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The Bhagavad Gita Paperback – December 1, 1990
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The book is divided into 18 chapters plus a chapter titled Pronunciation of Sanskrit Words, and a very useful Glossary.
The Gita is seven hundred stanzas of the epic Mahabharata, which is two hundred thousand lines making up chapters 23 to 40 of the Bhisma-Parvam.
The author of this translation is well-credentialed. Antonio T. de Nicolás is Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, SUNY at Stony Brook, and The Bio-Cultural Research Institute, St. Augustine, Florida.
To give you an ideas about the relevance of The Bhagavad Gita in today's world I'd like to quote from the Preface: "The text of The Bhagavad Gita has always been ahead of its time. It understands philosophy as a practice in moments of crisis - which is every moment of our life - and demonstrates how to overcome it. "
Though the story running through the verses takes the form of the master and student, it is to show us the relationship between our own body-mind-soul. And what a drama is portrayed - with all the challenges we face in the ultimate quest in life - mastering our own selfishness and realizing our true nature of bliss and harmony. Yes, indeed, for each it can sometimes feel like a battle during our personal struggles before self-realization.
There is so much to say that this short review cannot possibly tell much about the scope of this important work for personal evolution, but I will relate a portion to apply to your time in meditation from a quote in Chapter 12. The Yoga of Devotion:
"4. Who restrain all their senses, are even-minded,
Who take delight in the welfare of every being,
They also obtain me."
And, dear readers, my opinion about devotion in meditation is to keep caring and kind thoughts near and dear to your heart; that upon rising from sitting and stillness, you use those qualities in practical daily living.
I do have one gripe, however: this book gets categorized as "Religion" (and indeed, that is what it says on the back cover), while this particular edition has a distinctly philosophical aim to it. The rendition of the Gita itself does not have this slant, but the other parts of the book do. The translator, Antonio de Nicolas, is a philosophy professor, and his foreward and introduction are rather heavy on academic philosophical mumbo-jumbo. I didn't realize when I bought this book that the subtitle, "The Ethics of Decision-Making", meant "ethics" in the academic sense.
So while the Bhagavad-Gita itself is nicely presented here, the book spends a lot of space on philosophy rather than providing good background on the Gita's history and perhaps clarifying some of its more vague spots. This is why I only give the book 4 stars - the translation is topnotch, but the lack of background material can make for some puzzling moments that require the reader to go look something up online or in an encyclopedia. Other than that, I found this to be a handy addition to my library and a useful tool for exploring this amazing Eastern text.
While our Western Tradition has done everything possible to study nature and thus dominate it, the human individual structures have also been studied in the same manner, as nature or natural, for the same reason. Western, individual man/woman, has no one at the helm to decide.We lack the structures. Other bodies make those decisions using individual untrained wills, from churches to malls, to shools to television. The Bhagavad Gita is the one document where the structures of the deciding self are identified and developed so that one may chose from among the possible facing him/her the best, always, by habit. This was also the aim of Plato in the education of a citizen. No one should miss this study. The translation has the rythm of the original Sanskrit. A classic
Also recommended: Avatara and Moksha Smith by the same author
Thanks for making it obvious to other readers.