Rarely in a lifetime does a new spiritual classic appear that has the power to change people’s lives and transform future generations. This is such a book.

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda shares the profound insights of Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, as remembered by one of his close and direct disciples, Swami Kriyananda.

This revelation of India’s best-loved scripture approaches it from an entirely fresh perspective, showing its deep allegorical meaning and also its down-to-earth practicality. The themes presented are universal, including: how to achieve victory in life in union with the divine; how to prepare for life’s “final exam,” death, and what happens afterward; and how to triumph over all pain and suffering.

This book is itself a triumph. Swami Kriyananda worked with Paramhansa Yogananda in 1950 while the Master completed his commentary. At that time Yogananda commissioned him to disseminate his teachings worldwide. During his lifetime Kriyananda lectured, taught, and wrote more than 140 books based on Yogananda’s teachings.

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, Kriyananda’s eighty-sixth book, was one of the crowning achievements of his highly productive life. In this, his masterpiece, he declared, “Yogananda’s insights into the Gita are the most amazing, thrilling, and helpful of any I have ever read.”

The State of Jivan Mukta - The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita with Swami Kriyananda

To watch more videos: Swami Kriyananda – The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda

Paramhansa Yogananda (often spelled "Paramahansa" Yogananda) was born on January 5, 1893 in Gorakhpur, India. He was the first yoga master of India to permanently live and teach in the West. Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, and traveled throughout the United States on what he called his "spiritual campaigns." His enthusiastic audiences filled the largest halls in America. Hundreds of thousands came to see the yogi from India. At some packed venues thousands were turned away nightly. A national sensation, Yogananda's lectures and books were extensively written about by the major media of the era, including Time magazine, Newsweek, and Life. He was even invited to the White House by President Calvin Coolidge. Yogananda continued to lecture and write up to his passing in 1952.

Yogananda's initial impact was truly impressive. But his lasting impact has been even greater. Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution throughout the world. His message was nonsectarian and universal. Yogananda's Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, sent him to the West with the admonition, "The West is high in material attainments, but lacking in spiritual understanding. It is God's will that you play a role in teaching mankind the value of balancing the material with an inner, spiritual life."

Yogananda brought clarity to hundreds of thousands of people regarding the ancient teachings of India—previously shrouded in the cultural assumptions and terminology of an era long past. These teachings include the path of Kriya Yoga, which Yogananda called the "jet-airplane" route to God, consisting of ancient yoga techniques to hasten the spiritual evolution of the student.

"The true basis of religion is not belief, but intuitive experience. Intuition is the soul's power of knowing God. To know what religion is really all about, one must know God," said Paramhansa Yogananda, as recorded in the book The Essence of Self-Realization. He further wrote that "Self-realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God's omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all that you need to do is improve your knowing."

Visit the Paramhansa Yogananda website to learn more.

Swami Kriyananda

Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters, 1926–2013) was a direct disciple of the great spiritual master Paramhansa Yogananda (author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi), a bestselling author, and an internationally known lecturer and composer. Widely recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on meditation and yoga, he taught these principles and techniques to hundreds of thousands of students around the world.

In 1968 Kriyananda founded Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, dedicated to spreading the spirit of friendship, service, and community around the globe. Ananda is recognized as one of the most successful intentional communities in the world, and more than 1,000 people reside in Ananda communities in the US, India, and Italy. The European retreat and community located in Assisi, Italy, also serves Ananda meditation groups in Europe and Russia.

Ananda Village is home to The Expanding Light, a world-renowned guest retreat facility where thousands visit annually for renewal or instruction in many aspects of meditation, yoga, and the spiritual life. The nearby Ananda Meditation Retreat, located on Ananda's first property, functions both as a retreat and as the site for Ananda's Institute of Alternative Living.

An advocate of simple living and high thinking, Swami Kriyananda's more than 140 books cover a wide range of subjects emphasizing the need to live wisely by one's own experience of life, and not by abstract theories or dogmas.

