THE BHAGAVAD-GITA by Swami A. C.--Trans. & Ed. Bhaktivedanta

THE BHAGAVAD-GITA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The seven hundred verses of the Bhagavad Gita, mystical, allegorical, symbolic as they are, are not more than superficially intelligible to Western man unless they are accompanied by an adequate exegesis. The trouble with this new translation-cum-commentary is that Swami Bhaktivedanta's concept of exegesis is wholly medieval--Augustianian, in fact; that is, it is the commentary of a devout believer: uncritical, hyperbolic, nebulous and irritatingly devoted to the letter rather than to the spirit. It is, in a word, a translation and commentary for the True Believer, in whom the will to believe precedes the desire to learn. The occidental religions thrived on such exegetical quixoticism for a thousand years; it is, one supposes, too much to hope that the oriental ones could escape it entirely. Until they do, however, the reader would be better referred to Eliot Deutsch's recent, and superior, translation of the Bhagavad Gita (p. 1012).

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 1968
Publisher: Macmillan