Bhagavad Gita as translated by Stephen Mitchell
An absolutely beautiful book/long poem. The words Bhagavad Gita means "The Song of the Blessed One." It is debated when this work of art was written, somewhere between 500 B.C. and the First Century.
The Gita tells the story of a character name Arjuna, who is leading his clan into battle against the clan of his evil cousins. Time seems to freeze as one of his soldiers, Krishna, begins to speak to him before the battle. It turns out Krishna is God (referred to as the Blessed Lord), who gives Arjuna great words of wisdom.
My favorite chapter was the one on Divine Traits and Demonic Traits:
“The Blessed Lord said:
Fearlessness, purity of heart, generosity, self-control, nonviolence, gentleness, compassion for all beings, modesty, patience, a tranquil mind, dignity, kindness, courage, these are the qualities of men born with divine traits.
Hypocrisy, insolence, anger, cruelty, ignorance, conceit — these are the qualities of men with demonic traits. The divine traits lead to freedom, the demonic to suffering and bondage."
What I liked about the chapter was the simplicity in which the author stated the traits, it also correlates to how I see my own path to spirituality: to become divine or demonic, I just have to practice these qualities within myself. The demonic qualities, I am ashamed to admit, are very prevalent in my own soul. The challenge for me, I believe, is to continue to diminish them, and reinforce within my heart all the qualities of divinity. When I can exude only the divine traits, then my path to saintliness can begin.Purchase The Book