and Rules of the Esoteric Section. Judge thereafter conducted the Esoteric
Section in America as Secretary to H P Blavatsky, and in December H P Blavatsky
appointed Olcott as sole official representative of the Esoteric Section for Asiatic
countries, but he soon relinquished the post.
In 1889 members of the Aryan Branch Theosophical Society purchased a press
and type, and secured the services of a member to operate it. Aside from pamphlets, etc.,
the first publications included three small magazines for members, Patanjali's Yoga
Aphorisms (1889), Judge's Echoes from the Orient (1890), his recension of the
Bhagavad-Gita with introduction and footnotes (1890), Letters That Have Helped Me
(1891) and The Ocean of Theosophy (1893). In 1895 Judge estimated that a half million
flyers had been printed by the Aryan Press.
After H P Blavatsky's death in 1891, William Q. Judge and Annie Besant jointly
headed the Esoteric Section. As American General Secretary and later, in addition, as
Vice-President of the Theosophical Society, Judge continued to concentrate on the
American work. He spoke on theosophy at the Parliament of Religions at the Chicago
World's Fair of 1893, and the following year at the Religious Parliament of San
Francisco's Mid Winter Fair. After the December 1891 convention at Adyar, Colonel
Olcott's health became such that he was unwilling to hold office longer and he resigned
his position as President of the Theosophical Society on January 21, 1892. Judge notified
the Section and other General Secretaries of this move and, as their yearly conventions
came due, their deliberations reflected the views of their membership in regard to the
presidency. At the Sixth Annual Convention in America on April 24-5, Judge was duly
elected to succeed Henry S. Olcott as President of the Theosophical Society; the
Convention further resolved that Colonel Olcott be asked to revoke his resignation (Sixth
Annual Convention Report, 1892, p. 19).
The same year Judge went to London to attend the Second Annual Convention of
the European Section, July 14-15. G. R. S. Mead, the European General Secretary,
announced that the European members were almost unanimously in favor of Judge as
President, and needed only confirmation by the convention. He also reported the request
of the American members that Olcott reconsider his resignation. However, Olcott's May
25th reply to the American resolution was taken by the European delegates as final -- that
he would not reconsider and Judge was elected President.
A letter from Bertram Keightley, General Secretary in India, addressed to the
European Convention stated that the action of the American Convention asking Colonel
Olcott to reconsider was unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed. As to the
nomination of Judge they would follow the American action if Europe did also. Olcott,
however, being deeply moved by requests to continue as president, did reconsider and, on
the 17th of August 1892, withdrew his resignation.
He subsequently remained president until his death in 1907.
Judge had always been sensitive to the Masters' influence and maintained that he
received messages from them, at times in his own handwriting, at other times in theirs.
(See W. Q. Judge to A. P. Sinnett, Aug. 1, 1881, and to H. P. Blavatsky, Feb. 5, 1886, in
The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, pp. 312-14).
There were, however, those who accused him of sending fraudulent messages. In
1894 Olcott, Besant, and various members charged Judge with "misusing" the Mahatmas'
names and handwriting on letters to others, a charge which apparently arose from their
not realizing that the Masters often use chelas, such as Blavatsky and others, to
communicate their messages in the Masters' handwriting.
Olcott asked Judge to retire from all Theosophical Society offices, but Judge
cabled: "Charges absolutely false. You can take what proceedings you see fit; going
London July." They met in London as planned, and though advised by Judge and others
that they could not legally hold such a trial without creating a dogma as to the existence
of Masters, they tried to do so. The case was dismissed, and Besant stated that the
charges had been blown out of all proportion by other parties and that she never doubted
that Judge had in fact received the Masters' messages.
The attack, however, was continued after a disaffected English official, Walter R.
Old, handed over to the editor of the Westminster Gazette, London, papers from the so-
called "Judge case" that Olcott had entrusted him with. Judge was again slandered at the
1894 annual convention at Adyar and Besant renewed her charges. Consequently, in an
effort to protect Judge against further onslaughts, the delegates to the 1895 annual
convention of the American Section, while recognizing Olcott as President-Founder,
declared "complete autonomy from Adyar and elected Judge President of the
Theosophical Society in America for life, an action supported by groups of members in
other Sections. Thereupon Olcott canceled the membership of all individuals and
withdrew the Charters of all Branches supporting Judge.
