The book "Bhagavad-gita As It Is" highlights the spiritual aspects of the Gita scripture which is also known as the Divine Song. The book is unique in many ways.
Foremost, it has good illustrative colour pictures depicting the purpose of human life along with the interpretation of the each verse in detail in the form of a commentary on Vedanata philosophy. The book was presented to me on Teacher's Day by one of my students and I found that I had gained more clarity on the four yoga paths – karma, bhakti, gyan and raj yoga – propounded by Lord Krishna on reading the book.
Authored by Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), the book explains that the Vedic thought of 'sanatana dharma" refers to that activity which cannot be changed.
He explains that the word "dharma" refers to that 'which constantly exists with a particular object'. As heat exists in fire, 'similarly we must discover the essential part of the living being, which is his constant companion'. The author holds that if someone adopts the principles enunciated in Bhagavad Gita, it will lead to the perfect solution to all the problems of life which arise out of the transient nature of material existence.
In the book published by the Macmillan Company, each verse is given in Sanskrit along with its pronunciation guide to English speaking world with a note that 'there is no strong accentuation of syllables in Sanskrit, only a flowing of short and long (twice as long as the short) syllables.
Also, a glossary of terms explaining most Sanskrit words in the scripture in English has been given to help the western world to get the true sense of the message Bhagavad Gita.
The book explains about bhakti yoga and says that anyone who accepts the principle of devotional path and accepts the supreme lord as the summum bonum of life, can achieve the supreme goal of life or moksha.
Keeping this in view, the introduction to the book gives the verse 18.66 of Bhagavad Gita in which Lord Krishna states, "Give up all varieties of religiousness, and just surrender unto me; and in return I shall protect you from all sinful reactions. Therefore, you have nothing to fear." The book needs to be read to get the true essence of human life.