This is an unprecedented event in the contemporary history of the Mauritian Creole language. This is the publication in Morisian Kreol of the great book of Hinduism entitled “Bhagawad kouma Li Eté” translated and edited by Rama and Raumesh Prasad Coceal. After the publication in Kreol of the Bible, this translation of a sacred text aims to make accessible a second work of Mauritian spiritual philosophical reference and demonstrates, at the same time, all the possibilities of the vocabulary of Morisian Kreol.

Why did ISKCON want the Bhagavad Gita to be translated into Kreol Morisian and why is it considered the supreme book in Sanatana Dharma thought?

ISKCON always tries to reach others regardless of barriers. This was even the case when the founder of ISKCON addressed the West using English. AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada himself remarked: “Every time one of my books is published in another language, it motivates me hundreds of times. »

In the case of the “Bhagavad Gîta Kouma Li Eté” (BGKLE), the opposite happened, the translator having already started work before the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) was approached.

The term “Bhagavad” means “Lord” and “Gita” refers to chanting.

Together, the name therefore means song of the Lord, because it is about understanding oneself and understanding our eternal duty or Sanatana Dharma, that is to say, always being in a mode of servitude to the Supreme!

What were the stages of the translation by the BBT? How long did such an undertaking take and who validated its translation?

The BBT suggested that we use the latest online version of the Gita in English (2020). However, we had to use the 2015 special edition and later, another printed edition of the Gita from January 2021 to finalize the general index section. The manuscripts, as a whole, have been completed by Gita Jayanthi 2022.

But it was only nine months later that we received a first set of documents to proofread and that we finally decided that our small team of translators, editors and fideist proofreaders would ensure that the “such” aspect whatever” is respected (….) and would provide the final touches in terms of corrections, fluidity of the language, etc. given that there is little or no expertise in Kreol Morisian (KM) within BBT Africa.

Each member of the team was fully aware of the task at hand and the need to respect the spirit of the Bhagavad Gita as it is, given the responsibility entrusted to us.

What parts of the original Sanskrit book did the translators pay special attention to?

The Bhagavad Gita, as we have already said, is born from Krishna, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as indicated in this sacred text. This means that every word or element relating to the Supreme is of utmost importance.

In this sense, every word emanating from Sanskrit is also special, but certainly every translator follows in the footsteps of the original author, AC Bhaktivedanta Swami, who was particularly empowered to clarify the “as it is” aspect. , a precise term which may be omitted in other translations.

It is about remaining true to the spirit of Krishna consciousness rather than trying to distance others from the main personality of “Krishna” in any translation, as the founding Acārya clearly teaches. of ISKCON.

Are the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita widespread in Mauritius?

It could be said that the teachings are primarily visible among all devotees of Krishna, not necessarily those who are initiated members of ISKCON, but also through other groups of Vaisnavas as well as other people who lead their lives according to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.
The Bhagavad Gita is widely read in all ISKCON centers, especially where devotees often clarify what may be difficult to understand in a second or third language.

The term “Haribol” is widely recognized by everyone, which means “taking the name of the Lord”. We often have Harinam across Mauritius when devotees chant “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”.

During festivals, such as RamNavmi, Janmasthami in particular, the event of the day of the appearance of the Lord is celebrated with zeal, just like other similar occasions. Similarly, a large section of the society observes 'ekadasi' twice a month, fasting from grains and staying away from the contaminated existence.

How do you hope – now that there is a translation into “Langaz Morisien” – that the content of this work be further popularized in Mauritius?

The BGKLE will reach everyone else in a way that a Bhagavad Gita in the official language, the language of the media or the ancestral language, could not do. In a way, this is the first time that there will be direct communication in a language that we use more than 85% of the time, even if it is at a superficial level for about 90% of the population. .

The other may discover that the spiritual message of the Bhagavad Gita can truly be appreciated in his or her native language. There is also no need to use a second or third language when discussing literature, philosophy or theology, as Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad Gita Kreol Morisien makes clear.

We hope that it will be widely used as a literary text and as an example of linguistic fluency in the use of Kreol Morisien, as well as as a textbook by future generations who seek to study both content and lingua at secondary and tertiary levels .

“Dharma”: the right path in life

The Bhagavad Gita is immense not only in Hinduism but also in the broader spiritual and philosophical landscape. It addresses fundamental questions of human existence, the nature of reality and the purpose of life.

The teachings of the Bhagavad Gita provide profound insight into the nature of the self, the universe and ultimate reality. Since the first years of the settlement in Mauritius of hired workers from Bihar, the teachings of the “Gîta” have always been present in the “baitkas” of the villages where the verses of the book have consolidated the resilience of thousands of laborers. “Gamaat” singers have even been inspired by it to feed their imaginations during wedding evenings.

And it is not uncommon for certain politicians during electoral campaigns to themselves refer to the “Gîta” to give themselves a veneer of moral probity. This shows the place this voluminous book occupies in the life of the local “Hindi speaking” community. Why then does the Bhagavad Gita occupy such a central place?

The concept of “dharma”

One of the key themes of the Bhagavad Gita is the concept of “dharma”, which refers to duty or the right path in life. It emphasizes the importance of performing one's tasks selflessly and without attachment to results. The “Gita” also explores various paths to liberation, including the path of knowledge, devotion and altruistic action.

The Kreol version launched in April 2024 by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) fills a gap that Bhaktivedanta Swami observes in the preface to the book: “Orizinalman, mo ti ekrir Bhagavad Gîta Kouma Li Eté dan form prezant. Malerezman kan liv-la piblie premie fwa, maniskri original ti redwir a mwins ki 400 paz, san ilistrasion e san explikasion lor la plipar verse original dan Srimad Bhagavad – gita. Dan mo liv – Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Isopanisad etc. – system adopted is given in its original version, so transliteration Angle, mo pou mo Sanskrit – Angle so ekivalan, tradiksion ek explikasion. Its nature is very evident in its tradition and pedagogy. Ki vedir, mo pat ro kontan, kan bizin redwir maniskri original. To me, you can ask for the 'Bhagavad-gîta Kouma Li Eté' ogmante konsiderabman, plizir akademik e devo finn apros mwa in order to present liv-la in its original form. Donk mo esey ofer maniskri original sa grand liv konesans-la, avek explikasion konple 'parampara' ar lintansion establir konsians Krsna pli otantik, istorikman otorise, natirek ek transandantal…”

It has been said and written that the Bhagavad Gîta escapes any stricto sensu analysis of a Hindu order to be part of a universal dimension. In that it emphasizes the duty of each person at all times of their life, from obedience to their parents, teachers to their family life and in their workplace, it remains a compilation of teachings for life.

But this same duty implies that every individual must also be able to make difficult decisions, guided solely by their rationality with a view to happiness for the community and not for themselves alone.

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