Judge continued his theosophical work, but years of ceaseless labor, combined with the
effects of Chagres Fever, finally took their toll. William Quan Judge died March 21,1896,
just short of his 45th birthday. His last words were: "There should be calmness. Hold fast.
Claude Bragdon, American architect, writer, and theosophist, sums up the man:
No figure rises out of the dim limbo of that recent, though already distant past,
with a more engaging presence than that of this handsome Irish-American, and I venture
to say that in a movement which has been a forcing-house for greatness, no one
developed such power, such capacity, such insight, in so short a space of time -- when the
pressure was put upon him -- as Judge.
There is abundant evidence, aside from the best evidence of all -- the fruitfulness
of his labors -- that he was under the direct guidance of the Masters.
One Adept wrote of him, "when the presence is upon him, he knows well that
which others only suspect and 'divine'." In the same letter he is referred to as the one
"who of all chelas suffers most and demands, or even expects, the least." He was a man
of exquisite sympathy and gentleness; stern with himself, he was lenient toward others.
Mr. Keightley has said, "Judge made the life portrayed by Jesus realizable to me." He
was that rare and beautiful thing, a practical mystic. One of his last messages to his
intimate band of followers was that they should learn, by actual experience, that occult
development comes best, quickest and safest, in the punctilious fulfillment of the small
duties of every day. (Given)
Books by and about W. Q. Judge published by Theosophical University Press:
Bhagavad-Gita combined with Judge's Essays on the Gita (Full-text online)
Letters That Have Helped Me (Full-text online)
The Ocean of Theosophy (Full-text online) in Russian: ????? ???????? (Online version
Practical Occultism (Full-text online)
Sunrise Special Issue 1996: William Q. Judge (1851 - 1896) (Full-text online)
Books by W. Q. Judge from other publishers available through TUP:
Echoes of the Orient: The Writings of William Quan Judge (3 vols + index vol),
compiled by Dara Eklund.
Books by W. Q. Judge available only in full-text online editions on TUP Online:
Echoes from the Orient (Full-text online) (N. A. Given)
I found two different commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita. One by Sri Swami Sivananda
and one by Dr. Ramanada Prasad
By Sri Swami Sivananda
The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna
Summary of First Discourse
The great Mahabharata war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas took place on the
holy plain of Kurukshetra. After the failure of Lord Krishna’s peace mission, when He
Himself went to Hastinapura as the emissary of the Pandavas, there was no other
alternative for the Pandavas but to engage in war for their rightful share of the kingdom.
All the famous warriors from both sides had assembled on the battlefield. Tents and
wagons, weapons and machines, chariots and animals covered the vast plain.
Lord Krishna arrived on the scene in a magnificent chariot yoked by white horses. He
was to act as the charioteer of Arjuna, one of the Pandava princes.
The din of hundreds of conches, blaring forth suddenly, announced the commencement of
the battle. Arjuna blew his conch “Devadatta”, while Bhima, his brother, sounded the
“Paundra”. All the other great warriors blew their respective conches.
As the two armies were arrayed, ready for battle, Arjuna requested Krishna to place his
chariot between them so that he might survey his opponents. He was bewildered by the
scene before him, for he be held on both sides, fathers and grandfathers, teachers and
uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, relatives and comrades.
Confusion reigned in Arjuna’s mind. Should he participate in this terrible carnage? Was it
proper to destroy one’s relatives for the sake of a kingdom and some pleasures? Would it
not be much better for him to surrender everything in favour of his enemies and retire in
peace? As these thoughts rushed into his mind, a feeling of despondency overtook
Arjuna. He had no enthusiasm to engage in this battle. Letting his bow slip from his
hands, Arjuna could do nothing but turn to Lord Krishna for guidance and enlightenment.
COMMENTARY: Ignorance of the law is no excuse and wanton sinful conduct is a
crime unworthy of knowledgeable people.
COMMENTARY: Dharma pertains to the duties and ceremonies practiced by the family
in accordance with scriptural injunctions.
“The Yoga Of the Despondency of Arjuna” (Sivananda)
Below are Pictures and a Biography on Sri Swami Sivananda
BIRTH AND BOYHOOD
On Thursday, the 8th. of September, 1887, in the early hours of the morning, when the
star Bharani was in the ascendant was born a boy-child in the village of Pattamadai on the
bank of the river Tamraparani in South India. Sri P.S. Vengu Iyer, a revenue officer and a
great Siva Bhakta (devotee of Lord Siva), and Srimati Parvati Ammal, an equally great
god-fearing lady, were the fortunate parents of this child. The happy couple christened
this last and third son of theirs Kuppuswamy.
