By Steven J. Rosen
Rosen deals Westerners an easy-to-read creation to a sacred textual content, demystifying its significant philosophy in a common approach. this isn't one more translation, basically reiterating what the Gita itself has to assert. it is very an try and culturally translate the textual content, utilizing techniques and different types to which Western readers are accustomed. by way of enticing primary motifs—such as problems with modernity, pop-culture icons, and famous philosophers within the West—the writer brings the Gita into concentration for non-specialists and students alike. via a sequence of up to date information references and insightful summaries, readers will ultimately comprehend the proof and personalities that make up the Bhagavad Gita.Using his a long time of Gita-centered examine, Rosen unlocks the mysteries of the text's religious underpinnings. He offers an summary of the Gita's narrative and teachings along documentation of its conventional software and extra smooth ways that the textual content could be understood. scholars and students alike will celebrate in how good this publication lays naked the tradition and the context of the Gita, leading to a reader's deep familiarity with this so much sacred of the entire world's knowledge texts.
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Additional info for Krishna's Song: A New Look at the Bhagavad Gita
Instead, he must dedicate his life to the larger concern of human protection (lokasamgraha), undistracted by family ties and without attachment to the results of his actions. The sacrifice he performs then becomes an act of yoga due to its one-pointed focus on the task before him, in service to God. Consequently, in Arjuna’s world, war was seen as the proper sacrifice for the warrior (kshatriya), a sacrifice that potentially included the loss of one’s life on the battlefield. It is this notion of unattached action (in contrast to the Vedantic renunciation of action itself) that distinguishes the teaching of the Gita.
And this is all true enough. But it is likely that the allegory stops there. Though there are traditional commentaries giving credence to allegorical interpretations,4 it is clear that these readings of the text are always considered subservient to a literal understanding—an additional perspective that can illuminate inner teachings. But the allegorical version never stands on its own. Even if the Gita is taken as an allegory, the militaristic imagery can still lead to violence, and a war of astounding proportions still ensues in the Mahabharata.
Gandhi theorized that the text was not about historical war but rather about the battle that goes on in each individual heart. His interpretation was derived from the Theosophical Society, notably, the works of Subba Row, William Q. Judge, and Annie Besant, who were among that Society’s earliest members. They conveyed to him their metaphorical approach to the Gita, which spoke to his purposes directly. Here was a way to accept the scripture of his motherland and to use it to support his doctrine of nonviolence.