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Re: REQUEST : Bhagavad Gita commentary

Posted By Daly de Gagne (ambika@mbnet.mb.ca)
Thu, 09 Jan 1997 08:51:00 -0600

In article <ghenE3q2BC.A5B@netcom.com>, mpt0002@jove.acs.unt.edu (Michael
Tandy) wrote:

> In article <ghenE3LwHz.F3v@netcom.com>, kenrickm@worldnet.att.net says...
> >
> >Can anyone tell me if there are any Bhagavad gita English commentaries
> >other than by Swami Prabhupada ?
> Frankly, I have found that, almost without exception, other Gita
> commentaries introduce ideas that are dubiously supported by or even
> explicitly rejected by the text of Gita itself. It's therefore hard
> for me to recommend these commentaries as authoritative or
> authentic. I just thought I'd mention it.
> -m

Namaste.

There are many English commentaries on the Gita, covering a whole range
from scholarly to practical works useful for the ordinary seeker.

I have used Eknath Easwaran's three-volume commentary extensively, both
for myself and in work with hospital patients and provincial jail inmates
of non-Hindu background here in Manitoba. In a way it would be more
correct to say Easwaran's work is a commentary on life, using the Gita
slokas as a basis for his comments. He's a witty, articulate writer (by
the way, his translation of the Gita is very poetic and, I am told,
faithful as well to the Sanskrit).

One inmate I worked with borrowed the first volume of the commentary from
me, faithfully read it in his jail cell, and over a period of a couple of
weeks took up the practice of meditation recommended by Easwaranji, and
became a vegetarian. He has continued his practice since release from
jail.

Radhakrishnan's commentary on Gita is at the scholarly end, and for the
average reader is not all that useful

Apart from the various controversies on this group, Sri Satya Sai Baba's
Gita discourses are very eloquent and also give a practical exposition of
living by the words of Krishna Bhagavan Ji.

If you are beginning to read the Gita for the first time, please focus
initially on the second chapter, which some consider to be the Gita within
the Gita. The last 18 slokas, the Lord's answer to Arjuna's question to
tell him about the person of wisdom's characteristics is some of the most
powerful, suscinct spiritual guidance ever given.

Various commentators on Gita, including Sai Baba, have said that just one
sloka can be enough to take a person to realization.

I hope this helps.

Daly

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