Boy Kuppuswamy was intelligent and mischievous. In his boyhood itself he showed
signs of Tyaga (renunciation) and love for fellow-beings. He used to pity the poor, feed
the hungry at the door, and make his father throw a pie into the hands of pauper passing
by. He often got cakes and sweetmeats from his mother and distributed them liberally to
his younger companions, dogs, cats, crows, and sparrows, himself not eating a bit. He
used to bring flowers and bael leaves for his father's Siva Puja.
At the Rajah's High School, Ettayapuram, where he studied, Kuppuswamy always topped
the class and won prizes every year. He had a sweet voice and wonderful memory. When
His Excellency Lord Ampthil, the Governor of Madras, visited the Kuru Malai Hills in
1901 for hunting, Kuppuswamy sang a song of welcome on the Kumarapuram railway
platform. After the completion of the Matriculation examination, he studied at the S.P.G.
College, Tiruchirapalli. In the college he used to take part in debates and dramas. He
played the part of Helena beautifully when Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream"
was staged in 1905.
After the completion of the First Arts Examination, Kuppuswamy went to the Medical
School in Tanjore to study medicine. He used to be tremendously industrious and never
went home during the holidays. He would spend the entire period in the hospital. He had
free admission into the operation theater. Kuppuswamy was first in all subjects. He
possessed more knowledge than doctors with covetable degrees, and in the first year itself
he could answer the papers which the final year students could not.
Kuppuswamy completed the course and earned the title of M.B.,C.M. He practiced at
Tiruchi. While practicing, he started a medical journal called "The Ambrosia". He got
one hundred rupees from his mother for the initial expenses of running the journal. Later,
when his mother wanted a hundred and fifty rupees for celebrating some festival, Dr.
Kuppuswamy had the money ready for her. Even then he used to distribute the journal
freely; he was very shy to ask people for contribution.
Swami Sivananda dressed to clothe himself, ate to live, and lived to serve humanity. A
small dilapidated Kutir (hut), not resorted to by others and infested with scorpions,
protected him from rain and sun. Living in that Kutir, he did intense Tapas (austerities),
observed silence, and fasted. Often he fasted for days on end. He would keep a good
stock of bread in his room, and for a week have this, together with Ganges water. He
would stand up to the hips in the ice-cold Ganges in winter mornings and commence his
Japa, coming out only when the sun appeared. He would spend more than twelve hours in
daily meditation. With all his intense Tapas, Swamiji did not neglect service of the sick.
He visited the huts of the Sadhus with medicines, served them, and shampooed their legs.
He begged food on their behalf and fed them with his own hands when they fell sick. He
brought water from the Ganges and washed their Kutirs. He attended upon cholera and
small-pox cases. If necessary, he kept vigil through the night by the side of the bed of the
ailing Sadhu. He carried sick persons on his back to the hospital. With some money from
his insurance policy that had matured, Swamiji started a charitable dispensary at
Lakshmanjula in 1927. He served the pilgrims and saw Narayana in them.
Swamiji practiced all the various Yogas and studied the scriptures. After years of intense
and unbroken Sadhana, he enjoyed the bliss of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He had come to the
end of his spiritual journey.
He used to gather bits of paper and used envelopes, and stitch them into little notebooks.
He entered some self-instructions in them. Some of the instructions found in them read
thus: "Give up salt, give up sugar, give up spices, give up vegetables, give up chutnies,
give up tamarind". In another we read: Serve Bhangis, serve rogues, serve inferiors,
remove faecal matter, clean clothes of Sadhus - take delight, carry water". In another
page: "Do not revenge, resist not evil, return good for evil, bear insult and injury". On
some neat little pages we again read: "Forget like a child any injury done by somebody
immediately. Never keep it in the heart. It kindles hatred. Cultivate Maitri (friendship),
Karuna (compassion), Daya (mercy), Prema (love), Kshama (forgiveness)". In another
paragraph we see: "Develop good manners, extreme politeness, courtesy, etiquette, good
demeanour, nobility, gentleness, mildness. Never be rude, harsh, or cruel. There is
nothing to be hated in the world. Hatred is ignorance. All contempt for anything or being
must be removed through love and Vichara (enquiry)".
