The Bhagavad Gita / Edition 1

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Overview

To most good Vishnuites, and to most Hindus, the Bhagavad Gita is what the New Testament is to good Christians. It is their chief devotional book, and has been for centuries the principal source of religious inspiretion for many millions of Indian. In this two-volume edition, Volume I contains on facing pages a transliteration of original Sanskirt and the autor's close translation. Volume II is Mr. Edgerton's interpretation in which he makes clear the historical setting of the poem and analyzes its influence on later literature and its place in Indian philosophy. Sir Edwin Arnold's beautiful translation, "The Song Celestial," is also includes in the second volume.

Mr. Edgerton is the author of many books and articles in the fields of Egyptology and Oriental languages and literature. He is an editor of the American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of the American Oriental Society

It is a real pleasure to read 'India's favorite Bible' in this beautiful and very convenient edition...Edgerton analyzes the doctrines of the Gita with clearness and acuteness, and his expos´e is full of well-chosen quotations and suggestive remarks.
— P.E. Dumont

Times Higher Education Supplement

As a revelation of divine incarnation and an attempt to harmonize the rival spiritual paths of action, knowledge and devotion, the Sanskrit poem Bhagavad Gita, "Song of the Lord," itself incarnates all that is typically Hindu. Probably the most revered scripture outside the sacred vedas themselves, and certainly more influential than the latter in popular Hindu piety, the Gita—a self-contained fraction of the vast epic Mahabharata—has been translated innumerable times into many languages east and west....Edgerton's translation remains a solid piece of scholarship which no serious student of the Gita can afford to ignore. The same can be said of his chapters analyzing the historical setting and doctrinal content of the poem, which still constitute one of the best overall studies of the Gita ever published.
— Peter Moore

Isis
The Gita is one of the most precious fruits of India...Professor Edgerton has a deep familiarity with that sacred text--he has read it word by word with many generations of students.
Journal of the American Oriental Society - P.E. Dumont
It is a real pleasure to read 'India's favorite Bible' in this beautiful and very convenient edition...Edgerton analyzes the doctrines of the Gita with clearness and acuteness, and his expośe is full of well-chosen quotations and suggestive remarks.
Times Higher Education Supplement - Peter Moore
As a revelation of divine incarnation and an attempt to harmonize the rival spiritual paths of action, knowledge and devotion, the Sanskrit poem Bhagavad Gita, "Song of the Lord," itself incarnates all that is typically Hindu. Probably the most revered scripture outside the sacred vedas themselves, and certainly more influential than the latter in popular Hindu piety, the Gita--a self-contained fraction of the vast epic Mahabharata--has been translated innumerable times into many languages east and west....Edgerton's translation remains a solid piece of scholarship which no serious student of the Gita can afford to ignore. The same can be said of his chapters analyzing the historical setting and doctrinal content of the poem, which still constitute one of the best overall studies of the Gita ever published.
Arthur Darby Nock
Professor Edgerton's name guarantees the scholarship of his translation...[His] interpretive essays...have an interest even wider than that which belongs to so great a classic of Indian religion, for they include observations on the mysticism shown in them, and these deserve the consideration of students of mysticism in general.
Times Higher Education Supplement
As a revelation of divine incarnation and an attempt to harmonize the rival spiritual paths of action, knowledge and devotion, the Sanskrit poem Bhagavad Gita, "Song of the Lord," itself incarnates all that is typically Hindu. Probably the most revered scripture outside the sacred vedas themselves, and certainly more influential than the latter in popular Hindu piety, the Gita--a self-contained fraction of the vast epic Mahabharata--has been translated innumerable times into many languages east and west....Edgerton's translation remains a solid piece of scholarship which no serious student of the Gita can afford to ignore. The same can be said of his chapters analyzing the historical setting and doctrinal content of the poem, which still constitute one of the best overall studies of the Gita ever published.
— Peter Moore
Journal of the American Oriental Society
It is a real pleasure to read 'India's favorite Bible' in this beautiful and very convenient edition...Edgerton analyzes the doctrines of the Gita with clearness and acuteness, and his expos´e is full of well-chosen quotations and suggestive remarks.
— P.E. Dumont
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674069251
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1972
  • Series: Harvard Paperbacks Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 501,242
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Notes on the Bibliography and Exegesis of The Gita

PART I: THE BHAGAVAD GITA

Notes to the Translation

PART II: INTERPRETATION OF THE BHAGAVAD GITA

First Part: Preliminary Chapters

1. Introductory

2. The Origins of Hindu Speculation

3. The Upanisads, and the Funddamental Doctrines of Later Hindu Thought

4. Prehistory of the God of the Bhagavad Gita

Second Part: The Teachings of The Bhagavad Gita

5. Soul and Body

6. The Nature of God

7. Action and Rebirth

8. The Way of Knowledge and the Way of Disciplined Activity

9. The Way of Devotion to God

10. Attitude Towards Hindu Orthodoxy and Other Religious Beliefs

11. Practical Morality

Third Part: Summary and Conclusion

12. Summary

13. Conclusion

Index of Words and Subjects

Index of Passages Quoted

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2003

    Excellent translation for educated laypeople

    Edgerton's translation, while not poetic, is clear and straighforward, useful for navigating difficult passages. Furthermore, unlike some translators of the Gita, Edgerton does not have a specific religious viewpoint or agenda that he's trying to further. Finally, his interpretive essay (included at the end of this volume) is simply superb and worth the price of the book. If you want to read the Gita for pleasure or devotional purposes, Edgerton is not for you, but this is a fine translation for the educated layperson. As a director of religious education at a Unitarian Universalist church, I consistently recommend Edgerton's translation to individuals wanting to read the Bhagavad Gita for the first time. There's a reason it's been in print so long -- it's a good, solid translation!

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