Emerson’s Gîtå

How to Cite

E. H. Rick Jarow. (2022). Emerson’s Gîtå: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 16(1), 125–145. Retrieved from https://ivsjournal.com/index.php/jvs/article/view/147


The historical meetings of East and West have passed into commemorative discourse, and we are left to survey the damage—and a host of unexpected emergences as well. The Bhagavad-gîtå is now part of the “Wisdom of Old”; it is an approved icon in non-Western “core curriculums” at a number of major universities and is enshrined as a “classic text” in contemporary yoga centers. And even if it remains largely unread in these centers (or in core-curriculum courses for that matter, where it may receive two whole class hours of attention), it reappears through “wisdom cards,” containing sayings culled from the text, as like products abound in New Age and ashram bookstores. They help to maintain an aura of “Eastern Wisdom” around the work, a brand name that has become accessible and acceptable to certain communities.

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