Swamiji traveled the whole length and breadth of India during his Parivrajaka (wandering
monk) life. He visited important places of pilgrimage in the South, including
Rameswaram. He conducted Sankirtan and delivered lectures. He visited Aurobindo
Ashram and met Maharishi Suddhananda Bharati. At Ramana Ashram, he had Darshan of
Sri Ramana Maharishi on the Maharishi's birthday. He sang Bhajans and danced in
ecstasy with the Bhaktas of Ramana. Swamiji went on a trip to Kailas-Manasarovar and
He returned after the pilgrimage, to Rishikesh, and in the year 1936 sowed the seed of
The Divine Life Society on the bank of the holy Ganga. He found an old Kutir,
dilapidated and disused, which looked like an abandoned cowshed. To him it was more
than a palace. It had four 'rooms'. He cleaned the Kutir, and occupied it. Then, the
increasing number of disciples who sought his lotus-feet, undaunted by forbidding
conditions of living, necessitated expansion. They found more cowsheds, vacant, but
uninhabitably filthy. In one room, an old cowherd was living; the others were full of hay
and dung. In about a year or so, the old cowherd also vacated his 'room', and the Divine
Life army completed the occupation. Thus began the early life of The Divine Life
From this small beginning the Society grew imperceptibly and it is now the headquarters
of a world-wide Organization having a large number of Branches both within the country
and outside. He got the Divine Life Society Registered as a Trust in the year 1936, with
the main objects of dissemination of spiritual knowledge and selfless service of
humanity. The free distribution of spiritual literature drew a steady flow of disciples of
Sri Swamiji. With the getting of able hands, he started the various departments of the
Society to provide suitable fields of activity for the purification of their hearts and to
grow spiritually. The publication of the monthly journal, 'The Divine Life', was
commenced in September 1938, to coincide with the celebration of his birthday. The
world was in grip of the 2nd world-war and in order to release a continuous stream of
peace-current in the whole world, to help the distressed minds of the people, he started
the Akhanda Mahamantra Kirtan (non-stop chanting of the Mahamantra, Hare Rama
Hare Rama; Rama Rama Hare Hare; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna; Krishna Krishna Hare
Hare, round-the-clock) on the 3rd of December 1943, and also instituted the Lord Sri
Visvanath Mandir with three-time regular worship, daily, on the 31st December 1943.
Swami Sivananda believed in synthesis in everything, in Yoga as well as in the
alleviation of human suffering. The Allopathic treatment was inseparable from him and
the Society, even from the earliest days of his life at Swargashram. He now felt the need
to serve the people with genuine Ayurvedic preparations out of the rare Himalayan herbs.
He therefore instituted the Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy in 1945, which now has
grown to such an extent that it is even unable to cope up with the increasing demands
Swami Sivananda organized the All-world Religions Federation on the 28th December
1945 and established the All-world Sadhus Federation on 19th February 1947. The year
1947 saw a great expansion in the activities of the Society. It was the year of the
Diamond Jubilee of the Great Soul, when a number of buildings sprang up. The Yoga-
Vedanta Forest Academy was established in the year 1948 to give a systematic spiritual
training to the resident Sadhaks, and also to benefit the visiting seekers.
Swami Sivananda undertook a lightning All-India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) tour in 1950 to
deliver his divine message throughout the length and breadth of the country. He virtually
awakened the moral and spiritual consciousness in the hearts of the people. The effect
was tremendous. Since then there was an incessant flow of seeking souls to the Ashram,
as also a greater inflow of letters from aspirants from the entire country, which demanded
more intense dissemination of knowledge. The Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy Press was
established in September 1951, a powerful means of wide dissemination of knowledge.
Sri Swamiji convened the World Parliament of Religions in 1953, at the Sivanandashram.
The small dispensary that was inseparable from Swami Sivananda, grew slowly and
became regular Hospital with X-Ray and other facilities. The Sivananda Eye Hospital
was formally opened in December 1957. The Hospital has 10 beds for in-patients at
present and is being expanded to have 30 beds.
The Publication League had published almost all the writings of the Master and a need
was felt by his disciples to do research in his works. This gave rise to the establishment of
the Sivananda Literature Research Institute in 1958, which, among many things, decided
to get the works of the Master translated and published systematically in all the regional
languages in India. Thus the S.L.D. Committees was established in 1959 which has
Regional Committees for each language.
