on 2 September 2010
No version of the Gita can be "As it is"....the Gita is eternal and beholds the truth to the reader however it's the reader who actually interpretes it. This very fact makes the Gita eternal and timeless. All writers irrespective of how well versed they are, will and surely allow his or her own understanding to creep in. The author's interpretation is commendable and very straight forward. This version is unique since it explores the hidden knowledge of Yoga. If you are interested in the lyrical side of the Gita then the one translated by Juan Mascaro is more suitable and probably the best translation.
This translation in particular, scores above the others since the original Sanskrit text is also written in the Roman script which helps in reading the Gita as an "Eternal Song". Furthermore every Sanskrit word is translated into English, which is helpful if you are clueless about Sanskrit. I like this translation since the Roman script allows me to interpret the eternal for myself and this is the essence of the Gita. This translation is a must along with the one translated by Juan Mascaro to develop a fuller understanding of the philosophy of the Gita.
on 11 June 2000
This book is a brilliant tour de force of spiritual realisation. Brightly illuminating the deepest meanings of the text, and making it very clear what Krishna was saying when he first spoke the Gita to Arjuna, Prabhupada takes us by the hand and leads us to realms of unlimited bliss. The evidence speaks for itself. Prabhupada himself said that before he presented this translation and commentary there were over fifty English versions of the Gita available in the West, and not a single person had become God conscious as a result of reading them - the essential aim of the Gita. However, when his book appeared it started a worldwide movement of people who dedicated their lives to God. The movement is still growing as thousands of people discover these wonderful teachinsg each year, transforming their lives into a dynamic spiritual quest for the absolute. Every day I study this book and am amazed by the ever deeper levels of transcendental knowledge it contains. It is my manual for sanity and happiness. Whenever things are difficult, a dip into the pages of Prabhupada's Gita will throw everything into its proper perspective. If I were to be cast away on some desert island with just one book, this would be the one. It is a veritable treasure chest of knowledge, or, as the Vedas themselves say, a desire tree that can fulfil your every wish. Buy it today.
on 16 January 2010
Who am I? Why am I here? Why am I who I am? (Why a person instead of a cat or a horse, for instance?) How come some people are disadvantaged in life whilst others aren't? These are some of the questions I had when I first read Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-Gita in a rather challenging manner.
Not only were these questions answered, but they were answered in a spirit that existed when the Gita was first spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. This is because the taxonomy, mindset and attitude of the Vedic times has been brought to us by Srila Prabhupada through an unbroken chain of guru-disciple succession. That's why if you must read the Gita, it has to be through Srila Prabhupada's translation and commentary.
When I first picked up this edition some thirty two years ago, it was with trepidation that the translation may be inaccurate. But over the years, having learnt Sanskrit and seeing the transparency of Srila Prabhupada's translation (he provides word-for-word meanings for each verse!), I can say that this is very faithful to what Lord Krishna wished to convey. Indeed, you need to be attuned to the Vedic times and culture, as Srila Prabhupada is, in order to translate this scripture that is the bible of Hinduism.
So in conclusion, if you are at all curious about the purpose of life, karma, yoga, bhakti and a myriad of other philosophical questions that have exercised the human mind across millenia, then you MUST READ Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-Gita!
on 5 December 2004
After trawling through many copies and translations of the Gita, i eventually stumbled upon this, and needless to say it's been a long time coming. This version of the Gita, supposedly as it is, is the best version i have found, not just in terms of it's readability, but it's ease of understanding.
It comes in both english and sanskrit with roman transliteration to assits with pronunciation, which proves extremely useful in helping to understand the text and allows you to appreciate the flow and delivery of the text, and purports after each verse help to build an image of the proceedings of the battle while giving key historical references that help your understanding of the Gita.
The translation is somewhat literal and lacks an aspect of poetry, but the meanings are clear and easy to appreciate and this version clearly deserves 5 stars.
There is also a very useful glossary in the back to help you understanding of the terms used in the Gita and some of the historical references. It is well worth looking up some of these references as there are striking similarities in some scientific findings and the hindu mythology.
on 27 October 2010
"Unlike other editions of the Gita," says the blurb, "this one is presented as it is--without the slightest taint of adulteration or personal motivation."
Well-meaning as the author (and his admirers) may be, it is foolish to claim that any text has no taint of personal motivation: by the simple expedient of setting pen to paper, one's own views (however well or poorly represented) inevitably find their way through. Any translation is the same -- the key is in the word "translation": one thing translated (or changed) into another. In this case, it's the Gita translated from Sanskrit to (American) English. And, of course, the translator's own views shine through, particularly in the "purports" which are at once lengthy and, it has to be said, often repetetive.
I do not doubt that the writer set out to produce a translation "without adulteration"; but it is less than honest (or, which is perhaps worse, less than insightful) to claim, as the title specifically implies, that this is the Gita "As it is". It is not. It is the Gita, translated into one of very many versions in English -- and one, it must be noted, which is specifically intended to further the work of the translator's own foundation, ISKCON.
