By Ajit Krishna Dasa
The Gitar Gan is Srila Prabhupada’s poetic rendition of Srimad Bhagavad-gita in the Bengali language.
So far Gitar Gan has never been translated into English. Online we find a version with the original Bhagavad-gita verses added as a translations (here). On the Vedabase we find a version with BBTI’s edited verses added as translations (also available online). Both are without English word-for-word meanings.
Obviously, none of these are precise translations, since Srila Prabhupada’s Gitar Gan is a poetic rendition and not a literal translation of the Gita.
I would humbly like to submit that there is a GREAT need for a literal English translation of Gitar Gan.
Because it could be key in deepening our understanding of many of the controversial changes made to Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita after his departure:
Original and authorized 1972-edition:
“As the rivers flow into the sea, so all these great warriors enter Your blazing mouths and perish.”
BBT International’s edited 1983 edition:
“As the many waves of the rivers flow into the ocean, so do all these great warriors enter blazing into Your mouths.”
Are the mouths blazing or are the warriors blazing? Gitar Gan seems to give us the answer:
jvalita tomara ei mukhe
jvalita-firing/flaming/blazing; tomara-your; ei-these; mukhe-mouth
jvalita: blazing (appears twice in the word-for-word synonyms in the Caitanya Caritamrta. Both times is it translated as “blazing”)
tomara: your (can be found 1000+ times in Caitanya Caritamrta).
ei: these (can be found 2000+ times in Caitanya Caritamrta).
mukhe: mouth/in the mouth/on the mouth/and more (found many times in Caitanya Caritamrta).
TRANSLATION: “Your blazing/firing/flaming mouths” (made with the help of several bengali speaking devotees found on facebook).
Anyone who does not agree with this translation, please give us your opinion.
Is Arjuna a “coward” or is he “insignificant”?
Is the soul “eternal”?
Many such questions could be answered if we had an English translation of Gitar Gan.
IMPORTANT: I am not suggesting that we can change in the original Bhagavad-gita As It Is by referring to Gitar Gan. But we might be able to expose many of the needless and offensive changes made by Jayadvaita Swami.
An English translation of the Gitar Gan is therefore an urgent need.
I urge anyone who reads this to help find some qualified Bengali speaking devotees who can and will take up this important task.
Please contact me if you have idea ideas on how to procede with this project.
Ajit Krishna Dasa