A composer since 1964, Kriyananda wrote over 400 musical works. His music is inspiring, soothing, and uplifting. Many of his later albums are instrumental works with brief affirmations or visualizations. Chuck Dilberto of Awareness Magazine wrote, “[His] words and music are full of his life and light. His sole intention is to heal, something we could all use during these chaotic times.”

Through Crystal Clarity Publishers, his works have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 25 languages.

To learn more, visit the Swami Kriyananda website.


Explanatory Note

Thoughts on Pronunciation and Spelling



1. What Is the Bhagavad Gita?

2. What Is Sanaatan Dharma?

3. The Allegory of the Gita

4. Allegory in Scripture

5. The Genesis of the Story

6. Why Cousins? Why Enemies?

7. The Spine: Pathway to Salvation

8. The Scripture Begins
Gita Chapter 1: verse 1

9. Sanjaya Speaks
Gita Chapter 1: verses 1–47
Gita Chapter 2: verses 1–9

10. The Nature of Death—Allegorical and Literal
Gita Chapter 2: verses 10–39

11. Krishna’s Consolation
Reprise Gita Chapter 2: verses 1–40

12. The Nature of Right Action
Gita Chapter 2: verses 40–72

13. Why Fight?
Gita Chapter 3: verses 1–9

14. Directional Development
Gita Chapter 3: verses 10–16

15. Freedom Through Action
Gita Chapter 3: verses 17–43

16. The Supreme Science of Knowing God
Gita Chapter 4: verses 1–42

17. Freedom Through Inner Renunciation
Gita Chapter 5: verses 1–29

18. The True Yoga
Gita Chapter 6: verses 1–47

19. Knowledge and Wisdom
Gita Chapter 7: verses 1–30

20. The Outer and the Inner Universe
Gita Chapter 8: verses 1–16

21. Final Liberation
Gita Chapter 8: verses 17–28

22. The Sovereign Lord of All
Gita Chapter 9: verses 1–34

23. From the Unmanifested to the Manifest
Gita Chapter 10: verses 1–42

24. The Divine Vision
Gita Chapter 11: verses 1–55

25. The Path of Bhakti Yoga
Gita Chapter 12: verses 1–20

26. The Field of Battle
Gita Chapter 13: verses 1–34

27. Transcending the Three Gunas
Gita Chapter 14: verses 1–27

28. The Yoga of the Supreme Person
Gita Chapter 15: verses 1–20

29. The Nature of the Godly and the Demonic
Gita Chapter 16: verses 1–24

30. The Three Levels of Spiritual Practice
Gita Chapter 17: verses 1–28

31. You Shall Attain Me
Gita Chapter 18: verses 1–78


List of Indexes

(2:39) I have thus explained to you the ultimate wisdom of Shankhya. Now hear the wisdom of Yoga, equipped with which, O Partha, you will break the shackles of karma.

This last passage appears variously translated in different texts. In fact, however, the version given by Paramhansa Yogananda is the most accurate. The word, “wisdom,” which appears in the original, is conjoined with “Shankhya,” and does not mean Gyana Yoga as some have it. Other translations refer to Karma Yoga, which doesn’t even appear in the original text. What the Gita does speak of is that which “will loosen the bonds of karma.” I have rendered the English translation more poetically by writing, “break the shackles of karma.” The meaning is, of course, the same.

Paramhansa Yogananda discussed the three main philosophies of India: Shankhya, Yoga, and Vedanta. He explained that the wisdom taught in Shankhya underscores the need to escape from maya, or delusion. Yoga tells the sincere seeker how to make good his escape. And Vedanta (literally, “Summation,” or “End,” of the Vedas) describes the nature of Brahman.

(2:40) In this path (of yoga action) there is no danger of “unfinished business”, nor are there latent within it the opposite, canceling effects of duality. Even a little practice of this religion will free one from dire fears and colossal sufferings (which are inherent in the unceasing cycles of death and rebirth).

It is important to realize that in yoga practice as well, of course, as in any sincere search for God (the one Self, beyond all duality), there is no wasted effort, and no karmic rebound. There is, in other words, no “catch” to seeking God. With any other effort, no matter how glorious the consequences, it is always legitimate to ask, “What’s wrong with it?” Only with the divine search is the answer a resounding, “Nothing’s wrong!” Even to fail in this quest brings only good karma.

