About The Gita, A New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture:
Dr. Irina Gajjar characterizes Hinduism as,”…the ocean into which many rivers flow –the waters in the ocean are always changing, but the ocean stays the same.” The Gita, A New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture, is the first, lucid, self-contained and pure translation of the Gita to appear in English. Irina writes in beautiful captivating verse.
The words of the Gita, which contains the essence of the Hindu Scriptures, are so simple that they can be understood by a child and so clear that their meaning cannot be disputed. Yet the message these words convey is both profound and open, allowing each individual to find his or her own truth in them.
As the Gita unfolds, Arjun, one of the greatest heroes of Hindu Mythology stands in his chariot. He overlooks the two armies about to engage in the momentous battle glorified in the Mahabharata, India’s great Epic. Foreseeing the destruction he is about to brandish, Arjun tells Lord Krishna, “I will not fight” and lays his bow and arrows on the ground. In response, Lord Krishna delivers a sermon that has the power to bring wisdom, virtue and happiness to those who hear it and think about it with faithful hearts.
This translation of The Gita is written for any person interested reading it for the first time as well as for those who wish to re-visit the work over and over again to find fresh meaning and comfort in this ancient wisdom. The Sanskrit manuscript, illuminated by Navin Gajjar, faces each page of English text.
A short history of India and a summary of the beloved epic named The Mahabharata, place the Gita in context, enabling those who are not familiar with Hinduism or the history of India to get a sense of the people and the currents that gave birth to the ideas encompassed in the Gita. A Glossary contains a translation of Sanskrit terms that have been preserved to maintain the cadence of the original text.
Every person who has an interest in philosophy, in universal religions and in understanding Truth will find The Gita, A New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture, enlightening. It is one of the greatest, most exquisite works ever created by -or given to- humankind and it embodies the belief of over six billion people comprising nearly 15% of the world’s population.
Dr. Deepak Chopra endorses this work, saying, “Irina Gajjar has written a clear and contemporary version of one of the most important scriptures of the world’s wisdom traditions. This work is an important contribution and will help us all to have a deeper insight into the path of enlightenment.
Reviews and Commentaries
Deepak Chopra, Author, The Chopra Center for Well Being
Irina Gajjar has written a clear and contemporary version of one of the most important scriptures of the world’s wisdom traditions. This work is an important contribution and will help us all to have a deeper insight into the path of enlightenment.
Dr. Stefan Thomke, Harvard University
Dr. Gajjar’s work is a true translation and directly conveys the messages written on Sanskrit text facing each page. The English prose is beautiful and reads like poetry, harmonizing with the cadence of the Sanskrit verses.
You Know Me is a must for Hindus, for persons who wish to understand Hindu values, and for philosophers who question the meaning of human existence in a universal context.
Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, Fall 2003
This translation of the Bhagavad Gita features side-by-side Sanskrit and English. Gajjar’s work is free of commentary, translated from the perspective of a linguist and student of Hinduism, not as a theorist promoting a particular viewpoint. It is intended for readers of all ages and levels of sophistication. This version maintains the Gita’s original poetry while offering clear and contemporary verse. The words of God spoken in the Gita are placed in context through a brief introduction, giving a concise history of the Gita and the culture in which it was born and matured. “You Know Me was conceptualized to address young readers,” writes Gajjar, “but after the work was completed, it became clear that no modification could make it more appropriate for a broader, more learned audience… I think it fills a void in the history of world literature and religion.
Govind Ramesh, Yonkers, New York
Ms. Gajjar gives a very simple translation of what is arguably the most complex of the well-known scriptures of the world. Although much of the metaphysical, philosophical and yogic content of the original Gita is missing, the essential message is still preserved and maybe even brought out with greater clarity in this little book. An ideal translation for absolute beginners and children. But my advice is: don’t stop here. Use this book as a springboard for yourself and your children to leap into the spiritual depths of this ancient scripture.
Kathryn G. Lopez, El Paso, TX
I had b been hoping to get a Gita that is clear and readily understandable, in the same way the Bible was finally translated into Modern English. This translation is perfect to keep on my nightstand. A friend has already asked to borrow it, so I may need to buy a new one.
W. H. McDonald Jr., Elk Grove, CA
Irina Gajjar does a brilliant job of translating holy texts from the Gita. The wisdom and holiness of these sacred works is properly on display, as the author provides a bridge to understanding through her translation of the Bhagavad Gita.
CHAPTER IX, THE HOLY SECRET
I will give the holy secret
which will keep everything bad
away from you.
This secret is the best, the loveliest, the holiest.
It is a wonderful, everlasting secret.
The world is filled with Me, God,
like a room is filled with air.
This is how I am not really a part of people,
but I am everywhere and they are in Me.
The whole world was My idea
and was born from Me.
Arjun, at the end of the world,
all living things get lost in Me
and then at the beginning of the world
everything is born again.
Nature begins again and the world becomes alive.
A great wheel makes the world turn round and round
and it makes the world get lost in God
and get born again.
The world disappears and reappears like this
because I want it to.
Fools don’t recognize God.
They are silly and unhappy.
They think I am just a man.
But good and wise people know Me.
They know I make the world and they worship Me.
Good people call out My name
and bow to Me,
and pray to Me
and think of Me all the time.
Good people love Me in different ways.
These ways are studying about God
and thinking about God and My many names
and My many forms.
I am prayers, and pujas, and ghee,
and sweets and the holy fire.
I am the King of the Universe.
I am its Father and Mother and Grandfather.
I am making things and I am taking things apart.
I am the beginning and the end.
I am being born and dying
and I am living forever.
I am the heat in the sun
and the water in the rain.
I cause and I hold back showers.
People who pray to Me
because they want something,
go to heaven and rejoice there.
But then they are born again
and they die again.
But people who pray just because they love Me,
not because they want something, are the best
and I take care of them forever.
If a person gives Me a leaf, a flower,
a fruit, or even just water,
the person sees Me in his mind.
I come and happily take whatever he gives Me
Arjun, whatever you do, whatever you eat,
whatever you give me as a gift,
do it, and eat it and give it for Me.
If you are sorry, punish yourself for Me too.
If you do everything for My sake,
instead of for yourself,
You will do everything good and come right to Me.
I am everywhere.
I do not hate or love.
But the persons who worship Me
live in God and can recognize God in themselves.
Even the worst people, even sinners, are good
if they love Me with all their heart.
They become good very quickly
and become happy forever.
Oh Arjun, you can be sure that this is true.
Everyone who loves Me becomes happy.
The holy secret is this:
By loving God, Me,
you can come right up to God.
Thinking of God, loving God,
bowing to God, joining God
and trusting God is the way to God.