Studies in the Ontology of the Bhagavad Gita: What is One’s View of God, the Universe, and the Soul?

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The Bhagavad Gita is India’s most treasured of holy books. The present volume concerns itself with ontology. In this book the Gita’s ontology is deeply probed and the difficult task of its careful exegesis is accomplished by the contributors to the volume who know the Sanskrit language very well. This book is an outstanding accomplishment in the study of this remarkable text.


“The Bhagavad Gita is traditionally one of the three ingredients of the Vedanta canon and, certainly in the last two centuries, emerged as Hinduism’s most important text. Bridging the genres of Epic, Vedanta and Puranic bhakti, its influence on the spiritual landscape of Hinduism, and more recently internationally, has been enormous and unprecedented. Steve Tsoukalas has dedicated his academic career to the Gita and its commentarial tradition, and, here in this volume with Gerald Surya, treats us to a rich array of papers focusing on the text’s ontology, written on the most important Vedanta schools by, importantly, both insider and outsider scholars. This is the first in a series that promises to be a definitive study of the text.”
-Dr. Edwin Bryant,
Professor of Hinduism,
Rutgers University

“This volume on the ontology of the Bhagavad Gita is a testament to the intellectual depth of the Gita itself, and to the seriousness of the scholars contributing to the volume. A devotional classic and book of prayer, the Gita is also a work of philosophy and theology. Its depths have rightly been probed by illustrious scholars within Hindu traditions for millennia, and from outside India for centuries. Steven Tsoukalas and his colleagues have continued this tradition, all bringing their interests and questions to bear, in dedicated study of the Gita.”
--Francis X. Clooney, SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity,
Harvard University

Table of Contents

Introduction (The Editors)
An Interpretation of Keshava Kashmiri Bhattacharya’s Commentary on Srimad Bhagavad Gita
(Brindaban Bihari Das)
Realism and Idealism in Ramanuja’s Self-Body Metaphor
(Martin Gansten)
Acts and Conditions of the Gita
(Kevin McGrath)
Crisis, Structure, and Ontology: How Structure is Central to Understanding Arjuna’s Ontological Crisis
(Brooks St. Clair Morton)
The Modified Chiasmus and Sri Madhvacarya’s Gitabhashya: The “Where” and the “What” of Madhvan Ontology
(Brooks St. Clair Morton)
Krishna’s Universal Form: Its Ontology and Limitations
(Steven J. Rosen)
Exploring Polemical Edges in the Bhagavad-Gita’s Ontology
(Gerald Surya)
Gita Ontology: A Brief Essay
(Steven Tsoukalas)
Sankara’s Gita Ontology
(Steven Tsoukalas)

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