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Sanjaya, tell me what my sons

and the sons of Pandu did when they met,

wanting to battle on the field of Kuru,

on the field of sacred duty? 1


Your son Duryodhana, the king,

seeing the Pandava forces arrayed,

approached his teacher Drona

and spoke in command. 2

"My teacher, see

the great Pandava army arrayed

by Drupada's son,

your pupil, intent on revenge. 3

Here are heroes, mighty archers

equal to Bhima and Arjuna in warfare,

Yuyudhana, Virata, and Drupada,

your sworn foe on his great chariot. 4

Here too are Dhrishtaketu, Cekitana,

and the brave king of Benares;

Purujit, Kuntibhoja,

and the manly king of the Shibis. 5

Yudhamanyu is bold,

and Uttamaujas is brave;

the sons of Subhadra and Draupadi

all command great chariots. 6

Now, honored priest, mark

the superb men on our side

as I tell you the names

of my army's leaders. 7

They are you and Bhishma,

Karna and Kripa, a victor in battles,

your own son Ashvatthama,

Vikarna, and the son of Somadatta. 8

Many other heroes also risk

their lives for my sake,

bearing varied weapons

and skilled in the ways of war. 9

Guarded by Bhishma, the strength

of our army is without limit;

but the strength of their army,

guarded by Bhima, is limited. 10

In all the movements of battle,

you and your men,

stationed according to plan,

must guard Bhishma well!" 11

Bhishma, fiery elder of the Kurus,

roared his lion's roar

and blew his conch horn,

exciting Duryodhana's delight. 12

Conches and kettledrums,

cymbals, tabors, and trumpets

were sounded at once

and the din of tumult arose. 13

Standing on their great chariot

yoked with white stallions,

Krishna and Arjuna, Pandu's son,

sounded their divine conches. 14

Krishna blew Pancajanya, won from a demon;

Arjuna blew Devadatta, a gift of the gods;

fierce wolf-bellied Bhima blew Paundra,

his great conch of the east. 15

Yudhishthira, Kunti's son, the king,

blew Anantavijaya, conch of boundless victory;

his twin brothers Nakula and Sahadeva

blew conches resonant and jewel toned. 16

The king of Benares, a superb archer,

and Shikhandin on his great chariot,

Drishtadyumna, Virata, and indomitable Satyaki,

all blew their conches. 17

Drupada, with his five grandsons,

and Subhadra's strong-armed son,

each in his turn blew

their conches, O King. 18

The noise tore the hearts

of Dhritarashtra's sons,

and tumult echoed

through heaven and earth. 19

Arjuna, his war flag a rampant monkey,

saw Dhritarashtra's sons assembled

as weapons were ready to clash,

and he lifted his bow. 20

He told his charioteer:


halt my chariot

between the armies! 21

Far enough for me to see

these men who lust for war,

ready to fight with me

in the strain of battle. 22

I see men gathered here,

eager to fight,

bent on serving the folly

of Dhritarashtra's son." 23

When Arjuna had spoken,

Krishna halted

their splendid chariot

between the armies. 24

Facing Bhishma and Drona

and all the great kings,

he said, "Arjuna, see

the Kuru men assembled here!" 25

Arjuna saw them standing there:

fathers, grandfathers, teachers,

uncles, brothers, sons,

grandsons, and friends. 26

He surveyed his elders

and companions in both armies,

all his kinsmen

assembled together. 27

Dejected, filled with strange pity,

he said this:

"Krishna, I see my kinsmen

gathered here, wanting war. 28

My limbs sink,

my mouth is parched,

my body trembles,

the hair bristles on my flesh. 29

The magic bow slips

from my hand, my skin burns,

I cannot stand still,

my mind reels. 30

I see omens of chaos,

Krishna; I see no good

in killing my kinsmen

in battle. 31

Krishna, I seek no victory,

or kingship or pleasures.

What use to us are kingship,

delights, or life itself? 32

We sought kingship, delights,

and pleasures for the sake of those

assembled to abandon their lives

and fortunes in battle. 33

They are teachers, fathers, sons,

and grandfathers, uncles, grandsons,

fathers and brothers of wives,

and other men of our family. 34

I do not want to kill them

even if I am killed, Krishna;

not for kingship of all three worlds,

much less for the earth! 35

What joy is there for us, Krishna,

in killing Dhritarashtra's sons?

