(Update: the actual essay is included in the comments)

As even casual readers of my blog will have noticed, I am a fan of Thomas Merton. As a Trappist monk, he lived the Vaisnava lifestyle in the West, and had a lot of spiritual insight. Although in the past I have read some of his books, my study of him now consists of an email Weekly Reflection I am subscribed to sent out by the Merton Institute.

I feel that while his religious expression and culture may vary from that of hari boling dhotied up devotees, on a spiritual platform his realizations are well worth considering.

He is frequently quoted in devotee presentations of reviews for Prabhupada’s Gita:

“The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita.”

Thomas Merton

He wrote a essay for Srila Prabhupada’s translation that is included in the soft back Macmillan purple Bhagavad Gita. For some reason this was not included in subsequent editions of the BG. This creates two desires within me.

First, I am curious as to why it wasn’t included.

Second, since I don’t have that edition of the BG that contains it, I would like to get a digital copy.

I searched extensively for it online but only found a couple of truncated PDFs here(starting at page 348) and here. (For some reason the link takes you to below the article so even though it says p.58 above, you have to scroll up to find it.)

As I am a pathetic typist, I hesitate to undertake the task of transcribing from the PDFs so I am taking a long shot here and asking if anyone would be interested in doing so. That is I am requesting if someone could go to the aforelinked PDFs and type them into a computer, or use OCR software to do so and then send it to me — I would appreciate this.

I think that even with the different portions included in the two differently truncated versions, some part will still be missed, but then I could track down the purple Gita and fill in the blanks.

UPDATE: Since I wrote the above, someone has emailed me and offered to transcribe the essay and she has the purple Gita. She says it was the first SP book she received and has hardbound it.

I am just mentioning this to avoid the long shot that there might be someone else who would have considered doing it.

FURTHER UPDATE: I have an older version of the VedaBase which I have never updated. Apparently in the newer versions the essay by Merton is included (or else I am so lame I missed it in my own version) and someone has kindly emailed it to me so I have included it in its entirety as a comment on this post.