the bhagavad-gita in 18 sonnets

The Bhagavad-Gita has been described as “Perhaps the most beautiful work of the literature of the world.” It’s certainly one of the most widely read of the world’s holy books and is considered one of the foundation stones of modern yoga practice and philosophy.

It has been translated many, many times into many, many languages and every translation, like a different cut of the same crystal, reflects and refracts its light in a slightly different way.

This offering from Jonti Marks, teacher, writer, speaker and it is an offering of love and devotion, is not a translation at all. It is an impression, a taste, a quick but meaningful grasp of key concepts as the author encapsulates some quintessential teaching from each of Gita’s 18 chapters.

And why in sonnet form?

In his introduction, the author explains: “I was playing around in my mind with the rhythms and cadences of iambic pentameter and, thinking of the Gita and of Krishna, the phrase, ‘The Supreme Personality of God’ came rolling into my head and pleased me enormously as it naturally fell into those patterns.

It was at that point that I thought that I would like to write sonnets based on the Bhagavad-Gita. The sonnet form, having its linguistic roots in ‘song’, and with its associations with love, beauty and truth, seemed particularly appropriate as a new vehicle for ‘The Song of God.’ Looking at the eighteen chapters of the Gita, I felt that I should try to write a sonnet for each chapter – not a summary, as such, but at least an attempt to capture some key idea or concept.”

Described as: “…really accomplished…beautiful…brilliant…” This slim volume offers profound insights into the teachings of the Gita and does so in a form that is intrinsically poetic and beautiful.

It is a perfect gift for the yoga teacher or student already familiar with the Gita but it is also a brilliant introduction for those who have not yet had the time, the opportunity or the determination to tackle the original.

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