Evil will haunt us if we kill them,

though their bows are drawn to kill. 36

Honor forbids us to kill

our cousins, Dhritarashtra's sons;

how can we know happiness

if we kill our own kinsmen? 37

The greed that distorts their reason

blinds them to the sin they commit

in ruining the family, blinds them

to the crime of betraying friends. 38

How can we ignore the wisdom

of turning from this evil

when we see the sin

of family destruction, Krishna? 39

When the family is ruined,

the timeless laws of family duty

perish; and when duty is lost,

chaos overwhelms the family. 40

In overwhelming chaos, Krishna,

women of the family are corrupted;

and when women are corrupted,

disorder is born in society. 41

This discord drags the violators

and the family itself to hell;

for ancestors fall when rites

of offering rice and water lapse. 42

The sins of men who violate

the family create disorder in society

that undermines the constant laws

of caste and family duty. 43

Krishna, we have heard

that a place in hell

is reserved for men

who undermine family duties. 44

I lament the great sin

we commit when our greed

for kingship and pleasures

drives us to kill our kinsmen. 45

If Dhritarashtra's armed sons

kill me in battle when I am unarmed

and offer no resistance,

it will be my reward." 46

Saying this in the time of war,

Arjuna slumped into the chariot

and laid down his bow and arrows,

his mind tormented by grief. 47





Arjuna sat dejected,

filled with pity,

his sad eyes blurred by tears.

Krishna gave him counsel. 1

Lord Krishna

Why this cowardice

in time of crisis, Arjuna?

The coward is ignoble, shameful,

foreign to the ways of heaven. 2

Don't yield to impotence!

It is unnatural in you!

Banish this petty weakness from your heart.

Rise to the fight, Arjuna! 3


Krishna, how can I fight

against Bhishma and Drona

with arrows

when they deserve my worship? 4

It is better in this world

to beg for scraps of food

than to eat meals

smeared with the blood

of elders I killed

at the height of their power

while their goals

were still desires. 5

We don't know which weight

is worse to bear--

our conquering them

or their conquering us.

We will not want to live

if we kill

the sons of Dhritarashtra

assembled before us. 6

The flaw of pity

blights my very being;

conflicting sacred duties

confound my reason.

I ask you to tell me

decisively--Which is better?

I am your pupil.

Teach me what I seek! 7

I see nothing

that could drive away

the grief

that withers my senses;

even if I won kingdoms

of unrivaled wealth

on earth

and sovereignty over gods. 8


Arjuna told this

to Krishna--then saying,

"I shall not fight,"

he fell silent. 9

Mocking him gently,

Krishna gave this counsel

as Arjuna sat dejected,

between the two armies. 10

Lord Krishna

You grieve for those beyond grief,

and you speak words of insight;

but learned men do not grieve

for the dead or the living. 11

Never have I not existed,

nor you, nor these kings;

and never in the future

shall we cease to exist. 12

Just as the embodied self

enters childhood, youth, and old age,

so does it enter another body;

this does not confound a steadfast man. 13

Contacts with matter make us feel

heat and cold, pleasure and pain.

Arjuna, you must learn to endure

fleeting things--they come and go! 14

When these cannot torment a man,

when suffering and joy are equal

for him and he has courage,

he is fit for immortality. 15

Nothing of nonbeing comes to be,

nor does being cease to exist;

the boundary between these two

is seen by men who see reality. 16

Indestructible is the presence

that pervades all this;

no one can destroy

this unchanging reality. 17

Our bodies are known to end,

but the embodied self is enduring,

indestructible, and immeasurable;

therefore, Arjuna, fight the battle! 18

He who thinks this self a killer

and he who thinks it killed,

both fail to understand;

it does not kill, nor is it killed. 19

It is not born,

it does not die;

having been,

it will never not be;

unborn, enduring,

constant, and primordial,

it is not killed

when the body is killed. 20

Arjuna, when a man knows the self

to be indestructible, enduring, unborn,

unchanging, how does he kill

or cause anyone to kill? 21

As a man discards

worn-out clothes

to put on new

and different ones,

so the embodied self


its worn-out bodies

to take on other new ones. 22

Weapons do not cut it,

fire does not burn it,

waters do not wet it,

wind does not wither it. 23

It cannot be cut or burned;

it cannot be wet or withered;

it is enduring, all-pervasive,

fixed, immovable, and timeless. 24

It is called unmanifest,

inconceivable, and immutable;

since you know that to be so,

you should not grieve! 25

If you think of its birth

and death as ever-recurring,

then too, Great Warrior,

you have no cause to grieve! 26

Death is certain for anyone born,

and birth is certain for the dead;

since the cycle is inevitable,

you have no cause to grieve! 27

Creatures are unmanifest in origin,

manifest in the midst of life,

and unmanifest again in the end.

