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Bhagavad Gita

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Hindu texts


The Bhagavad Gita is one of the holiest books of Hinduism.[1] The Bhagavad Gita (romanized: bhagavad-gītā, lit. 'The Song by God'), often referred to as the Gita (IAST: gītā), is part of the ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata. It is considered to be written in the first millennium BCE. It has teachings said to be given by Sri Krishna, who is considered a Supreme divine being. In the book (Bhagvat Gita), Krishna answers questions from Arjuna, a Pandava prince, about a human's moral duties (called dharma) regarding a broad range of philosophical and metaphysical matters.

The Bhagavad Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between the Pandava prince Arjuna and his charioteer guide, Krishna. At the start of the Kurukshetra War between the Pandavas and their cousins, Kauravas, Prince Arjuna is in doubt, thinking about the violence the war will cause.[2] Wondering if he should renounce the war, Arjuna seeks the counsel of Krishna, whose answers and their discourse constitute the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna counsels Arjuna to "fulfill his warrior duty" for the upholding of dharma.[3] The Krishna–Arjuna dialogue covers a broad range of spiritual topics, touching upon moral and ethical dilemmas, and philosophical issues that go far beyond the war that Arjuna faces.[4][5][6]

The Gita posits the existence of an individual self (Atman or Soul) and the supreme self (Brahman or Supreme Soul) within each being. The dialogue between the prince and his charioteer has been interpreted as a metaphor for an immortal dialogue between the human self and God. The text covers the philosophy of Yoga in terms of Gyan (Knowledge) yoga, Bhakti (devotion) yoga, Karma (action) yoga, and Rāja (governance) yoga,[7].

Deeds without Expections of the Result

॥ कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भुर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वाकर्मणि॥

One has the right to perform their expected duty,
But not to the right to the fruits of action;
One should not consider oneself as the doer of the action,
Nor should one attach oneself to inaction.

- Bhagavad Gita 2 : 47

A key chapter is Sankhya Yoga, The Book of Doctrines, Self-Realization, or The Yoga of Knowledge (and Philosophy).[8][9][10] Filled with questions about the meaning and purpose of life, Prince Arjuna asks Krishna about the nature of life, Self, death, afterlife, and whether there is a deeper meaning and reality.[11] The chapter summarizes the ideas eternal Self in each person (Soul), and the Universal-Self present in everyone (Supreme Soul), along with concept of re-birth[11] This chapter is an overview of the remaining sixteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita.[11][12][13]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Bhagavad Gita The Holy book of Hindus". 2020-11-05. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  2. The Song Celestial, Or, Bhagavad-gîtâ (from the Mahâbhârata) Being a Discourse Between Arjuna, Prince of India, and the Supreme Being Under the Form of Krishna. Roberts Bros. 1885. pp. Book one the first, page 19.
  3. Easwaran 2007, pp. 111–122.
  4. Davis 2014, p. 2.
  5. Eliot Deutsch & Rohit Dalvi 2004, pp. 60–62.
  6. Sargeant 2009, pp. x–xviii.
  7. Eliot Deutsch & Rohit Dalvi 2004, pp. 61–62.
  8. Cite error: The named reference EBG was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  9. Easwaran 2007, pp. 5–6.
  10. Maitra 2018, pp. vii–viii.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Easwaran 2007, pp. 83–98.
  12. Sharma 1986, pp. xv–xvi.
  13. Sargeant 2009, p. xx.

Other websites[change | change source]