The review I am posting is of the translation, not of Gita itself.
This disclaimer is mandatory because the one thing that religious people love more than claiming that they are non-violent is beating the hell out of someone talking about their religion.
You might need to consult a separate translation of the Bhagvad Gita while reading this one.
A little grind
This translation has been done by the founder of Hare Krishna Movement, and unsurprisingly it is very Krishna-centeric. At times, the author replaces the word Brahman/Godhead/the Supreme with Krsna.
He also added references to Krishna in places where there were none.
For example, in Verse 8.7, the author transliterates the verse as,
“therefore at all times, Me go on remembering fight also”
but in the translation the author writes,
“Therefore…you should always think of Me in the form of Krsna…”
Moreover, the author uses words like transcendentalist/mystic for the word yogi. It would have been better if after explaining the word yogi, the first time it appeared, he would have used it wherever it was appearing as it is.
Additionally, I found the overall structure that the author has adapted a tad bit annoying. The book contains the verse in Sanskrit, followed by an English transliteration, followed by the translation of the individual words of Sanskrit to English, followed by a free translation by the author.
By following this method, the original structure of the verse is lost. I would have preferred if the author had provided a more direct translation of the verse as a separate paragraph, instead of providing translation of each word of Sanskrit. It’s difficult to read and makes the exercise seem like taking a language course.
The purports can be skipped. They mostly contain the author’s interpretation, and additional verses from other Hindu texts, which I would prefer reading by myself because the author uses them primarily to support a Krishna-centeric universe.
I would recommend following a separate translation as you go through this book. Many of them are available for free online and I found nearly all of them a much better translation than this one.
Philosophically Gita is similar to Stoicism, a branch of philosophy which I find the most appealing. Therefore, I found it enjoyable, and its message timeless.
Its overall message is to avoid materialism and to surrender yourself to the Supreme Being, the former of which is something that we need to hear more now than ever.