(2:70) Contentment is his who, like the ocean, calmly absorbs into himself all the rivers of desire. One (on the contrary) whose desires trickle outward (as if from a pond) is soon drained (of energy).

Generous desires—for example, to bring joy to others—do not drain your reservoir of peace, but add to it by the joy they awaken.

Whenever you feel pleasure, let it remind you of soul-bliss, inwardly. Whenever you see beauty, take into yourself the joy you feel in it. Let every worldly happiness remind you of the much greater happiness of the Self.

Some yogis recommend complete indifference to the world. What a dry outlook! Far better is it, my Guru taught, to enjoy with God the beauties and the pure delights of this world, by focusing on the inner joy you feel during experiences that uplift the heart’s feelings. Raise those feelings toward God, rather than suppressing them with dry, intellectually “inspired” apathy. In this way, too, one can absorb into himself, instead of leaking outward, whatever joys and pleasures the world gives him.

(4:3) Today I have taught you, My devotee and friend, that ancient science of Yoga, the secret to the highest blessings for mankind.

It is a thought wondrous to contemplate: As the devotee advances spiritually, he is accepted by the Lord Himself not only as a devotee, but as a friend. The relationship with God as Friend is in some ways the sweetest. For even the thought of God as Mother, which many consider the sweetest of all relationships, carries a hint of human presumption that God must take care of us, and pardon all our sins. As Yogananda taught people to pray, “Mother, naughty or good I am Thy child: Thou must release me!” When one is advanced enough, however, to think of God as Friend, there steals into the heart that sweet confidence by which one feels, “But of course You love me! I am Yours; You are mine. How could either of us ever turn away from the other? We are one!”

The very science of Yoga should be taught and practiced with love, and not as an invitation to ego-boosting power. Love and devotion help the seeker to grasp the true essence of Yoga, which unlocks the inner door to the highest blessings that can be known.

(4:36) Even the worst of sinners can, with the raft of wisdom, cross safely over the ocean of delusion.

Krishna offers this supreme encouragement to all humanity: No matter how steeped you are in bad habits, vice, self-degrading depravity, or evil, you are still a child of the one, infinite Lord who created masters and saints. Nothing less than divine bliss itself can define you forever!

Never, therefore, tell yourself, “I am evil!” Never say, “I have failed!” If you accept any failure as your reality, it will be so, at least for this lifetime. But if after every setback you say, rather, “I have not yet succeeded!” you can win—even in this incarnation!

Pray to God as the Divine Mother, all-forgiving and ever-accepting: “Mother, whether naughty or good, I am Thy child! Thou must release me! Cleanse me of all sin.”

“God doesn’t mind your faults,” Yogananda used to say. “He only minds your indifference!”

(6:8) That yogi who is blissfully absorbed in the wisdom of the Self is known as being unshakably united to Spirit. Unchangeable, the controller of his senses, he views with equal gaze a clod of earth, a stone, and a bar of gold.

(6:9) He is a supreme yogi who gazes equally upon patrons, friends, enemies, strangers, peacemakers, those who cause trouble, relatives, virtuous, and the ungodly.

These last two stanzas do not mean that the yogi isn’t capable of recognizing the differences between one material object and another, or between a good human being and an evil one. As my Guru once put it, “He is not dumb!” The difference between the wise yogi and the ordinarily ignorant human being is that the yogi accepts with equanimity whatever is. To him, all things, and all creatures, are simply plays of divine light and shadow on the screen of duality. He reacts appropriately to all, both virtuous and the ungodly, but in his heart he sees both as aspects of the eternal drama of God.

(6:30) He who beholds Me everywhere, and who beholds everything in Me, never loses sight of Me; nor do I lose sight of him.

My Guru very often quoted this last stanza. His tone of voice and his expression, as he did so, were blissful. He was reminding us that God is ever near. What seems to hold the Lord at a distance is only our indifference. If we will do the work needed to calm our thoughts and feelings (above all), we will find Him there, waiting for us. People who wail miserably over His continued silence, and His seeming heedlessness of them in their suffering, need only apply the principles that they already know from daily life.

