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The Bhagavad Gita by [Fosse, Lars Martin]
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The Bhagavad Gita 1st , Kindle Edition

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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

At last, an edition of the Bhagavad Gita that speaks with unprecedented fidelity and clarity. It contains an unusually informative introduction, the Sanskrit text of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute’s critical edition, an accurate and accessible English translation, a comprehensive glossary of names and epithets, and a thorough index.

“This is a luminous translation that performs the exceptional feat of bringing the Gita fully alive in a Western language, combining accuracy with accessibility. In our troubled times, humanity needs the message of this sacred scripture as never before.”
--Karen Armstrong, Author of The Great Transformation and A History of God

Table of Contents:

Arjuna’s Despair
Knowledge, Action and Renunciation
Knowledge and Discernment
The Liberating Brahman
The Royal Science
His Cosmic Form
The Field and Its Knower
The Three Properties
The Supreme Spirit
The Divine and the Demonic
The Three Kinds of Faith
Liberation and Renunciation
Names and Nicknames

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 17781 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher:; 1 edition (3 October 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FN3IZQ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #473,120 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 3.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing translation 23 May 2017
By Amazon Customer - Published on
This translation is one of many which have recently been made, and there have been literally hundreds of translation of this classic. This is the third translation of the Gita I have read. To be honest, overall I prefer the language and style of these other translators (Georg Feuerstein and Stephen Mitchell). Eman Nep's example in his review illustrates well that the language in this translation sounds a bit awkward in some places.

I have also read G. Thompson's review of this book, and he says indeed that Fosse's "English is clearly not that of a native speaker" and "often sounds awkward". The review also notes that Sanskrit terms and names are not transcribed correctly.

The introduction is rather short for such a text, there are also no footnotes and no bibliography. For casual readers this book may be okay, but personally I'd rather recommend instead the translations by Feuerstein or Mitchell.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully useful edition of the Indian Classic 23 October 2012
By Edward Alexander Gerster - Published on
As one other reviewer wrote, "The introduction is worth the price alone..." It does a wonderful job in covering the history of the Mahabarata Epic, and puts in context this verse by verse translation with Sanskrit text of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute's critical edition.

The only edition I had read previous to this, was the Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904) edition published by Dover. I now see how his late 19th century perspective very much influenced his translation, and Lars Martin Fosse's version is truly illuminating. Now if only my Sanskrit was up to translating for myself...

This softcover book is very handy reference for the Sanskrit scholar with a comprehensive glossary of names and a useful index. Highly recommended.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary translation of a great work of spirituality 10 May 2007
By Dennis Littrell - Published on
The Bhagavad Gita has been translated into English numerous times. I have read and reviewed for Amazon the following six versions in English:

Bolle, Kees W. Bhagavadgita, The: A New Translation (1979)

Easwaran, Eknath. Bhagavad Gita, The (1985; 2000)

Edgerton, Franklin. The Bhagavad Gita (1944)

Miller, Barbara Stoler. Bhagavad Gita, The: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War (1986; 1991)

Mitchell, Stephen. Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (2000)

Nikhilananda, Swami. Bhagavad Gita, The: Translated from the Sanskrit, with Notes, Comments, and Introduction by Swami Nikhilananda (1944; 6th printing 1979)

(I have yet to read the famous translation by Sir Edwin Arnold.)

The question might be, why bring out another? In the case of the people at YogaVidya, who published this translation by Lars Martin Fosse, the answer is apparent: they want to bring to the English speaking world great works of the yogic tradition. To this end they have previously published Brian Dana Akers' translation of Svatmarama's Hatha Yoga Pradipika (2002), James Mallinson's translation of The Gheranda Samhita (2004), and his translation of The Shiva Samhita (2007). (See my reviews at Amazon.)

The question for the reader might be which book should I buy? The answer depends on several factors. For the devout Hindu and yogi, a translation that stays as close to the original Sanskrit is no doubt to be preferred. Yet even between Hindu and yogi there can be a difference of opinion. The Hindu, especially if he or she is of a conservative bent, may prefer a translation that chooses English words that support a literal interpretation of this great spiritual work, while a yogi, especially if he or she is follower of Patanjali, might prefer a translation that emphasizes practice and study. A general reader might prefer a translation that makes the text readily accessible without having to delve too deeply into Vedic philosophy. A student of literature might prefer the most elegant and poetic translation. And so it goes. A poetic translation must of necessity sacrifice some literal meaning, while a strictly literal translation may make for difficult reading. There is a dictum to which I subscribe to the effect that when translating literature and in particular poetry, something is always lost in translation. Consequently, by this rule, if by no other, no single translation of the Gita will serve. Therefore we have many translations, and as English grows and our attitudes toward the world change, ever so subtly, there will arise a need for new translations.

