N. N. Ramayya’s translation of the celestial song of the Bhagavadgita can be considered as the significant contribution in the field of translation because earlier translators of this great book, though in their efforts of maintaining the ‘meaning’ and ‘essence’ while converting the ‘source language’ to ‘target language’ could not go shoulder to shoulder with ‘much desired Simplicity’ and ‘ease’ as such books need not merely the intellectual scholarship but a heart brimming with feeling of doing good for others, the feeling of parmartha. Dr N. N. Ramayya is the man who apart from his wide and deep learning and prolificacy is a righteous attitude of Satkarma (the noble action bereft of ego (Ahankar) that when reaches its zenith in spiritual evolution turn into benevolence and leads and motivates the man to act in nobility.
Translation of poetry is a tough job as poetry is no dull prose which can be left with meaning only, the suffusion of lyrical quality is an essential ingredient to be included while converting one language to the other. I recollect lines of the poem ‘Translating Poetry’ of K. Satchidanandan, a bilingual poet of Malyalam and English who says: Poetry translation / is a transmigration as fish/ dives through water/ the translator moves through minds.”
Here it should also be added that poets easily sail through minds and in particular the spiritual poets only can move through the minds of the Jeevatma the one who will understand the Bhagavadgita and Parmatma, the God who has sung the celestial song.
The book could be better if the publisher was a bit more conscious of the beauty and value of the book. If he could be careful in the selection of the cover page, font and spacing between the lines, the book could be a collector’s edition but these shortcomings never undervalue the content and translation of the book because the book is priceless and worth reading and assimilating.