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The Bhagavad Gita (Penguin Classics) Paperback – October 28, 2008
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Anyway, for a serious student of the Gita, this is the one. I would also recommend reading through Georg Feuerstein's translation, Ram Dass' commentary "Paths to God", Gurchand Das' "The Difficulty of Being Good" (on the Mahabharata), Gandhi on the Gita, and Eknath Easwaran's 3 volume commentary.
Patton's introduction is a thoroughgoing history of the text, and at last there is a poetic sensibility which grounds the epic prose in a bardic voice. I also sensed that contemporary students will "see themselves" in the text, which is exactly what the translator's intent is. I am a copy writer for a large company and know what it takes to make such works accessible and inspiring at the same time. I bought this for my college-aged sons and they loved it.
We are reading it out loud when they are home on break. You will enjoy this book. it's fresh and traditional all at once.
I was somewhat unsatisfied with the translation of Laurie Patton. I am unable to judge the academic quality of this translation, nor will I be able to put it into context with respect to many other earlier attempts. However, I somehow never got the sense that I was reading a great epic, a work that had shaped the lives of millions in a sense. Nevertheless, several philosophical themes such as "to let go of clinging to the fruits of action (the consequences of action)", "action vs non-action" come through clearly in the translation. Also, the introduction is written very well. In particularly the opening words "The Gita is about a decision. Above all, it is about a decision to go to war." would be the best way to summarize this epic in such a short form.
The Bhagavad Gita (literally meaning "Song of the Blessed One") is about the warrior Arjuna trying to find a reason for why he should be fighting against his relatives and friends. The god Krishna motivates Arjuna by encouraging/urging/forcing him to act because it is his duty to do so, but that he should not worry about the possible consequences of his action (such as him killing his friends) because he has no control over such consequences -- rather fate does. Action, consequences of action and fate ... these are the three major issues.
Going back to the Oppenheimer story, I would like to suggest the article: "The Gita of J. Robert Oppenheimer" by James A. Hijiya (Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol.144, No. 2, June 2000).Read more ›
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If you have any curiosity about the world or any interest in the fundamental nature of humanity, read this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book - what's not to like? Even if you are a Christian or Buddhist or whatever, you can learn something from this book.Published 7 months ago by ParrotQueen
The Bhagavad Gita (Penguin Classics)
Copious details in foreword.
The morals and virtues in the Mahabharata are the same values of the American Frontiersmen. I don't mean the christian values of people who robbed the Natives of their land in the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Phoenix
I received the book quickly and found the book to be helpful in furthering my yoga studies.Published 12 months ago by CARLA L HOGUE