The Bhagavad Gita: The Original Sanskrit and An English Translation
translated by Lars Martin Fosse 224 pages 6 x 9 glossary index
At last, an edition of the Bhagavad Gita that speaks with unprecedented fidelity and clarity, letting the profound beauty and depth of this classic shine through. It contains an unusually informative introduction, the Sanskrit text of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institutes critical edition, an accurate and accessible English translation, a comprehensive glossary of names and epithets and a thorough index.
From the Introduction
You are about to have the profound pleasure of reading one of the truly great books in the history of the world. Not only is it a spiritual monument—an essential scripture of Hinduism, recited daily for two millennia and to this very day, whose teachings have spread throughout Asia and around the globe—it is also a literary masterpiece, the linchpin of a great epic of war and peace, honor and disgrace, loyalty and betrayal. It is a book people everywhere in the world return to again and again throughout their lives for insight into the nature of reality.
If the light of a thousand suns had risen in the sky at the same time, that would have equaled the splendor of that great soul.
There, in the body of the god of gods, the son of Pandu beheld the whole world, united in its infinite diversity.
Dhananjaya, struck with amazement, his body hair bristling, bowed his head to the god and spoke with folded hands.
Arjuna said, I see all the gods in your body, Lord, with the different hosts of beings—the lord Brahma sitting on his lotus seat, all the sages, the divine serpents.
I see you with countless arms, bellies, faces, and eyes, your form stretching endlessly in all directions. I see no end, no middle, nor beginning of you, lord of the universe with universal form.
I see you with your crown, your mace, and your discus; a glowing mass shining in all directions with the splendor of blazing fire and the sun on all sides, difficult to behold, immeasurable.
You are the immutable, the supreme, that which should be known. You are the ultimate repository of this universe. You are the immortal guardian of the eternal law. I know you as the everlasting spirit.
Without a beginning, a middle, or an end, with endless power, countless arms, with the moon and the sun as your eyes, I see you with your mouth as a blazing fire, burning this universe with your fiery energy.
For this space between heaven and earth and all four directions is pervaded by you alone. Seeing this wondrous and terrifying form of yours, the three worlds tremble, great soul!
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What the Critics are Saying
I have read several English interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita, and so far this is the easiest read I have experienced. There is a good introduction, along with explanations of names in the back, along with an index. For those that want to get a good introduction, with an easy read, this is the book for you.
I like Lars Martin Fosses Gita because it is clear and straightforward.
Margo von Romberg
The Lars Martin Fosse translation shows the Devanagari in a large and readable font. . . . Therefore, the serious student of Sanskrit will purchase this edition of the Bhagavad Gita.
The introduction is worth the price alonecovering the history of the Mahabarata epic, Indias great contribution to mythological and religious writing. The translation goes verse by verse with the Sanskrit text of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institutes critical edition. This makes a handy reference for the Sanskrit scholar. There is a comprehensive glossary of names and a good index. If you are studying this work for comparative religions, great books, mythology or other college work, you will find this a useful edition.
I think that Fosses book is distinguished by his clear and informative introduction to the Gita for the general reader. He does a good job of placing the work in the Hindu tradition and gives some idea of its history in English. There is a glossary of names (since Fosse uses the many epithets from the original in his translation) and an index. As with the other books from YogaVidya.com, the original Sanskrit is given along with the English translation, verse by verse. . . . Bottom line: this is a fine addition to the list of excellent English translations of the Gita, handsomely presented as usual by YogaVidya.com, and a good choice for first-time readers and for those who know Sanskrit.
This is a luminous translation that performs the exceptional feat of bringing the Gita fully alive in a Western language, combining accuracy with accessibility. In our troubled times, humanity needs the message of this sacred scripture as never before.
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