April 07, 2011
I have always had a passion for the Gita, more commonly known as the Song of God, with the deity Krishna telling his friend Arjuna why he should go into battle against people who were once his friends, as well as his family. It is a poem of devotion and love but it is a complex poem that touches philosophy, and it's not your run of the mill philosophy either. The Gita is not the easiest book in the world to understand, especially when translated from Sanskrit into English, it seems to loose something and up until now I have not been able to put my finger on what that "loss" was. Reading Jack Hawley's translation I can now see where other translators have gone wrong (for me personally). They have been quite LITERAL in their translation of the Gita and in being so literal have lost the passion that is the telling of the Gita. Jack has managed to put that passion into his translation and I cannot thank him enough. He has switched a light on inside my head and now I don't have to phone my father every five minutes shouting "Baba, what does this part of the Gita mean????" Not only that but this version of the Gita is so easy to read, with a good bibliography and index at the back for reference, plus some interesting musings from the author in the introduction and afterword. It is also a fairly compact book, which makes it easy to carry around, a bonus in my opinion, especially as most Gita's I have come across are bulky and very heavy. We could do with this translation being available in the United Kingdom; it would make life for the younger Hindus like myself so much easier.
--Kali "Bengaligirl" (Amazon)