Bhagavad Gita

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The Bhagavad Gita (“Song of God” or “Song of the Lord”) is among the most important religious texts of Hinduism and easily the best known. It has been quoted by writers, poets, scientists, theologians, and philosophers – among others – for centuries and is often the introductory text to Hinduism for a Western audience.

It is commonly referred to as the Gita and was originally part of the great Indian epic Mahabharata. Its date of composition, therefore, is closely associated with that of the epic – c. 5th-3rd century BC – but not all scholars agree that the work was originally included in the Mahabharata text and so date it later to c. 2nd century BC.


The Gita is a dialogue between the warrior-prince Arjuna and the god Krishna who is serving as his charioteer at the Battle of Kurukshetra fought between's family and allies (the Pandavas) and those of the prince Duryodhana and his family (the Kauravas) and their allies. This dialogue is recited by the Kauravan counselor Sanjaya to his blind king Dhritarashtra (both far from the battleground) as Krishna has given Sanjaya mystical sight so he will be able to see and report the battle to the king.

The Kauravas and Pandavas are related and there are mutual friends and family members fighting on both sides for supremacy of rule. Accordingly, when Arjuna sees all his former friends and comrades on the opposing side, he loses heart and refuses to take part in a battle which will result in their deaths as well as many others. the rest of the text is the dialogue between the prince and the god on what constitutes right action, proper understanding and, ultimately, the meaning of life and nature of the Divine.

Cultural Impact

The Gita combines the concepts expressed in the central texts of Hinduism – the Vedas and Upanishads – which are here synthesized into a single, coherent vision of belief in one God and the underlying unity of all existence. the text instructs on how one must elevate the mind and soul to look beyond appearances – which fool one into believing in duality and multiplicity – and recognize these are illusions; all humans and aspects of existence are a unified extension of the Divine which one will recognize once the trappings of illusion have been discarded.

The Gita inspired the Bhakti (“devotion”) Movement which then influenced the development of Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Krishna explains the path of selfless devotion as one of the paths toward self-actualization, recognition of the truth of existence, and liberation from the cycle of rebirth and death; the other two being jnana (“knowledge”) and karma (“action”). the Hare Krishna Movement of the present day is an expression of Bhakti, and the Gita remains their principal text.

Vedas, Upanishads, & the Three Gunas

Hinduism is known to adherents as Sanatan Dharma (“Eternal Order” or “Eternal Path”) and is informed at its fundamental level by the texts known as the Vedas which also include subtexts known as the Upanishads. the word Veda means “knowledge”, and Upanishad is interpreted to mean to “sit down closely” as though drawing near for instruction from a master. the Vedas convey the essential knowledge of the universe; the Upanishads instruct one on how to use that knowledge.

The vision of the Vedas and Upanishads, in its simplest and most concise form, is that there is a single entity – Brahman – who is the creator of existence and existence itself. Human beings carry a spark of this great Divinity within themselves known as the Atman. the purpose of life is to reach the self-actualization of the Atman which will then bring one into union with Brahman in life after one experiences physical death. One achieves this self-actualization through the performance of one's dharma (duty) in accordance with one's karma (right action) to eventually attain moksha (liberation) and the recognition of Final Truth. If one does not attain self-actualization in a given lifetime, one is reincarnated and must try again.

{{Quote' 'The demonic do things they should avoid and avoid the things they should do. they have no sense of uprightness, purity, or truth.

"There is no God," they say, "no truth, no spiritual law, no moral order. the basis of life is sex; what else can it be?" Holding such distorted views, possessing scant discrimination, they become enemies of the world, causing suffering and destruction.

Hypocritical, proud, and arrogant, living in delusion and clinging to deluded ideas, insatiable in their desires, they pursue their unclean ends. Although burdened with fears that end only with death, they still maintain with complete assurance, "Gratification of lust is the highest that life can offer."

Bound on all sides by scheming and anxiety, driven by anger and greed, they amass by any means they can a hoard of money for the satisfaction of their cravings.

