“Now, may the Universal God be pleased by this sacrifice, where the oblations are of the speech, and by being so pleased, may He give me the following boon of His grace. I request that the evil of the villains may be gone. Their interest in good deeds may increase, and all the beings should have soulful friendship with each other. The darkness of sins may be dissipated. Let there be the dawn of performance of our own duty, in the universe, and then every being may receive what he really desires. Let the hosts of Saints, who are having real faith in God, and who constantly pour down all the auspicious things on the world, continuously meet all these beings. The Saints who are the groups of moving divine ‘Wish-trees’, the Towns of living gems of Chintamani, and the speaking Oceans of nectar, Who are Moons without stigma, Suns without heat, may be related to all at all times. Finally, let all the beings from the three worlds be completely happy in all respects and worship continuously the Primordial God, the divine Purusha. And especially in this world, those who live by the tenets of this book may be victorious over the visible as well as the invisible worlds.” Upon this prayer, the great King, the Lord of the Universe said, ‘So be it. Let this be the endowment of my grace! ‘By this boon, Dnyanadev became very happy.”
This is an English translation of the famous commentary on Bhagwat Geeta written by the great saint Dyaneshwara, in poetic form of medieval Marathi containing more than nine thousand verses (called - Ovi in Marathi). The language of the original text contains many obsolete terms which are not very easily understood by modem readers unless they are properly initiated into the poetic language of this nature. Thus, much more care is required to be taken while bringing into current English, the contents and the meaning of the text, in prose form in such a style that the gist of the original author’s statements becomes easily followable to the common readers, interested in the philosophy of the Bhagwad Geeta as dwelt upon at length with extraordinary idiomatic Marathi ornamented with superb figures of speech. The task was not an easy one. Since, the translator is acquainted with Dnyaneshwari - as the book is called, from his child-hood and has meditated upon the spirit and the beauty of the language of Saint Dynaneshwar, he has, at the behests of the publishers, dared to touch this Herculian task. How well he has discharged his responsibility in making simple the complexities of thought occurring at many places of the original text, is to be judged by the benevolent and kind readers who are devotees of the Lord Shri Krishna and therefore, are expected to be indulgent and forgiving for any errors, commissions, omissions and other failings in translating this grand book.
Critics are requested to go into the spirit of teachings rather than the accuracy or otherwise of the terms used by the translator, which are wont to give a broad margin for differences of interpretations and opinions. The variation occurs in these matters according to the emphasis one puts on the particular view or angle of the poetry as understood by him.
While translating into prose form, the serial numbers of the verses which are usually given at the end of each verse, are put by me at the beginning of each verse, and unlike the running text in many Marathi editions of Dnyaneshwari, I have made a separate para for each verse, making the text easier for reading and grasping its meaning.
For reference, I have selected the Marathi book of Shri Dnyaneshwari, published by the same publishers, which contains the meaning given by late Shri B. A. Bhide, a veteran scholar of the last century. While giving the meaning in English, however, I have followed my own interpretations, sometimes referring to the book - by Shri R. N. Welingkar, which is the dictionary of obsolete words used in Dnyaneshwari with their meaning in the current Marathi language. In addition I have referred to books on Dnyaneshari by Late Shri Sakhare Maharaj and late Prof. S. V. Dandekar - both the most popular books. At the beginning of the book, I have given a prose version of Sanskrit verses giving the gist of the praise of the Lord Shri Krishna and of the Geeta, with a separate chapter giving the dialo2iie between the Earth and the Lord Vishnu, about the glory and greatness of the Geeta.
As appendix, I have given in short the stories and episodes which are referred to by Saint Dnyaneshwar in his Commentary, at various places in the text so that readers who are not acquainted with the background stories may have some idea about the examples given by Saint Dnyaneshwar.
I give credit to my friends including Shri K. R. Kodiyal, who have helped me in reading proofs of this voluminous work. I also give sincere thanks to Miss Kalyani Bhave, who has helped me in writing down the manuscript of this book and reading proofs also.
Smt. Jyoti Dhawale of M/s. Keshav Bhikaji Dhawale has considered me worthy of translating Shri Dnyaneshwari, for which I will always remain thankful to her.
The cover design of this book is by Shri Anjaneya Dhawale which enhances the beauty and present ability of this book. Thanks are due to him and also to M/s. Add Typesetters for executing the job of typesetting in a very lucid and attractive manner and thanks are also due to M/s. All reach Enterprises for similar reason. I give my thanks again to the publishers M/s. Keshav Bhikaji Dhawale, especially Smt. Jyoti Dhawale, for entrusting me with such a responsibility, and I give my thanks to the printers M/s. Samartha Mudranalaya for doing their work, satisfying the needs of such a book.
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