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Publisher's Summary

The search for higher truth must be conducted in the midst of the forces of life, with all its demands and seductions. So teaches The Bhagavad Gita, an ancient text that has been called the quintessence of the spirituality of India. In it, the great warrior Arjuna contemplates the meaning of life, just moments before entering the battlefield. "Why do I exist? Why should I fight against my loved ones? And where shall I go after I die?" he asks himself in search for knowledge of the Absolute.

©1986 Barbara Stoler-Miller (P)1987 Audio Literature

Critic Reviews

"Hearing The Bhagavad Gita, rather than reading it, helps one understand why many cultures to this very day refuse to commit their sacred texts to writing, believing that script would profane them." (Huston Smith, author of The Religions of Man)

What members say

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Oh, the humanity!

I bought this book and The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners by Jack Hawley at the same time. FIrst, I can't downlaod both to the same device because Audible gave them the same filename. After dividing them between devices, I listened to both. I loved, loved LOVED the walkthrough by Jack Hawley - but this one (The Bhagavad Gita, read by Jacob Needleman)...not so much.

The Bhagavad Gita is an incredible story with so many layers....none of which are discernable here. The translation itself sounds all right, and the quality of the recording is fine, but the reader...yikes. If his mission is to put me to sleep, he can consider this a triumph. LIsten to the whole sample before you buy - but, until Audible makes another version with a better reader available, I recommend you get the Walkthrough by Jack Hawley instead and give this version a miss.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A book that changes your life

This is a book that changes your entire orientation to living. It is beautiful, profound, and inspiring. I have read the translation that Gandhi wrote while in prison, but it is wonderful to hear this version read time and time again. It is humbling and fulfilling all at once.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Hot stuff!!

Audio quality could be better, but it was listenable even while driving on the freeway.

The book itself is a classic. Speaking as a non-Hindu, I'd say, if you like this kind of thing, you'll REALLY like this.

Nice and short, hardly a word wasted, quick 'read.'

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Boring narrator!!!

Such a wonderful book given such a horrendously uninterested and uninteresting narrator! I will download this one again if you promise to indulge us with a storyteller who is ONE with this epic...

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What dull, lifeless reading.

I often don't agree with others who say a reader is hard to listen to so you might not find this recording as bad as I did. The reading is monotone and lifeless. It makes me think of a 4th grade student reading their book report in front of the class. I quit listening after 4-5 minutes. Be sure you listen to the sample before you buy. I should have. The Bhagavad Gita is magnificent and deserves better treatment.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bob
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 04-26-10

The one I go back to!

I have enjoyed listening to this many times. I've got hundreds of Audible books that I've listened to once, but this one I like to go back to. I can just start listening at any spot and it takes me to another place right away. Perhaps, it's because I read this material many years ago and so it is already quite familiar to me, so I enjoy the uncomplicated translation which doesn't require hundreds of footnotes and asides to follow.
Although narration is more subjective, I like the calm droning quality, with powerful undertones of Jacob Needleman's voice, which seems to fit the material quite well.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ingrid
  • Hudson, MA, USA
  • 11-16-05

Not for the car

This is not something that will keep you awake during your commute. Save this for a time when you can lay back on the couch and think a lot. The pace is slow and the narrator sonorous - I suspect that you could play this while you sleep and wake up a well-rested and better person.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Raj
  • Torrance, CA, USA
  • 01-17-04

Great Audio.

This is a great format to listen to the Bhagavad Gita. I sincerely enjoyed it.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Maarten
  • oldenzaalNetherlands
  • 01-25-06

The reading wears me out

The reader lacks to enter energy in his reading. The dark full voice dies away in every sentence and after an hour or so its just to much. Arjuna!... Is there no light in this book? I very much think so, but for me it needs another reader.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • D
  • 12-26-09

How do you review the word of God?

Jacob Needleman is horrible with this! But the Gita is life giving, honest, pure, it reaches the soul and speaks to every one of us.

Hindus are nurtured by the Gita, it gives us strength and guidance. It gives us patience and hope.

For seekers, look no further. For the curious, listen over and over to hear and learn. For the skeptic and scoffer of faith- the Gita will explain.

Jacob Needleman- slow, monotone, little feeling in what he is reading. However, he has a lovely pure "manly" voice, deep, resonant.

Buy the Bhagavad Gita read by Jacob Needleman, you won't be sorry.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Medhavi_Patel
  • 10-01-12


I enjoyed listening to this through my fasting period and also because I could stop and rewind when needed, it’s very insightful but I have to say the reader is very monotone and to some extent pushed you to a little sense of sleepiness but with focus and concentration its a good listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful