Lord Siva's Song: The Isvara Gita
A translation of the Īśvara Gītā, a parallel text to the Bhagavad Gītā that promotes religious inclusion.
While the Bhagavad Gītā is an acknowledged treasure of world spiritual literature, few people know a parallel text, the Īśvara Gītā. This lesser-known work is also dedicated to a god, but in this case it is Śiva, rather than Kṛṣṇa, who is depicted as the omniscient creator of the world. Andrew J. Nicholson’s Lord Śiva’s Song makes this text available in English in an accessible new translation. A work of both poetry and philosophy, the Īśvara Gītā builds on the insights of Pata˝jali’s Yoga Sūtra and foreshadows later developments in tantric yoga. It deals with the pluralistic religious environment of early medieval India through an exploration of the relationship between the gods Śiva and Viṣṇu. The work condemns sectarianism and violence and provides a strategy for accommodating conflicting religious claims in its own day and in our own.
“This is an excellent introduction to, and a sound scholarly translation of, a foundational text. Andrew J. Nicholson is a first-rate scholar.” — Andrew O. Fort, author of Jīvanmukti in Transformation: Embodied Liberation in Advaita and Neo-Vedanta
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Agni aham ahiṃsā all-pervading Arjuna ātman avyaktam avyayam beasts Bhagavad Gītā bliss Brahmā brahman breath control Bṛhadāraṇyaka Chakraborti Chapter critical edition’s described devotion dharma ekam entire world etad eternal Gītā’s gods Grta Hindu idam Īśvara Gītā jagat jﬁanam Kauṇḍinya Kaundinya’s commentary knowledge Kṛṣṇa krtsnam Kūrma Purāṇa liberation liṅga Lord Śiva magical power Mahābhārata mama Manu matter prakṛti māyā means meditation mental mind Nārāyaṇa nityam non-harming one’s param paramam Pārvatī Pasupata Pasupata Sﬁtra Pāśupata Sūtras Pāśupata Yoga Pata˝jali’s Yoga Sūtras principles Purāṇas puruṣa Rāmānuja rebirth refers Rudra sacrifice sages Śaiva Śakra samādhi Sāṃkhya philosophy Sanatkumāra Sanskrit sarvam sarve Śiva’s smṛti speak of brahman spirit puruṣa śruti supreme lord Sūta svayam tasmad teachings tesam texts three guṇas translated tvam tvÚm Twice-borns unmanifest Upaniṣad uttamam Vaiṣṇava variant reading varṇas Vedānta Vedas Vedic verse Viṣṇu Vyāsa word worship yoga of non-being Yoga Sūtras yoginam yogis