I think that Fosse's book is distinguished by his clear and informative introduction to the Gita for the general reader. He does a good job of placing the work in the Hindu tradition and gives some idea of its history in English. There is a glossary of names (since Fosse uses the many epithets from the original in his translation) and an index. As with the other books from YogaVidya, the original Sanskrit is given along with the English translation, verse by verse.

What I don't think that Fosse does well is introduce the Gita in a spiritual and symbolic sense. The most important thing that the first time reader of the Gita should realize in my opinion is that it is a work to be taken symbolically. If you take it literally as the story of the personal god Krishna urging the reluctant warrior Arjuna to fight his enemies, you lose the essence of this great work. Better is to understand that the battle that Arjuna faces is not one of swords and arrows, but one of time, chance and circumstance. The central question that Arjuna asks is how to live and why. Krishna essentially tells him you have no choice; that it is a signal of failure and humiliation to give up. And then Krishna gives Arjuna four approaches to life and deliverance (i.e., samadhi): bhakti yoga, the path of love and devotion; karma yoga, the path of selfless work (mainly this); jnana yoga, the path of knowledge; and raja/hatha yoga, the path of discipline or force. It is said in the yogic tradition that when all else fails, the path of force will work if it is practiced with sincerity and regularity. For those of great faith, bhakti yoga leads easily to moksha.

Any translation that is not a work of art by a great poet at the height of his powers (we have no such translation as yet) will, to some extent, be untrue to this great work of spirituality. Just as Shakespeare can never be fully appreciated in translation, so it is with any poetic work. Fosse shows he understands this very well when he writes (p. xxiv) "...a translation is always an interpretation, but an interpretation is not always a translation. The only way to get a truly intimate understanding of a Sanskrit text is to learn Sanskrit." I think his sentiment also hints at why he chose not to write an interpretative introduction.

I have addressed specific problems and choices in translating the Gita in my other reviews, so I will skip them here. Bottom line: this is a fine addition to the list of excellent English translations of the Gita, handsomely presented as usual by YogaVidya, and a good choice for first time readers and for those who know Sanskrit.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Medal Deserved 10 October 2012
By Michael Beloved - Published on
Anyone who even attempts to translate much less publish the Bhagavad Gita, deserves acclaim. This translation is honest and straight forward. Fosse was careful to read the Mahabharata from which the Gita was extracted. He has not lifted the Gita away from that base and posted it up as a religious book about non-violence and becoming one with God.

This translation is in simple English and gives the gist of the revelation in chapter 11, which is the central part of the episode.

I feel that this translation should have the transliterated English words of the Devanagari Sanskrit text, because English speakers are mostly unfamiliar with the foreign script. The Sanskrit is there but an English reader can do nothing with it. This is why I gave four instead of five stars for this edition,

The glossary is very information and adds much to the book for those of us who are not familiar with the history of the Mahabharata. Again this is a simple translation that anyone can read for an introduction to the Bhagavad Gita.

I wrote a translation and several commentaries myself, but I published an edition, Bhagavad Gita Revealed* which has the transliterated English and word-for-word meanings for those who need a more detailed exposition of the Sanskrit words.

4.0 out of 5 stars A Book For The Western Seeker 9 November 2012
By W.H. McDonald Jr. - Published on
To translate the original Sanskrit spiritual text of the Bhagavad Gita into English is a huge undertaking by itself - but to do so by someone for whom English may not be his native language is ambitious. I think Lars Martin Fosse does succeed and goes beyond the translating of Sanskrit text into readable English. His efforts make this book perhaps, much more accessible to western seekers than other translations. It is not an interpretation like Paramahansa Yogananda's wonderful classic book "God Talks With Arjuna - The Bhagavad Gita" or like those related books from others. It makes no claims to be in that category; however, it's aim is a much more simple approach which proves to be very direct and honest to the text. It doesn't get too deep poetically or philosophically which makes following it easier for a quick study. It lays it out the text in English but doesn't try to paint it with the translator's own personal views or insights.

The over-all the efforts of the translator comes off as philosophically true to text and is helpful - setting the stage for the more serious western seekers to further explore on their own any deeper personal interpretations into this text - if they are inspired to do so. It should be pointed out that the introduction is very solid and well done. It is as a good of introduction to the story the Mahabbarata as I have seen for novice western seekers.

How to rate this book was difficult - as I do not know of any truly deserving FIVE STAR ratings for any translations of this book by anyone else expect the original writer's of text which is all in Sanskrit - so, having said that, I feel that Lars Fosse has done a fair and balanced presentation of this sacred text into English. It is worthy of any truth seeker's time to read.

There is a whole series of helpful translated books by Yoga Vidya and I recommend them all.

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Svatmarama; Akers, Brian Dana published by Hardcover

The Shiva Samhita

The Shiva Samhita

The Kamasutra

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