The Society's Silver Jubilee was celebrated in 1961, by which time the Master saw the
fulfillment of his mission in his own lifetime.
Swami Sivananda radiated his divine and lofty message of service, meditation and God-
realization to all parts of the world through his books, running to more than three
hundred, through periodicals and letters. His devoted disciples are drawn from all
religions, cults and creeds in the world.
Swami Sivananda's Yoga, which he has significantly called the 'Yoga of Synthesis',
effects a harmonious development of the 'hand', 'head' and 'heart' through the practice of
Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. (N. A. Given, HIS HOLINESS SRI SWAMI
SIVANANDA SARASWATI MAHARAJ)
khlknknk, The Bhagavad-Gita
by Dr. Ramanada Prasad
1. ARJUN'S DILEMNA
NOTE: The war of Mahaabhaarata has begun after all negotiations by Lord Krisna and
others to avoid it failed. The blind King (Dhritaraashtra) was never very sure about the
victory of his sons (Kauravas) in spite of their superior army. Sage Vyasa, the author of
Mahaabhaarata, wanted to give the blind king the boon of eyesight so that the king could
see the horrors of the war for which he was primarily responsible. But the king refused
the offer. He did not want to see the horrors of the war; but preferred to get the war report
through his charioteer, Sanjaya. Sage Vyasa granted the power of clairvoyance to
Sanjaya. With this power Sanjaya could see, hear, and recall the events of the past,
present, and the future. He was able to give an instant replay of the eye witness war
report to the blind King sitting in the palace.
Bhishma, the mightiest man and the commander-in-chief of the Kaurava’s army,
is disabled by Arjuna and is lying on deathbed in the battleground on the tenth day of the
eighteen-day war. Upon hearing this bad news from Sanjaya, the blind King looses all
hopes for victory of his sons. Now the King wants to know the details of the war from the
beginning, including how the mightiest man, and the commander-in-chief of his superior
army --- who had a boon of dying at his own will --- was defeated in the battlefield. The
teaching of the Gita begins with the inquiry of the blind King, after Sanjaya described
how Bhishma was defeated, as follows:
The King inquired: Sanjaya, please now tell me, in details, what did my people
(the Kauravas) and the Pandavas do in the battlefield before the war started? (1.01)
Sanjaya said: O King, After seeing the battle formation of the Pandava’s army,
your son approached his guru and spoke these words: (1.02)
O Master, behold this mighty army of the Pandavas, arranged in battle formation
by your other talented disciple! There are many great warriors, valiant men, heroes, and
mighty archers. (1.03-06)
INTRODUCTION OF THE ARMY COMMANDERS
Also there are many heroes on my side who have risked their lives for me. I shall
name few distinguished commanders of my army for your information. He named all the
officers of his army, and said: They are armed with various weapons, and are skilled in
The army protecting our commander-in-chief is insufficient, where as my
archrival on the other side is well protected. Therefore all of you, occupying your
respective positions, protect our commander-in-chief. (1.10-11)
WAR STARTS WITH THE BLOWING OF CONCH SHELLS
The mighty commander-in-chief and the eldest man of the dynasty roared as a
lion and blew his conch loudly, bringing joy to your son. (1.12)
Soon after that; conches, kettledrums, cymbals, drums, and trumpets were
sounded together. The commotion was tremendous. (1.13)
After that, Lord Krsna and Arjuna, seated in a grand chariot yoked with white
horses, blew their celestial conches. (1.14)
Krishna blew His conch first, and then Arjuna and all other commanders of
various divisions of the army of Pandavas blew their respective conches. The tumultuous
uproar, resounding through the earth and sky, tore the hearts of your sons. (1.15-19)
ARJUNA WANTS TO INSPECT THE ARMY AGAINST WHOM HE IS ABOUT TO
Seeing your sons standing, and the war about to begin with the hurling of
weapons; Arjuna took up his bow and spoke these words to Lord Krsn: O Lord, please
stop my chariot between the two armies until I behold those who stand here eager for the
battle and with whom I must engage in this act of war. (1.20-22)
I wish to see those who are willing to serve and appease the evil-minded Kauravas
by assembling here to fight the battle. (1.23)
Sanjaya said: O King; Lord Krisna, as requested by Arjuna, placed the best of all
the chariots in the midst of the two armies facing Arjuna's grandfather, his guru and all
other Kings; and said to Arjuna: Behold these assembled soldiers! (1.24-25)
Arjuna saw his uncles, grandfathers, teachers, maternal uncles, brothers, sons,
grandsons, and other comrades in the army. (1.26)
After seeing fathers-in-law, companions, and all his kinsmen standing in the ranks
of the two armies, Arjuna was overcome with great compassion and sorrowfully spoke
these words: O Krisna, seeing my kinsmen standing with a desire to fight, my limbs fail
and my mouth becomes dry. My body quivers and my hairs stand on end. (1.27-29)
The bow slips from my hand, and my skin intensely burns. My head turns, I am
unable to stand steady, and O Krisna, I see bad omens. I see no use of killing my kinsmen
in battle. (1.30-31)
I desire neither victory, nor pleasure nor kingdom, O Krishna. What is the use of
the kingdom, or enjoyment, or even life, O Krishna? Because all those --- for whom we
desire kingdom, enjoyments, and pleasures --- are standing here for the battle, giving up
their lives. (1.32-33)
I do not wish to kill my teachers, uncles, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles,
fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relatives who are about to kill us,
even for the sovereignty of the three worlds, let alone for this earthly kingdom, O Krsna.
