Bhagavad Gita : Talks Between The Soul And God by Ranchor Prime
The Bhagavad Gita, a timeless classic hailing from India, has a history that goes back 3,000 years. Originally an oral tradition, it was eventually transcribed and has since been translated into over 75 languages worldwide, with more than 300 English editions. Ranchor Prime, an expert in Indian philosophy and culture, has crafted an English translation that is highly accessible to the general public, especially those seeking a deeper understanding of the Yoga tradition as a practical self-help guide.
The Bhagavad Gita stands alongside revered texts like the Bible, the Qur’an, and the Dao De Ching as a wisdom book that transcends specific faiths. Its profound teachings have resonated with thinkers such as Einstein, Emerson, Thoreau, and Jung, who recognized its timeless relevance in addressing the challenges of today’s world, much as it did when it was first revealed over three millennia ago.
As one of the two primary books on Yoga teachings in India (the other being the Yoga Sutras), the Bhagavad Gita is widely studied and used in yoga teacher training programs worldwide. Ranchor Prime, an English author, broadcaster, and ecological activist, initially penned this edition for his children. However, it is far from simplistic, as it offers a fresh perspective accessible to Western adults, unlike many of the hundreds of other translations.
The essence of the Gita revolves around profound life mysteries, exploring concepts such as the nature of the Self, the Universe, and the Higher Power on a battlefield through a conversation between the soul and a Divine Being known as an Avatar. Ranchor Prime’s version stands out with its nonsectarian approach, making the Gita inclusive of all religious backgrounds, or even none, while emphasizing the connection between spirituality and personal growth.
The book also provides section-by-section commentary, allowing spiritual seekers to delve deeper into its teachings. Prime remains mindful of his readers throughout, aiming to foster a personal understanding of the Gita. Anyone who has pondered the purpose of life, questioned their own identity, or sought inner peace will find this book invaluable. It is an invitation to explore the timeless wisdom of yoga, tailored to the needs of today’s world.
The Bhagavad-Gita: Talks Between the Soul & God
The Bhagavad-Gita, also known as the Song of God, is a sacred book of wisdom that holds great relevance in the 21st century. Its message speaks to the crisis we are facing today. I discovered the Gita forty years ago and immediately felt that Krishna’s words were the voice of God. I became a disciple of Prabhupada, my spiritual teacher, and delved into the profound teachings of the Gita.
Years later, I realized the need for a simple and inclusive translation of the Gita, one that would capture my own religious upbringing and honor the diversity of God’s manifestations. Thus, I published an edition called “Bhagavad-Gita: Talks between the Soul and God.” This edition explores the mysteries of yoga, the eternal spirit of God, love for God, and the relationship between the individual and the Divine.
To make this edition more appealing, I collaborated with artist Charles Newington, who created beautiful illustrations for each chapter of the Gita. These illustrations serve to enhance the reader’s understanding and engagement with the text.
In the following sections, I will present three short glimpses into the Gita through the eyes of my artist friend, Charles Newton.