In all the commentaries I have studied regarding the “Bhagavad Gita”, there’s one missing perspective. Love is missing. The ancients had an unconditioned love for humanity and an unmistakable interest in the evolution of the civilizations on earth. The wisdom of each yogic master was supreme in their respective field. Instead of taking their knowledge to the grave, the masters came together and created the most perfect text in the history of humanity. They then allowed the project manager, Sage Vyasa, to claim authorship. They had no personal attachment that comes with credit to their own names.
The wording of the Gita is concise. The 700 verses express the primary laws responsible for human incarnation and bestow a wealth of insight into one’s personal growth. Each soul returns from a limited human experience to universal spirit. Because of the concise and lawful nature of the wording, a strict translation of the Gita can seem harsh and uncompromising. Confronted with the unique characteristics language, translators often resort to repetitive simplicity.
Goal & Easter Eggs
The primary goal of the “The Devotee’s Gita” is to offer a kinder and gentler interpretation of each verse. The “Helpful Translation” is aimed at my fellow members of the Kshatriya caste who practice a systematic form of concentration and meditation on a daily basis.
Current pop culture mavens like to hint at related entertainment. These subtle references are called “Easter Eggs”. Super fans watch for these allusions for fun and to reinforce their knowledge about the “expanded universe” of franchises like Star Wars.
The ancients were experts at the practice of hiding layers of meaning with subtle references. The “Bhagavad Gita” has been likened to an onion. One who studies the Gita sincerely and inquisitively will begin to peel back the onion skin which first attracted them. Each layer beneath the surface reading of the Gita leads to an expansion of understanding.
A Sanskrit Primer
During my study and contemplation of the Gita, two areas of hidden references become consistently apparent to me. First, the Gita can be used as an anatomy text for illustrating the physical nervous system and the subtle energy channels called “nadis”. The Gita gives detailed information about the nervous and nadi systems as well as the physiology of how these systems are related. Second, the Bhagavad Gita is a primer for the correct pronunciation and use of the ancient form of the Sanskrit language. When Sanskrit is mispronounced and the sounds are incorrectly combined, the language either loses its potency or worse creates results contrary to the original intentions. Ultimately, correct Sanskrit requires skill at using the physical and subtle sounds to manifest immediate results through mantras. Ancient Sanskrit is not as much of a language as it is a tool.
I have included brief notes about some of the Easter Eggs related to Sanskrit, anatomy and physiology at the end of most verses. A future goal is to complete a text that illuminates The Bhagavad Gita as a Sanskrit Primer.
By posting at least one verse each Wednesday and Sunday, all 700 verses will be covered in a little over three years. Following is the format for each verse (or family of verses when they more easily addressed as a related group).
The Devotee’s Gita
Chapter #, Verse #
English Translation by Sri Nerode (published in 1944):
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