You Know Me - The Gita
easy-to-read version of the major Hindu holy book with Sanskrit on
one side, English on the other!
About The Gita and Hinduism
Hinduism is not only one of the world's major
religions; it is also a system of philosophy and a way of life. As a
religion, its tenets offer paths to enlightenment, but do not
require that its followers adhere to any particular path or set of
beliefs. Because Hinduism has no boundaries, it is difficult to
define. Yet it does not defy explanation or description. You Know
Me—The Gita shows us that without making demands upon Hindus,
Hinduism fosters faith, steadfastness of purpose and virtue. It also
shows us that while Hinduism accepts God in infinite forms, Hindus
know that there is but One God and that this God is formless.
Although Hinduism incorporates many creeds, rites,
and ways of worship, it acknowledges that each man has a right to
worship as he himself sees fit, and that no man is justified in
seeking to force his personal doctrine on anyone else. Thus it is
tolerant and capable of absorbing change. Followers of the three
major Hindu manifestations of God—Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva—have
intermarried and dwelt side-by-side for centuries without
bitterness, and countless sub-sects have arisen and disappeared in
India with little trouble or acrimony. Buddhists, Jains,
Zoroastrians, Christians, Jews, and Muslims have coexisted peaceably
with Hindus for centuries.
The Gita is the center of the Mahabharata, a great
epic. Like the Bible, the Gita is sometimes difficult to read and
understand. Irina Gajjar, Ph.D., translated it into simple English
while maintaining its original poetry. Now, anyone desiring to
understand the essence of Hinduism can read You Know Me—The Gita and
follow Arjun as he converses with Lord Krishna (an incarnation of
Vishnu) about God's attributes and his own duties. This discussion
is fascinating as well as timeless and timely within the context of
our global conflicts. As the Gita begins, we see Arjun standing in
his chariot looking out over armies and saying to God, "I will not
fight." He lays down his weapons and God replies, "Only the soul is
real and the soul can never be killed. For this reason, Arjun, rise
and conquer your enemies."
Gajjar likens Hinduism to "...the ocean into which
many rivers flow... always changing but always the same."
"He who is without affection
either for good or evil is firmly
fixed in perfect knowledge." - Bhagavad Gita
"The abstinent run away from the
things they desire,
but carry their desires with them." - Bhagavad Gita
Irina was raised in a liberal
Jewish family and married Navin Gajjar, a very special Hindu, who
consistently encouraged, even compelled her to pursue her writing.
When Navin was just a boy, an Indian astrologer told him he would
meet and marry a foreign woman who would become a famous writer.
Navin did not tell her of this prophecy until they were married.
He and Irina have raised three
outstanding children. Imbued with both American Jewish and Hindu
culture, and influenced by her parents who studied universal
religions and philosophies, Irina began to question the
philosophical tenets that move our world. When she presented a paper
at the International Association of Near-Death Studies on the links
between near-death experiences and reincarnation, she knew that
multicultural and multipersonal perspectives of birth, life and
death required deeper exploration and wider exposure.
Irina is a writer,
linguist, philosopher, scholar, attorney and a teacher. She speaks
English, Gujarati –a major language of India-, Mandarin Chinese,
Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, and French. She studied Sanskrit in
India for ten years in order to translate the Hindu Scripture into
English directly from the original. She graduated from the
University of the Americas (then Mexico City College) Mexico, Magna
cum Laude, at seventeen with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Romance
Languages. Subsequently she obtained a Master of Arts degree in
Spanish from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. She followed that with
a Ph.D. in Ancient Indian Studies from Bombay University in India
and a J.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
"Irina Gajjar has written a
clear and contemporary version of one of the most important
scriptures of the world's wisdom. You Know Me is an important
contribution and will help us all to have a deeper insight into the
path of enlightenment."
Related Links of Interest
Hindu Religion and Death - Death and Dying
Kuaui's Hindu Monastery
What Is Hinduism?
A Brief Outline of Hinduism
Hinduism in America
India's First Internet Site from ASAP
The Hindu on Indiaserver