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Academic Reviews of Bhagavad-gita As It Is

I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita . It provides a lucid English translation followed by an outstanding and comprehensive exegesis, with extensive subject index. It is a most valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book.

(Bhagavad-gita As It Is)… It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don’t know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-gita, its daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I have never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important voice and style. It is a work of undoubted integrity. I have strongly recommended this book to all students interested in Sanskrit and Indian culture. It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is a welcome edition from many points of view. It can serve as a valuable textbook for the college student. It allows us to listen to a skilled interpreter explicating a text which has profound religious meaning… I think there will be little disagreement about the quality of the Swami’s Sanskrit scholarship… And, finally, for the non-specialist, there is readable English and a devotional attitude which cannot help but move the sensitive reader.

The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our understanding manyfold.

As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized “gurus” and “yogis” and will give an opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture.

The scholarly world is again indebted to A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of singular importance with his commentary.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is a unique contribution to religion and philosophy in general and to the understanding of the basic philosophy and religion of India. The scholarly interpretation, honest translation and most intelligible explanations of the original text makes this work valuable both to the general reader and to the serious student seeking advanced knowledge. I have not come across a more comprehensive, lucid and more genuine presentation of the Bhagavad-gita than this work.

If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people.

There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada’s translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight.

The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita. Swami Bhaktivedanta brings to the West a salutary reminder that our highly activistic and one-sided culture is faced with a crisis that may end in self-destruction because it lacks the inner depth of an authentic metaphysical consciousness. Without such depth, our moral and political protestations are just so much verbiage.

It is a most useful publication for the student of Sanskrit, the text in both Devanagari and Roman type is clear and accurate, the word-for-word translation is helpful to the beginner. The translation approaches the text from the angle of Chaitanya bhakti. Thus, while I cannot agree that this edition is “definitive”, it is a very useful one, and as Professor Dimock says in his Preface, it gives us insight into the doctrines of the Gaudiya Vaishnava school.

The above judgment is made as a scholar. As a human being, I cannot but applaud the fact that your movement is bringing faith and joy back into the lives of many unhappy young people who have not been able to find those virtues in the religion and culture in which they were raised, and I wish you success in the good work you are doing.

No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is better loved in the West than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme and a verbal artistry, for the poem is a symphony in which God is seen in all things.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is, of course, profoundly sympathetic to the theme. He brings to it, moreover, a special interpretative insight… a powerful and persuasive presentation in the bhakti tradition… The swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has led to this illuminating work.

The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is proves to be an inspiration and a delight… This is a beautiful book, subtly combining excellent scholarship with a reverent sensitivity.

This definitive edition of the Gita is, due to the extensive purports, a storehouse of ancient Vedic wisdom, poetry, politics and history. It should serve as a useful textbook for students and a reference book for scholars of religion, as well as a general introduction to Vedic culture and practical philosophy. It is written for serious readers in general, not only from a scholar’s point of view, but as a life-long practitioner. It is this sense of devotion that Srila Prabhupada has captured in his discussion of the verses and which other commentators have failed to reveal. For this reason, Bhagavad-gita As It Is is an essential work for understanding the Indian religious tradition.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is is an excellent translation of this important religious work. Swami Prabhupada renders the words of the master creator of the Gita as only a person intimately familiar with the culture and language of ancient India as well as the full religious purport of its message can. Being myself a translator of the Gita, I know he has been faithful to the tremendous task of bringing this work fully into the present.

Swami Bhaktivedanta’s edition of the Bhagavad-gita —with Sanskrit text, Roman transliteration, English glosses and translation and a scholarly exegesis—is an invaluable reference work. We are indebted to the editor for his erudition, insights and industry, and to the publisher for making the work available in an attractive and readable, yet inexpensive format.

I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is particularly true of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita.

I can thus happily recommend Prabhupada’s edition and commentary on the Gita to any of my colleagues in the field of Religious Studies, for I myself have included it on a number of my reading lists for my courses in the field of Indian Religions.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is has provided a rich resource for a number of students, including those beginning to learn Sanskrit, those who have longed to appreciate Hindu literature within a living tradition and those who appreciate dedicated and impressive scholarship. As for myself, I have persistently recommended it on all these counts, and have also found such satisfaction in it as the above.

Swami Bhaktivedanta has offered a great service with his English translation and commentary on the great Upanishadic scripture, the Bhagavad-gita. This presentation with its many beautiful color pictures is truly an inspired work.

Srila Prabhupada's edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first penetrated India.

Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable. For many this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India.