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Gita and Its Commentators
Gita and Its Commentators
Description
Back of the Book

The timeless epic 'Bhagavad-Gita' has been studied and interpreted by al large number of saints and scholars. Countless people down the ages have made it a source of inspiration for their daily life and thought. S.H. Jhabwala, an erudite scholar, makes a concise assessment of the various interpretations made of the Gita from the early Vedantists to Tilak, Annie Besant and Aurobindo.

Introduction

Bhagvad Gita- the Immortal Song- a holy chapter in the heroic history of human civilization the Mahabharata - a war of thought, philosophical soul battling against the logics of the mind,- has pervaded the layers of man's spirit through ages, unbaffled by commentaries of sages born in the course of centuries after its birth. It challenges every thinker of God's eternal time for the truth of its inspiration, and for the science of its explanations about life and all that is connected with life.

A simple tale of fight between the Majority, Kauravas, undemocratically asserting an empire's untruth, and the Minority, Pandavas, righteously holding up the undying cause of truth under the direction of the charioteer Krishna is the matter of exposition of the great Riddle of the Universe. The Battle ground is the Kshetra of the Kauravas, modern Sarhind between the Satlej and the Yamuna- spiritually, the plain of man's soul- Arjuna the typical man, discontented man, man that does not see beyond the limits of his clouded vision, Krishna the indefatigable director of the human soul. When among scholarly critics descending down to the more modern generations, such as Rangacharya and Lionel Barnette, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Annie Besant and Brookes, some have considered Gita's thought to be confused, its utterances loose and rambling, the learning shallow and ill-assorted, while others have poured in their mellifluent sentiments in praise of its depth of wisdom and profundity of its thought, it may well be averred with unsparing confidence that even after two thousand years this Book that revolutionized the very system of human thinking, can meet the psychological requirements of mankind to the lasting benefit of the world.

Montesque, Grant, Watts, Green have sensed Fear inherent in man as the basis of all religion and theists like Hegel, Carlyle, even Rousseau and materialists like Marx, have accepted the theory of fearful man propelled towards remembering God. Arjuna trembles upto the end of the Gita with deep fear:-
The rejoinder from Brahma is soothing:

"Neither the hosts of gods nor the great sages know any origin of Me for I am the source of the gods and the great sages in every way". Ch. 10-Verse 2.

Advancing further in the same vein, according to Shankara's text, the Lord assures the representative of mankind:-

"He who knows Me, the unborn, without beginning, also the mighty lord of the worlds, he among mortals is undeluded and freed from all sins."

And how are qualifications marked by Krishna for the removal of fear from the heart of wavering man?

"Non-violence, equal -mindedness, contentment, austerity, charity, fame and ill fame the different states of being that proceed from me alone."

The Upanishad has ascertained the divine value of Sri Krishna by naming Him as Vishnu and the whole text of the Gita spreads the sweet odour of Vaishnavite philosophy of life. Mahatma Gandhi, therefore, wrote about it so early as 1925. "… When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies - and my life has been full of external tragedies - and if they have left no visible, no indelible scar on me I owe it all to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita."

In the neolithic age in which the Gita took shape in the master soul of the great Vyasa, i.e. 2500 years before Christ the prevalent sociology of the time needed some aid for the understanding of the supreme ends of life. "I manifest Myself when avidya and adharma spread to the ruin of mankind" says Krishna, and the darkness of the geography of the time shifted into light for civilization to grow on the pedestal of man's soul.

Confucius and Laotze were still to lay down the traditions of their wisdom, and they could build the mind of Asia on the fundamentals of the Gita. Preeminently, the doctrine of Non-violence, and Satya. It was a mighty continent - this Asia where Krishna first blew the music of correct science of human thinking. Through the Vedas charmed the soul of man to the paths of the Divine, yet the pastoralism of social structure was but a phase in the process of growth and progress. The Vedas, however, supplanted the need, however orthodox to the call of the hour. Between them and the Gita, there was scarce a fulfillment of the word of Brahma, that the Vedic man could understandingly accept for the satisfaction of his thirsting soul.

The natural man is never stationary : he advances unconsciously along the channels of Pleasure and Pain, as explained by Madhavacharya in his great commentary on the Gita, into the ultimate Kshetra of what Buddha puts down as Pari-Nirwana-Moksha in the philosophy of Ramanujacharya who commented on the Sacred Book about 1400 years after it held the world's mind first.

The Vedas in their immortality of action found supporters in the Arya Samajists so late as the time of Dayanand Saraswati, so fascinatingly deep they were since their birth. But they lacked the Sankhya and Karma Yoga of the philosophy of the Gita.

CONTENTS
Introductionix
IEarly Critics - Shankaracharya1
IIEarly Critics - The Buddha5
IIIShankaracharya & Ramanuja12
IVMadhusudana22
VNimbarka36
VIVallabhacharya42
VIIAurobindo Ghosh50
VIIIAmandagiri61
IXTilak65
XShridhara76
XITelang82
XIIDavies99
XIIIAnnie Beasant and Brooks107
XIVKavir115
XVBhakti Margis120
XVIChaitanya, Tukaram and Eknath128
XVIIMaharshi Ramana135
XVIIIConclusion139

Gita and Its Commentators

Item Code:
IDJ789
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Edition:
1991
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ISBN:
0861322789
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8.3" X 5.2"
Pages:
145
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$12.00
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Back of the Book

The timeless epic 'Bhagavad-Gita' has been studied and interpreted by al large number of saints and scholars. Countless people down the ages have made it a source of inspiration for their daily life and thought. S.H. Jhabwala, an erudite scholar, makes a concise assessment of the various interpretations made of the Gita from the early Vedantists to Tilak, Annie Besant and Aurobindo.

