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Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation Paperback – August 27, 2002
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Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, Unabridged
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From the Inside Flap
The Bhagavad Gita is universally acknowledged as one of the world's literary and spiritual masterpieces. It is the core text of the Hindu tradition and has been treasured by American writers from Emerson and Thoreau to T. S. Eliot, who called it the greatest philosophical poem after the Divine Comedy. There have been more than two hundred English translations of the Gita, including many competent literal versions, but not one of them is a superlative literary text in its own right.
Now all that has changed. Stephen Mitchell's Bhagavad Gita sings with the clarity, the vigor, and the intensity of the original Sanskrit. It will, as William Arrowsmith said of Mitchell's translation of The Sonnets to Orpheus, "instantly make every other rendering obsolete."
From the Hardcover edition.
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0609810340
- ISBN-13 : 978-0609810347
- Product Dimensions : 5.46 x 0.58 x 9.28 inches
- Publisher : Harmony; Reprint Edition (August 27, 2002)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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In the Christian tradition, theologians have recommended for centuries, and even required, the reading of “pagan” (i.e. not Christian, Jewish or Muslim) authors like Plato and Aristotle, whom they regarded as recipients from God of a partial revelation of philosophical truth that anticipated many aspects of Christianity. The Bhavagad Gita is in many ways more of a partial revelation of the Christian faith than anything Greek pagans wrote.
For example, in stanzas 4.7-11 Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that “whenever righteousness falters” Krishna takes on a human body to manifest himself on earth, adding: “Whoever knows, profoundly/My divine presence on earth/is not reborn when he leaves the body/but comes to me.” The Jewish prophets did not come closer to describing a reason for the incarnation of God than that passage. And there is also this: “However men try to reach me,/I return their love with my love;/whatever path they may travel,/it leads to me in the end.” Elsewhere, the Gita advises detachment from desire as the root of evil, speaks of communal meals as a religious exercise, and wisely describes the need for balance between contemplation and action. Its belief in polytheistic and reincarnation errors (yes, errors; truth is not a matter of opinion) do not obscure the fact that the Gita sometimes expresses some core Christian beliefs more beautifully than many theologians do.
This translation is a joy to read. It is clear and accessible, spare, elegant and therefore simple.
So I ordered this book as a gift for one of my sons as a college graduation present, to complement an earlier gift of Marcus Aurelius and his 12 years of primary and secondary Catholic education. I am happier with his reading this than Plato’s Republic (after all, if Socrates were correct that might is not right, how would the Jews have conquered the promised land, how would Christians have taken over the Roman state after the Milvian Bridge, and how would Mecca have converted to Islam?). The Gita is a wonderful portal to the riches of India.