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Re: REQUEST : Bhagavad Gita commentary

Posted By Michael Tandy (mpt0002@jove.acs.unt.edu)
11 Jan 1997 18:13:55 GMT

In article <ghenE3toyt.426@netcom.com>, ambika@mbnet.mb.ca says...
Namas te.
> 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.
It has been pointed out many times by others that this tendency is
common among commentators other than Srila Prabhupada. This is an
observation that may be seen as ISKCON blather by Mr. Parrikar.
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).
I never intended to suggest that other commentaries are without
any appreciable worth; I only meant to clarify the fact that
are usually not closely associated with the text of the Gita and
its traditional (paramparagata) commentaries. In
light of what Sri Krsna says in the beginning of chapter four
about the proper mode of receiving the Gita (evam
parampara-praptam), I think this is a very important point.
>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
Again, one who knows nothing of the Gita will probably find
much to be appreciated in these works, and there is nothing
wrong with that as far as I'm concerned. We should try to find
value in everything.
>Radhakrishnan's commentary on Gita is at the scholarly end, and for the
>average reader is not all that useful
But, as has already been mentioned, its philosophy is ultimately
illogical. And there are indeed some bizarre interpretations
of very straightforward texts that are just too far-fetched for
me to take seriously.

>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.
One might be more impressed by this if Babaji didn't neglect to
correct the hundreds of people who claim that he is God.
>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.
This was Mahatma Gandhi's position (in case you were wondering,
Rajan). He felt that after the second chapter, Lord Krsna had
little more to add. However, that is not what Krsna Himself said.
The ninth chapter is explicitly mentioned as the most confidential
knowledge. Significantly, in the same passage, the Lord added that
one must be nonenvious and faithful in order to appreciate it.
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.
No argument here. One important thing though, is that one must
hear these sastras from qualified and authorized acaryas who don't
manufacture anything new or try to screw any inconsistent meaning
out of the text. This is very important, and it is again directly
mentioned in chapter four, right there where the parampara system
is advocated. It's not easy for conditioned souls to swallow this,
which is why they often try to interpret their way out of such a

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