An exposition of the spiritual philosophy and method of self-discipline of the Bhagavad Gita.
"Almost all spiritual problems have been briefly but deeply dealt with in the Gita", Sri Aurobindo remarked to a disciple, "and I have tried to bring all that out fully in the Essays". In his estimation the Gita is a great work of spiritual synthesis, for it built a "harmony between the three great means and powers, Love, Knowledge and Works, through which the soul of man can directly approach and cast itself into the Eternal."
"Our object in studying the Gita", Sri Aurobindo wrote, "will not be a scholastic or academical scrutiny of its thought, nor to place its philosophy in the history of metaphysical speculation, nor shall we deal with it in the manner of the analytical dialectician. We approach it for help and light and our aim must be to distinguish its essential and living message, that in it on which humanity has to seize for its perfection and its highest spiritual welfare."
Contents: Our Demand and Need from the Gita; The Divine Teacher, The Core of the Teaching; Man and the Battle of Life; Sankhya and Yoga; Equality and Knowledge; Above the Gunas; The Supreme Secret; etc.
Subjects: Indology, Philosophy, Yoga.
The peculiarity of the Gita among the great religious books of the world is that it does not stand apart as a work by itself, the fruit of the spiritual life of a creative personality like Christ, Mohammed or Buddha or of an epoch of pure spiritual searching like the Veda and Upanisahds, but is given as an episode in an epic history of nations and their wars and men and their deeds and arises out of a critical moment in the soul of one of its leading personages face to face with the crowning action of his life, a work terrible, violent and sanguinary, at the point when he must either recoil from it altogether or carry it through to its inexorable completion.... The teaching of the Gita must therefore be regarded not merely in the light of a general spiritual philosophy or ethical doctrine, but as bearing upon a practical crisis in the application of ethics and spirituality to human life. (p.9)
- Sri Aurobindo