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The Bhagavad Gita Hardcover – 1 Jan 2003
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One of the best books. I wanted to read Bhagavadgita for the first time. I found this book very simple and easy to understand.I strongly recommend this book.The given translation is easy and explanations can be easily understood. The introduction part is very informative and Swamiji brings out one's mind into this. --Anand Jun 14, 2012
I wholeheartedly agree with previous reviews and, if I had anything in particular to add, it would be this: this book doubles as a fantastic Sanskrit reader! As noted, the print is incredibly clear (and in devanagari much more legible than that in Lanman's venerable reader), and Sivananda offers fine word-by-word glosses of the Sanskrit text. Additionally, the language of the Gita is so elegant and simple that it serves as a fine first text for those wishing to apply their Sanskrit and learn a great deal more along the way. Sivananda's commentary itself is clear but lyrical, and, though it elucidates the text tremendously, it often offers analogies and aphorisms as insightful as those of the Gita proper. Truly, this edition is the work of a great thinker and spiritual leader in his own right, as Sivananda's biography would attest. Additionally, he offers great commentary on the meaning of particular terms of importance, pausing to reflect on them in a way that allows even non-initiates in Indian thought to grasp the meaning of concepts central to its history. The Gita itself is a work born out of a profound understanding of the human condition, and Sivananda's edition proves a worthy vessel for transmitting it to those not steeped in its traditions. Through the course of reading it, I found myself appreciating the work on literary, linguistic, and philosophical levels all at the same time. Really, I can't praise this work enough! Buy it now! --By Akarta on October 6, 2010
I found this originally in a used bookstore in 1970. It has been my constant companion ever since. Written in the 50's prior to the commercialization of Indian Gurus by the West, Sivananda's commentary and translation of the Gita is very pure and traditional. His is not catering to the west but writing the commentary for serious seekers who are Indians. So many modern Gita commentaries are watered down for Americans and sort of new-ageish or they push a very narrow sectarian agenda ("Bhagavad Gita As It IS" ie.,the Hare Krishna movement's version -- or Paramahansananda Yogananda's three volume version in particular apply here) Sivanana's commentary is filled with deep insights into the various spiuritual paths delivered by a man who was widely acknowledged as being one of India's great spiritual teachers of the early to mid 20th century. (He died in 1963). He understands that the Gita teaches a variety of spititual paths and each is equally valid if followed with commitment. He delivers deep insights without watering the Gita down for the "masses." --By Nigel on February 28, 2005
About the Author
Sivananda Saraswati (8 September 1887 14 July 1963) was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in Pattamadai, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He studied medicine and served in British Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up monasticism. He lived most part of his life near Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh. He was the founder of the Divine Life Society (DLS) in 1936, Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy (1948) and author of over 200 books on yoga, Vedanta and a variety of subjects. He established Sivananda Ashram, the headquarters of the DLS, on the bank of the Ganges at Sivanandanagar, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Rishikesh. Sivananda Yoga, the yoga form propagated by his disciple Vishnudevananda, is now spread in many parts of the world through Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. These centres are not affiliated with Sivananda's ashrams, which are run by the Divine Life Society.
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