This commentary on Bhagawad Geeta lucidly presents the most profound and comprehensive explanation of yogic philosophy in Geeta. It contains, in a condensed form, almost all the philosophical and psychological wisdom of the ancient vedic scriptures. This work combines the ancient teachings of the East with the contemporary thoughts and ideas of the West. It deals with the most traditional, religious writings known to the world. The translation of the Sanskrit verses is concise and readable. It is a systematic guide which can help the individual to enhance his creativity, productivity, inner peace and contentment. This work presents practical application of the various facets of yoga in Bhagawad Geeta.
A simple and straightforward approach towards the understanding of yoga and the various levels of the human consciousness makes this book uniquely valuable. People who are interested in the study of metaphysics, psychotherapy, yoga and meditation will find valuable information in this book. It is a remarkable commentary which will enlighten the readers to the subtle understanding of Geeta and guide them into the practice of the science of yoga as explained in vedic tradition.
Excerpts from the book:
Excellency in the performance of work is clear reflection of the yogic unity and connectedness to the source of life.
It is the consciousness of the yogic unity which initiates the individual into the gospel of selfless action and transforms the performance of every action into the yoga of action.
The performance of action itself becomes the reward when it is performed intelligently, diligently and devotedly.
The highest goal of life can be realized when the person is unassailably established in yogic unity and when he himself becomes aware of the truth, that he is living in it.
Live in yoga and work through the uninterrupted consciousness of the Supreme is the swadharma of mankind.
The Legacy of Yoga In Bhagawad Geeta is a valuable addition to the existing literature on the Bhagawad Geeta. Mrs. Prabha Duneja has presented the universal and timeless message of the Geeta in a scholarly yet practical way. For busy people in the world today, a manual outlining the science and yoga of action is most welcome.
– Swami Prabuddhananda
Vedanta Society of Northern California
Prabha Duneja's The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta is extraordinary. Combining a fresh, accessible translation with judicious use of rich and varied scholarship, and keen insight into the heart of the Geeta, Duneja has produced a wonderful resource for both personal and scholarly study. For those seeking spiritual truth, Duneja's book is a wonderful guide. Her writing is lucid, offering not only abundant insight into the nature of ultimate reality but also thoughtful reflection on the yogic practices, which are central to the Geeta's message. Her understanding of inter-religious matters is clear as the book skillfully bridges not only linguistic and cultural chasms but philosophical ones as well, thus making it valuable for persons from all faiths. Students seeking to understand the message carried within the Geeta will be well served by this volume. I have been using it in my classes for a number of years now and happily report that students find her commentary –both explaining the text and expanding upon it – to be of immense value as it brings clarity to the most delicate and difficult of concepts. The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta is a unique scholarly achievement and one which will greatly benefit all who encounter it. I heartily recommend it. Duneja's writing is vibrant – it touches not only the mind but the heart,soul and spirit as well Her writing is alive.
– Prof. Norris W. Palmer, PhD
Saint Mary's College of California, U.S.A.
After having read the translations of Swami Prabhupada, Barbara Stoler Miller, Eliot Deutsch, and now by Prabha Duneja, I take the risk of admitting my debt to Duneja's work, which she calls the labour of love. Except for the style of writing, there is not much deviation from one translation to the next in terms of meaning. Sanskrit is a rich language. However, its meaning does not get lost in translation if one knows the language very well. Obviously, all of the translators know Sanskrit and hence have translated the text as best as it can be translated. However, there is a difference in the translation of Duneja's Geeta. Her work is accompanied by commentaries at the end of each chapter. Although this is also the case with Swami Prabhupada's monumental work, his work has the hallmark of a missionary quality, which may not be suitable in an academic setting. I find Duneja's book extremely valuable, because she writes from her personal experience in very simple and plain language without using academic jargons such as epistemology, ontology and soteriology most books on religion are full of. She proves that one can still write a book and convey the meaning of profound wisdom without using terms that seldom relate to the general reader. It is clearly a book written for the general readers, whether that reader is from the East or from the West. As long as the reader is genuinely interested in learning the meaning of the Geeta this is the book I would recommend highly.
