The Bhagavadgita is part of the great Indian epic the Mahabharata, and it is one of the major religious documents of the world, occupying in Hinduism a position not unlike the Sermon on the Mount in Christianity. One of the most celebrated treasures of world literature as well, it is in the form of a poetic dialogue between the epic's hero, Arjuna, and his friend Krishna, believed to be an incarnation of God. The dialogue, which takes place on the eve of an historic battle, probes the nature of God and what man should do to reach him. As the Bhagavadgita unfolds, this majestic poem provides a fascinating synopsis of the religious thought and experience of India through the ages. This edition offers the classic English verse translation by Sir Edwin Arnold (1832–1904), long admired for its evocation of the true feeling of the original poetry.