Since this is so, why do you lament? 28

Rarely someone

sees it,

rarely another

speaks it,

rarely anyone

hears it--

even hearing it,

no one really knows it. 29

The self embodied in the body

of every being is indestructible;

you have no cause to grieve

for all these creatures, Arjuna! 30

Look to your own duty;

do not tremble before it;

nothing is better for a warrior

than a battle of sacred duty. 31

The doors of heaven open

for warriors who rejoice

to have a battle like this

thrust on them by chance. 32

If you fail to wage this war

of sacred duty,

you will abandon your own duty

and fame only to gain evil. 33

People will tell

of your undying shame,

and for a man of honor

shame is worse than death. 34

The great chariot warriors will think

you deserted in fear of battle;

you will be despised

by those who held you in esteem. 35

Your enemies will slander you,

scorning your skill

in so many unspeakable ways--

could any suffering be worse? 36

If you are killed, you win heaven;

if you triumph, you enjoy the earth;

therefore, Arjuna, stand up

and resolve to fight the battle! 37

Impartial to joy and suffering,

gain and loss, victory and defeat,

arm yourself for the battle,

lest you fall into evil. 38

Understanding is defined in terms of philosophy;

now hear it in spiritual discipline.

Armed with this understanding, Arjuna,

you will escape the bondage of action. 39

No effort in this world

is lost or wasted;

a fragment of sacred duty

saves you from great fear. 40

This understanding is unique

in its inner core of resolve;

diffuse and pointless are the ways

irresolute men understand. 41

Undiscerning men who delight

in the tenets of ritual lore

utter florid speech, proclaiming,

"There is nothing else!" 42

Driven by desire, they strive after heaven

and contrive to win powers and delights,

but their intricate ritual language

bears only the fruit of action in rebirth. 43

Obsessed with powers and delights,

their reason lost in words,

they do not find in contemplation

this understanding of inner resolve. 44

Arjuna, the realm of sacred lore

is nature--beyond its triad of qualities,

dualities, and mundane rewards,

be forever lucid, alive to your self. 45

For the discerning priest,

all of sacred lore

has no more value than a well

when water flows everywhere. 46

Be intent on action,

not on the fruits of action;

avoid attraction to the fruits

and attachment to inaction! 47

Perform actions, firm in discipline,

relinquishing attachment;

be impartial to failure and success--

this equanimity is called discipline. 48

Arjuna, action is far inferior

to the discipline of understanding;

so seek refuge in understanding--pitiful

are men drawn by fruits of action. 49

Disciplined by understanding,

one abandons both good and evil deeds;

so arm yourself for discipline--

discipline is skill in actions. 50

Wise men disciplined by understanding

relinquish the fruit born of action;

freed from these bonds of rebirth,

they reach a place beyond decay. 51

When your understanding passes beyond

the swamp of delusion,

you will be indifferent to all

that is heard in sacred lore. 52

When your understanding turns

from sacred lore to stand fixed,

immovable in contemplation,

then you will reach discipline. 53


Krishna, what defines a man

deep in contemplation whose insight

and thought are sure? How would he speak?

How would he sit? How would he move? 54

Lord Krishna

When he gives up desires in his mind,

is content with the self within himself,

then he is said to be a man

whose insight is sure, Arjuna. 55

When suffering does not disturb his mind,

when his craving for pleasures has vanished,

when attraction, fear, and anger are gone,

he is called a sage whose thought is sure. 56

When he shows no preference

in fortune or misfortune

and neither exults nor hates,

his insight is sure. 57

When, like a tortoise retracting

its limbs, he withdraws his senses

completely from sensuous objects,

his insight is sure. 58

Sensuous objects fade

when the embodied self abstains from food;

the taste lingers, but it too fades

in the vision of higher truth. 59

Even when a man of wisdom

tries to control them, Arjuna,

the bewildering senses

attack his mind with violence. 60

Controlling them all,

with discipline he should focus on me;

when his senses are under control,

his insight is sure. 61

Brooding about sensuous objects

makes attachment to them grow;

from attachment desire arises,

from desire anger is born. 62

From anger comes confusion;

from confusion memory lapses;

from broken memory understanding is lost;

from loss of understanding, he is ruined. 63

But a man of inner strength

whose senses experience objects

without attraction and hatred,

in self-control, finds serenity. 64

In serenity, all his sorrows


his reason becomes serene,

his understanding sure. 65

Without discipline,

he has no understanding or inner power;

without inner power, he has no peace;

