The Front Room Gita
Published by Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop.
The “Authors” of this 2014 publication are unidentified in the publication, though their story is well known within the Wellington Study Group (WSG).
One of the core group was Jean Watson, Authoress and benefactor of the Dhan Kuranai Illam; whose story is told in the recent film “Aunty and the Star People”. Her front room was the scene for many of the gatherings in the early days of study of this classical work of spirituality.
Much of the initial formulation of the text was undertaken by Brian Turner; After discussions within the group (and with others via the internet) and comparison with many other English versions of the text, Brian modified his initial draft, sometimes several times. Brian also compiled the glossary of largely untranslatable Sanskrit terms.
The third member of the core group was Ron Ward who was largely responsible for the Forward, the Introduction and Appendix 1. The research needed to provide these was often lacking in the many English versions of “The Gita” that are listed in Appendix 1.
All the core members practice Transcendental meditation and are associated in some way with The WSG. The meetings usually included a half hour of meditation as well as a cup of tea.
After some encouragement from Fiji based Swami Damodarananda Jean offered to provide a meeting place to study “The Gita” Over a period of some 25 years the group met and read through the entire work several times. In later years, much of the work had to be revised using internet facilities as the group was unable to meet in person. Jean was often away in India and Brian had moved from Wellington.
The groups final text, like the original, leaves issues that continue to provoke debate. The need for our resolution of all these is much less important than making sure that the questions are clearly stated.
The group was often boosted in numbers by other people who enjoyed the readings and discussions, contributing their own perspective.
The core group provided the funding to publish the work.
Copies of “The Front Room Gita” are available from the WSG for a donation of $15 to the Dhan Kuranai Illam Trust. The production run is limited to 100.