Do they want worldly success? They know—or learn soon enough—that it won’t be dropped into their laps: They must work for it. Do they want human love? They know it won’t come to them if they simply sit at home, languishing. Do they want rubies, diamonds, gold? These things are not found lying about on the ground: They must be mined by someone with great effort, and paid for by others at great cost.

How is it that people think God owes them an answer for their brief, restless, and usually shallow prayers? Anguished prayers? Sometimes—but the anguish passes, and they soon forget Him again as they go off in pursuit of some new will-o’-the-wisp. God sees all this and says, “I will wait.” He wants to be sure of our love, for He has been seeking it, with hardly ever a glance in His direction from man, for millennia!

(10:9) Their thoughts engrossed in Me, their beings surrendered to me, enlightening one another and conversing of Me, they are ever contented and filled with joy.

Ordinary human beings, accustomed to the pleasure of conversing together, of gossiping and retelling the latest news coupled with their various opinions and reactions, imagine that in God all this fascinating variety will be lost. Krishna suggests, in this stanza, that such is far from the case. Not only is the bliss of Satchidananda “ever-new,” as Yogananda declared, but those who know it find, even in conversing together of divine matters, a level of delight that worldly people never know. People’s sheer need for variety indicates the barrenness of their hearts, which drives them to seek anxiously a few raindrops of diversion in hope of somehow slaking their thirst. When two people meet who know God, they may not converse much, but the flow of divine love and bliss between them is completely satisfying to them both.

“It is doubtful that there has been a more important spiritual writing in the past 50 years than this soul-stirring, monumental work. Through a mind blessed with special clarity, Swami Kriyananda has brought us his most vivid memories of the explanations by Paramhansa Yogananda of the Bhagavad Gita, allowing us to hear with greater vibrancy than ever before the Melodies of the Divine. At last the ‘Lord’s Song’ is not a mystery to our mind, but music to our ears! What a gift! What a treasure! My personal gratitude to Swami Kriyananda shall be everlasting.”

Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita is a brilliant text that will greatly enhance the spiritual life of every reader.”

Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Sacred Contracts

“Swami Kriyananda’s book is a jewel that is perfect for newcomers to the power and depth of the Bhagavad Gita and for those who draw daily upon its wisdom. I hold this book in my heart as a blessing to all and recommend it to every individual who intends to use his/her life to create a world of harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life.”

Gary Zukav, author of The Seat of the Soul and The Dancing Wu Li Masters

“This book is filled with deep wisdom and heartfelt counsel. It has the power to change your life.”

Bernie Siegel, MD, author of 101 Exercises for the Soul and Love, Medicine and Miracles

“Swami Kriyananda is a man of wisdom and compassion in action, truly one of the leading lights in the spiritual world today. His work and life of selfless service are an inspiration to us all. By cogently sharing with us what his own master, the sage Yogananda, taught about how to integrate this ancient yet timeless wisdom into contemporary life, the light he sheds on the verses of the classic Bhagavad Gita will help illumine the way of awakening for many years to come. I heartily recommend this work to every seeker of God, truth, and sacred living, and have read it with great interest myself.”

Lama Surya Das, Dzogchen Center, author of Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment and Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be

“Swami Kriyananda writes with the same spirit of compassion and intelligence displayed by his teacher, Paramhansa Yogananda. In this extraordinary book, he honors this lineage, showing with great mastery how this message is more relevant and compelling than ever.”

Dean Ornish, MD, author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease and Love & Survival

“This profound vision of the great yogi Paramhansa Yogananda opens a new window that lets the wisdom light of the Bhagavad Gita, the words of the Blessed One, shine as a source of sublime peace in the hearts of many.”

