Gita Darsanam: C. Radhakrishnan; Published by Hi-tech books, Azad Road, Kochi – 17. Price: Rs.290.

This is a fine exposition of the intricate philosophy embedded in the Bhagavad Gita, with parallels drawn from modern science and life experiences. The book, which has a brief introduction to each chapter, provides cross-references to the Upanishads and commentaries by Acharyas like Adi Sankara and other eminent men such as Gandhiji, Tilak and Aurobindo.

The book makes a wholesome reading. Special reference needs to be made to the masterly interpretation of the oft-quoted verse “karmanye…” Human psychology is intelligently interwoven in the expositions, with the author speaking of the dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna covering the prapanchika and the atma svarupa of Arjuna.

While the way words such as govinda, hrishikesa, jnana, vijnana , and padmapatra, and the gunas are explained is impressive, the allusion to the white horses of Arjuna's chariot and the baboon in its banner bring out the depth of the import.

The author's interpretation of the words paryaptam and aparyaptam marks a departure from the conventional.

However, the translation of Verses 2-7 and 3-2 appears to need a relook. The author employs the words to mean nishcitam bruhi — that is, “Arjuna asks the Lord to give His confirmed view.” Normally it is taken as nischitam sreyah — that is “which course to be taken by Arjuna will give him advantage definitely.”

The use of terse language by the author militates against easy reading and renders comprehension of the meaning rather difficult. As a consequence, one is made to read it over and over again to grasp the ideas fully. Yet, there is little doubt that the book is a valuable addition to the literature on the Gita, and the author deserves to be commended for his painstaking effort.

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