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Bhagavad Gita: The Beloved Lord's Secret Love Song Hardcover – April 24, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060754257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060754259
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,674,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Crystal clear and eminently readable." -- Ariel Glucklich, Professor of Theology (Hinduism) at Georgetown University

"Graham Schweig’s new, beautiful, and accessible translation will remain the standard text of this marvelous Song for years to come." -- Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions

"Schweig has produced a beautifully readable, accurate and respectful translation that should become the standard text for classroom use." -- John Borelli, Special Assistant to the President for Interreligious Initiatives at Georgetown University, author of Interfaith Dialogue

"The Bhagavadgita is a religious classic; Graham Schweig’s felicitous translation deserves to be called a classic in its own right." -- Arvind Sharma, Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at McGill University, author of Our Religions

Extremely reader friendly, particularly if you have little or no prior exposure to the Gita. -- Yoga Journal


From the Back Cover

The Bhagavad Gita is often regarded as the Bible of India. With a gripping story and deeply compelling message, it is unquestionably one of the most popular sacred texts of Asia and, along with the Bible and the Qur'an, one of the most important holy scriptures in the world.

Part of an ancient Hindu epic poem, the dialogue of the Bhagavad Gita takes place on a battlefield, where a war for the possession of a North Indian kingdom is about to ensue between two noble families related by blood. The epic's hero, young Prince Arjuna, is torn between his duty as a warrior and his revulsion at the thought of his brothers and cousins killing each other over control of the realm. Frozen by this ethical dilemma, he debates the big questions of life and death with the supreme Hindu deity Krishna, cleverly disguised as his charioteer. By the end of the story, Eastern beliefs about mortality and reincarnation, the vision and practice of yoga, the Indian social order and its responsibilities, family loyalty, spiritual knowledge, and the loftiest pursuits of the human heart are explored in depth. Explaining the very purpose of life and existence, this classic has stood the test of twenty-three centuries. It is presented here in a thoroughly accurate, illuminating, and beautiful translation that is sure to become the standard for our day.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The critical essays are also excellent.
David Edleson
I have read many quotes from the text, but this is the first time I've read the whole Gita beginning to end.
Victoria Klein
Of the many translations of The Bhagavad Gita I have read this is certainly one of the best.
Robert L. Rose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Rose VINE VOICE on June 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Of the many translations of The Bhagavad Gita I have read this is certainly one of the best. Schweig's work with the text and in the commentaries (very inviting format and pleasant meter) is helping me to understand, for the first time, I think, the appeal of devotional (bhakti) yoga. In particular, Krishna's encouragement to be "absorbed in yoga" is continuing to intrigue me as I re-read this elegant translation.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Andrew M. Day on August 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
While completing a degree in psychology at Harvard from 2004 to 2006, I squeezed in religion courses whenever I could, running into the Bhagavad Gita from various angles: In one course as a counterpart to the Koran, Torah, and Bible; in another as a treatise on yoga centered around the Universal Form in chapter eleven.

Graham Schweig's very accessible new translation presents refreshing, even startling, approaches to the Gita, in particular as a song revealing the supreme divinity's own passionate yearning for our love.

If you are eager for perspectives that expand our access to the world's sacred texts there's a pleasing blend of tradition and adventure in this new Gita translation. Dr. Schweig has a scholar's objectivity and a practitioner's fluency, giving this reader the feeling of direct contact with a timeless and vital spiritual legacy.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Gustavo Dauster V. Silva on June 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best ever translations of the Bhagavad-gita. Scholarly, yet rich with deep understanding of this greatest of books on the spirituality of yoga.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. KUMAR on May 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bhagavad-Gita's flow of philosophy, the connections between the verses and the logic are uniquely brilliant. Bhagavad-Gita is meant for the enlightenment of humanity and remains vital today. In the West, the Gita has had profound influence on philosophy and literature and has been studied by virtually all of the major thinkers.

For more than a decade, I have been looking for an accessible Bhagavad-Gita translation which also faithfully retains the original message of the Gita without speculation/vagueness.

After extensive comparative studies of numerous translations, I found out that this book to be the definitive translation because:
- After reading the verses deeply, I can say that author has deep insight and clarity. Certain words the author has chosen to use says that it has come from inner-realization.
- It's a faithful translation with textual illumination without any misinterpretations; the original spirit and flavor of the original is preserved
ex. Chapter 6, Verse 2:
"What they call "renunciation," know that as yoga, O Son of Pāndu; For without having renounced selfish motive, no one becomes a yogi."
Sankalpa has been translated as selfish motive. It's closer to the original verse.
Whereas in other translations, Sankalpa has been translated as desire, thoughts, ambitions, etc.

- The presentation is brilliant and universal in its appeal
- This is not from an arm-chair philosopher. The author is a practitioner, which means he's put his heart and soul into this work.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Martin on October 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent translation, giving us a good insight into Hinduism. There are helpful footnotes to some verses. Near the end of the book, the original Sanskrit text is given, in transliteration. After that, there is a very good index.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Edleson on December 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a professor of religion, I have read many versions of the Gita and have assigned several of them to my classes. This translation is by far the best. I first read this translation while on a houseboat on the Keralan backwaters with the sounds of jungle temples floating across the waters, but rereading it several times hasn't dampened my initial love of the text. The translation is always accessible, yet includes the key Hindu terms with excellent concise notes that help introductory students understand the text at a deeper level, or at least understand that there are layers of meaning playing out through the text. The critical essays are also excellent. While there are some translations that are more explanatory or conversational, this translation carries the sense of gravity, inquiry and the sublime that is at the heart of the Bhagavad Gita. The critical essays are also excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clay Kallam on June 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
Graham Schweig's excellent "Bhagavad Gita: The Beloved Lord's Secret Love Song" (Harper One, $13.99, 360 pages) not only offers a wonderful introduction to one of the key Hindu doctrinal writings, it also gives an interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita that my limited and long-ago interaction with it did not prepare me for.

Schweig emphasizes love as the central message, and not only the love that the devotee should have for Krishna, but that Krishna loves humanity in return. That, in fact, is Schweig's interpretation of the third great secret of Krishna, which is a somewhat different perspective than some other translators and thinkers.

In addition, Schweig's translation is careful, and he makes sure to let the reader know exactly when there are issues with potential meanings or confusion -- and in fact, he even includes a Sanskrit version to go along with supporting essays that make this edition as clear as possible.

For American readers such as me, the window into another culture is always interesting, and there are key concepts that point up why it's sometimes hard to bridge the gap between one group of ideas and another. For example, the protagonist of the Bhagavad Gita is a warrior prince about to go to battle who suddenly wonders if it's right that he should kill other human beings. Why, he wonders, should his arrows be those that bring sorrow and suffering?

But Krishna points out the ultimate Self (in Hindu philosophy) is immortal, and this transitory self is doomed to death, so when Arjuna slays an opponent, he does not "kill" anything but an already decaying shell of flesh.
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