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, author of The Healing Power of Mind, Boundless Healing, and Peaceful Death, Joyful Rebirth

“The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita by Paramhansa Yogananda (the first Indian Yoga master to establish his life work in the West) . . . is an exhaustive explanation of the Bhagavad Gita, sacred text to Hindus worldwide, in terms accessible to lay readers and religious scholars alike. Introductory chapters walk the reader through the origin and allegory of the Bhagavad Gita, but the bulk of The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita takes the sacred text passage by passage and explicates at length the literal, spiritual, allegorical, cultural, and other implications. Written with particular care and clarification for readers who may be personally unfamiliar with ancient Indian history, Hindu belief tenets, and similar matters, The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita is enthusiastically recommended for public and college library shelves, as well as the personal shelves of any reader curious about what Hindu holy men have to say about this classic sacred text.”

Midwest Book Review

“As seemingly always, Swami Kriyananda has produced another gem of wisdom and compassion in The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita. In his own unique way he has captured the wisdom and the clarity of the Gita in this profoundly moving story within one of the greatest stories ever told. If you haven’t read the Gita before, this will open your heart and mind to its teachings as it was revealed to Kriyananda’s teacher Paramhansa Yogananda and told movingly by the great Yogi’s disciple. I loved reading this.”

Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D., physicist, aka Dr. Quantum, author of Dr. Quantum’s Little Book of Big Ideas and The Yoga of Time Travel

“Swami Kriyananda has eloquently made the divine work and teachings (the practical application of Kriya Yoga) of Paramhansa Yogananda available in our daily lives. This book will definitely help the reader to achieve inner bliss and complete the four pillars of life: dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. It is a great work that should be a part of one’s daily practice.”

Vasant Lad, MASc, Founder of the Ayurvedic Institute, author of Textbook of Ayurveda

“People are confused about the ultimate destination of human life and existence. Where did we come from, why are we here, and where does this life lead to? Swami Kriyanandaji is the most experienced philosopher that could help us understand how the Bhagavad Gita answers these questions. Through The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, people will be introduced to self-realization and God-realization, thus helping them to discover their divine nature and potential. As a society reaches this understanding, the walls of discrimination, confusion, and hatred will crumble. As a result, a world with pure knowledge of peace and consciousness will thrive.”

Bikram Choudhury, Founder and President of Bikram’s Yoga College of India

“Great souls, great minds, and even greater wisdom combine here to open doors to the evolution of consciousness and spirit. Not in recent times has there been a work in which the very Presence of the illumined teachers have been rendered so present and available. This book is a gift to our time from once and future times. The very reading of it quickens the soul as it enlightens the path that humanity may take.”

Jean Houston, author of JumpTime and A Passion for the Possible

“This brilliant new commentary on the Bhagavad Gita unlocks its depthless wisdom with striking clarity and focus for a modern audience. Intended as a primer for all spiritual paths, its appeal extends to yoga practitioners, Buddhists, and anyone seeking universal, non-sectarian spiritual truths. Kriyananda shares fresh perspectives on Yogananda’s interpretations of India’s best-loved scripture, and he gives the reader a host of practical ways to triumph over pain and suffering to achieve lasting happiness. As one reviewer wrote, ‘I feel as though the world is on the verge of receiving a priceless gift. [This book] comes as a thrilling reassurance that salvation is not so difficult after all.'”

East West Magazine

“Kriyananda, a lifelong disciple of the influential guru Yogananda, affirms his claim as an authoritative student of his master with this work. Western students can certainly use all the help they can get in understanding the cultural specifics of the Bhagavad Gita in order to appreciate this story of universal questions asked of God on the eve of a battle.”

Publisher’s Weekly

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita presents a refreshing new vision of this ancient classic that is particularly relevant to the contemporary mind. The book, reflecting the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, perhaps the greatest Yoga guru ever to reside in the Western world in the twentieth century, offers much important insight relative to the challenges of the spiritual life today and how to meet them in a clear and comprehensive manner.”

David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri), Founder of the American Institute of Vedic Studies, author of Yoga and the Sacred Fire and Yoga and Ayurveda

“In this inspiring new edition of the Bhagavad Gita, Swami Kriyananda skillfully brings an ancient teaching of eternal truth into the light of modern understanding through his careful recalling of Paramhansa Yogananda’s words as well as his own diligent scholarship.”

Vyaas Houston, Founder of the American Sanskrit Institute

“Recasting the message of the Bhagavad Gita, the timeless scripture of India, Swami Kriyananda captures the essence of a yogic tradition that his master, Paramhansa Yogananda, embodies.”

Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD, Spiritual Head, Himalayan Institute

“Swami Kriyananda truly captures the depth of the scriptures and the voice of his Guru in The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita. Only a yogi who is the direct descendent of an authentic lineage with in-depth experiences of yoga can truly reveal the hidden secrets and mystical messages of the scriptures that are often missed in the interpretation of philosophers, pundits, and psychologists. This commentary provides insightful teachings for true seekers and practitioners of yoga.”

Yogi Amrit Desai, Founder, Amrit Yoga Institute

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita will appeal to committed practitioners of yoga and people of all faiths searching for meaning in the world, as well as peace of mind.”

New Living

“On the eve of war, a despairing soldier calls out to God for guidance—and God responds. Paramhansa Yogananda, one of the best-loved saints of modern times, helps us understand God’s answer. Yogananda’s insights are stunning, unexpected, and profoundly wise. This is the Bhagavad Gita as we’ve never seen it before. Highly recommended!”

Linda Johnsen, author of Daughters of the Goddess: The Women Saints of India

“This truly appears to be a masterpiece; a monumental work . . . . The very existence of this book will fill the mind of whoever reads it with awe and wonder. It will prove to be a reliable source of insight into some of the greatest questions humans have ever asked about the nature of the world—and of life, death, and consciousness. The Bhagavad Gita, here in a uniquely authoritative version, is truly a scripture for all mankind”.

Prof. Ervin Laszlo, PhD, nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, President of the Club of Budapest International, advisor to UNESCO, author of Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos

“This is one of the most deeply satisfying books I have ever read. Never before have I heard spiritual truths explained so clearly and winningly. The central questions of our existence are answered with extraordinary insight and usefulness. The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita lovingly reveals the secrets essential for uniting our lives with the vastness of Spirit.”

Joseph Cornell, Founder of Sharing Nature Worldwide, author of Sharing Nature with Children and Listening to Nature

“God’s song is sweet from all lips. But it’s ineffably sweet when sung by a master like Yogananda to a disciple like Kriyananda who, in turn, sings it for modern students in the current style.”

Hart de Fouw, author of Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India and Light on Relationships

“This book is galvanizing! I’ve taught many patients in my medical practice simple yoga and meditation exercises to reduce their stress and anxiety levels. Frequently, they’ll come back to me wanting to learn the philosophy and spiritual teachings that are behind these incredibly beneficial Yoga techniques. At last, I have the perfect book to recommend as their next step. Beautifully written and—most importantly, for people like my patients—filled with HOPE, these Gita commentaries of Paramhansa Yogananda are spiritually awakening yet eminently understandable for the neophyte. Even those who have studied yoga teachings for a lifetime will undoubtedly find this book deeply insightful and spiritually thrilling.”

Peter Van Houten, MD, co-author of Yoga Therapy for Overcoming Insomnia and Yoga Therapy for Headache Relief

“Very inspiring! The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita reveals the vision of a yogi. Swami Kriyananda’s words are fresh, lucid, and yet very sublime. They flow joyously like the Ganges toward the ocean of God-realization.”

Swami Nikhilananda, Regional Head, Chinmaya Mission, Delhi, author of The Art of Forgiveness

“This is not just another ordinary explanation of the Bhagavad Gita. It stands on par with the grand commentaries of this classic as given by the three great masters, Shankaracharya, Madhvacharya, and Ramanujacharya. This voluminous book of over six hundred pages contains not just the essence of the Bhagavad Gita but also the essence of Hinduism or the Sanatana Dharma. We can only be grateful to Swamiji for having given this jewel of Wisdom and Discrimination to us. He has written many books, but this is possibly the ‘chudamani’ or crest jewel of his life.”

Mata Devi Vanamali, Vanamali Ashram, Rishikesh, author of Sri Devi Lila: The Play of the Divine Mother and The Play of God: Visions of the Life of Krishna

“This book is a tribute to India’s great spiritual contributions to the world as explained by the great Guru Paramhansa Yogananda to his brilliant disciple Swami Kriyananda, for the benefit of millions of spiritual seekers.”

