Bhagavad Gita is a portion of the Mahabharata, which is not only a legendary
epic but one of the most important pieces of literature in Indian culture. The
Bhagavad Gita itself is one of the most well-known texts in Hinduism. It is
also known by other names, including Hari Gita, Ananta Gita, and Iswara Gita. The
name Bhagavad Gita is Sanskrit and means “song of god”, which others have also
referred to as “the Divine Song”, “the word of God”, and “Celestial Song”,
among others. As its name suggests, the Bhagavad Gita is regarded as among the
holy scriptures in Hinduism. It is also frequently referred to by the shortened
name of Gita.
Bhagavad Gita is comprised of seven hundred verses of Hindu scripture. All of
these verses are included from the twenty-third up to the fortieth chapter of
the Bhishma Parva, which is the sixth book of the Mahabharata. These verses are
believed to have been composed sometime between the first and second century CE.
As with the rest of the Mahabharata, it is believed that the sage Vyasa narrated
the Bhagavad Gita to the deity Ganesha, who then wrote the actual verses using
his broken elephant tusk.
the form of dialogue, the narrative of the Bhagavad Gita is between the Pandava
Prince Arjuna and Krishna, who was not only his guide and charioteer but was,
in fact, an avatar of the god Vishnu. The Mahabharata tells the story of the
Kurukshetra War and the ensuing conflict between two groups of royal cousins, the
Kaurava and Pandava princes, as well as their successors. As the leader of the
Pandavas, Prince Arjuna is conflicted and faces a moral dilemma about going to
war against his own blood and the inevitable violence, death, and destruction
that it will cause. Prince Arjuna contemplates foregoing the war and seeks the
advice of Krishna. Krishna’s counsel and the conversation between him and
Prince Arjuna make up the verses of the Bhagavad Gita.
the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna advises and urges Prince Arjuna to uphold his warrior
duty as a Kshatriya, to engage in selfless action, and to defend the dharma.
While different scholars, commentators, and schools of thought have varying
views on the precise essence and background of the Bhagavad Gita, there is no
argument that it involves important discussions on a wide range of religious
and philosophical topics. Beyond discussions about the war and Prince Arjuna’s
concerns, he and Krishna discuss spiritual matters, ethical concerns, and
philosophical matters that the Prince must deal with. Relating to human life,
the setting of the Bhagavad Gita itself is in the middle of the battlefield. Many
say this setting is meant to be a metaphor and represent the real ethical
struggles and moral challenges that all humans face in life.
hundred verses of the Bhagavad Gita provide an integrated overview of various
Hindu ideas, dogmas, and religious traditions, including bhakti, dharma, and
moksha, among others. Sited as a comprehensive synthesis, and analysis of the
verses has described the Bhagavad Gita as a unifying scripture that brings
together competing aspects of Hindu faith and thought, including Vedic rituals
and Upanishadic wisdom. Rather than insisting that there is one correct path to
spirituality, the Bhagavad Gita is open and inclusive. It recognizes different
ways of life, different human inclinations and temperaments, and that there can
be various margs or paths to
spirituality. It is said to harmoniously combine different spiritual pursuits
through karma or action, gyaana or knowledge, and bhakti or devotion.
name directly translating to the song of god or word of god, it’s no surprise that it
has tremendous influence in the Hindu faith and in the lives of many Hindus. With
the Bhagavad Gita narrating the call for Prince Arjuna’s selfless action, many
prominent Indian leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar, looked to
the Bhagavad Gita as a personal guide and have been known to even refer to it
as their spiritual dictionary.
Bhagavad Gita tackles the questions regarding what comprises a virtuous path in
life, as well as what is necessary and fundamental for one’s spiritual
liberation. It addresses three primary trends and debates in Hinduism, which
are enlightenment-based renunciation, dharma-based householder life, and
devotion-based theism. It is said that the Bhagavad Gita endeavors to forge harmony between these three different paths. Aside from this, interpreters
assert that the Bhagavad Gita is different from other Indian religions and sacred
texts which insist on extreme austerity and self-torture. On the contrary, the
Bhagavad Gita actually censures this belief. It states that it is against
tradition and against Krishna himself to inflict self-torture and extreme
austerity. This is because it is believed that Krishna dwells within all beings
and therefore, torturing one’s own body would be tantamount to torturing
Krishna himself. It asserts that one should instead strive for inner renunciation.
scholars and writers will attest, the Bhagavad Gita is truly so extraordinary
that a full translation and a comprehensive summary of its true essence cannot
be attained. It is claimed that the Bhagavad Gita is actually the most
translated portion of the Mahabharata. Furthermore, it is not only considered a
supreme text in Sanskrit but in all of world literature.
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