SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

The Bhagavad Gita – its Contemporary Relevance


Date: 24 September 2015Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 25 September 2015Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: The Nehru Centre, London

Type of Event: Conference

Bhagavat Gita Conference


The Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna's Celestial Song for the benefit of Arjuna, his devotee, friend and an invincible warrior. The crown jewel of the world's longest epic, the Mahabharata, its context is the battlefield of Kurukshetra, where the opposing armies of the Pandavas and Kauravas are arrayed. They are cousins but both claimants to the throne of Hastinapur. Arjuna sees his own teachers and elders in the opposing Kaurava legion. Is the throne worth killing people who are dear to him? To Arjuna, it becomes a paralysing conflict. The actual battle to be fought by the two armies is just an outer conflict, one he can deal with. However, as it is for all of us, Arjuna’s outer conflict is accompanied by a terrible inner one. It is for the latter that he seeks answers.
We live in a conflict-ridden world --- at an individual, social, national and international level. Does the tutoring of a charioteer to a warrior in a battlefield have any relevance to this impatient material and virtual world? The Bhagavad Gita, richly-layered wisdom in seven hundred verses, is Lord Krishna's response to Arjuna's questions, that are actually our questions as well. He talks to us about the battlefields we live in, within our inner self and the world outside.

The aim of the conference is to provide a platform for people from the east and the west who have studied and to some degree applied the timeless teaching of the Gita in their own lives and who are able to present with clarity such issues as the Gita's battlefield allegory of conflict; dharma, the lawful way of life, as the way to sustainable global growth and development; the paths of action, devotion and knowledge; and the perceptions of this teaching from both an intellectual and a practical perspective; all contributing to the study of contemporary relevance of the Bhagavad Gita.

Organiser: Peter Flügel; Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR); Nehru Centre; High Commission of India

Contact email: /

Contact Tel: (020) 74913567 and 74932019.

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