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Penguin Books, London

6 november 2019

The Bhagavad Gītā

Translated by Laurie L. Patton.

234 Pages | First published by Penguin Classics in 2008 | Soft cover | Penguin Books, London | ISBN:  9780140447903.

” Know this: that with which all this world is woven is not to be destroyed. No one is able to effect the destruction of the imperishable . . . “

The Bhagavad Gītā is an early epic poem that recounts the conversation between Arjuna the warrior and his charioteer Krishna, a manifestation of God. In the moments before a great battle, Krishna sets out the important lessons Arjuna must learn to understand his own role in the war he is about to fight. Krishna reveals to Arjuna his true cosmic form and counsels the warrior to act according to his sacred obligations. Ranging from instructions on yoga to dense moral discussion, the Gita is one of the most important Hindu texts, and has served for centuries as an everyday, practical guide to living well,

From the Ninth discourse 17 – 20:

The Blessed One said:

” I am the father of the world – its mother, its arranger and its grandfather; I am what is to be known; the purifier; the sound ‘OM’; the Rig, the Sama and the Yajur Veda.

I am the way, the bearer, the great lord, the one who sees. I am home, and shelter, the heart’s companion. I am birth, death and sustenance; I am the house of treasure, and the eternal seed.

I give off heat, and I am the rain. I hold back and I send out. I am sweet immortality, as well as death; being and non-being, Arjuna.

Those who know the Vedas and drink Soma, cleansed of their evils seek heaven, and offer to me with sacrifices. They reach the pure world of Indra, and enjoy the divine pleasures of the gods in heaven. “

 

auteur: Patton, L.L.
ISBN: 9780140447903
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Mencius

By Mencius (372–289 BC or 385–303 or 302 BC), translation and introduction by D.C. Lau.

280 Pages | First published 1970 | Paperback | Penguin Books, London | ISBN: 0140442286.

With an introduction by D.C. Lau.

” The Mencius is the most beautifully written and perhaps the most authorative of the Four Books that make up the essential Confucian corpus. “

As centralized government replaced feudalism in China, the ideas of Confucius (551 – 479 B.C.) faced the challenge of increasing cynicism. It was Mencius, in the years just after 320 B.C., who adapted them to the new age and thus helped to formulate a Confucian orthodoxy that has remained deeply influential ever since. Whether he is expounding his doctrine of the basic goodness of human nature – the ‘original heart’, which can be lost or overwhelmed by our selfish impulses – developing his method of argument by analogy or offering strikingly modern views on the duties of the subjects and their rulers and the evils of war, Mencius is always fascinating and often profound. This superb translation, complete with a masterly Introduction and Appendices on the historical and philosophical background, presents him directly to the English reader.

auteur: Lau, D.C. (tr. & intr.)/Mencius
ISBN: 0140442286
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The Varieties of Religious Experience – A Study in Human Nature

By William James (1842 – 1910), edited with and Introduction by Martin E. Marty.

534 Pages | First published in the U.S.A. by Longmans, Green & Co in 1902, published in the Penguin Library in 1982, reprinted in Penguin Classics 1985 | Softcover | Penguin Books Ltd., London | ISBN:

Dutch translation: Vormen van Religieuze Ervaring – Een Onderzoek naar de Menselijke Aard First Dutch publication 1907, sixth revised and extended publication 2010 | Softcover | Abraxas, Amsterdam.

‘Standing at the crossroads of psychology and religion, this groundbreaking work applied the scientific method to humankind’s religious behavior’.

William James believed individual religious experiences, rather than the precepts of organized religions, were the backbone of the world’s spiritual life. His discussions of conversion, repentance, mysticism, and saintliness – and his observations on actual, personal religious experiences – all support this thesis.

In his Introduction, Martin E. Marty discusses how James’ pluralistic view of religion led to his remarkable tolerance of extreme forms of religious behavior, his challenging, highly original theories, and his welcome lack of pretension in all of his observations on the individual and the divine.

From Lecture VIII – ‘The Divided Self and the Process of its Unification’ (p. 168):

” I have ever been the queerest mixture of weakness and strength, and have paid heavily for the weakness. As a child, I used to suffer tortures of shyness, and if my shoe-lace was untied would feel shamefacedly that every eye was fixed on the unlucky string; as a girl I would shrink away from strangers and think myself unwanted and unliked, so that I was full of eager gratitude to any one, who noticed me kindly; as the young mistress of a house I was afraid of my servants, and would careless work pass rather than bear the pain of reproving the ill-doer; when I have been lecturing and debating with no lack of spirit on the platform, I have preferred to go without what I wanted at the hotel rather than to ring and make the waiter fetch it. Combative on the platform in defense of any cause I cared for, I shrink from quarrel or disapproval in the house, and am a coward at heart in private while a good fighter in public. How often have I passed unhappy quarters of an hour screwing up my courage to find fault with some subordinate, whom my duty compelled me to reprove, and how often have I jeered at myself for a fraud as the doughty platform combatant, when shrinking from blaming some lad or lass for doing their work badly. An unkind look or word has availed to make me shrink into myself as a snail into its shell, while, on the platform, opposition makes me speak my best. “

  • Annie Besant in An Autobiography, 1893, 2003.
auteur: James, W.
ISBN: 9780140390346
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