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“Bhagawad Gita as it is” translated in English – As per Madhwa Philosophy


Bhagavad Gita  translated into English by Prof.GV Nadgouda  – published in PDF Format:

Again one more addition to the existing abundance! Srimad Bhagawad Gita is the shrine of rich significances. It is a consummate work of art and a brocade of perfect Philosophy. It is fine fare for fertile brains. It beckons its admirers to unravel its unending secrets. With all the ransacking of its beauties by the East and the West, there is enough scope for effective research. Verily its excellences are inexhaustible. There is no other scripture which has been so frequently commented upon, for it has been a perennial source of scriptural inspiration and rightly so, for in it we find different systems of philosophy, ethics and religion, suited for different temperaments. This universality of Gita has puzzled many scholars where we Meet variety of ideals teeming with contradictions like Monism and Dualism, Sankhya and Vedanta, even personal God and impersonal God. One finds a near parallel to it in the library of books on the ‘myriad-minded’ Shakespeare. It is really interesting to note what his critic George Gordon writes on this exuberance – ‘The whole city of London will be paved with books on Shakespeare and still some will be left on its shelves’

What then is the uniqueness of this text that has won the acclamation of the world?

Maha Kurma-Purana and Vishnu-Purana respectively high-light its overriding importance by declaring Mahabharata as the noblest among the scriptures and Bhagawad Gita as its crowning excellence. भारतं सर्वे शास्त्रेषु भारते गीतिका वरा – if  Mahabharata is the quintessence of the Sastras, Krishna-Gita is its core and kernel. A correct comprehension of it leads the Sadhaka to salvation – वैष्णवं कृष्णगीता च तज्ञानान्मुच्यतेऽञ्जसा.Naradiya Purana further pin-points the prominence of Gita by stressing its multiplicity of Meanings – यस्मिन् दशार्थः सर्वत्र न ज्ञेयस्सर्वजन्तुभिः। It magnetises the readers by its fecundity of thought and felicity of expression. Such a renowned masterpiece is resourceful enough to make room for many more volumes.

Gita is not mere literature of knowledge but literature of Power in Dequincey’s words It is not mere philosophy versified but it moves the reader to the seventh heaven. It transports the reader to the realms beyond and gives him a taste of the sublime. ‘if you want a book which assists humanity in striving for its eternal then here is the book’, writes the great philosopher-Critic Aldous Huxley  –  ‘The most systematic statement of Spiritual evolution of enduring value to Mankind, the most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue’. Lokamanya Tilak boldly declares: ‘in the literature of the whole world there is not book like Gita. It is a most luminous and priceless gem. It gives peace to afflicted souls. It makes us masters of spiritual wisdom’. What wonder if Srimad Bhagawad-Gita has evoked such unstinted encomiums at home and abroad?

To translate such peerless text into foreign tongue is a tough task and that too in the face of existing scholarly renderings by stalwarts Indian and Foreign like Edwin Arnold and Dr. Radhakrishnan. A study of Acharya Madhwa’s Gita Bhashya and it sluicing English translation by Dr. BNK Sharma, Gita-Tatparya, Jayatirtha’s Prameya-Dipika and Raghavendra-Swamiji’s Gita-Vivrutti on one hand and reading of books on Geeta by Sri Aurobindo, Dr. Ranade, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Swami Chinmayananda and Chidbhavananda on the other, places the reader at the cross-roads. Their interpretations, that many times diametrically differ, confuse the जिज्ञसु the curious. He is likely to be lost in the labyrinth of modern criticism on Geeta which in case of many flout the Vedas and Upanishads and pay scant respect to the Puranas and the Itihasas. He likes to know whither this procession tends.

It is not a matter of mere taking sides or patting on the back but a question of ends – saving or damning the soul. There is the rub. Being mute or meek on such important issues is likely to mislead the layman and the learned alike. It is not mere pertinacity or fondness but a firm conviction that Madhwa-interpretation of Geeta is scientific- based as it is on sound authorities and valid reasonings and can take one out of the tangle. Its cogency and accuracy moved me to place his superb analysis before the English –knowing elite here and elsewhere for their benefit. The translation is neither too literal nor Metaphoric cut as close to the text as possible, keeping in view the dignity of the language and the sublimity of the content. A correct understanding of the text really puts us on the pathway to God.

This book is my flower of devotion at the feet of Lord Krishna, the All-knower, who perhaps lauds or laughs at our attempts to wrest his secrets. I think myself blessing if my English knowing brethren not having access to Sanskrit find this book of some use in understanding this Olympian song famed as ग्रन्थराज।

I am greatly indebted to the Revered Pejawar Swamiji known for his scholarship, dynamism and considerateness, for his kind foreword, for his willingness to publish this volume and  permitting me to put forth some of his views boldly presented in his thought – provoking Gita –Saroddhara. I am beholden to Sri Sri Vidyamanyatirth Swamiji of Phalimaru and Bhandarkeri Math for allowing me to translate and include some portion of his introduction to Gita Vivrutti. I record my hearty thanks to Prof. K T Pandurangi for his kind foreword. I am grateful to many previous great commentators in Sanskrit, Kannada and English for their enlightenment. I am obliged to late Vidwan Gururajacharya Pandurangi for the light he kindled in me and Vidwan Raghavendracharya Jalihal for his affection and guidance. I remember my two sons Dr. Vithal and Dr. Srikrishna for encouragement and assistance in the completion of the work. My thanks are also due to Sri Santosh for his prompt typing and to the Yarbal printers of Belgaum for the fine get-up and neat printing in good time.

G V Nadgouda.

Guru-Kripa, Deshpandenagar, Hubli-29

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