While each Gita was translated and purported by devotees (Gaudia Vaisnavas), each did so with specific and differing goals in mind. Srila Prabhupada was introducing the west to a translation and commentary done by someone who practices what the Gita preaches. Tripurari Swami draws on the more emotional side, but never leaves the philosophical. Narayana Maharaja’s seems to be writing to a friend, also including comments by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Garuda dasa’s is the most different of them all, he focuses not on commentary, but on the Gita as poetry. That’s nothing new, but it’s the first time it’s been done (in a respectable way) by a devotee.
Like Garuda prabhu, I won’t be focusing upon the commentaries very much. I’ll pretty much reference them only if they specifically pertain to the verses themselves. My job is to simply compare one translation to the next and the next. Any commentary of my own that I give with be either accidental or speculative, so be mindful of that as you read.
This will be a weekly endeavor and will be posted on Sundays. I’ll do my best to pick the verses that are most helpful in our daily spiritual as well as material lives.
With four different perspectives on the same divine source, hopefully we all can find a little something to take away from it, even if you’re not a devotee or even interested in spirituality. The Bhagavad-gita, in its many translations, has been studied by all sorts of people. I’m sure you’ll discover something here.
Here’s a list of verses I’ve covered so far…
Chapter 2, Verse 13 – A wise, sober, self-realized person is not bewildered
Chapter 2, Verses 62-63 – Bewilderment of memory
Chapter 3, Verse 30 – Without the desire for gain
Chapter 4, Verse 7 – Whenever and Wherever
Chapter 4, Verse 11 – Those who have love of God, receive love of God
Chapter 4, Verse 19 – Duty is good, but let’s have knowledge too!
Chapter 4, Verse 38 – In Due Course of Time
Chapter 5, Verse 6 – Mere renunciation cannot make one happy
Chapter 6, Verse 40 – The Transcendentalist or the Unsuccessful Yogi?
Chapter 8, Verse 16 – The futility of material attainment
Chapter 9, Verse 29 – A contradictory verse?
Chapter 10, Verse 8 – Love God with great joy in your hearts
Chapter 10, Verse 9 – The basis of real community
Chapter 10, Verse 10 – The highest intelligence
Chapter 10, Verse 11 – Not by reasoning, but devotion
Chapter 10, Verse 34 – Among women I am….
Chapter 10, Verse 38 – Of secret things…
Chapter 13, Verse 28 – One who sees this, truly sees
Chapter 18, Verse 55 – We Can Only Understand Krishna Through Love
Chapter 18, Verses 61-62 – Krishna’s final instructions to Arjuna
Chapter 18, Verse 66 – Take shelter, such worry is useless