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by the Editors
This translation of Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita, presented to the English speaking public by our most beloved Gurudeva, om vishnupada ashtottara-shata Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, is sure to inspire sincere students of bhakti in their practices. It can be considered complementary to the authoratative and popular Bhagavad-Gita As It Is by nitya-lila-pravishta om vishnupada ashtottara-shata Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja who is the prestigious pioneer in establishingthe Gaudiya-Vaishnava siddhanta in the western world. We humbly recommend students of the Gita to become familiar with the concepts presented therein before studying this present edition. Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja dedicated Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita As It Is to the eminent Gaudiya-Vedantacarya, Shrila Baladeva Vidya-bhushana.
Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura originally penned his Gita commentary in Sanskrit sutras (highl condensed aphorisms). now, by the mercy of Shri Hari, Guru and the Vaishnavas, it is being presented forthe first time in the English language. We hope that the innermost intentions of these acaryas have been sufficiently unveiled or our meditation and for a deeper appreciation o path of bhakti.
Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura commentary is written in the style called purva-paksha, argument and objection, which creates a continuous flow of questions and answers thus linking all of the Gita's shlokas like a necklace. It has been further illuminated (prakashika) by Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja's Sarartha-Varshini Prakashika-vritti, which guides the reader into profound aspects of the siddhanta. Consequently, the innermost intentions of the Gita are revealed to the modern audience. Some of the brilliant Rasika-ranjana commentaries by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, have been included within this Prakashika-vritti.
Many Sanskrit words have been kept in this translation. Sanskrit, the language spoken by Bhagavan Shri Krishna, far exceeds English as a medium for clearlyy conveying subtle concepts related to spiritual life. The English language is somewhat lacking in this regard. For example, words like devotion and religion, although occasionally used herein, are not very specific. The word dharma translates into English as religion or occupational duty, although it has a deeper meaning than either of these words. One meaning of the word dharma is one's fixed occupation in relation to the highest ideals known to man. Another meaning is the natural attraction of the part fo the whole, the jiva for Krishna. For this reason, wherever practical, the original Sanskrit terminology has been kept.
A feature of this edition which may be new to the English audience is the order of the word for word synonyms taken from the Sanskrit shlokas. We have not followed the sequential order of the words as they appear in the shlokas but rather the natural order of the words as they appear in a sentence. This traditional system is called anvaya in Sanskrit shlokas. anvaya literally means the natural order or connection of words in a sentence. Although this system may seem awkward at first in locating the words from the shloka, it greatly facilatates being able to see how the words fit together to form the translation of the shloka. The anvaya system also enables readers to use the Sanskrit words. for this reason the words that are occasionally inserted in the anvaya are placed before the next Sanskrit word. for example: dhenunam--of cows; (I am) kamadhuk-- the wish fulfilling cow.
We beg the reader to be patient with any shortcomings that the may see in the literary style o this presentation, which will invariably occur when such refined concepts are foreign to the language into which they are translated.
It has only been possible to produce this edition by the causeless mercy of our most beloved gurudeva, om vishnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, as well as om vishnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami-pada, om vishnupada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and all the Vaishnavas associated with the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. only if they are pleased with this edition, will we consider our humble efforts a success.