Bhagavad-gita-rahasya (or Karma-yoga Shastra)

by Bhalchandra Sitaram Sukthankar | 1935 | 327,828 words

The English translation of the Bhagavad-Gita Rahasya, also known as the Karma-yoga Shastra or “Science of Right Action”, composed in Marathi by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in 1915. This first volume represents an esoteric exposition of the Bhagavadgita and interprets the verses from a Mimamsa philosophical standpoint. The work contains 15 chapters, Sanskri...

Some Information regarding Gītā

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the Vedas, he discovered 'the Ancient Home of the Aryas'. Although the Gītā-Rahasya was the last book to be published in point of time, yet, greater importance must he attached to that book than to the two other books, if one bears in mind the history of the writing of those two books. These two books have come into existence only as a result of the investigations made by him into the import of the Gītā. In his introduction to 'Orion', he has made a reference to his study of the Gītā,

These two books were published in due course, and they were talked of all the world over; but the Lokamanya could not get a propitious moment for starting the writing of the Gītā-Rahasya until he went to jail for the third time. The ideas regarding the two other books were also conceived during his previous imprisonments. He could not be free from the burden of public work and get the necessary peace and leisure for writing the book until he was in jail; but, before he could actually start writing the book, he had to overcome many difficulties. It is best to describe these difficulties in his own words: "Three different orders were received at three different times regarding the book......... After a few days, the order of leaving all my books with me was cancelled; and a new order was received, that only four books should be left with me at a time. When I complained about this to the Government of Burma, another order was received, that all the books should be left with me to enable me to write the book. At the date when I was released from jail, the number of books with me was between 350 and 400. I was given bound books (and not loose pages) for writing, after the pages in them (had been counted and numbered on either side. I was not given ink for writing but only a lead pencil and that too, ready sharpened" (Interview with Lokmanya Tilak after his release from jail, published in the Kesari of 30th June 1914).

If the readers put some pressure on their imagination, they cannot but have before their eyes a clear picture of what difficulties had to be overcome by him and what trouble he experienced while he was writing the book. Despite all this, he got the manuscript of the book ready for printing in the winter of 1910. The fact of the rough draft of the book being ready for printing is mentioned by him in a letter written in the beginning of the year 1911; and that letter has been printed in toto in an issue of the Maratha, published in the month of March. In order that the Exposition of the Gītā made by him in the Gītā-Rahasya should be easier to follow for his readers, Lokamanya Tilak delivered four lectures during the Ganapati festival in the year 1914; after this the printing of the work was taken in hand, and the first edition of the book was published in June 1915. The subsequent history is well-known to everybody.

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