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Bhagavad Gita in China

Bhagavad Gita available in Chinese

gitcnThe Bhagavad Gita, the sacred ancient Indian scripture, is now available in China after its Chinese version was released during an international yoga conference held in June 2015.

Over many thousands of years China like so many other countries has benefited greatly from Hindu knowledge and wisdom. Martial arts have their origin in India as does Buddhism which played an important role in shaping Chinese life.

The Hindu influence is not so obvious in China as it is in Korea, Japan and other Asian countries as China reshaped itself during a long period of virtual isolation and its many wars. Although today modern China seems to be at odds with India as well is some of its other neighbours, the increasing interest in Sanatana Dharma may help a minority of Chinese to know the nature of existence.

The Bhagavad Gita was translated by Prof. Wang Zhu Cheng and Ling Hai of the Zhejiang University in Shanghai and published by the Sichuan People’s Publications. The foreword to the book was written by K. Nagaraj Naidu, who was till recently the Consul-General at the Indian Consulate in Guangzhou and the complete text complements the Commentary By Zhankui Liu.

As in the West, yoga has become very popular in parts of China although it is primarily seen as a health and fitness activity, but many Chinese yogi's look to India for guidance in furthering their practise.  So the book was launched at a function attended by eminent yoga teachers from India who had converged at Dujiangyan in the south-western Sichuan province to attend a yoga festival where some eminent yoga teachers were providing training to a gathering of some 700 yoga enthusiasts from all over China under the first India-China (Chengdu) International Yoga Festival.

Chinese yoga enthusiasts are now organising annual yoga festivals to coincide with the U.N. Yoga Day (June 21st each year) with events all over China and Hong Kong.

An affection with Indian scriptures

The Chinese people have always had a thirst for knowledge and technology, and with help from India they were technologically more advanced than the Europeans who first came banging on their door. No one really knows what happened before the beginning of the common era but it seems very likely that Hindu knowledge and wisdom influenced China. But the primary growth of Buddhism in China has been attributed to the seventh century traveller Heun Tsang who is thought to have returned to China bearing many Buddhist scriptures.

This is thought to be the first time that an ancient well-known Hindu religious text has been published in China although  scholars from India and China recently published an Encyclopaedia on the age-old cultural contacts between the two countries, tracing back their history of over 2,000 years.

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