and without peace where is joy? 66

If his mind submits to the play

of the senses,

they drive away insight,

as wind drives a ship on water. 67 --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Bhagavad-Gita has been an essential text of Hindu culture in India since the time of its composition in the first century A.D. One of the great classics of world literature, it has inspired such diverse thinkers as Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and T.S. Eliot; most recently, it formed the core of Peter Brook's celebrated production of the Mahabharata. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché
  • Editeur : Bantam Doubleday Dell
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0965064751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965064750
  • Dimensions du produit: 20,8 x 13,7 x 1,8 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Magnifique traduction d'un chef d'oeuvre littéraire et spirituel.
Le Gita fait partie des livre que tout le monde devrait lire au moins une fois.
Je recommande.
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45 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Celestial Song 20 janvier 2001
Par Chinmay Hota - Publié sur
Format: Broché
'Bhagavad-Gita' which means `Celestial Song' or `Song of theLord' is an immensely popular sacred text in India.....
What makes 'Bhagavad-Gita' so popular? To begin with, its lines are steeped in extraordinary lyrical grace. The eight syllable or occasionally eleven syllable quarters exude a rare poetic energy.
Secondly, the text centres around two very popular characters from Indian religion and mythology: Krishna and Arjuna.
Thirdly, the context , that is the great war scene of 'Mahabharata' adds to the drama of the narrative.
Apart from all these, the most endearing quality of 'Gita' lies in the practicality of its teachings for all times. The great war is about to begin, but the hero Arjuna is beset with self-doubt, hesitation and remorse. Krishna, his charioteer, engages him in a long dialogue, which forms the main body of the narrative. Krishna's counsel not only dispels Arjuna's fears and doubts, it also provides solution to the eternal struggle between the spiritual and material in every human being. It answers all existential questions of man. Each man is facing a battle of Mahabharata within himself in his everyday life. To live, man has to fight, for life is a battle in which forces of good and evil are at constant war.
Krishna's advice for man is to be deeply interested in his action and moral duty, yet to remain inwardly unattached, because man's real enemy is desire due to attachment. This enemy can be overcome by arming oneself with discipline and acting in a manner so as to cross the narrow limits of desire. Man must perform his duty disinterestedly, without selfish desire and without losing sight of ultimate spiritual reality. This al reality is surrender to Krishna himself. Krishna says,
`Relinquishing all sacred duties to me, make me your only refuge; do not grieve, for I shall free you from all evils.' (XVIII, 66)
'Bhagavad-Gita' is much more than my summary -- it is in fact the essence of Hinduism. 'Gita' touches upon all the basic concepts of Hindu religion such as duty (dharma), discipline (yoga), action (karma), knowledge (jnana) and devotion (bhakti).
Barabara Stoler Miller's translation of 'The Bhagavad-Gita' faithfully retains the charm, lyricality and essence of the original. For the Western reader, the `Introduction' and the `Afterword' titled `Why Did Henry David Thoreau Take 'The Bhagavat Gita' to Walden Pond,' comes as a great help for understanding the poem itself and realising the guiding principles of Hinduism. The section on keywords is in fact an extension of the lucid commentary given in the beginning.
I recommend this translated version not only to the new readers of 'Gita', but also to those, who, bogged down by the numerous explanations of the scripture, seek a fresh look at it.
33 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good undergraduate class edition 4 août 2003
Par Daniel - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The size and low price of the book make it appealing to assign to college courses. This decision is reinforced by the clarity of the translation, which uses such terms as "infinite spirit" instead of "Brahman," which tends to confuse the reader. The presentation on the page is also satisfactory, especially compared to the Penguin edition's sloppy appearance.
To those who think Stoler's translation misses the mark because of an emphasis on war in it, this is incorrect. She properly places Arjuna's dilemma in his supposedly real life situation. This is how Hindu texts operated: put a person in a practical, believable situation the reader can identify with, then respond to it with the message from the wisdom-giver. It makes perfect sense, and Stoler does not miss the warfare of the soul also present in Arjuna.
Also recommended is Eknath Easwaran's translation into English.
158 internautes sur 186 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not the best, but still not bad 7 août 2001
Par Dennis Littrell - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Professor Miller's is not one of the better translations of the Gita. We can see this immediately by her choice of subtitle, "Krishna's Counsel in Time of War," which works against the real significance of what Krishna is saying and misses the profound message of the Gita entirely. If the Gita were only advice about how to act during war, it could hardly have even a minuscule part of the world-wide and timeless significance that it has. Regardless of how literally one may want to read the Gita, it is an unmistakable truth that Krishna's counsel is not about war, per se, but about how to live life, and how to face death.

We can also see in her introduction and in the "key words" section following the text that her understanding of the Gita is mostly academic. She has not practiced (at least not to any great extent) any of the yogas central to the Gita. It cannot be emphasized enough that a true understanding of the Bhagavad Gita requires not only study but practice in one or more of the four yogas presented by Krishna, namely bhakti yoga, karma yoga, jnana yoga or raja yoga.

