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Dialogue between the warrior, Arjuna, and his charioteer, the god Krishna, discusses the purpose of war, the importance of duty, and the spiritual nature of existence, in a new translation of this ancient Hindu poem that forms one section of the epic Mahabharata. 100,000 first printing.
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On the list of the greatest spiritual books of all time, the Bhagavad Gita resides permanently in the top echelon. This poem of patently Indian genius sprouted an immense tree of devotional, artistic and philosophical elaboration in the subcontinent. The scene is a battlefield with the prince Arjuna pitted against his own family, but no sooner does the poem begin than the action reverts inward. Krishna, Arjuna's avatar and spiritual guide, points the way to the supreme wisdom and perfect freedom that lie within everyone's reach. Worship and be faithful, meditate and know reality--these make up the secret of life and lead root of the world. In this titular translation, Stephen Mitchell's rhythms are faultless, making music of this ancient "Song of the Blessed One". Savour his rendition, but nibble around the edges of his introduction. In a bizarre mixture of praise and condescension, Mitchell disregards two millennia of Indian commentary, seeking illumination on the text from Daoism and Zen, with the Gita coming up just shy of full spiritual merit. Perhaps we should take it from Gandhi, who used the Gita as a handbook for life, that it nourishes on many levels. --Brian BruyaReview:
"Of this world-beloved, timeless classic this is the most poetic rendition."
-- Huston Smith
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