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Bhagavad Gita The Song of God (Prabhavananda)

Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God (Prabhavananda)

translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood

Our translation f the Bhagavad Gita uses the beauty of verse to express the highest truths of Vedanta. Includes an introduction to the Gita, and a study of non-violence versus the need to fight a just war.

 The critics have singled out this translation:"The book is self-contained. A complete stranger to the Hindu gospel can pick it up and in one or two evenings follow the poem from its terrific beginnings to its sublime end." -- New York Times

 "A distinguished literary work." - Time Magazine, "A highly readable interpretive translation."- American Library Association, "The best from a literary point of view." -- Aldous Huxley.

How Swami Prabhavananda's translation came about:
"once I was away for a rest in Palm Springs I had a Gita translation with me. When I read the twelfth chapter, I felt that the meaning had not been brought out; I saw deeper meaning in it. So I started to translate, and then Chris helped me.

"I translated and Chris edited. When Peggy Kiskadden came, she read what we had done and could not understand it. Then we went to Aldous. Chris read aloud, and Aldous listened. Aldous said, 'No, that is not right yet. Forget that Krishna is speaking to the Hindus in Sanskrit. Forget that this is a translation. Think that Krishna is speaking to an American audience in English.'

"Then Aldous told Chris which style  to use for verse. Chris rewrote the whole eleventh chapter of the Gita following Tennyson, I think. He produced the book in a week He was inspired."


Excerpts from The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God

Let him who would climb
In meditation
To heights of the highest
Union with Brahman
Take for his path
The yoga of action.

Then when he nears that path of oneness,
His acts will fall from him,
His path will be tranquil.
When goodness grows weak
When evil increases
I make myself a body.

In every age I come back
To deliver the holy,
To destroy the sin of the sinner,
To establish righteousness.

Whatever wish men bring me in worship
That wish I grant them.
Whatever path men travel
It is my path:
No matter where they walk
It leads to me.
It is my path:

Table of Contents
Translator's Preface
Introduction by Aldous Huxley
Gita and Mahabharata

The Sorrow of Arjuna
The Yoga of Knowledge
Karma Yoga
Renunciation Through Knowledge
The Yoga of Renunciation
The Yoga of Meditation
Knowledge and Experience
The Way to Eternal Brahman
The Yoga of Mysticism
Divine Glory
The Vision of God in His Universal Form
The Yoga of Devotion
The Field and Its Knower
The Three Gunas
Devotion to the Supreme Spirit
Divine and Demonic Tendencies
Three Kinds of Faith
The Yoga of Renunciation

The Cosmology of the Gita
The Gita and War

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224 pages, US paperback
978-0-87481-043-1 $12.95
224 pages, US deluxe hardback
978-0-87481-008-0 $21.00

Customer Reviews:

Global Rating: 5.00 from 5 reviews.

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Anonymous Jul 20, 2008
  If the book had originally been in English, I think this is the form the book would have taken. It's poetry and prose of the highest order.

From the literary point alone this is an incredible book. If I had only one book to take to a deserted island, the Prabhavananda/Isherwood translation would be the book to take.
Anonymous Feb 28, 2010
  The Prabhavananda/ Isherwood translation is one you can read again and again, as one should a spiritual book. It's that good.

Anonymous Oct 29, 2010
  The translation is seamless and message sublime. A wonderful introduction to Hindu philosophy, and the concepts of karma yoga, and other paths to enlightenment.
Anonymous Feb 10, 2010
  I purchased a number of copies to distribute to my 20-something children and relatives for Xmas with the gentle suggestion that at some point in your life you must read this (including Huxley's introduction). I do not exaggerate when I say I first read this in college 40 years ago and I've never been the same since.
Anil Bakshi Milford Oh US May 24, 2008
  The introduction by Aldous Huxley is a very fine preamble to understand a few terms of nature, cosmos in Indian context that have no equivalent in English, hence these have been used as it is. Here this preamble is very valuable to get a feel of the philosophy in its best context.

The Swami and Christopher Isherwood have chosen rhyme and blank verse to share exactly what is the purport. There are no lofty sermons, no exalted, long winded interpretations. These have been left for the reader to delve deep. Very exact, focused, extremely relevant translation in simple English for a house holder, family persons, young and uninitiated. The aim of the translators has been to share the Song of God as it is. They have not interposed themselves between the message and the reader.

In few pages, that can be carried in a pocket, hats off to Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood for this work done decades ago. They have kept it simple, readable, direct. It makes an immensely intense reading, takes minimum effort in reaching our thought process and daily transactions.

A must read for all, the book speaks of a universal theme of duty, right, wrong, and can be read by all.

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