To illustrate some of the problems in the text, let's look at the beginning of Chapter Five as an example. Miller calls this, "The Fifth Teaching: Renunciation of Action," which is not exactly right since what is renounced are the fruits of action, not action itself, which according to the Gita, is impossible to renounce. We always act; even in inaction we are acting. Just "Renunciation" would be a better title for the chapter. Miller uses the word "Simpletons" in the fourth verse as the converse of "the learned"; but this is just poor diction. The intent of the Sanskrit is "unlearned" or "immature." Swami Nikhilananda, in his translation (1944; 6th printing, 1979), even uses the word "children." The natural word is "fools" which Miller avoids for no clear reason.

In the next verse, Miller has: "Men of discipline reach the same place/that philosophers attain;/he really sees who sees philosophy/and discipline to be one." She certainly has the spirit of the meaning correct, but "Men of discipline" is not only needlessly vague, it is misleading since discipline alone does not work at all, which is one of Krishna's main points. While hers is a literal translation of the Sanskrit "yogair," a more meaningful translation would be "Men of yoga." R. C. Zaehner, who translated the Gita for the Oxford University Press (1969), uses "men of practice" although that too is not entirely agreeable. Eknath Easwaran (1985; 2000), who really knows yoga, has Krishna simply say, "The goal of knowledge and the goal of service are the same; those who fail to see this are blind." Easwaran can deviate from a strict literal translation because he really understands the purport of the Gita. Swami Prabhupada, whose translation serves the further didactic purpose of promoting "Krishna consciousness," is also a man who has a deep understanding of the Gita. He puts it this way: "One who knows that the position reached by means of renunciation can also be attained by devotional service, and who therefore sees that sankhya and yoga are on the same level, sees things as they are."

Another disagreeable choice made by Miller is the epithet, "Lord of Discipline" that she has Arjuna use in addressing Krishna in 10.17. This unhappy phrasing comes about because of Miller's reluctance to use the proper and natural word "yoga." Easwaran has "supreme master of yoga," while Nikhilananda has simply, "O, Yogi...O, Lord." Prabhupada has "You...O Blessed Lord," and Zaehner tries to explain with "athlete of the spirit...You, Blessed Lord." Stephen Mitchell's recent translation (2000) has the eminently sensible, "Lord of Yoga."

I think Miller was overly influenced by the very literal and also largely academic translation by Franklin Edgerton from 1944, a translation admired in academic circles since it was the one included in the prestigious Harvard Oriental Series, but a translation neither poetic nor especially insightful. It is difficult to make strictly literal translations true to the spirit of the Gita because the Gita is poetic and is profound in a way not immediately apparent. Miller worked hard at a literal rendition of the text, but she also sought to make it contemporary for a particular (young) American generation. Ainslee Embree, Professor of History at Columbia University, is quoted on the cover as saying, "Miller's is the translation for her generation." Unfortunately, it is not clear that Embree meant that entirely as a compliment!

Having said all this, Miller's is a sincere effort, and captures most of what the Gita is about. No reasonable translation of this great spiritual work is in vain.

--Dennis Littrell, author of "Yoga: Sacred and Profane (Beyond Hatha Yoga)"
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
One of the truly great pieces of world literature 15 août 2002
Par Harry Dhillon - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Despite the literary criticisms made by some other reviewers, the fact is that the main messages of this age-old text still come through clearly in this modern translation. The introduction is excellent, and its engaging style is probably easier for first-time readers to swallow versus other academic translations. For the book's small price and size, it's a great investment and, as a piece of world literature, has to rank among the greatest ever produced.
While I think most religions of the world are fundamentally the same if you explore them yourself, from a documentation perspective, Eastern texts seem to go further than many Western texts in trying to explore and understand the nature of, and the relationship among, reality, God and ourselves. It seems you don't have to travel someplace far to finally understand it, or at least understand it better; the knowledge is in the here and now. Like Krishna's friend Arjuna, you have to become aware and accept it. And the first step in doing that is opening a book like this.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Poetic wisdom 12 juin 2000
Par Jonny D - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I felt compelled to review this translation so that I might emphasize its uniqueness in comparison to other translations I have read. In a word, "beautiful". While the 5 other translations I have read (Swami Prabhavananda, C. Rajagopalachari, Eugene Whitworth, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Yogananda) are all noteworthy and valuable, Barbara Stoler Miller's translation is particularly poetic. The wisdom flows easily and vividly as a result of this translator's interpretations. It's always the first translation I lend or recommend when asked.
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