Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Tilak’s Dedication in Shrimad Bhagvadgita Rahasya

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak begins his book Shrimad Bhagvadgita Rahasya (first published in Marathi in 1915; the English translation published in 1935) with the following Dedication: 

“How very profound is the importance of the Glta, which was expounded in ancient times by wise men, and which was further explained in various ways by Acarayas, and how limited is the scope of my intelligence? Still, I am impelled by my rashness to explain the same once more, keeping before my eyes the old Sastras as well as notable modern ideas; and honorable people desiring to understand what is doable and what not-doable, deserve to hear this (new) explanation. Having made this request to revered persons in the sweet, words of Kalidasa, I, a Brahmin, (by name) Bala, the son of Gangadhara, born in the family of Tilaka, belonging to the clan {gotra) of the Rsi Sandilya, and a resident of the town of Poona, situate in the Maharastra, following the path of the Good, and with the words of Hari  in my mind, do dedicate this work to the Lord of Laksml, the Soul of the World, in the Salivahana Saka 1837. May the Blessed Lord, the Highest Purusa, be pleased by this dedication.” 

The “words of Hari” that Tilak has mentioned in his Dedication is a shloka from the Gita: Krishna (Hari) says to Arjuna, "Whatever you do, or eat, or offer by way of sacrifice, or give, or perform by way of austerity, dedicate all that to Me, O, son of Kunti." (Gita 9, 27)

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