Text and Translation
The Bhagavadgita in the Mahabharata / Edition 1by J. A. B. van Buitenen, J. A. Buitenen
Pub. Date: 09/28/1981
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
No other Sanskrit work approaches the Bhagavadgita in the influence it has exerted in the West. Philosophers such as Emerson and the other New England Transcendentalists were deeply affected by its insights, a dozen or more scholars, including Annie Besant and Mahatma Gandhi, have attempted its translation, and thousands of individuals struggling with the/i>
No other Sanskrit work approaches the Bhagavadgita in the influence it has exerted in the West. Philosophers such as Emerson and the other New England Transcendentalists were deeply affected by its insights, a dozen or more scholars, including Annie Besant and Mahatma Gandhi, have attempted its translation, and thousands of individuals struggling with the problems divided loyalties have found comfort and wisdom in its pages.
The Bhagavadgita ("Song of the Lord") tells of the young and virtuous Prince Arjuna who is driven to lead his forces into battle against an opposing army composed of close relatives and others whom he loves. The Lord Krsna, appearing in the poem as Arjuna's friend and charioteer, persuades him that he must do battle, and we see Arjuna changing from revulsion at the thought of killing members of his family to resignation and awareness of duty, to manly acceptance of his role as warrior and defender of his kingdom.
The Bhagavadgita is a self-contained episode in the Mahabharata, a vast collection of epics, legends, romances, theology, and metaphysical doctrine that reflects the history and culture of the whole of Hindu civilization. The present edition forms a part of J. A. B. van Buitenen's widely acclaimed translation of this great work. Here English and Sanskrit are printed on facing pages, enabling those with some knowledge of Sanskrit to appreciate van Buitenen's accurate rendering of the intimate, familial tone and directness of the original poem.
- University of Chicago Press
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- New Edition
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The reason why I purchased this translation is because it was recommended by Douglas Brooks in his book "Poised for Grace", which is a book of Annotations on the Bhagavad Gita from a Tantric view. I enjoyed how the left page is in Sanskrit; but, the right page is in English. Even though most of us can't read the Sanskrit, I still found it fascinating to see the ancient text. It took me a minute to figure out the numbering system, too, since this version is not broken down into chapters. This was different for me at first because one of the reasons why I purchased this book was for a Study Group/Yoga Book Club. When comparing with the others, their translations were broken down into chapters, yet this one is broken down by verses/paragraph form. However, this does add more of a poetic element to the story.