– Deepak Shimkhada, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies Department of Philosophy and Religion, Claremont McKenna College, CA
From the moment I picked up Prabha Duneja' s translation of the Bhagawad Geeta, I knew that this was an inspired work. Not only is her rendition an academic contribution in clear English, but it retains the power of the original Sanskrit. Her commentaries further enhance this edition for both beginning students as well as for scholars. I immediately called to order this book for my world religion classes at Yuba College. It was just what I was looking for. I am grateful to Prabha Duneja for bringing forth this wonderful work.
– Dr. Sujan Burgeson, Ph.D.
Professor, Yuba College, CA
I am struck by the universality of Prabha Duneja's elucidation of the Lord Krsna teachings. My own intention as a scientist is to understand the whole of nature, including both physics and humanity,and then to define a beneficial and harmonious role that I should play. Prabha's descriptions of constant awareness and focused, intent concentration are a rich and personal description of the processes of observation and integration that I would like to master. For her this yogic activity is fundamental to the development of knowledge and the determination of right and selfless action, and is the key to harmony and the ultimate universal unity, or for me, being in accord with my personal and the grander universe. Prabha's exegesis is detailed and scholarly, but also personal, readable, and modern. She gives very helpful instructions on the process of meditation. She discusses selflessness and its essentialness in achieving unity with the ultimate universal principles. She discusses the senses, which can discern or distract, and the mind, which can chatter like a monkey or find calmness and knowledge. She leaves no doubt that attaining the goals of yoga, considering our humanness, requires constant effort, but she also finds in the Geeta that we can define destiny and affect good. Since I have heard Prabha speak, the words that I hear when I read her writings are her soft and intelligent voice encouraging me to selflessness and harmony.
– Thomas J. Gilmartin, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Centre for Global Security Research, University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The Legacy of Yoga in the Bhagawad Geeta is a true spiritual treasure. I so admire the spirit revealed in your work – a scholar who loves and honours the word the Lord combined with the spirit of a true pastor who loves and honours all people. The constant invitation to Divine Union which I find in the pages of your book is leavened with common sense, clear explanations of very complex concepts,and highly evolved philosophical observations all together. I particularly appreciate the tremendous compassion for human nature and the human condition that I find both in the Geeta itself and iIi your
commentary on it. I believe that this book would serve as a fit companion for a lifetime. It is' a monumental work, the fruit of a good and wise life spent in our Creator's service. I am filled with awe at the beauty and sense I find within it, and am deeply honoured to know you as my friend. Thank you for sharing such a treasure with me. I know I will be studying it for many years to come.
– The Rev. Carol L. Cook MA, M. Div.
Episcopal Priest, CA
Prabha's work on the Bhagawad Geeta is insightful in its commentaries and detailed in its explanations. Although scholarly, her book contains a wealth of practical information to inform and assist all people on their spiritual journeys. One need not follow an established religious tradition, either eastern or western, to understand and apply the wisdom contained both in the basic text and in Prabha's comments. For example, the text contains instructions on some basic meditation practices such as how to sit and how to concentrate. In addition Prabha gives her own thoughts and suggestions for leading a productive meditative life. Later in the text, the question is raised about the relative values of the two spiritual paths, faith in the incarnate God or living a pure life and seeking the "Unmanifest", "Self' within. Sri Krsna states that the former is better, but the latter will also lead to Him. Prabha adds that as "the worshipper advances in spiritual growth from less awareness to increased awareness the 'One' being worshipped also changes until the individual reaches the divine within his' 'own self." In other words, both paths lead the dedicated one to the same place, at one with God. The basic text can be read as a guide on how to lead one's life. Additionally Prabha's comments provide practical answers to many of life's concerns. They also may satisfy the more ardent spiritual seeker's curiosity regarding the text's more difficult points. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like some assurance that peoples from different countries and of different faiths have a wonderful commonality of spirit.
– Paul Thompson
President, Astro Business Technologies
Mrs. Duneja's The Legacy of Yoga in the Bhagawad Geeta is inspiring. If a student of religions were only to read one book on the Bhagawad Geeta, this should surely be it. Its commentary reads as an act of scholarly devotion. Any journey into a land as rich as the Bhagawad Geeta requires a guide. With Prabha's commentary and translation at your side, your journey promises to be a rich one, indeed.
