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The Bhagavad Gita : the song of God retold in simplified English
2019
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Author Notes
Dr. Edward Viljoen graduated as a Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chaplain in April 1999, and received a Doctor of Divinity and a Doctor of Religious Science from Centers for Spiritual Living. He was awarded the much-respected Ernest Holmes Award for exemplary demonstration of the teachings of Dr. Ernest Holmes. He is the spiritual director of the Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living, in Santa Rosa, CA.
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  Publishers Weekly Review

Viljoen (The Power of Meditation), spiritual director of the Santa Rosa Center for Spiritual Living, provides a lively condensed version of this influential Hindu text, written in modern language, as well as his own commentary for the uninitiated reader. The Bhagavad Gita mainly comprises a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide Krishna on the horrors and necessities of war. Viljoen starts with a long introduction, then presents a one-page chart of characters and a 26-page paraphrase of the book-liberally sprinkled with useful footnotes. His pithy prose and enthusiastic tone help make the ancient text and traditions come alive: "I love those who are not puffed up when praised, or depressed when blamed, but find their harmony wherever they go," Krishna says. Meant as an invitation to a deeper study of Hindu traditions, Viljoen provides basic explanations of some of Hinduism's principles (samsara and moksha), practices (bhakti yoga, meditation), and deities (Lord Krishna, the Trimurti). A section of definitions at the end also provides further context. This short overview will be a great starting point for readers interested in one of the world's most read religious texts, and Viljoen's suggestions for further reading will be of great interest to those who want to fill in the gaps he leaves unfilled. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p> The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God Retold in Simplified English is the latest title in the Essential Wisdom Library. This unique edition of the timeless epic is designed to be accessible for readers without any prior experience of Hinduism. Not simply a translation of the original, Viljoen has simplified and restated the Gita's complex ideas, so that a first-time reader can fully appreciate the scope and beauty of this magnificent Indian classic. Written in concise, modern language the retelling vividly captures the power and depth of the original work.</p> <p>Part of the Mahabharata, the Gita is a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna. Its verses contain some of the key ideas of Hindu philosophy--Dharma, Moksha, and various yogic practices. Originally written well over a thousand years ago, the Gita has proven to be a timeless source of wisdom, inspiring philosophers and revolutionaries alike in the millennia since it was written.</p> <p>In addition to the retelling of the text, this edition includes a character list, a glossary of important terms, and chapters exploring the back-story from the Mahabharata and the impact and meaning of the Bhagavad Gita itself. The Bhagavad Gita is an approachable way for today's readers to engage with one of history's richest spiritual epics.</p>
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