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

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Hardcover, April 24, 2007
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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.

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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: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,455,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Graham M. Schweig, Ph.D. (Yoga Alliance registration ERYT500) has been a student of many traditional teachers of yoga. He has travelled to India seven times, and has been a practitioner of meditational and heart-centered yoga for over 45 years. Along side of his personal yoga practice, Graham earned his doctorate from Harvard University in comparative religion, with a specialization in sacred Sanskrit yoga literature. Graham has been conducting yoga workshops and offering seminars and lectures around the US and Europe for over 20 years, and has been an invited speaker several times at the Yoga Journal Conferences. Additionally, over the past eight years, Graham has been invited by the Smithsonian Institution to deliver over three dozen lectures on religion and yoga at its museum complex in Washington, DC. Among his over 100 publications of articles and chapters of books including several books, his translation of the Bhagavad Gita, published by Harper Collins, has been widely used in yoga teacher trainings around the country. Additionally, in a couple of years, Yale University Press will be publishing Graham's translation of and commentary on Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. He is presently professor of philosophy and religion at Christopher Newport University, Virginia, where he has received many recognitions and rewards for his teaching and mentoring. Graham, along with his life-partner Catherine, is co-founder of The Secret Yoga, for which he teaches workshops on the yoga of deep study of sacred yoga texts, philosophical foundations of yoga, exploring deeper dimensions of meditation, Sanskrit for yoga, the Upanishads, the Yoga Sūtra, the Bhagavad Gita, and workshops on many other important themes (www.secretyoga.com).

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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