The Bhagavad-Gita has been an essential text of Hindu culture in India since the time of its composition in the first century A.D. As one of the great religious classics of world literature, it has inspired such diverse thinkers as Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, T. S. Eliot, and Thomas Merton. Set on an ancient battlefield where the armies of rival cousins stand ready to do battle, the GITA recounts the epic tale of the warrior-prince Arjuna as he confronts a life-or-death moral dilemma. What is the purpose or justice of war? Where does the right path of action lie when one duty conflicts with another? Gradually, through the intercession of his charioteer, the god Krishna, Arjuna is led to a higher understanding of the spiritual nature of man and the world. Encompassing both the personal and the transcendent, Arjuna's dialogue with Krishna has resonated through the ages with the terrible beauty of ultimate revelation.