IT is a matter for great regret that the young men and women of our Universities know very much less about the Gita and the principles of Hindu religion than the undergraduates of European Universities know about the Bible and the principles of the Christian faith.
We inherit in Hindu religion a body of thought which, in the opinion of those best fitted to judge, is the product of the highest efforts of intellect and imagination that ever were turned in that direction. Young men and women of any Western nation, had they inherited our philosophy, would have been as proud of it as of an empire.This book has been written mainly to serve as a handbook for students. Reading these pages, if they find any thought in the text or in the explanation not satisfying, or wanting in clarity or such as evokes disagreement, they should pursue the matter discussing it with fellow-students or consulting scholars.
No Indian can consider himself as having attained a liberal education if he has not a sound knowledge of the principles of the great religious philosophy for which India is famous throughout the civilized world.
This little book is an attempt like what the father in the old story did with his sons, who were told to dig for treasure in the family garden. The gold was indeed found; not as coined treasure hidden away in a pot but as the reward of toil, a plentiful crop, which the garden yielded, for the digging. There is nothing in what the writer has himself written, but if the readers are induced to dig, the Gita - our precious patrimony, will yield a rich harvest for the striving soul.
Many suggestions were made after the issue of the first edition, to make subsequent issues more useful, for example that parallel quotations and Upanishad sources may be given, and that a bibliography may be added. All these may be very useful, but I have not accepted these suggestions, as I intend that this book should continue to be a beginner's handbook, and I do not wish to aim at making it anything like a book for scholars.