Swami Gokulananda, Head of the Ramakrishna Math in New Delhi, author of: Swami Vivekananda—The Ideal of the Youth

“Again we experience the heartfelt knowledge of Paramhansa Yogananda, this time bringing to life the compassion of Sri Krishna and the Bhagavad Gita. Through Swami Kriyananda’s deep relationship and passion for both his Guru and the Gita, the teachings of this Sacred Scripture dance from the ancient to the golden present, showering us with Divine Wisdom and inspiration on countless levels.”

Nischala Joy Devi, author of The Healing Path of Yoga and The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Perspective on the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras

“Swami Kriyananda had the privilege of spending more than 60 years attuning his consciousness to that of his great guru Sri Paramhansa Yogananda. Hence he could recollect . . . the words of his great master and give fresh insight into the Master’s own masterpiece, making matters simpler, clearer, logical, and appealing to [all], both in the East and West. He has also succeeded in making relevant cross-references to contemporary thoughts and scriptures of other religions including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.”

D.R. Kaarthikeyan, former Director of CBI and National Human Rights Commission of India, and former Director General, Central Reserve Police Force of India

“[T]his commentary is a must for anyone on the spiritual path. One feels Swamiji alongside, as a friendly guide through this book.”

Ashok Arora, Advocate, Supreme Court of India

“The inspiration one draws from Swamiji’s soul-stirring insight [into] the Gita can make every one of us perform better in our daily lives. Swamiji’s interpretation highlights the universality of the Teachings of the Gita.”

Adesh Jain, President, International Project Management Association (IPMA), Switzerland

“This rich, yet simplified explanation of Geeta has made the words of ‘The Holy Scripture’ simple. One can feel the power of the Divinity, which guided Swami Kriyananda . . . . Reading his words, one feels like going into deep meditation and traveling into the world within—into the world of silence.”

Robbin Ghosh, Senior Advisor and Proprietor, Victorious Kidss Educares, Pune, India

“A revolutionary Gita . . . . For the first time the deep truths in the Gita are revealed with extreme simplicity in words that are clear and understandable, a far cry from the myriad interpretations which are obscure and convoluted.”

Satish Koshal, Principal Consultant, TATA Consultancy Services, India

The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita is not so much a book as it is an expression of God’s love! Paramhansa Yogananda’s great spiritual vibrations manifest themselves fully in the honest work of his faithful disciple, Swami Kriyananda. Subtle concepts of truth are explained with great ease and clarity of thought through an effortless flow of simple words. The beautiful allegorical nature of the Gita stands unveiled in sincere and heartfelt explanations, no doubt deriving from Swamiji’s own personal experiences, but with no personal desire save to fulfill his guru’s dream: ‘Millions will find God through this work.’

“This book’s very simplicity makes it easily understood, hence most valuable—a practical handbook covering every aspect of the ardent seeker’s search, and presenting ways to overcome obstacles at every level: so comprehensive that no stone is left unturned; dark recesses on the path are illumined with such clarity that no doubts or questions remain. A must for all those struggling to raise their consciousness, it comes as a thrilling reassurance that salvation is not so difficult after all, that what is required is simply to offer up everything to God with persistent and devoted sincerity, until the inner light is finally revealed.”

Ashima Singh, Delhi fashion designer, Ashima-Leena Collections

“The Gita is a handbook for living the spiritual life and this particular interpretation and explanation offers guidance of tremendous depth.

“The meanings of the Gita are given through the soul of well-known and loved Paramhansa Yogananda. . . . The Gita is explained in ways that are meaningful to people living in this century, facing the challenges of the modern world. No area of life is left out. Many people have attempted to translate and explain the Gita, but what we are given is not always translatable to living in today’s world.

“If you find yourself drawn to the Gita in any way, you owe it to yourself to get this book. Read it once for an overview. Then plan on studying it and applying it for the rest of your life.”

Krysta Gibson, New Spirit Journal