1. MY FIRST ACQUAINTANCE WITH GITA
TOWARDS the end of my second year in England, I came across two Theosophists, brothers and both unmarried. They talked to me about the Gita. They were reading Sir Edwin Arnold's translationThe Song Celestialand they invited me to read the original with them. I felt ashamed, as I had read the Divine Poem neither in Sanskrit nor in Gujarati. I was constrained to tell them that I had not read the Gita, but that I would gladly read it with them, and that though my knowledge of Sanskrit was meagre, still I hoped to be able to understand the original to the extent of telling where the translation failed to bring out the meaning. I began reading the Gita with them. The verses in the Second Chapted
| || "If one |
Ponders on objects of the sense, there springs
Attraction; from altraction grows desire,
Desire flames to fierce passion, passion breeds
Recklessness; then the memoryall betrayed
Lets noble purpose go, and saps the mind,
Till purpose, mind, and man are all undone."
made a deep impression on my mind, and they still ring in my ears.
The book struck me as one of priceless worth. The impression has ever since been growing on me with the result that I regard it today as the book par excellence for the knowledge of Truth. It has afforded me invaluable help in my moments of gloom. I have read almost all the English translations of it, and I regard Sir Edwin Arnold's as the best. He has been faithful to the text, and yet it does not read like a translation. Though I read the Gita with these friends,