O Lord Krishna, what pleasure shall we find in killing our cousin brothers? Upon
killing these felons we shall incur sin only. (1.36)
Therefore, we should not kill our cousin brothers. How can we be happy after
killing our relatives, O Krishna? (1.37)
Though they are blinded by greed, and do not see evil in the destruction of the
family, or sin in being treacherous to friends. Why we, who clearly see evil in the
destruction of the family, should not think about turning away from this sin, O Krishna?
ARJUNA DESCRIBES THE EVILS OF WAR
Eternal family traditions and codes of moral conduct are destroyed with the
destruction of the family. And immorality prevails in the family due to the destruction of
family traditions. (1.40)
And when immorality prevails, O Krishna, the women of the family become
corrupted; when women are corrupted, unwanted progeny is born. (1.41)
This brings the family and the slayers of the family to hell, because the spirits of
their ancestors are degraded when deprived of ceremonial offerings of love and respect
by the unwanted progeny. (1.42)
The everlasting qualities of social order and family traditions of those who
destroy their family are ruined by the sinful act of illegitimacy. (1.43)
We have been told, O Krishna, that people whose family traditions are destroyed
necessarily dwell in hell for a long time. (1.44)
Alas! We are ready to commit a great sin by striving to slay our relatives because
of greed for the pleasures of the kingdom. (1.45)
It would be far better for me if my cousin brothers kill me with their weapons in
battle while I am unarmed and unresisting. (1.46)
WHEN GOING GETS TOUGH, EVEN TOUGH ONES CAN GET DELUDED
Sanjaya said: Having said this in the battlefield and casting aside his bow and
arrow, Arjuna sat down on the seat of the chariot with his mind overwhelmed with
It is said Arjuna was put to delusion by the will of Lord Krishna, the God, for the
purpose of manifesting the teachings of the Gita meant to enlighten and console
bewildered souls. (Prasad)
BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD
Below is the The Biography of Ramananda Prasad
Ramananda Prasad (born 1938) is the founder of the International Gita Society. He has
translated the Bhagavad Gita into English in 1988 from the original Sanskrit texts and the
book is currently in its fourth edition.
Prasad was born in a small hamlet, Hargawan, near Bodh Gaya in Biharsharif
District of the Indian state of Bihar to a farmer who had three acres of land and six
children to support. Ramanand had his pre-school education in the
village from the late Mazahirul Haque, a Muslim headmaster who taught him English and
Mathematics. After finishing his high school education at Mahadeva High School,
Khusrupur, he passed his high school from Patna College in 1953. He attended Patna
Science College from 1953 to 1955 and is a 1959 graduate of the Indian Institute of
Technology in Kharagpur, India, obtained his Master's Degree from the University of
Toronto and earned his doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.