"I got this today," they say; "tomorrow I shall get that. This wealth is mine, and that will be mine too. I have destroyed my enemies. I shall destroy others too! Am I not like God? I enjoy what I want. I am successful. I am powerful. I am happy. I am rich and well-born. Who is equal to me? I will perform sacrifices and give gifts and rejoice in my own generosity." This is how they go on, deluded by ignorance. Bound by their greed and entangled in a web of delusion, whirled about by a fragmented mind, they fall into a dark hell.”|Bhagavad Gita 16.7-16}}

Julius Evola and the Kali Yuga

Italian Traditionalist Julius Evola (1898–1974) wrote “The Metaphysics of War”, a collection of sixteen essay published in various periodicals in the years 1935–1950. In these essays, Evola argued that war creates a unique moral opportunity for individuals to learn to detach themselves from material possessions, relationships, and concern for their own safety. War becomes one of the primary means by which heroism may express itself. Evola regarded heroism as the noblest expression of the human spirit.

Evola felt that the ancient Aryans and Hinduism itself, held that there are two paths to enlightenment: internal and external. Of contemplation and action. In traditional Indian terms, the internal is the path of the Brahmin (the priestly caste), and the external path is that of the kshatriya (the righteous warrior caste). Both are forms of yoga, which literally means any practice aimed at connecting the individual to his true self, and to the source of all being (which are, in fact, the same thing). the yoga of action is referred to as “karma yoga” (where karma simply means “action”), and the primary text which teaches it is the Bhagavad-Gita.

(An important aside, the father of perennial Traditionalism, Rene Guénon, in his writing “Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power”, did note that the path of the Brahmin (internal spiritual struggle) was of a fundamentally higher spiritual order than the path of the Kshatriya (external physical struggle), and that the Bhagavad Gita, being written by and for the Kshatriya path of karma yoga, was in itself, and inferior path of materialist temporal power.)

Evola explained his glorification of heroism in terms of the doctrine of the “four ages,” a staple of Traditionalist writings. the version of the four ages most familiar to Western readers is the one found in Ovid, where the ages are gold, silver, bronze, and iron. To these correspond the four castes of traditional Indian society, with a spiritual, priestly element dominating in the first age, the warrior in the second, the merchant (or bourgeoisie, the term most frequently used by Evola) in the third, and the slave or servant in the degenerate fourth age. Evola had the Indian tradition squarely in mind wherein he referred to the Iron Age (the most degraded of all) as the “Kali Yuga”.

Evola wrote, “fascism appears to us as a reconstructive revolution, in that it affirms an aristocratic and spiritual concept of the nation, as against both socialist and interfascist collectivism, and the democratic and demagogic notion of the nation.

In other words, fascism for Evola, was the necessary solution to restore Spiritual Order and Natural Law in the age of cultural and spiritual degeneration.

Evola returns again and again to the Bhagavad-Gita throughout the Metaphysics of War, as it stands as the primary text to which Evola’s philosophy of “war as spiritual path” is indebted. Despite his initial objections, Arjuna is taught that following his duty becomes the path to rise above his lesser self and to connect with the divine. This is not mere piety or “love of God.” It is a way to tap into a superhuman source of power and wisdom. the path of action wherein the seeker becomes more than merely human.

In the Gita, Krishna places Arjuna in a situation in which he must fight two wars. One, the “lesser” war is external–it is the one fought on the battlefield with swords and spears. the other, “greater” war is internal and is fought against the internal enemy: “passion, the animal thirst for life” (p. 52). Evola places a great deal of emphasis on this distinction. What Krishna really teaches Arjuna is that in order to fight the lesser war, he must fight the greater one. This is mirrored in the “Greater and Lesser Jihads” of Muslim thought.

The core philosophy of the Bhagavad is that unless one is able to subdue one’s inner weaknesses, they will not be abler to conquer their outer weakness, and a righteous life (and rebirth) will never be attainable. This introduces the possibility that one may be a “warrior” though they may never fight in any conventional, “external” war. These people may be considered “warriors of the spirit”.

Evola believed, as did the Bhagavad, that one can be a true warrior without ever lifting a sword or a gun, by conquering the enemy mind within oneself. He also mentions initiation cults, like Mithraism, which conceived of their members on the model of soldiers.

Henrich Himmler and the Bhagavad

German academics in the late 19th century also had a considerable fascination with Indian philosophy; and the Sanskrit language in particular as this language was linked with the great Aryan tradition. the term “Arya” is Sanskrit for spiritually high or noble; a concept largely absent from Europe at the time, with its rampant hedonistic materialism. the term “Swastika” comes from the Sanskrit svastika - “su” meaning “good,” “asti” meaning “to be,” and “ka” as a suffix.

