Perennial Delights in Translation
A.N.D. Haksar
THE BHAGAVAD GITA by Bibek Debroy Penguin Books, 2006, 321 pp., 250
March 2006, volume 30, No 3

Both these books are fresh presentations of famous Sanskrit works for the English-reading public. The two writers, distinguished academics who are also husband and wife, had in the past jointly authored abridged translations of the Vedas and selected Upanishads and Puranas. Drawing further from the ancient language’s treasure trove, they have now dealt separately with the best known of its scriptures and some classics from its literature. Bibek Debroy’s is a prose translation of the Bhagavad Gita. Each verse is translated separately, with the corresponding Sanskrit text on the opposite page for those familiar with the Devanagari script. “This is purely a translation” says the author. “To the extent interpretations are needed, they are in the notes”. The latter also explain several technical terms occurring in the original text, some of which, like dharma and yoga, have been left untranslated.

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