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The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi Paperback – May 19, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869—1948) was a preeminent political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian Independence movement. John Strohmeier has edited numerous books on Gandhi. Michael Nagler is Professor Emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books (May 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556438001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556438004
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chad M. Brick on December 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Bhagavad Gita ("The Lord's Song") is a profound religious text and an essential part of the Hindu religion. For a westerner, however, it is almost impossible to understand without previous knowledge of Hindu philosophy or copious annotation.
This book, consisting of Gandhi's translation of the Gita, as well as commentary he presented to his followers at prayer meetings in 1926, is an important and highly-regarded version of the ancient text. Gandhi's commentary, actually comprising about two-thirds of the work, was lucid, profound, and clearly indicative of the deep wisdom of one of the twentieth-century's greatest men. It greatly enhanced my understanding of the Gita.
This is a great translation of a great relious work, with explanations by a great man. Not surprisingly, this adds up to a great book. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
One of the most frustrating things in finding a good translation of the Bhagavad Gita is also finding one not bogged down in an endless commentary. Editions with only the text of the Gita are very rare, and this book is no exception. Amazingly enough, however, this edition contains a commentary that's just as interesting and involving as the text itself--so much so that you don't even care that the commentary comprises the majority of the book!
One element that would always be helpful would be to include some (if not all) of the original text, but even still this a good translation, and relatively unbaised if you're aware of what the text originally says. Sadly, this version is not as popular as the Bhagavad Gita As It Is (published by Hare Krishna), although in my opinion it is certainly more spiritual and more reliable.
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Format: Paperback
Ghandi's translation of the Bhagavad-Gita is fantastic. Unlike other translations, where you find yourself constantly flipping to a notes section, Ghandi inserts his commentary throughout the passages of this ancient poem. His comments are always direct and to the point, not so much offering an opinion on the meaning of the text, but fleshing out the message, often relating it to his own experiences. As for the Bhagavad-Gita itself, it's a wonderful insight into life, love, death and God. It is not a manual of dos and don'ts; rather it is a guide to the challenges we all face in our lives. Anyone can benefit from Krishna's words of wisdom, regardless of their religion, beliefs or background. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Albert Einstein said: "I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice." He also said: "When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous."

If this short scripture grabs you, not only you will agree with Einstein, it may also answer many of your lifelong questions about god, life, death, conscience, etc. It will also become a part of your daily life going forward. And if it does not, you will still find it to be a true masterpiece.

For those who may not be aware, a translation of the Bhagavad Gita is freely available on The International Gita Society's website. The translation in this book, however, is far superior and endorsed by a universally trusted source, Gandhi. I found this translation to be more pleasant to read and believe it conveys the message more effectively.

About Gandhi's commentary, although he has done an unparalleled job, the verses of the Gita are so profound and complex that, in my mind, any commentary would fall short of the actual message. That said, Gandhi's work in this book can easily be ranked as one of the best spiritual writings.

Lastly, I believe the impact of the Gita can be substantially optimized by having a bit of prior knowledge about Gandhi's life and his ideals.

READ, ENJOY & MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL.
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The text of the Bhagavad Gita and Gandhi's commentary are not as distinct from each other as I would have liked. The exact same text of both Gita and commentary can be found in "Anasaktiyoga: The Gospel of Selfless Action- the Gita according to Gandhi", edited by Jim Rankin. In Rankin's edition the text of the Gita is very distinct from Gandhi's commentary, and Rankin even labels who is speaking in the Gita so it is easy for someone (like myself)not familiar with the Gita to follow the flow of the discourse. Unfortunately Rankin does not include even half of the commentary included in "The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi" (edited by John Strohmeier) so if you are seeking Gandhi's thoughts on the Gita this is the better edition to purchase.
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Format: Paperback
I think Gandhi's translation and commentary of the Gita is really good. His explanations are clear and insightful and he speaks from experience. There is also an essay he wrote to accompany the Gita as an introduction. It explains his path to the Gita, gives an overview of the Gita, and explains how he came to render a translation of it (Gita) with the help of others.

The commentary is not excessive, but there is plenty there for those looking for commentary. He gives a somewhat metaphorical interpretation of the Gita. I like this book as it is easy to read and the commentary is based on experience. For example, in verse 40 of chapter 11 he states how a lady worshipped the lord with her back to the idol and then a learned man rebuked her. She was said to have cited this verse in her defense showing that one need not worship God in one direction. Such is the practicality of Gandhi's work.
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