The Bhagavad Gita ("The Lord's Song") is a profound religious text and an essential part of the Hindu religion. For a westerner, however, it is almost impossible to understand without previous knowledge of Hindu philosophy or copious annotation. This book, consisting of Gandhi's translation of the Gita, as well as commentary he presented to his followers at prayer meetings in 1926, is an important and highly-regarded version of the ancient text. Gandhi's commentary, actually comprising about two-thirds of the work, was lucid, profound, and clearly indicative of the deep wisdom of one of the twentieth-century's greatest men. It greatly enhanced my understanding of the Gita. This is a great translation of a great relious work, with explanations by a great man. Not surprisingly, this adds up to a great book. Highly recommended.
One of the most frustrating things in finding a good translation of the Bhagavad Gita is also finding one not bogged down in an endless commentary. Editions with only the text of the Gita are very rare, and this book is no exception. Amazingly enough, however, this edition contains a commentary that's just as interesting and involving as the text itself--so much so that you don't even care that the commentary comprises the majority of the book! One element that would always be helpful would be to include some (if not all) of the original text, but even still this a good translation, and relatively unbaised if you're aware of what the text originally says. Sadly, this version is not as popular as the Bhagavad Gita As It Is (published by Hare Krishna), although in my opinion it is certainly more spiritual and more reliable.
Ghandi's translation of the Bhagavad-Gita is fantastic. Unlike other translations, where you find yourself constantly flipping to a notes section, Ghandi inserts his commentary throughout the passages of this ancient poem. His comments are always direct and to the point, not so much offering an opinion on the meaning of the text, but fleshing out the message, often relating it to his own experiences. As for the Bhagavad-Gita itself, it's a wonderful insight into life, love, death and God. It is not a manual of dos and don'ts; rather it is a guide to the challenges we all face in our lives. Anyone can benefit from Krishna's words of wisdom, regardless of their religion, beliefs or background. Highly recommended.
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