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RE: Help with Bhagawat Gita

From: Chandrashekaran Venkataraman (vchandra_at_ambernetworks.com)
Date: Tue Jul 18 2000 - 12:11:01 PDT

Dear Sri Mani/Parthasarathy Ranganathan,
   Thanks for responding to my mail about Srimad Bhagawat Gita. Actually
I had quoted this dhyAna slOkam in my first mail itself in this regard and
said
in that mail that " I think this is Adhi Sankara's" . Now I am not very 
sure about its author. The Slokam starts as "pArthAya prathibhOdhithAm" and
has many verses about the mahAtmyam of Srimad B.G. and has descriptions
such as "the Lord sailed Arjuna through the dreadful dhrONA, karNA, bhIshmA,

dhuryOdhana who are like crocodiles in the river ...". The verse quoted here
by Sri Mani also is a part of this dhyAna SlOkam and the SlOkam preceding
that
is :
   prapanna pArijAthAya thOthra vEthraika pANaiyE |
   j~gyAna mudrAya kr~shNAya gIthAmr~tha dhuhE namaha ||

   Another famous verse housed in this dhyAna SlOkam is

   vasudEva sutam dEvam kamsa chANUra mardhanam |
   dEvakI paramAnandam kr~shNam vandE jagatgurum ||

   adiyEn has this full dhyAna SlOkam and recites this before gItha
recitation.
Probably I was confused by the words, "advaithAmr~tha varshiNIm" and thought
it is Sri Sankara's. I am sorry. Knowledgeable members please share your
thoughts about this.
 
   One question in general to members who are steeped in Srimad B.G . What
is
the general opinion about the language of translation one is better off
reading
in, barring the factor of the erudition of the translator ? If we have both
tamizh and english translation of Sri Bhashya commentary, which could bring
about
more satisfaction to a reader-seeker ? I know this is somewhat subjective
and also
subject to the translator's erudition etc., But it would be helpful to get
an 
idea as to what Bhagawathas have experienced.

   Thanks.

   adiyEn,
   chandrasekaran.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mani Varadarajan [mailto:mani@alum.calberkeley.org]
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2000 11:09 AM
To: Chandrasekaran Venkatraman
Cc: bhakti-list@egroups.com
Subject: Re: Help with Bhagawat Gita


Chandrasekaran Venkatraman writes:
> 2. I would like to know the Gita dhyAna SlOkam in practice amoung Sri 
> Vaishnavas.

I do not if there is one in particular, but I have heard
the great Sri Velukkudi Varadachariar Swami recite the
following before a lecture on the Gita:

  sarvopanishado gAvo dogdhA gopAla-nandanaH |
  pArtho vatsaH su-dhIr bhOktA dugdham gItAmRtam mahat ||

  If all the Upanishads are cows, their milker is the beloved
  of the cowherds, Sri Krishna. Arjuna is the calf, and
  the wise are those who drink the milk which is this
  great nectar, the Gita.

> 3. Can one recite non-consecutive chapters of Srimad B.G during the
> same prayer session ? For eg. suppose adiyEn wants to meditate on 
> karma yoga concepts and subsequently those of bhakti yoga, can adiyEn 
> recite chap.3 and chap.12 without reciting the chapters in between ?

I don't think there are any hard and fast rules here as long
as you meditate on them with the appropriate meaning.

As far as translations of the Gita go, the only readily
available editions in English that I can recommend are 
Swami Adidevananda's with Sri Ramanuja's Gita-bhashya, published  
by the Ramakrishna Ashrama and available anywhere where their
books are found, and Sri M.R. Sampatkumaran's translation 
of the same.
 
dAsan,
Mani

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