Sunday, July 1, 2018

Book Review - The Essence of Bhagwad Gita - 70 Verses at Its Core by Atul Sehgal

I had read 13 Aadhyayas / Chapters of Gita when I was in 5th Grade. At that time my age was not more than 13. Well, I was not mature enough to understand the conceptual or deep meaning, I just understood contextual or I would say textual meaning. That was all I had done till I started reading Ashwin Sanghi's book, in which shloka/stanza from Gita was used for multiple meaning. That gave me the curiosity to go back and to read one of the holiest books of Hindus. But the confusion was which edition to take. Just like the Bible or the Qoran, there are thousands of editions starting from pocket edition to thick-detailed one. Another challenge was what should be the content type of the book. Some were plain translations from Sanskrit to some were so detailed in explanation that each shloka covered one chapter. I wanted the later type of work but again time was the constraint. I didn't have that much time (as at any given time I keep 40-50 review copies in the review pipeline). So the idea to read a detailed book was put on hold until I saw "The Essence of Bhagwad Gita - 70 Verses at Its Core" by Atul Sehgal.

Detailed Review Link
The Bhagwadgita comprises seven hundred verses and has guided us over generations. This book focuses on seventy verses, which, the author believes, form the core of what Shri Krishna told Arjun at the Kurukshetra battlefield.
Each chapter begins with a Sanskrit verse, which is followed by its literal translation. The wisdom of each of those is then eloquently expounded.
This book doesn’t confine itself to explaining the verses and the philosophy of the Bhagwadgita alone; it shows us how to apply these tenets in everyday life through lucid examples. Effectively, it teaches us how to resolve our problems, improve social relations, enrich our souls and make our journey worthwhile.
Originally written in 700 verses with each verse having its own deep meaning, it is really difficult for normal people to follow and understand each verse. Atul has done a commendable job of selecting 70 most suitable verses which can cover the essence of the whole Gita. Each verse starts with actual Sanskrit shloka and its plain English translation. Then after starts the basic explanation of the concept. Atul has a deep connection with Arya Samaj which has made him rich in understanding of Vedic scripture. It can be seen while reading his messages/elaboration in as normal language as possible.

Things I liked about book
  • Cover. Yes I am giving full marks for it
  • Simple language. As the topic is serious, making it more complex with high vocabulary words will make it difficult to follow for readers.
  • Controlled explanation. As I already mentioned one can write the whole section with just one verse but you need to know when to stop. And Atul has done his job wonderfully
I know its more of a spiritual read than self-help, but I suggest Atul think about introducing examples/similar context which will maintain the tempo of reading speed.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 5/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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