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Thread: English translations

  1. #1

    English translations

    I hope to get some advice/opinions from the group regarding several English translations of the Bhagavad Gita. The ones I am currently comparing are:

    Eknath Easwaran
    Swami Nikhilananda
    Shri Purohit Swami
    Gandhi
    Ranchor Prime
    Edwin Arnold
    Prabhupada
    Mohini Chatterji
    Roy Eugene Davis

    How would you rank each of them as far as accuracy and scholarship? Are there any of these with a particularly poor reputation? Is there a better translation that I have overlooked?

    Thanks,
    Jim Banes

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    Re: English translations

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Banes View Post
    I hope to get some advice/opinions from the group regarding several English translations of the Bhagavad Gita. The ones I am currently comparing are:

    Eknath Easwaran
    Swami Nikhilananda
    Shri Purohit Swami
    Gandhi
    Ranchor Prime
    Edwin Arnold
    Prabhupada
    Mohini Chatterji
    Roy Eugene Davis

    How would you rank each of them as far as accuracy and scholarship?Jim Banes
    Hello Jim,
    Good Question... I have been fortunate to read several versions of the gita. Getting multiple points of view is key ( I believe) to round out ones understanding. I found Srila Prabhupada's good work. One I did not see on your list is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - one of the best, yet Maharishi has only did the first 6 chapters ( as some see this great work in 3's; 1 to 6, 7-12 and 13 to 18 chapters). Another is by S. Radhakrishnan and one that many do not have in their sights is by Sri Jnanadeva, only on this planet for 20 years his work is most insightful. If you look for it it goes by Bhavatha Dipika, and called Jnaneshwari ( Samata Books in Madras, India carries this publication).
    Now, as I have learned - look to the author that is insightful and for me, does not see Arjuna as down trodden and lost.. he is the sisya of the Lord and friend. He asks profound questions and takes on the role as the student as he surrenders to Sri Keshava ( one one beautiful hair).
    He at times talks of his internal turmoil of the battle, family, angst, yet is brilliant as he pays close attention to the Lord's words and instuctions.
    And in the end ( last chapter) clearly points out " I remember" - what does he remember? His universal status of Being.

    Also look to Swami Krishnanada's commentry on this body of work as he too brings out the brillance and relevence of the teaching. This can be found on line at the Divine Life Web site or Googling on Swami Krishnanada.

    The Gita is a profond work and can be read by various sadhu's at different levels of thier spiritual progress and brings a level of learning and appreciation of the integration of life - of the material and spiritual.

    Hope this helps...
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3

    Re: English translations

    I can't thank you enough for pointing me to the Divine Life Web site! Their collection on-line books will keep me occupied for quite a while!

    Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Gita was one I had initially considered including, but I decided not to since it was, as you pointed out, incomplete.

    Many thanks,
    Jim Banes

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    Re: English translations

    Swami Krishnananda's Website is at:
    http://www.swami-krishnananda.org

    The Divine Life Society's Websites are at:
    http://www.sivanandadlshq.org
    http://sivanandaonline.org/

    The International Gita Society Website is at:
    http://www.gita-society.com/

  5. #5

    Re: English translations

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo View Post
    Swami Krishnananda's Website is at:
    http://www.swami-krishnananda.org

    The Divine Life Society's Websites are at:
    http://www.sivanandadlshq.org
    http://sivanandaonline.org/

    The International Gita Society Website is at:
    http://www.gita-society.com/
    Thank you for posting the links. The International Gita Society's site is espeically helpful for me because it offers different study levels and study plans to match the level of experience, or the frequency of time one can devote to it. Or you can read it or hear it in audio. Very nice.
    Many other features at the site also, but these are most helpful to me.

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    Re: English translations

    My personal favorite translation (though I have by no means read all of those on your list) is by Juan Mascaro.
    Last edited by dharma66; 22 August 2007 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Spelling errors

  7. #7

    Re: English translations

    Hare Krishna Jim Barnes,

    I would recommend you "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" by Srila Prabhupada.
    You can read online http://vedabase.net/bg/

    Also another great is "Gita Bhushan" by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushan.
    You can get it from http://www.krishnaculture.com.

    Santosh

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    Re: English translations

    I would like you to add the following to the list of Books on Bhagavad Gita :

    BHAGAVAD GITA BHASYA OF SRI SANKARACARYA: With Text in Devanagiri & English Translation. A.G. Krishna Warrier.
    BHAGAVAD GITA BHASYA OR SRI MADHVACARYA. B.N.K. Sharma.
    BHAGAVAD GITA. Swami Chidbhavananda

    Regards,
    Brahmanyan

  9. #9

    Re: English translations

    Gita can not be understood by mere translation . Its detailed knowledge is explained by Vedastra: Vedastras

    The only inference of Gita is contentment, which teaches the reader to be attentive and impartial. For example, I take the first chapter named as Vishadyog . The word Vishad does not mean plain lamentation .See vishad is used in Ramcharitmanas..
    When Sitaji came from Ravnas Ashoka vatika, lord Rama used some tough words..

    Tehi karan Raghunayak kahe kachhuk durvad,
    Sunat jatudhani sab lagi Karen Vishad .

    Now see that those lady demons who were trying to kill Sitaji , here are showing the grief, so this grief is only false lamentation .
    Similarly Arjun was showing the grief due to hallucination and Krsn understood it, therefore Krsn called the Arjun klaibya or impotentKlaibyam ma sm gamah parth..
    Can anybody think a chariot driver to call the warrior ,klaibya, till he is not right enough. Krsn not only said it but made a mockery [ smiling is not correct ]of Arjun. ..prahasanah+iva
    Now again see the beauty of Gita, Arjun says to Krsn that there is no way , which could remove my grief of drying senses .Gita uses here, the word GovindaGovindam+uktwa. Who is Govindathe giver the right pleasure to senses .


  10. #10

    Re: English translations

    Another translator was William Q. Judge, a Theosophist.

    Also do not forget the Anu-gita, which is the rest of it and more Yoga teaching from Krishna to Arjuna.

    I like to see the commentary of great philosophers, but I would like to know if there is an edition with no commentary--so it is portable to carry around with other books.

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