Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Gita and -- Playing Golf?

[PADA: We really cannot make this stuff up. Honest! ys pd]


Deep in India's past, Lord Krishna revealed the 700 verse Bhagavad-gita, a spiritual poem containing universal, non-sectarian truths. In 1995, Steven Pressfield decided to introduce the Bhagavad-gita to a contemporary audience, so he restructured the Gita in terms of a golf novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance. As he says, "In the Gita the troubled warrior Arjuna receives instruction from Krishna, Supreme Lord of the Universe, who has assumed human form as Arjuna's charioteer. Instead of a troubled warrior, it's a troubled golf champion (Rannulph Junah); instead of his charioteer, it's his caddie Bagger Vance." 

Now a major motion picture directed by Robert Redford and starring Matt Damon and Will Smith, The Legend of Bagger Vance is loosely based on the ancient Hindu epic. Steven Rosen, in Gita on the Green: The Mystical Tradition Behind Bagger Vance, draws the story out further using some thirty years of Gita scholarship and a writing style that is both eloquent and thorough. Rosen takes us on a colorful journey into the golf world of Bagger Vance, as well as into the spiritual realm of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. By the end of the journey, one realizes that one has just read a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita while hitting a hole in one.

Steven J. Rosen is the author of fifteen books on East-Indian philosophy and spirituality. For the last eight years he has been the editor of The Journal of Vaishnavi Studies (an interdisciplinary quarterly). He is currently part of an editorial team working to complete The Encyclopedia of Hinduism, an eighteen volume compendium of Indian thought (forthcoming, 2003, University of South Carolina Press

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