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The main body of The Bhagavad Gita and the West consists of two lecture courses by Rudolf Steiner: The Bhagavad Gita and the Epistles of Paul and The Esoteric Significance of the Bhagavad Gita. In the first course, his main purpose, as McDermott shows, is to integrate the flower of Hindu spirituality into his view of the evolution of consciousness and the pivotal role played in it by the Mystery of Golgothathe incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Steiner views Krishna as a great spiritual teacher and the Bhagavad Gita as a preparation, though still abstract, for the coming of Christ and the Christ impulse as the living embodiment of the World, Law, and Devotion, represented by the three Hindu streams of Veda, Sankhya, and Yoga. For him, the epic poem of the Bhagavad Gita represents the fully ripened fruit of Hinduism, whereas Paul is related but represents the seed of something entirely new. In the last lecture, Steiner reveals Krishna as the sister soul of Adam, incarnated as Jesus, and claims Krishas Yoga teachings streamed from Christ into Paul. In the second lecture course, given five months later, Steiner engages the text of the Bhagavad Gita on its own terms, as signaling the beginning of a new soul consciousness. To aid in the understanding of both these important cycles, this volume includes the complete text of the Bhagavad Gita in Eknath Easwarans luminous translation.

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