The Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Lord) remains one of the most significant and respected scriptural works in the world. First translated by Charles Wilkins (1749 –1836) in London, England in 1785, it has since appeared around the globe in various languages. This includes the Russian translation in 1788. Bhagavad Gita Book in English remain popular with over 400 translations now available.
Eighteenth Century Popularity and Nineteenth Century Works
In the 18th century, the first English Book set off a wave of popularity. Along with Wilkin’s translation, several others were being read in England, Europe and North America. The editor, translator and linguist Friedreich Max Mueller (1823-1900), included the Bhagavad Gita in volume 9 of his impressive massive 50 Volume set on Oriental Philosophy and religion. This was the Sacred Book of the East.
In the 19th century, William Quan Judge (1851 – 1896) published initially a series of lectures on the subject. It was followed by a book. As an esoteric, occultist and mystic, he provided some interesting interpretations of the Gita for readers.
Classic Modern Bhagavad Gita Book In English
When it comes to classic modern Bhagavad Gita Book in English, the reader and student has many different choices. These range from straight translations of the Sanskrit original to translations with commentary to commentary and translations on specific sections, religious references or philosophical concepts. While it is hard to reduce the number to a few, and some argue that any translation that does not take liberties with the language is acceptable, you can still say there are several authors who have gained a following for their translations and/or insightful commentary. Among them are the following:
- Eknath Easwaran (1910 – 1999) a spiritual teacher
- Dr. Ramananda Prasad of the International Gita Society
- Swami Prabhavanda with its introduction by Aldous Huxley
- Laurie L. Patton, American scholar, author and poet
- Sir Edward Arnold (1832-1904) English journalist and poet
- Swami Prabhupada founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKC)
- Charles Martin, scholar and Gavin Flood, poet
Finding Bhagavad Gita Book In English
Finding the best Bhagavad Gita Book in English is not always easy. While many translations may be the same, the commentaries on the work may differ substantially. Go online and research the subject. When you feel you know what approach will best suit your needs and expectations, go ahead and order it online. Like all who went before you, you will not be disappointed.
When looking for Bhagavad Gita Book in English, check out those available through the International Gita Society. We can help you find the right book.