– The Rev. Eric H. Meter
Unitarian Universalist Church President, Tri-Valley Interfaith Council
I was very impressed by the immense amount of scholarship that has gone into your translation and commentary of The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta. The commentary is especially helpful in explaining each chapter to those of us who are not acquainted with the Bhagawad Geeta. There is so much knowledge in the book about the mystery of life and death, a subject that everyone on earth has to contemplate. I was struck by the similarity of philosophy in this book to the American Indian philosophy of living. The goal of Native American is to live a peaceful and harmonious life, just as it is presented in this book.
– Mary Puthoff
American Indian Educator
Member of the Lakota Nation
One does not have to fully understand the various aspects of Yoga to sense and appreciate Prabha's deep convictions of the existence of a Benevolent Creator of the universe, and the divine nature and brotherhood of mankind. The logic and consistency of her comments throughout the book demonstrates her keen understanding of the subject matter. Her writings reveal a belief that we are sent to earth to learn how to truly love and serve others, and thus to become more divine ourselves. Only in this way can we become celestialized beings, capable of living in pure harmony with our creator and His creations. We have holy writings, and can have special messengers from God when needed to assist us in achieving these righteous goals. The various aspects of Yoga are designed to help bring our inner souls into closer harmony with the Divine Creator. The thoughts that I glean from these writings are in complete harmony with my Christian beliefs.
– The Rev. Val Black
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Profound and eternal spiritual truths become accessible and practicable in The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta by Prabha Duneja. I was deeply moved by the warmth and sincere devotion that is expressed throughout the book. Her very extensive knowledge of philosophy and spirituality, that goes beyond Indian philosophy, allows her to express these truths in ways everyone can understand and appreciate regardless of religion or belief. I consider this book to be a very valuable asset for my spiritual growth and enlightenment.
– Pat Fleischman
Northern California Chairwoman Woman's Federation for World Peace, USA
As a Christian minister I am delighted that Prabha Duneja's book The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta has been added to the tools of devotional life. Many Christians (and people of other faiths) see the Geeta as a wonderful story but do not have the tools to unlock its meaning for their own spiritual work. The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta allows the eighteen yogas to become words of wisdom for the soul's nourishment as well as disciplines for the tranquility of the spirit. By giving voice to illustration of the eight steps of yogic discipline in Sri Krsna's conversation with Arjuna in her discourse on the Yoga of Action and Renunciation Prabha Duneja brings the yogic discipline to life for anyone wanting to find a deepening of his devotional life. I found this chapter's handling of the harmony between knowledge, work and renunciation especially helpful in my own devotional life. The cosmic dimension one is led to experience through her writing in chapter eleven when she describes the Yoga of Vision of the Universal Form is a great aid in giving a person deep, spiritual perspective about the sublime connection we share with all that is, and patience with all that unfolds about us. Each of the discourses on the eighteen yogas as they relate to the Geeta brings similar wisdom and insight to people of all religious faiths who are seeking truth with open minds. I am grateful for the great work Prabha Duneja has done for people of all faiths.
– The Rev. William E. Nebo
Sr. Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Livermore, California, U.S.A.
The Geeta, to me, is universal and eternal – a confluence of possibilities, yet leaving the choice to you for your path for spiritual realization. It is like a bouquet of flowers – a harmony of different colours, pleasing fragrance, unique individual character, inviting attractiveness, and radiant beauty. Each is complete and perfect in itself. You pick the one that appeals you. Sri Krsna gave to humanity a very broad, liberal, inclusive and accepting philosophy: "Whatever be the path of worship of men, I accept them in all paths as they lead to Me", (BG iv, 11), "whatever form a devotee wishes to worship with faith, I give strength to his faith", (BG vii, 21): It is beautiful, it is rich, it is profound, it is enlightening, and it offers opportunity for discovery of our true self. Prabha, I strongly believe you have done a remarkable job in very ably and succinctly presenting the concept of Yoga sutras in your book, The Legacy of Bhagawad Geeta. It certainly is an innovative approach to present synthesis of philosophy and spirituality to achieve balance and fulfillment in life. Your book is truly a reflection of your earnest effort in combining scholarship and relevance. It reads well, flows well, and connects well with the reader in search of meaning in and of life. I commend you immensely for bringing home the complexity of the concepts of the life of renunciation, the control of prakriti or nature on our actions and behaviour, and the indestructibility of our spiritual self – the Atman – through impressive use of metaphors and illustrative examples. I am sure the readers will find your book that makes Geeta meaningful for them as well those who want to dwell into the deeper aspects of the inner self. I commend you for your intellectual understanding of Geeta and it shines through the book.