Within the National Socialist German Workers Party, Heinrich Himmler was the most notable adherent of Indian spiritual philosophy. According to his personal massage Therapist, Felix Kersten, Himmler carried a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in his pocket from 1941 until his death four years later.

Reading the German translation of Bhagavad Gita in his younger years, Himmler was mesmerized by the order of Vedic philosophy and the hierarchal principles expressed by the Hindu caste system, especially the role of Kshatriya & Brahmin castes. Long after this research, Himmler joined the National Socialist German Workers Party. In 1925, when Himmler was 24 years old and had joined the SS, he had already concluded that Christianity was contemporary manifestation of judaic thought. Just two years after Adolf Hitler's beer hall putsch, intent on finding the real roots of the Germanic people and their ancient gods, he wrote:

Quotebubble.png Kshatriyakaste, that is how we need to be. This is the salvation!
—Heinrich Himmler

Himmler became a great admirer of Indologist, Yoga scholar, and SS Capt. Jakob Wilhelm Hauer of the University of Tübingen. Though may have stood as one of few party members that did, as the ethnic purists of the National Socialist regime tended to disregard non] [Germanic tradition]]s:

“Hauer was one of those German Upanishad-lovers in the tradition of Arthur Schopenhauer. There was nothing wrong with his search for a universal religion in which Hinduism would be a major tributary. the point is that the (National Socialist) regime was hostile to this project. When he propagated Paganism, he had to clothe it in a verbiage of Germanness, downplaying his Hindu sources.” Elst, K. (2010). the saffron swastika: the notion of "Hindu fascism". p 924ff

Himmler also chose Professor Walter Wust to serve as the President of the SS Ahnenerbe; a brain trust dedicated to more esoteric research in order to formulate a warrior ideology and new spirituality for the National Socialist movement. Wust was a leading Sanskritist and Orientalist from the Maximillian University in Munich, famous at the time in these fields.

According to reports from Himmler’s massage therapist Felix Kerston, Himmler would read the chapters from the Bhagavad Gita aloud. Himmler called the book his "high Aryan canto" and regularly quoted excerpts from it. He espoused the Vedic caste system and believed that his SS were like equivalent of the Kshatriyas, warriors who were empowered by noble spiritual calling to fight for a higher purpose.

Allegedly, Himmler particularly referred to conversations between Krishna and Arjuna at Kurukshetra, where the latter questions the rightness of war and violence, and Krishna explains that it would actually be immoral not to fight in the battle as he would not be respecting his own dharmic duty.

Describing Adolf Hitler as the incarnation of a “great shining light”, as predestined karma of the Germanic world, Himmler equated Hitler with Krishna who came to save the Germanic (New Aryan) race. Savitri Devi, in her book “Lightning and the Sun” also relates a similar vision of Hitler, believing also that he was an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Savitri Devi, Lightning and the Sun

Quotebubble.png The ‘duty’ in the name of which the action is done must really be duty — not any fanciful ‘obligation’; not the pursuit of any personal or even human goal; it must have nothing to do with the satisfaction or happiness of individuals, no matter how many those individuals be (numbers do not count). It must be in harmony with the supreme goal of Nature, which is the birth of a god-like humanity. In other words, the only ideal in the service of which the infliction of suffering and death is justified, is the triumph or the defense of the one world-order capable of bringing forth a god-like humanity. That alone can justify anything, for that alone is, in the words of the Bhagavad-Gita, ‘the welfare of the world’.
—Savitri Devi, "Defiance", Centennial Edition, p. 345–46

Savitri Devi is unquestionably the first Western writer to identify Adolf Hitler as an incarnation of Hindu divinity. Throughout her writing, she frequently quoted from the Bhagavad Gita in reference to the German leader:

"When justice is crushed, when evil is triumphant, then I come back. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the establishment of the Reign of Righteousness, I am born again and again, age after age."

