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The Bhagavadgita in the Mahabharata Paperback – September 15, 1981

ISBN-13: 978-0226846620 ISBN-10: 0226846628 Edition: 0th

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The Bhagavadgita in the Mahabharata + Upanisads (Oxford World's Classics) + An Introduction to Hinduism (Introduction to Religion)
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Language Notes

Text: English --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 183 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (September 15, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226846628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226846620
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Reader on September 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the finest English-language translation of the Bhagavadgita that I have ever had the pleasure to read. It is clear, reads elegantly and pelucidly, and gives the reader a roman-letter version of the Sanskrit text on facing pages. The introductory notes are illuminating as well, firmly setting the Gita within the frame and context of The Mahabharata for the reader -- this is helpful to no end. Every other English-language version of the Gita that I've read is hide-bound in comparison -- ham-fisted, hijacked by the "translator's" own agenda, or somehow tangled up and tripping over itself in one way or another. Here we have the elegant and respectful scholarship of J A B van Buitenen -- his work is lit up from within. There is humility and wonder in the weaving of his translation and he allows the Gita to truly shine and sing out with as little disturbance as possible in the move across into English. An astounding work of craftsmanship, spiritual humility, and scholarship. As much as possible while moving from one language to another, he lets the Gita sing for itself. Thank you, van Buitenen -- you may no longer be with us, but your work lives and breathes on.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. Ferguson on March 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
J.A.B. van Buitenen's translation has an illuminating clarity and is excellent for a first time read, especially for readers with a western background. The transliteration is on the left-page side and the English on the right. There is also an indepth scholarly introduction and many useful footnotes.
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I really love this translation, but also the fact that it's bookended with prior and post chapters, to provide better context for the Bhagavad Gita proper. The introduction is very useful and I find the prose powerful and effective. The use of the word 'baron' for kshatriya is indeed unusual, but I think it does make sense to help draw a parallel to mainland Europe's noble classes so that English readers get a sense of the social standing of the main warriors. Most importantly, I think Prof. van Buitenen had a deep understanding of the spirituality informing the Bhagavad Gita and renders it beautifully. I feel my understanding of this great work has expanded and transformed thanks to his work.

I find it interesting that this story of a civil war has lasted so long, and the scars of the US civil war appear to run as deep.
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By Lola J on May 31, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
J. A. B. van Buitenen gives a very readable and clearly translated dialog. It is especially useful that the Sanskrit is on the facing page (using the English alphabet so those of us that can not read Devanagari can still get a sense of the Sanskrit dialog). The introduction/foreward is especially informative and provides an appropriate "set-up" for the text. This translation is useful for those new to the Bhagavadgita (as the English translation reads very clearly and simply) and those of us undertaking a scholarly study of the text.
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