Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation
Tranlated by: Gavin Flood and Charles Martin
Reviewed by Sarah Newell
Imagine you are on the precipice of a great battle. You are an ancient warrior lined up with your faction facing the opposing army. As each side prepares for battle you realize what a great loss this will be for both armies. With two sides of a great family facing each other cousins will fight cousins, uncles will slay uncles, and neighbors will maim neighbors.
This is the point at which we enter the ancient Hindu scripture The Bhagavad Gita. In the epic poem, we meet the great warrior Arjuna and the god Krishna, posing as the warrior’s charioteer. Through their conversation Krishna teaches us about universal themes such as life and death, war and peace, and virtue and sacrifice. Seen as a spiritual text, the reader learns how right action supersedes all, and the act of doing while relinquishing all attachment to the outcome is the path to enlightenment. The Bhagavad Gita has inspired, among others, Mahatma Gandhi, J. Robert Oppenheimer, T. S. Eliot, Christopher Isherwood and Aldous Huxely.
A weighty yet beautifully translated work, I highly suggest anyone on a spiritual quest to read The Bhagavad Gita.
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About the reviewer: Formerly a part-time reference librarian at TPL, Sarah enjoys meditating and hiking. So far not both at the same time.