Reading the Bhagavad Gita

A pivotal poem in the history of yoga, the Bhagavad Gita has been assigned for the first weekend of yoga school.  For simplicity’s sake (and because I’ll get carpal tunnel if I keep re-typing it), I’m going to shorten the title to the “BG”.  Hope that doesn’t offend anyone…

Didn’t really know much about the BG before this.  I was really interested in it after finding a Yoga Journal article, describing how this book had influenced many great Western thinkers.  Thoreau.  Emerson.  Einstein.  In World War II, after seeing his atomic creation explode, Oppenheimer quoted, “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

The version of the BG that we are using is by Stephen Mitchell.  I am amazed that he could translate this ancient text and create such poetic beauty in another language.  What a gift to understand a culture and one of its greatest works, and then finesse that into written English.

So far, I’m up to Chapter 6.  I have two months to finish it, which should be no trouble.  However, I feel like I am struggling with it.

This BG feels like it should be read aloud.  That’s the sense I get as I read the words silently in my head.  I know that I am missing some of the meaning of the text.  I can feel the musical rhythm of the lines but they get lost in the unspoken quietness.