The Bhagavad Gita is a sacred scripture of epic dimensions and is the key sacred text of Hinduism. It means the "Song of God" and is often called the "Song Celestial". Alan Jacobs has succeeded in revitalising the ancient text into a form that reveals the full majesty of this magnificent scripture as well as its practical message for todays men and women. The outdated English of previous translations has been transformed and given clear meaning. Alan Jacobs uses contemporary free verse based on innovative metaphors to provide a clear meaning for todays readers. It is mandala poetry-each verse is a mandala for meditation. "It is like a great symphony. Each chapter relates to the last but leads on to the coda." His incisive philosophic commentary dusts off the archaism of 1500 years and restores the text as a transforming instrument pointing the way to self-realisation.
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Jacobs presents his work in the form of transcreation. Transcreation invigorates the text to reinforce its poetic imagery and power. He has today's seeker in his mind when he gives an easy-to-understand poetic meaning. Contemporary free verse based on "innovative metaphors" and figures of speech and swift line breaks are used. He pours out the more advanced spiritual teaching leading to Advaita Vedanta. He cites Adi Sankara to show that the higher Para Vidya or esoteric, absolute non-dual Advaitic teaching is interwoven with the lower Apara Vidya or esoteric, relative dualistic teaching. He is emphatic that the Gita leads to Self-realisation and mentions the three stages-intellectual understanding, spiritual practice and finally, surrender. The book is a welcome addition to the Gita literature and a useful tool to those yearning to broaden their understanding of the Song Celestial as a transforming instrument. ~ Arudra
Definitely an edition to add to your collection. The translation is poetic and is interspersed with illuminating commentaries. ~ , Scientific and Medical Network Review.
Alan Jacobs has succeeded in revitalising the ancient text of the Bhagavad Gita into a form which reveals the full majesty of this magnificent Hindu scripture, as well as its practical message for today's seekers. His incisive philosophic commentary dusts off all the archaism of 1500 years and restores the text as a transforming instrument pointing the way to Self Realization. ~ , Cygnus Review
Despite the fact that there are now 279 English translations of the 'Bhagavad Gita' in existence, Alan Jacob's own recently pubished edition is one of the most beautiful. A transcreation rather than a translation, the author has endeavoured to preserve the essence of the nondualist teachings (also known as Advaita Vedanta) interwoven in Hinduism's best known spiritual text as well as introduce his own poetic touch. Literally meaning the 'Song of God', the 'Bhagavad Gita' recounts a key moment in the ancient Indian epic, the 'Mahabharata'. Set on the battlefield of Kurashetra between two rival royal households, Arjuna, leader of the Pandavas, is rendered impotent in the face of impending bloodshed. Krishna, Avatar and Arjuna's charioteer, thus takes the opportunity to deliver the Dharma or moral code. Indeed, the battle can be interpreted as an allegory of the inner warfare between dharma (harmony) and adharma (discord) within in all of us in the face of life's challenges and troubles. Together with his 'Principal Upanishads', the profundity of this particular edition of the 'Bhagavad Gita' is owing to the author's accessible and yet exquisite poetry. ~ Paula Marvelly
Alan Jacobs poetic rendering of the Gita is intact and profound. The readeris inspired to enter anew this universal text of wisdom. ~ Mira Pagal-Decoux
I am most impressed. The wonderful philosophy of the famed Bhagavad Gita has been rendered into modern verse with such facility and a lovely combination of veracity and freedom. This is indeed a unique interpretation of the Indian classic. ~ Ramesh Balsekar, Advaita Teacher
I am absolutely sure that Alan Jacobs has a unique and indispensable message for the world. ~ Douglas Harding