This volume is a systematic and comprehensive introduction to one of the most read texts in South Asia, the Bhagavad-gītā. The Bhagavad-gītā is at its core a religious text, a philosophical treatise and a literary work, which has occupied an authoritative position within Hinduism for the past millennium.
This book brings together themes central to the study of the Gītā, as it is popularly known – such as the Bhagavad-gītā’s structure, the history of its exegesis, its acceptance by different traditions within Hinduism and its national and global relevance. It highlights the richness of the Gītā’s interpretations, examines its great interpretive flexibility and at the same time offers a conceptual structure based on a traditional commentarial tradition.
With contributions from major scholars across the world, this book will be indispensable for scholars and researchers of religious studies, especially Hinduism, Indian philosophy, Asian philosophy, Indian history, literature and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
1. The Bhagavad-gītā and its contents 2. The structure of the Bhagavad-gītā 3. Bhagavad-gītā: its philosophy and interpretation 4. Śaṅkara’s deconstruction of the Bhagavad-gītā grounded in his preunderstanding 5. The soteriology of devotion, divine grace, and teaching: Bhagavad-gītā and the Śrīvaiṣṇavas 6. Karma in the Bhagavad-gītā: Caitanya Vaiṣṇava views 7. The greatness of the Gītā, as icon and mantra 8. The Bhagavad-gītā and Indian nationalist movement: Tilak, Gandhi, and Aurobindo 9. The Gītā of the gurus: the Bhagavad-gītā since Indian independence 10. Arjuna and Acyuta: the import of epithets in the Bhagavad-gītā
Ithamar Theodor is an associate professor of Hindu studies at Zefat Academic College, Safed, Israel, and the director of the Hindu-Jewish studies programme at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. His publications include Exploring the Bhagavadgītā: Philosophy, Structure and Meaning (2010), The Fifth Veda in Hinduism: Philosophy, Poetry and Devotion in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa (2016) and Dharma and Halacha: Comparative Studies in Hindu-Jewish Philosophy and Religion (2018).