Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation
If the Geeta is poetry then the Gospel is prose. If the Gospel is scripture, then the Geeta is scripture. Both have the same author. The Geeta is heads and shoulders above the Gospel in how dense it is with information. It is bold and yet simple. It is panoramic. There is a finality to it.
What I like about this particular translation is it is very accessible to the modern reader.
It explains the small g gods of the Hindu religion. God Himself allowed some of the holy angels to be worshiped by humanity because in its early stages humanity simply was not capable of grasping the capital G God. So he appointed one holy angel for the sun, another for the rain, a third for the wind and so on. But that arrangement was always meant to be temporary. After Lord Krishna dwelt on earth Hinduism was supposed to have become a monotheism revolving around Krishna. But Hindus are still into ancestor worship and the worship of small g gods. You honor your ancestors, you don't worship them. Instead you thank God for the ancestors. Similarly you do not worship elements of nature, you now thank God for them. In the Old Testament God is pretty blunt about these things. But Lord Krishna was much more diplomatic and tactful with the same message.
God created the caste system. He did that as a stopgap measure for the period when heaven was not accessible for most people. And so God devised a way to save souls from going to hell where they would suffer. He kept them within the four castes. But the caste system that God created is not the racism that it is today. Lord Rama himself led by example and treated the Dalits equally, to that end Sita Maiya went for a second vanavaas, or forest dwelling. The caste system that exists as an abomination in India today was created by some dude who wrote a treatise on the topic a thousand years ago.
But the caste system was only supposed to be around until the bridge to heaven was built. Since Jesus the caste system has been completely unnecessary. Now you take that perfect bridge to paradise. It is no longer a birth after birth after birth scenario.
Since Jesus animal sacrifices have been unnecessary on earth everywhere. The caste system has also been completely unnecessary.
Lord Krishna prophesied the coming of Jesus before a single word of the Bible was written.
In the book you also learn the current heaven, which is not the first heaven or the final heaven, is 100 billion years old in earth years. So if the physical universe is a few billion years old, then it has already been created and destroyed perhaps 20 times while the heaven has continued to exist.
Lord Krishna says in the Geeta, "I am the first and the last, I am the origin and the dissolution." Jesus says the same thing in the final book of the Bible. "I am the alpha and the omega."
The Father and the Son were there when there had never been a heaven, never an earth.
When you die, it is not the end of you. When the physical universe itself is destroyed, that is not the end of you. But what happens when all heaven and all earth is destroyed completely? Lord Krishna answers that question in the Geeta. At that moment I take you back into my womb, says Lord Krishna.
But not all small g gods have been appointed by God. Some of the fallen angels have also stepped in to mislead people away from God. In the Book Of Revelation, the final book of the Bible, God is not too happy about "the Goddess of wealth" who leads people into idolatry.
The weirdest part of the book are the final few pages. It is an essay by Mahatma Gandhi. I was flabbergasted to learn Gandhi did not actually believe that the battle of the Mahabharata took place. That explains why he met Hitler and called him "a perfect gentleman."