Introduction

Bhagvad Gita- the Immortal Song- a holy chapter in the heroic history of human civilization the Mahabharata - a war of thought, philosophical soul battling against the logics of the mind,- has pervaded the layers of man's spirit through ages, unbaffled by commentaries of sages born in the course of centuries after its birth. It challenges every thinker of God's eternal time for the truth of its inspiration, and for the science of its explanations about life and all that is connected with life.

A simple tale of fight between the Majority, Kauravas, undemocratically asserting an empire's untruth, and the Minority, Pandavas, righteously holding up the undying cause of truth under the direction of the charioteer Krishna is the matter of exposition of the great Riddle of the Universe. The Battle ground is the Kshetra of the Kauravas, modern Sarhind between the Satlej and the Yamuna- spiritually, the plain of man's soul- Arjuna the typical man, discontented man, man that does not see beyond the limits of his clouded vision, Krishna the indefatigable director of the human soul. When among scholarly critics descending down to the more modern generations, such as Rangacharya and Lionel Barnette, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Annie Besant and Brookes, some have considered Gita's thought to be confused, its utterances loose and rambling, the learning shallow and ill-assorted, while others have poured in their mellifluent sentiments in praise of its depth of wisdom and profundity of its thought, it may well be averred with unsparing confidence that even after two thousand years this Book that revolutionized the very system of human thinking, can meet the psychological requirements of mankind to the lasting benefit of the world.

Montesque, Grant, Watts, Green have sensed Fear inherent in man as the basis of all religion and theists like Hegel, Carlyle, even Rousseau and materialists like Marx, have accepted the theory of fearful man propelled towards remembering God. Arjuna trembles upto the end of the Gita with deep fear:-
The rejoinder from Brahma is soothing:

"Neither the hosts of gods nor the great sages know any origin of Me for I am the source of the gods and the great sages in every way". Ch. 10-Verse 2.

Advancing further in the same vein, according to Shankara's text, the Lord assures the representative of mankind:-

"He who knows Me, the unborn, without beginning, also the mighty lord of the worlds, he among mortals is undeluded and freed from all sins."

And how are qualifications marked by Krishna for the removal of fear from the heart of wavering man?

"Non-violence, equal -mindedness, contentment, austerity, charity, fame and ill fame the different states of being that proceed from me alone."

The Upanishad has ascertained the divine value of Sri Krishna by naming Him as Vishnu and the whole text of the Gita spreads the sweet odour of Vaishnavite philosophy of life. Mahatma Gandhi, therefore, wrote about it so early as 1925. "… When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies - and my life has been full of external tragedies - and if they have left no visible, no indelible scar on me I owe it all to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita."

In the neolithic age in which the Gita took shape in the master soul of the great Vyasa, i.e. 2500 years before Christ the prevalent sociology of the time needed some aid for the understanding of the supreme ends of life. "I manifest Myself when avidya and adharma spread to the ruin of mankind" says Krishna, and the darkness of the geography of the time shifted into light for civilization to grow on the pedestal of man's soul.

Confucius and Laotze were still to lay down the traditions of their wisdom, and they could build the mind of Asia on the fundamentals of the Gita. Preeminently, the doctrine of Non-violence, and Satya. It was a mighty continent - this Asia where Krishna first blew the music of correct science of human thinking. Through the Vedas charmed the soul of man to the paths of the Divine, yet the pastoralism of social structure was but a phase in the process of growth and progress. The Vedas, however, supplanted the need, however orthodox to the call of the hour. Between them and the Gita, there was scarce a fulfillment of the word of Brahma, that the Vedic man could understandingly accept for the satisfaction of his thirsting soul.

The natural man is never stationary : he advances unconsciously along the channels of Pleasure and Pain, as explained by Madhavacharya in his great commentary on the Gita, into the ultimate Kshetra of what Buddha puts down as Pari-Nirwana-Moksha in the philosophy of Ramanujacharya who commented on the Sacred Book about 1400 years after it held the world's mind first.

The Vedas in their immortality of action found supporters in the Arya Samajists so late as the time of Dayanand Saraswati, so fascinatingly deep they were since their birth. But they lacked the Sankhya and Karma Yoga of the philosophy of the Gita.

CONTENTS
Introductionix
IEarly Critics - Shankaracharya1
IIEarly Critics - The Buddha5
IIIShankaracharya & Ramanuja12
IVMadhusudana22
VNimbarka36
VIVallabhacharya42
VIIAurobindo Ghosh50
VIIIAmandagiri61
IXTilak65
XShridhara76
XITelang82
XIIDavies99
XIIIAnnie Beasant and Brooks107
XIVKavir115
XVBhakti Margis120
XVIChaitanya, Tukaram and Eknath128
XVIIMaharshi Ramana135
XVIIIConclusion139
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