In Kolkata in the 1930s, Savitri worked for the Hindu Mission, now a quiet neighborhood shrine but in those days a centre for Hindu fascist campaigning and missionary activity. the politicization of India's religious communities under the British had helped to foster the growth of the Hindutva Indian Fascist movement, which argued that the Hindus were the true heirs of the Aryans, and that India was an essentially Hindu nation.

Savitri Devi described her ideal state — her dream of National Socialism — as follows:

Modern civilization at its best, modern industry in all its efficiency, in all its power, in all its grandeur; modern life with all its comforts and, along with that, the eternal HearTheat of the Aryans; the religion of living — physical and supra-physical — perfection, of “God residing in pure blood” to repeat the words of Himmler; the religion of the Swastika which is the religion of the Sun; efficiency and inspiration; iron discipline coupled with enthusiasm; work, a parade; life, a manly hymn; military schools and up-to-date dwellings in the midst of trees; blast furnaces and Sun temples. That is the super-civilization according to my heart. That is, that always was my conception of true National Socialism applied in practice.

  1. Her understanding of e primordial Indo-Aryan religion.
  2. Her conception of aristocracy within and among species, and insistence that humans have no claim to superiority unless they rise above their merely natural selves.
  3. Her injunction to preserve the noble elite of all species, and to treat the Earth and its myriad creatures with the kindness befitting the noble man.
  4. the need for a state based on classical principles that cultivates true physical and spiritual aristocracy, while utilizing modern technology to advance the goals and improve the lot of its people; and
  5. the recognition of universal forces of decay and the need to combat them with the detached violence of the Aryan warrior.

In these ways, Savitri Devi’s thought embodies the themes of an authentic traditional society and adapts them to the present. These are important fundamental observations that should be taken seriously by any traditionally minded person.

The Rigveda and Sanātana Dharma

The Bhagavad-Gita is closely linked to an earlier collection of hymns called the Rigveda. Rigveda, (Sanskrit: “The Knowledge of Verses”) also spelled Ṛgveda, is the oldest of the sacred books of Hinduism, composed in an ancient form of Sanskrit about 1500 bc. the polytheistic hymns and sacrifices described in Rigveda describe the religious culture of the chariot and horse-riding herdsmen of Eurasian (Caspian) plains. These conquering herdsmen brought their culture and spirituality south from Europe, through Iran, before arriving in Indian subcontinent through the hindu-kush mountain passes.

It is a widely accepted theory that the polytheistic Vedas, especially the Rigveda, were shared by the Proto-Indo-European (Aryan) culture of steppe pastoralists. In 1851, the Englishman Robert Latham suggested the theory that the Indo-European people may have actually originated in Southern Russia, before migrating south towards India. There is still no written documented evidence to prove this hypothesis completely, and is debated by several scholars, though the Indo-European linguistic theory provides ample evidence of a root language that spawned the languages of Northern Europe and those of India respectively. There is also significant mythological similarity between the pantheon of gods in both Northern European and Hindu polytheism.

The Bhagavad Gita evolved much later than the RigVeda, as the first commentary to Bhagavad Gita was written around 1000 AD. the Bhagavad Gita brought about an era in the history of India when a more moderate and compassionate hierarchical spiritual system of Sanātana Dharma (सनातन धर्म, meaning "eternal dharma", "eternal order") emerged.  Sanātana Dharma refers to the “eternal” truth and teachings of Hinduism. Natural Law. It can also be translated as “the natural and eternal way to live". the expression of philosophy espoused in the Bhagavad Gita was very much culturally different from the previous religion of the Aryan invaders.


Savitri Devi, “The Lightning and the Sun”

Counter-Currents Publishing, 2014

Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya, “Dharma Manifesto

Tom Billenge, “War Yoga

Julius Evola, “Metaphysics of War

Rene Guénon, “Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power”

Rene Guénon, “Introduction to the Study of Hindu Doctrines”

Nicholas Goodrich-Clarke, “Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity

World History Encyclopedia, “Bhagavad Gita”:

“Heinrich Himmler: the Nazi Hindu”

Derek Hawthorne, “Evola’s Metaphysics of War”.

Tom Roswell, “Survive the Jive” Blog:

Survive the Jive, “René Guénon on Hinduism”:

Survive the Jive, “Aryan Invasion of India: Myth or Reality?”:

Survive the Jive, “Interview with a Vedic Guru - Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya”:

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