India honours Vancouver scholar who decolonized ancient scripture

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‘I’m really honoured to be acknowledged for my life’s work,’ mentioned Jeffrey Armstrong, who spent a decade translating the Bhagavad Gita.

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A Vancouver scholar who wrote the world’s first decolonized English translation of the traditional Indian scripture Bhagavad Gita has been honoured with an award from the Indian authorities.

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Jeffrey Armstrong, founding father of the Vedic Academy of Science and Arts, and creator of The Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive has been given the Distinguished Indologist 2021 award by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

In a ceremony held in Vancouver, India’s consul basic offered the award to Armstrong, who used English phrases to explain a Sanskrit phrase in it’s true type to translate the Bhagavad Gita, which was written greater than 5,000 years in the past — though some say it was round 7,500 years in the past. The award was in recognition not only for the interpretation however for his lifetime of labor, which incorporates being a Vedic instructor for greater than 30 years.

Armstrong is the primary Canadian to be awarded the annual prize, which since 2015 has acknowledged the excellent contributions of international students of Indology, the examine of Indian historical past, literature, philosophy, and tradition. He was chosen unanimously by a jury of friends in India, in response to a information launch from Renu Bakshi Communications.

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“I’m really honoured to be acknowledged for my life’s work,” mentioned Armstrong, 75, in a press release.

“As we navigate life after a pandemic, local weather change, and common requires social justice, the Gita affords steering and classes which can be well timed, together with about moral and ethical dilemmas, politics, and co-operating with nature.

Armstrong joins earlier recipients from Germany, China, Japan, U.Ok., and South Korea. He obtained a quotation, gold-plated medallion, and US$20,000.

There are 701 verses in the Bhagavad Gita, which is taken into account a information on tips on how to navigate life’s struggles and dilemmas. It has been translated into English a whole lot of instances.

Nevertheless, most of the English phrases that had been utilized in earlier translations had Christian affect. For instance, a number of the phrases sometimes used within the translation of the Gita that Armstrong removes embody: God, heaven, hell, soul and sin.

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The phrase “soul,” for example, is outlined in Christian phrases because the essence of a human being with one life, he defined. However the Sanskrit phrase, “atma,” means immortal being with no starting or finish.

Armstrong is an award-winning creator, linguist, and poet who has been educating Hinduism’s spiritual texts (the Vedas) for 45 years.

ticrawford@postmedia.com


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