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My primary interest in this republication of Das and Besant's translation is to introduce the value of reading the Gita daily 12 verses at a time.
This idea is introduced in the late 19th century by Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya to his kriya yoga disciples. Swami Satyeswaranandaji documents this in his massive tome Mahamuni BABAJI . On page 390 Swamiji urges kriyabans to memorize Lahiri's six rules, the second of which specifies reading "some portion" of the Gita everyday. When reading some of the letters to Lahiri, one disciple writes (p. 477) "According to your instruction I chant 12 verses of the Gita every day."
As republishing editor I have rendered the book without the Sanskrit text, grammar, or lexicographical annotations the translators had originally published. The first paragraph of their Introduction acknowledges that their readers are "little acquainted with Samskrit."
My secondary interest in this arrangement is to present a fine English translation with well-
The goal I have is to preserve the intent of the actual script of the Sanskrit Gita, i.e., to allow the written words to sing to the reader, in all their glorious vibrations, thereby empowering all levels of understanding to grow with each reading until the reader "becomes the Gita," i.e., in the words of Lord Krishna "become not mine, but I, even I Myself." (Chapter 7, verse 18)
Das and Besant publish in this book three spiritual treatises that describe the wonderfully transforming effects of the Gita. Additionally in the final Chapter of the Gita, the Lord specifies benefits of various disciplines and approaches towards the Gita.
Yet in seeking some translation with verse numbers, I have found none that assist in the effort of studying, chanting, assimilating, performing, becoming the Gita twelve verses per day. However in my search for a solution I found that Besant and Das' wonderful translation has the verses well marked and the translation well justified.
Edwin Arnold's translation, while beautifully rendered in English poetic structure, does not number the verses of his translation. This appears to be 1) because he had omitted by his own acknowledgement nearly 30 verses of the original Gita, and 2) comparing the amalgam of his unmarked verses with the lexicographically specific verses of Besant and Das, it becomes clear (at least to me as someone trained in textual amanuensis of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts) that Arnold has produced a document that, while poetically beautiful, is at times inaccurate, disturbingly arrogant and ignorant, and which destroys the highest bija content (and structure) of the Gita (Besant and Das address the bija content in "The Arrangement of The Hands etc. For The Gita" just prior to their own translation).
This reissue of Annie Basant and Bhagavan Das’ 1905 translation with Sanskrit grammar and lexicography has been well received.
Within four days of release it became a #1 New Release in Lexicography on Amazon.com.
What is shown here is the Barnes and Noble hard back. Amazon.com carries the paperback at
The Kindle edition is at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0859RN89V