– Mohan K. Sood, Ph.D.
Dean Emeritus, Northeastern Illinois University
In her translation of the classical text of Bhagawad Geeta and a lucid commentary thereon, Mrs. Prabha Duneja leads the modern man and woman gently but firmly to the state of Yogic bliss. She, on behalf of the Lord bequeaths the legacy of love through yoga to the readers and enables them to delve deep into the realm of Bliss. Indeed, blessed is he who is helped by the authoress to become a beneficiary of The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta.
– Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant
To many non-Indians, the religion that we refer to as Hinduism often appears to be highly intellectual, involving the giving up of daily life, and commitment to rigorous austere practices, a demanding guru, and endless mysterious rituals. I found that reading The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta helped me to correct that view. In her translation of and commentary on the "Geeta" Prabha Duneja opened a way for me to understand something of how many sincere Indian Hindus practice their faith. As Prabha Duneja emphasizes, the "Geeta" teaches that God or Divinity is found primarily within one self and that loving devotion to a benevolent power or God joined with a compassionate attitude toward the world is a superior (and more accessible) spiritual path than extreme ascetic practices, rituals, or giving up one's will to a human guru. The "Geeta" is not a long document and along with its central focus, has much to say about meditation, prayer, ethics and the organization of society. It's brevity helps to make it accessible to the student of spiritual truths.
– The Rev. Lois F. Rose
United Church of Christ, Great Barrington, MA
Prabha Duneja's translation and commentary in The Legacy of Yoga in Bhagawad Geeta is full of wisdom and rich with experience. It is written with sincere heart-felt devotion. Her clarity and sty Ie will be enjoyed by the common man and will satisfy the yearning in the intellect of the scholar. As for devotees already following the Lord, their minds will easily flow along the melodious stream of Sri Krsna's words, leaving their hearts and souls free to soar towards the Lord's loving embrace...
– Bettie Littie
A Devotee of Bhagwan Sri Krsna
The present work reveals the stupendous scholarship, positive approach and mastery of Indian philosophical and religious thought of Mrs. Prabha Duneja. Designed both for general philosophical readers and for specialists in Indian thought, the work sets forth in a readable and concise manner the principal arguments, and views put forward by the leading commentators, Indologists, great leaders of the world and the renowned scholars about Geeta and its relevance. This book definitely and purposely explains the principles and practices of the gospel of inspired action. Her commentary on Bhagawad Geeta is in fact a very competent work, perhaps the best of its kind. To me, Prabha appears to be a receiver and transmitter of the voice of Bhagawan Sri Krsna.
– Dr. K.K. Sharma Ph.D.
It is not surprising that within a few years of its publication, the 600 page book by Prabha Duneja, The Legacy of Yoga ill Bhagawad Geeta, has gone through a second edition, which testifies to the popularity of the book. There are many commentaries on the Holy Book by learned saints, sages and scholars from Adi Sankaracharya of the eight century to Vinoba Bhave of the twentieth. The beauty of this book lies in its being an updated commentary echoing the heart-heat of a modern man. On account of her long sojourn in America, and being an active member of interfaith organizations, Duneja has profusely drawn from the works of not only Indian scholars but also of western philosophers. Thus her commentary has a contemporary flavour and goes very well with an international audience. The liberal use of stories and anecdotes picked up from Indian and western saints, as also from Sufies and Persian poets, to elucidate an abstruse esoteric point, is another charm of the book and ensures easing reading. There is hardly a page of the commentary which does not contain an illuminating anecdote. As pointed out by Dionysius : it is "philosophy learned from examples" . As the author has been soaked in the teachings of Geeta since childhood, her writing is not merely theoretical but has a ring of sincerity and personal experience. I’m sure the book shall go into many more editions and benefit the readers.
– Dr. Baldeo Sahai
Founder, President, Upanisad Society, New Delhi