None of this is in itself bad, of course; it is perfectly reasonable to put one's own interpretation on a scripture -- how else can scripture be interpreted? But it is bad either to mis-represent or, more seriously, not to realise that one's own translation can at best be that -- a translation.
All this being said, this is a good edition of the Gita. It's relatively accessible, provides food for thought, and is nicely presented. The merely interested would perhaps benefit from reading a far shorter edition (there are many); the scholar will no doubt consult it as one of many versions, and in particular one which conveys the spirit of Bhakti yoga and, especially, ISKCON; but those seeking to understand the place and spiritual value of the Gita should at least be told that this is not "the" edition, not actually "as it is" at all.
on 11 October 2004
Spoken over 5000 years ago this book has been translated many times over. This version however is as-it-is. Its an amazing piece of work by the editor and a must for all.
After reading the Gita every other book seems mundane. You just seem to want more and more from the author. Bhagavad Gita is great but this author really tells us in simple and straight forward language. He seems to be selfless and very sincere in his writing. I have read it once and am on my second round. And I find something new each time. I can see myself reading this book all my life again and again. Sometimes when I need an answer its in this book. And I feel more spiritual and happier too. There are so many books out there which claim to do so much, to help make us happy and understand ourselves, life etc. But this book offers the reader everything. With so much going on in the world..so many changes, terrorism, crime, depression etc.. this book really opens your eyes into what is going on and how we can stay afloat of such problems we may face and anxieties we may have. It helps us understand how to live in this world, accepting challenges we face and accepting our position / role in life. It helps us challenge and face lifes problems yet shows us how to not get entangled in these problems. It teaches us the essence of Yoga and meditation. The meaning of devotion, who we are, who is God, our relationship with each other and our relationship with God. It has done so much for me personally and has helped my family too. And as a book read widely throughout the world I am sure it has helped millions of others. I can go on and on talking about how great this book is. ANd not just about how it has helped me and how much I like it but I can go on discussing the phylisophy and book itself. WOW. Go ahead and try this book.
Here is a breakdown of all the chapters.
1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra
2: Contents of the Gita Summarized
4: Transcendental Knowledge
5: Karma-yoga - Action in Krsna Consciousness
7: Knowledge of the Absolute
8: Attaining the Supreme
9: The Most Confidential Knowledge
10:The Opulence of the Absolute
11:The Universal Form
13:Nature, the Enjoyer, and Consciousness
14:The Three Modes Of Material Nature
15:The Yoga of the Supreme Person
16:The Divine And Demoniac Natures
17:The Divisions of Faith
18:Conclusion--The Perfection of Renunciation
After buying this book I looked into other books from this author. All looked very interesting so I went and purchased them all including the 18 Volume Srimad Bhagavatam which is a great epic. Anyway, I would recommend you look into all of these books but start off by reading the Gita. I heard the editor wrote over 70 books in 11 years. Amazing work and such a great service to humanty. I hope you enjoy reading this masterpiece.
on 11 July 2014
This is sectarian Krishna-Consciousness movement translation. Original Sanskrit here is completely distorted to fit their imagination. Beware - this version of Gita is NOT hinduism as portrayed in sacred texts of the Vedas and Upanishads. If you want clear, poetic and unbiased translations pick any of these:
Aurobindo, Sri Essays On The Gita
Chinmayananda, Swami The Holy Geeta
Easwaran, Eknath Essence Of The Bhagavad Gita
Easwaran, Eknath The Bhagavad Gita
Gambhirananda, Swami Bhagavad Gita With The Commentary Of Sankaracarya
Nikhilananda, Swami The Bhagavad Gita
Ranganathananda, Swami Universal Message of the Bhagavad Gita (3 volumes)
Sargeant, Winthrop The Bhagavad Gita
Satchidananda, Swami The Living Gita
Yogananda, Paramahansa The Bhagavad Gita, God Talks With Arjuna
on 5 December 2014
Breathtaking at every moment and flooded with wisdom untouched by the passing of times, this translation and supplementary commentary will awaken one's heart to the true wonders of the world. The absolute essence of our loving relationship with God is contained in the pages of this book and so vast yet practically conceivable are its teachings that I will continue re-reading this masterpiece till my very last moments.
on 7 May 2014
A beautiful read.
Lord Krishna's words are captured int he Gita and this particular adaptation is easy to read and the purports give accurate translations.
The beauty of the Bhagavad Gita, is that it was spoken almost 8000 yeas ago, yet all humans can relate to it today. It makes sense and is a simple yet complex philosophy long forgotton by the West.
on 18 January 2013
This book, often referred to as "the song of God", will answer every question you've ever asked about life, death, the soul and it's eternal relationship with the divine. Though it is 3000 years older than the bible, you will be amazed how much it relates to the world as it is today. One for the intelligent enquirer.