The first 147 pages gives a topical overview of the content of the Gita. This is a very well-organized and thought-out presentation drawing out the conceptual connections and as the author does, he indicates the verse of the Gita that states the point made. In other words, right in the text, as you read along the author references where in the Gita you can find the point he is making. There are plenty of clarifying footnotes. In these two ways this could be seen as more of a scholarly presentation or a textbook. I didn’t find this offputting, but interesting. It lent weight to the points being made and didn’t feel intrusive. If I had wanted to, I could go to each reference and see how the author was pulling concepts together.
The topical overview was well done. One has to really know the Gita to “pull it apart” and put it back together as HD Goswami has done here.
The last 61 pages are the actual translation of the Gita text. I had never read a literal translation before and I liked this a lot.
In a literal translation one is focused on the words, instead of word order. For me this created a freshness I hadn’t experienced before when reading the Gita. Fresh is good because angles of vision and nuances can suddenly pop out at you. And I find this happening as I read.
I also got a sense of being allowed to “hear” them speak and feel who they were as people. It was a moving experience.
This is an easy book to get through. I really enjoyed it and recommend the book — though I’m not a fan of the cover!
Purchase the book.