This is a book by Vinayak Raghuvamshi (Krsnadaasa). A book by a common person for the common population in pursuit of eternal joy and liberation. The content of this book is primarily derived from the timeless wisdom contained in the ‘Bhagavad Gita’.
I am an independent author, not affiliated with any religious or political organization. I have focused only on extracting the actionable items or ‘commandments’ from this scripture. I have not made any attempts to re-interpret or provide my own version of the meaning of the verses contained in this scripture. Many great scholars like Swami Ranganathananda, Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada, Swami Vivekananda, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Swami Sankaracharya, Georg Feuerstein etc. have all provided excellent interpretations. These are the works that I have drawn inspiration from.
So, why did I come out with this book?
Although there is an ocean of wisdom in the Bhagavad Gita, it takes a lot of time, efforts, peace of mind and guidance to go through and comprehend. Many of us live hectic and stressful lives. We need some tips and guidelines for breaking away from this hectic routine, achieve financial stability and attain some peace of mind. We then can spend all our time and energy on diving deep into such scriptures and progressing on the path to spiritual success leading to liberation.
What we need first is a set of guidelines or ‘commandments’ which would help us succeed in this material life while progressing gradually in the spiritual plane to reach the point wherein we start having a direct connection with God.
Take the example of a child. When she is trying to touch the fire, you must give her a commandment that says ‘never touch fire’. The child may want to understand ‘why’ but the top priority here is that she stays safe. It is absolutely important that the child gets such meaningful commandments that she can follow, in order to stay safe and grow up to be a healthy human being. Once she grows up, she can then spend all the time she wants on studying and getting an in-depth understanding of all the aspects of fire and other elements in nature. What is very important is that we all have a set of strong guidelines or commandments that will guide us towards a successful life.
This is my humble attempt to extract the commandments from the Gita. I have gone through multiple scholarly works as quoted above to pick the best explanation of the shlokas / verses in the context of the commandment that follows. I have used only those shlokas that provide a context for the commandments and I encourage the reader to look up the shloka from any version of Gita that he/she prefers to get a deeper understanding of the same.
The Sanskrit shlokas are provided only for context and authenticity. You do not need to be able to read them although the English literals are also provided under each shloka for reference.
There are many Sanskrit words that have been interpreted a bit differently by each scholar. For example, let’s take the simple word ‘snigdha’ from the verse 17.8. This has been translated as “rich-in-oil” by Georg Feuerstein, “soft” by Dr. Radhakrishnan, “fatty” by Bhakti Vedanta Swami Pabhupada. Another example is with a more serious word “dharma” as it appears in verse 3.35, which is interpreted by Sri Prabhupada as “duties”, Georg Feuerstein as “life-laws”, Swami Ranganathananda as “way of life” etc.
For each verse, I have picked the most relevant interpretation based on the context and best fitment for the commandment / actionable items that we are extracting from the verse. Nowhere have I tried to introduce my own interpretation of any shloka or verse.
This ensures the authenticity of the text. I have only added additional context, explanations, examples and actionable commandments wherever applicable.
I would like to quote Sir Isaac Newton who famously said: “If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of giants”.
I share the same feeling and I would like to specifically call out these scholarly giants below.
Here are the four major scholars whose works have inspired me and guided me:
- Swami Ranganathananda: He provides very deep analysis and a lot of context for each verse. He is a Vedanta scholar and a proponent of Advaita (non-duality) philosophy. He is a master storyteller and provides references from such varied sources which is truly commendable.
- Swami Bhakti Vedanta Prabhupada: Needless to say, he is the most popular scholar when it comes to the Bhagavad Gita and his version of Gita ‘As It Is’ is the most widely read version on the planet. He single-handedly spread awareness about Krishna’s teachings in modern times and thanks to him, millions have got easy access to the wisdom contained in this timeless manuscript. His works emphasize a lot on bhakti yoga (yoga of devotion).
- Swami Vivekananda: His lectures on the Gita are intellectually most stimulating and provides the most logical explanations. The complete works of Vivekananda is a masterpiece on spirituality that every intellectual seeker should study.
- Georg Feuerstein: This German scholar provides the most ‘accurate’ letter by letter interpretation of the verses. His works have helped me resolve ambiguity whenever I was faced with very different if not conflicting interpretations of the same word by multiple scholars.
I do want to clarify that although I have used the interpretations from these texts, I have not ‘copy-pasted’ or blindly reproduced any of their works at any place.
I am confident that these commandments will help you achieve success, peace, prosperity, and liberation. The descriptions and commandments in this book are totally spiritual and scientific. There is nothing religious about this book so I hope everyone can read it with an open mind and benefit from it.
I would like to mention here that I received divine inspiration to write this book and I wholeheartedly believe that I am just an instrument while it is the divine forces who actually helped bring out the commandments through me. Forever indebted to all the divine entities who are always guiding me on my own path to liberation and union with the dear Supreme Lord.
 Shloka is a Sanskrit word for ‘verse’ or ‘hymn’