About the Book
study the Bhagavadgita is a privilege, and to receive
guidance from the Bhagavadgita is an experience; but
to study and receive guidance from the Bhagavadgita
in the light of Sri Aurobindo is a revelation; it is a direct working of the
Master of the Yoga, Yogeshwara, within oneself.
'Bhagavadgita in the Light of Sri Aurobindo' is a book in
which the original Sanskrit text is presented with a translation in English.
The special feature of this book is that these translations have been done in
the light of Sri Aurobindo's great work, "Essays
on the Gita".
practically in every chapter, the editor has quoted the most relevant passages
from Sri Aurobindo's book in order to bring home to
the reader the deep and comprehensive meaning of 'shlokas' as revealed by the
Master of the Yoga.
book aims to be a pathway leading to the great revelation by Sri Aurobindo of
the Bhagavadgita; and for this purpose the first and
the last chapters of "Essays on the Gita" have been included in full.
About the Author
- that was the name given by The Mother, - was otherwise known as Dr. H. Maheshwari. He was a deep thinker, philosopher,
educationist and above all, a true sadhak of the
Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo. He was a lover and scholar of Bhagavadgita. Studying the Gita in the Light of Sri Aurobindo
was for him a joy, a growth, a realisation.
in March 1921, in U.P., he served as a Professor and the Head of the Department
in Degree Colleges. In 1971 he took early retirement from the esteemed post of Principalship of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy, Vrindaban, and joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, as
a seeker, a devotee and disciple of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. He served
them with integrity of knowledge, devotion and dynamic action throughout his
a professor of Philosophy at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education.
He was also a research-guide and examiner of Ph.d.
theses of various universities. He went on extensive lecture tours and
conducted several Swadhyaya-camps and Education camps
at Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry and its various centres all over India as
well as in England and U.S.A. From 1995 to 1997, he served as the first
chairperson of Sri Aurobindo Chair of Integral Studies at Sardar
Patel University, Vallabha Vidyanagar,
19 in 2002, at Pondicherry, he took his eternal abode in the Master's Eternal
indeed a great privilege of life to be with the Gita as its student, especially
as it is revealed to us in Sri Aurobindo's ESSAYS ON
THE GITA. To me this privilege was greatly enhanced when the work of preparing
an edition of it in the light of Sri Aurobindo came to me with the Mother's
blessings in the year 1972, Sri Aurobindo's Birth
Centenary Year. What it meant to me, no words can describe.
work brought an opportunity but at the same time a great responsibility that
could be borne with abilities I hardly have: thorough grounding in Sanskrit as
well as in English, a probe and entry into the spirit of words above scholastic
means, scrupulousness and openness and patience of the mind, clarity and
profundity of understanding, and, above everything else, things of
consciousness that belong to the life of sadhana above pedantic gropings. I was, as I am, aware of my limitations, conscious
of my inhabilities. Without Grace such a work would
not be accomplished.
Essays on the Gita being there to draw upon, an inestimable help and guidance
from Sri Aurobindo's 'Word-Body', his 'vanmaya deha' were all the time a
source of assurance to me while carrying on the work. Despite my inhabilities the work continued and the present edition was
ready in the year 1974. For reasons beyond me it could not go for publication
earlier. That it is coming out now in the Mother's Birth Centenary Year is of
special significance to me.
engaged in the work of preparing the present edition I experienced the
complexities and difficulties of rendering the Sanskrit idiom into the English
tongue which I had never imagined. In the case of such slokas
as have been translated by Sri Aurobindo and given in quotes in the Essays, -
the number of such slokas is of course considerable,
- there was no difficulty as I had the advantage of taking them bodily. But
even this process was rendered thoughtful to me by the Essays, demanding my
full attention, since quite a few of them have been alternatively worded by Sri
Aurobindo in different contexts. A very large number of the verses have been
freely rendered in English by him in the essays, quite often profusely and
without quotation marks; some have been summarily translated, some simply
interpreted, some just hinted at in passing and some not even mentioned. The
work of preparing sloka to sloka
translation on the basis of the Essays therefore involved a variety of
processes - receiving, adopting, culling, spinning, trimming, grafting and
constructing and so on - some of these process involving even risk, though each
one giving a thrill. What has throughout been important to me in these
processes is the scruple of being close to the Sanskrit text without being too
literal, and the sense of proportion as to the size of the translation where
the Sanskrit terms open large vistas with abundant meanings beyond any English
synonyms. This scruple and this sense carry their merit as well as demerit; but
I could not al- low liberties to myself. The whole work with all its processes
has been so rewarding to me.
notes following the translation of the slokas are all
excerpts from the Essays on the Gita, with page references to the Centenary
Edition. They are to my way of seeing explicative of profound truths underlying
and involved in the teachings of the Gita; often they reveal the spiritual
significance of things and ideas which a superficial reading of the Gita simply
misses. The term 'notes' therefore fails to signify the real import or the
purpose these excerpts have; they are more than notes and form an integral part
of the total reading of the Bhagavad Gita in the Light of Sri Aurobindo. To the
serious students and researchers these 'notes' might as well stand as inviting
portals for an entry into Sri Aurobindo's Essays on
the Gita and subsequently into a profound study of Sri Aurobindo's
Integral Philosophy and Yoga. If the present work thus becomes an occasion for
a deep entry into the Gita through Sri Aurobindo and thence into Sri Aurobindo
through the Gita, I shall feel additionally rewarded.
A word about transcription of Sanskrit terms and
names. Italicised script with diacritic marks as well as Roman script without marks
have been adopted without rigidity, believing that to the general reader
as also to the trained student that would be convenient without any confusion.
sincerely thank the Copyright Department of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
for permitting me to incorporate the first and the last essays, viz., 'Our
demand and Need from the Gita', and 'The Message of the Gita' from the Essays
on the Gita in the be- ginning and at the end of this book, in addition to the
relevant excerpts used as 'notes'. These two essays I value for this edition of
the Gita respectively as the happiest introduction and the profoundest
comprehensive review of the Gita. My cordial thanks are due to my affectionate
friend and 'guru-bhai, my brother in spiritual
fraternity, Shri Lalji Bhai
for the encouragement he actually gave me in his characteristic way to get this
work published for those who love to study the Gita. My words are not adequate
to express my feelings.
really a pleasure to recollect the assistance I received from Chinmayee who went through the entire manuscript seeing it
from her Sanskrit eyes, and from Stephen who did the same thing from his
English sense. My loving gratitude to them is wordless.
Demand and Need from the Gita
Karma Sannyasa Yoga
Ksetra Ksetrajna Vibhaga Yoga
Sampad Vibhaga Yoga
Sraddhatraya Vibhaga Yoga
Moksa Sannyasa Yoga
Message of the Gita
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