Bhagavad Gita - best English translation?

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by IowaGuy, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Any recommendations for your preferred English translation of the Gita for someone not familiar with the text? The Gita is on my upcoming winter reading list and I see on the Internet that there have been over 200 English translations. I realize, just like the bible, there are probably pros/cons or a personal preference for each translation, but just curious if there is one that most English-speakers prefer...

    Thanks,
    Iowa Guy
     
  2. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Bhagavad Gita and Its Message
    Aurobindo Ghose

    seems to be highly recommended...

    ...you could start a thread on it... :)
     
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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  4. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    Of course you prompt me to recommend:

    "Bhagavad-gita As-it-Is" Translated into english (with commentary) by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.

    NOTE: This is most orthodox Hindu rendering by a supremely qualified sanskrit scholar and translator. Each of the 700 verses are presented in their original sanskrit script + each Sanskrit word is phoneticly translated along with its English-Word-for-word meaning.

    Now for my opinion:

    All gitas, if translated from the original sanskrit by a learned sanskrit scholar will more or less say the same thing ---the differences in translation occur with the 'recognition and acknowledgement' of Krishna as God the person; versus that translation that 'overlooks and aviods' the verbatim rendering that declares openly that Krishna is God (Bhagavan) ---thus, there are two schools of Gita renderings: the Personalist Theistic conclusion; or, impersonal salvationalist conclusion.

    Some gitas are rendered into prose or poetic metre; some are too flowery or technical in language ---BUT, allow to make a HUGH POINT:

    There are hundreds of casual & quick references to people/places/things/concepts/past histories that could be glossed over with no lose of comprehension by the reader ---but, I highly recommend reading the Epic from whence the "700 verse chapter" of the "Gita" is found, read the Mahabharata by Kamala Subramaniam.
    Amazon.com: Mahabharata (9788172764050): Tr.kamala Subramaniam: Books

    This is an old-time best seller classic rendering.
    The provenace for this rendering is non-other than, India's educational trust, named, Bharat Vidya Bhavan.
    Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    By reading the Mahabharata you will be exposed to a who's who gallery of the royal court intrigue that lead up to the Chapter known as the Bhagavad-Gita (the Song of God).
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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  6. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    Am I guilty of always going off on tangents?

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Have you watched the Mahabharata movie by B.R. Chopra? It is on DVD on 16 Disks lasting approx 94 Hours long?

    The subtitles are in French, spanish & English. The audio is in Hindi language.


    Any Little-India section of Town with a Video store.

    It was made approx 10 years ago and it was televised all over India.

    Everyone would stop to watch it nation wide.

    You can see bits and pieces of it on YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. (YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.)

    search: Mahabharata, B.R. Chopra

    http://www.amazon.com/Mahabharat-DVD-Aloka-Mukerjee/dp/B00023JH72


    ::::::::::::::::::::::::
    Bhaktajan’s thought:

    During the beginning of 1900's in America there was silent Blank & White Cinema Movies.

    A movie producer created the movie titled "The Bible" -- please consider what it was like for people who, for generations, had only imagined in their own minds what it was like to see, meet and be there during the days of Biblical Times.

    The Biblical Stories were often enacted on stage only during holy festivals [as even done during Muslim religious feativals]-- but when Cecil B. DeMille's classic 1923 Hollywood Silent film "The Ten Commandments" --the audiences must have cried openly to see enacted the very pastimes of their lord that they were so familiar with by way of hearing the stories passed down from older folks and books.

    Now, you too can see the Mahabharata and the Lord’s Pastimes in the comfort of your home.

    So, even if you aren't in town when Krishna shows-up, we can see Krishna's pastimes in our living room.

    spreading the mercy and the bit of chutney too,
    Bhaktajan
     
  7. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Is that a rhetorical question or do you really want an answer :)

    Thanks for the info, I look forward to reading the Gita this winter... And maybe checking out those videos. But I am quickly learning that there's not enough time in this lifetime for everything on my reading/video list!

    IG
     
  8. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's at least 15 years old. Picked up a video version with the Bhagavad Vita bit in - absolutely brilliant, and somewhat hilarious to boot. But the part where Krishna reveals his true self is amazing. Best watched stoned. :)
     

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