- Paperback: 322 pages
- Publisher: Michael Beloved (6 May 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0979391628
- ISBN-13: 978-0979391620
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Bhagavad Gita Revealed Paperback – Import, 6 May 2010
About the Author
Michael Beloved (Madhvacharya das) took his current body in 1951 in Guyana. In 1965, while living in Trinidad, he instinctively began doing yoga postures and trying to make sense of the supernatural side of life. Later on, in 1970, in the Philippines, he approached a Martial Arts Master named Mr. Arthur Beverford, explaining to the teacher that he was seeking a yoga instructor; Mr. Beverford identified himself as an advanced disciple of Sri Rishi Singh Gherwal, an astanga yoga master. Mr. Beverford taught the traditional Astanga Yoga with stress on postures, attentive breathing and brow chakra centering meditation. In 1972, Madhvacharya entered the Denver Colorado Ashram of Kundalini Yoga Master Sri Harbhajan Singh. There he took instruction in Bhastrika Pranayama and its application to yoga postures. He was supervised mostly by Yogi Bhajan's disciple named Prem Kaur. In 1979 Madhvacharya formally entered the disciplic succession of the Brahma-Madhava Gaudiya Sampradaya through Swami Kirtanananda, who was a prominent sannyasi disciple of the Great Vaishnava Authority Sri Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, the exponent of devotion to Sri Krishna. After carefully studying and practicing the devotional process introduced by Sri Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, Madhvacharya was inspired to do a translation of the Bhagavad-gita. At the time, his personal Deities were a small marble set of Sri Sri Krishna-Balaram Murtis. Lord Balaram encouraged him to take a closer look at what Sri Krishna actually said in the Gita and to consider its relevance to the history which became known as the Mahabharata. It was under that energy of Lord Balarama that this translation was produced. This translation does not concern religious affiliation. It is designed to give readers insight to what Sri Krishna and Arjuna discussed in the discourse, without any effort to convince or convert the reader. It is free of missionary overtones.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This translation is compact and quite good.
No translation is perfect, but this translation is more accurate and less biased than most out there.
The book is inexpensive and print is compact.
It is written in devanagari, roman transliteration, good word by word translation and then English translation. The compactness may be a disadvantage for those wanting a hefty tome with wide layout.
In the Roman transliteration, phrases have not been broken into individual words, and sandhi has not been removed, though they are then removed in the word by word translation.
The word by word translation is accurate, unlike Prabhupada.
So for those trying to choose a translation......
Studying sanskrit, I am working my way through a number of translations trying to find one that is best. Unfortunately many of the translations have been done by people whose sanskrit is less than perfect. Which translation is best depends on your purpose. There are so many to choose from, and I wonder if this is because this is such an absorbing and profoundly important piece of literature that it is well worth pondering in detail.
I have found that many translations are quite inaccurate in places, many have been made by people who lack a high degree of fluency in either sanskrit or English. The original Gita combines euphonic epic poetry, drama, practical language and highly philosophical abstract phrases. It is almost impossible for a translator to do full just to all of these aspects.
Because sanskrit is a language structured on the evolution of word roots, more so than English, words carry nuances from their origins, which can easily be lost in translation. For example Param-tapa (ch. 2-3) litterally means ' O High Fire' It is variously translated as 'O Scorcher of Enemies' or 'O dreaded Hero'. But Tapa is also an important Indian philosohical term used to mean aquiring spiritual powers through restraint and austerities. So the translation could also be 'O Great Ascetic'. This nuance is however entirely lost in most translations.
Some translations suffer because of lack of perfect English. The original has beautiful language, with conciseness and prosody, that is lost for many translators as they struggle with words and meanings, but lack awareness of the prosody of English. The lack of poesy in the translation can make the reading of it cumbersome and lacking the vital spark of the original.
A third major problem in translation is that this is a spiritual book as well as a work of literature. In some ways, the translating is as important as, say, getting the translation of the bible correct. A mistranslation can have serious consequences because of the philosophy that people draw on from such a work. Many translators come from a particular philosophical or spiritual bent, and they invariably bend the translated meaning to suit their interpretations and projections.
The first decision should be whether to go for an accurate neutral translation for purposes of enjoying literature, or whether to go for a translation that has a particular religious slant and commentary.
In the first case, the readability of the English is a particular issue, and there is sometimes a trade off between accuracy and prosody. Sargeant seems to get this right. The Clay Sanskrit Library has a good translation, found in 'Mahabharata vol.6'. You may wish to look at Georg Feuerstein if you want a more hefty translation. Many slimmer versions are available but do check the English to see if you are comfortable with it.
If you wish for a more religiously instructive version, take care, because many have a particular slant to such an extent that the translation becomes biased as well as the commentary. Aurobindo is a very sensible place to start. His English is stilted, but one of the best conceptually. Praphupada and Paramahansa Yogananda are inspiring and enlightening, but they are highly idiosynchratic and deviate from the Bhagavad Gita as a sensible basic piece of literature. I am reading Yogananda, a chapter a day, as a spiritual course. It is wonderful, but it requires dedication.
If you are studying sanskrit I suggest Sargeant 25th anniversary edition, Feuerstein or Chidbhavananda.
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