Since then, he has been involved in research, teaching, engineering and consulting and
worked for the U. S. Navy Corps of Engineers before retiring in 2000. He is presently a
professor of Civil Engineering at San Jose State University and an adjunct professor of
religion and psychology at the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Prasad is the founding member of several non-profit organizations in the San
Francisco Bay Area such as the Vedic Dharma Samaj that now runs the Fremont Hindu
temple, Ramayan Sabha, and the Universal Yoga Center of San Francisco. He is married
to Sadhana Prasad, a devotee of Lord Shiva and has one daughter, Reeta Raina who is
married to Abhinav Raina and one son, Sanjay Prasad, who now directs the activities of
the International Gita Society. He also has two Grandsons, Jay Raina and Raj Raina.
Prasad created the American Gita Society (later renamed the International Gita
Society) in 1984 in order to foster unity and goodwill between all religions and faiths of
the world, through the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Its initial focus was to put copies
of Bhagavad-Gita in libraries, hotels, motels, hospitals all over the world as the American
Bible Society does with copies of the New Testament. (Wikipedia, Ramananda Prasad)
No picture could be found of this person.
There are several works of art that contain Bhagavad Gita. Below are some picture that correlate
to the snippet. Unfortunately I could not find the artist who do these lovely pictures. I got all of
the following pictures from an art gallery.
http://www.bhagavad-gi ta.us /articles /687/1/ The-Bhagavad-Gita -in- Pictures /Page1.htm l
24 http://www.bhagavad-gi ta.us /articles /687/1/ The-Bhagavad-Gita -in- Pictures /Page1.htm l
Other Gita Stuff
Written in the ancient language of Sanskrit, the Bhagavad-Gita is a compelling epic poem
that holds within it all of the answers to the questions that have baffled humankind since
the beginning of time, and will continue to do so well into the future. Studied by great
scholars and world leaders such as Gandhi, Emerson, Thoreau, and Martin Luther King,
the Bhagavad-Gita has played a significant role in transforming their lives and the lives
of many who have had the privilege of experiencing the ancient wisdom of this truly
inspired text firsthand.
In this provocative and thought-provoking program, Steven Hartman takes you on
an extraordinary journey with the epic's hero, Arjuna, as he searches for ultimate peace in
his life, all the while standing in the midst of a great battle. As he prepares to embark in
warfare against his cousin, he is given the gift of having the divine one, Krishna, at his
side. Krishna imparts all of his great wisdom to Arjuna in what appears to be eons, but in
fact, is only a moment in time.Through powerful interpretation, storytelling, and the
personal insights that he has experienced throughout his own life, Steven sheds
great light on the many layers of teachings that are presented in this short yet sometimes
perplexing text. He then provides you with practical tools and applications with which
you can apply the wisdom of the Gita to your own life.
Some of the insights that you will gain as you integrate this program into your life
are how to: * See beyond the illusions that you have created - the limited beliefs that you
have about yourself, your life, and the lives of those around you. * Create more balance
in your life, and experience it with a greater sense of fullness, strength, and joy. * Stretch
yourself beyond your current perceptions of life and death, and uncover the infinite
spiritual being that you really are. * Take action in your life and surrender to the
outcome, feeling the true bliss that comes with experiencing the present moment to its
fullest. * Come to peace with your own mortality, find effective ways to quell your
anxieties, and gain greater compassion for yourself and others in your life. * Quiet your
mind, and experience the joys and pains of life fully and without being harmed, all the
while experiencing peace within any given challenge that you are faced with. * Uncover
your hidden fears, and experience them as your allies as you work with them to attain
true contentment in your life. (N. A. Given, Essence of the Bhagavad-Gita)
Brown, Larry A. Mahabharata: the Great Epic of India. 1 8 2008. 17 11 2008
Given, NO Author. Age of the Sage. 17 11 2008 <http://www.age-of-the-
Given, No Author. Essence of the Bhagavad-Gita. 1 12 2006. 17 11 2008
—. HIS HOLINESS SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA SARASWATI MAHARAJ. 17 10 2004. 17 11 2008
—. William Quan Judge. 2008. 17 11 2008 <http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/ts/bio-
Judge, W. Q. THE DESPONDENCY OF ARJUNA. 17 11 2008
Kashinath. Bhagavagita Arjuna . 1882. 1 12 2008 <http://wsu.edu/~dee/ANCINDIA/GITA1.HTM>.
Prasad, Dr. Ramanada. The Bhagavad-Gita. 17 11 2008
Sivananda, Sri Swami. The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna . 2007. 17 11 2008
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ramananda Prasad. 9 11 2008. 17 11 2008
—. William Quan Judge. 1 11 2008. 17 11 2008