Bhagavad Gita

reviewed by Kristine Morris

The Beloved Lord's Secret Love Song

by Graham M. Schweig

Bhagavad GitaOne of the world’s most important Scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita describes itself as “the supreme secret of yoga,” and this new translation by Eastern religion scholar Graham M. Schweig is the first to highlight this relationship. What really makes this masterful translation such a sweet reading experience, however, is its free-verse poetic form and deep attention to the subtle feel of the original Sanskrit.

“Every verse of the Bhagavad Gita is a meditation,” says Schweig. “Each verse is translated so as to bring out its meditative richness, as well as its place within the continuum of verses. I have attempted to make this English translation a ‘reincarnation’ of the mood and feeling of the original Sanskrit verse. My goal is for the reader to receive a powerful experience of the original, to be able to hear something of the poetic form and qualities of the Sanskrit verse in the English rendering.” Schweig has been attentive even to gender inclusivity, using gender-neutral English words to preserve the universality that is subtly present in the masculine pronouns of the Sanskrit but lacking in English. Extensive footnotes, an essay that enhances understanding of the text, an index of religious terms and Sanskrit words, and a complete transliterated Sanskrit text and pronunciation guide are included.

If you have wanted to experience the beauty of this “sacred song of India” but have found other translations too unwieldy, you will fi nd that this one opens the door to the text’s philosophical and spiritual ideas — and its heart — with pleasure, poetry, and grace.

Graham M. Schweig received his doctorate from Harvard and has taught at Duke University and the University of Virginia. He was a visiting Fellow at Oxford University, and regularly lectures at the Smithsonian. He is currently a professor of philosophy and religion at Christopher Newport University and is the author and translator of several books, including Dance of Divine Love: India’s Classic Sacred Love Story, The Rasa Lila of Krishna.


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